Former campaign manager and Donald Trump surrogate Corey Lewandowski is starting up a lobbying firm — just one block from the White House. Drain the swamp? Ha.
Trump, who pledged to drain the swamp of lobbyists, is getting, by all appearances, his own private lobbying arm steps from the White House pic.twitter.com/gGFVq5Yf2n
— Bradd Jaffy (@BraddJaffy) December 21, 2016
Despite campaign promises to “drain the swamp,” which became a rallying cry of his supporters, President-elect Donald Trump and members of his sphere appear happy to keep it filled for their own use.
Thus far, Trump has stacked his cabinet with Wall Street executives, seasoned politicians, and billionaires, and is not so much “draining” the swamp as diverting it directly into his inner circle.
And now Trump’s former campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, is setting up camp in a lobbying and political consulting firm just blocks from the White House.
Lewandowski was demoted by the campaign after he was arrested for assault for allegedly grabbing a female reporter’s arm (the charges were later dropped). He then became a commentator on CNN, though he was still being paid by the Trump campaign during his time there.
And after mulling over positions within the administration, he has decided he can be of better help to the president-elect by working with but not for the administration:
“After considering multiple opportunities within the administration, I informed [Trump] and his team I think I can best help him outside the formal structure of the government. I very much look forward to doing that every day.”
Lewandowski’s business partner Barry Bennett, who is also Ben Carson’s former campaign manager, told CNN that their firm, Avenue Strategies, will be “a full service government affairs and political consulting shop to, from the outside, help pursue the Trump agenda.”
With loyal lobbyists installing themselves just outside the White House, and billionaires settling into cabinet positions inside, Trump and his team are tending to the swamp quite well.
And it seems, he always intended it to be that way.
Trump surrogate Newt Gingrich, former Speaker of the House and current Fox News Correspondent, said that the campaign rhetoric was never a real promise anyway, and that Trump may feel, “as the next president of the United States, that he should be marginally more dignified than talking about alligators in swamps.”
Indeed, nearly every day, it becomes clearer that “drain the swamp” was a mere device, a campaign shtick that hit the right note for his supporters, but was meant to be taken neither seriously nor literally.