"Drain the Swamp" of Corruption
As part of the Clean up Corruption in Washington Act:
"[Enact] new ethics reforms to Drain the Swamp and reduce the corrupting influence of special interests on our politics."
A dictionary definition of "corruption" includes: "lack of integrity or honesty (especially susceptibility to bribery); use of a position of trust for dishonest gain" and "inducement (as of a public official) by improper means (as bribery) to violate duty (as by committing a felony)."
Outside of certain anti-lobbying measures that Trump has proposed (treated elsewhere on this site), Trump's intended definition of corruption can be inferred from the debates and campaign quotes, as shown below:
Responding to Hillary Clinton's third debate assertion that she will stand up to special interests: "She's raising the money from the people she wants to control. Doesn't work that way."
Discussing tax dodging in the second debate: "[Y]ou have provisions in the tax code, that frankly, we could change. But you wouldn't change it because all of these people gave you the money so you can take negative ads on Donald Trump."
"Our campaign is about breaking-up the special interest monopoly in Washington, D.C. We’re trying to disrupt the collusion between the wealthy donors, the large corporations, and the media executives." - September 28, 2016: “Follow the Money” remarks delivered in Waukesha, Wisconsin
"Our government will be honest, ethical and responsive." - August 27, 2016: Donald Trump speaks in Des Moines, Iowa
"In my Administration, I am going to enforce all laws concerning the protection of classified information. No one will be above the law." - August 18, 2016: Donand J. Trump Remarks in Charlotte, North Carolina
"We will never be able to fix a rigged system by counting on the same people who rigged it in the first place... The insiders wrote the rules of the game to keep themselves in power and in the money." - Trump speech on June 22, 2016
So, for purposes of this promise, we can define corruption as:
- Use of paid lobbyists for government business;
- Accepting money from lobbyists or others for the purpose of affecting policy or government operations;
- Using the government for personal enrichment or using their connections to avoid prosecution under the law;
- Retaining or tapping long-time government insiders who will do business as usual.
Trump's promise sets a high bar for himself and his administration.
Cease Tweeting While President
"You know, I tweeted today, @realDonaldTrump. I tweet. Don’t worry, I’ll give it up after I’m president. We won’t tweet anymore. I don’t know. Not presidential."
- Trump speech in Warwick, RI, April 2016
Introduce Middle Class Tax Relief And Simplification Act
"I will work with Congress to introduce the following broader legislative measures and fight for their passage within the first 100 days of my Administration:
1. Middle Class Tax Relief And Simplification Act. An economic plan designed to grow the economy 4% per year and create at least 25 million new jobs through massive tax reduction and simplification, in combination with trade reform, regulatory relief, and lifting the restrictions on American energy. The largest tax reductions are for the middle class. A middle-class family with 2 children will get a 35% tax cut. The current number of brackets will be reduced from 7 to 3, and tax forms will likewise be greatly simplified. The business rate will be lowered from 35 to 15 percent, and the trillions of dollars of American corporate money overseas can now be brought back at a 10 percent rate."
- "Donald Trump's Contract With The American Voter," October 2016
Investigate Hillary Clinton
"But if I win, I am going to instruct my attorney general to get a special prosecutor to look into your situation. Because there has never been so many lies, so much deception. There has never been anything like it. And we’re gonna have a special prosecutor."
- Donald Trump, Second Presidential Debate, 9 Oct 2016
Also from the second debate:
Clinton: "...it's just awfully good that someone with the temperament of Donald Trump is not in charge of the law in our country."
Trump: "Because you would be in jail."
Not Use the Presidency to Enrich Himself
“We're not here to help ourselves... So many people are dependent on us"
- Donald Trump to senior White House staff, January 22nd, 2017
Prevent Immigrants from Using Welfare for at Least Five Years
"I believe the time has come for new immigration rules which say that those seeking admission into our country must be able to support themselves financially and should not use welfare for a period of at least five years."
- Trump rally, Cedar Rapids, IA, June 22, 2017
Release His Personal Tax Returns
"I don't mind releasing -- I'm under a routine audit. And it'll be released. And -- as soon as the audit's finished, it will be released."
- Donald Trump, First Presidential Debate, Sep 2016
"I pay hundreds of millions in taxes, but, but as soon as my routine audit is finished, I’ll release my returns. I’ll be very proud to."
- Donald Trump, Second Presidential Debate, Oct 2016
Replace Some Current Military Generals
TRUMP: "I think under the leadership of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, the generals have been reduced to rubble. They have been reduced to a point where it’s embarrassing for our country."
LAUER: "But you’re going to convene a panel of generals, and you’ve already said you know more about ISIS than those generals do."
TRUMP: "Well, they’ll probably be different generals, to be honest with you."
Take No 'Big' Vacations
"There's just so much to be done, so I don't think we'll be very big on vacations, no."
- Trump interview with 60 Minutes, November 2016
“I would rarely leave the White House because there’s so much work to be done... I would not be a president who took vacations. I would not be a president that takes time off.”
- Trump interview with The Hill, June 2015
After the election, advisers for Trump said he might spend most of the week at the White House, and return to Trump Tower or Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach or even his New Jersey golf course in Bedminster on the weekends.