[45] 2018/08: Swamp Creatures

Completion Date: 29 August 2018
Medium: Paint & ink on board
Dimensions: 30 X 40 inches

Swamp Creatures

It’s hard to remember now, but “Drain the swamp” wasn’t always just a trite anti-elite slogan for Donald Trump. During the 2016 campaign, it was the motto of the then-candidate’s proposed ethics plan to clean up D.C.’s corrupt lobbyist class, including by forcing “consultants” and “advisers” to register as lobbyists and instituting a lifelong ban on senior executive branch officials lobbying on behalf of a foreign government.

“We are going to have a new government that serves the people,” Trump promised audiences that October. “It hasn’t done that in a long time.”

Two years later, Trump’s calls to “drain the swamp” have taken on a new tone. Far from cracking down on lobbyists, Trump has turned the phrase into a weapon against his own Justice Department as it investigates whether his campaign colluded with Russian attempts to meddle in the 2016 election. Which has led to some interesting verbal calisthenics from the president in the wake of Tuesday’s conviction of one of D.C.’s swampiest swamp rats: Trump’s own former campaign manager Paul Manafort, who ran afoul of federal law by “consulting” for pro-Russian interests in Ukraine, then squirreling his profits away in offshore bank accounts and lying to the IRS about them.

Enriching oneself by tax and bank fraud in the service of a foreign power—intolerable swamp rat behavior? Not according to Trump, who came staunchly to Manafort’s defense in an interview aired on Fox & Friends Thursday morning.

“I have great respect for what he’s done in terms of what he’s going through,” Trump said, praising Manafort for his unwillingness to “flip” under pressure from prosecutors. “He worked for many, many people, many, many years, and I would say what he did, some of the charges they threw against him, every consultant, every lobbyist in Washington probably does.”

Source: Andrew Egger, 23 Aug, weeklystandard.com