Many social media users, including some who were once supporters, tore into outgoing President Donald Trump during his final hours in office.
Trump received backlash for failing to “Drain the Swamp” as promised, by revoking a lobbying ban and pardoning a list of US establishment figures.
He had repeatedly promised to “Drain the Swamp,” a reference to ridding Washington, DC of corrupt and self-serving career officials, during his 2016 presidential campaign, and it became a popular slogan among his supporters. As part of the draining process, Trump issued an Executive Order, banning former White House aides from becoming lobbyists for five years, at the start of his presidency in January 2017. However, he decided to revoke it this week, ahead of President-Elect Joe Biden’s inauguration, prompting many to accuse him of breaking yet another promise.
“Forget about draining the swamp…President Trump just filled it up,”reacted journalist Yashar Ali – a sentiment echoed by many others, including conservative journalist Eduardo Neret, who called out Trump for performing “another total one-eighty.”
Others also highlighted the “Drain the Swamp” slogan following the release of Trump’s controversial presidential pardons list on Wednesday. The list included white-collar criminals, corrupt government officials, former Israeli spy Aviem Sella, and even rappers Lil Wayne and Kodak Black, but did not feature WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange or whistleblower Edward Snowden – two men that Trump supporters had overwhelmingly demanded a pardon for.
“Trump went to Washington to ‘drain the swamp.’ Then he hired the swamp. Then his final act as President was to bow to the swamp,”tweeted conservative commenter and assistant director of The Plot Against the President, Daniel Bostic. Another user compared Trump’s slogan to former President Barack Obama’s own “Hope and Change” slogan, which disappointed liberals due to the lack of any meaningful change by the end of Obama’s two terms in office.
New Zealand-based entrepreneur Kim Dotcom accused Trump of becoming “his own swamp paralyzed by fear and selfishness,” while journalist Cassandra Fairbanks questioned, “What did we even get? No wall. DACA still exists. He hired tons of neocons and got people who would otherwise oppose them to cheerlead them. Julian is in prison. Was it even worth it?”
Though Tuesday was Trump’s last full day in office, he will remain president until the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden, which is set to start at noon, Eastern Time. Biden reportedly plans to sign as many as 17 of his own Executive Orders during his first day, and will revoke Trump’s Executive Orders on immigration, the environment, and the Southern border wall.