Political positions of Donald Trump

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Donald Trump is an American businessman, television personality, politician, and the 45th President of the United States.Trump’s proposals include elements from across the political spectrum. For example, he has proposed sizable income tax cuts and deregulation consistent with conservative (Republican Party) policies, along with significant infrastructure investment and protection for entitlements for the elderly, typically considered liberal (Democratic Party) policies. His anti-globalization policies of trade protectionism and immigration reduction cross party lines.[1]Trump has said that he is “totally flexible on very, very many issues.”[2]Trump’s “signature issue” is illegal immigration,[3] and in particular building or expanding a border wall between the U.S. and Mexico.[4] As of October 2016, Trump’s campaign had posted fourteen categories of policy proposals on his website.[5] During October 2016, Trump outlined a series of steps for his first 100 days in office.[6]

Trump’s political positions, and his descriptions of his beliefs, have frequently changed.[13] Politico has described his positions as “eclectic, improvisational and often contradictory.”[14] According to an NBC News count, over the course of his campaign Trump made “141 distinct shifts on 23 major issues.”[15] Fact-checking organizations reported that during the campaign, Trump made a record number of false statements compared to other candidates.


Political positioning

In his own words

Trump speaking at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in 2015.

Trump registered as a Republican in Manhattan in 1987 and since that time has changed his party affiliation five times. In 1999, Trump changed his party affiliation to the Independence Party of New York. In August 2001, Trump changed his party affiliation to Democratic. In September 2009, Trump changed his party affiliation back to the Republican Party. In December 2011, Trump changed to “no party affiliation” (i.e., independent). In April 2012, Trump again returned to the Republican Party.[20]

In a 2004 interview, Trump told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer: “In many cases, I probably identify more as Democrat,” explaining: “It just seems that the economy does better under the Democrats than the Republicans. Now, it shouldn’t be that way. But if you go back, I mean it just seems that the economy does better under the Democrats … But certainly we had some very good economies under Democrats, as well as Republicans. But we’ve had some pretty bad disaster under the Republicans.”[21] In a July 2015 interview, Trump said that he has a broad range of political positions and that “I identify with some things as a Democrat.”[20]

During his 2016 campaign for the presidency, Trump has consistently described the state of the United States in bleak terms, referring to it as a nation in dire peril that is plagued by lawlessness, poverty, and violence, constantly under threat, and at risk at having “nothing, absolutely nothing, left.”[22][23] In accepting the Republican nomination for president, Trump said that “I alone can fix” the system,[24] and pledged that if elected, “Americanism, not globalism, will be our credo.”[23] He has described himself as a “law and order” candidate and “the voice” of “the forgotten men and women.”[25] His appeals to “law and order”, “the silent majority” drew comparisons to Richard Nixon.[26] These terms have been criticized by some, such as Politico, as being dog-whistle and racially-coded terminology.[26]

According to a Washington Post tally, Trump made some 282 campaign promises over the course of his 2016 campaign.[27]

As described by others

Trump’s political positions are widely viewed as populist.[28][29] Among academics, political writers, and pundits, Trump and his politics have been classified in greater detail, but in varying ways. Politicians and pundits alike have referred to Trump’s populism, anti-free trade and anti-immigrant stances as “Trumpism”.[30][31]

Liberal economist and columnist Paul Krugman disputes that Trump is a populist, arguing that his policies favor the rich over those less well off.[32] Harvard Kennedy School political scientist Pippa Norris has described Trump as a “populist authoritarian” analogous to European parties such as the Swiss People’s Party, Austrian Freedom Party, Swedish Democrats, and Danish People’s Party.[33] Columnist Walter Shapiro and political commentator Jonathan Chait describe Trump as authoritarian.[34][35] Conservative commentator Mary Katharine Ham characterized Trump as a “casual authoritarian,” saying “he is a candidate who has happily and proudly spurned the entire idea of limits on his power as an executive and doesn’t have any interest in the Constitution and what it allows him to do and what does not allow him to do. That is concerning for people who are interested in limited government.”[36] Charles C. W. Cooke of the National Review has expressed similar views, terming Trump an “anti-constitutional authoritarian.”[37] Libertarian journalist Nick Gillespie, by contrast, calls Trump “populist rather than an authoritarian”.[38]

Legal experts spanning the political spectrum, including many conservative and libertarian scholars, have suggested that “Trump’s blustery attacks on the press, complaints about the judicial system and bold claims of presidential power collectively sketch out a constitutional worldview that shows contempt for the First Amendment, the separation of powers and the rule of law.”[39] Law professors Randy E. Barnett, Richard Epstein, and David G. Post, for example, suggest that Trump has little or no awareness of, or commitment to, the constitutional principles of separation of powers and federalism.[39] Law professor Ilya Somin believes that Trump “poses a serious threat to the press and the First Amendment,” citing Trump’s proposal to expand defamation laws to make it easier to sue journalists and his remark that Washington Post owner Jeff Bezos will “have problems” if he is elected president.[39] Anthony D. Romero, the executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union, wrote in an op-ed published in the Washington Post in July 2016 that “Trump’s proposed policies, if carried out, would trigger a constitutional crisis. By our reckoning, a Trump administration would violate the First, Fourth, Fifth and Eighth amendments if it tried to implement his most controversial plans.”[40]

Republican opinion journalist Josh Barro terms Trump a “moderate Republican,” saying that except on immigration, his views are “anything but ideologically rigid, and he certainly does not equate deal making with surrender.”[41] MSNBC host Joe Scarborough says Trump is essentially more like a “centrist Democrat” on social issues.[42] Journalist and political analyst John Heilemann has characterized Trump as liberal on social issues,[43] while conservative talk radio host and political commentator Rush Limbaugh says that Heilemann is seeing in Trump what he wants to see.[44]

John Cassidy of the New Yorker writes that Trump seeks to make the Republican Party “into a more populist, nativist, avowedly protectionist, and semi-isolationist party that is skeptical of immigration, free trade, and military interventionism.”[45] Washington Post editorial page editor Fred Hiatt and College of the Holy Cross political scientist Donald Brand describe Trump as a nativist.[46][47] Rich Lowry, the editor of National Review, instead calls Trump an “immigration hawk” and supports Trump’s effort to return immigration levels to what Trump calls “historically average level”.[48] Trump is a protectionist, according to free-market advocate Stephen Moore and conservative economist Lawrence Kudlow.[49]

Although he is the Republican nominee, Trump has signaled that the official party platform, adopted at the 2016 Republican National Convention, diverges from Trump’s own views.[50]

Scales and rankings


In 2015, Crowdpac gave Trump a ranking of 0.4L out of 10L. In 2016, Crowdpac gave Trump a ranking of 5.1C out of 10C, shifting him more to the conservatism spectrum.[51]

On the Issues

The organization and website On the Issues has classified Trump in a variety of ways over time: as a “moderate populist” (2003);[52] a “liberal-leaning populist” (2003–2011);[53] a “moderate populist conservative” (2011–2012);[54] a “libertarian-leaning conservative” (2012–2013);[55] a “moderate conservative” (2013–2014);[56] a “libertarian-leaning conservative” (2014–2015);[57] a “hard-core conservative” (2015);[58] a “libertarian-leaning conservative” (2015–2016);[58][59] and a “moderate conservative” (2016–present).[60]

Domestic policy

Trump signs the Republican loyalty pledge: If Trump does not become the Republican Party nominee for the 2016 general election he pledges to support whomever the nominee may be, and to not run as a third-party candidate.

Trump and supporters at a rally in Muscatine, Iowa, January 2016. Multiple supporters hold up signs stating “The silent majority stands with Trump.”

Campaign finance

While Trump has repeatedly expressed support for “the idea of campaign finance reform,”[61][62] he has not outlined specifics of his actual views on campaign-finance regulation.[61][63][64] For example, Trump has not said whether he favors public financing of elections or caps on expenditures of campaigns, outside groups, and individuals.[61]

During the Republican primary race, Trump on several occasions accused his Republican opponents of being bound to their campaign financiers, and asserted that anyone (including Trump himself) could buy their policies with donations.[65] He called super PACs a “scam” and “a horrible thing”.[61][66] In October 2015, he said, “All Presidential candidates should immediately disavow their Super PAC’s. They’re not only breaking the spirit of the law but the law itself.”[67]

Having previously touted the self-funding of his campaign as a sign of his independence from the political establishment and big donors, Trump reversed course and started to fundraise in early May 2016.[68][69][70] While Trump systematically disavowed pro-Trump super PACs earlier in the race, he has not done so since early May 2016.[67]

Civil servants

According to Chris Christie (leader of Trump’s White House transition team), Trump would, if elected President, seek to purge the federal government of officials appointed by Obama and could ask Congress to pass legislation making it easier to fire public workers.[71]

Disabled Americans

Trump has provided “little detail regarding his positions on disability-related policies,” and his campaign website makes no mention of disabled people.[72][73][74] As of June 1, 2016, Trump had not responded to the issue questionnaire of the nonpartisan disability group RespectAbility.[72] Trump attracted criticism for mocking the physical disability of New York Times investigative reporter Serge Kovaleski, who suffers from arthrogryposis.[75] Trump has denied mocking Kovaleski’s disability and has claimed that he did not know of the reporter’s disability; fact-checkers, however, have found Trump’s claims to be implausible or false.[76][77][78]

District of Columbia statehood

In August 2015, Trump said that if he were president, he would consider the possibility of statehood for the District of Columbia, and would favor “whatever’s best for them.”[79] In an interview with the Washington Post in March 2016, Trump said that though he didn’t yet have a position on statehood, it would be something that “I don’t think I’d be inclined to do”. He also said that “having representation would be okay”.[80]


Trump has stated his support for school choice and local control for primary and secondary schools. On school choice he’s commented, “Our public schools are capable of providing a more competitive product than they do today. Look at some of the high school tests from earlier in this century and you’ll wonder if they weren’t college-level tests. And we’ve got to bring on the competition—open the schoolhouse doors and let parents choose the best school for their children. Education reformers call this school choice, charter schools, vouchers, even opportunity scholarships. I call it competition—the American way.”[81]

Trump has blasted the Common Core State Standards Initiative, calling it a “total disaster”.[82][83] Trump has asserted that Common Core is “education through Washington D.C.”, a claim which Politifact and other journalists have rated “false”, since the adoption and implementation of Common Core is a state choice, not a federal one.[82][83]

Trump has stated that Ben Carson will be “very much involved in education” under a Trump presidency.[84] Carson rejects the theory of evolution, believes that “home-schoolers do the best, private schoolers next best, charter schoolers next best, and public schoolers worst”, and wants to “take the federal bureaucracy out of education.”[85]

Trump has proposed redirecting $20 billion in existing federal spending to block grants to states to give poor children vouchers to attend a school of their family’s choice (including a charter school, private school, or online school).[86][87]Trump did not explain where the $20 billion in the federal budget would come from.[86] Trump stated that “Distribution of this grant will favor states that have private school choice and charter laws.”[86]

Eminent domain

Trump has called eminent domain “wonderful” and repeatedly asked the government to invoke it on his behalf during past development projects.[88][89]

Food safety

In September 2016, Trump posted a list on his web site of regulations that he would eliminate. The list included what it called the “FDA Food Police” and mentioned the Food and Drug Administration’s rules governing “farm and food production hygiene” and “food temperatures”.[90] The factsheet provided by Trump mirrored a May report by the conservative Heritage Foundation.[91] It was replaced later that month and the new factsheet did not mention the FDA.[90]

Native Americans

Colman McCarthy of the Washington Post wrote in 1993 that in testimony given that year to the House Natural Resources subcommittee on Native American Affairs, Trump “devoted much of his testimony to bad-mouthing Indians and their casinos,” asserted that “organized crime is rampant on Indian reservations” and that “if it continues it will be the biggest scandal ever.” Trump offered no evidence in support of his claim, and testimony from the FBI’s organized crime division, the Justice Department’s criminal division, and the IRS’s criminal investigation division did not support Trump’s assertion.[92]Representative George Miller, a Democrat who was the chairman of the Natural Resources Committee at the time, stated: “In my 19 years in Congress, I’ve never heard more irresponsible testimony.”[92]

Trump bankrolled in 2000 a set of anti-Indian gaming ads in upstate New York that featured “a dark photograph showing hypodermic needles and drug paraphernalia,” a warning that “violent criminals were coming to town,” and an accusation that the St. Regis Mohawks had a “record of criminal activity.”[93] The ad—aimed at stopping the construction of a casino in the Catskills that might hurt Trump’s own Atlantic City casinos[94]—was viewed as “incendiary” and racially charged, and at the time local tribal leaders, in response, bought a newspaper ad of their own to denounce the “smear” and “racist and inflammatory rhetoric” of the earlier ad.[93] The ads attracted the attention of the New York Temporary State Commission on Lobbying because they failed to disclose Trump’s sponsorship as required by state lobbying rules.[93][94][95] Trump acknowledged that he sponsored the ads and reached a settlement with the state in which he and his associates agreed to issue a public apology and pay $250,000 (the largest civil penalty ever levied by the commission) for evading state disclosure rules.[93][94][95]

In 2015, Trump defended the controversial team name and mascot of the Washington Redskins, saying that the NFL team should not change its name and he did not find the term to be offensive.[96][97] The “Change the Mascot” campaign, led by the Oneida Indian Nation and National Congress of American Indians, condemned Trump’s stance.[98]

While campaigning in 2016, Trump has repeatedly belittled Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts by calling her “Pocahontas” (a reference to Warren’s claim, based on family lore, of Native American ancestry, which she has been unable to document).[99] Trump’s comments were criticized by a number of public figures as racist and inappropriate.[100][101] Gyasi Ross of the Blackfeet Nation, a Native American activist and author, criticized Trump’s “badgering of Elizabeth Warren as ‘Pocahontas'” as “simply the continuation of his pattern of racist bullying.”[102]

Questioning Obama’s citizenship

Trump speaking at a rally in Phoenix, Arizona, August 2016.

For several years Trump promoted “birther” conspiracy theories about Barack Obama’s citizenship.[103][104][105]

In March 2011, during an interview on Good Morning America, Trump said he was seriously considering running for president, that he was a “little” skeptical of Obama’s citizenship and that someone who shares this view shouldn’t be so quickly dismissed as an “idiot.” Trump added: “Growing up no one knew him”[106]—a claim ranked “Pants on Fire” by Politifact.[107] Later, Trump appeared on The View repeating several times that “I want him (Obama) to show his birth certificate” and speculating that “there’s something on that birth certificate that he doesn’t like.”[108]Although officials in Hawaii certified Obama’s citizenship, Trump said in April 2011 he would not let go of the issue, because he was not satisfied that Obama had proved his citizenship.[109]

After Obama released his long-form birth certificate on April 27, 2011, Trump said: “I am really honored and I am really proud, that I was able to do something that nobody else could do.”[110] Trump continued to question Obama’s birth certificate in the following years, as late as 2015.[111][112] In May 2012, Trump suggested that Obama might have been born in Kenya.[113] In October 2012, Trump offered to donate five million dollars to the charity of Obama’s choice in return for the publication of his college and passport applications before the end of the month.[114] In a 2014 interview, Trump questioned whether Obama had produced his long-form birth certificate.[111] When asked in December 2015 if he still questioned Obama’s legitimacy, Trump said that “I don’t talk about that anymore.”[115]

On September 14, 2016, Trump declined to acknowledge whether he believed Obama was born in the United States.[116]On September 15, 2016, Trump for the first time acknowledged that Obama was born in the United States.[116] He gave a terse statement, saying, “President Barack Obama was born in the United States, period.”[116] He falsely accused Hillary Clinton of having started the “Birther” movement.[116][117][118] He also asserted that he ‘finished’ the birther controversy, apparently referring to Obama’s 2011 release of his long-form birth certificate, despite the fact that he continued to question Obama’s citizenship in the years that followed.[111][117][119] The next day, Trump tweeted a Washington Post story with the headline “Donald Trump’s birther event is the greatest trick he’s ever pulled”.[120][121] The “greatest trick” of the headline referred to the fact that cable networks aired the event live, waiting for a “birther” statement, while Trump touted his new hotel and supporters gave testimonials.[122] In October 2016, Trump appeared to question the legitimacy of Barack Obama’s presidency, referring to him at a rally as the “quote ‘president.’’’[123]


Trump has been critical of the ways in which veterans are treated in the United States, saying “the vets are horribly treated in this country… they are living in hell.”[124] Trump favors getting rid of backlogs and wait-lists which are the focus of the Veterans Health Administration scandal. He has claimed that “over 300,000 veterans have died waiting for care.”[125] In a statement, he said he believes that Veterans Affairs facilities need to be upgraded with recent technology, hire more veterans to treat other veterans, increase support of female veterans, and create satellite clinics within hospitals in rural areas.[126] Trump’s proposed plan for reforming the U.S. Department of Veteran’s Affairs includes provisions for allowing veterans to obtain care at any doctor or facility that accepts Medicare, increasing funding for PTSD and suicide prevention services, and providing ob/gyn services at every VA hospital.[127] Trump’s plan calls for greater privatization of veterans’ care.[128] Trump’s plan makes no reference directly to letting veterans get health care outside the VA system but Trump adviser Sam Clovis in May said the candidate was looking into such plans.[128] The Wall Street Journal notes that “such a plan is counter to recommendations from major veterans groups, the VA itself and from the Commission on Care, an independent body established by Congress that last week made recommendations for VA changes.”[128] Trump’s plan calls “for legislation making it easier to fire underperforming employees, increasing mental-health resources and adding a White House hotline so veterans can bypass the VA and bring problems directly to the president.”[128] Trump opposes the current G.I. Bill.[129][130]

Trump skipped a televised Republican debate in January 2016 to host a rally to raise money for veterans. In early February, the Wall Street Journal reported that many veterans’ groups began to get their checks only after the Journal asked the Trump campaign why they had not.[131] In April, the Journal reported that the funds had yet to be fully distributed.[132]

Trump caused a stir in July 2015 when he charged that Senator John McCain with having “done nothing to help the vets,” a statement ruled false by PolitiFact and the Chicago Tribune[124][133] Trump added that McCain is “not a war hero. He was a war hero because he was captured. I like people who weren’t captured.”

Economic policy of Donald Trump

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Donald Trump
‘s signature economic policies, sometimes referred to as Trumponomics,[1] include the raising of tariffs, across-the-board tax cuts, the dismantling of the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, and the repeal of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”).[2] The plan was widely described as light on details,[3][4][5][6]with Trump insisting “In the coming weeks, we will be offering more detail on all of these policies”.[2]Main article: Political positions of Donald Trump


Trump’s signature economic policies are the raising of tariffs, across-the-board tax cuts, the dismantling of the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act and the repeal of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”). Trump unveiled his economic plan on August 8, 2016, with a revised tax proposal.[2]

Early economic plan[edit]

On the federal personal income tax, Trump has proposed collapsing the current seven brackets (which range from 10% to 39.6%) to three brackets of 10%, 20%, and 25%; increasing the standard deduction; taxing dividends and capital gains at a maximum rate of 20%; repealing the alternative minimum tax; and taxing carried interest income as ordinary business income (as opposed to existing law, which provides for preferential treatment of such income).[7][8] With respect to business taxes, Trump has proposed reducing the corporate tax rate to 15%; limiting the top individual income tax rate on pass-through businesses such as partnerships to no more than 15%; repealing most business tax breaks as well as the corporate alternative minimum tax; imposing a “deemed repatriation tax” of up to 10% of accumulated profits of foreign subsidiaries of U.S. companies on the effective date of the proposal, payable over 10 years; and taxing future profits of foreign subsidiaries of U.S. companies each year as the profits are earned (i.e., ending the deferral of income taxes on corporate income earned in other countries).[7][8] Trump has also called for the repeal of the federal estate tax and gift taxes and for capping the deductibility of business interest expenses.[7][8]

Detailed analyses by both two nonpartisan tax research organizations, the conservative Tax Foundation and centrist Tax Policy Center, concluded that Trump’s tax plan would “boost the after-tax incomes of the wealthiest households by an average of more than $1.3 million a year” and significantly lower taxes for the wealthy.[7][9] The Tax Policy Center “calculated the average tax cuts for the rich and the very rich” under Trump’s plan as “$275,000 or 17.5 percent of after-tax income for the top 1 percent, and $1.3 million or nearly 19 percent for the top 0.1 percent (those making over $3.7 million).”[10]

An analysis by Citizens for Tax Justice found that under Trump’s plan, the poorest 20% of Americans would see a tax cut averaging $250, middle-income Americans would see a tax cut averaging just over $2,500, and the best-off 1% of Americans would see a tax cut averaging over $227,000.[8] CTJ determined that 37% of Trump’s proposed tax cuts would benefit the top 1%.[10]

Trump’s claims that his tax plan would be “revenue neutral” have been rated “false” by PolitiFact, which found that “Free market-oriented and liberal groups alike say Trump’s tax plan would lead to a $10 trillion revenue loss, even if it did create economic growth.”[11] An analysis by the Tax Foundation indicated that Trump’s tax proposal would increase economic growth by 11% and wages by 6.5%, and create 5.3 million jobs, while decreasing revenue by $10 trillion over a decade.[12]Prominent anti-tax activist Grover Norquist of Americans for Tax Reform called Trump’s tax proposal a “pro-growth, Reaganite plan”;[13] as of May 2016, Trump has not signed Norquist’s no-new-taxes pledge, but has indicated that he will in the future.[14]

Trump has pledged to balance the budget in ten years; not cut Social Security or Medicare; increase defense spending; and enact tax cuts that would lose $9.5 trillion of revenues over the next decade. Economist Jared Bernstein notes that it is mathematically impossible to fulfill all of these pledges, writing: “Trump would need to cut spending outside the Social Security, Medicare, and defense by 114 percent to make his budget balance, which is, of course, impossible.”[15] The fact-checking website PolitiFact similarly concluded: “Trump’s tax plan means either unprecedented spending cuts or increased federal borrowing. But Trump has released no details about the gap, all the while vowing to protect Social Security and Medicare, two of the largest line items on the federal budget.”[10]

An analysis of Trump’s campaign proposals by the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget (CRFB) showed that Trump’s key proposals would increase the debt by between $11.7 and $15.1 trillion to the U.S. national debt over the next 10 years, with the U.S.’s debt-to-GDP ratio rising from 115% to 140% of GDP. The CRFB analysis showed that “growth would have to be roughly 5 times as large as projected, and twice as high as the fastest growth period in the last 60 years (which was between 1959 and 1968)” in order to balance the budget under Trump’s plan, which is “practically impossible.”[16][17]

Trump has vowed “tremendous cutting” of budgets for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Education if elected.[18] However, Trump has “proposed large spending increases in certain areas,” which the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities states would mean “even deeper cuts to other programs” if such spending increases are to be offset.[19]

On May 9, 2016, Trump said on Meet the Press: “The thing I’m going to do is make sure the middle class gets good tax breaks. For the wealthy, I think, frankly, it’s going to go up. And you know what, it really should go up.” The following day, Trump backtracked on his comment on taxation of the wealthy, “saying he had been referring to potential adjustments to his own tax policy proposal” and did not support an increase in taxes of the wealthy from current levels.[14][20] Trump’s has frequently throughout his presidential campaign changed his view as to whether the wealthy should see tax cuts or increases.[21]

Economic growth[edit]

Economic forecast scenarios from 2016-2026, based on a modified version of Trump’s stated campaign policies as of June 2016 (orange line) are compared to the current law baseline (green line). The orange line is a scenario referred to as “Trump Lite” by Moody’s Analytics, in which more moderate versions of Trump’s policies are hypothetically implemented.[22]

Trump’s campaign claimed that the combination of income tax cuts, deregulation, trade protectionism, and additional spending for defense and infrastructure would significantly increase economic growth and job creation.[23] However, several organizations have reported that the results may not be so positive. For example:

  • According to a report by Moody’s Analytics, released in June 2016, the implementation of Trump’s stated economic policies would make the U.S. economy “significantly weaker” following an initial boost:

Under the scenario in which all his stated policies become law in the manner proposed, the economy suffers a lengthy recession and is smaller at the end of his four-year term than when he took office (see Chart). By the end of his presidency, there are close to 3.5 million fewer jobs and the unemployment rate rises to as high as 7%, compared with below 5% today. During Mr. Trump’s presidency, the average American household’s after-inflation income will stagnate, and stock prices and real house values will decline. Under the scenarios in which Congress significantly waters down his policy proposals, the economy will not suffer as much, but would still be diminished compared with what it would have been with no change in economic policies.[22][24][25]

The Trump campaign disputed Moody’s analysis, arguing that the report was based on flawed assumptions about proposals that have not been fully fleshed out and that Trump’s tax cuts and deregulation proposals would help stimulate the economy. A Trump adviser also asserted that the costs of Trump’s trade and immigration proposals had been overweighted in the analysis by not factoring in how current policies have depressed the wages of U.S. workers.[25]
  • According to an analysis by the British research firm Oxford Economics, U.S. economic economic growth would slow to about 0.3 percent annually – the worst pace since the end of the recession – after two years of Trump’s stated policies.[26] In the absence of Trump’s policies, the U.S. economy would be $430 billion larger after five years.[26] Global economic growth would decline to about 2.2 percent annually, compared to a forecast of 2.9 percent if Trump’s policies were not implemented.[26] The Oxford Economics analysis diverges from the Moody’s analysis in that the former assumes that the Federal Reserve would help to mitigate the ramifications of Trump’s policies by keeping interest rates close to zero.[26]
  • According to an analysis by the Peterson Institute for International Economics, Trump’s proposed tariff increases on China and Mexico could, if China and Mexico retaliate with their own tariff increases, push the U.S. into recession and cost 5 million U.S. jobs.[27] Even more limited retaliation by China and Mexico, or an aborted trade war (the Trump administration backs down from its tariff increases one year into them) would hit the U.S. economy hard.[27] Gary Clyde Hufbauer, senior fellow at PIIE, notes that there is ample precedent and scope for a U.S. president to unilaterally raise tariffs as Trump has vowed to do, and that efforts to block Trump’s actions through the courts, or by amending the authorizing statutes in Congress, would be difficult and time-consuming.[28]
  • According to an analysis by University of Michigan economist Justin Wolfers of stock market movements during the first Presidential Debate, the market performs far more poorly when Trump’s chances of becoming President are higher.[29]The analysis shows that Wall Street traders expect the profitability of America’s largest businesses to be about 10 to 12 percent lower on average in the event of Trump presidency.[29]
  • According to a Financial Times survey of economists, just under 14% of the economists polled between July 28–29 said a Trump victory in November would be positive for U.S. economic growth (compared with roughly 70% for Clinton).[30]According to a survey of National Association for Business Economics (NABE) members, 14% of business economists feel that Trump would do the best job as president of managing the U.S. economy (with 55% choosing Clinton, 15% choosing Gary Johnson, and 15% saying that they did not know or did not have an opinion).[31] According to a survey by The Wall Street Journal, none of the 45 former members of the White House Council of Economic Advisers—spanning eight presidents—openly support Mr. Trump.[32] According to the Financial Times, “most mainstream economists view his economic policies as dangerous quackery.”[33]
  • 370 prominent economists, including 8 Nobel laureates, have signed a letter warning against the election of Donald Trump, calling him a “dangerous, destructive choice” for the country.[34] The letter said that he had not proposed credible solutions to reduce budget deficits, that he has promoted misleading claims about trade and tax policy, chided him for failing to “listen to credible experts” and for promoting “magical thinking and conspiracy theories over sober assessments of feasible economic policy options.”[34]
  • According to a November 2016 survey of leading economists, not a single respondent believed that Trump’s 100-day plan (“Seven actions to protect American workers”) was likely to benefit middle-class Americans, and only one economist believed that it was likely to improve the lives of low-skilled Americans.[35]

Budget deficit and debt[edit]

CBO current law baseline as of January 2017, showing forecast of deficit and debt by year. This is the baseline prior to any changes by President Trump. It is the financial position he “inherits” from President Obama.

In September 2016, Trump advisors Wilbur Ross and Peter Navarro asserted that the increased economic growth stimulated by Trump’s proposed income tax cuts and additional military and infrastructure spending would offset much or all of the increased budget deficits caused by these tax cuts and spending increases.[36] However, several organizations have reported that such actions would significantly increase the budget deficit and national debt relative to a 2016 policy baseline. For example:

  • According to a September 2016 report by the independent and non-partisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, Trump’s economic policies would increase the national debt by $5.3 trillion over 10 years, on top of the significant debt increase already in the current law baseline.[37]
  • According to a September 2016 analysis by the conservative Tax Foundation, Trump’s tax plan would reduce federal revenue by around $4.4 to $5.9 trillion over 10 years.[38] The $1.5 trillion gap is because the Trump campaign has not clarified some aspects of the tax plan and have provided contradictory explanations.[38] While the tax plan would reduce taxes across the spectrum, it does so the most for the richest Americans.[38]

Trump and his economic advisers have pledged to radically decrease federal spending in order to reduce the country’s budget deficit. A first estimate of $10.5 trillion in spending cuts over 10 years was reported on January 19, 2017.[39]

CBO baseline projections[edit]

In January 2017, the Congressional Budget Office reported its baseline budget projections for the 2017-2027 time periods, based on laws in place as of the end of the Obama administration. CBO forecasted that “debt held by the public” would increase from $14.2 trillion in 2016 to $24.9 trillion by 2027, an increase of $10.7 trillion. These increases are primarily driven by an aging population, which impacts the costs of Social Security and Medicare, along with interest on the debt.[40]As President Trump introduces his budgetary policies, the impact can be measured against this baseline.

CBO also estimated that if policies in place as of the end of the Obama administration continued over the following decade, real GDP would grow at approximately 2% per year, the unemployment rate would remain around 5%, inflation would remain around 2%, and interest rates would rise moderately.[40] President Trump’s economic policies can also be measured against this baseline.

Fiscal policy (taxes, spending, and budget)[edit]


On August 8, 2016, Trump outlined a new economic plan that involved significant income tax cuts at all levels of income.[2]The day before, Trump removed his previous tax plan from his website.[41] Trump stated that he would flesh out these ideas in more detail in the ensuing days.[2]

He proposed to reduce the number of tax brackets from seven to three, and replace the rates ranging from 10% to 39.6% with 12%, 25% and 33%.[2] He proposed to cut the corporate tax rate from 35% to 15%.[2] The Washington Post notes that a 15% corporate tax rate would be put the United States near the bottom of the “major industrialized nations”, where the average is about 25 percent.[2] He proposed to repeal the estate tax, which applies to inheritance for estates valued at $5.45 million for individuals and $10.9 million for couples, or roughly the wealthiest 0.2 percent of Americans.[2][4][42][43]Trump also said he would eliminate the carried interest loophole.[2] Trump’s plan would also “eliminate the alternative minimum tax and the 3.8 percent net investment income tax, which was levied on high-income households to help fund Medicare expansion under the Affordable Care Act.”[44]

Trump has repeatedly stated that the United States is the “highest-taxed nation in the world”. His statement has been fully dismissed as false by the Associated Press and PolitiFact,[45][46] The Associated Press noted that the individual tax burden in the U.S. is one of the lowest in the OECD economies.[45] According to the Tax Foundation, the U.S. general corporate tax rate amounts to 39%, the third highest in the world.[47] The nominal corporate tax rate of 35% is higher than any other OECD nation; however, many companies pay far below this amount by taking advantage of loopholes. The average company in the S&P 500 paid 26.9% in federal, state, local and foreign taxes each year from 2007-2015.[48]

An analysis by Lily L. Batchelder of New York University School of Law estimated that Trump’s new tax plan would cost more than $5 trillion over ten years and would raise taxes for lower and middle income families with children. The research found that the plan would result in gains on standard deduction, but losses on individual deduction.[49][50] According to the Tax Policy Center, Trump’s economic plan would raise taxes on many families.[51] For instance, families with head-of-household filing status making between $20,000 and $200,000, including many single parents, would pay more under Trump’s plan than under current tax law.[51] The Tax Center’s analysis was based on a static model rather than a “dynamic scoring” model.[52] Another study by the Wharton School of Business found that Trump’s tax plan would create economic growth of 1.12% above the baseline and create 1.7 million jobs in 2018, although there would be a much larger loss of jobs and economic growth by 2027 and further by 2040.[52] The Tax Foundation assessed that by 2025 the Trump tax plan would increase the long-run size of the economy by 6.9% to 8.2%, but by adding $2.6 trillion and $3.9 trillion to federal debt.[53] This growth would lead to an increase in wages of 5.4% to 6.3%, an increase in capital stock of 20.1% to 23.9%, and the creation of 1.8 to 2.2 million jobs.[53][54][55][56]

Before Trump declared his candidacy for president in 2015, he regularly shamed and criticized others for not paying their fair share of taxes.[57] However, in the September 2016 presidential debate, Trump said that using loopholes to avoid paying income taxes in the 1970s “makes me smart.”[58] In October 2016, the New York Times reported that Trump declared a $916 million loss on his 1995 income tax returns, a tax deduction so substantial it could have allowed him to legally avoid paying any federal income taxes for up to 18 years.[58][59] The Trump campaign did not challenge the accuracy of the tax returns or correct the claim that Trump might not have paid income taxes for 18 years.[58][60][61] Trump also chastised Mitt Romney in 2012 for delaying on releasing his tax returns.[57] Trump has, however, not released his tax returns.[58]

National debt[edit]

Projected effect of Trump’s plans on the debt-to-GDP ratio over ten years, as calculated Moody’s Analytics (light blue line) and the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget (orange line). The black line is the projection under current policy (as calculated by the Congressional Budget Office), which is similar to the CRFB’s projection for the policies of Trump’s rival, Clinton.[16]

In 1999 Trump proposed a massive one-time “net worth tax” on the rich to wipe out the national debt.[62] Elizabeth Warren and Paul Krugman initially agreed with Trump’s early positions on taxing the wealthy,[63][64] but not his published positions going into the election, which dramatically reduced taxes for the wealthy. Paul Krugman wrote in May 2016: “Last fall Mr. Trump suggested that he would break with Republican orthodoxy by raising taxes on the wealthy. But then he unveiled a tax plan that would, in fact, lavish huge tax cuts on the rich. And it would also, according to non-partisan analyses, cause deficits to explode, adding around $10 trillion to the national debt over a decade.”[65] In 2011 Trump called for a balanced budget amendment,[66] but it was not part of his campaign website policies.[23]

Economist Mark Zandi estimated that if Trump’s tax cuts and spending increases were fully implemented as proposed, the national debt trajectory would worsen considerably, with debt held by the public rising from 76% GDP in 2016 to 135% GDP in 2026, considerably above a current policy baseline that rises to 86% GDP in 2026. If only some of Trump’s policies were implemented under an alternative scenario of more moderate changes, the debt figure would rise to 111% GDP by 2026.[22] In May 2016, the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget placed the 2026 debt figure under Trump’s policies between 111% GDP and 141% GDP, versus 86% under the current policy baseline.[16]

In two interviews in May 2016, Trump suggested that he would “refinance” the U.S. federal debt as a means to relieve the debt.[67][68] Trump said that he would not seek to renegotiate the bonds,[67] but rather would seek to buy the bonds back at a discount.[67][69][70] Economists and other experts variously described Trump’s debt proposal as incoherent,[67] fanciful,[69]and reckless,[70] stating that the proposal, if carried into effect, “would send interest rates soaring, derail economic growth and undermine confidence in the world’s most trusted financial asset.”[70] Tony Fratto, a former U.S. Treasury Department who served under George W. Bush, termed Trump’s suggestion to refinance the U.S. debt “an insane idea” that “would cause creditors to rightly question the ‘full faith’ commitment we make.”[70] The New York Times reported that: “Repurchasing debt is a fairly common tactic in the corporate world, but it only works if the debt is trading at a discount. If creditors think they are going to get 80 cents for every dollar they are owed, they may be overjoyed to get 90 cents. Mr. Trump’s companies had sometimes been able to retire debt at a discount because creditors feared they might default… However, the United States simply cannot pursue a similar strategy. The government runs an annual deficit, so it must borrow to retire existing debt. Any measures that would reduce the value of the existing debt, making it cheaper to repurchase, would increase the cost of issuing new debt. Such a threat also could undermine the stability of global financial markets.”[71]

Social Security and Medicare[edit]

Trump has called for allowing Medicare to negotiate directly with prescription-drug companies to get lower prices for the Medicare Part D prescription-drug benefit, something currently prohibited by law. Trump has claimed on several occasions that this proposal would save $300 billion a year. Glenn Kessler, the fact-checker for the Washington Post, gave this statement a “four Pinocchios” rating, writing that this was a “truly absurd” and “nonsense figure” because it was four times the entire cost of the Medicare prescription-drug system.[72]

Unlike his rivals in the 2016 Republican primary race, Trump opposes cuts in Social Security and Medicare benefits.[73][74]This is a departure from Trump’s earlier views; in his book published in 2000, Trump called Social Security a “Ponzi scheme” and said it should be privatized.[74] Trump previously proposed raising the Social Security retirement age to 70 from 67, but he backed away from this stance in 2015, instead claiming that Social Security should be funded by canceling foreign aid to anti-American countries.[74]

Monetary policy[edit]

Federal Reserve[edit]

Trump supports proposals that would grant Congress the ability to audit the Federal Reserve’s decisionmaking and take power away from the Federal Reserve.[75][76][77]

Trump has at times said that he favors the monetary policy currently followed by Janet Yellen, Chair of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System,[75] and at other times said that the Federal Reserve has created a “very false economy” and that interest rates should change.[78] Trump said in September 2016 that Yellen should be “ashamed” of herself for keeping interest rates low, but earlier that year Trump said that low interest rates were “the best thing we have going for us” and that any increase could be “scary.”[79] Trump has at other times accused Yellen of being “highly political” and of doing President Obama’s bidding,[75] and at other times complimented her on having “done a serviceable job” though he “would be more inclined to put other people in” the Federal Reserve.[76] He reiterated the critique of the Federal Reserve as an arm of the Democratic Party at the September 2016 Presidential Debate, an accusation which The New York Times found to be “extraordinary”, “backed by no evidence” and “plows across a bipartisan line”. The accusation is rejected both by Federal Reserve officials and independent expert observers.[80]

Gold standard[edit]

Trump favors returning to the gold standard, saying “Bringing back the gold standard would be very hard to do, but, boy, would it be wonderful. We’d have a standard on which to base our money.”[81][82] Few economists support a return to the gold standard; Dean Baker of the Center for Economic and Policy Research notes that the proposal is considered a fringe idea among economists.[82]

Financial regulation and other regulations[edit]

In May 2016, Trump said that if elected president he would dismantle “nearly all” of the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, a financial regulation package enacted after the financial crisis.[83] Trump called Dodd-Frank “a very negative force.”[83] Trump told Reuters that he will release his own financial regulation plan in the beginning of June 2016.[84]

Trump promised to roll back existing regulations and impose a moratorium on new regulations, with a specific focus on undoing environmental rules that he said curtail job creation.[2][85] The Wall Street Journal noted that, “It isn’t clear how such a moratorium would apply to financial regulators, whose agencies enjoy greater independence from the executive branch” and that he “made no mention of past calls to repeal or replace parts of the Dodd-Frank financial-regulatory overhaul.”[85] In October 2016, Trump proposed to eliminate as many as 70 percent of federal agency regulations.[86]

Trade policy[edit]

When announcing his candidacy in June 2015, Trump said that his experience as a negotiator in private business would enhance his ability to negotiate better international trade deals as President.[87][88]

The U.S. Current Account or Trade Deficit represents imports greater than exports. The U.S. has a trade deficit in goods partially offset by a trade surplus in services. The trade deficit with China was $367 billion in 2015.

Trump identifies himself as a “free trader,”[89]but has been widely described as a “protectionist“.[90][91][92][93][94] Trump has described supporters of international trade as “blood suckers.”[95] According to the New York Times, since at least the 1980s, Trump has advanced mercantilist views, “describing trade as a zero-sum game in which countries lose by paying for imports.”[96] On the campaign trail in 2015 and 2016, Trump has decried the U.S.-China trade imbalance—calling it “the greatest theft in the history of the world”—and regularly advocates tariffs.[96] Economists dispute the idea that a trade deficit amounts to a loss or “theft”, as a trade deficit is simply the difference between what the United States imports and what it exports to a country.[97][98] Trump shares some views on trade with Bernie Sanders, at least in the sense that they both are skeptical of free trade.[88] When asked why the clothes in the Donald J. Trump collection were not made in the United States, Trump answered that “They don’t even make this stuff here,” a claim found to be false by FactCheck.org.[99]

Trump’s views on trade have upended the traditional Republican policies favoring free trade.[90][100] Binyamin Appelbaum, reporting for the New York Times, has summarized Trump’s proposals as breaking with 200 years of economics orthodoxy.[96][101] American economic writer Bruce Bartlett writes that Trump’s protectionist views have roots in American history,[102] a view supported by Spencer P Morrison, who notes that the Republican party was founded with a protectionist platform.[103] Likewise the Canadian writer Lawrence Solomon describes Trump’s position on trade as similar to that as of pre-Reagan Republican presidents, such as Herbert Hoover (who signed the Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act) and Richard Nixon (who ran on a protectionist platform).[104]

Some economists and free-market proponents at groups such as the Institute of Economic Affairs, American Enterprise Institute, Peterson Institute for International Economics, Adam Smith Institute, Cato Institute, Center for Strategic and International Studies, and Club for Growth have been harshly critical of Trump’s views on trade, viewing them as likely to start trade wars and harm consumers.[101][105][106][107][108][109][110][111][112][113] According to economists consulted by the Los Angeles Times, recent U.S. experience with imposing tariffs on goods has had little to no positive impact on the protected industries and harmed consumers through higher prices.[114]


In a 60 Minutes interview in September 2015, Trump condemned the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), saying that if elected president, “We will either renegotiate it, or we will break it.”[115][116] A range of trade experts have said that pulling out of NAFTA as Trump proposed would have a range of unintended consequences for the U.S., including reduced access to the U.S.’s biggest export markets, a reduction in economic growth, and increased prices for gasoline, cars, fruits, and vegetables.[117] The Washington Post fact-checker furthermore noted that a Congressional Research Service review of the academic literature on NAFTA concluded that the “net overall effect of NAFTA on the U.S. economy appears to have been relatively modest, primarily because trade with Canada and Mexico accounts for a small percentage of U.S. GDP.”[98]

Trade with China[edit]

U.S. manufacturing and construction employment.

In January 2016, Trump proposed a 45 percent tariff on Chinese exports to the United States to give “American workers a level playing field.”[89][96] According to an analysis by Capital Economics, Trump’s proposed tariff may hurt U.S. consumers by driving U.S. retail price of Chinese made goods up 10 percent, because of few alternative suppliers in key product classes that China sells to the U.S.[118] The goods trade deficit with China in 2015 was $367.2 billion.[119] The Economic Policy Institute (EPI) reported in December 2014 that “Growth in the U.S. goods trade deficit with China between 2001 and 2013 eliminated or displaced 3.2 million U.S. jobs, 2.4 million (three-fourths) of which were in manufacturing.” EPI reported these losses were distributed across all 50 states.[120]

Trump has vowed to label China as a currency manipulator on his first day in office.[100] Washington Post fact-checker Glenn Kessler, citing experts such as C. Fred Bergsten, found that “Trump’s complaints about currency manipulation are woefully out of date,” noting that “China has not manipulated its currency for at least two years.”[121]

Trump has pledged “swift, robust and unequivocal” action against Chinese piracy, counterfeit American goods, and theft of U.S. trade secrets and intellectual property; and has condemned China’s “illegal export subsidies and lax labor and environmental standards.”[100] When asked about potential Chinese retaliation to the implementation of tariffs, such as sales of U.S. bonds, Trump deemed the Chinese unlikely to retaliate, “They will crash their economy… They will have a depression, the likes of which you have never seen if they ever did that.”[122] In a May 2016 speech, Trump responded to concerns regarding a potential trade war with “We’re losing $500 billion in trade with China. Who the hell cares if there’s a trade war?”[123]

Trade with Mexico[edit]

Trump has vowed to impose tariffs — in the range of 15 to 35 percent — on companies that move their operations to Mexico.[124] He has specifically criticized the Ford Motor Co.,[96] Carrier Corporation,[96] and Mondelez International.[96][124][125] Trump has pledged a 35% tariff on “every car, every truck and every part manufactured in [Ford’s Mexico plant] that comes across the border.”[101] Tariffs at that level would be far higher than the international norms (which are around 2.67 percent for the U.S. and most other advanced economies and under 10 percent for most developing countries).[106] In August 2015, in response to Oreo maker Mondelez International’s announcement that it would move manufacturing to Mexico, Trump said that he would boycott Oreos.[125]

According to economic experts canvassed by PolitiFact, the tariffs could help create new manufacturing jobs and lead to some concessions from the U.S.’s foreign trading partners, but consumer costs and production costs would almost certainly rise, the stock market would fall, interest rates could rise, and trade wars could occur.[126] PolitiFact noted that lower-income consumers in the United States would be hurt the most.[126]

Trans-Pacific Partnership[edit]

Trump opposes the Trans-Pacific Partnership, saying “The deal is insanity. That deal should not be supported and it should not be allowed to happen … We are giving away what ultimately is going to be a back door for China.”[127] Trump has asserted that the TPP will “be even worse than… NAFTA… We will lose jobs, we will lose employment, we will lose taxes, we will lose everything. We will lose our country.”[128] In September 2016, Trump said that he would only support TPP as President if it were “phenomenal” for the U.S.[129]

World Trade Organization[edit]

Trump has called the World Trade Organization (WTO) a “disaster”.[130] When informed that tariffs in the range of 15 to 35 percent would be contrary to the rules of the WTO, he answered “even better. Then we’re going to renegotiate or we’re going to pull out.”[124]

Income inequality[edit]

Share of income of the top 1% for selected developed countries, 1975 to 2015.

Four charts that describe trends in income inequality in the United States.

In September 2016, Trump said: “We reject the pessimism that says our standard of living can no longer rise, and that all that’s left to do is divide up and redistribute our shrinking resources.”[131] However, U.S. household and non-profit net worth has approximately doubled from 2000 to 2016, from $44 trillion to $89 trillion, a record level.[132] In addition, the Congressional Budget Office reported in June 2016 that federal income taxes are progressive, which reduces after-tax income inequality. For example, the top 1% received approximately 15% of before-tax income but 12% of after-tax income during 2013.[133] Economist Mark Zandi wrote in June 2016 that due to the sizable income tax cuts, “[t]he tax code under Mr. Trump’s plan will thus be much less progressive than the current tax code.”[22]

Economic history[edit]

In October 2016, after it was revealed that Trump reported $916 million losses during the 1990s, Trump asserted that the 1990s were “one of the most brutal economic downturns in our country’s history”, “an economic depression” and that the only period coming close it was the Great Depression.[134] Those assertions are false.[134] For instance, the Great Recession, which began in 2007, had lasted far longer and had far worse economic consequences than the recession of the early 1990s.[134]

Trump has repeatedly claimed to have predicted the Great Recession.[135] However, Trump in the years preceding the Great Recession said precisely the opposite, namely that “the economy continues to be fairly robust,” “real estate is good all over,” “the real estate market is going to be very strong for a long time to come,” “I’ve been hearing about this bubble for so many years … but I haven’t seen it,” and “this boom is going to continue.”[135]

Student loans[edit]

During the 2016 Republican National Convention Trump said, “We’re going to work with all of our students who are drowning in debt to take the pressure off these young people just starting out their adult lives”.[136] The Trump’s Campaign has not put forth an official higher education plan.[137] However, In May 2016 Trump’s campaign co-chair, Sam Clovis stated that the ideas being prepared by the campaign included getting government out of student lending; requiring colleges to share in risk of loans; discouraging borrowing by liberal arts majors; and moving the Office of Civil Rights from the Education Department to Justice Department.[138] In an October 2016 speech, Trump said that he favored having student loans repayment capped at 12.5 percent of borrowers’ income, with forgiveness of any remaining debt after fifteen years of payments.[137][139]

Trump has criticized the federal government for earning a profit from federal student loans.[140] Trump’s campaign stated that all colleges should have “skin in the game” and share the risk associated with student loans. The campaign opposes Hillary Clinton’s proposal for debt-free public higher education, Bernie Sanders’s plan for free public higher education and President Obama’s proposals for a state-federal partnership to make community college free for new high school graduates, citing federal budget concerns.[138]


Trump supports investment in American infrastructure to help create jobs.[141][142][143][144] He wrote in his 2015 book Crippled America that “Our airports, bridges, water tunnels, power grids, rail systems—our nation’s entire infrastructure is crumbling, and we aren’t doing anything about it.” Trump noted that infrastructure improvements would stimulate economic growth while acknowledging “on the federal level, this is going to be an expensive investment, no question about that.”[143][144] In an October 2015 interview with the Guardian, Trump stated: “We have to spend money on mass transit. We have to fix our airports, fix our roads also in addition to mass transit, but we have to spend a lot of money.”[145] In a Republican primary debate in December 2015, Trump said: “We’ve spent $4 trillion trying to topple various people. If we could’ve spent that $4 trillion in the United States to fix our roads, our bridges and all of the other problems—our airports and all of the other problems we’ve had—we would’ve been a lot better off.”[143]

On the campaign trail, Trump has decried “our airports, our roads, our bridges,” likening their state to that of “a Third World country.”[146][147] Trump has on some occasions overstated the proportion of U.S. bridges that are structurally deficient.[146]Unlike many of his Republican opponents,[145] Trump has expressed support for high-speed rail, calling the U.S.’s current rail network inferior to foreign countries’ systems.[142][145]

Trump proposes he would spend $800 to a trillion dollars to repair and improve the nation’s infrastructure. His plan to raise said capital, is to create an infrastructure fund that would be supported by government bonds that investors and citizens could purchase, similar to Build America Bonds.[148] When Trump was asked on Fox & Friends about supporting Russia’s idea on a Bering Strait tunnel project, he replied: “I wouldn’t be opposed to any idea that can create jobs.”[149][150]


CBO explanation for shortfall in employment of 2.5 million relative to a theoretical full employment level.[151]

In a survey conducted by DHI Group in January 2016, a majority of employers don’t expect any near-term change in hiring plans due to the recent U.S. Presidential election. Around 12 percent anticipated an increase in hiring due to the incoming Trump administration proposed initiatives to accelerate the economy such as corporate tax reform.[152]

During an economic speech on September 15, 2016, Trump proposed tax cuts, infrastructure investment, reduced regulations, and revised trade agreements which he claimed would create 25 million jobs over ten years. Trump also stated: “Right now, 92 million Americans are on the sidelines, outside the workforce, and not part of our economy. It’s a silent nation of jobless Americans.”[131] However, the Congressional Budget Office has estimated that the U.S. was approximately 2.5 million jobs below full employment as of December 2015, primarily as a result of a labor force participation rate among prime working-aged persons (aged 25–54 years) that remains moderately below pre-crisis (2007) levels. The overall labor force participation rate has been falling since 2000, as the country ages.[151]

In December 2015, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported the reasons why persons aged 16+ were outside the labor force, using the 2014 figure of 87.4 million: 1) Retired-38.5 million or 44%; 2) Disabled or Illness-16.3 million or 19%; 3) Attending school-16.0 million or 18%; 4) Home responsibilities-13.5 million or 15%; and 4) Other Reasons-3.1 million or 5%.[153] As of November 2016, BLS estimated that 90 million of the 95 million people outside the labor force indicated they “do not want a job now.”[154]

Trump has repeatedly questioned official employment numbers, suggesting at different times that the actual unemployment rate could be as high as 18–20%, 24% or 42%.[155][156] Fact-checkers note that these claims are false; the Washington Post fact-checker called them “absurd” and gave them “Four Pinocchios,” its lowest rating for truthfulness, while PolitiFact gave the statement its “Pants on Fire” rating, noting that even the broadest measure of unemployment and underemployment was far below Trump’s claimed figures.[156][157] As of August 2016, the unemployment rate (U-3) was 4.7%. A wider measure of unemployment (U-6) that includes those working part-time for economic reasons and marginally attached workers, was 9.7%. The December 2007 (pre-crisis) levels were 5.0% and 8.8% for these two measures, respectively.[158]

Minimum wage[edit]

Trump’s comments about the minimum wage have been inconsistent.[159][160]

In August 2015, in a televised interview, Trump said “Having a low minimum wage is not a bad thing for this country.”[161] On November 10, 2015, speaking at a Republican debate, Trump said he opposed increasing the U.S. minimum wage, saying that doing so would hurt America’s economic competitiveness.[162][163] At the same debate, Trump said in response to a question about the minimum wage and the economy as a whole: “…taxes too high, wages too high, we’re not going to be able to compete against the world. I hate to say it, but we have to leave it the way it is.”[164]

On May 5, 2016, two days after becoming the presumptive Republican nominee, Trump said in an interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer that he was “actually looking at” raising the minimum wage, saying, “I’m very different from most Republicans.”[165] Three days later, in an interview on This Week with George Stephanopoulos: “… I haven’t decided in terms of numbers. But I think people have to get more.” He acknowledged his shift in position since November, saying “Well, sure it’s a change. I’m allowed to change. You need flexibility …”[166][167]

Later on May 8, on Meet the Press, he said “I would like to see an increase of some magnitude. But I’d rather leave it to the states. Let the states decide.”[168][169] Asked if the federal government should set a floor (a national minimum wage), Trump replied: “No, I’d rather have the states go out and do what they have to do.”[170]

On July 26, 2016, Trump said “There doesn’t have to be [a federal minimum wage],” but that “I would leave it and raise it somewhat. You need to help people.” Host Bill O’Reilly then asked “Ten bucks?” Trump agreed: “I would say 10. I would say 10.” He added “But with the understanding that somebody like me is going to bring back jobs. I don’t want people to be in that $10 category for very long. But the thing is, Bill, let the states make the deal.”[171]

Unions and right-to-work laws[edit]

In February 2016, Trump said on a radio program: “My position on unions is fine, but I like right to work. My position on right to work is 100 percent.”[172]

Trump has frequently spoken in favor of deregulation, and if elected president is viewed as likely to oversee an Occupational Safety and Health Administration that conducts “less enforcement and practically no rulemaking” on issues of workplace safety and health.[173]

Other economic topics[edit]

Bank bailout[edit]

Trump supported the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP), a $700 billion emergency bailout fund that rescued banks after the subprime mortgage crisis. On September 30, 2008, days before the bailout bill passed, Trump told CNN’s Kiran Chetry that he supported the legislation, saying that while the situation was “more complicated than sending rockets to the moon” and nobody was sure what the result would be, it was “worth a shot” and a “probable positive.”[174] The following year, when asked by Larry King what he viewed of the Obama administration, Trump stated: “I do agree with what they’re doing with the banks. Whether they fund them or nationalize them, it doesn’t matter, but you have to keep the banks going.”[174]

Child care[edit]

Trump first addressed childcare costs in August 2016,[175] when he proposed allowing parents to “fully deduct the average cost of childcare spending from their taxes.”[2] At the time of the announcement, it was unclear “how such a tax break might be structured, how it would complement existing credits and whether it would be available to tens of millions of families that don’t pay income taxes because they have lower incomes.”[85] A tax deduction of the kind that Trump proposes (as opposed to a tax credit) would primarily benefit high-income people; families who pay no federal income taxes—the families most likely to be unable to afford child care—would not benefit from this plan.[2][3][176][177][178][179][180]

In September 2016, Trump presented additional details regarding his proposal, which was influenced by his daughter Ivanka Trump.[181] Under Trump’s plan, taxpayers who earn up to $250,000 individually or $500,000 as couples would be able to deduct the cost of childcare up to the average cost of childcare in their state, while lower-income families would receive spending rebates up to $1,200 annually through the Earned Income Tax Credit. Under the plan, mothers whose employers don’t offer paid maternity leave would receive six weeks of partially paid maternity leave, to be paid for through unemployment insurance. Trump also proposes a new dependent-care savings account, which would be tax-deductible for savings up to $2,000 annually; lower-income families that contribute up to $1,000 would receive a match up to $500 from the federal government.[182]

Trump’s plan applies to mothers only, and would not allow families to transfer the benefit from mothers to fathers.[181] Legal scholar Ilya Somin argues that providing maternity leave but not paternity leave would be unconstitutional under Craig v. Boren, in which the Supreme Court held that laws discriminating on the basis of sex are presumptively invalid.[183]


Trump released a list of his campaign’s official economic advisers in August 2016,[184][185][186] which was significantly anti-establishment[187] and therefore included few people with any governmental experience,[188] yet at the same time aimed to include some of the elites of business and finance,[184] primarily people with well-known names. Although most of the names were new, existing Trump advisers David Malpass, Peter Navarro, Stephen Moore, and Dan DiMicco were also on the list, formally led by Stephen Miller, the national policy director, and directly led by deputy policy director Dan Kowalski. The Trump’16 finance director Steven Mnuchin was also listed, and played a role in helping coordinate the group.

Many of the names on the original list, or on the subsequent expansions thereof,[189] received media attention as potential cabinet-level appointees, for instance to the presidential Council of Economic Advisers, or in other Trump administration roles. After the election, Trump became president-elect, and in addition to nominating and appointing advisors to formal statutory roles within the Trump administration, also began working on efforts to directly communicate with business leaders, including those in the tech industry, in the broader business world, and in the agricultural sector.

Environment and energy

Trump has not released plans to combat climate change or how he would approach energy issues.[135]

In May 2016, Trump asked U.S. Representative Kevin Cramer, Republican of North Dakota—described by Reuters as “one of America’s most ardent drilling advocates and climate change skeptics“—to draft Trump’s energy policy.[136][137]

According to Reuters, four sources close to Trump’s campaign say that Trump is considering nominating Oklahoma oil and gas mogul Harold Hamm as energy secretary if elected President.[137] According to Reuters, Hamm would be the first-ever U.S. Secretary of Energy “drawn directly from the oil and gas industry.”[137] Hamm has called for expanded drilling, criticized environmental regulations for limiting oil production, and called for less dependence on Middle Eastern oil producers.[137]

California drought

On May 2016, Trump said that he could solve the water crisis in California.[138] He declared that “there is no drought,” a statement which the Associated Press noted is incorrect.[138] Trump accused California state officials of denying farmers of water so they can send it out to sea “to protect a certain kind of three-inch fish.”[138] According to the AP, Trump appeared to be referring to a dispute between Central Valley farming interests and environmental interests; California farmers accuse water authorities of short-changing them of the water in their efforts to protect endangered native fish species.[138]

Climate change and pollution

Trump rejects the scientific consensus on climate change,[139][140][141] repeatedly contending that global warming is a “hoax.”[142][143] He has said that “the concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive,” a statement which Trump later said was a joke.[144] Trump criticized President Obama’s description of climate change as “the greatest threat to future generations” for being “naive” and “one of the dumbest statements I’ve ever heard.”[145][146] According to a report by the Sierra Club, Trump would, if elected President, be the only head of state in the world to contend that climate change is a hoax.[147]

Although “not a believer in climate change,” Trump has stated that “clean air is a pressing problem” and has said: “There is still much that needs to be investigated in the field of climate change. Perhaps the best use of our limited financial resources should be in dealing with making sure that every person in the world has clean water.”[148]

In May 2016, during his presidential campaign, Trump issued an energy plan focused on promoting fossil fuels and weakening environmental regulation.[139] Trump promised to “rescind” in his first 100 days in office a variety of Environmental Protection Agency regulations established during the Obama administration to limit carbon emissions from coal-fired power plants, which contribute to a warming global climate.[139] Trump has specifically pledged to revoke the Climate Action Plan and the Waters of the United States rule, which he characterizes as two “job-destroying Obama executive actions.”[149]

Trump has said “we’re practically not allowed to use coal any more,” a statement rated “mostly false” by PolitiFact.[150]Trump has criticized the Obama administration’s coal policies, describing the administration’s moves to phase out the use of coal-fired power plants are “stupid.”[139] Trump has criticized the Obama administration for prohibiting “coal production on federal land” and states that it seeks to adopt “draconian climate rules that, unless stopped, would effectively bypass Congress to impose job-killing cap-and-trade.”[149] Trump has vowed to revive the U.S. coal economy, a pledge that is viewed by experts as unlikely to be fulfilled because the decline of the coal industry is driven by market forces, and specifically by the U.S. natural gas boom.[139] An analysis by Scientific American found that Trump’s promise to bring back closed coal mines would be difficult to fulfill, both because of environmental regulations and economic shifts.[151]

Trump wrote in his 2011 book that he opposed a cap-and-trade system to control carbon emissions.[152]

According to FactCheck.org, over at least a five-year period, Trump has on several occasions made incorrect claims about the use of hair spray and its role in ozone depletion. At a rally in May 2016, “Trump implied that the regulations on hairspray and coal mining are both unwarranted” and incorrectly asserted that hairspray use in a “sealed” apartment prevents the spray’s ozone-depleting substances from reaching the atmosphere.[153]

Opposition to international cooperation on climate change

Trump pledged in his May 2016 speech on energy policy to “cancel the Paris climate agreement[139] adopted at the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference (in which 170 countries committed to reductions in carbon emissions).[154][139]Trump pledged to cancel the agreement in his first hundred days in office.[149][155] This pledge followed earlier comments by Trump, in which he said that as president, he would “at a minimum” seek to renegotiate the agreement and “at a maximum I may do something else.”[156] Trump characterizes the Paris Agreement “one-sided” and “bad for the United States,”[156]believing that the agreement is too favorable to China and other countries.[154] In his May 2016 speech, Trump inaccurately said that the Paris Agreement “gives foreign bureaucrats control over how much energy we use on our land, in our country”; in fact, the Paris Agreement is based on voluntary government pledges, and no country controls the emissions-reduction plan of any other country.[139]

Once the agreement is ratified by 55 nations representing 55 percent of global emissions (which has not yet occurred), a four-year waiting period goes into effect for any country wishing to withdraw from the agreement.[139] A U.S. move to withdraw from the Paris Agreement as Trump proposes is viewed as likely to unravel the agreement;[139] according to Reuters, such a move would spell “potential doom for an agreement many view as a last chance to turn the tide on global warming.”[156]

In Trump’s May 2016 speech on energy policy, he declared that if elected president, he would “stop all payment of U.S. tax dollars to global warming programs.”[139] This would be a reversal of the U.S. pledge to commit funds to developing countries to assist in climate change mitigation and could undermine the willingness of other countries to take action against climate change.[139]

In August 2016, 375 members of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, including 30 Nobel laureates, issued an open letter warning that Trump’s plan to unilaterally withdraw from the Paris Agreement would have dire effects on the fight against climate change.[157][158] The scientists wrote, in part:

[I]t is of great concern that the Republican nominee for President has advocated U.S. withdrawal from the Paris Accord. A “Parexit” would send a clear signal to the rest of the world: “The United States does not care about the global problem of human-caused climate change. You are on your own.” Such a decision would make it far more difficult to develop effective global strategies for mitigating and adapting to climate change. The consequences of opting out of the global community would be severe and long-lasting – for our planet’s climate and for the international credibility of the United States.[158]

Energy independence

In his May 2016 speech on energy policy, Trump stated : “Under my presidency, we will accomplish complete American energy independence. We will become totally independent of the need to import energy from the oil cartel or any nation hostile to our interest.”[139] The New York Times reported that “experts say that such remarks display a basic ignorance of the workings of the global oil markets.”[139]

Environmental regulation

In January 2016, Trump vowed “tremendous cutting” of the budget for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency if elected.[159] In an October 2015 interview with Chris Wallace, Trump explained, “what they do is a disgrace. Every week they come out with new regulations.”[160] When Wallace asked, “Who’s going to protect the environment?”, Trump answered “we’ll be fine with the environment. We can leave a little bit, but you can’t destroy businesses.”[160]

Trump has charged that the “U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service abuses the Endangered Species Act to restrict oil and gas exploration.”[149] In 2011, Trump said that would permit drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in northeastern Alaska.[161]

In July 2016, Trump suggested that he was in favor of state and local bans on hydraulic fracturing (fracking), saying, “I’m in favor of fracking, but I think that voters should have a big say in it. I mean, there’s some areas, maybe, they don’t want to have fracking. And I think if the voters are voting for it, that’s up to them… if a municipality or a state wants to ban fracking, I can understand that.”[162][163]


Keystone XL

Main article: Keystone Pipeline

Trump has promised to construct the Keystone XL pipeline, a proposed project to bring Canadian petroleum to the U.S.[139]Trump pledged that if elected, he would ask TransCanada Corp. to renew its permit application for the project within his first hundred days in office.[149] Trump has claimed that Keystone XL pipeline will have “no impact on environment” and create “lots of jobs for U.S.”[164]

Dakota Access Pipeline

Trump has financial ties to Energy Transfer Partners and Phillips 66 who are both directly involved in the controversial project. The CEO of Energy Transfer Partners is a campaign donor for Donald Trump.[165]

Renewable energy

In his 2015 book Crippled America, Trump is highly critical of the “big push” to develop renewable energy, arguing that the push is based on a mistaken belief that greenhouse gases contribute to climate change.[166] He writes, “There has been a big push to develop alternative forms of energy–so-called green energy–from renewable sources. That’s a big mistake. To begin with, the whole push for renewable energy is being driven by the wrong motivation, the mistaken belief that global climate change is being caused by carbon emissions. If you don’t buy that—and I don’t—then what we have is really just an expensive way of making the tree-huggers feel good about themselves.”[166]

Despite criticizing wind farms in the past (calling them “ugly”), Trump has said that he does not oppose the wind production tax credit, saying: “I’m okay with subsidies, to an extent.”[167] Trump has criticized wind energy for being expensive and for not working without “massive subsidies”.[168] He added, “windmills are killing hundreds and hundreds of eagles. One of the most beautiful, one of the most treasured birds — and they’re killing them by the hundreds and nothing happens,”[168] a claim rated as “mostly false” by PolitiFact since best estimates indicate that about one hundred golden eagles are killed each year by wind turbine blades.[169]

In his official platform, Trump claims that he will reduce bureaucracy which would then lead to greater innovation.[149] His platform mentions “renewable energies”, including “nuclear, wind and solar energy” in that regard but adds that he would not support those “to the exclusion of other energy”.[149]

Trump supports a higher ethanol mandate (the amount of ethanol required by federal regulation to be blended into the U.S. gasoline supply).[170] Trump vowed to protect the government’s Renewable Fuel Standard and the corn-based ethanol.[171]

Wildlife conservation

In October 2016, the Humane Society denounced Trump’s campaign, saying that a “Trump presidency would be a threat to animals everywhere” and that he has “a team of advisors and financial supporters tied in with trophy hunting, puppy mills, factory farming, horse slaughter, and other abusive industries”

Foreign policy of Donald Trump

ContentsThe foreign policy of Donald Trump is Donald Trump‘s policy regarding dealings with other nations, designed to achieve national objectives.


In a New York Times interview in July 2016, Presidential Nominee Trump “repeatedly defined American global interests almost purely in economic terms,” with the nation’s “roles as a peacekeeper, as a provider of a nuclear deterrent against adversaries like North Korea, as an advocate of human rights and as a guarantor of allies’ borders” being “quickly reduced to questions of economic benefit to the United States.”[1]

Trump unveiled a list of foreign policy advisors in April 2016: Joseph E. Schmitz, Walid Phares, Keith Kellogg, Carter Page,[2] Bert Mizusawa, Gary Harrell, Chuck Kubic and George Papadopoulos.[3][4] Retired Lt. General Michael Flynn is also a Trump foreign policy advisor (and was reportedly on Trump’s shortlist for running mate).[5][6][7] Politico noted that several of those cited on the list “are complete unknowns; others have mixed reputations among GOP national security pros.”[8]According to Duke political science professor Peter Feaver, the list “looks more like an ad hoc coalition of the willing than any deliberate effort to reflect a particular candidate’s vision of America’s role in the world.”[9] After it was reported that Carter Page was being investigated for allegedly meeting with Kremlin officials over the summer of 2016, a Trump campaign spokesman denied that Page had ever been part of the campaign, except as an “informal adviser”.[10]

Two of the advisors on the list “view Islamic Sharia law within the U.S. as a dire threat — even though many conservatives consider the issue a fringe obsession.”[8] One of the advisors “has accused the State Department’s top official for Ukraine and Russia, Victoria Nuland, of “fomenting” the 2014 revolution that overthrew Ukraine’s government.”[8] According to a former colleague, Flynn has argued for a more aggressive approach to U.S. interests around the world.[5][6] A review of Flynn’s book The Field of Fight (2016) by Will McCants of the Brookings Institution describes Flynn’s vision as a combination of neoconservatism (his insistence on destroying what he sees an alliance of tyranny, dictatorships, and radical Islamist regimes) and realism (support for working with “friendly tyrants”).[11] However, like Trump, Flynn has been a critic of the U.S.’s military involvement in Iraq[12] and Libya[13] as well as its support for the Syrian opposition, and has advocated for closer ties with Russia.[14] Flynn has said that Trump’s strategic approach is to “start really, really high and really, really hard, OK? And then, be prepared to get down to where you think you can actually negotiate.” Flynn also disputed the notion that Trump would order the military to kill the families of terrorists and complimented Trump’s ability to surround himself with good people.[6]

Previously when asked about who he was consulting with on foreign policy during an interview on MSNBC‘s Morning Joe, Trump responded with “I’m speaking with myself, number one, because I have a very good brain and I’ve said a lot of things”.[15] Some of Trump’s foreign policy ideas have been met with opposition by the foreign policy establishment of the Republican Party (GOP).[16] The Economist Intelligence Unit placed a Trump victory in the United States presidential election, 2016 fifth in their list of ten global risks for 2016, citing his foreign policy positions which increase the risk of trade war, him being used as a potent recruitment tool for jihadi groups and weakened efforts to contain Russia’s expansionist tendencies.[17]

United States Armed Forces and defense spending[edit]

Trump stated in a December 2015 Republican primary debate that “Our military is a disaster,” and in a July 2016 radio appearance described the United States Armed Forces as “depleted and in horrible shape.”[18][19]

In July 2016, retired U.S. Marine Corps General John R. Allen, who supports Trump’s opponent Hillary Clinton, gave a forceful speech against Trump at the 2016 Democratic National Convention.[20] Trump responded by calling the four-star military leader “a failed general” and saying that he had never met him.[21][22]

Trump has stated on a number of occasions that if elected president, he “would increase [spending] on the military.”[23]Trump claims that the United States Armed Forces will be “funded beautifully” if he was elected President.[24] While Trump has not offered specifics on defense spending under a Trump presidency, he has repeatedly called for a U.S. military buildup and has criticized President Barack Obama‘s military spending strategy.[25][26][27] Trump has criticized the decline in the numbers of active-duty armed forces, Navy ships and Air Force planes since the end of the Cold War.[25] Trump has pledged to rein in wasteful spending in the military.[26]

In an interview with Fox News in June 2015, Trump claimed: “There’s nobody bigger or better at the military than I am.”[28]In an interview with the Washington Post, Trump said that he would not reveal his military plans for fear of informing the enemy: “I don’t want them to know what I’m thinking, does that make sense? I want people to be guessing … I don’t want people to figure it out. I don’t want people to know what my plan is. I have plans. I have plans! But I don’t want to do it.”[29]

Diplomacy and U.S. allies[edit]

Trump has stated his intention to provide presidential leadership with strong diplomacy to restore “respect” for the United States around the world. He supports a robust national defense.[30][31][32] In an interview with Bill O’Reilly, Trump claimed that he had a proven record in negotiating with foreign countries. “I’ve made a fortune with foreign countries.”[28]

Trump has stated, “We Americans are laughed at around the world for losing a hundred and fifty billion dollars year after year, for defending wealthy nations for nothing, nations that would be wiped off the face of the earth in about 15 minutes if it weren’t for us. Our ‘allies’ are making billions screwing us.”[33] Trump has called for allied countries, including Germany, Israel, Japan, Saudi Arabia, and South Korea to pay the United States for helping protect their nations.[34][35][36][37]

Action against terrorists’ families[edit]

In an interview, Trump stated “You have to take out their families, when you get these terrorists, you have to take out their families. … When they say they don’t care about their lives, you have to take out their families.” When pressed on what “take out” meant, Trump said the United States should “wipe out their homes” and “where they came from.”[38] The intentional targeting of non-combatants is a violation of the Geneva Conventions and other aspects of the international law of war.[39]



In September 2016, Trump expressed his opposition to the restoration of full diplomatic relations between the United States and Cuba achieved in July 2015.[40] As part of the restoration of full diplomatic relations, the United States embargo against Cuba remains in place, but a series of regulations have been loosened to allow more American companies to sell their products in Cuba.[40] Trump said that he would only restore full diplomatic relations with Cuba if the Cuban regime met his demands to restore political freedoms and free political prisoners.[40] This is a shift from the position expressed in September 2015 when he said that the opening with Cuba was “fine. But we should have made a better deal.”[40]

In February 2016, Trump said that he opposed the Cuban Adjustment Act, which allows any Cuban who reaches U.S. soil to remain in the country legally and apply for residency.[41] Trump said, “I don’t think that’s fair. I mean, why would that be a fair thing?”[41]

On the first day of the Donald Trump presidential campaign, 2000, Trump held an event in Miami where he vowed to maintain the embargo on Cuba and never spend his or his companies’ money in Cuba until Fidel Castro was removed from power.[42] However, according to reporting by Newsweek in September 2016, Trump had conducted business in Cuba in violation of the embargo seven months before his vow.[42] Bloomberg News reported in July 2016 that Trump Organization executives and advisers traveled to Havana in late 2012 or early 2013 to explore golf-course developments in Cuba, possibly a violation of the embargo.[43]


Trump has emphasized U.S. border security and illegal immigration to the United States as a campaign issue.[44][45] During his announcement speech he stated in part, “When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re not sending you. They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems…. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.”[31] On July 6, 2015, Trump issued a written statement[46] to clarify his position on illegal immigration which drew a reaction from critics. It read in part:

The Mexican Government is forcing their most unwanted people into the United States. They are, in many cases, criminals, drug dealers, rapists, etc. This was evident just this week when, as an example, a young woman in San Francisco was viciously killed by a 5-time deported Mexican with a long criminal record, who was forced back into the United States because they didn’t want him in Mexico. This is merely one of thousands of similar incidents throughout the United States. In other words, the worst elements in Mexico are being pushed into the United States by the Mexican government. The largest suppliers of heroin, cocaine and other illicit drugs are Mexican cartels that arrange to have Mexican immigrants trying to cross the borders and smuggle in the drugs. The Border Patrol knows this. Likewise, tremendous infectious disease is pouring across the border. The United States has become a dumping ground for Mexico and, in fact, for many other parts of the world. On the other hand, many fabulous people come in from Mexico and our country is better for it. But these people are here legally, and are severely hurt by those coming in illegally. I am proud to say that I know many hard working Mexicans—many of them are working for and with me…and, just like our country, my organization is better for it.”[47]

A study published in Social Science Quarterly in May 2016 tested Trump’s claim that immigrants are responsible for higher levels of violent and drug-related crime in the United States.[48] It found no evidence that links Mexican or undocumented Mexican immigrants specifically to violent or drug-related crime.[48] It did however find a small but significant association between undocumented immigrant populations (including non-Mexican undocumented immigrants) and drug-related arrests.[48]

Trump has repeatedly pledged to build a wall along the U.S.’s southern border, and has said that Mexico would pay for its construction through increased border-crossing fees and NAFTA tariffs.[49] In his speech announcing his candidacy, Trump pledged to “build a great, great wall on our southern border. And I will have Mexico pay for that wall. Mark my words.”[50][51]Trump also said “nobody builds walls better than me, believe me, and I’ll build them very inexpensively.”[51] The concept for building a barrier to keep illegal immigrants out of the U.S. is not new; 670 miles of fencing (about one-third of the border) was erected under the Secure Fence Act of 2006, at a cost of $2.4 billion.[51] Trump said later that his proposed wall would be “a real wall. Not a toy wall like we have now.”[52] In his 2015 book, Trump cites the Israeli West Bank barrier as a successful example of a border wall.[53] “Trump has at times suggested building a wall across the nearly 2,000-mile border and at other times indicated more selective placement.”[54] After a meeting with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto on August 31, 2016, Trump said that they “didn’t discuss” who would pay for the border wall that Trump has made a centerpiece of his presidential campaign.[55] Nieto contradicted that later that day, saying that he at the start of the meeting “made it clear that Mexico will not pay for the wall”.[56] Later that day, Trump reiterated his position that Mexico will pay to build an “impenetrable” wall on the Southern border.[57]

According to experts and analyses, the actual cost to construct a wall along the remaining 1,300 miles of the border could be as high as $16 million per mile, with a total cost of up to $25 billion, with the cost of private land acquisitions and fence maintenance pushing up the total cost further.[54] Maintenance of the wall cost could up to $750 million a year, and if the Border Patrol agents were to patrol the wall, additional funds would have to be expended.[54] Rough and remote terrain on many parts of the border, such as deserts and mountains, would make construction and maintenance of a wall expensive, and such terrain may be a greater deterrent than a wall in any case.[54] Experts also note that on federally protected wilderness areas and Native American reservations, the Department of Homeland Security may have only limited construction authority, and a wall could cause environmental damage.[54]

Critics of Trump’s plan question whether a wall would be effective at stopping unauthorized crossings, noting that walls are of limited use unless they are patrolled by agents and to intercept those climbing over or tunneling under the wall.[54]Experts also note that approximately half of illegal immigrants in the U.S. did not surreptitiously enter, but rather “entered through official crossing points, either by overstaying visas, using fraudulent documents, or being smuggled past the border.”[54]

Trump has vowed to impose tariffs — in the range of 15 to 35 percent — on companies that move their operations to Mexico.[58] He has specifically criticized the Ford Motor Co.,[59] Carrier Corporation,[59] and Mondelez International.[59][58][60]Trump has pledged a 35% tariff on “every car, every truck and every part manufactured in [Ford’s Mexico plant] that comes across the border.”[61] Tariffs at that level would be far higher than the international norms (which are around 2.67 percent for the U.S. and most other advanced economies and under 10 percent for most developing countries).[62] In August 2015, in response to Oreo maker Mondelez International’s announcement that it would move manufacturing to Mexico, Trump said that he would boycott Oreos.[60]

According to economic experts canvassed by PolitiFact, the tariffs could help create new manufacturing jobs and lead to some concessions from the U.S.’s foreign trading partners, but consumer costs and production costs would almost certainly rise, the stock market would fall, interest rates could rise, and trade wars could occur.[63] PolitiFact noted that lower-income consumers in the United States would be hurt the most.[63]

In a 60 Minutes interview in September 2015, Trump condemned the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), saying that if elected president, “We will either renegotiate it, or we will break it.”[64][65] A range of trade experts have said that pulling out of NAFTA as Trump proposed would have a range of unintended consequences for the U.S., including reduced access to the U.S.’s biggest export markets, a reduction in economic growth, and increased prices for gasoline, cars, fruits, and vegetables.[66] The Washington Post fact-checker furthermore noted that a Congressional Research Service review of the academic literature on NAFTA concluded that the “net overall effect of NAFTA on the U.S. economy appears to have been relatively modest, primarily because trade with Canada and Mexico accounts for a small percentage of U.S. GDP.”[67]

According to an analysis by the Peterson Institute for International Economics, Trump’s proposed tariff increases on China and Mexico could, if China and Mexico retaliate with their own tariff increases, push the U.S. into recession and cost 5 million U.S. jobs.[68] Even more limited retaliation by China and Mexico, or an aborted trade war (the Trump administration backs down from its tariff increases one year into them) would hit the U.S. economy hard.[68] Gary Clyde Hufbauer, senior fellow at PIIE, notes that there is ample precedent and scope for a U.S. president to unilaterally raise tariffs as Trump has vowed to do, and that efforts to block Trump’s actions through the courts, or by amending the authorizing statutes in Congress, would be difficult and time-consuming.[69]



On October 6, 2015, Trump stated that the United States “made a terrible mistake getting involved [in Afghanistan] in the first place.”[70] When asked again about Afghanistan on October 20, 2015, Trump reversed his position, claiming to have never characterized U.S. entry into Afghanistan as a mistake.[70] Trump stated that the War in Afghanistan was necessary and that he supported keeping a limited number of troops there.[70]


Regarding the Chinese, Trump stated in 2011, “I don’t think they’re friends. I think they’re enemies.”[71] In 2011, Trump stated that he would “send [China] a bill for the value of the secrets that they’ve stolen,” referring to alleged Chinese theft of American stealth technology.[72]

Trump has criticized China’s inclusion in the World Trade Organization, alleging that it caused job losses in the United States.[73][74][75] Trump has been critical of Chinese intellectual property theft, alleging that “they [the Chinese] are stealing billions and billions of dollars of our intellectual property.”[73]

In January 2016, Trump proposed a 45 percent tariff on Chinese exports to the United States to give “American workers a level playing field.”[76][77] According to an analysis by Capital Economics, Trump’s proposed tariff may hurt U.S. consumers by driving U.S. retail price of Chinese made goods up 10 percent, because of few alternative suppliers in key product classes that China sells to the U.S.[78] The goods trade deficit with China in 2015 was $367.2 billion.[79] The Economic Policy Institute (EPI) reported in December 2014 that “Growth in the U.S. goods trade deficit with China between 2001 and 2013 eliminated or displaced 3.2 million U.S. jobs, 2.4 million (three-fourths) of which were in manufacturing.” EPI reported these losses were distributed across all 50 states.[80]

Trump has vowed to label China as a currency manipulator on his first day in office.[81] Washington Post fact-checker Glenn Kessler, citing experts such as C. Fred Bergsten, found that “Trump’s complaints about currency manipulation are woefully out of date,” noting that “China has not manipulated its currency for at least two years.”[82]

Trump has pledged “swift, robust and unequivocal” action against Chinese piracy, counterfeit American goods, and theft of U.S. trade secrets and intellectual property; and has condemned China’s “illegal export subsidies and lax labor and environmental standards.”[81] When asked about potential Chinese retaliation to the implementation of tariffs, such as sales of U.S. bonds, Trump deemed the Chinese unlikely to retaliate, “They will crash their economy… They will have a depression, the likes of which you have never seen if they ever did that.”[83] In a May 2016 speech, Trump responded to concerns regarding a potential trade war with “We’re losing $500 billion in trade with China. Who the hell cares if there’s a trade war?”[84]


Trump has spoken favorably of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and of a closer alliance with India.[85] He told a campaign rally of Indian-Americans that under his administration, relations with India would be “the best ever”.[86] The Trump Organization has extensive business ventures in India, involving at least 16 Indian partnerships and corporations.[86]

North Korea[edit]

Trump has “declined to share details of his plans to deal with North Korea”[87] but has said that he would be willing to meet North Korean supreme leader Kim Jong-un, saying that he would have “no problem” doing so.[87][88] Trump described Kim as a “maniac” but also claimed that Kim deserves “credit” for being able to overcome his rivals in order to succeed his father.[89] Trump has advocated placing greater pressure on China, including through restrictions on trade, to rein in its ally North Korea in the wake of the January 2016 North Korean nuclear test,[90] saying that China has “total control” over North Korea[90] and the U.S. has “tremendous” economic power over China.[88] In the September 2016 Presidential Debate, Trump said, “China should solve that [North Korea] problem for us. China should go into North Korea. China is totally powerful as it relates to North Korea.”[91] He also argued that the Iran nuclear deal should have included a component about Iran–North Korea relations.[91]

An editorial in North Korean state media hailed Trump as a “wise politician” and “far-sighted presidential candidate” who could be good for North Korea.[92] The editorial suggested that a statement from Trump that he did not want to get involved in any conflict between North and South Korea was “fortunate from North Koreans’ perspective”.[92]


In 2015, Trump said Pakistan is “the most dangerous country in the world” and should denuclearize.[93] But according to the Pakistan government, in a cordial post-election telephone conversation with Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Trump lavished praise on Pakistan and its “fantastic” people, said he would love to visit the country, and offered to help Pakistan solve any outstanding problems.[94] After taking office, President Trump indicated that Pakistan will be among the countries whose citizens will have to go through an extreme vetting process before entering the United States.[95]

Taiwan and Thailand[edit]

Alexander Gray and Peter Navarro, listed as senior adviser and policy adviser respectively, wrote an article published November 7 in Foreign Policy which called the Obama administration’s treatment of Taiwan “egregious” and referred to the administration having “unceremoniously booted [Thailand] from Washington’s embrace following a military coup“.[96]

Middle East and Africa[edit]


On February 10, 2011, the day prior to the overthrow of Hosni Mubarak, Trump stated that he had no sympathy for Mubarak and expressed optimism that events in Egypt will not affect the world economy.[97] At the time, Trump offered neither criticism nor praise for how President Barack Obama dealt with the Egyptian crisis, saying it was out of Obama’s hands.[97] Later, in August 2011, Trump criticized the Obama administration for not helping Mubarak keep power, citing Mubarak’s positive relationship with Israel and the negative effect that Mubarak’s removal would have on other allies’ faith in the United States.[98][99] In 2012, Trump reiterated his criticisms of the Obama administration’s handling of Mubarak and asserted that “Egypt is now our enemy” and that “Israel is in trouble.”[100]

In September 2016, Trump described the President of Egypt, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, as a “fantastic guy”, praising his handling of the Egyptian coup d’etat of 2013 that removed former President Mohamed Morsi from power.[101] Trump said that there was a “good feeling between [them]”.[101]


In June 2016, Trump maintained that “Iran is now the dominant Islamic power in the Middle East and on the road to nuclear weapons.”[73] Trump opposes the international nuclear agreement with Iran (negotiated with the United States and five other world powers) that was made in 2015, calling it “terrible” and saying that the Obama administration negotiated the agreement “from desperation.”[102] Trump has claimed that he has “studied this issue in great detail… actually greater by far than anybody else.”[103] Trump opposed the sanctions relief in the agreement, saying: “we’re giving them billions of dollars in this deal, which we shouldn’t have given them. We should have kept the money.”[102] Trump has claimed that the United States gives Iran $150 billion as part of the Iran deal, a statement rated false by FactCheck.org.[104] FactCheck.org notes that the Iranian assets that were unfrozen as part of the deal were held mostly by banks and other financial institutions outside the United States, and that the value of the assets is estimated to be between $25 billion and $56 billion.[104] Trump has claimed that “when those restrictions expire (in the Iran nuclear deal), Iran will have an industrial-size military nuclear capability ready to go,” a statement rated “false” by PolitiFact.com.[103] Trump was critical of State Department officials as they negotiated the Iran deal, saying that “It’s a one-day deal. This whole thing should have taken a day.”[105]

In July 2015, when explaining his opposition to the Iran agreement, Trump cited four American prisoners being held prisoner in the country.[102] When the four prisoners were released in January 2016, after the agreement went into effect, Trump claimed credit for the release, an assertion that was termed “dubious” by CBS News.[106]

In August 2015, Trump had said that despite opposing the content of the deal, he would attempt to enforce it rather than abrogate it.[107] In a speech to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) in March 2016, however, Trump said that his “number-one priority is to dismantle the disastrous deal with Iran.”[108] In July 2016, Trump foreign policy adviser Walid Phares claimed Trump would not “get rid of” the Iran deal and would instead seek to “renegotiate” it.[109]

In September 2015, Trump told CNN that he believed the agreement would compel the United States to side with Iran in the event of war: “There’s something in the Iran deal that people I don’t think really understand or know about, and nobody’s able to explain it, that if somebody attacks Iran, we have to come to their defense. So if Israel attacks Iran, according to that deal, I believe the way it reads […] that we have to fight with Iran against Israel.”[110] Trump’s statement is based on his interpretation of a provision in the agreement that “the U.S. and other partners are prepared, as appropriate, to cooperate with training to strengthen Iran’s ability to protect against and respond to nuclear security threats, including sabotage.” PolitiFact rated Trump’s statement “false” and the Obama administration disagrees with Trump’s interpretation.[111]

During an interview with Bill O’Reilly, Trump was asked whether he would negotiate a new deal with Iran. Trump responded that, with the current deal, “Iran is doing nuclear. They’re going nuclear.” He would “put on the sanctions big league. I’d double and triple up the sanctions and make a deal from strength.”[28] According to Trump, nuclear weapons, not global warming, is the world’s biggest problem.[28] Trump said that any deal with Iran should stipulate that inspectors have 24-hour-a-day access immediately to all nuclear sites and made reference to American nationals imprisoned the country.[102]

In the September 2016 Presidential Debate, Trump said that the Iran deal should have contained provisions that Iran must “do something with respect to North Korea. And they should have done something with respect to Yemen and all these other places.”[112]

In October 2016, it was reported that despite Trump’s denouncement of Iran as a “big enemy” and assertions that donations from foreign governments to the Clinton Foundation charity amounted to evidence of corruption, the Trump Organization did business with one of Iran’s largest state-controlled banks from 1998 to 2003.[113] The Trump Organization kept the bank on as a tenant for four more years after the United States Department of the Treasury designated the bank in 1999 as being controlled by the Iranian government.[113] U.S. authorities also alleged that the bank had been used between 2002 and 2006 to funnel money to a unit of the Army of the Guardians of the Islamic Revolution that has sponsored terrorist attacks — a period that overlapped with the time the bank rented office space from Trump.[113]

Iraq War[edit]

See also: Iraq War

On September 11, 2002, when asked by radio talk-show host Howard Stern if he supported an invasion of Iraq, Trump responded, “Yeah, I guess so. I wish the first time it was done correctly.”[114][115][116] In a January 28, 2003 interview with Neil Cavuto, on the night of President George W. Bush‘s 2003 State of the Union Address, Trump said that he expected to hear “a lot of talk about Iraq” and urged Bush to make a decision on Iraq—”Either you attack or you don’t attack”.[117] When asked whether Bush should be more focused on Iraq or the economy, Trump said:

Well, he has either got to do something or not do something, perhaps, because perhaps he shouldn’t be doing it yet and perhaps we should be waiting for the United Nations, you know. He’s under a lot of pressure. I think he’s doing a very good job. But, of course, if you look at the polls, a lot of people are getting a little tired. I think the Iraqi situation is a problem. And I think the economy is a much bigger problem as far as the president is concerned. Well, I’m starting to think that people are much more focused now on the economy. They’re getting a little bit tired of hearing “We’re going in, we’re not going in.” Whatever happened to the days of Douglas MacArthur? Either do it or don’t do it.[118][119]

According to a February 2016 statement by Sean Hannity, “I battled him at the time. He did not want us to go to Iraq. He was dead set against it.”[120] There are no transcripts or audio to confirm Hannity’s claim,[121] and Hannity says that Trump opposed an invasion of Iraq during telephone calls following Hannity’s show.[122]

On March 21, 2003, one day into the Iraq War, Trump was interviewed by Fox NewsNeil Cavuto. Trump said that the war appeared to be “a tremendous success from a military standpoint”, and expressed hope that it would continue to be so.[123]Later that week he publicly called the war a “mess”.[124][125] Later, Trump publicly and explicitly criticized the war in an interview published in Esquire in August 2004, sixteen months after the invasion.[126] Trump said: “Look at the war in Iraq and the mess that we’re in,” criticized the George W. Bush administration’s handling of the war, dismissed the idea of Iraq becoming functionally democratic, and predicted that “Two minutes after we leave, there’s going to be a revolution, and the meanest, toughest, smartest, most vicious guy will take over. And he’ll have weapons of mass destruction, which Saddam didn’t have.”[126][127]

On the campaign trail in 2015 and 2016, Trump has repeatedly said that he was “against the war from the very beginning.”[126][128]

Israel and Israeli–Palestinian conflict[edit]

Trump has been critical of the Obama administration’s treatment of Israel, stating that “Israel has been totally mistreated.”[73]

Israel-related causes[edit]

In 2001, Trump lent his personal jet to then-New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani so that the latter could show solidarity for terror victims in Israel, and in 2004 Trump was the grand marshal of the Celebrate Israel Parade in New York City.[129]Speaking in 2006, Trump called Israel “a great country” and one of his favorite countries, adding: “I know that you’ve been through a lot recently.”[130] Trump released a video endorsing Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during the 2013 Israeli elections.[131][132] In February 2015, Trump stated: “We love Israel, we will fight for Israel 100 percent, 1000 percent, it will be there forever.”[133][134] Trump has made multimillion-dollar donations to the establishment of new settlements in Israel, to house Israeli families who were evacuated from Gush Katif in 2005, and to house families evacuated from settlements in the Sinai Peninsula in 1980. As a result, his name is listed on the top of the plaque of the major contributors to the development of Dekel in the Southern District.[135] Trump has also donated to the West Bank settlement of Beit El.[136]

Proposed Muslim ban and cancelled Israel visit[edit]

After Trump proposed in December 2015 to temporarily exclude Muslims from travel to the United States, numerous world leaders, including Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu,[137] criticized Trump’s proposal. Netanyahu released a statement saying: “The State of Israel respects all religions and strictly guarantees the rights of all its citizens.” Several dozen Israeli Knesset members, many of whom are Muslim themselves, signed a petition urging Netanyahu not to meet with Trump later that month;[138] a day later, Trump postponed his visit to Israel until “a later date after I become President of the U.S.”,[139] stating that he did not want to put Netanyahu “under pressure”.[137]


During his presidential campaign, Trump broke with long-standing bipartisan U.S. policy on the construction of Israeli settlements in the West Bank as a precursor to negotiations with the Palestinians, saying that Israel “have to keep going” and “I don’t think there should be a pause.”[140] Ynetnews noted: “If elected, Trump’s seemingly broad support of settlement development would constitute a dramatic shift in U.S. foreign policy, as both Democratic and Republican U.S. presidents have stated in the past that the settlements are illegal and no further building in them should be allowed.”[140]

U.S. aid to Israel[edit]

At a press conference in March 2016, Trump said that as president, he would require U.S. allies to pay the U.S. back for the defense spending and foreign aid that the U.S. has spent on their behalf. When specifically asked whether his previously stated stance on charging U.S allies for defense spending would extend to Israel, he replied “I think Israel would do that also. There are many countries that can pay, and they can pay big-league.”[141] However, immediately after the press conference, Trump reversed himself on aid to Israel, adding, “They [Israel] help us greatly.”[142]

Israeli-Palestinian peace process[edit]

Trump has said that he would not take sides in any Israeli-Palestinian agreement in order to be a neutral negotiator in the peace talks, although he also added that he was “totally pro-Israel.”[143] In December 2015, Trump told the Associated Press that an Israeli-Palestinian peace accord would depend very much upon Israel, remarking: “I have a real question as to whether or not both sides want to” come to a peace accord. “A lot will have to do with Israel and whether or not Israel wants to make the deal — whether or not Israel’s willing to sacrifice certain things.”[144]

Trump has vowed that as president he will veto a United Nations-imposed Israel-Palestine peace agreement, stating: “When I’m president, believe me, I will veto any attempt by the U.N. to impose its will on the Jewish state. It will be vetoed 100 percent.”[145] He added that “The Palestinians must come to the table knowing that the bond between the United States and Israel is absolutely, totally unbreakable.”[145]

Trump has criticized the Palestinian National Authority for the absence of peace, saying: “the Palestinian Authority has to recognize Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state. …[and they] have to stop the terror, stop the attacks, stop the teaching of hatred… They have to stop the teaching of children to aspire to grow up as terrorists, which is a real problem. Of course, the recognition of Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state is also a major sticking point, with the current Palestinian leadership repeatedly refusing to meet that basic condition.”[146]

Capital of Israel[edit]

Trump has said on more than one occasion that if elected president he will move the U.S. embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, which he described as the “eternal capital of the Jewish people.”[147][148] In an earlier speech before the Republican Jewish Coalition, Trump had refused to say whether he supports Israel’s position that Jerusalem is its undivided capital.[144] Meeting with Benjamin Netanyahu in September 2016, Trump’s statement said that “under a Trump administration, [we] will finally accept the long-standing Congressional mandate to recognize Jerusalem as the undivided capital of the State of Israel.”[149]


In 2009, Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi rented space through intermediaries on Trump’s Seven Springs estate in the suburb of Bedford, New York. Gaddafi rented Trump’s land to camp in a “Bedouin-style” tent while in the United States to attend the UN General Assembly.) The situation created controversy when the tents were raised on the property, and Trump forced Gaddafi off the property saying that he was unaware of the arrangement.[150][151][152] In 2011, Trump told Fox News that he had “screwed” Gaddafi on the deal, touting the affair as evidence of foreign-policy experience.[151]

Trump was a strong supporter of the 2011 military intervention in Libya, arguing “fervently” on a number of occasions that U.S. military intervention was necessary to advert humanitarian disaster in Libya and warning that it would be “a major, major black eye for this country [the U.S.]” if it failed to depose Gaddafi.[153][154] In a February 2011 video blog, Trump said: “I can’t believe what our country is doing. Qaddafi in Libya is killing thousands of people, nobody knows how bad it is, and we’re sitting around we have soldiers all have the Middle East, and we’re not bringing them in to stop this horrible carnage … Now we should go in, we should stop this guy, which would be very easy and very quick.”[154] Trump made similar comments in a March 2011 appearance on Piers Morgan Tonight.[154] In 2011, Trump also advocated U.S. seizure of Libyan oil.[155]

While campaigning for the presidency in 2016, Trump reversed his earlier position, stating on several occasions that the U.S. would be “so much better off” or “100% better off” if Gaddafi remained in charge of Libya.[156][157] At a Republican primary debate in February 2016, Trump claimed that he “never discussed” the Libyan intervention at the time it occurred; Politifact noted that this assertion was “patently inaccurate” and gave it its “Pants on Fire” rating.[156] In June 2016, Trump again reversed course, saying on CBS’ Face the Nation that he would have supported “surgical” bombing, against Gaddafi in particular.[158]

In May 2016, Trump suggested that the United States should bomb ISIL in Libya.[159]

Saudi Arabia[edit]

In December 2015, Trump said that the days of the Saudi Royal Family buying off American politicians will end if he is elected President.[160]

In February 2016, Trump blamed Saudi Arabia for the September 11 attacks, saying: “Who blew up the World Trade Center? It wasn’t the Iraqis, it was Saudi – take a look at Saudi Arabia, open the documents.”[161]

Trump has called for Saudi Arabia to pay for the costs of American troops stationed there: “They should pay us. … The primary reason we’re with Saudi Arabia is because we need the oil. Now we don’t need the oil so much …”.[162] He has argued that regional allies of the United States, such as Saudi Arabia should provide troops in the fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). Trump said he would halt oil imports from Saudi Arabia unless the Saudi government provide ground troops to defeat ISIL.[163]

In June 2016, Trump demanded that Hillary Clinton should give back donations the Clinton Foundation had accepted from Saudi Arabia. Trump wrote: “Saudi Arabia and many of the countries that gave vast amounts of money to the Clinton Foundation want women as slaves and to kill gays. Hillary must return all money from such countries!”[164]

Syrian Civil War, Iraq and ISIL[edit]

Trump’s positions on defeating the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) have frequently changed throughout his presidential campaign.[165] Trump has claimed that he would “bomb the hell” out of Iraqi oil fields controlled by ISIL.[28][166]In the aftermath of the November 2015 Paris attacks, which were committed by ISIL, Trump reiterated his statements about ISIL from November 12, 2015, when he stated he would “bomb the shit out of ’em”[167] and said “I’d blow up the [oil] pipes, I’d blow up the refineries, and you know what, you’ll get Exxon to come in there in two months… and I’d take the oil.”[168]Trump said in an interview with Anderson Cooper “There is no Iraq. Their leaders are corrupt.”[167] In 2015 when asked how he would deal with Iraq’s condemnation of strikes on their oil fields, Trump replied that Iraq is a corrupt country that is not deserving of his respect.[28] Trump said that to combat ISIL, “I would find you a proper general. I would find a Patton or a McArthur. I would hit them so hard your head would spin.”[28]

Trump’s first post-announcement interview on June 17, 2015, was with Bill O’Reilly on The O’Reilly Factor.[28] One of several issues he highlighted was his proposed strategy in dealing with the Syrian Civil War.[28] In the interview, Trump stated: “Iran and Russia are protecting Syria and it’s sort of amazing that we’re in there fighting ISIS in Syria so we’re helping the head of Syria [Bashar al-Assad] who is not supposed to be our friend although he looks a lot better than some of our so-called friends.”[28] Instead of fighting ISIL in Syria, Trump suggested “maybe Syria should be a free zone for ISIS, let them fight and then you pick up the remnants.”[28]

In a Republican primary debate in November 2015, Trump said he “got to know [Vladimir Putin] very well because we were both on ‘60 Minutes‘, we were stable mates, we did well that night.” Trump said he approved of the Russian military intervention in Syria, stating: “If Putin wants to knock the hell out of ISIS, I’m all for it 100 percent and I can’t understand how anybody would be against that … He’s going in and we can go in and everybody should go in.”[169] During his speech at the Oklahoma State Fair, Trump accused his opponents of wanting to “start World War III over Syria.”[29]

Trump stated in November 2015, “I know more about ISIS than the generals do. Believe me.”[170]

When asked in the March 11 CNN debate if he would send ground troops to fight ISIL, Trump answered, “We really have no choice. We have to knock out ISIS.”[171] When pressed on specific numbers, Trump answered, “I would listen to the generals, but I’m hearing numbers of 20,000 to 30,000. We have to knock them out fast.”[171] Later that month, he retracted that statement, saying that he would “never ever” deploy 20,000 to 30,000 U.S. troops to combat ISIL.[172] In June 2016, Trump stated that he “[likes] the idea of using NATO and also neighbors that aren’t in NATO” to “take [ISIL] out” and that “it’s very possible that we should use NATO” to fight ISIL.[173]

In an interview, Trump stated “You have to take out their families, when you get these terrorists, you have to take out their families. … When they say they don’t care about their lives, you have to take out their families.” When pressed on what “take out” meant, Trump said the U.S. should “wipe out their homes” and “where they came from.”[38] The intentional targeting of non-combatants is a violation of the Geneva Conventions and other aspects of the international law of war.[39]Jonathan Russell, head of policy for the anti-radicalization think tank Quilliam, warned that Trump’s “anti-Muslim rhetoric” helps ISIL’s narrative, saying “Trump will contribute to Islamist radicalization as his comments will make Muslims feel unwelcome in America. This grievance will fuel their identity crisis, which when combined are a potent combination for the vulnerability that ISIS is so adept at exploiting with their Islamist narrative.”[174]

During his presidential campaign, Trump has repeatedly criticized the battle to liberate Mosul from ISIL control, saying that the United States is “not going to benefit” from dislodging ISIL from the Iraqi city. Trump has repeatedly asserted that U.S. and Iraqi military leaders should have used “the element of surprise” to attack Mosul rather than announcing plans beforehand. He also said that U.S. military planners were “a group of losers” for not doing so.[175][176] U.S. military officials “strongly rebuked” Trump’s comments, noting that “it is nearly impossible to move tens of thousands of troops into position without alerting the enemy” and that it was vital to warn civilians of impending military action.[175]

Accusations regarding Obama administration’s role[edit]

In the aftermath of the Orlando nightclub shooting (June 2016), Trump accused the Obama administration that it has actively “supported” the Islamic extremist group that became ISIL, an assertion rated “Pants on Fire” by PolitiFact (which quoted experts describing the claim as a “transparently fallacious conspiracy theory“) and given “Four Pinocchios” by the Washington Post fact-checker (which described it as a “bizarre claim”).[177][178]

In August 2016, Trump repeatedly and falsely asserted that President Barack Obama was the “founder” of ISIL.[179][180][181]In an interview with conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt, Trump responded to Hewitt’s attempt to reframe Trump’s comment as one that said Obama’s foreign policy created the conditions in Iraq and Syria that allowed ISIL to thrive, by saying “No, I meant he’s the founder of ISIS. I do….He was the founder. The way he got out of Iraq — that was the founding of ISIS, OK?”[178][182][a] The Associated Press noted that the claim is “patently false,” ISIL expert Joby Warrick referred to it as a “ludicrous claim,”[179] and PolitiFact rated the claim as “Pants on Fire” false, calling it “ridiculous.”[181] ISIL in fact predates the Obama presidency,[179][181] with roots beginning in 2004.[181] Former U.S. Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul wrote that Trump’s accusation that the United States created ISIL “echoes exactly a myth propagated by Russian state-controlled media and bloggers.”[182]

Two days after Trump said that Obama had founded ISIL, and a day after he insisted that he meant what he said, Trump claimed that he was being sarcastic.[183] Later that day, Trump muddied his meaning, saying both that he was “being sarcastic. But not that sarcastic, to be honest with you.”[184]


Regarding the 2016 coup attempt in Turkey, Trump said in a July 2016 interview, “I give great credit to [Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan] for being able to turn that around.”[1] When asked if Erdoğan was exploiting the coup attempt to purge his political enemies, Trump did not call for the Turkish leader to observe the rule of law, or offer other cautions for restraint. He said that the United States had to “fix our own mess” before trying to change the behavior of other countries.[1]

Trump stated in the July 2016 interview that he believed he could persuade Erdoğan to step up efforts against ISIL.[1] When asked how he would solve the problem of Turkish attacks on Kurds who are fighting ISIL, Trump said “Meetings.”[1]

European Union[edit]

In a July 2016 interview, Trump said of the European Union, “the reason that it got together was like a consortium so that it could compete with the United States.”[185] U.S. foreign-policy experts such as Strobe Talbott and Amie Kreppel noted that this was incorrect, pointing out that while the EU was established in part to rebuild the European economies after World War II, it was not created specifically to compete with the United States. In fact the United States sanctioned the EU’s creation to foster peace, prevent another catastrophic war, and create a “strong European market to consume American-made goods to help fuel American economic growth.”[186]


Trump’s friend and advisor Guido Lombardi has described his January interview to the Time and Bild as a “clear support” for French presidential candidate Marine Le Pen. Trump had notably said that he was expecting other countries to leave the European Union.[187]


Trump has been critical of German chancellor Angela Merkel and her handling of the European migrant crisis, saying “Everyone thought she was a really great leader and now she’s turned out to be this catastrophic leader. And she’ll be out if they don’t have a revolution.”[188][189]

In July 2016, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier stated that he was concerned about what he sees as Trump’s contradictory promises to “make America strong again” while simultaneously reducing involvement overseas.[190]Steinmeier said that Trump’s proposed policies “would be dangerous not only for the United States, but for Europe and the rest of the world as well”.[190]


Trump has stated in several interviews that his main objective in relation to Ireland will be the construction of a permanent clubhouse for the Esker Amateur Boxing Club who are based in Lucan, Dublin. Trump has visited and met with Esker Amateur Boxing Club officials in 2016 at a summit in The Lord Lucan Public House, Lucan, Dublin where he pledged his support to all in attendance.

United Kingdom[edit]

In regards to British voters voting to leave the European Union, Trump stated, “I think it’s a great thing that happened… Basically they took back their country. That’s a good thing.”[191] One reason that Trump was enthusiastic about the outcome of the vote was that it lowered the value of the British pound, which was good for business at his golf course in Scotland.[192]Trump had expressed support for the “leave” side during the Brexit campaign.[193][194][195][196] In an interview with Piers Morgan in May 2016, Trump said that UK withdrawal would make no difference to a potential bilateral trade deal between the United Kingdom and the United States if he became president: “I am going to treat everybody fairly but it wouldn’t make any difference to me whether they were in the EU or not….You would certainly not be back of the queue, that I can tell you.”[197]

Trump said in May 2016 that if elected president, he would be unlikely “to have a very good relationship” with then-British Prime Minister David Cameron, citing Cameron’s criticism of him.[87][198] Trump subsequently said “I’m sure I’ll have a good relationship with him.”[87]

At a Trump rally in August 2016, Nigel Farage, a former leader of the UK Independence Party and the Brexit campaign in the UK, compared the support that Trump has received in the United States with the movement that led to the vote by the UK to withdraw from the EU.[199]

Russia and Ukraine[edit]


In a July 2016 interview, Trump stated that he would consider recognizing Crimea as Russian territory and lifting sanctions on Russia that were imposed after Russia began aiding self-proclaimed separatist republics in eastern Ukraine seeking to undermine the new, pro-Western Ukrainian government.[200] He added that Russia could help the United States in fighting the ISIS terror organization.[201] In another July 2016 interview he added to this “You know the people of Crimea, from what I’ve heard, would rather be with Russia than where they were, and you have to look at that also.”[202] Former NSA director and CIA director Michael Hayden denounced Trump’s comments as “devoid of facts and divorced from traditional American, traditionally European policy.”[203]

Also in July 2016 Trump referred to the recent Democratic National Committee email leaks, thought to be connected to a cyberattack widely thought to have been carried out by Russian intelligence services.[204][205] Trump stated that he hoped Russia had hacked Hillary Clinton‘s email, saying: “Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing.”[205] The New York Times reported that Trump was “essentially urging a foreign adversary to conduct cyberespionage against a former secretary of state.”[205] Trump’s comments shocked foreign-policy experts, who stated that it was unprecedented for a U.S. presidential candidate to publicly appeal “to a foreign adversary to intervene in the election on his behalf,”[200] and “caused an uproar from much of the U.S. national-security community.”[204] Shortly afterward, Trump walked back his remarks,[206][207] stating on Fox News: “Of course I was being sarcastic.”[208] Trump asserted that the Democrats were promoting his comments in a bid to deflect attention from the content of the leaked emails. He also claimed that some of the emails were “embarrassing to senior DNC officials”, because they indicated an aim “to undermine the presidential candidacy of Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont”.[204][208]

Trump has praised Russian President Vladimir Putin over a series of years, developing what CNN called a “long-established track record of…fondness for the autocratic Russian leader.”[209] In October 2007, Trump told Larry King that Putin was doing a “great job in rebuilding the image of Russia and also rebuilding Russia period.”[209] In December 2011, Trump published his book Time to Get Tough, in which he praised Putin’s “intelligence” and “non-nonsense” and expressed “respect” for Putin and the Russians.[209] In July 2016, Trump called Putin “a better leader” than U.S. President Barack Obama.[204] In 2013, Trump wondered over Twitter whether Putin would attend the Miss Universe 2013 pageant in Moscow and “become my new best friend.”[209] In October 2013, Trump said that Putin was outsmarting the United States[209] On multiple occasions in 2015, Trump said that he would get “get along very well” with Putin.[209] Beginning in 2015, Trump also stated of Putin, “I got to know him very well because we were both on 60 Minutes, we were stablemates.” Trump repeated the “stablemates” characterization in a number of interviews and rallies, although the two men were interviewed at different times in different countries.[209]

Putin has praised Trump, saying in December 2015: “He is a very bright and talented man, no doubt about that.” Trump has repeatedly claimed that Putin has called him a “genius,” a mischaracterization based on an incorrect translation;[210] in fact, Putin used the Russian word яркий (yarkii), meaning “bright” in the sense of colorful, vivid, or flamboyant.[211][212] Trump returned the praise (saying “It is always a great honor to be so nicely complimented by a man so highly respected within his own country and beyond”) and shrugged off allegations of Putin’s alleged assassination of journalists and dissidents by saying that Putin is “running his country and at least he’s a leader, unlike what we have in this country. I think our country does plenty of killing also.”[209][213]

In response to a question in October 2015 about the Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 shootdown and the U.S. intelligence community’s “confident” assessment that pro-Russian separatists shot it down, Trump responded, “Putin and Russia say they didn’t do it, the other side said they did, no one really knows who did it, probably Putin knows who did it. Possibly it was Russia but they are totally denying it.”[214] In the second presidential debate, Trump said that he did not know whether Russia is trying to influence the U.S. presidential election through hacking; he was however personally briefed on Russia’s role in the hacks by U.S. officials.[215] In the first presidential debate, Trump pondered that “it could be Russia, but it could also be China”; he had at that time also been briefed about and discussed extensively with US intelligence officials the Russian government’s attempts to interfere in the 2016 election.[215]

Rossiya 1 (Russian state TV) has backed Trump, hailing him as an “anti-establishment” candidate who is ready to cooperate with Moscow.[216] Trump has also been praised by RT (formerly Russia Today), a Russian government-funded TV network.[217] In October 2016, Trump recited a falsified story that may have originated in the Russian government-controlled news agency Sputnik—which “has a reasonably large [U.S.] audience”—at a rally to attack Hillary Clinton; according to Jon Passatino of BuzzFeed, however, “the source of Trump’s comments … may have been a tweet from earlier in the day which included the precise language Trump read” rather than Sputnik.[218][219]

Trump chose the Center for the National Interest, which is viewed as one “of the most Kremlin-sympathetic institutions in the nation’s capital,” as the venue for his first major foreign-policy speech.[220] In the speech, Trump “made no mention of the threat Russia poses in Europe although he made a vague reference to ‘serious differences’ with Russia and China.”[221]

Trump has argued that a “lack of respect” by the Russians for President Barack Obama encourages the Russians to engage in seemingly hostile air maneuvers against the U.S. in European waters.[222] Trump has stated that the U.S. should open fire on Russian planes if Russia rejects calls to stop the approaches. Secretary of State John Kerry has indicated that the U.S. would be within its rights to do so.[222]

Trump criticized former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev as not having “a firm enough hand” controlling Russia, mentioning China for effectively handling the situation during the Tiananmen Square massacre, saying: “they were horrible, but they put it down with strength. That shows you the power of strength.”[223]

The Politico Magazine in August 2016 wrote that Trump’s stance on Russia’s involvement in Ukraine might have been changed in 2016 as a result of counsel he drew from newcomers to his orbit who were said to be “sympathetic to Russian influence in Ukraine”, such as Paul Manafort, Carter Page, and Henry Kissinger.[224] Manafort formerly provided public relations services to Viktor Yanukovych, the pro-Russian president of Ukraine who was deposed in the 2014 Ukrainian revolution.[225][226][227] In August 2016, the New York Times reported that Manafort received $12.7 million in undisclosed cash payments from Yanukovych’s political party from 2007 to 2012.[228] The Associated Press reported that Manafort secretly routed at least $2.2 million in payments to two prominent Washington lobbying firms in 2012 for Yanukovych’s part, and did so in a way that effectively obscured the foreign political party’s efforts to influence U.S. policy.[229] Manafort joined Trump’s campaign in late March 2016, became campaign chairman in May, took control of Trump’s campaign in June (following the firing of campaign chairman Corey Lewandowski), and resigned from the campaign in August, following scrutiny over his Ukraine ties.[230][231] Another Trump foreign policy advisor, retired Lt. General Michael T. Flynn, appeared in a photograph with Putin at a banquet celebrating the RT network.[225][226][227][232] Richard Burt reportedly helped shape Donald Trump’s first foreign policy speech; Burt was at the same time working as a lobbyist on behalf of a Moscow-controlled gas company.[233]


At the Conservative Political Action Conference in March 2014, Trump stated that Putin was taking “the heart and soul” of Ukraine because he believed Crimea was “where all the money is” and went on to predict “the rest of Ukraine will fall and it’s predicted to fall fairly quickly.”[234] Later that month, Trump stated that the Russian takeover of Crimea “should never have happened.”[234]

In July 2015 Trump opposed U.S. involvement in the Ukrainian crisis (in a rally in July 2016 he implied that this could have led to World War III[235]), describing Crimea as “Europe’s problem.”[236] In July 2016, Trump stated that he would “look into” recognizing Crimea as Russian territory.[237] In a subsequent interview in July 2016, Trump claimed that Putin isn’t going to go into Ukraine, saying “He’s not going into Ukraine, okay, just so you understand. He’s not gonna go into Ukraine, all right? You can mark it down.”[202] When informed that the Russian military has intervened in Ukraine since 2014, Trump responded, “Okay, well, he’s there in a certain way”.[202] In the same interview Trump also again stated he would look “look into” recognizing Crimea as a Russian territory and added to this “You know the people of Crimea, from what I’ve heard, would rather be with Russia than where they were, and you have to look at that also.”[202]

In August 2015 Trump stated he “did not care” about Ukrainian membership in NATO,[238] saying that both membership and non-membership would be “great.”[239]

Speaking to the Yalta European Strategy conference in September 2015, Trump criticized Germany and other European countries for not doing enough to support Ukraine in its conflict with Russia, saying, Ukrainians are “not being treated right.”[238] He also claimed that because Russian President Putin did not respect President Obama Russia had pursued an aggressive policy in Ukraine.[239] In March 2016 Trump again claimed that Germany and other NATO countries “they’re not doing anything” while the U.S. was “doing all of the lifting” even though “Ukraine is a country that affects us far less than it affects other countries in Nato”.[240]


See also: NATO

In his 2000 book, The America We Deserve, Trump argued that European countries used NATO as a pathway to place the burden of international responsibility on the United States while “their conflicts are not worth American lives. Pulling back from Europe would save this country millions of dollars annually.”[239]

In a March 2016 interview with CNN, Trump called for a “rethink” of American involvement in NATO, stating that the United States pays too much to ensure the security of allies, stating that “NATO is costing us a fortune, and yes, we’re protecting Europe with NATO, but we’re spending a lot of money”.[241] Later in the same interview, he stated that the U.S. should not “decrease its role” in NATO but rather should decrease U.S. spending in regards to the organization.[242] In May 2016, based on his previous statements, the Annenberg Public Policy Center‘s FactCheck.org has assessed that Trump might be willing to leave NATO unless changes are made to the alliance.[243]

In a July 2016 interview, Trump “explicitly raised new questions about his commitment to automatically defend NATO allies,” questioning whether he, as president, would automatically extend security guarantees to NATO members.[1] Asked about a prospective Russia attack on NATO’s Baltic members, Trump stated that he would decide whether to come to their aid only after reviewing whether those nations “have fulfilled their obligations to us.”[1] This would represent a sharp break with U.S. foreign traditions.[1][244]

Trump’s remarks on NATO alarmed U.S. allies in Europe as well as experts such as Michael McFaul, who stated that “We have had decades of bipartisan commitment to NATO, which has made it the greatest alliance in history. Trump is now threatening that.”[245] A number of experts said that Trump’s suggested limitations on the collective security (Article 5) provision of the NATO treaty risk unraveling the alliance or making it obsolete.[245]

On September 28, when Trump met with the Polish National Alliance, Trump stated: “As president I will honor Poland’s sacrifices for freedom. We’re committed to a strong Poland, very committed, totally committed, and a strong Eastern Europe as a bulwark for freedom and security.” Along with stating: “We want NATO to be strong which means we want more nations to follow the example of Poland.”[246]

United Nations[edit]

In 2005, Trump praised the United Nations, saying he was “a big fan, a very big fan, of the United Nations and all it stands for”.[247] In March 2016, Trump criticized the United Nations, saying that it was weak, incompetent, and “not a friend of democracy… freedom… the United States… Israel”.[247]

Nuclear proliferation[edit]

Japan and South Korea[edit]

Trump has expressed support for South Korea and Japan having nuclear weapons if they would be unwilling to pay the United States for security.[248][249][250][251] He has also deemed it inevitable, “It’s going to happen anyway. It’s only a question of time. They’re going to start having them or we have to get rid of them entirely.”[248]

Political scientists Gene Gerzhoy and Nick Miller write that the idea the nuclear proliferation is inevitable and good for the United States flies “in the face of a wide range of recent scholarship.”[252] Richard Nephew, a fellow with the Center on Global Energy Policy at Columbia University, states: “The prevailing, bipartisan and fairly settled academic judgment has been that the risk of loose nukes or accidental nuclear war means that every additional nuclear weapon is a potential cataclysm waiting to happen. I’m not aware of anyone that I’d deem to be a serious policy proponent or thinker who has seriously advocated this in a while.”[253]

When asked in a March 2016 interview with The New York Times whether he would object if Japan and South Korea “got their own nuclear arsenal, given the threat that they face from North Korea and China”, Trump said that if the United States could no longer pay for protecting the two states, it could mean that Japan and South Korea would go nuclear.[249] Trump added, “if Japan had that nuclear threat, I’m not sure that would be a bad thing for us.”[249] In an interview with Fox News, Trump said that “maybe they would in fact be better off if they defend themselves from North Korea… including with nukes.”[250] Referring to a Japan armed with nuclear weapons, Trump said, “the case could be made, that let them protect themselves against North Korea. They’d probably wipe them out pretty quick.”[251]

In June 2016, after Hillary Clinton said that Trump had “encouraged” Japan to have nuclear weapons, Trump reversed himself on the issue, saying that he did not favor Japanese acquisition of nuclear weapons and accusing Clinton of misrepresenting his position.[254] PolitiFact reported that Clinton’s statement was “mostly true,” stating that: “Trump used vague and contradictory language, but it’s a fair reading to say his words amounted to encouragement. On more than one occasion, Trump publicly said that Japan, and the United States, might be better off if Japan had nuclear weapons, and he declined multiple attempts by interviewers to backtrack from that view.”[253]

Saudi Arabia[edit]

In March 2016, Anderson Cooper asked, “Saudi Arabia, nuclear weapons?” Trump answered: “Saudi Arabia, absolutely.” Cooper then asked, “You would be fine with them having nuclear weapons?” Trump responded, “No, not nuclear weapons, but they have to protect themselves or they have to pay us.”[248]


Trump has been critical of Pakistan, comparing it to North Korea, calling it “probably the most dangerous country” in the world, and claiming that Pakistan’s nuclear weapons posed a “serious problem.” He has advocated improving relations with India as a supposed “check” to Pakistan.[255]

Other security topics[edit]

Internet and computer security[edit]

Trump said in a December 2015 rally, “We have to see Bill Gates and a lot of different people that really understand what’s happening. We have to talk to them about, maybe in certain areas, closing that Internet up in some ways. Somebody will say, ‘Oh freedom of speech, freedom of speech.’ These are foolish people.”[256][257] In a Republican debate in December 2015, Trump said that the Internet should be shut off to countries that have a majority of their territory controlled by terrorist organizations.[258]

Nuclear weapons[edit]

In his announcement speech, Trump said that the U.S.’s control is getting weaker and that its nuclear arsenal is old and does not work, although he appeared to be unfamiliar with the term “nuclear triad” when asked by Hugh Hewitt in a December 2015 debate what specific improvements he would make.[259] Trump’s answers in the September 28 debate to Lester Holt‘s questions were perceived as being ambiguous and confusing “first strike” and “first use“.[260][261][262]

When asked in a March 2016 town hall meeting with MSNBC’s Chris Matthews whether he would rule out the use of nuclear weapons, Trump answered that the option of using nuclear weapons should never be taken off the table.[263][264][265]

Waterboarding, torture, and interrogation[edit]

During 2016, Trump has called for the resumption of waterboarding,[266][267][268][269][270] and has repeatedly expressed support for the use of torture by the U.S. for the purpose of trying to get information from terrorists,[266][267][271] if Congress allows it.[272][271] On one occasion, Trump has called waterboarding “your minimal form of torture”;[266] on another occasion he has said, “Nobody knows if it’s torture”.[273] Whether waterboarding is torture or not, Trump supports broadening the laws to allow waterboarding.[272][271][274] Many experts believe that waterboarding would be illegal without a change in the laws, including a group of foreign policy experts who published a letter in Foreign Policy magazine to that effect in March 2016.[275]

On the effectiveness of torture, Trump has said: “Don’t tell me it doesn’t work — torture works”[267] and “we have to beat the savages”.[271] Trump has also said:

I’d go through a process and get it declassified [as a war crime], certainly waterboarding at a minimum. They’re chopping off heads of Christians and many other people in the Middle East….They laugh at us when they hear that we’re not going to approve waterboarding … I have no doubt that it does work in terms of information and other things, and maybe not always, but nothing works always.[269][276]

Moreover, he says, if waterboarding “doesn’t work, they deserve it anyway, for what they’re doing”.[277] Trump’s statement that “torture works” runs counter to a 2014 Senate Intelligence Committee report on CIA torture, in which a majority of the committee’s members concluded that the CIA’s use of enhanced interrogation techniques was “not an effective means of acquiring intelligence or gaining cooperation from detainees”.[278] But, there is strong public support for the proposition that torture can be justified to obtain information about terrorism.[279] Many people in the CIA favor interrogation that goes beyond the current limitations in the United States Army Field Manuals, and they find it ironic that the U.S. has softened interrogations of terrorists while increasingly killing them by drone strikes, though others in the CIA are unwilling to risk more fallout from coercive interrogations.[280]

At a Republican primary debate in March 2016, when asked whether the U.S. military would obey orders to torture in violation of international law, Trump stated: “Frankly, when I say they’ll do as I tell them, they’ll do as I tell them”.[272] The following day, Trump said that he would “not order military or other officials to violate those laws and will seek their advice on such matters”.[272] Several weeks later, Trump called for a change in the law to legalize “the waterboarding thing”. Trump referred to those who “came up with this international law” as “eggheads” and said that the current legal limitations were “probably a political decision” rather than based upon military advice.[272][274]

Trump is in favor of sending terrorist suspects to Guantanamo Bay.[281] Trump has said he would like to “load it up with bad dudes.

Health care

According to a report by the RAND Corporation, Trump’s proposed health-care policy proposals, depending on specific elements implemented, would result in between 15 and 25 million fewer people with health insurance and increase the federal deficit in a range from zero to $41 billion in 2018. This was in contrast to Clinton’s proposals, which would expand health insurance coverage for between zero and 10 million people while increasing the deficit in a range from zero to $90 billion in 2018.[173][174] According to the report, low-income individuals and sicker people would be most adversely affected by his proposed policies, although it was pointed out that not all policy proposals have been modeled.[174]

Affordable Care Act and health-care reform

This chart illustrates several aspects of the Affordable Care Act, including coverage, cost, and public opinion.

Coverage rate, employer market cost trends, budgetary impact, and income inequality aspects of the Affordable Care Act.

As the 2016 campaign unfolded, Trump stated that he favors repealing the Affordable Care Act (ACA or “Obamacare”)—which Trump refers to as a “complete disaster”[175]—and replacing it with a “free-market system.”[176] On his campaign website, Trump says, “on day one of the Trump Administration, we will ask Congress to immediately deliver a full repeal of Obamacare.”[177][178] Trump’s campaign has insisted that the candidate has “never supported socialized medicine.”[176]

Trump has cited the rising costs of premiums and deductibles as a motivation to repeal the Affordable Care Act.[179] However, according to a study by the Kaiser Family Foundation, the after-subsidy premium costs to those with insurance coverage via the Affordable Care Act’s exchanges did not change significantly on average from 2016 to 2017, as increases in the subsidies offset pre-subsidy insurance premium increases. For example, after-subsidy costs for a popular “silver plan” remained around $200/month in 2016 and 2017.[180] An estimated 70% of persons on the exchanges could purchase a plan for $75/month after subsidies.[181] Further, in the employer market, health insurance premium cost increases from 2015-2016 were an estimated 3% on average, low by historical standards. While deductibles rose 12% on average from 2015-2016, more workers are pairing higher-deductible plans with tax-preferred health savings accounts (HSAs), offsetting some of the deductible increase (i.e., lowering their effective deductible).[182]

The Congressional Budget Office reported in March 2016 that there were approximately 23 million people with insurance due to the law, with 12 million people covered by the exchanges (10 million of whom received subsidies to help pay for insurance) and 11 million made eligible for Medicaid.[183] The CBO also reported in June 2015 that: “Including the budgetary effects of macroeconomic feedback, repealing the ACA would increase federal budget deficits by $137 billion over the 2016–2025 period.”[184] CBO also estimated that excluding the effects of macroeconomic feedback, repeal of the ACA would increase the deficit by $353 billion over that same period.[184]

In the early part of his campaign, Trump responded to questions about his plan to replace the ACA by saying that it would be “something terrific!”[175][185] Trump subsequently said at various points that he believes that the government should have limited involvement of health care, but has also said that “at the lower end, where people have no money, I want to try and help those people,” by “work[ing] out some sort of a really smart deal with hospitals across the country.”[185] and has said “everybody’s got to be covered.”[175] At a February 2016 town hall on CNN, Trump said that he supported the individual health insurance mandate of the ACA, which requires all Americans to have health insurance, saying “I like the mandate. So here’s where I’m a little bit different [from other Republican candidates].”[186][187] In March 2016, Trump reversed himself, saying that “Our elected representatives must eliminate the individual mandate. No person should be required to buy insurance unless he or she wants to.”[188]

In March 2016, Trump released his health care plan, which called for allowing health-insurance companies to compete across state lines and for making Medicaid into a block grant system for the states. He also called for elimination of the individual mandate for health insurance, for allowing health insurance premiums to be deducted on tax returns, and for international competition in the drug market. In the same document, Trump acknowledged that mental health care in the U.S. is often inadequate but offered no immediate solution to the problem, instead stating that “there are promising reforms being developed in Congress.”[188] Trump also emphasized the removal of market entry barriers for drug providers and improved access to imported medication corresponding to safety standards.[189]

Explaining how he would address the problem of ensuring the people that would lose their insurance coverage if Obamacare were repealed, Trump said, “We have to come up, and we can come up with many different plans. In fact, plans you don’t even know about will be devised because we’re going to come up with plans, — health care plans — that will be so good. And so much less expensive both for the country and for the people. And so much better.”[190] His plan has been criticized by Republican health experts as “a jumbled hodgepodge of old Republican ideas, randomly selected, that don’t fit together” (Robert Laszewski)[191] providing nothing that “would do anything more than cover a couple million people,” (Gail R. Wilensky).[192]

In 1999, during his abortive 2000 Reform Party presidential campaign, told Larry King: “I believe in universal health care.”[176] In his 2000 book, The America We Deserve, Trump reiterated his call for universal health care and focused on a Canadian-style single-payer health care system as a means to achieve it.[176] Though he characterized the Canadian health-care system as “catastrophic in certain ways” in October 2016 during the second presidential debate, the Trump campaign website wrote in June 2015 about his support for “a system that would mirror Canada’s government-run healthcare service” under the title “What does Donald Trump believe? Where the candidate stands on 10 issues”.[193][194] In 2015, Trump also expressed admiration for the Scottish health-care system, which is single payer.[176]

Public health


In 2014, after a New York physician returned from treating Ebola patients in West Africa and showed symptoms of the disease, Trump tweeted that if the doctor had Ebola, “Obama should apologize to the American people & resign!”[195] When the doctor was later confirmed to have developed ebola in New York, Trump tweeted that it was “Obama’s fault” and “I have been saying for weeks for President Obama to stop the flights from West Africa. So simple, but he refused. A TOTAL incompetent!”[196] Trump also criticized President Obama’s decision to send 3,000 U.S. troops to affected regions to help combat the outbreak (see Operation United Assistance).[197]

As Dr. Kent Brantly returned to the U.S. for treatment, Trump tweeted that U.S. doctors who went abroad to treat Ebola were “great” but “must suffer the consequences” if they became infected and insisted that “the U.S. must immediately stop all flights from EBOLA infected countries or the plague will start and spread inside our ‘borders.'”[198] When an Ebola patient was scheduled to come to the U.S. for treatment, Trump tweeted, “now I know for sure that our leaders are incompetent. KEEP THEM OUT OF HERE!”[199]

Trump’s suggestion on the Ebola crisis “would go against all the expert advice being offered,” with doctors warning “that isolating West Africa would only make the Ebola outbreak much worse, potentially denying help and supplies from getting in,” and possibly destabilizing the countries and contributing to the disease’s spread outside West Africa.[197]


On August 3, 2016, Trump called the Zika virus outbreak in Florida “a big problem”.[200] He expressed his support for Florida Governor Rick Scott‘s handling of the crisis, saying that he’s “doing a fantastic job”.[200] When asked if Congress should convene an emergency session to approve Zika funding, Trump answered, “I would say that it’s up to Rick Scott.”[200] On August 11, 2016, Trump said that he was in favor of Congress setting aside money to combat the Zika virus.[201]


Trump believes that childhood vaccinations are related to autism, a hypothesis which has been repeatedly debunked.[202][203] The American Academy of Pediatrics and the Autism Speaks patient-advocacy group have “decried Trump’s remarks as false and potentially dangerous.”[203]

In 2010, the Donald J. Trump Foundation donated $10,000 to Generation Rescue, Jenny McCarthy‘s nonprofit organization that advocates the incorrect view that autism and related disorders are primarily caused by vaccines.[204]


Donald Trump speaking at a rally in Fountain Hills, Arizona, on March 19, 2016

Illegal immigration was a signature issue of Trump’s presidential campaign, and his proposed reforms and controversial remarks about this issue have generated headlines.[3] Trump has also expressed support for a variety of “limits on legal immigration and guest-worker visas,”[3][205] including a “pause” on granting green cards, which Trump says will “allow record immigration levels to subside to more moderate historical averages.”[206][207][208]

Law and order

Capital punishment

Trump has long advocated for capital punishment in the United States.[209] In May 1989, shortly after the Central Park jogger case received widespread media attention, Trump purchased a full-page ad in four New York City newspapers with the title “BRING BACK THE DEATH PENALTY!” Five defendants (the “Central Park Five”) were wrongfully convicted in the case and were subsequently exonerated.[209][210][211][212] By October 2016, Trump still maintained that “Central Park Five” were guilty.[213]

In December 2015, in a speech accepting the endorsement of the New England Police Benevolent Association, Trump said that “One of the first things I do [if elected President] in terms of executive order if I win will be to sign a strong, strong statement that will go out to the country, out to the world, that … anybody killing a police officer—death penalty. It’s going to happen, O.K.?”[214][215][216][217] However, under the current U.S. legal system, these prosecutions usually take place in state court under state law, and the president has no authority over such cases.[209][218] Furthermore, 19 states have abolished the death penalty, and mandatory death sentences are unconstitutional, as held by the Supreme Court in Woodson v. North Carolina (1976).[209][218]

Criminal justice

As of May 2016, Trump’s campaign website makes no mention of criminal justice reform, and Trump rarely talks specifics.[219][220] Trump has stated that he would be “tough on crime” and criticized Barack Obama’s and Hillary Clinton’s criminal justice reform proposals.[221] When asked about specific criminal justice reforms, Trump reportedly often changes the subject back to supporting police or vague answers about needing to be “tough.”[220] In January 2016, Trump said that along with veterans, “the most mistreated people in this country are police.”[222]

Trump supports the use of “stop and frisk” tactics, of the kind once used in New York City.[223][224] In 2000, Trump also rejected as elitist and naive the arguments of criminal justice reformers that the U.S. criminal justice system puts too many criminals in jail.[219] Trump is in favor of at least one mandatory sentence, where using a gun to commit a crime results in a five-year sentence.[220][225]

Trump has on several occasions asserted that crime is rising in the United States.[219][226][227][228][229][230] Trump’s assertion that crime is rising is false; in fact, both violent crime and property crime have been consistently declining in the U.S. since the early 1990s.[231] Trump’s claim that “inner-city crime is reaching record levels” received a “pants-on-fire” rating from PolitiFact.[227]

In May 2016, Trump stated that the cities of Oakland and Ferguson are “among the most dangerous in the world”.[232] In response, CBS News in San Francisco reported that the murder rates in Oakland and Baghdad are comparable,[233] but PolitiFact rated Trump’s claim false given that “homicide rates alone are not enough to gauge whether a city is dangerous or not”.[234]

On November 22, 2015, Trump retweeted a graphic with purported statistics—cited to a nonexistent “Crime Statistics Bureau”—which claimed that African Americans were responsible for 81% of the homicides of White Americans and that police were responsible for 1% of black homicides compared to 4% of white homicides. Trump’s retweet earned PolitiFact’s “Pants on Fire” rating and was called “grossly inaccurate” by FactCheck.org the next day.[235][236] Blacks were actually responsible for only 15% of white homicides according to FBI data for 2014.[235] The breakdown of the racial differences in police killings in Trump’s retweet was also inaccurate. Based on the percentages, the number of whites killed by police would be almost 4 times greater than the number of blacks. Data from the Washington Post for 2009 to 2013 showed a ratio of 1.5 white deaths by police for each black death.[235] A separate estimate by Peter Moskos, associate professor at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice attributed 10% of white homicides to police and 4% to police for blacks.[236] When asked about the statistics, Trump maintained that the statistics came “from sources that are very credible.”[236]

Drug policy

Trump’s views on drug policy have shifted dramatically over time.[237]

At a luncheon hosted by the Miami Herald in April 1990, Trump told a crowd of 700 people that U.S. drug enforcement policy was a “a joke,” and that: “We’re losing badly the war on drugs. You have to legalize drugs to win that war. You have to take the profit away from these drug czars.”[238][239]

In his campaign for the presidency in 2015 and 2016, however, Trump adopted “drug warrior” positions[238] and has sought advice on the issue from William J. Bennett, who served as the U.S. first “drug czar” in the 1980s “and has remained a proponent of harsh 1980s-style drug war tactics.”[240] Trump told Sean Hannity in June 2015 that he opposes marijuana legalization and that “I feel strongly about that.”[238] Trump also claims to have personally never used controlled substances of any kind.[238]

Trump has voiced support for medical marijuana,[238] saying that he is “a hundred percent in favor” because “I know people that have serious problems… and… it really, really does help them.”[241] When asked about Colorado (where recreational use of marijuana is legal), Trump softened his previously expressed views and essentially said that states should be able to decide on whether marijuana for recreational purposes should be legal.[238][242]

Gun regulation

In his 2000 book The America We Deserve, Trump wrote that he generally opposed gun control, but supported the ban on assault weapons and supported a “slightly longer waiting period to purchase a gun.”[243][244][245][246] In his book, Trump also criticized the gun lobby, saying: “The Republicans walk the N.R.A. line and refuse even limited restrictions.”[246] In 2008, Trump opposed hunting-education classes in schools and called the “thought of voluntarily putting guns in the classroom… a really bad plan.”[247]

Trump has since reversed some of his positions on gun issues, and while campaigning for the presidency in 2015 and 2016 has called for the expansion of gun rights.[246] Trump has proposed eliminating prohibitions on assault weapons, military-style weapons and high-capacity magazines (which Trump described as “scary sounding phrases” used by gun control advocates “to confuse people”), as well as making concealed carry permits valid nationwide, rather than on the current state-to-state basis.[243] Trump has said that concealed carry “is a right, not a privilege.”[243] He has called for an overhaul of the current federal background check system, arguing that “Too many states are failing to put criminal and mental health records into the system.”[243][248]

On the campaign trail, Trump has praised the National Rifle Association (NRA),[249] and received the group’s endorsement after becoming the presumptive Republican nominee.[250] Trump has described himself as a staunch advocate of the Second Amendment.[244][251] Trump has asserted that the presence of more guns in schools and public places could have stopped mass shootings such as those in Paris, San Bernardino, California, and Umpqua Community College.[249][252] In June 2016, Trump stated that, “it would have been a beautiful, beautiful sight” to see Omar Mateen shot in the head by an armed patron in the Pulse nightclub shooting, reiterating his stance that more people should be armed in public places.[253]A few days later, after two top officials of the NRA challenged the notion that drinking clubgoers should be armed, Trump reversed his position, saying that he “obviously” meant that additional guards or employees should have been armed in the nightclub.[254][255]

In January 2016, Trump said: “I will get rid of gun-free zones on schools, and — you have to — and on military bases… My first day, it gets signed, okay? My first day. There’s no more gun-free zones.”[256] Trump could not eliminate gun-free school zones by executive order, however, since such zones were created by a federal law that can only be reversed by Congress.[246] In May 2016, Trump made ambiguous comments on guns in classrooms, saying: “I don’t want to have guns in classrooms. Although, in some cases, teachers should have guns in classrooms.”[257] In May 2016, Trump accused Hillary Clinton of lying when she claimed that “Donald Trump would force schools to allow guns in classrooms on his first day in office.”[258] According to the Washington Post fact-checker, Clinton’s statement was accurate.[259]

Trump supports barring people on the government’s terrorist watch list from purchasing weapons, saying in 2015: “If somebody is on a watch list and an enemy of state and we know it’s an enemy of state, I would keep them away, absolutely.”[246] This is one position where Trump departs from the position of gun-rights groups and most of his Republican rivals for the presidency and supports a stance backed by Senate Democrats.[246]

In 2015, Trump said that he holds a New York concealed carry permit[243][260] and that “I carry on occasion, sometimes a lot. I like to be unpredictable.”[260] A 1987 Associated Press story said that he held a handgun permit at that time.[243]

Security personnel and other staffers at a number of Trump’s hotels and golf courses told ABC News that patrons are not permitted to carry guns on the property. A Trump spokesman denied this, saying that licensed persons are permitted to carry guns on the premises.[261]

At a rally on August 9, 2016, Trump accused his opponent of wanting to “essentially abolish the Second Amendment”, and went on: “By the way, and if she gets to pick her judges, nothing you can do, folks. Although the Second Amendment people, maybe there is, I don’t know.” These comments were interpreted by critics as suggesting violence against Clinton or her appointees, but Trump’s campaign stated that he was referring to gun rights advocates’ “great political power” as a voting bloc.[262]


According to the New York Times, many of Trump’s statements on legal topics are “extemporaneous and resist conventional legal analysis,” with some appearing “to betray ignorance of fundamental legal concepts.”[39]

Supreme Court

Trump has stated that he wants to replace Antonin Scalia on the U.S. Supreme Court with “a person of similar views and principles”.[263] He has released a list of eleven potential picks to replace Scalia.[264] The jurists are widely considered to be conservative.[264][265][266][267] All are white, and eight of the eleven are men.[265] The list includes five out of the eight individuals recommended by the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank.[268] Trump had previously insisted that he would seek guidance from conservative groups such as the Federalist Society and the Heritage Foundation when it came to picking Supreme Court candidates.[265] Several of the judges listed by Trump have questioned abortion rights.[265] Six of the eleven judges have clerked for conservative Supreme Court justices.[265]

Trump has claimed that he “would probably appoint” justices to the Supreme Court who “would look very seriously” at the Hillary Clinton email controversy “because it’s a criminal activity.”[269] However, under the U.S. Constitution, Supreme Court justices “are neither investigators nor prosecutors.”[39]

Trump has criticized Chief Justice of the United States John Roberts, a George W. Bush appointee, as a “nightmare for conservatives,” citing Roberts’ vote in the 2015 decision in King v. Burwell, which upheld provisions of the Affordable Care Act.[270] He has also blamed Roberts for the June 2015 Supreme Court ruling legalizing same-sex marriage, apparently in error, since in that case Roberts actually dissented from the majority opinion.[271]

In February 2016, Trump called on the Senate to stop Obama from filling the vacant seat on the Supreme Court.[272]

An analysis by FiveThirtyEight shows that, under the assumption that Scalia’s vacant seat on the Court will not be filled, and taking account of the advanced age of three of the sitting justices, that a Trump presidency would move the Supreme Court “rightward toward its most conservative position in recent memory”.[273]

Term limits and ethics regulations

In October 2016, Trump said that he would push for a constitutional amendment to impose term limits on members of Congress, so that members of the House of Representatives could serve for a maximum of six years and Senators for a maximum of twelve years. Trump also pledged to re-institute a ban on executive branch officials from lobbying for five years after leaving government service and said that he supported Congress instituting a similar five-year lobbying ban of its own, applicable to former members and staff.[274][275][276][277] Under current “cooling-off period” regulations, former U.S. Representatives are required to wait one year before they can lobby Congress, former U.S. Senators are required to two years, and former executive-branch officials “must wait either two years or one year before lobbying their former agency, depending on how senior they were.”[277]

Video game violence

Trump has voiced his opposition to video game violence. After it was reported that the Sandy Hook shooter frequently played violent video games, Trump tweeted, “Video game violence & glorification must be stopped—it is creating monsters!”[278][279]

Science and technology

See also Climate change and pollution, above.

A 2016 report in Scientific American graded Trump and three other top presidential candidates—Hillary Clinton, Gary Johnson, and Jill Stein—on science policy, based on their responses to a twenty-question ScienceDebate.org survey. Trump “came in last on all counts” in grading, with scientists and researchers faulting him for a lack of knowledge or appreciation of scientific issues.[280]


As of October 2016, one of Trump’s policy advisors declared that, under Trump, NASA would recreate National Space Council, pursue a goal of “human exploration of the solar system by the end of the century,” to drive technology developments to a stronger degree than a manned mission to Mars. Other goals would include shifting budget to deep space exploration from Earth science and climate research, pursuit of small satellites and hypersonic technology.[281] A possibility of China joining International Space Station is also considered.[281] A stronger role of manned Lunar exploration is possible in NASA’s quest for a manned mission to Mars.[281] Prior to that statement, the Trump campaign appeared to have little to no space policy at all.[282]

Technology and net neutrality

As of June 2016, Trump has published no tech policy proposals.[283] On the campaign trail, Trump has frequently antagonized Silicon Valley figures,[284] using his Twitter account to lambast tech leaders such as Jeff Bezos of Amazon, Tim Cook of Apple, and Brian Chesky of Airbnb over a series of months.[283] He is particularly concerned about the social breakdown of American culture caused by technology, and said, “the Internet and the whole computer age is really a mixed bag.”[285][286]

Trump is opposed to net neutrality, asserting that it is “Obama’s attack on the internet” and saying that it “will target the conservative media.”[287]

The tech publication Recode reports that Trump has made no public statements on the issues of patent reform or broadband access.[284]

The Free Press Action Fund, a group of tech policy activists, rated Trump the worst 2016 presidential candidate for “citizens’ digital lives,” citing his positions opposing reforming the Patriot Act, favoring Internet censorship, and opposing net neutrality.

Social policy of Donald Trump


Trump’s views on abortion have changed significantly between 1999 when he was “very” pro-choice and would neither ban abortion nor “partial-birth abortion“, and his 2016 presidential campaign where he repeatedly described himself as pro-life (more specifically “pro-life with exceptions”), suggested that women who have abortions should face some sort of punishment (a view he quickly retracted), and pledged to appoint pro-life justices to the Supreme Court.[15][16][17][18][19][20][21]

In October 1999, Trump said, “I am very pro-choice” and “I believe in choice.”[18] He said that he hated the “concept of abortion,” but would not ban abortion or the procedure sometimes called “partial-birth abortion.”[18] Later that year, Trump gave interviews stating “I’m totally pro-choice” and “I want to see the abortion issue removed from politics. I believe it is a personal decision that should be left to the women and their doctors.”[15]

While campaigning for the presidency in 2016, Trump stated “I’m pro-life and I’ve been pro-life a long time” and acknowledged that he had “evolved” on the issue.[16] CNN reported that Trump “dodged questions testing the specificity of those views.”[16] In August 2015, Trump said that he supported a government shutdown over federal funding for Planned Parenthood (which receives federal funding for the health services it provides to 2.7 million people annually, but is barred by federal law from using federal funds for abortion-related procedures).[22] In March 2016, Trump said that Planned Parenthood should not be funded “as long as you have the abortion going on,” but acknowledged that “Planned Parenthood has done very good work for many, many — for millions of women.”[23] Planned Parenthood said in a statement that “Trump presidency would be a disaster for women” and criticized Trump’s claim that “he’d be great for women while in the same breath pledging to block them from accessing care at Planned Parenthood.”[23]

In an interview later that month, Trump acknowledged that there must be “some form” of punishment for women if abortion were made illegal in the U.S. Trump issued a statement later that day reversing his position from earlier by saying, “the doctor or any other person performing this illegal act upon a woman would be held legally responsible, not the woman.”[20][24][25] Trump has said that abortion should be legal in cases involving “rape, incest or the life of the mother being at risk.”[17]

In May 2016, when asked if he would appoint Supreme Court justices who would overturn Roe v. Wade, Trump stated: “Well, they’ll be pro-life. And we’ll see about overturning, but I will appoint judges that will be pro-life.” In the same interview, Trump stated of the anti-abortion cause: “I will protect it, and the biggest way you can protect is through the Supreme Court.”[19] The Susan B. Anthony List, an anti-abortion group, praised Trump’s list of potential Supreme Court nominees as “exceptionally strong,” while the abortion-rights group NARAL Pro-Choice America called the candidates on the list “a woman’s worst nightmare.”[26] Trump has also pledged to sign legislation from Congress banning abortion at the 20-week mark.[27]

In his first interview following his designation as president-elect, Trump affirmed his pledge to appoint pro-life Supreme Court justices. He said that if Roe v. Wade were overturned, the issue would be returned to the states, and that if some states outlawed abortion, a woman seeking an abortion might “have to go to another state”.[28]


Trump has on several occasions suggested that Christians are being discriminated against, for instance, stating that “Christianity is under tremendous siege.”[29] He has vowed to end an IRS rule that prohibits tax-exempted non-profits from campaigning on behalf of candidates, believing the rule undermines Christian influence in U.S. politics: “we have more Christians than we have men or women in our country and we don’t have a lobby because they’re afraid to have a lobby because they don’t want to lose their tax status… So I am going to work like hell to get rid of that prohibition and we’re going to have the strongest Christian lobby and it’s going to happen.”[30][31] Trump has suggested that he is being audited by the IRS “maybe because of the fact that I’m a strong Christian.”[32] He has suggested that he would have an easier time getting a ban on Christian immigrants passed than one on Muslims.[29]

Trump has been critical of department stores that do not greet their customers with “merry Christmas”, stating that things will change if he gets elected president: “I’ll tell you one thing: I get elected president, we’re going to be saying ‘merry Christmas’ again. Just remember that.”[29]

Family leave[edit]

In October 2015, Trump stated that “you have to be careful with” paid family leave as it could impact keeping “our country very competitive”.[33] However, in several policy proposals which were created in part by his daughter Ivanka in September of that year, Trump guaranteed six weeks paid maternity leave to mothers who do not already receive leave from their employers[34] in the first paid maternity leave plan from a Republican presidential nominee.[35] However, Trump’s proposals were criticized by opponents as hypocritical in light of Trump’s previous comments on women,[36] and for being sexist in assuming that women were their children’s sole caregivers.[34] Josh Levs in Time magazine wrote that “Policies that only allow women time off end up hurting women by pushing women to stay home and men to stay at work, reinforcing our anachronistic Mad Men-era work cultures.”[37]

First Amendment and defamation law[edit]

Trump has called for police to arrest those who protest at his rallies, saying that fear of an “arrest mark” that would “ruin the rest of their lives” would be a deterrent and that then “we’re not going to have any more protesters, folks.”[38] Geoffrey R. Stone, a professor at the University of Chicago Law School, notes that opponents and disruptive individuals may be removed from Trump rallies consistent with the First Amendment, but opponents have a First Amendment right to protest Trump outside the venue.[39] Stone writes that it is unclear whether it would be consistent with the First Amendment for Trump to “order the removal of those who oppose his candidacy from his political rallies if he does not announce in advance that they are open only to his supporters,” noting that the answer to this question depends not on the First Amendment, but on the nature of open invitations in the law of trespass.[39]

Trump has said that if elected, he would loosen defamation laws so that when journalists write “purposely negative and horrible and false articles, we can sue them and win lots of money.” The Associated Press reported that this proposal to weaken the First Amendment protections for the press is at odds with “widely held conceptions of constitutional law.” The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press and other First Amendment advocates condemned Trump’s proposal, which would make it easier to win lawsuits accusing newspapers of libel.[40]

Trump has expressed support for adopting English-style defamation laws in the U.S.; under UK law, it is easier for plaintiffs to sue newspapers and other media outlets.[41][42] In 2016, the American Bar Association (ABA)’s committee on media law created a report that was critical of Trump’s support for expansive defamation laws and his use of libel suits in the past. The committee concluded that Trump was “a ‘libel bully’ who had filed many meritless suits attacking his opponents and had never won in court.”[43] The ABA’s leadership blocked the report from being issued; the organization did not contest the committee’s conclusions, but expressed concern about the possibility of being sued by Trump.[43]

On the campaign trail in 2015 and 2016, Trump has frequently “railed against” the press, referring to the media as “the most dishonest people” and “absolute scum.”[44] The Trump campaign has barred reporters (from Politico, The New York Times, The Des Moines Register, The Huffington Post, and Univision, among others) from its campaign events, “often in the wake of critical coverage.”[44] In October 2016, NBC News reportedly held off on airing a video of Trump making lewd and disparaging remarks about women due to concerns that Trump would sue the network.[45]

Gender pay gap[edit]

According to the Chicago Tribune, Trump has not addressed the gender pay gap in his 2016 presidential bid (as of July 2016).[46] According to the Tribune, “Trump’s past statements on women in the workplace have included calling pregnancy ‘an inconvenience’ and telling a voter in New Hampshire last year that women will receive the same pay as men ‘if they do as good a job.'”[46]

LGBT issues[edit]

Rea Carey, the executive director of the National LGBTQ Task Force, has described Trump’s public statements on LGBT issues as “confusing and conflicting.”[47] During his campaign for the presidency, Trump did not emphasize the issue and at times gave ambiguous answers.[48][49] Within the Republican Party, Trump was viewed as having a more accepting view of LGBT people.[48] Trump said that he was a supporter of “traditional marriage” but that the decision on whether to allow same-sex couples to marry should be determined state by state.[50] At one point in the campaign, Trump said that “he would ‘strongly consider’ appointing Supreme Court justices who would overturn same-sex marriage.” Later in the campaign, he held a rainbow flag onstage to appeal to his gay supporters.[47] Soon after his election, Trump said that the law on same-sex marriage was settled “and I’m fine with that.”[50]

LGBT anti-discrimination laws[edit]

In a February 2000 interview with The Advocate, Trump said he supported amending the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to include the category of sexual orientation and supported federal hate crime legislation that would cover sexual orientation.[51]

Trump has offered qualified support for the First Amendment Defense Act, which aims to protect those who oppose same-sex marriage based on their religious beliefs from action by the federal government, such as revocation of tax-exempt status, grants, loans, benefits, or employment.[52] Trump said, “If Congress considers the First Amendment Defense Act a priority, then I will do all I can to make sure it comes to my desk for signatures and enactment.”[53][54]

In April 2015, when asked about the Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act, Trump responded that Indiana Governor (and future running mate) Mike Pence “didn’t do a good job. He wasn’t clear in what he said.” Trump then asserted that religious freedom and nondiscrimination aren’t “mutually exclusive.”[55]

In April 2016, Trump criticized North Carolina’s North Carolina House Bill 2, which eliminates all private employment and public accommodation anti-discrimination laws not covered by statewide law, and legislates that in government buildings, individuals may only use restrooms and changing facilities that correspond to the sex on their birth certificates, saying: “North Carolina did something that was very strong and they’re paying a big price. … You leave it the way it is. There have been very few complaints the way it is. People go, they use the bathroom they feel is appropriate, there has been so little trouble, and the problem with what happened in North Carolina is the strife, and the economic punishment that they’re taking.”[56][57] Trump stated: “I fully understand if they [North Carolina] want to go through, but they are losing business and they are having a lot of people come out against.”[58] The bill is controversial because it prevents transgender people who do not or cannot alter their birth certificates from using the restroom consistent with their gender identity.[59][60][61][62] Later that April, Trump took the position that states have the right to enact such legislation and that the federal government should not become involved.[63] He did not express an opinion on whether the law was right or wrong.[58] In July 2016, Trump again emphasized a states’ rights approach regarding HB2,[64][65] saying, “The state, they know what’s going on, they see what’s happening and generally speaking I’m with the state on things like this. I’ve spoken with your governor, I’ve spoken with a lot of people and I’m going with the state.”[64][63]

On January 30, 2017, Donald Trump and the White House saying that they would keep in place a 2014 executive order from the Obama administration which created federal workplace protections for LGBT people, with the White House released a statement saying that the President was “respectful and supportive of LGBTQ rights” and noted that he was the first Republican nominee to raise the issue in his acceptance speech as the 2016 Republican National Convention.[66]

LGBT hate crime laws[edit]

In a February 2000 interview with The Advocate, Trump stated in response to the murder of Matthew Shepard and James Byrd that he wanted a more “tolerant society” and he would “absolutely” support hate crime legislation on the basis of their race, ethnicity, and sexual orientation.[67]

LGBT military service[edit]

In an October 1999 appearance on Meet the Press, Trump said gays openly serving in the military was “not something that would disturb me.”[18] At a rally in October 2016, Trump called the open military service of transgender Americans a result of a “political correct military” and said that he would “very strongly” defer to the recommendations of top military officers on the issue of transgender military personnel.[68]

Same-sex marriage[edit]

In 2000, Trump stated “he believes that marriage is between a man and a woman.”[48] During his 2016 campaign for the presidency, he said that he supported “traditional marriage”[69] and oppose same-sex marriage.[70]

In June 2015, when asked about the Obergefell v. Hodges ruling, he said: “I would have preferred states, you know, making the decision and I let that be known. But they made the decision. … So, at a certain point you have to be realistic about it.”[71] Later, in the run up to the Iowa caucuses on February 1, 2016, Trump stated that if elected he would strongly consider appointing Supreme Court justices that would overturn Obergefell.[72][73] When asked if gay couples should be able access the same benefits as married couples, Trump said that his “attitude on it has not been fully formed.”[74] The Advocate, an American LGBT-interest magazine, characterized Trump’s Supreme Court picks as “LGBT-unfriendly,” noting that “not all have ruled in LGBT rights cases, but those who have are largely unsympathetic, and some have the backing of anti-LGBT activists.”[75]

In November 2016, shortly after the presidential election, Trump told Lesley Stahl on 60 Minutes that his personal view on same-sex marriage was “irrelevant” and that he was “fine with” same-sex marriage, stating that the issue was “settled” in the Obergefell decision.[50][76]

Other statements[edit]

Trump is the first Republican presidential nominee to mention the LGBT community at a Republican National Convention acceptance speech,[77] saying in his acceptance speech at the 2016 Republican National Convention: “As your president, I will do everything in my power to protect our LGBTQ citizens from the violence and oppression of a hateful foreign ideology”—a reference to fundamentalist Islam.[78]

Internet Safety[edit]

In July 2016, as a Presidential candidate ,Trump signed a pledge authored by Enough Is Enough, an American non-profit organization whose stated purpose is to make the Internet safer for families and children. The pledge asks Presidential nominees to uphold the rule of law by aggressively enforcing existing federal laws to prevent the sexual exploitation of children online.[79][80] In the pledge, he promised to “give serious consideration to appointing a Presidential Commission to examine the harmful public health impact of Internet pornography on youth, families and the American culture and the prevention of the sexual exploitation of children in the digital age.”[80]

Privacy, encryption, and electronic surveillance[edit]

On National Security Agency (NSA) surveillance, Trump says that he “tends to err on the side of security” over privacy. Trump supports bringing back now-expired provisions of the Patriot Act to allow for the NSA to collect and store bulk telephone metadata.[81][82] Trump said: “I assume that when I pick up my telephone, people are listening to my conversations anyway.”[82]

In February 2016, Trump urged his supporters to boycott Apple Inc. unless the company agrees to build a custom backdoor for the FBI to unlock the password-protected iPhone connected to one of the perpetrators of the 2015 San Bernardino shooting, a move that Apple argues would threaten the security and privacy of its users.[83] Trump himself still uses his iPhone to send out tweets.[84]

Race relations[edit]

Trump has criticized the Black Lives Matter movement and accuses President Obama of “dividing America.”[85] Trump has said that if elected president, he might direct his Attorney General to look into the Black Lives Matter movement.[86] When asked if he believes there to be a racial divide in America, Trump answered, “Sadly, there would seem to be…and it’s probably not been much worse at any time.”[87] When asked if he believes police treat African Americans differently than whites, Trump answered, “It could be.”[87] Trump describes the police killings of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile as “tough to watch” and criticized the “terrible, disgusting performance” by police.[85] Trump said that he could relate to the systemic bias African Americans faced against whites, saying, “even against me the system is rigged when I ran … for president.” When asked if he could understand the experience of being African American, Trump replied, “I would like to say yes, but you really can’t unless you are African American. You can’t truly understand what’s going on unless you are African American. I would like to say yes, however.”[88]

Surveillance of American Muslims[edit]

On November 19, 2015, a week after the November 2015 Paris attacks, when asked if he would implement a database system to track Muslims in the United States, Trump said: “I would certainly implement that. Absolutely. There should be a lot of systems, beyond databases. We should have a lot of systems.”[89] On November 21, Trump clarified that he doesn’t support any registry of Muslims in the US and said that his earlier supportive remarks for surveilling Muslims were due to efforts by news media to entrap him. He however said that he would order “surveillance of certain mosques” to combat “Islamic extremism“.[90][91] Trump said, “We’ve had it before and we’ll have it again”, alluding to the New York Police Department’s use of informants in mosques after the Sept. 11 attacks.[90] Trump also spoke in favor of a database on Syrian refugees without clarifying how it would be different from the records already kept by federal agencies.[90] Trump’s support for a database of American Muslims “drew sharp rebukes from his Republican presidential rivals and disbelief from legal experts.”[92] Trump justified his proposals by repeatedly saying that he recalled “thousands and thousands of people … cheering” in Jersey City, New Jersey, when the World Trade Center towers fell on September 11, 2001.[91][93] PolitiFact noted that this statement was false and gave it a “Pants on Fire” rating. It reported that the rating was based on some debunked rumors and also that there were only eight people (suggested by unproven media reports) purported to be seen cheering, as opposed to Trump’s claim of “thousands and thousands”.[94][92][95][96] Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop called Trump’s claim “absurd” and said that Trump “has memory issues or willfully distorts the truth.”[97]

Rights of the accused[edit]

In a 1989 interview with Larry King, Trump stated: “The problem with our society is the victim has absolutely no rights and the criminal has unbelievable rights” and that “maybe hate is what we need if we’re gonna get something done.”[98]

In 2016, Trump decried the fact that Ahmad Khan Rahami, a U.S. citizen charged in connection with the bombings in New York and New Jersey, would be provided with medical treatment and the right to counsel, calling this “sad.”[99][100]

At the second presidential debate, which took place in October 2016, Trump said that if he was “in charge of the law of our country,” rival presidential contender Hillary Clinton would “be in jail.”[101] In the same debate, Trump also pledged that if elected, he would direct his attorney general to appoint a special prosecutor to “look into” Clinton.[101] Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook called the remark “chilling” and said: “Trump thinks that the presidency is like some banana republic dictatorship where you can lock up your political opponents.”[101] The remark was viewed as part of “a litany of statements [Trump] has made during the campaign that many legal specialists have portrayed as a threat to the rule of law.”[102] The remark was condemned by a number of prominent Republican lawyers, such as Paul K. Charlton, Marc Jimenez, and Peter Zeidenberg,[103] as well as David B. Rivkin and Michael Chertoff.[102] Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway said that the “jail” comment was merely “a quip.”[103]

Later that October, Trump spoke fondly of the “Lock her up” chants at his rally, saying “Lock her up is right.”[104] He also said that Clinton’s legal representatives “have to go to jail”.[105] However, in November, after the election, Trump told repoters from the New York Times that he would not recommend prosecution of Clinton, saying that it was “just not something (he) feel(s) very strongly about” and suggesting that Clinton had “suffered greatly”.[106] He repeated this stance in public at a rally in Michigan the following month, responding to “Lock her up” chants from the crowd by saying: “That plays great before the election – now we don’t care, right?”.[107]

Trying U.S. citizens in military tribunals[edit]

In August 2016, Trump said that he “would be fine” with trying U.S. citizens accused of terrorism in military tribunals at the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba.[108] Under current federal law (specifically, the Military Commissions Act of 2006), trying U.S. citizens at military commissions is illegal; only “alien unlawful enemy combatants” may be tried in such commissions.[108][109]

Use of torture to procure information[edit]

In February 2016, Trump said that he approved of the use of waterboarding and “a hell of a lot worse.”[13] He said that “torture works” and called waterboarding a “minor form” of torture. Speaking with Sean Hannity on Fox News on January 26, 2017, Trump termed waterboarding “just short of torture,” and said, “I will tell you, though, it works. And I just spoke to people who told me it worked, and that’s what they do.” However, he said that he would rely on the advice of his defense secretary, James Mattis and others and, “If they don’t wanna do, that’s fine. If they do wanna do, then I will work for that end.” [110]

Voter fraud, voter ID laws, and allegations of “rigged elections”[edit]

Trump opposes same-day voter registration, supports voter identification laws, asserted that Obama won in 2012 due to voter fraud, has charged that the election system would be rigged against him in the 2016 race, and has equivocated on whether he would accept the outcome of the 2016 election.

Trump has asserted that America’s “voting system is out of control,” alleging that “you have people, in my opinion, that are voting many, many times,” even though the number of cases of voter fraud in the U.S. is minuscule.[111] Trump opposes same-day voter registration, alleging that this allows non-citizens to vote in U.S. elections and that voting laws should prevent people from “[sneaking] in through the cracks.”[112] PolitiFact ruled Trump’s claim about voter fraud false, noting that according to experts, “there is no additional risk of noncitizens casting ballots in states with same-day voter registration, nor is there any evidence that this occurs.”[112]

While he has repeatedly charged during his candidacy that the election system is rigged against him, Trump’s statements became bolder and more specific in August 2016.[113] He alleged that the only way he would only lose Pennsylvania if “cheating goes on”, and that voters will cast their ballots “15 times” for Clinton without voter ID laws.[113] The Wall Street Journal notes that several voter ID laws have been struck down in several states recently, with courts ruling that they unfairly discriminate against minority voters, and that “there is no evidence of widespread voter fraud occurring in recent U.S. elections.”[113] According to Dartmouth political scientist Brendan Nyhan, Trump’s rhetoric “threatens the norms of American elections and could provoke a damaging reaction among his supporters.”[114]

In the September 2016 presidential debate, when asked if he would honor the outcome of the election, Trump said that he “absolutely” would.[115][116] Four days later, Trump appeared to have reconsidered his statement from the debate, saying “We’re going to have to see. We’re going to see what happens. We’re going to have to see.”[115][116] In early- and mid-October 2016, Trump repeatedly claimed that the election was rigged, alleging media coordination with the Clinton campaign, citing Saturday Night Live as an example of the aforementioned rigged media, and alleging that “The election is absolutely being rigged… at many polling places” even though no polling places had opened.[117][118] That same month, Trump asserted that the federal government was allowing illegal immigrants to come into the U.S. so they can vote.[119]Later that October, Trump attacked Republicans who disagreed with his assertion that the election was rigged, saying “Of course there is large scale voter fraud happening on and before election day. Why do Republican leaders deny what is going on? So naive!”[120] PolitiFact found Trump’s claim of “large scale voter fraud” false, giving it a “Pants-on-fire” rating.[121]

Trump has claimed that “dead people voted for President Obama” and that “dead voters… helped get President Obama elected.”[122][123][124] On election night 2012, Trump expressed skepticism about Obama’s victory, saying, among other things, “This election is a total sham and a travesty. We are not a democracy!”[125][126][127]

After his election in November 2016, in which he won the electoral college but received 2.8 million fewer votes nationally than Clinton, Trump repeatedly insisted that he actually won the popular vote if one excludes “3 to 5 million illegal votes” cast for his opponent.[128] After reporters challenged the claim, Trump said he would launch a major investigation into allegations of voter fraud.[129]

Women in the military[edit]

In 2013, Trump questioned the wisdom of allowing women to serve, linking gender-integrated forces with higher rates of sexual assault “26,000 unreported sexual assults in the military-only 238 convictions. What did these geniuses expect when they put men & women together?”[130][131][132][133][134][135] In 2014, Trump stated that it was “bedlam” to bring women into the army.[133] In August 2015, Trump said he would support women in combat roles “because they’re really into it and some of them are really, really good.”[136]

Executive Order 13780 & 13769

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Executive Order 13769, titled Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States, was an executive order issued by United States President Donald Trump in effect, except to the extent blocked by various courts, from January 27, 2017 until March 16, 2017, the effective date of Executive Order 13780. Executive Order 13769 lowered the number of refugees to be admitted into the United States in 2017 to 50,000, suspended the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP) for 120 days, suspended the entry of Syrian refugees indefinitely, directed some cabinet secretaries to suspend entry of those whose countries do not meet adjudication standards under U.S. immigration law, and included exceptions on a case-by-case basis. Homeland Security lists these countries as Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen.[1]Immediately, there were numerous protests and legal challenges. A nationwide temporary restraining order (TRO) was issued on February 3, 2017 in the case Washington v. Trump, which was upheld by the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit on February 9, 2017. Consequently, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) stopped enforcing portions of the order and the State Department re-validated visas that had been previously revoked. The order was criticized by members of Congress from both parties, universities, business leaders, Catholic bishops, top United Nations officials, a group of 40 Nobel laureates, Jewish organizations, 1,000 U.S. diplomats who signed a dissent cable, thousands of academics, and longstanding U.S. allies. The order was criticized because it was seen by many as a “Muslim ban” and because of its human impact on travelers and visa holders. More than 700 travelers were detained[2] and up to 60,000 visas were “provisionally revoked”.


Executive Order 13780
Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States
Seal of the President of the United States
Type Executive Order
Executive Order number 13780
Signed by Donald Trump on March 6, 2017

Provisions and effect[edit]

At 12:01am EDT on March 16, 2017, Executive Order 13780 revoked and replaced Executive Order 13769.[2] Sections 2 and 6 were enjoined by Judge Watson’s temporary restraining order in Hawaii v. Trump before they could take effect.[3][4] Among other things, Section 6 would set the number of admissible refugees and Section 2 would prohibit immigration from six countries. Section 15(a) contemplates that even if part(s) of the executive order are held invalid, other parts of the order still go into effect.[5] The order would reduce the number of refugees to be admitted into the United States (in 2017) to 50,000 and suspend the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP) for 120 days, after which the program would be conditionally resumed for individual countries. The order would direct some cabinet secretaries to suspend entry of nationals from countries who do not meet adjudication standards under the Immigration and Nationality Act. Homeland Security lists these countries as Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen. Iraq, which was listed in the previous Executive Order 13769, are exempted in this order.[5][6][7]

Section 3: Scope and implementation of the suspension[edit]

Section 3 outlines many exceptions to suspensions of immigration that the order requires.


The order does not apply to international travelers from the six named countries who are:

Citation Individual Exceptions listed in Executive Order 13780
3(b)(i) Any lawful permanent resident of the United States.[5]
3(b)(ii) Any foreign national who is admitted to or paroled into the United States on or after the effective date of this order.[5]
3(b)(iii) Any foreign national who has a document other than a visa, valid on the effective date of this order or issued on any date thereafter, that permits him or her to travel to the United States and seek entry or admission, such as an advance parole document.[5]
3(b)(iv) Any dual national of a country designated under section 2 of this order when the individual is traveling on a passport issued by a non-designated country.[5]
3(b)(v) Any foreign national traveling on a diplomatic or diplomatic type visa, North Atlantic Treaty Organization visa, C-2 visa for travel to the United Nations, or G-1, G-2, G-3, or G-4 visa.[5]
3(b)(vi) Any foreign national who has been granted asylum.[5]
3(b)(vi) Any refugee who has already been admitted to the United States.[5]
3(b)(vi) Any individual who has been granted withholding of removal, advance parole, or protection under the Convention Against Torture.[5]

Case-by-case determinations[edit]

The order allows exceptions to the entry ban to be reviewed on a case-by-case basis for the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of State to issue waivers or approval of a visa for travelers from the countries of concern stated in the order. The order allows case-by-case waivers if:

Citation Case-by-Case Exceptions listed in Executive Order 13780
3(c)(i) The foreign national has previously been admitted to the United States for a continuous period of work, study, or other long-term activity, is outside the United States on the effective date of this order, seeks to reenter the United States to resume that activity, and the denial of reentry during the suspension period would impair that activity.[5]
3(c)(ii) The foreign national has previously established significant contacts with the United States but is outside the United States on the effective date of this order for work, study, or other lawful activity.[5]
3(c)(iii) The foreign national seeks to enter the United States for significant business or professional obligations and the denial of entry during the suspension period would impair those obligations.[5]
3(c)(iv) The foreign national seeks to enter the United States to visit or reside with a close family member (e.g., a spouse, child, or parent) who is a United States citizen, lawful permanent resident, or alien lawfully admitted on a valid nonimmigrant visa, and the denial of entry during the suspension period would cause undue hardship.[5]
3(c)(v) The foreign national is an infant, a young child or adoptee, an individual needing urgent medical care, or someone whose entry is otherwise justified by the special circumstances of the case.[5]
3(c)(vi) The foreign national has been employed by, or on behalf of, the United States Government (or is an eligible dependent of such an employee) and the employee can document that he or she has provided faithful and valuable service to the United States Government.[5]
3(c)(vii) The foreign national is traveling for purposes related to an international organization designated under the International Organizations Immunities Act (IOIA), 22 U.S.C. § 288, traveling for purposes of conducting meetings or business with the United States Government, or traveling to conduct business on behalf of an international organization not designated under the IOIA.[5]
3(c)(viii) The foreign national is a landed immigrant of Canada who applies for a visa at a location within Canada.[5]
3(c)(ix) The foreign national is traveling as a United States Government-sponsored exchange visitor.[5]

Section 4: Additional inquiries related to nationals of Iraq[edit]

Although Iraq was removed from the list of seven countries included in Executive Order 13769, this section still calls for a “thorough review”.

Section 8: Expedited completion of the biometric entry–exit tracking system[edit]

Under Section 8 of Executive Order 13780, the head of DHS must “expedite the completion and implementation of a biometric entry–exit tracking system for in-scope travelers to the United States, as recommended by the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States.” Gary Leff, an airline-industry expert, referring to a 2016 DHS publication, believes it is likely the term “in-scope” refers to all non-U.S. citizens within the ages of 14 and 79, which Leff believes will increase the costs (money and time) of air travel perhaps due to fingerprinting requirements for all such people who travel into the U.S.[8][9]

Statutory authorization and related statutory prohibitions[edit]

Visas issued in 2016 for the seven countries affected by section 3 of the executive order. Total is shown by size, and color breaks down type of visa[10]

The order cites paragraph (f) of Title 8 of the United States Code § 1182 which discusses inadmissible aliens. Paragraph (f) states:

“Whenever the President finds that the entry of any aliens or of any class of aliens into the United States would be detrimental to the interests of the United States, he may by proclamation, and for such period as he shall deem necessary, suspend the entry of all aliens or any class of aliens as immigrants or nonimmigrants, or impose on the entry of aliens any restrictions he may deem to be appropriate.”[11]

When Judge Chuang enjoined part of the executive order he based his decision in part on paragraph (a) of Title 8 of the United States Code § 1152, which discusses impermissible discrimination when granting immigrant visas:

“No person shall receive any preference or priority or be discriminated against in the issuance of an immigrant visa because of the person’s race, sex, nationality, place of birth, or place of residence.”

Legal challenges[edit]

Hawaii v. Trump[edit]

State of Hawaii v. Donald J. Trump
United States District Court for the District of Hawaii
Full case name State of Hawaii and Ismail Elshikh, Plaintiffs, v. Donald J. Trump, in his official capacity as President of the United States of America, et al., Defendants
Citations No. 1:17-cv-00050

On March 7, 2017, the state of Hawaii brought a civil action challenging the executive order, asking for declaratory judgment and an injunction halting the order.[12][13] The State of Hawaii moved for leave to file an Amended Complaint pertaining to Executive Order 13780.[14][15][16] Doug Chin, Hawaii’s attorney general, publicly stated, “This new executive order is nothing more than Muslim Ban 2.0. Under the pretense of national security, it still targets immigrants and refugees. It leaves the door open for even further restrictions.”[17] Hawaii’s legal challenge to the revised ban cites top White House advisor Stephen Miller as saying the revised travel ban is meant to achieve the same basic policy outcome as the original.[18]

The Amended Complaint lists eight specific causes of action pertaining to Executive Order 13780:

  1. Violation of the First Amendment Establishment Clause claiming the travel ban targets Muslims
  2. Violation of the Fifth Amendment Equal Protection clause
  3. Violation of the Fifth Amendment Substantive Due Process clause
  4. Violation of the Fifth Amendment Procedural Due Process
  5. Violation of the Immigration and Nationality Act 8 U.S.C. § 1152(a)(1)(A). and 8 U.S.C. § 1182(f) and 8 U.S.C. § 1185(a)
  6. Violations of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act 42 U.S.C. § 2000bb-1(a)
  7. Substantive Violation of the Administrative Procedure Act through Violations of the Constitution, Immigration and Nationality Act, and Arbitrary and Capricious Action 5 U.S.C. § 706(2)(A)-(C).
  8. Procedural Violation of the Administrative Procedure Act 5 U.S.C. § 706(2)(D)., 5 U.S.C. § 551(1)., and 5 U.S.C. § 553.

On March 15, 2017 United States District Judge Derrick Watson issued a temporary restraining order preventing sections 2 and 6 of executive order 13780 from going into effect.[19][3][4] In his order, Judge Watson ruled that the State of Hawaii showed a strong likelihood of success on their Establishment Clause claim in asserting that Executive Order 13780 was in fact a “Muslim ban”. Judge Watson stated in his ruling, “When considered alongside the constitutional injuries and harms discussed above, and the questionable evidence supporting the Government’s national security motivations, the balance of equities and public interests justify granting the Plaintiffs. Nationwide relief is appropriate in light of the likelihood of success on the Establishment Clause claim.”[20][4] He also stated, concerning the Order’s neutrality to religion, that the government’s position that Courts may not look behind the exercise of executive discretion and must only review the text of the Order was rejected as being legally incorrect,[4]:31-32 and that:

“The notion that one can demonstrate animus [ill-will] toward any group of people only by targeting all of them at once is fundamentally flawed. […] It is a discriminatory purpose that matters, no matter how inefficient the execution. Equally flawed is the notion that the Executive Order cannot be found to have targeted Islam because it applies to all individuals in the six referenced countries. It is undisputed, using the primary source upon which the Government itself relies, that these six countries have overwhelmingly Muslim populations that range from 90.7% to 99.8%.”[4]:31

In drawing its conclusion, the Court further quoted the Ninth Circuit appeal ruling on the original Executive Order (13769): “It is well established that evidence of purpose beyond the face of the challenged law may be considered in evaluating Establishment and Equal Protection Clause claims”, and quoted in support of its findings, previous rulings that “Official action that targets religious conduct for distinctive treatment cannot be shielded by mere compliance with the requirement of facial neutrality” (Church of the Lukumi Babalu Aye v. City of Hialeah); “a facially neutral statute violated the Establishment Clause in light of legislative history demonstrating an intent to apply regulations only to minority religions” (Larson v. Valente); and that “circumstantial evidence of intent, including the historical background of the decision and statements by decisionmakers, may be considered in evaluating whether a governmental action was motivated by a discriminatory purpose” (Village of Arlington Heights v. Metropolitan Housing); ending with a comment that “the Supreme Court has been even more emphatic: courts may not ‘turn a blind eye to the context in which [a] policy arose’ “ (McCreary County v. ACLU of Kentucky, ruled that a law becomes unconstitutional under the Establishment Clause if its “ostensible or predominant purpose” is to favor or disfavor any religion over any other[21]).[4]:32 The Court also took into account numerous statements by the President and his team prior to and since election, which had directly stated that he sought a legal means to achieve a total ban on Muslims entering the United States,[4]:33-37 and a “dearth” of substantive evidence in support of the stated security benefits.

After Judge Watson’s ruling a Department of Justice spokeswoman said the administration will continue to defend the executive order in the courts.[22] President Donald Trump denounced the ruling as “an unprecedented judicial overreach”, and indicated that the decision would be appealed, if necessary to the Supreme Court, stating that, “We’re talking about the safety of our nation, the safety and security of our people. This ruling makes us look weak.”[23][24]

Judge Alex Kozinski of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals filed a late dissent on March 17, 2017 to the 9th Cir. opinion in Washington v. Trump arguing against the State of Washington’s Establishment Clause claims on grounds that Trump’s speech during the campaign was political protected by the First Amendment. Even though the 9th Circuit had declined to address that issue in reaching its ruling on Washington v. Trump and U.S. courts do not typically rule on issues that are not before them, Kozinski argued it was appropriate for him to address the issue because District Judge Watson in Hawaii had cited the 9th Circuit opinion in reaching its Establishment Clause ruling.[25][26]

International Refugee Assistance Project v. Trump (in Dist. of Maryland)[edit]

On the same date that Judge Watson in Hawaii blocked parts of the order Judge Chuang of the U.S. District of Maryland, who was formerly Deputy General Counsel for the Department of Homeland Security, issued a temporary restraining order that blocked the revised executive order’s section 2(c), which would have banned travel to the U.S. by citizens from six designated countries.[27][28] The basis of Judge Chuang’s order is violation of the Establishment Clause of the United States Constitution. Judge Chuang also noted that the order was in violation of the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965, which modifies the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952 to say “No person shall receive any preference or priority or be discriminated against in the issuance of an immigrant visa because of his race, sex, nationality, place of birth, or place of residence,” but only in that it placed a ban on immigrant visa issuance based on nationality. Judge Chuang noted that the statute does not prohibit the President from barring entry into the United States or the issuance of non-immigrant visas on the basis of nationality.[28][29] The Trump Administration has appealed the ruling to the Fourth Circuit, which scheduled oral argument for May 8; the Justice Department has said it will file a motion to encourage the court to rule sooner.[30]

Washington v. Trump[edit]

State of Washington and State of Minnesota v. Trump
United States District Court for the Western District of Washington
Full case name State of Washington and State of Minnesota, Plaintiffs, v. Donald J. Trump, in his official capacity as President of the United States; U.S. Department of Homeland Security; John F. Kelly, in his official capacity as Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security; Tom Shannon, in his official capacity as Acting Secretary of State; and the United States of America, Defendants.
Citations No. 2:17-cv-00141; No. 17-35105
Main article: Washington v. Trump

On the day the order was signed, March 6, 2017, Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson stated that he had not yet had sufficient time to review it.[12]

On March 9, Ferguson indicated that the State of Washington will pursue obtaining a temporary restraining order and a preliminary injunction to block the executive order. Ferguson publicly stated, “It’s my duty, my responsibility to act. We’re not going to be bullied by threats and actions by the federal government”. The State of Washington indicated they would ask for a temporary restraining order and a preliminary injunction in the current proceedings related to executive order 13769 by asking the Court for leave to file an amended complaint to address executive order 13780.[31][32] Ferguson also indicated that the states of Oregon, Massachusetts, and New York would ask for leave from the Court to join the current lawsuit against the executive order.[31][33][34]

On March 9, 2017, White House press secretary Sean Spicer responded to the criticism of the order from several state attorney generals, and stated that the White House was confident the new order addressed the issues raised by the states in litigation involving the previous Executive Order 13769. Spicer stated, “I think we feel very comfortable that the executive order that was crafted is consistent with — we’re going to go forward on this — but I think by all means, I don’t— we feel very confident with how that was crafted and the input that was given”.[35][36]

The federal defendants argued the new order “does not limit the [federal] government’s ability to immediately begin enforcing the new executive order”, while the State of Washington has replied that “While the provisions differ slightly from their original incarnation, the differences do not remove them from the ambit of this court’s injunction”. As of the evening of March 10, neither side had filed a motion to uphold or stop the new order, and Judge Robart said he would not rule on the matter without one.[37]

On March 13, 2017 the Washington State Attorney General filed a second amended complaint addressing executive order 13780 and moved the court to enjoin enforcement of the order under the current preliminary injunction previously issued which barred enforcement of executive order 13769 by filing a motion for emergency enforcement of the preliminary injunction.[38][39] The State of Washington in their second amended complaint asked the Court to Declare that Sections 3(c), 5(a)–(c), and 5(e) of the First Executive Order 13769 are unauthorized by and contrary to the Constitution and laws of the United States, and that the United States should be enjoined from implementing or enforcing Sections 3(c), 5(a)–(c), and 5(e) of the First Executive Order, including at all United States borders, ports of entry, and in the issuance of visas, pending further orders from this Court. The State of Washington also asked the Court to declare that Sections 2(c) and 6(a) of the Second Executive Order 13780 are unauthorized by and contrary to the Constitution and laws of the United States, and that the United States should also be enjoined from implementing or enforcing Sections 2(c) and 6(a) of the Second Executive Order 13780, including at all United States borders, ports of entry, and in the issuance of visas, and enjoin the United States from implementing or enforcing Section 5(d) of the First Executive Order 13769 and enjoin the United States from implementing or enforcing Section 6(b) of the Second Executive Order 13780.[40] The Court subsequently issued an order directing the United States to file a response to the emergency motion to enforce the preliminary injunction by March 14, 2017.[41]

On March 17, 2017, U.S. District Judge James Robart refused to grant an additional restraining order after the President’s new executive order was blocked by U.S. District Judge Derrick Watson in Hawaii.[42]

Maryland will also challenge the order in court, citing the order’s future harm to its competitiveness academically and economically in the form of hindering visits by academics, scientists and engineers from other countries.[43]

Other cases[edit]

The first temporary restraining order issued against the revised travel ban came on March 10 from U.S. district judge William Conley in Madison, Wisconsin; the TRO suspended the executive order with respect to a Syrian refugee’s wife and child who are living in Aleppo, Syria.[44]

On March 24, 2017, U.S. District Judge Anthony John Trenga in Alexandria, Virginia, refused to grant plaintiff Linda Sarsour a temporary restraining order against the President’s executive order, finding that she was not likely to succeed in her challenge.[45]

Executive Order 13769
Protecting the Nation from Foreign
Terrorist Entry into the United States
Donald Trump signing the order in front of a large replica of a USAF Medal of Honor, with Mike Pence and James Mattis at his side

U.S. President Donald Trump signing the order at the Pentagon, with Vice President Mike Pence (left) and Secretary of Defense James Mattis (right) at his side.
Executive order
Enacted by U.S. President Donald Trump
Date enacted January 27, 2017
Date commenced January 27, 2017
  • Suspends the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program for 120 days (expires May 27, 2017)
  • Restricts entry from seven countries for 90 days (expires April 27, 2017)
  • Suspends admission of Syrian refugees indefinitely
  • Prioritizes the admission of refugees from minority religions claiming religious-based persecution
Status: Not fully in force

Map of countries affected by the executive order. Collectively the order applies to over 200 million people (approximate population of the seven countries) while about 90,000 people from these countries currently hold a US immigrant or non-immigrant visa[1][2]

Executive Order 13769[3] —entitled “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States“— is an executive order signed by U.S. President Donald Trump on January 27, 2017. The order, part of Trump’s immigration-related campaign promises, suspended the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP) for 120 days, after which the program will be conditionally resumed for individual countries, and with higher priority for followers of minority religions. The order also indefinitely suspended the entry of refugees from Syria, where they live under ISIS.[4][5] Further, the order suspended the entry—regardless of valid non-diplomatic visa[a]— of alien nationals from seven majority-Muslim countries for 90 days, after which an updated list of prohibited countries will be determined. The initial seven countries are Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen, which were previously singled out by the Obama administration for travel restrictions that are milder than the executive order’s.[7] The order allows exceptions to these suspensions on a case-by-case basis. Based on this allowance, the Department of Homeland Security exempted U.S. lawful permanent residents (green card holders), citing national interest provisions in the executive order, and the White House later said that green card holders will not need any waivers to exempt them from the new policy.[8]

The order also had other immediate and long-term effects. Immediately after its enactment, dozens of travelers were detained and held for hours without access to family, friends, or legal assistance. According to The Washington Post, the travel suspensions can potentially impact around 90,000 people, which is the number of immigrant and non-immigrant visas issued to people from the seven affected countries in fiscal year 2015.[9]

The order and the detentions that followed led to several lawsuits seeking to block enforcement of the order that were filed on behalf of affected travelers and of state officials, saying that the order violates the U.S. Constitution, multiple federal statutes, and American treaty obligations. In the days following its introduction, several federal courts issued emergency orders halting detentions and expulsions pending final rulings. A court in Boston ordered that lawful immigrants from the seven barred nations be notified that they may enter the U.S. through Logan Airport. After the Boston ruling, the Department of Homeland Security said that it would continue to enforce all of the executive order and that “prohibited travel will remain prohibited.” Plaintiffs in a court ruling in Virginia claimed that the government was in contempt of court and not following its orders.

Critics described the order as a “Muslim ban”[10] for targeting Muslim-majority countries and prioritizing minority-religion refugees. President Trump, however, stated that, “this is not a Muslim ban, as the media is falsely reporting,” while Rudy Giuliani, who said he helped write the order, called it a legal alternative to a religious ban targeting Muslims.[11][12][neutrality is disputed]

Domestically, the order prompted criticism from Democratic and Republican members of Congress, American diplomats, American universities, business leaders, Catholic bishops, and Jewish organizations. According to an Ipsos/Reuters poll, 48% of Americans agreed with the order, while 41% of Americans disagreed.[13] Protests erupted in New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport, other U.S. airports, and U.S. cities.

The order prompted broad condemnation from the international community, including longstanding U.S. allies, although some international figures expressed support for it.[14][15][16] The travel ban and suspension of refugee admissions was criticized by top United Nations officials[17][18] and by a group of 40 Nobel laureates and thousands of other academics.[19]Doctors at medical institutes and scientific groups also protested the order.[20]


Number of visas issued in 2016 for the seven countries in the Executive Order. Type of visa shown by color on pies, and total number by size.[21] See types of immigration at Permanent residence (United States) § Types of immigration.

Map comparing US immigrant and non-immigrant visas issued at Foreign Service posts by country in 2016, highlighting the seven countries in the Executive Order.[21]

As part of a spending bill, the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2016, the Visa Waiver Program Improvement and Terrorist Travel Prevention Act of 2015 was passed by Congress and signed into law by President Obama. The bill specifically listed Iraq and Syria as countries where dual citizens would also need visas for travel, plus all nations on the State Sponsors of Terrorism list, which added Sudan and Iran. It also allowed the Secretary of Homeland Security to add additional countries of concern within 60 days, leading to the addition of Libya, Somalia and Yemen.[22][23][24]

Donald Trump became the U.S. president on January 20, 2017. He has long said, despite evidence, that large numbers of terrorists are using the U.S. refugee resettlement program to enter the country.[25] A 2015 report published by the Migration Policy Institute found that 784,000 refugees had resettled in the United States since September 11, 2001, with only 3 arrested for suspected terrorism.[26] In June 2016, the Subcommittee on Immigration and the National Interest, of which Jeff Sessions and Ted Cruz were members, claimed based on open-source research conducted on a list provided by the Department of Justice, that at least 380 of the 580 individuals convicted of terrorism or terrorism-related offenses between September 11, 2001 and December 31, 2014, were born abroad.[27] The Cato Institute’s Alex Nowrasteh has pointed out that these claims were flawed and problematic in that “241 of the 580 convictions, or 42 percent, were not… for terrorism offenses”; these started with a terrorism tip but the actual charge ended up being not related to terrorism, e.g., “receiving stolen cereal.”[28]

As a candidate, Trump’s “Contract with the American Voter” pledged to suspend immigration from “terror-prone regions”.[29] Trump-administration officials then billed the executive order as fulfilling this campaign promise.[30][unreliable source?]

During his initial election campaign, Trump had proposed a temporary, conditional, and “total” ban on Muslims entering the United States.[25][31][32][33] His proposal was met by opposition by U.S. politicians.[31]Mike Pence and James Mattis—who later became Vice President and Secretary of Defense, respectively, under Trump—were among those who opposed the proposal.[31][34] Trump, in a speech following the 2016 Orlando nightclub shooting, proposed to suspend immigration from “areas of the world” with a history of terrorism, a change from his previous proposal to suspend Muslim immigration to the U.S; the campaign did not announce the details of the plan at the time, but Jeff Sessions, an advisor to Trump on the issue, said the proposal was a statement of purpose to be supplied with details in subsequent months.[35]

In a speech on August 31, 2016, Trump vowed to “suspend the issuance of visas” to “places like Syria and Libya.”[36]

Trump’s campaign website has credited Sessions as an influential advisor on immigration.[37] Sessions served as chairman of the Senate Subcommittee on Immigration and the National Interest during the 114th Congress.[38] Political operative Stephen Miller, a “major architect” of the refugee and visa ban according to the Los Angeles Times, learned about immigration policy in the office of Senator Sessions before becoming a top Trump advisor and speechwriter.[39]

President Trump told the Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN) that Christian refugees would be given priority in terms of refugee status in the United States,[40] after saying that Syrian Christians were “horribly treated” by his predecessor, Barack Obama.[41][42] Christians make up very small fractions (0.1% to 1.5%) of the Syrian refugees who have registered with the UN High Comission for Refugees in Syria, Jordan, Iraq, and Lebanon; those registered represent the pool from which the US selects refugees.[43] António Guterres, then the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, explained in October 2015 that many Syrian Christians have ties to the Christian community in Lebanon and have sought the UN’s services in smaller numbers.[43] During 2016, the US had admitted almost as many Christian as Muslim refugees[42] Based on this data, Senator Chris Coons accused Trump of spreading “false facts” and “alternative facts“.[44]

Development of the order

The U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Legal Counsel (OLC), which usually reviews all executive orders before issuance, declined to say whether it had reviewed the order.[45] Two days after the order’s issuance, the OLC had not posted a publicly available opinion regarding the executive order to its website.[46] On January 29, NBC News reported that the order was not reviewed by the Justice Department or by the departments of Homeland Security (DHS), State, or Defense, and that attorneys at the National Security Council were blocked from evaluating the order.[47] According to the DOJ, on January 30, then-Acting Attorney General Sally Yates indicated the executive order had been reviewed by the DOJ’s OLC, which found the order lawful on its face.[48][verification needed] Yates’s successor, Acting Attorney General Dana J. Boente, issued guidance to Justice Department employees on the evening of January 30 stating that the Office of Legal Counsel “found the Executive Order both lawful on its face and properly drafted.”[49] According to CNN, the executive order was developed primarily by White House officials (which the Los Angeles Times reported included Steve Bannon and Stephen Miller[50]) without input from the Justice and Homeland Security departments that is typically a part of the drafting process.[51] This was disputed by White House officials.[51] Trump aides said that the order had been issued in consultation with DHS and State Department officials; however, multiple officials at the State Department and other agencies said it was not.[52][53]

An official from the Trump administration said that parts of the order had been developed in the transition period between Trump’s election and his inauguration.[54] Former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani said on Fox News that President Trump came to him for guidance over the order.[55] He said that Trump called him about a “Muslim ban” and asked Giuliani to form a committee to show him “the right way to do it legally”.[56][11] The committee, which included former U.S. Attorney General Michael Mukasey, and Reps. Mike McCaul and Peter T. King, decided to drop the religious basis and instead focused on regions where Giuliani says that there is “substantial evidence that people are sending terrorists” to the United States.[11]

A draft of the executive order leaked to civil rights organizations on Wednesday, January 25, 2017.[57]


Section 3 of the order blocks entry of aliens, regardless of valid non-diplomatic visa,[a] from countries covered under a section[b] of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), namely Libya, Sudan, Somalia, Syria, Iran, Iraq, and Yemen, for 90 days,[58] after which a list of additional countries must be prepared.[6] The cited section of the INA refers to aliens who have been present in or are nationals of Iraq, Syria, and other countries designated by the Secretary of State.[59] Citing Section 3(c) of the Executive Order, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Consular Affairs Edward J. Ramotowski issued a notice that “provisionally revoke[s] all valid nonimmigrant and immigrant visas of nationals” of the designated countries.[60][61]

The Secretary of Homeland Security, in consultation with the Secretary of State and the Director of National Intelligence, must conduct a review to determine the information needed from any country to adjudicate any visa, admission, or other benefit under the INA. Within 30 days, the Secretary of Homeland Security must list countries that do not provide adequate information.[62] The foreign governments then have 60 days to provide the information on their nationals, after which the Secretary of Homeland Security must submit to the President a list of countries recommended for inclusion on a Presidential proclamation that would prohibit the entry of foreign nationals from countries that do not provide the information.[6]

The order also said that the Secretaries of State and Homeland Security may, on a case-by-case basis and when in the national interest, issue visas or other immigration benefits to nationals of countries for which visas and benefits are otherwise blocked.[62][58][63][64]

Section 5 suspends the U. S. Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP) for 120 days, to be resumed only for such countries as the Secretaries of State and Homeland Security and the Director of National Intelligence determine.[6] The suspension for Syrian refugees is indefinite.[62][65] The number of new refugees allowed in 2017 is capped to 50,000, down from 110,000.[66] After the resumption of USRAP, refugee applications will be prioritized based on religion-based persecutions only in the case that the religion of the individual is a minority religion in that country.[67]

Section 7 of the order calls for an expedited completion and implementation of a biometric entry/exit tracking system for all travelers coming into the United States.[62][68]

Section 1, describing the purpose of the order, invoked the September 11 attacks stating that then State Department policy prevented consular officers from properly scrutinizing the visa applications of the attackers[69][70][71] However, none of the September 11 hijackers were from any of the seven banned countries.[72][70] When announcing his executive action, Trump made similar references to the attacks several times.[72]

The seven countries targeted by the executive order exclude Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and other Muslim-majority countries where The Trump Organization has conducted business or pursued business opportunities.[73][74] This prompted criticism; legal scholar David G. Post, for example, suggested that Trump had “allowed business interests to interfere with his public policymaking” and that this could constitute an impeachable offense.[75]

Green card holders

There was some confusion about the status of green card holders (permanent residents). Initially, the Department of Homeland Security said that the order barred green card holders from the affected countries, and White House officials said that they would need a case-by-case waiver to return.[76] On January 29, White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus said that green card holders would not be prevented from returning to the United States.[77] According to the Associated Press, as of January 28 no green card holders were ultimately denied entry to the U.S., although several initially spent “long hours” in detention.[78][77] On January 29, the Secretary of Homeland Security John F. Kelly deemed entry of lawful permanent residents into the U.S. to be “in the national interest”, exempting them from the ban according to the provisions of the executive order.[77][79]

Dual citizens

There is similar confusion about whether the order affects dual citizens of a banned country and a non-banned country. The U.S. State Department said that the order did not affect U.S. citizens who also hold citizenship of one of the seven banned countries.[80] On January 28, the State Department stated that other travelers with dual nationality of one of these countries – for example, an Iranian who also hold a Canadian passport – would not be permitted to enter.[80] However, the International Air Transport Association told their airlines that dual nationals who hold a passport from a non-banned country would be allowed in.[80] The United Kingdom‘s Foreign and Commonwealth Office also issued a press release saying that it applies to those traveling from the listed countries, not those that merely have their citizenship.[81] The confusion led companies and institutions to take a more cautious approach; for example, Google told its dual national employees to stay in the United States until more clarity could be provided.[80]


Shortly after the enactment of the executive order at 4:42 pm on January 27, border officials across the country began enforcing the new rules. The New York Times reported people with various backgrounds and statuses being denied entry or sent back, including refugees and minority Christians from the affected countries as well as students and green card holders returning to the United States after visits abroad.[76][82]

People from the countries mentioned in the order were turned away from flights to the U.S., even though they had valid visas.[83] Some were stranded in a foreign country while in transit.[84] Several people already on planes flying to the U.S. at the time the order was signed were detained on arrival.[83] On January 28, the ACLU estimated that there were 100 to 200 people being detained in U.S. airports,[85] and hundreds were barred from boarding U.S.-bound flights.[86] About 60 legal permanent residents were reported to have been detained at Dulles International Airport near Washington, D.C.[87] The Department of Homeland Security said that on January 28 the order affected “less than one percent” of the 325,000 air travelers who arrived in the United States.[88] By January 29, the Department of Homeland Security estimated that 375 travelers had been affected with 109 travelers in transit and another 173 prevented from boarding flights.[89] In some airports, there were reports that Border Patrol agents were requesting access to travelers’ social media accounts.[90]

On January 30, Trump said in a Twitter post that “Only 109 people out of 325,000 were detained and held for questioning.”[9] The actual number affected, however, was far higher, as Department of Homeland Security officials later acknowledged.[91] On January 31, the agency reported that 721 people had been denied boarding for the U.S. since enforcement of the travel ban began; 1,060 waivers for Green Card holders had been processed; 75 waivers had been granted for persons with immigrant and nonimmigrant visas; and 872 waivers for refugees had been granted.[91]

The Washington Post fact-checker found that “the universe of people likely affected by the travel suspension is around 90,000,” representing the number of number of U.S. visas issued in the seven affected countries in fiscal year 2015.[9] The New York Times counts give 86,000 visitors, students and workers in addition to 52,365 who passed the requirements for green cards.[92] The process was shrouded in secrecy at the Los Angeles International Airport; officials refused to release statistics on the number of people deported or the number of people detained and for how long.[91]

Google called its traveling employees back to the U.S., in case the order prevents them from returning. About 100 of the company’s employees were thought to be from the countries in the order. Google CEO Sundar Pichai wrote in a letter to his staff that “it’s painful to see the personal cost of this executive order on our colleagues. We’ve always made our view on immigration issues known publicly and will continue to do so.”[93][94]

According to Trita Parsi, the president of the National Iranian American Council, the order distressed citizens of the affected countries, including those holding valid green cards and visas. Those outside the U.S. fear that they will not be allowed in, while those already in the country fear that they will not be able to leave, even temporarily, because they would not be able to return.[95]


Official statement

Trump’s speech just after signing the executive order on January 28, 2017 indicated its purpose was to keep “radical Islamic terrorists” from the U.S. and invoked September 11.[96] On January 29, 2017, Trump issued an official statement clarifying his stance on the executive order. Trump said that his policy is “similar to what President Obama did in 2011 when he banned visas for refugees from Iraq for six months” and stated that the executive order did not target religion, stating “there are over 40 different countries worldwide that are majority Muslim that are not affected by this order”. Trump concluded, “I have tremendous feeling for the people involved in this horrific humanitarian crisis in Syria.”[97] Glenn Kessler of The Washington Post stated that Obama limited immigration for six months, but continued to admit refugees during all six months and did not ban all citizens (including green card holders) from traveling to the United States, although lawful permanent residents have since been exempted from Trump’s executive order.[98] Jonathan Chait of New York magazine said that the 2011 case involved a temporary response to specific intelligence regarding two suspicious Iraqi refugees and said that Trump’s “sweeping halt in the absence of a reported breach” is not comparable.[99]

The Trump administration’s January 30, 2017 follow-up statement said the order applied to countries “previously identified by the Obama administration as sources of terror”.[100] The Trump administration’s executive order relied on H.R.158 or the Visa Waiver Program Improvement and Terrorist Travel Prevention Act of 2015,[101] which was passed by congress and signed into law by President Obama.[102] The act barred citizens from entering the United States without a visa if they came from Iraq, Syria, Iran and Sudan, with Libya, Yemen and Somalia added later. Travelers from 38 other countries were allowed to enter without a visa for up to 90 days.[102] H.R. 158 did not ban entry from any designated country.[103]

On January 30, White House press secretary, Sean Spicer, used the Quebec City mosque shooting as an illustration of the need for anti-terror policies saying, “It’s a terrible reminder of why we must remain vigilant, and why the president is taking steps to be proactive, rather than reactive, when it comes to our nation’s safety and security.”[104] However, as the Toronto Star pointed out, it was strange to use this example since the accused gunman was not a Muslim.[105] The Independent in the UK also reported that Spicer’s comments seemed to use the attack as a justification for the US president’s own anti-terror policies but did not specify which policies he was referring to.[106]

Spicer held a press briefing on January 31 where he said that it was incorrect to refer to the executive order as a “travel ban” and that only the media was using those words to describe the order.[107][108] When pointed out by an NBC reporter that Trump himself used the word in his personal twitter account, Spicer responded that it was because the media is using it. He also confronted the reporter that NBC news was part of the confusion for falsely reporting that Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly had not been properly consulted before the executive order was signed.[107]

Trump Twitter posts

Trump has also defended his executive order through Twitter. On January 29, he tweeted: “Our country needs strong borders and extreme vetting, NOW. Look what is happening all over Europe and, indeed, the world – a horrible mess!”[109]On Monday, he continued to tweet, where he “de-emphasized the number of travelers affected by the hasty implementation of the travel ban”, according to Business Insider.[110] It was also written in The Washington Post that his tweets were intended to minimize the impact the executive order had on travelers.[111] In several other tweets on Monday, he blamed travel delays on a Delta airline computer outage, “protesters and the tears of Senator Schumer”.[110] The computer outage Trump referred to actually occurred on Sunday January 29, two days after the order was signed.[112] Trump defended the executive order on Twitter, stating that searching for terrorists is not about being “nice” and that “[i]f the ban were announced with a one week notice, the ‘bad’ would rush into our country during that week. A lot of bad ‘dudes’ out there!”[110] On February 1, Trump tweeted, “Everybody is arguing whether or not it is a BAN. Call it what you want, it is about keeping bad people (with bad intentions) out of country!”[113]

Domestic political reaction

File:Trump 'It's not a Muslim ban'.webmhd.webm

Trump on refugee order: “It’s not a Muslim ban” (video from Voice of America)

Trump faced much criticism for the executive order. Democrats “were nearly united in their condemnation” of the policy,[114] with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer saying that “tears are running down the cheeks of the Statue of Liberty tonight as a grand tradition of America, welcoming immigrants, that has existed since America was founded, has been stomped upon”.[115] Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont said the order “plays into the hands of fanatics wishing to harm America”.[116] Senator Kamala Harris of California and the Council on American–Islamic Relations denounced the order and called it a Muslim ban.[117] Trump’s order was also criticized by former U.S. Secretaries of State Madeleine Albright[115]and Hillary Clinton.[118] Kevin Lewis, spokesperson to Trump’s predecessor Barack Obama, also said (in apparent reference to the order) that the ex-president “fundamentally disagrees” with religious discrimination.[119]

Among Republicans, some praised the order, with Speaker of the House Paul Ryan saying that Trump was “right to make sure we are doing everything possible to know exactly who is entering our country” while noting that he supported the refugee resettlement program.[120] Alabama governor Robert Bentley also supported the order.[121] Republican Congressman Bob Goodlatte said that he was “pleased that President Trump is using the tools granted to him by Congress and the power granted by the Constitution to help keep America safe and ensure we know who is entering the United States”.[122] However, some top Republicans in Congress criticized the order.[114] In a statement, Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham cited the confusion that the order caused and the fact that the “order went into effect with little to no consultation with the Departments of State, Defense, Justice, and Homeland Security”.[123] McCain stated that the order would “probably, in some areas, give ISIS some more propaganda”.[124] Senator Susan Collins, who announced in August 2016 that she would not vote for Trump because she felt he was “unsuitable for office”,[125] also objected to the ban, calling it “overly broad” and saying that “implementing it will be immediately problematic”.[126] Several other Republican senators offered more muted criticism.[114] In response to McCain and Graham’s statement, Trump criticized them on Twitter January 29, questioning their stance on immigration and saying that they “should focus their energies on ISIS, illegal immigration and border security instead of always looking to start World War III”.[127]

Sixteen Democratic[128] state attorneys general signed a joint statement condemning the order as unconstitutional,[129]including those in California, Pennsylvania and New York. The statement said they intended to “use all of the tools of our offices to fight this unconstitutional order”.[130] Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo both pledged to have their states look into how they could aid refugees in state airports.[131]

List of protests against Executive Order 13769

Crowd at San Francisco International Airport. Signs are visible, some reading "Not in our name".

United States[edit]Through January 28–29 a large number of airport protests were held across the nation in opposition to Donald Trump‘s Executive Order 13769 known as Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States.

Googleplex, Mountain View

File:Protesters Continue Their March in Washington.webmhd.webm

Protesters Continue Their March in Washington’ video from Voice of America

State Locations
Louisiana New Orleans, City Hall[32]
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
North Carolina
Rhode Island
South Dakota
Washington, D.C.


Country Locations
The Netherlands
United Kingdom

Protests against the order at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport

File:Trump Immigration Order Sparks Protests at NY Airport.webmhd.webm

Trump immigration order sparks protests at New York’s airport (report from Voice of America)

Protests against the order at San Francisco International Airport on January 29, 2017

On January 28 and thereafter, thousands of protesters gathered at airports and other locations throughout the United States to protest the signing of the order and detention of the foreign nationals.[133]

Members of the United States Congress, including Senator Elizabeth Warren (DMA) and Congressman John Lewis (DGA) joined the protests in their own home states.[159] Google co-founder Sergey Brin and Y Combinator president Sam Altman joined the protest at San Francisco airport.[160][161] Virginia governor, Terry McAuliffe, joined the protest at Dulles International Airport on Saturday.[162]

In response to protests, the airport operators of John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York and Seattle–Tacoma International Airport shut down transit access to the airport (AirTrain JFK and the SeaTac/Airport light rail station, respectively). New York Governor Andrew Cuomo ordered that AirTrain service resume,[163] while Sound Transit ordered the resumption of light rail service in Seattle.[164]

U.S. diplomats

The “dissent cable” memo.

Over nine-hundred United States diplomats in the State Department have created a memo or “dissent cable” which outlines their disagreement with the order.[111][165][166] The memo has been sent through the “dissent channel[167] which was put into place in 1971 in order to allow senior leadership in the department to have access to differing viewpoints on the Vietnam War.[168] On Monday, January 30, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer told dissenting diplomats to leave their jobs if they do not agree with the Trump administration[169] by saying “They should either get with the program or they can go”, despite the rules protecting dissenters in the State Department.[169]

United Nations and human rights groups

United Nations Secretary General António Guterres said that the travel bans “indeed violate our basic principles. And I think that they are not effective if the objective is to really avoid terrorists to enter the United States.”[170] United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad al Hussein denounced the travel ban, writing that “wastes resources needed for proper counter-terrorism” and is illegal under international human rights law.[18]

In a joint statement, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and the International Organization for Migration urged the new Trump administration to follow “the longstanding U.S. policy of welcoming refugees”, stating: “We strongly believe that refugees should receive equal treatment for protection and assistance, and opportunities for resettlement, regardless of their religion, nationality or race.”[171][172]

The travel ban was condemned by Amnesty International, which vowed to fight it; the director of Amnesty International USA termed the executive order “dangerous”,[173] while the director of Amnesty International UK said that it was “shocking and appalling” and feared that the ban become permanent.[174] Human Rights Watch similarly condemned the measure, saying that “The decision to drastically curtail the refugee program will abandon tens of thousands to the risk of persecution or worse and cede American leadership on a vitally important issue” and would not make the U.S. safer.[175]

The International Rescue Committee condemned the executive order; its president, David Miliband, said that the executive order presented “a test for the Western world … of whether or not we hold fast to the values of non-discrimination and to universal values of freedom from persecution.”[176] Miliband also called it “a propaganda gift for all those who would do harm to the United States.”[177]

Scholars and experts

Twenty Nobel Prize laureates, along with thousands of other scholars, including Fields Medal winners, John Bates Clark Medal recipients, and National Academy of Sciences members, signed a petition condemning the order, stating that the order compels the “unethical and discriminatory treatment of law-abiding, hard-working, and well-integrated immigrants fundamentally contravenes the founding principles of the United States” and was detrimental to the national interest.[178]Nobel Peace Prize laureate Malala Yousafzai also condemned the executive order.[115]

Benjamin Wittes of the Brookings Institution described the order as “malevolence tempered by incompetence”, saying that it “will cause hardship and misery for tens or hundreds of thousands of people because that is precisely what it is intended to do“.[47] Law professor and conservative blogger Ilya Somin termed the order “cruel and counterproductive”, saying “It inflicts great harm on many thousands of people while simultaneously endangering national security”.[179] Jonathan H. Adler declared that “the degree of administrative incompetence in [the order’s] execution is jaw-dropping”, criticizing “the cavalier and reckless manner in which this specific EO was developed and implemented”.[180]

In a 2016 political analysis paper by Alex Nowrasteh for the Cato Institute, Nowrasteh states, “the chance of an American being murdered in a terrorist attack caused by a refugee is 1 in 3.64 billion per year”.[181] Citing Nowrasteh’s paper, The Economist said this makes death by cows, fireworks and malfunctioning elevators much likelier and described Trump’s order as “almost worthless”.[41]

The Wall Street Journal editorial board blasted Trump’s executive order as “blunderbuss and broad”.[182] The New York Times labeled the executive order as “cruel, bigoted, cowardly, and self-defeating”, calling it a “blatantly unconstitutional” and “un-American” decision that exacerbated “injury and suffering … on families that had every reason to believe they had outrun carnage and despotism in their homelands to arrive in a singularly hopeful nation”.[183] The Sacramento Bee condemned the order as “sickening, draconian, disgraceful, and wrong on every level, to the point of incompetence”.[184]The Boston Globe described the act as “shameful” and “offensive”, saying that it not only fails to protect Americans but also “hands a propaganda victory to ISIS, appearing to vindicate the claim that the United States is out to get Muslims”.[185]

According to experts, Trump’s order “is unlikely to significantly reduce the terrorist threat in the United States”, and “many experts believe the order’s unintended consequences will make the threat worse”.[186] Professor Charles Kurzman of the University of North Carolina said that since the September 11 attacks in 2001, “no one has been killed in the United States in a terrorist attack by anyone who emigrated from or whose parents emigrated from” the seven countries targeted by the order.[186] Some experts also said that “there was a random quality” in the selection of countries affected by the order; for example, Saudi Arabia and Egypt were not listed although many jihadist groups were established there, and Pakistan and Afghanistan were also not listed despite longstanding histories of extremism in those countries;[186] while others, including two former White House chief ethics lawyers, found a possible correlation between exclusions from the order and the Trump Organization’s business interests.[75][187]

Professor Juan Cole of the University of Michigan said that six of the seven countries named in the order (with the exception of Yemen) were suggested as targets for regime change in an alleged classified paper produced by the Office of the Secretary of Defense in the autumn of 2001 following 9/11. The allegation was made by former General Wesley Clark in his 2007 memoir A Time to Lead.[188] Cole suggested that “the actual situation is the opposite from the one advertised by Trump. These are not countries that pose a danger to the U.S. They are countries to which the U.S poses the risk, of instability and millions of displaced”.[189]

Michael Hayden, who served Presidents Clinton, Bush, and Obama in high-level intelligence positions, including NSA director and CIA director, said of the executive order:[190]

It’s a horrible move. It is a political, ideological move driven by the language of the [Trump] campaign and … promises in the campaign that were hyped by an exaggeration of the threat, and in fact what [the U.S. is] doing now has probably made us less safe today than we were Friday morning before th[e] [executive order] happened. Because we are now living the worst jihadist narrative possible: that there is undying enmity between Islam and the West. Muslims out there who were not part of the jihadist movement are now being shown that the story they were being told by the jihadists—”They hate us, they’re our enemy”—that’s being acted out by the American government. And frankly, at a humanitarian level, it’s an abomination.

The executive order left American colleges and universities scrambling amidst confusion over the full scope and extent of the order. Several universities, including Johns Hopkins University, the University of Virginia and George Washington University, told affected students and faculty members affected to avoid traveling abroad because of fears that they would be barred from reentering the country.[191][192] The Association of American Universities‘s associate vice president for federal relations said that the ban was “very, very disruptive”, particularly to graduate students engaging in research.[192]University presidents and other higher education leaders “said the order could ultimately hurt the country’s competitiveness if the best and brightest research scholars no longer want to study or work in the United States”,[192] weakening American preeminence in higher education.[191]

International reactions

The order prompted broad condemnation from the international community, including longstanding U.S. allies.[14][15][16]

Iran’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs characterized Trump’s order as insulting to the Islamic world and counter-productive in the attempt to combat extremism. It announced that Iran would take “reciprocal measures in order to safeguard the rights of its citizens”.[193][194]

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau stated Canada would continue to welcome refugees regardless of their faith.[195] At the request of Jenny Kwan, Member of Parliament for Vancouver East, Speaker of the House of Commons Geoff Regan called an emergency debate in the Canadian House of Commons about the order on January 31.[196] Canadian civil society groups including the Canadian Civil Liberties Association and the national branch of Amnesty International issued statements which called for the suspension of the Canada–United States Safe Third Country Agreement.[197]

British Prime Minister Theresa May was initially reluctant to condemn the policy, having just met with Trump the day prior, saying that “the United States is responsible for the United States policy on refugees”.[198][199] Fellow Conservative Nadhim Zahawi, MP for Stratford-on-Avon, who was born in Iraq, said that he and his (also British Iraqi) wife had been informed would not be able to visit the U.S., despite no longer holding Iraqi citizenship, and called the ban “demeaning and sad”.[200]The following day, however, the Prime Minister’s Office released a statement that May did “not agree with this kind of approach”, and that “it is not one [the United Kingdom] will be taking”.[201] Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said the stigmatisation generated by such an approach was “divisive and wrong”. The Foreign Office additionally stated that they had been received clarification on the policy, and that it would apply to dual nationals only if they were travelling to the United States from one of the listed countries.[202] Other British politicians, including Leader of the Opposition Jeremy Corbyn, Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron, and Mayor of London Sadiq Khan, said that Trump should not come to the UK on a state visit, with Corbyn saying “I am not happy with him coming here until that ban is lifted”.[203] More than 1.6 million signed an official parliamentary petition which said that “Donald Trump’s well documented misogyny and vulgarity disqualifies him from being received by Her Majesty the Queen or the Prince of Wales.”[204][123][205][206]

France and Germany condemned the order, with both countries’ foreign ministers saying in a joint news conference that “welcoming refugees who flee war and oppression is part of our duty” and that “the United States is a country where Christian traditions have an important meaning. Loving your neighbor is a major Christian value, and that includes helping people“.[122][14] German chancellor Angela Merkel said that the “the necessary, decisive battle against terrorism does not justify a general suspicion against people of a certain origin or a certain religion”[207] and in a phone call with Trump, explained to him America’s obligations under the Refugee Convention.[207] Among those affected by the order was the Bundestag member Omid Nouripour, who holds German–Iranian dual citizenship, and is the vice-chair of the German–American Parliamentary Friendship Group; German broadcaster Deutsche Welle reporting on this story said, “Nouripour symbolizes the irrationality of US President Donald Trump’s refugee arrival suspension policy and the temporary ban”.[208]Nouripour said he was “very happy and proud of all those people at the airport protesting and the voluntary lawyers who have achieved a lot. These are the best reasons to say that no matter what the administration will do, I will always love the United States.”[208] In total, around 100,000 Germans were believed to be affected by the law  – chiefly German–Iranian dual citizens who are not legally allowed to surrender Iranian citizenship.[208][209] Merkel’s spokesperson has said the German government will “represent their interests, if needed, vis-a-vis our US partners”.[208] The Green Party of Germany has asked that if the executive order is not lifted, that Trump should be banned from entering Germany and thus prevented from attending the upcoming G20 Summit in Hamburg.[210]

Some media outlets said Australian prime minister Malcolm Turnbull avoided public comment on the order, with Turnbull saying it “is not my job” to criticize it.[211][212] The Sydney Morning Herald criticized Turnbull’s statement as one that was “positive” toward the policy.[211][212] However, Australian opinion soured after a Tweet by Trump appeared to question a refugee deal already agreed by Turnbull and Obama. The deal, which would have seen the US “take an interest in” up to 1,250 asylum seekers from Australia’s offshore detention centers at Manus Island and Nauru, was described on Twitter by Trump as a “dumb deal” which he would “study”, and in a private phone call with Turnball, Trump called it “the worst deal ever”.[213] In a radio interview, Turnball denied that the call – which had only lasted 25 minutes instead of the scheduled hour – ended because Trump hung up, but said that he would “expect that the commitment would continue”.[213] Sky News Australia journalist Laura Jayes reported that according to government sources, Turnbull now saw Trump as “a bully, and to confront a bully you need to bully back”.[214]

Swedish foreign minister Margot Wallström tweeted that she was “deeply concerned” about the order, and worried it might create “mistrust between people”.[215]

Czech President Miloš Zeman praised the order,[14] and Foreign Minister of Italy Angelino Alfano said that Trump was “not doing anything other than implementing his promises” and that Europeans should not criticize him as “we too erect walls in Europe”, a statement echoed by Polish Foreign Minister Witold Waszczykowski.[216][14][217][211]

On February 1, the United Arab Emirates became the first Muslim-majority nation to back the order.[218] Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan said that most of the world’s Muslim-majority nations were not covered by the order, which he characterized as temporary and a “sovereign decision” of the United States.[218][219]

Academic and scientific community

Over 6,000 college and university professors signed a national petition during the weekend of January 28 denouncing the executive order.[220] Leaders in a large number of colleges and universities issued statements against the immigration ban.[221] Academics criticized the executive order because of the disruption in education it caused some students, because of the confusion in its implication and in “many cases, expressed moral outrage.”[221]

Scientists doing work in the United States who are from the targeted countries have been affected as well, stranding some scientists in other countries or away from loved ones and their research.[222] Nature interviewed more than 20 researchers and scientists who have been affected.[223]

Arts, culture, and sports

Iranian actress Taraneh Alidoosti, whose film The Salesman is nominated for an Academy Award, said she would boycott the ceremony to protest the visa ban.[224] Asghar Farhadi, the film’s director, may be blocked from attending the ceremony under the terms of Trump’s program.[225] The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which holds the ceremony, issued a statement denouncing the travel ban.[226] Comedian Dave Chappelle also spoke against the executive order in Dayton, Ohio.[227]

British long distance runner Sir Mo Farah, who was born in Somalia but holds only a British passport and lives and trains in Oregon, said that “Trump seems to have made me an alien” and that it was “deeply troubling” that he would be unable to train in Oregon or reunite with his family under the terms of the executive order; he also called attention to the difference between Trump’s actions and those of Queen Elizabeth II, who had knighted Farah earlier in the year.[228][229] After clarification, Farah said he was “relieved” he would be able to return to his family in the U.S.[230]

Sami Zayn, a Syrian Canadian professional wrestler, wrote on Twitter, “I can’t articulate how truly disgusted I am right now.”[231] American fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad wrote, “Our diversity makes our country strong.”[231] Michael Bradley, the captain of the United States men’s national soccer team, wrote that he was “sad and embarrassed” by the executive order, adding that “the Muslim ban is just the latest example of someone who couldn’t be more out of touch with our country and the right way to move forward”.[232]

Members of the basketball community also spoke out to condemn the executive order. Canadian Steve Nash wrote, “Freedom and liberty [are] packing up their things.”[231] American Nazr Mohammed wrote, “It’s a tough day when you find out that so many people that you thought were fans or friends really hate you and everything you believe in.”[231] Enes Kanter, who is Turkish, wrote, “I am still in disbelief about the [Muslim ban].”[233] Jeremy Lin, who is Chinese American, apologized to people affected by the executive order, then added, “this is for real getting out of control”.[234] American Rondae Hollis-Jefferson called the executive order “BS”.[235] Alexander Lasry, the senior vice president of the Milwaukee Bucks, wrote, “This is not who we are as a country and doesn’t live up to our ideals.”[236] Steve Kerr, the head coach of the Golden State Warriors, said, “What’s happening right now is really scary and disconcerting.”[234]

Business community

Protests at the headquarters of Google, January 30, 2017, which drew about 2,000[237]

Technology companies denounced Trump’s ban, and several recalled their employees to the United States.[238] Twitter chief executive Jack Dorsey, Microsoft chief executive Satya Nadella, Apple CEO Tim Cook, Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg, Tesla chief executive Elon Musk, Netflix chief executive Reed Hastings, and Google CEO Sundar Pichai were among the tech leaders who spoke out against the executive order.[238] The Internet Association, a trade association representing Amazon, LinkedIn, and other companies, stated, “The internet industry is deeply concerned with the implications of President Trump’s executive order limiting immigration and movement into the United States.”[238] Moved by Mo Farah’s statement regarding the impact of the executive order, Nike chairman Mark Parker affirmed that his company would stand “together against bigotry and any form of discrimination”.[239] In solidarity with refugees affected by Trump’s ban, ride-sharing company Lyft donated one million dollars to the ACLU to support legal challenges against the order.[240] Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky offered to provide housing to refugees banned from the United States,[241] and Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz pledged to hire 10,000 refugees at branches around the world over the next five years.[242] The Koch brothers’ seminar network stated its opposition to the ban.[243] Organizations in the video game industry also spoke out against the ban, including International Game Developers Association, the Entertainment Software Association, and Insomniac Games, and several developers launched efforts through their games to provide donations to the ACLU for the legal challenges.[244] The Ford Motor Co. opposed the executive order, saying that it “goes against our values as a company.”[245]

Catholic Church

The Catholic Church has condemned the ban and encouraged mercy and compassion towards refugees.[246][247] The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops stated that “The church will not waiver in her defence of our sisters and brothers of all faiths who suffer at the hands of merciless persecutors”.[248] Church leaders speaking against the ban include Chicago cardinalBlaise Cupich (who called the executive action a “dark moment in US history”),[249] bishop Robert W. McElroy of San Diego, bishop Joe S. Vasquez of Austin, cardinal Donald Wuerl of Washington, archbishop José Gomez of Los Angeles,[250] and bishop Charles J. Chaput of Philadelphia.[250]

The same opinion is Louis Raphaël I Sako, the Patriarch of Babylon and Head of the Chaldean Catholic Church, who believes that the Executive Order will bring further division between christians and muslims in the MENA region.[251]

Financial markets

The stock market had its biggest drop in 2017 as investors reacted to the curb on immigration.[252] As uncertainty about the executive order continued, investors began to “dump stocks and the dollar” causing the Dow Jones Industrial Average to fall below 20,000.[253] European and Asian markets also closed at lower rates because of the uncertainty surrounding the executive order.[254]

Public opinion

On January 28, FiveThirtyEight discussed the ban, saying “the scope of Trump’s executive order is such that we’re largely in uncharted waters. Past polls are only so useful, as most of them did not ask about actions as broad as the ones Trump undertook.” Summarizing past polls, they found that Americans generally support reductions in immigration and refugee intake numbers, but oppose a religion-based immigration ban and blanket bans.[255] A Rasmussen Reports national survey taken on January 25–26 found that 57% of likely U.S. voters support temporary reductions, 33% are opposed, and 10% are undecided.[256] A Quinnipiac University national poll conducted January 5–9 showed American voters support 48–42 percent “suspending immigration from ‘terror prone’ regions, even if it means turning away refugees from those regions”. The same poll showed that American voters support 53–41 percent “requiring immigrants from Muslim countries to register with the federal government”.[257]

A poll conducted by Ipsos/Reuters from January 30–31 found that Americans agree with Trump’s executive order 48% to 41%, agree that the United States should limit the number of refugees allowed into the country 66% to 26%, should welcome Muslim refugees as well as Christian ones 57% to 28%, should welcome refugees from all conflicts not just certain ones 56% to 31%, and should open the borders to those fleeing ISIS specifically 49% to 40%. The poll also found Americans agree that all countries should open their borders to refugees of foreign conflicts 48% to 42%, and believe that singling out a group based on religion violates American principles 44% to 39%. The poll had a 95% confidence interval of 4.7%, adjusted for design effect.[13] Support for the travel ban split along party lines. A majority of Democrats strongly disagreed with Trump’s ban, while a majority of Republicans strongly agreed. The poll also found that Republicans were three times more likely than Democrats to believe that “banning people from Muslim countries is necessary to prevent terrorism.”[258]

In other findings of the Reuters poll, 31% of Americans believed that the ban made them more safe. 26% felt less safe after the executive order, while 33% said that it would not make a difference.[258] 72% of Democrats and 45% of Republicans, disagreed that the country should “welcome Christian refugees, but not Muslim ones.”[258]

Jewish organizations

The Economist noted that that the order was signed on International Holocaust Remembrance Day, “a time when many Americans recall with anguish the hundreds of German Jewish refugees denied entry to American ports”.[41] This fact, as well as Trump’s omission of any reference to Jews or Anti-Semitism in his concurrent address for Holocaust Remembrance Day[259] and the ban’s possible effect on Muslim refugees, led to condemnation from Jewish organizations, including the Anti-Defamation League, the HIAS, and J Street,[260] as well as Holocaust survivors.[261] Some of these organizations were involved in the protests against the immigration ban at the JFK International airport[262] and in Manhattan,[263] with groups of Jews, on the Sabbath, joining interfaith protests with Muslims against the immigration ban. For the first time since the war began, there is talk in Israel to reverse the long standing ban on Syrian refugees and allow in 100 Syrian children, none of the children have yet entered Israel.[264]

Alt-right and far-right organizations

Some groups that can be considered part of the “alt-right,” including white nationalists, anti-Semites, Men’s Rights Activists (MRA) praised the executive order.[265][266] The neo-Nazi website, the Daily Stormer, was “ecstatic” over the immigration ban.[267] The Southern Poverty Law Center (SLPC) reported that Andrew Anglin of the Daily Stormer advocated for the arrest of Judge Ann Donnelly, who issued a temporary stay on some of the executive order’s provisions.[268]

Some European far-right groups and politicians applauded the executive order.[269][270] Dutch politician Geert Wilders, leader of the anti-immigrant and anti-Islam Party for Freedom, also said he supported the measure as did Alexander Gauland of the right-wing populist party Alternative for Germany (AfD).[14][271][211] Nigel Farage, the former leader of the UK Independence Party, welcomed the executive order and called upon his country to replicate it, as did Matteo Salvini of Italy’s Lega Nord and Italian Senator Maurizio Gasparri.[211][269][272]

2017 French presidential candidate and frontrunner Marine Le Pen supported the executive order, pointing out that many Muslim-majority countries have a permanent travel ban against Israeli citizens, whereas Trump’s executive order is a temporary measure.[273]

Terrorist groups

Jihadist and Islamic terrorist groups celebrated the executive order as a victory, saying that “the new policy validates their claim that the United States is at war with Islam.”[274] ISIL-linked social media postings “compared the executive order to the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003, which Islamic militant leaders at the time hailed as a ‘blessed invasion’ that ignited anti-Western fervor across the Islamic world.”[274]

Legal challenges

On January 28, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) filed a lawsuit on behalf of two Iraqis who were detained at New York‘s John F. Kennedy International Airport on January 27, hours after the order was signed.[25] The lawsuit said that the executive order was in violation of procedural due process under the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution, the Immigration and Nationality Act, the Convention Against Torture, the Foreign Affairs Reform and Restructuring Act of 1998, and the Administrative Procedure Act.[275] The Council on American–Islamic Relations (CAIR) also said that it planned to file a lawsuit.[276]

On January 28 at about 9:00 p.m. EST, Ann Donnelly, a District Judge from the Eastern District of New York, blocked part of the order, ruling that refugees, naturalized citizens, visa holders, and green-card holders from the seven affected countries could not be sent back to their home countries.[76][277][278][76][279][280] Donnelly was acting her capacity as miscellaneous duty judge, and the case was assigned to Judge Carol Bagley Amon the following Monday, along with other related cases in the same district.[281] The decision covers airport detainees and those already in transit, estimated to number between 100 and 200.[282][283] Although the court found a “strong likelihood” that the enforcement of the order violated the detainees’ constitutional rights,[284] the court did not address whether the order is facially constitutional.[76] The stay will be in effect until a hearing scheduled for February 21.[85]

Similar stays have been issued in other cases, by Virginia Federal Judge Leonie Brinkema in Aziz v. Trump and Washington Federal Judge Thomas Zilly.[285]

On January 29 at 1:51 a.m. EST, U.S. District Judge Allison Burroughs and Magistrate Judge Judith Dein ordered that the same group of people shall not be detained or removed, and explicitly applied the same protections to U.S. permanent residents. Specially, the order barred the detention of those “who, absent the Executive Order, would be legally authorized to enter the United States”.[286] Further, the judges ordered the U.S. Customs and Border Protection to notify airlines with flights arriving at Logan Airport of the court order and “the fact that individuals on these flights will not be detained or returned based solely on the basis of the Executive Order”.[286][287] This court order restores the ability for lawful immigrants from the seven barred nations to enter the U.S. through Logan Airport.[287]

Lawyers representing the affected travelers said on January 29 that some authorities were unwilling to follow the judge’s ruling, citing the refusal of Border Patrol agents at Washington Dulles Airport to allow attorneys to communicate with detainees in violation of a district judges’ ruling that required such access.[288] Many detainees were held for hours without access to family, friends, or legal assistance.[89][289][290][291]

The state of Washington is filing a legal challenge to the executive order and the state has the support of Amazon.com Inc. and Expedia Inc.[292]

On February 1, District Judge André Birotte Jr. in the Central District of California issued a preliminary injunction in a case brought on behalf of 28 Yemeni immigrants suspended in transit to the US as a result of the executive order.[293] The ruling, worded to apply more broadly than to the case’s plaintiffs alone, said that anyone “from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen with a valid immigrant visa” be allowed to enter the United States.[293] However, as a State Department official had previously issued a memo “provisionally” revoking all immigrant visas in the wake of Trump’s issuing of the executive order, it was unclear whether the ruling would in practice apply to anyone.[294]

Lawsuits against the immigration policy of Donald Trump

Executive Order 13769, signed by U.S. President Donald Trump on January 27, 2017,[1] has been the subject of multiple ongoing legal challenges in the United States federal courts.

In the two days after the executive order was signed, more than 30 federal cases challenging it were filed in federal court.[2]Plaintiffs challenging the order argue that it contravenes the United States Constitution, federal statutes, or both. Several federal district judges have granted preliminary injunctive relief to challengers of the order, blocking portions of the executive order (but not all of it) from going into effect. The parties challenging the executive order include both private individuals who were blocked from entering the U.S. or detained following the executive order’s issuance, and the State of Washington, represented by its state attorney general.

After the executive order was signed, the acting attorney general of the United States, Sally Yates, directed the U.S. Department of Justice not to present arguments in court in defense of the executive order, writing in a memorandum that she was not convinced that the order was lawful.[3] Trump responded by firing Yates and publicly denouncing her in a “scorched-earth” statement.[4][5][6][excessive citations]


Trump signed Executive Order 13769 on January 27, 2017. The order barred aliens from Syria, Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, and Yemen from entering the United States for 90 days.[7]

The Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965 guarantees that “no person shall receive any preference or priority or be discriminated against in the issuance of an immigrant visa because of the person’s race, sex, nationality, place of birth, or place of residence” 8 U.S.C. §1152(a)(1)(A). The act also ensures that “[a]ny alien who is physically present in the United States or who arrives in the United States…irrespective of such alien’s status, may apply for asylum…” 8 U.S.C. §1158(a)(1).

Acting Attorney General statement and firing[edit]

White House Press Release regarding Yates

On January 30, 2017, acting United States Attorney General Sally Yates told Justice Department lawyers not to defend litigation involving President Trump’s immigration order banning entry into the United States for citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries and refugees from around the world. She stated in a memo on January 30, 2017, she does not believe the order is lawful.[8][9][10][excessive citations]

President Trump subsequenty fired Yates, following her public statements she did not believe the executive order was lawful, accusing her of partisan politics.[11][12][13][14][excessive citations] Later that day, the Trump administration replaced her with Dana Boente, the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia.[15] In a statement released by the White House, Yates’ move was characterized as betraying the Department of Justice and being “weak on borders”.[16]

Aziz v. Trump[edit]

Aziz v. Trump
United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia
Full case name Tareq Aqel Mohammed Aziz, Ammar Aqel Mohammed Aziz, Aqel Muhammad Aziz, Plaintiffs, v. Donald J. Trump, in his official capacity as President of the United States of America, et al., Defendants
Citations No. 1:17-cv-00116

Aziz v. Trump, No. 1:17-cv-00116 (E.D.Va. 2017), is a case currently pending in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia concerning the executive order Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States and the detention of 50–60 individuals at the Washington Dulles International Airport in Virginia from countries listed in the order.[17][18][19][excessive citations]


On the day Trump signed the executive order, 50–60 individuals at Washington Dulles International Airport in Virginia were detained by U.S. Customs and Border Protection. They were blocked from meeting with their attorneys or from applying for asylum.

On January 28, 2017, Tareq Aqel Mohammed Aziz, Ammar Aqel Mohammed Aziz, Aqel Muhammad Aziz, and John Does 1-60 filed a civil action in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, requesting a writ of habeas corpus and declaratory and injunctive relief after being detained at Dulles International Airport by Customs Officers. They alleged six causes of action in their original petition, denial of procedural due process, anti-establishment of religion (claims they are being targeted because they are Muslim), The Immigration and Nationality Act, Equal Protection, Administrative Procedure Act, and Religious Freedom Restoration Act.[19]

Temporary restraining order[edit]

TRO in Aziz v. Trump

On January 28, 2017, U.S. District Judge Leonie Brinkema issued a temporary restraining order enjoining President Donald Trump and the other respondents from enforcing of parts of Trump’s executive order. The Court stated in its order that Customs officials “… shall permit lawyers access to all legal permanent residents being detained at Dulles International Airport …” and that Customs officers “… are forbidden from removing … lawful permanent residents at Dulles International Airport for a period of 7 days from the issuance of this Order. The court has neither let the affected people into the country nor ruled on the constitutionality of the order itself in its ruling.[20][21]

Non-compliance with court order[edit]

On January 28, 2017, the United States Customs and Border Protection agency (“CBP”) and the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (“MWAA”) defied a court order issued that evening by the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia requiring that attorneys be granted access to travelers at Dulles Airport detained by CBP agents. By 10:30 pm that night, CBP and MWAA had copies of the order in hand, and repeatedly refused to comply on orders from the CBP. The MWAA Vice President and Airport Manager for Dulles International and the MWAA Deputy Chief of Police both refused to provide the legally required attorney access, despite confirming that they had the codes necessary to open the doors to the location where CBP was detaining individuals based on President Trump’s executive order. At approximately midnight, United States Senator Cory Booker, with a copy of the access Order in hand, was rejected access himself and for any of the attorneys present. As of late Sunday morning, a border agent told lawyers that agents have been instructed not to speak with them.[22] Lawyers at Dulles stated they are currently considering motions to hold the government in contempt and to compel disclosure of any individuals who are being detained.[23]

On January 29, 2017, several members of Congress traveled to Dulles Airport and demanded that Dulles MWAA Police officers allow them to at least speak to customs officials – Democratic Reps. Gerry Connolly (Va.), Don Beyer (Va.), Jamie Raskin (Md.), and John Delaney (Md.). Connolly formally requested access to the detainees from MWAA Police, including Chief Deputy Damsky, and CBP and his request was denied. Connolly reportedly demanded, “Your job is to enforce the law, We have a federal judge who has ruled that anybody being detained is entitled to legal representation. Have they been denied that right or are they in fact getting legal representation?” Connolly was handed a phone with the CBP congressional liaison office on the line during his altercation with Airport Police. Connolly later reported that “he tried to get a straight answer from them but got nowhere”.[24][23][22][excessive citations]

Amended Legal Complaint and CrowdFunding[edit]

On January 30, 2017, the Legal Aid Justice Center (“LAJC”) filed an amended complaint against Donald Trump, the Department of Homeland Security, Customs and Border Protection, John Kelly (Secretary of DHS), Kevin McAleenan (Acting Commissioner of CBP), Wayne Bioni (CBP Port Director of the Area Port of Washington Dulles), and eight unnamed CBP agents at Dulles Airport. The amended complaint further details the circumstances surrounding the Aziz brothers’ detainment and treatment and asks for the US Government to allow everyone deported from Dulles as a result of Trump’s executive order to return to the US and have their immigration status restored.[25]

In conjunction with the campaign, the LAJC announced the launch of a crowdfunding campaign designed to support the legal expenses related to Aziz v. Trump.[26]

Darweesh v. Trump[edit]

Darweesh v. Trump
United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York
Full case name Hameed Khalid Darweesh and Haider Sameer Abdulkhaleq Alshawi, Plaintiffs, v. Donald J. Trump, in his official capacity as President of the United States of America, Defendants, et. al
Citations No. 1:17-cv-00480

Darweesh v. Trump, No. 1:17-cv-00480 (E.D.N.Y. 2017), currently pending in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York, challenges the validity of the executive order.[27][28][29][excessive citations] On January 28, 2017, the court granted a temporary emergency stay halting parts of the order.[30] The court has neither let the affected people into the country nor ruled on the constitutionality of the order itself.[30][31][32][excessive citations]


Original Complaint

On the day Trump signed the executive order, Hameed Darweesh and Haider Alshawi landed at John F. Kennedy International Airport and were detained by U.S. Customs and Border Protection. They were forbidden from meeting with their attorneys or applying for asylum. Darweesh served in Iraq for over a decade as an interpreter on behalf of the United States Army 101st Airborne and 91st Engineering Unit and as an electrician and contractor.[33]

On January 28, 2017, the American Civil Liberties Union filed a civil action against President Trump, alleging that his executive order barring citizens of specific countries from entry into the United States is in violation of procedural due process, substantive due process, and equal protection under the Fifth Amendment of the United States Constitution; the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965; The Convention Against Torture; the Foreign Affairs Reform and Restructuring Act of 1998; and the Administrative Procedure Act by denying foreign nationals who possess validly issued visas the right to enter the United States. The suit seeks a declaratory judgment and an injunction directed at President Trump, and a writ of habeas corpus ordering the release of any person currently detained as a result of President Trump’s executive order barring entry into the United States from predominantly Muslim countries.[34][35][36][excessive citations]

Class action certification[edit]

Class Certification

On January 28, 2017, the American Civil Liberties Union filed a motion asking the US District Court to certify the case as a class action lawsuit and asked the Court to certify class status for all persons affected by President Trump’s Executive Order. The motion stated “… Petitioners and the proposed class, by and through their attorneys, hereby respectfully move this Court for an order certifying a representative class of Petitioners, pursuant to United States ex rel. Sero v. Preiser, 506 F.2d 1115 (2d Cir. 1974). Petitioners ask this Court to certify a class consisting of all individuals with refugee applications approved by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services as part of the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program, holders of valid immigrant and non-immigrant visas, and other individuals from Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia, and Yemen legally authorized to enter the United States, but who have been or will be denied entry to the United States on the basis of the January 27, 2017 Executive Order. …”.[37][38]

Partial stay of executive order[edit]

Stay order

On January 28, 2017, Ann Donnelly, a Brooklyn federal judge, issued an emergency stay that temporarily blocks the U.S. government from sending people out of the country after they have landed at a U.S. airport with valid visas.[39][40][41][42][excessive citations] The stay was granted following the filing of an Emergency Motion to Stay President Trump’s Executive Order by the ACLU attorneys who are opposing removal of their clients from the United States. The Court ruled that a stay was warranted since the Plaintiff’s habeas petitions were pending review before the Court.[43][44][excessive citations]

Related E.D.N.Y. lawsuits[edit]

In addition to Darweesh, there are 14 other Petitions for Habeas Corpus pending in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York, filed over the Jan. 28–29 weekend:

E.D.N.Y. Related Lawsuits
Case Number Parties
1:17-cv-00483 Alkanfushe v. Trump et al.
1:17-cv-00484 Al Saeedi v. Trump et al.
1:17-cv-00486 Sabounchi v. Trump et al.
1:17-cv-00487 Alqaissi et al. v. Trump et al.
1:17-cv-00488 Abushamma v. Trump et al.
1:17-cv-00489 Rashekhi v. Trump et al.
1:17-cv-00490 Jalayer v. Trump et al.
1:17-cv-00492 Narges v. Trump et al.
1:17-cv-00493 Ahmed v. Trump et al.
1:17-cv-00494 Emamjomeh et al. v. Trump et al.
1:17-cv-00495 Hatahet v. Trump et al.
1:17-cv-00496 Fasihianifard v. Trump et al.
1:17-cv-00498 Alinejad v. Trump et al.
1:17-cv-00499 Lin v. Kelly et al.

Doe v. Trump[edit]

Doe v. Trump
United States District Court for the Western District of Washington
Full case name John DOE 1, John DOE 2 , Plaintiffs, v. Donald J. Trump, in his official capacity as President of the United States of America, et al., Defendants
Citations No. 2:17-cv-00126

Doe v. Trump, No. 2:17-cv-00126 (W.D.Wash. 2017), is a case currently pending in the United States District Court for the Western District of Washington concerning the executive order Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States and the detention of individuals at Sea-Tac Airport in Washington from countries listed in the order.[45]


On January 27, 2017, U.S. President Donald Trump signed an executive order, Protecting the Nation From Terrorist Attacks by Foreign Nationals, barring aliens from Syria, Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, and Yemen from entering the United States for 90 days. Later that day, Plaintiffs at Sea-Tac Airport in Washington were detained by U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

On January 28, 2017, John Doe 1 and John Doe 2 filed a civil action in the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts, requesting a writ of habeas corpus and declaratory and injunctive relief after being detained at Sea-Tac Airport by Customs Officers. They alleged four causes of action in their original petition, denial of procedural due process, Statutory Violations of The Immigration and Nationality Act, the United Nations Convention Against Torture and Foreign Affairs Reform and Restructuring Act of 1998, Equal Protection, and violations of the Administrative Procedure Act.[45]

Temporary stay of removal[edit]

On January 29, 2017, the United States District Court for the Western District of Washington issued a temporary stay of removal directed to Donald Trump, which prohibited removal from the US of any of the Plaintiffs to the action. The stay is set to expire on February 3, 2017.[46]

Mohammed v. United States[edit]

Mohammed v. Trump
United States District Court for the Central District of California
Citations No. 2:17-cv-00786

Mohammed v. United States, No. 2:17-cv-00786 (C.D. Cal. 2017), currently pending in the United States District Court for the Central District of California.


Sarsour v. Trump[edit]

Sarsour v. Trump
United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia
Citations No. 1:17-cv-00120

Sarsour v. Trump or CAIR v. Trump, No. 1:17-cv-00120 (E.D.Va. 2017), currently pending in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, challenges the validity of the order.[47][48][49][50][51][excessive citations]


On January 30, 2017 The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), a Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, held a news conference in Washington, D.C. and announced the filing of a federal lawsuit on behalf of individuals challenging the constitutionality of President Trump’s recent executive order. The lawsuit alleges, among other things, that the executive order is unconstitutional because it targets and is discriminatory towards Muslims.[52][53]

On January 30, 2017, Linda Sarsour, et al. filed a civil action in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, requesting declaratory and injunctive relief and alleging religious discrimination on basis the executive order targets Muslims. They alleged four causes of action in their original petition, anti-establishment of religion (claims they are being targeted because they are Muslim), Free Exercise (claiming they are being burdened in the exercise of their religion), violation of due process rights, and violations of the Administrative Procedure Act. The suit seeks a declaratory judgment that the executive order violates the Constitution and an Injunction staying its affect.[47][49]

CAIR v. Trump Complaint

State of Washington v. Trump[edit]

State of Washington v. Trump
United States District Court for the Western District of Washington
Full case name State of Washington, Plaintiffs, v. Donald J. Trump, in his official capacity as President of the United States of America, et al., Defendants
Citations No. 2:17-cv-00141

State of Washington v. Trump, No. 2:17-cv-00141 (W.D.Wash. 2017), currently pending in the United States District Court for the Western District of Washington, challenges the validity of the order.[54][55][56][57][58][59][60][excessive citations]


On January 30, 2017, the State of Washington — represented by state Attorney General Bob Ferguson, with the support of Governor Jay Inslee,[61]filed a civil action in the United States District Court for the Western District of Washington, against Trump and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. The state’s suit asked the court for declaratory relief (a declaration that the executive order violates the Constitution) and injunctive relief (to block enforcement of the executive order). The state also filed a motion for temporary restraining order, seeking an immediate halt to the executive order’s implementation.[55]

Washington state alleges nine causes of action in its original complaint: (1) that the executive order violates the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment by denying the equal protection of the laws; (2) that the executive order violates the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment by preferring one religion over another; (3) that the executive order violates the Fifth Amendment right to procedural due process; (4) that the executive order’s discriminatory visa procedures violate the Immigration and Nationality Act; (5) that the denial of asylum and withholding of removal violate the Immigration and Nationality Act; (6) that the executive order violates federal statutory law implementing the United Nations Convention against Torture; (7) that the executive order violates the Religious Freedom Restoration Act; (8) that the executive order is a procedural violation of the Administrative Procedure Act; and (9) that the executive order is a substantive violation of the Administrative Procedure Act.[54]

Louhghalam et al v. Trump[edit]

Louhghalam et al v. Trump
United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts
Full case name ARGHAVAN LOUHGHALAM and MAZDAK POURABDOLLAH TOOTKABONI, Plaintiffs, v. Donald J. Trump, in his official capacity as President of the United States of America, et al., Defendants
Citations No. 17-cv-10154

Louhghalam v. Trump, No. 17-cv-10154 (D.Mass. 2017), currently pending in the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts, challenges the executive order. The suit arose from the detention of individuals at Logan International Airport in Massachusetts from countries listed in the order.[62]


On the day Trump signed the executive order, Plaintiffs at Logan International Airport in Boston were detained by U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

On January 28, 2017, Mazdak Pourabdollah Tootkaboni and Arghavan Louhghalam were detained at Logan International Airport by Customs Officers.[63] Tootkaboni and Louhghalam, a married couple, are both engineering professors at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth who hold doctorates from Johns Hopkins University. They are Iranian nationals who are lawful permanent residents of the United States (i.e., Green Card holders).[63][64] They had flown from Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris back to Massachusetts after finishing a weeklong conference on sustainable engineering held in Marseille.[63] The professors were released after being detained for about three hours.[64]

After being detained, Tootkaboni and Louhghalam, represented by the American Immigration Lawyers Association and the ACLU of Massachusetts,[64] filed a civil action in the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts, filing a petition for a writ of habeas corpus and a complaint seeking declaratory and injunctive relief. They raised five causes of action in their original petition: (1) denial of procedural due process; (2) violation of the freedom of religion protections of the First Amendment (Tootkaboni and Louhghalam allege that they were singled out because they are Muslim); (3) violation of the Equal Protection Clause; (4) violation of the Administrative Procedure Act; and (5) violation of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA).[62]

Temporary restraining order[edit]

The temporary restraining order in Louhghalam v. Trump was issued on January 29, 2017.

On January 29, 2017, U.S. District Judge Allison Dale Burroughs and Magistrate Judge Judith Gail Dein of the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts issued a temporary restraining order (TRO) directed to defendant Trump, which prohibited removal from the United States of any person with a valid visa, someone awarded refugee status, or lawful permanent residents, and that any secondary screening process must comply with 8 U.S.C. § 1101(a)(13)(c).[65][66]

The order barred the detention of those “who, absent the Executive Order, would be legally authorized to enter the United States.” Further, the judges ordered the U.S. Customs and Border Protection to notify airlines with flights arriving at Logan Airport of the court order and “the fact that individuals on these flights will not be detained or returned based solely on the basis of the Executive Order.”[67]

The TRO is set to expire seven days after issuance; a hearing will be held by the court before the TRO expires.[68]

San Francisco v. Trump[edit]

City and County of San Francisco v. Trump
United States District Court for the Northern District of California
Full case name City and County of San Francisco, Plaintiffs, v. Donald J. Trump, in his official capacity as President of the United States of America, et al., Defendants
Citations No. 3:17-cv-00485

City and County of San Francisco v. Trump or San Francisco v. Trump, No. 3:17-cv-00485 (N.D.Cal. 2017), currently pending in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California, challenges executive order 13768 on the grounds it violates the 10th Amendment of the United States Constitution.[69][70][71][excessive citations]


On January 31, 2017 the City and County of San Francisco filed a civil action challenging executive order 13768 on the grounds that it violates the 10th Amendment of the United States Constitution with regard to State Sovereignty. San Francisco sued the Trump administration over the executive order requiring the federal government to withhold money from so-called sanctuary cities that protect undocumented immigrants from federal prosecution. The lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in the Northern District of California alleges that Trump’s order violates the Tenth Amendment, which states that powers not explicitly given to the federal government by the constitution are reserved for the states.[72][73]

The civil suit alleges three causes of action (1) Declaratory Relief – San Francisco complies with 8 U.S.C. § 1373, (2) 10th Amendement – 8 U.S.C. § 1373(a) is unconstitutional, and (3) 10th Amendment – Executive Order Section 9(A) enforcement directive is unconstitutional. The suit seeks a Declaratory Judgment and Injunctive Relief holding that, (1) 8 U.S.C. § 1373(a) is unconstitutional and invalid on its face; (2) Enjoin Defendants from enforcing Section 1373(a) or using it as a condition for receiving federal funds; (3) Declare that Section 8 U.S.C. § 1373(a) is invalid as applied to state and local Sanctuary City laws, (4) Enjoin Defendants from enforcing Section 1373(a) against jurisdictions that enact Sanctuary City laws for legitimate local purposes; (5) Declare that San Francisco complies with Section 8 U.S.C. § 1373; (6) Enjoin Defendants from designating San Francisco as a jurisdiction that fails to comply with Section 8 U.S.C. § 1373; (7) Enjoin unconstitutional applications of the Enforcement Directive in Executive Order Section 9(a).[69]

Unlike other suits brought in United States District Courts across the United States challenging the executive order, this suit challenges Executive Order 13768 and is the first one to challenge the executive order on the basis of State’s Rights for Sanctuary Cities.[74]

International Law[edit]

United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad al Hussein has expressed the view that the executive order violates international human rights law.[75] Some legal scholars believe that the executive order breaches the United States’ obligations as a party to both the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees (Geneva Refugee Convention) and the United Nations Convention against Torture. The latter treaty imposes an absolute duty upon state parties “not to return a person to a state where they may face torture or other serious harms.”[76] In a telephone call with Trump, German Chancellor Angela Merkel expressed the view of the German government that Trump’s executive order ran counter to the duties of all signatory states to the Geneva Refugee Convention “to take in war refugees on humanitarian grounds.”[77]

Department of Homeland Security official statement[edit]

The Department of Homeland Security Issued the following statement on January 29, 2017:

“Upon issuance of the court orders yesterday, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) immediately began taking steps to comply with the orders. Concurrently, the Department of Homeland Security continues to work with our partners in the Departments of Justice and State to implement President Trump’s executive order on protecting the nation from foreign terrorist entry into the United States. We are committed to ensuring that all individuals affected by the executive orders, including those affected by the court orders, are being provided all rights afforded under the law. We are also working closely with airline partners to prevent travelers who would not be granted entry under the executive orders from boarding international flights to the U.S. Therefore, we do not anticipate that further individuals traveling by air to the United States will be affected. As Secretary Kelly previously stated, in applying the provisions of the president’s executive order, the entry of lawful permanent residents is in the national interest. Accordingly, absent significant derogatory information indicating a serious threat to public safety and welfare, lawful permanent resident status will be a dispositive factor in our case-by-case determinations. We are and will remain in compliance with judicial orders. We are and will continue to enforce President Trump’s executive order humanely and with professionalism. DHS will continue to protect the homeland.”[78]

Federal response

White House Press Release regarding Sally Yates

In response to the lawsuits, the Department of Homeland Security issued a statement on January 29 saying that that it would continue to enforce all of the executive order and that “prohibited travel will remain prohibited”, noting that “no foreign national in a foreign land, without ties to the United States, has any unfettered right to demand entry into the United States or to demand immigration benefits in the United States”.[88] On the same day, a White House spokesperson said that the rulings did not undercut the executive order, and that “All stopped visas will remain stopped. All halted admissions will remain halted. All restricted travel will remain prohibited.”[295]On January 30, then-Acting Attorney General Sally Yates, an Obama administration appointee holding the position until the confirmation of Jeff Sessions, barred the Justice Department from defending the executive order in court.[296][297] According to Yates, the department’s Office of Legal Counsel conducted a review of the order in order to determine if it was “lawful on its face”, but she said that the review did not address the order’s effects, which she felt were not in keeping “with this institution’s solemn obligation to always seek justice and stand for what is right”.[48] She went on further to say that, regardless of the Office of Legal Counsel’s opinion, she was not “convinced that the executive order is lawful”.[48] After coming out against Trump’s refugee ban, however, Trump quickly relieved her of her duties, calling her statement a “betrayal” to the administration.[298] He replaced her with Dana J. Boente, the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia.[299] In addition, acting director of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Daniel Ragsdale was replaced with Thomas Homan soon after Yates’s removal.[300] This leadership alteration became known as the Monday Night Massacre.[301]

In response to the firing of Yates and the demotion of Ragsdale, a bipartisan group of more than 70 former federal prosecutors — including 50 who had served under a Republican administration — defended the decision of the former acting Attorney General.[302] In their statement, they said:

Struck by one stunning headline after another, we stopped to think: if we were called upon to defend the Executive Order, could we do it within the guidelines we learned and lived by as lawyers for the United States? We could not. We could not candidly tell a court, consistent with these principles, that the Executive Order is not, in fact, a thinly veiled attempt to exclude Muslims from certain countries based on their religion. We could not candidly tell a court that the United States has the right to turn away refugees fleeing grave danger, even though they have already been fully vetted and approved for admission. We could not candidly tell a court, consistent with these principles, that the United States has the right to bar admission to people who are otherwise lawfully permitted to enter the United States, based solely on the fact that others of their religion are perceived to be potential security threats. We could not candidly tell a court that the United States has the right to detain or forcibly return people who have lawfully traveled here, based solely on their religion and country of origin. If asked whether the language of the Executive Order would permit the President to give preference to Christians over Muslims for admission to the United States, a position the President has publicly expressed, we would have to say, yes, the language would allow that. If asked whether such a religious preference comports with our Constitution, we would have to say we do not believe so.

Not all responders were supportive of Yates, however. Journalist Gregg Jarrett of Fox News applauded the removal, saying that Yates had “committed an egregious violation of ethical standards and a serious breach of her duties” and “deserved to get canned.”[303] Jack Goldsmith, a former US Assistant Attorney General, said:[304]

If Yates feels this way, she should have resigned. Instead, she wrote a letter that appears to depart sharply from the usual criteria that an Attorney General would apply in deciding whether to defend an EO in court. As such, the letter seems like an act of insubordination that invites the President to fire her. Which he did.

Anti Trump Protest

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Protests against Donald Trump
Anti-Trump protests.jpg

From top to bottom:
Protestors in St. Paul, Minnesota, a protest near the United Nations Plaza in San Francisco, and Chicago, Illinois
Location United States, Canada, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Philippines, Australia, Israel, among other countries.
Methods Demonstration, riots, Internet activism, political campaigning, vandalism, arson

Presidential campaign
Thousands of protesters


  • Pre-inauguration
  • Women’s March
    500,000+ (Washington, D.C.)
    2–4 million (US)
    4–5 million (world)[6]
Injuries 43+[7][8][9]
Arrested 371+ [7]

Protests against Donald Trump, or anti-Trump protests, have occurred both in the United States and worldwide following Donald Trump‘s 2016 presidential campaign, his electoral win, and through his inauguration.



Campaign protests

A number of protests against Donald Trump’s candidacy and political positions occurred during his presidential campaign, including at political rallies.

Political rallies

During his presidential campaign, activists occasionally organized demonstrations inside Trump’s rallies, sometimes with calls to shut the rallies down;[10][11][12] fueled by some of Trump’s language,[13] protesters began to attend his rallies displaying signs and disrupting proceedings.[14][15] Following Trump’s election to the presidency, students and activists organized larger protests in several major cities across the United States, including New York, Boston, Chicago, Portland, and Oakland. Tens of thousands of protesters participated,[16][17][18] with many chanting “Not my president!” to express their opposition to Trump’s victory in the Electoral College. (He lost the popular vote by a margin of 2.1 percent.)[19]

There were occasional incidents of verbal abuse or physical violence, either against protesters or against Trump supporters. While most of the incidents amounted to simple heckling against the candidate, a few people had to be stopped by Secret Service agents. Large-scale disruption forced Trump to cancel a rally in Chicago on March 11, 2016, out of safety concerns.

Many protesters were part of organized groups such as Black Lives Matter.[20][21] They sometimes attempted to enter the venue or engage in activities outside the venue. Interactions with supporters of the candidate may occur before, during, or after the event.[22] At times, protesters attempted to rush the stage at Trump’s rallies.[23] At times, protests turned violent and anti-Trump protesters have been attacked by Trump supporters; this violence has received bipartisan condemnation.[24] MoveOn.org, People for Bernie, the Muslim Students’ Association, Assata’s Daughters, the Black Student Union, Fearless Undocumented Alliance, and Black Lives Matter were among the organizations who sponsored or promoted the protests at the March 11 Chicago Trump rally.[10][25][26][27]

There were reports of verbal and physical confrontations between Trump supporters and protesters at Trump’s campaign events.[28][29]

Fake News

Fox News incorrectly reported on a Craigslist advertisement that claimed to pay people $15 per hour, for up to four hours, if they took part in protests against Trump.[30] The fact checking website PolitiFact.com, rated a separate story titled “Donald Trump Protester Speaks Out: ‘I Was Paid $3,500 To Protest Trump’s Rally'” as “100 percent fabricated, as its author acknowledges.”[31] Paul Horner, a writer for a fake news website, took credit for the article, and said he posted the deceitful ad himself.[32]

Trump’s reactions

During the campaign, Trump was accused by some of creating aggressive undertones at his rallies.[33] Trump’s Republican rivals blamed him for fostering a climate of violence, and escalating tension during events.[34] Initially, Trump did not condemn the acts of violence that occurred at many of his rallies, and indeed encouraged them in some cases.[35][36]

In November 2015, Trump said of a protester in Birmingham, Alabama, “Maybe he should have been roughed up, because it was absolutely disgusting what he was doing.”[37] In December, the campaign urged attendees not to harm protesters, but rather to alert law enforcement officers of them by holding signs above their head and yelling, “Trump! Trump! Trump!”[38]Trump has been criticized for additional instances of fomenting an atmosphere conducive to violence through many of his comments. For example, Trump told a crowd in Cedar Rapids, Iowa that he would pay their legal fees if they engaged a protester.[39]

On February 23, 2016, when a protester was ejected from a rally in Las Vegas, Trump stated, “I love the old days—you know what they used to do to guys like that when they were in a place like this? They’d be carried out on a stretcher, folks.” He added, “I’d like to punch him in the face.”[40][41][42] Following criticism from the media over his language toward protesters, Trump began to backtrack and started encouraging supporters at rallies to not injure any protesters. He also admitted at his San Jose rally that he was wrong to make such inflammatory comments in the past.[43]


Fairly early in the campaign the United States Secret Service assumed primary responsibility for Trump’s security. They were augmented by state and local law enforcement as needed. When a venue was rented by the campaign, the rally was a private event and the campaign might grant or deny entry to it with no reason given; the only stipulation was that exclusion solely on the basis of race was forbidden. Those who entered or remained inside such a venue without permission were technically guilty of or liable for trespass.[21] Attendees or the press could be assigned or restricted to particular areas in the venue.[20]

In March 2016, Politico reported that the Trump campaign hired plainclothes private security guards to preemptively remove potential protesters from rallies.[44] That same month, a group calling itself the “Lion Guard” was formed to offer “additional security” at Trump rallies. The group was quickly condemned by mainstream political activists as a paramilitary fringe organization.

Timeline of protests against Donald Trump

The following is a timeline of protests against Donald Trump.

People taking part of the 2017 Women’s March on DC the day after Donald Trump’s inauguration.

File:Protesters Take to Parade Route.webm

Protesters at the inauguration of Donald Trump

Protests during Trump’s campaign[edit]


Protests against Trump began following the announcement of his candidacy in June 2015, especially after he said that illegal immigrants from Mexico were “bringing drugs, bringing crime, they’re rapists”.[1][2]


  • June 17 – At Trump’s first rally in New Hampshire, three protesters entered the rally and held up signs. This was the first documented protest of the campaign.[3][4]
  • June 29 – At a luncheon in Chicago, about 100 protesters gathered across from the City Club of Chicago to demonstrate.[1]


A protest against Trump at the future Trump International Hotel Washington, D.C. on July 9, 2015

  • July 9 – In Washington, D.C., a group of protesters gathered outside of the future Trump International Hotel Washington D.C. to demonstrate and “call for a worldwide boycott of Trump properties and TV shows”.[5]
  • July 10 – While Trump spoke at a Friends of Abe gathering, about 150 protesters gathered with signs and hitting piñatas made in Trump’s image. A smaller group of Trump supporters gathered near the protests and caused tension, with one Trump supporter beginning to jab at protesters.[6]
  • July 12 – Protesters interrupted Trump at a speech in Phoenix, Arizona, with a large sign and were later escorted out while Trump supporters chanted “U-S-A!“.[7]
  • July 23 – Trump arrived in Laredo, Texas, and was greeted by protesters while others gathered in support.[8]


  • August 11 – About 150 protesters gathered in Birch Run, Michigan outside of a rally at the Birch Run Expo Center, gathered by the Democratic Party of Michigan due to what they called “anti-immigrant, anti-veteran statements” made by Trump.[9]
  • August 25 – During a press conference, Univision anchor Jorge Ramos began to question Trump since before being called on. After being told “Sit down! you weren’t called” and “Go back to Univision”, Ramos continued to protest Trump’s plan to deport illegal immigrants and their children born into citizenship in the U.S. Trump motioned to his security, with Keith Schiller removing Ramos from the event. Trump later met with Ramos alone.[10][11][12]


  • September 3 – Trump’s chief of security, Keith Schiller, was filmed punching a protester.[13]


  • October 14 – In Richmond, Virginia, several clashes broke out between protesters and Trump supporters.[14]