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Marketplace Morning Report

Is Donald Trump ‘draining the swamp’?

David Brancaccio Dec 14, 2016
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President-elect Donald Trump speaks at the "USA Thank You Tour 2016" at the Wisconsin State Fair Exposition Center on Tuesday.
DON EMMERT/AFP/Getty Images

One of President-elect Donald Trump’s promises on the campaign trail was to “drain the swamp.” As Trump continues to nominate his cabinet members, how has he been doing on that front? 

Things aren’t looking good, according to Nick Penniman, president of the nonpartisan organization Issue One.

“The president and the inauguration committee are trying to raise $75 million right now to pay for the inauguration,” Penniman said. “An invitation was leaked the other day that showed what you could get for the amounts that you give.” 

Donors who give $1 million or more will get tickets to a candlelight dinner that’ll include the president-elect and vice president-elect, along with their spouses. They’ll also have the chance to interact with cabinet members.

Trump has announced some tangible steps to address the special-interests issue: he said he would impose term limits on legislators and ban Congress members from working as lobbyists for five years after leaving office. But Penniman said he thinks these steps are “window dressing.”

“First of all, they’re not gonna get term limits done,” Penniman added. “And then, you know, extending the revolving door for cabinet members doesn’t really get you very far.”

But if the president-elect truly does drain the swamp, then he will have bipartisan support, said Penniman.

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