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For Immediate Release

Press Release

Here’s What Candidate Trump Said About Clean Government. Use This to Hold Him Accountable.

Will Trump Keep His Good Government Campaign Promises?

While a candidate, Donald Trump railed against special interests, lobbyists and conflicts of interest in the nation’s capital. Public Citizen today released a compilation of those statements to make it easier for watchdogs to hold Trump accountable.

Because the media personality-turned-politician campaigned on contrasting his supposed trustworthiness with political opponents – Republican and Democrat alike – the consistency between the politician’s words and deeds bear special scrutiny, in particular with regards to campaign promises about ethics reforms and anticorruption policies.

The statements – made in speeches, on Twitter and during debates – are divided into three categories: “drain the swamp” (government ethics, lobbying and campaign finance reform); “rigged” for Wall Street (the corrupting influence of Big Banks) and “hypocrites” (attacks against opponents for siding with Wall Street and corporate special interests).

“Candidate Trump ran against the establishment. President-Elect Trump has handed over the keys to his administration to the establishment, inviting in corporate lobbyists, corporate lawyers, corporate think tank members and corporate executives to run his transition team,” said Robert Weissman, president of Public Citizen. “If things continue on course, we will witness one the most corrupt administrations in American history. The transition team is guided by no apparent ethics code, and no apparent acknowledgement of even the most modest conflict-of-interest standards.”

Added Lisa Gilbert, director of Public Citizen’s Congress Watch division, “We urge Trump to make good on his promises to free government from corrupting corporate influences. But there is an inherent contradiction between Donald Trump’s anti-Wall Street rhetoric along with talk of ‘draining the swamp’ to make the government work for the people, and his likely Wall Street appointments to run big government agencies that regulate the financial sector to protect regular Americans.”

“Will President Trump fight corruption as candidate Trump promised? We’re about to find out,” said Rick Claypool, a Public Citizen research director and author of the report. “Voters should watch how well this supposedly anti-establishment politician’s words match his deeds – which, so far, have greatly empowered the corporate establishment.”

Read Public Citizen’s compilation (PDF) of Trump’s statements.


Public Citizen is a nonprofit consumer advocacy organization that champions the public interest in the halls of power. We defend democracy, resist corporate power and work to ensure that government works for the people – not for big corporations. Founded in 1971, we now have 500,000 members and supporters throughout the country.

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