"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
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."
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