Speed Reads

a teachable moment

Former ethics chief takes a moment to explain to Trump what ‘drain the swamp’ actually means

Among President Trump's most dramatic campaign promises was his pledge to "drain the swamp," to clear out unethical arrangements and backroom deals of all sorts in Washington, a feat made possible by Trump's outsider status.

Six months into the Trump presidency, Walter Shaub, who this month resigned as director of the United States Office of Government Ethics citing "the current situation," isn't quite sure Trump understands how "drain the swamp" works. He took to Twitter on Monday to offer an explanation:

Trump himself also had "drain the swamp" on his mind while tweeting Monday morning, suggesting that "drain the sewer" might be a more apt phrase:

To spare Shaub some time, let me go ahead and clarify that sewers already have drains — in fact, as this diagram helpfully shows, sewers are a systems of drains — while swamps are natural ecosystems known for their stagnant or slow-moving water.