"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.
"Open Up" Libel Laws
"One of the things I'm going to do if I win... I'm going to open up our libel laws so when they write purposely negative and horrible and false articles, we can sue them and win lots of money. We're going to open up those libel laws. So when The New York Times writes a hit piece which is a total disgrace or when The Washington Post, which is there for other reasons, writes a hit piece, we can sue them and win money instead of having no chance of winning because they're totally protected"
- Trump speech in Ft. Worth, TX, February 2016
Ban on Foreign Lobbyists Raising Money for American Elections
"[O]n the first day of my term of office, my administration will immediately pursue the following six measures to clean up the corruption and special interest collusion in Washington, DC:
SIXTH, a complete ban on foreign lobbyists raising money for American elections."
- "Donald Trump's Contract With The American Voter," October 2016
Bring Back Coal Jobs
"We're going to save that coal industry, believe me. I love those people," - Trump speech, May 2016
"The EPA is so restrictive that they are putting our energy companies out of business. And all you have to do is go to a great place like West Virginia or places like Ohio which is phenomenal or places like Pennsylvania and you see what they are doing to the people, miners and others in the energy business."
- Donald Trump, Second Presidential Debate, October 2016
Bring Back the Automobile Industry
"We're going to bring back the automobile industry bigger and better and stronger than ever before.... After we win, I’m going to be coming back to Michigan a lot. I’m going to be coming back every time we open a new factory or a new automobile plant, and we will do it and we will do lot of expansion,"
- Donald Trump speech, Grand Rapids, MI, November 2016
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
Change Denali Peak Name Back to Mt. McKinley
Create $1 Trillion in Infrastructure Investment
As part of the American Energy & Infrastructure Act:
"Leverages public-private partnerships, and private investments through tax incentives, to spur $1 trillion in infrastructure investment over 10 years. It is revenue neutral."
"Leverage new revenues and work with financing authorities, public-private partnerships, and other prudent funding opportunities."
"Harness market forces to help attract new private infrastructure investments through a deficit-neutral system of infrastructure tax credits."
"According to the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), without major improvements to our transportation systems, “the United States will lose more than 2.5 million jobs by 2025” (NAM, Build To Win, 2016). NAM estimates a “ten-year funding gap” of approximately $1 trillion. The Trump Infrastructure Plan is aimed at achieving a target of investment to fill this gap. NAM also found that $8 billion in infrastructure tax credits would support $226 billion in infrastructure investment over 10 years. Innovative financing programs also provide a 10-to-1 return on investment."
Eliminate Gun Free Zones
"I will get rid of gun-free zones on schools, and — you have to — and on military bases. My first day, it gets signed, okay? My first day. There's no more gun-free zones."
- Donald Trump speech, Burlington, VT, January 2016
"The problem with gun free zones is it's like offering up candy to bad people. They hear gun free zones and they go in there with their guns blazing."
- Trump interview with CNN, May 2016
Eliminate National Debt in 8 Years
"We’ve got to get rid of the $19 trillion in debt.... I would say over a period of eight years.... The power is trade. Our deals are so bad."
- Donald Trump interview with Bob Woodward, April 2016
Implement "Penny Plan" to Reduce Government Spending
"Well, we’re cutting back, I mean whether it’s a penny plan—which is something that, as simple as it is, I’ve always sort of liked.... We’re going to be doing smart budget cuts, budget cuts that will make it just as good or better than it is right now, but for a lot less money."
- Donald Trump on Fox Business, August 2016
Variations of the “penny plan,” or the “one-cent solution” as it’s called by activist Bruce Cook, cut one cent per dollar in the federal budget over a period of six or seven years and impose a spending cap until the budget is balanced. Different programs can see greater than 1 percent cuts—or no cuts—as long as overall spending is reduced by 1 percent each year.
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."
Maintain an Average 3.5% GDP Growth
"Boost growth to 3.5 percent per year on average, with the potential to reach a 4 percent growth rate."
- Position Statement
" And we're bringing GDP from, really, 1 percent, which is what it is now, and if she got in, it will be less than zero. But we're bringing it from 1 percent up to 4 percent. And I actually think we can go higher than 4 percent. I think you can go to 5 percent or 6 percent."
- Donald Trump, Third Presidential Debate, Oct 2016
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
Raise the Federal Minimum Wage
"The minimum wage has to go up. People are — at least $10, but it has to go up. But I think that states — federal — I think that states should really call the shot."
- Trump press conference, July 2016
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
Reopen Trump University
@realDonaldTrump tweet, June 2nd 2016:
After the litigation is disposed of and the case won, I have instructed my execs to open Trump U(?), so much interest in it! I will be pres.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 2, 2016
Trump University was the subject of two class-action lawsuits and a $40 million lawsuit from New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. Donald Trump agreed to pay $25 million to settle the fraud lawsuits after the election in November 2016. The deal included no admission of liability on Trump's part.
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."
Represent All Americans
"I will be a president for all of our people... I would be a president for all of the people. African-Americans, the inner cities...."
- Donald Trump, Second Presidential Debate, Oct 2016
"My message tonight is for all Americans, from all parties, all beliefs, all walks of life. No matter your age, your income, your background, I am asking you to join this incredible movement. I am asking you to dream big and bold and daring things for your country. I am asking you to believe in yourself, and I am asking you to believe again in America."
- Donald Trump Victory Rally in Des Moines, Iowa, December 2016
Secure 95% of the African-American Vote in 2020
"And at the end of four years, I guarantee you that I will get over 95 percent of the African-American vote. I promise you. Because I will produce."
- Trump speech in Dimondale, MI, August 2016
Sue His Accusers
"Every woman lied when they came forward to hurt my campaign. Total fabrication. The events never happened. Never. All of these liars will be sued after the election is over."
- Donald Trump speech in Gettysburg, PA, October 2016
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.