“Draining the swamp” has become synonymous with both the Trump campaign and his presidency. Although it’s not a new saying, it has stuck with him since he first uttered it.
The phrase was first made popular by President Ronald Reagan in 1983, who also said he came to Washington to “drain the swamp.” Reagan’s sentiment was identical to Trump’s in that regard. Reagan also wished to roll back the size and scope of the federal government.
It was used again in 2007 by Nancy Pelosi, when the Republicans imploded and were tossed out, leaving her to be elevated to speaker of the House. However, her sentiment was just slightly different. She claimed to want to “drain the swamp” of over 10 years of Republican control of the House.