There were at least three things going on during this week’s in-and-out ethics debacle in Washington, D.C. For those of you with the good fortune to occupy your days in other ways, allow me to recap in a word: ethicsgate.

Basically, House Republicans held a late-night, closed-door meeting Monday in which they approved new rules that would reduce the Office of Congressional Ethics’ power while increasing the House Ethics Commission’s power.

As the New York Times put it, the latter “is made up of lawmakers who answer to their own party,” so it certainly appeared as if swamp dwellers were encasing their scaly skin in mud even before officially being sworn in for the 115th Congress.

The people reacted. The POTUS-elect reacted. The media reacted. In light of all the hubbub, here are three possible takeaways from #ethicsgate:

  1. A couple of tweets from POTUS-elect Donald Trump shook swamp-dwelling Republican lawmakers to their core, in turn causing them to reverse course on a plan they had set in motion less than 24 hours earlier.
  2. A deluge of tweets and other communications from concerned constituents shook swamp-dwelling Republican lawmakers to their core, yadda yadda.
  3. The whole thing was an elaborate ruse coordinated between Trump and the GOP with the hope of casting a favorable light on Trump, whose cabinet appointments and other broken promises have turned former supporters against him.

As usual with these things, there’s no way to know for certain, and the reality may very well be a mix of all three factors/theories.

It remained clear, however, that various media had made up their minds early on as to the cause of the reversal.

Theory 1: Trump’s tweets as trump cards

The Hill wasted no time in covering Trump’s tweeted criticism of the House’s overnight subterfuge, with only about an hour separating the tweet and this headline: Trump slaps GOP for vote on ethics watchdog.

Here’s what The Donald had to type:

A short time later, The Hill doubled down on attributing the GOP’s reversal solely to Trump’s tweet. That story was posted at 12:11 p.m. Tuesday, shortly after C-SPAN posted an alert at the bottom of their live House coverage just before noon Eastern time.

Perhaps the best support for this theory, however, came from The Washington Post’s coverage, in which former house ethics chairman Rep. Charlie Dent (R-Pa.) said Trump’s online criticism was brought up during the meeting that eventually scuttled the plans.

Theory 2: GOPers change course after public outcry

The Huffington Post seemed loathe to give all the credit to Trump, instead opting to include lawmakers and watchdog groups as at least secondary motivators for Republican leadership abandoning the Good Ship Unethicalpop.

HuffPo cited watchdog groups Campaign for Accountability, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, League of Women Voters, Judicial Watch and Common Cause as vocal in their opposition to legislative leaders’ plans. At least one North Carolina representative was “surprised” by the number of calls his office received in criticism of the proposed rule changes, HuffPo reported.

Theory 3: One big wag the dog

Admittedly, this final takeaway can likely be filed with the Tinfoil Hat Bureau, but in an election year in which Russian hackers have been accused of rigging the election in favor of a billionaire-businessman-turned-bankrupt-casino-magnate-turned-reality-TV-star, it seems within the realm of possibility.

To what end, though?

Well, a Nov. 22 article from the UK’s Independent notes that Trump broke promises or reversed positions on four key issues during an interview with the NY Times (which he had originally cancelled but then re-arranged with new rules).

With the feathers of his base thoroughly ruffled at the thought of Hillary Clinton escaping prosecution (among other high-profile post-election flip flops), it could be a move to appear sympathetic to Democrats. It’s like when a bully suddenly stops being an outright dick and modestly offers you something flatly decent, only the offering appears instead as if a saint had appeared to vanquish all evils abounding.

But keep in mind the language of Trump’s tweets criticizes not exactly the gutting of the current ethics oversight itself but rather the timing, and it acknowledges an “unfair” quality of it, so it could just be the latest flip with a flop soon to fall afterward.