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Trump Insists He'll 'Drain the Swamp' as Gingrich Walks Back 'Boo Boo'

Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich greets U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump at a rally at the Sharonville Convention Center in Cincinnati, Ohio July 6, 2016.
Aaron P. Bernstein | Reuters
Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich greets U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump at a rally at the Sharonville Convention Center in Cincinnati, Ohio July 6, 2016.

Former House Speaker and Donald Trump ally Newt Gingrich is walking back his claim that the president-elect will not prioritize his campaign promise to "drain the swamp" in Washington, a charge that came after Trump selected a series of wealthy donors and business executives for his White House team.

Gingrich suggested in an interview with NPR earlier this week that Trump was no longer enamored of the pithy pledge, claiming Trump "now says it was cute, but he doesn't want to use it anymore."

But in an online video posted Thursday, Gingrich said that the statement was "a big boo-boo," adding that Trump assured him in a conversation Thursday that "he intends to drain the swamp."

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Without mentioning Gingrich by name, the president-elect skewered him Thursday morning in a tweet, saying "Someone incorrectly stated that the phrase "DRAIN THE SWAMP" was no longer being used by me. Actually, we will always be trying to DTS."

Gingrich is not the only Trump ally to say that the oft-repeated campaign pledge is taking a back seat to other policy initiatives. Speaking on FOX News on Thursday, former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski said of Trump's priorities that "If you had to put them in a chronological order, drain the swamp is probably somewhere down at the bottom."

Lewandowski announced this week that he plans to open a lobbying firm in Washington.