This is our look at President-elect Donald Trump's transition and the outgoing Obama administration:
- Sanctions against Russia are part of sweeping punishments announced by Obama administration
- Trump claims credit for Sprint and OneWeb job announcements
- John Kerry defends Obama's support for Israel, calls for resumption of Mideast talks
- The Times assesses Kerry's legacy
- Obama and Japan's Shinzo Abe tour memorial of Pearl Harbor attack
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It made for a great slogan during the campaign, but now that he’s won, Donald Trump is finding that maybe he doesn’t actually want to “drain the swamp.”
In fact, the alligators seem to be doing quite well.
Former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski on Wednesday boasted about his access and proximity to Trump in announcing a new consulting firm he plans to open with former Trump campaign advisor Barry Bennett. The firm's offices will be one block from the White House.
Clients who pony up what are sure to be hefty fees for the firm's services are being assured by Lewandowski in his marketing materials that he turned down “multiple opportunities within the administration” so he can serve them.
The pitch implies Lewandowski will remain a de facto surrogate for Trump — with all the access that implies — as he bills those seeking to influence the Trump administration for his services.
So perhaps the time is ripe for Trump to stop using the “drain the swamp” phrase. And that is what Trump has decided to do, according to former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who describes himself as an outside advisor to the president-elect.
“I'm told he now just disclaims that,” Gingrich said in an interview on National Public Radio, referring to the slogan Trump used in the final phase of his campaign to crystallize his promise to cleanse Washington of insiders and self-dealers.
“He now says it was cute, but he doesn't want to use it anymore,” Gingrich said, adding that perhaps all this swamp draining talk isn’t presidential.
“He's in a different role now and 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.
“I personally have, as a sense of humor, like the alligator and swamp language,” he added. “I think 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 fighting over it. But, you know, he is my leader, and if he decides to drop the swamp and the alligator, I will drop the swamp and the alligator.”
Lewandowski, for his part, made no mention of swamps or alligators in announcing his new consulting firm would be open for business.