Former Trump campaign manager says ‘drain the swamp’ now at the bottom of Trump’s priorities

It was the central message of his campaign.

In this Oct. 27, 2016, file photo, supporters of then-Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump hold signs during a campaign rally in Springfield, Ohio. President-elect Donald Trump’s campaign promise to “drain the swamp” of Washington might make it difficult for him to fill all the jobs in his administration. CREDIT: AP Photo/ Evan Vucci
In this Oct. 27, 2016, file photo, supporters of then-Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump hold signs during a campaign rally in Springfield, Ohio. President-elect Donald Trump’s campaign promise to “drain the swamp” of Washington might make it difficult for him to fill all the jobs in his administration. CREDIT: AP Photo/ Evan Vucci

Former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski announced yesterday that he would not be joining the administration. Instead, he is forming a new lobbying firm to sell access to the president-elect.

By all accounts, even after his firing, Lewandowski remained a key adviser to Trump and was often spotted on the campaign trail. Lewandowski said he was offered various positions inside the administration. He turned those down but pledged to continue to “help” Trump. He will do so from a lobbying firm located a block from the White House on behalf of paying clients.

All of this seems to directly contradict Trump’s core pledge to “drain the swamp.”

Appearing on Fox News this morning, Lewandowski was asked: “Where does drain the swamp stack up in terms of things to adhere to in the Trump camp.”

Lewandowski respond that it would be “down at the bottom” of Trump’s list of priorities.

Lewandowski’s comments come a day after Newt Gingrich, another close Trump adviser, said Trump wasn’t interested in draining the swamp anymore.

“He now says it was cute, but he doesn’t want to use it anymore,” Gingrich said. Over the last several weeks, Trump has stuffed his administration with Wall Street bankers and lobbyists.

This may all come as a surprise to Trump voters. Trump repeatedly used the slogan on the campaign trail and frequently tweeted using the #draintheswamp hashtag. It was effectively his closing argument.

Here is just a small sampling of his dozens of tweets on the topic.

Old habits die hard, however. During a December 6 speech in Fayetteville, North Carolina, Trump vowed to “drain the swamp of corruption in Washington, D.C.”

Update: Trump just tweeted that he intends to keep using the phrase “drain the swamp.”

He did not say whether or not he would continue to surround himself with lobbyists and former employees of Goldman Sachs.