Every cycle conservatives campaign on a platform of smaller government, turning more control back over to individual states, reduced taxes/bureaucracy, etc.
And every cycle without fail government gets larger, taxes creep upwards or cut without commensurate cuts in spending by taking on public debt, power becomes more centralized, and bureaucracy expands to meet the needs of the expanding bureaucracy.
This presents a problem for the conservative half of the electorate.
What it looks like is that they elect these guys, send them to Washington, and they talk tall while screwing around and not actually accomplishing anything. Washington is a "swamp" of people who've been corrupted by the system. These Washington types, apathetic or outright hostile to middle American interests depending on party, are the "corrupt" that Donald Trump wants to de-swampify. But realistically this is unlikely: every single conservative elected to the federal government, every single one, is either a turncoat or massively incompetent? Every single liberal/leftist, all of them, are coastal classist elitists?
It turns out that both Sanders and Trump were wrong: it isn't just bad people, governing is actually difficult. There are hard problems that don't have easy solutions. Which puts people that ran on simple solutions in quite a pickle. It's not like they can go back to their constituents and be all like "oops guess we can't really cut the funding to this thing without creating more problems than we solve. My bad."
So yeah. In the absence of the truth, various explanations about the "corrupting influence of Washington" make the rounds. Actual instances of corruption are exposed, sans context, and the salacious scandals reinforce the image with no mention of how endemic the problem really is or isn't.