After campaigning on a promise to clean up Washington and rid it of special interests, Donald Trump has stacked his team with the likes of former Goldman Sachs banker Steven Mnuchin and ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson.
Now, just weeks before taking office, Trump has decided to sideline his pledge to "drain the swamp," his ally Newt Gingrich said Wednesday.
"I'm told he now just disclaims that," Gingrich (R-Ga.) the former House speaker, told NPR's "Morning Edition." "He now says it was cute, but he doesn't want to use it anymore."
Gingrich posted to Twitter this week what he described to NPR as "a very cute tweet" about the alligators in Washington. But someone ― Gingrich didn't disclose who ― sent him a note saying they were tired of hearing such talk.
Gingrich told NPR he's noticed a post-election change in Trump's attitude about certain things, namely the "lock her up" chant that rang through campaign events.
Apparently, vowing to "drain the swamp" may have been more of the same.
"Maybe he feels that, as president, as the next president of the United States, that he should be marginally more dignified than talking about alligators in swamps," Gingrich said.
Gingrich said he personally likes the metaphor and thinks it "vividly illustrates the problem, because all the people in this city who are the alligators are going to hate the swamp being drained, and there's going to be constant infighting over it."
But if Trump decides to drop the refrain, Gingrich said he would do the same.
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), among others, has blasted Trump since the election for backpedaling on his promise to keep special interests out of Washington.
"What we are now beginning to see is what I feared," Sanders said in November. "And that is a lot of what Mr. Trump was saying to get votes turns out to be not what he intends to do as the president of the United States."