In an interview with NPR on Wednesday, Newt Gingrich claimed that Donald Trump was ditching the catchphrase “drain the swamp”—the popular expression he used during the campaign when he promised to eliminate big money interests and corruption in Washington. The statement follows a number of actions by the president-elect that appear to back Gingrich’s assertion, as Trump appoints to his cabinet an increasing number of billionaires and millionaires with unprecedented potential conflicts of interest.
“I’m told he now just disclaims that,” the former House Speaker and loyal Trump adviser said. “He now says it was cute but he doesn’t want to use it anymore…I’d written what I thought was a very cute tweet about the ‘alligators are complaining,’ and somebody wrote back and said they were tired of hearing this stuff.”
But on Thursday, Trump took to Twitter to rebut the claim, all but calling Gingrich out by name for apparently going off message:
Someone incorrectly stated that the phrase “DRAIN THE SWAMP” was no longer being used by me. Actually, we will always be trying to DTS.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 22, 2016
Shortly after, Gingrich posted this very sad video message confessing his “big boo boo.”
I goofed. Draining the swamp is in, @realDonaldTrump is going to do it, and the alligators should be worried. #DTS https://t.co/nCHs61gpve pic.twitter.com/OCO7eaSKvk
— Newt Gingrich (@newtgingrich) December 22, 2016