Tracking Donald Trump’s First 100 Days in Office

From Marie Claire

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The White House would like you to know it has accomplished things

Donald Trump’s team sent out an email blast this morning to the press titled “President Trump’s 100 Days of Historic Accomplishments.” The list, which includes headings such as “getting the government out of the way,” contains comparisons to what former presidents had completed at this point in their terms. The list also highlights that Trump has signed 30 executive orders since taking office in January, compared to former President Barack Obama’s 19.

WH blasting out new email this morning listing first 100 days accomplishments

Trump’s email blast comes despite criticism from the president about the concept of using the first 100 days to judge effectiveness. In the last week, Trump has called the benchmark “not very meaningful” and suggested it’s overrated as a tool of evaluating a presidency.

Key tweet of the day:

Canada has made business for our dairy farmers in Wisconsin and other border states very difficult. We will not stand for this. Watch!

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Key tweet of the day:

The two fake news polls released yesterday, ABC & NBC, while containing some very positive info, were totally wrong in General E. Watch!

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The public weighs in

A new poll has some bad news for the president. Donald Trump’s approval rating is at 42 percent with just days left until he reaches his 100-day mark, according to an ABC News/Washington Post poll released Sunday. That’s the lowest for any president at this point in their term since pollsters began tracking it in the 1940s. For comparison, former President Barack Obama had a 69-percent approval rating at this juncture of his first term.

Key tweet of the day:

Eventually, but at a later date so we can get started early, Mexico will be paying, in some form, for the badly needed border wall.

Key tweet of the day:

I am committed to keeping our air and water clean but always remember that economic growth enhances environmental protection. Jobs matter!

 

 

Trump unhappy with ‘100 days’ benchmark

The president has a bone to pick with the “first 100 days” benchmark used to evaluate how a presidency is going. Donald Trump criticized the standard in a tweet Friday, calling it “ridiculous” and insinuating the media would not give him credit for his successes. Trump’s main victory since entering office, which he highlighted in his post, has been the confirmation of Supreme Court justice Neil Gorsuch. Many of his other notable moves, such as his travel ban or healthcare replacement, have failed to be instituted.

Key tweet of the day:

No matter how much I accomplish during the ridiculous standard of the first 100 days, & it has been a lot (including S.C.), media will kill!

 

Key tweet of the day:

Failing @nytimes, which has been calling me wrong for two years, just got caught in a big lie concerning New England Patriots visit to W.H.

 

Patriots visit the White House

With just 10 days left of Trump’s first 100 days in office, the White House played host to the New England Patriots today. The visit is in honor of their victory earlier this year at Super Bowl LI. The president met with the team’s players and gave remarks where he singled out around seven team members for their performance. But one player not in attendance was quarterback Tom Brady, who cited personal family matters as his reason for staying home. Donald Trump has long touted his friendship with Brady, but Brady wasn’t the only player to skip. Several team members opted out of the visit due to political disagreements with the president.

Key tweet of the day:

Dems failed in Kansas and are now failing in Georgia. Great job Karen Handel! It is now Hollywood vs. Georgia on June 20th.

 

New executive order says ‘Buy American’

On Tuesday, Donald Trump signed a new executive order essentially stating “Buy American; Hire American.” The order is meant to reduce the number of low-wage foreign workers in the country and improve the amount of job opportunities for American employees. The initiative is in line with his “America First” theme for his first 100 days in office, but defies his campaign rhetoric, where he suggested it would be unfair to crack down on H1-B visa holders.

Key tweet of the day:

Just learned that Jon @Ossoff, who is running for Congress in Georgia, doesn’t even live in the district. Republicans, get out and vote!

 

Next target: Jon Ossoff

The president stepped into campaign mode once again when he got involved in the Georgia special election. The election is being held to fill Tom Price’s congressional seat, following his confirmation as secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services. Trump began tweeting about the main Democratic candidate, Jon Ossoff, after polls made it clear that Ossoff was the leading character in the race. The district in question isn’t exactly a Republican stronghold; Trump won by less than 2 percent back in November. Nevertheless, it was expected that Ossoff would fall short of the 50 percent marker he needs to avoid a runoff election later this year.

Key tweet of the day:

With eleven Republican candidates running in Georgia (on Tuesday) for Congress, a runoff will be a win. Vote “R” for lower taxes & safety!

 

Key tweet of the day:

I did what was an almost an impossible thing to do for a Republican-easily won the Electoral College! Now Tax Returns are brought up again?

 

Trump’s White House visitor logs will be private

The White House has announced that most of the visitor logs for those stopping by the Oval Office will remain private. Citing “grave national security risks and privacy concerns,” the Trump administration will not willingly disclose the names of the president’s vistors. Unless the White House amends this policy, it could take years for that information to be revealed.

 

Key tweet of the day:

 

Trump signs off on defunding Planned Parenthood

The president signed off today on a resolution that will allow states to defund family planning centers such as Planned Parenthood if they provide abortion services. The resolution overturns a late Obama-era policy that prevented the government from defunding these providers for any reason other than lack of “ability to deliver services to program beneficiaries in an effective manner.”

Though Republicans have long held a stance against taxpayer money being used to pay for abortion services, it’s a solution without a problem. The Hyde Amendment has prevented tax dollars from being used for abortion services for decades.

Key tweet of the day:

Things will work out fine between the U.S.A. and Russia. At the right time everyone will come to their senses & there will be lasting peace!

 

Key tweet of the day:

Jobs are returning, illegal immigration is plummeting, law, order and justice are being restored. We are truly making America great again!

 

The president is disturbed by the United Airlines video

The White House said Tuesday that Donald Trump has seen the viral video of United Airlines passenger Dr. David Dao being forcibly deplaned and that Trump is “disturbed” by the video. White House press secretary Sean Spicer told reporters during his daily briefing that he believes anyone would be bothered by how Dao was treated. “I don’t think anyone looks at that video and isn’t a little disturbed that another human being is treated that way,” Spicer said.

No troops in Syria… for now

In an interview set to air Wednesday morning on Fox Business, the president said that the U.S. is not putting ground troops in war-torn Syria. Literally. “We’re not going into Syria,” Trump told Fox’s Maria Bartiromo. Trump’s interview comes amid questions about the White House’s next move, after he ordered missile strikes last week against a Syrian airbase. The strikes were a response to Syrian leader Bashar Assad, who is suspected of using chemical weapons against his people last week in an attack that killed dozens.

“Look, what I did should have been done by the Obama administration a long time before I did it,” Trump said. “And you would have had a much better – I think Syria would be a lot better off right now than it has been.”

Key tweet of the day:

North Korea is looking for trouble. If China decides to help, that would be great. If not, we will solve the problem without them! U.S.A.

 

Trump makes his mark on SCOTUS

Trump’s Supreme Court pick Neil Gorsuch was sworn onto the highest bench in the country Monday. His swearing in marks the president’s first landmark success with Congress since taking office. Gorsuch will serve as the late Justice Antonin Scalia’s replacement, more than a year after Scalia passed away. Gorsuch is considered very similar to Scalia in how he will decide cases, being a constitutional originalist.

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Key tweet(s) of the day:

So sad to hear of the terrorist attack in Egypt. U.S. strongly condemns. I have great…

So sad to hear of the terrorist attack in Egypt. U.S. strongly condemns. I have great…

…confidence that President Al Sisi will handle situation properly.

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Key tweet of the day:

The reason you don’t generally hit runways is that they are easy and inexpensive to quickly fix (fill in and top)!

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U.S. conducts airstrike on Syria

The president ordered airstrikes on the Al-Shayrat airbase in Homs, Syria on Thursday, in retaliation for a chemical weapon attack that killed more than 100 people. The attack is suspected to be the work of Bashar Assad’s government, and these airstrikes are the first targeted U.S. action against Assad since the Syrian civil war began six years ago.

The administration says the site of the strikes was chosen because U.S. officials tracked the planes that carried the chemical weapons using radar. In remarks shortly after the strikes, Trump said they were “in this vital national security interest of the United States to prevent and deter the spread and use of deadly chemical weapons.”

Eleven weeks in, Trump says he’s had the one of the most successful 13 weeks…?

Donald Trump said Thursday that he thinks his administration has had “one of the most successful 13 weeks in the history of the presidency.” There are just two problems: First, he’s had one of the most controversial terms in history to date, with multiple Cabinet picks stepping down, ongoing investigations into his campaign’s ties with Russia, a failed healthcare bill, and low poll numbers.

Second, he’s only been in office for 11 weeks.

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Bannon removed from the National Security Council

White House senior adviser Steve Bannon has been removed from the National Security Council, according to reports. On Tuesday, President Trump signed an executive order reorganizing the NSC. In it, he restored the director of national intelligence, CIA director, and chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to full participation and removed Bannon from the panel. The White House did not announce the move publicly, so it wasn’t reported on until Wednesday. A White House source said Bannon can still attend any meeting where his expertise is needed, CNN reported.

As a reminder, Bannon has zero national security experience; rather he previously served as the publisher of alt-right white nationalist new org, Breitbart. His appointment did not require senate approval. We do not yet know why Bannon was removed, but we’re chalking it up to common sense.

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Key tweet of the day:

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Trump is *still* tweeting about Hillary Clinton

Donald Trump is not done tweeting about Hillary Clinton. On Monday morning, the president tweeted about his former Democratic rival and her campaign manager, saying “Was the brother of John Podesta paid big money to get the sanctions on Russia lifted? Did Hillary know?” Shortly after, he followed up with a sarcastic question about whether or not Clinton apologized for an instance where she was provided questions in advance of an interview. The tweets appear to be an attempt to deflect growing criticism of his administration’s ties with Russia. Clinton has largely remained out of the spotlight since losing the election in November.

Key tweet of the day:

Did Hillary Clinton ever apologize for receiving the answers to the debate? Just asking!

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Key tweet of the day:

The real story turns out to be SURVEILLANCE and LEAKING! Find the leakers.

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Key tweet of the day:

When will Sleepy Eyes Chuck Todd and @NBCNews start talking about the Obama SURVEILLANCE SCANDAL and stop with the Fake Trump/Russia story?

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White House financial disclosures show that everyone is rich.

The White House released its employees’ financial disclosures Friday night; and to no one’s surprise, they showed enormous wealth. According to the documents, senior adviser Steve Bannon has more than $1 million in his bank account and has made significant income from his rental properties. Bannon values his consulting business at somewhere between $5 and $25 million, the disclosures show.

Donald Trump’s daughter Ivanka and her husband, Jared Kushner, both list far higher numbers. Because Ivanka Trump was only just given an official title, her personal disclosure hasn’t been completed yet, but her assets appear on her husband’s forms. The two could be worth as much as $740 million, reports show. Much of their fortune comes from Kushner’s real estate holdings and Trump’s business.

The president’s former campaign manager, Kellyanne Conway, is also a financial success. The disclosures show that she was worth as much as $40 million before she was named a White House staffer.

Key tweet of the day:

Great meeting with a wonderful woman today, former Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice! 🇺🇸

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Donald Trump’s new enemy is… the far-right?

The president revived his fight against the Freedom Caucus on Thursday morning, tweeting that the ultra-conservative congressional group would damage Republicans in 2018. Trump has been highly critical of the Caucus since they aligned against his replacement healthcare plan, despite the fact that many moderate Republicans were also opposed to the bill.

Key tweet of the day:

The Freedom Caucus will hurt the entire Republican agenda if they don’t get on the team, & fast. We must fight them, & Dems, in 2018!

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Key tweet of the day:

.@FLOTUS Melania and I were honored to stop by the Women’s Empowerment Panel this afternoon at the @WhiteHouse. http://45.wh.gov/5v2Pc1 

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Who needs the environment, anyway?

If climate change was a hoax, it won’t be for long. On Tuesday, President Donald Trump signed an executive order undoing many of former President Obama’s climate change regulations. The order directs the Environmental Protection Agency to begin the process of withdrawing from the Clean Power Plan, an Obama-era regulation that called for the replacement of coal-powered plants with new wind and solar farms.

The order also calls into question whether Trump will abide by the landmark Paris climate change agreements that the U.S. signed just a short time ago. The U.S. has agreed to cut its emissions by 26 percent over the next decade. Experts say such measures are essential to prevent the temperature from rising more than 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit, the temperature they agree spells global catastrophe down the line.

Key tweet of the day:

Why doesn’t Fake News talk about Podesta ties to Russia as covered by @FoxNews or money from Russia to Clinton – sale of Uranium?

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Travel Ban 2.0 may get its day in court

The 4th Circuit Court of Appeals is reportedly considering hearing the revised travel ban case with its full bench-rather than the panel of three judges who would normally hear it. In an order on Monday, the court asked both the government and the plaintiffs to address whether the full bench should hear arguments.

If all 15 active judges hear the case, it could potentially spell good new for opponents of the ban. The 4th Circuit is made up of nine Democratic appointees, five Republicans, and one appointed by a Democratic and later confirmed under a Republican. Basically: It skews left.

Key tweet of the day:

The Democrats will make a deal with me on healthcare as soon as ObamaCare folds – not long. Do not worry, we are in very good shape!

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Key tweet of the day:

General Kelly is doing a great job at the border. Numbers are way down. Many are not even trying to come in anymore.

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Key tweet of the day:

ObamaCare will explode and we will all get together and piece together a great healthcare plan for THE PEOPLE. Do not worry!

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Trumpcare crashes and burns

Donald Trump’s landmark replacement for Obamacare was shot down Friday when the House of Representatives decided not to even bother voting on it. The president and Speaker of the House Paul Ryan decided to pull the bill from consideration after it became clear it would fail if it went to vote.

The American Health Care Act’s rejection means that Obamacare will remain in place for the foreseeable future.

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Key tweet of the day:

Just watched the totally biased and fake news reports of the so-called Russia story on NBC and ABC. Such dishonesty!

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White House bans laptops in carry-ons for eight Muslim countries

On Tuesday, the Trump administration announced that people flying nonstop to the U.S. from 10 airports in Muslim-majority countries would no longer be allowed to bring laptops in their carry-on luggage. Passengers are allowed to check them in with their baggage, however. The airports are spread across eight countries: Morocco, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait and Qatar.

The administration has cited the need to do so for security but didn’t say there was any specific new threat or intelligence. Several hours after the announcement, the U.K. made a similar move, though their ban affects some different airports than the U.S. ban does.

Key tweet of the day:

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Today on , we honor our great American farmers & ranchers. Their hard work & dedication are ingrained in our nation’s fabric.

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Trump goes after Russia allegations… again

Donald Trump went after allegations that he has ties to the Russian government again Monday, just hours before FBI director James Comey is set to testify in front of Congress. In a series of tweets, Trump wrote that the “The Democrats made up and pushed the Russian story as an excuse for running a terrible campaign.” He added that “the real story that Congress, the FBI and all others should be looking into is the leaking of Classified information. Must find leaker now!”

Comey is expected to testify about Russian involvement in November’s presidential election, which committees in both houses of Congress have been investigating.

Key tweet of the day:

James Clapper and others stated that there is no evidence Potus colluded with Russia. This story is FAKE NEWS and everyone knows it!

The real story that Congress, the FBI and all others should be looking into is the leaking of Classified information. Must find leaker now!

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A fifth weekend in Florida

On Sunday, Donald Trump concluded his fifth weekend in Florida since taking office. Though Trump was regularly critical of former President Obama taking vacations, he has spent more than half of his weekends as president at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach. Trump also spent time holding meetings at his local golf club, according to his press pool, where he may have stepped out “to hit some golf balls,” the Palm Beach Post reported.

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Key tweets of the day:

Despite what you have heard from the FAKE NEWS, I had a GREAT meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Nevertheless, Germany owes…..

…vast sums of money to NATO & the United States must be paid more for the powerful, and very expensive, defense it provides to Germany!

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Key tweet of the day:

North Korea is behaving very badly. They have been “playing” the United States for years. China has done little to help!

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Sooo, Trump’s budget is cool if you don’t like PBS or the environment

Donald Trump released his budget plan Thursday, and it cuts pretty much everything people expected. Among the agencies that would take hits are the Department of Education, the Environmental Protection Agency, PBS, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, and many more. Almost no departments are spared from cuts-the only ones without any cuts are Defense, Homeland Security and Veterans Affairs. But Trump did manage to find $2 billion for a down payment on the wall.

Key tweet of the day:

A budget that puts must make safety its no. 1 priority—without safety there can be no prosperity: http://45.wh.gov/NF9wr4 

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Second ban suspended

A federal judge in Hawaii blocked Donald Trump’s revised travel ban Wednesday evening, just one night before it was set to take effect. The new ban was a watered-down version of the first, excluding some of the more controversial policies-like the ban on green card holders. The Trump administration argued that the new executive order addressed all the legal criticism of the first, but Judge Derrick Watson was unimpressed. Watson wrote that a “reasonable, objective observer” would still view the ban as an attempt to discriminate against members of one religion (despite Trump’s statements to the contrary.)

A second judge ruled similarly in Maryland just hours later.

Key tweet of the day:

Does anybody really believe that a reporter, who nobody ever heard of, “went to his mailbox” and found my tax returns? @NBCNews FAKE NEWS!

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White House responds to Trumpcare estimates

The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office released it’s official estimates on the GOP’s Obamacare replacement plan today, and the news wasn’t good. According to the report, it’s projected that 14 million people would lose coverage next year under the new House bill. The number of uninsured would grow to 24 million by 2026.

The White House pushed back hard on the report, saying it disagrees “strenuously.” Health Secretary Tom Price said it will cover more individuals and lower costs. As for the estimate that 14 million people would lose coverage, he said, “It’s just not believable is what we would suggest.”

Trump endorsed the plan last week, despite the fact that, back in January, Trump told the Washington Post his health-care law would include “insurance for everybody.”

Key tweet of the day:

It is amazing how rude much of the media is to my very hard working representatives. Be nice, you will do much better!

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Trump absent from Twitter

Red alert! The president went an entire day without tweeting on Sunday, capping off a contentious weekend with radio silence. That may not seem notable; but as The Hill reported, Trump has tweeted more than 260 times since his inauguration, meaning he averages more than five per day.

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The first thing we do, let’s fire all the lawyers

Over the weekend, the Trump administration asked for the immediate resignation of 26 U.S. attorneys from the Obama era. That’s pretty normal for a new administration, but Trump is drawing rebuke from Democrats for his handling of one specific case. Preet Bharara, who served as U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, declined to resign from his post and was fired-even though Trump had reportedly personally asked him to stay in his role. Bharara announced that he was fired on Twitter:

I did not resign. Moments ago I was fired. Being the US Attorney in SDNY will forever be the greatest honor of my professional life.

Key tweet of the day:

We are making great progress with healthcare. ObamaCare is imploding and will only get worse. Republicans coming together to get job done!

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It’s halftime

Friday marked the halfway point in Donald Trump’s first 100 days in office, the time period generally used to determine how effective a new administration has been. In that time, Trump has signed 16 executive orders, which is on pace with former President Barack Obama. But unlike Obama, Trump’s first 50 days have been marred with controversy. Protests and court battles derailed his first travel ban, the replacement plan for Obamacare has been almost universally panned, and several members of his administration are under investigation for ties to Russian officials.

Trump has made strides toward keeping some of his more realistic campaign promises. His administration has caused either the repeal or delay of more than 90 Obama-era federal regulations, and he withdrew the U.S. from the TPP trade deal. An executive order he signed allowed work to recommence on the Dakota Access Pipeline, despite ongoing protests in North Dakota.

One thing Trump has not accomplished is a major legislative victory. At this point in his presidency, Obama had passed an $800 billion economic stimulus package through Congress as well as a law making it easier for women to sue over equal pay discrepancies. Trump is looking to make a repeal of the Affordable Care Act his first landmark achievement in Congress, but he has so far been unsuccessful.

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Key tweet of the day:

Despite what you hear in the press, healthcare is coming along great. We are talking to many groups and it will end in a beautiful picture!

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Trump picks Jon Huntsman as ambassador to Russia

Donald Trump has chosen Jon Huntsman, a Republican who ran for president in 2012, as his ambassador to Russia. This will be Huntsman’s third ambassadorship: He represented the United States to Singapore under George H.W. Bush, and to China under Barack Obama. It will also likely be his most heavily scrutinized role, as the Trump administration is investigated for alleged ties to Russian officials during his presidential campaign. Huntsman originally endorsed Trump for office, but had called on him to drop out after the release of a vulgar tape where Trump described grabbing women to Billy Bush.

Key tweet of the day:

I have tremendous respect for women and the many roles they serve that are vital to the fabric of our society and our economy.

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Sean Spicer tries to explain what Trump is talking about

Donald Trump has “no regrets” about accusing former President Barack Obama of wiretapping him, at least, not according to Sean Spicer. The White House press secretary gave a news conference on Tuesday where he attempted to explain some of the president’s more controversial recent statements. Spicer said the president is waiting for the results of an investigation into his claims, despite the fact that there is no evidence to support his accusations.

Spicer also touched on Trump’s claim that Obama released 122 “vicious” Guantanamo Bay inmates that have since returned to fighting. In reality, Obama released just nine of those prisoners; the other 113 were released by George W. Bush’s administration. Spicer acknowledged that Trump’s comments were incorrect.

Key tweet of the day:

Don’t let the FAKE NEWS tell you that there is big infighting in the Trump Admin. We are getting along great, and getting major things done!

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Travel Ban 2.0

Donald Trump signed a new executive order today banning people from six Muslim-majority countries from applying for visas to the United States. The new ban, which no longer includes Iraq, bars citizens from those six countries from entering the U.S. for 90 days and suspends refugee admissions for 120 days. It will also slash the number of refugee admissions for this year from 110,000 to 50,000.

The new ban comes as a response to legal criticism of the first version, which argued that Trump’s ban amounted to little more than religious discrimination. It also opens the door to adding more countries. Trump will ask the Department of Homeland Security and the State Department to determine whether any other countries should be included in future travel bans, the Daily Beast reported.

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Key tweet of the day:

Is it true the DNC would not allow the FBI access to check server or other equipment after learning it was hacked? Can that be possible?

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Key tweet of the day:

How low has President Obama gone to tapp my phones during the very sacred election process. This is Nixon/Watergate. Bad (or sick) guy!

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“Witch hunts,” everywhere

Donald Trump and a Russian official’s rejection of the Jeff Sessions allegations are weirdly similar.

Trump went off on Twitter on Thursday night. In his tweet-storm, the POTUS attacked Democrats for what he called their “witch hunt” of Attorney General Jeff Sessions. The tweets came several hours after Sessions held a news conference recusing himself from any investigation of the Trump campaign’s ties with Russia.

Jeff Sessions is an honest man. He did not say anything wrong. He could have stated his response more accurately, but it was clearly not….

…intentional. This whole narrative is a way of saving face for Democrats losing an election that everyone thought they were supposed…..

…to win. The Democrats are overplaying their hand. They lost the election, and now they have lost their grip on reality. The real story…

…is all of the illegal leaks of classified and other information. It is a total “witch hunt!”

Then, Friday morning, a Russian official seemed to agree with Trump’s assessment. Foreign minister Sergei Lavrov borrowed a phrase from Trump and told a Russian state media outlet that the investigation was a “witch hunt,” Reuters reported.

Key tweet of the day:

We should start an immediate investigation into @SenSchumer and his ties to Russia and Putin. A total hypocrite!

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Trump is pretty much ignoring Sessions allegations

UPDATE (4:52 PM EST): Jeff Sessions held a news conference Thiursday afternoon where he announced that he would recuse himself from any investigation into Russia’s actions during election season. In the conference, Sessions said “that since [he] had involvement with the campaign, [he] should not be involved in any campaign investigation.”

UPDATE (2:38 PM EST): The president has spoken out. On Thursday, Trump reportedly said he has “total confidence” in Jeff Sessions and that he “doesn’t think” the attorney general should recuse himself from the investigation into possible Russian activity.

ORIGINAL STORY: On Wednesday night, reports broke claiming that Attorney General Jeff Sessions spoke with the Russian ambassador twice before the November election, despite saying he didn’t during his confirmation hearing. Democrats are up in arms, demanding Sessions’ resignation from his post. Even some Republicans are saying Sessions must, at a minimum, recuse himself from investigations into whether Russia attempted to interfere in the election.

One person not demanding answers, however, appears to be the president. In a statement Thursday morning, the White House denounced the allegations, saying “This is the latest attack against the Trump Administration by partisan Democrats. General Sessions met with the ambassador in an official capacity as a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, which is entirely consistent with his testimony.”

And Trump hasn’t spoken out on Twitter, either. His only tweet (so far) since the news broke was an early-morning message about the stock market.

Since November 8th, Election Day, the Stock Market has posted $3.2 trillion in GAINS and consumer confidence is at a 15 year high. Jobs!

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(Only) tweet of the day:

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Trump signs two women-focused bills

The president signed two bills Tuesday to “empower women.” The bills are H.R. 321, which “directs NASA to encourage women and girls to study science technology engineering, mathematics, and aerospace” and H.R. 255, which “authorizes the National Science Foundation to use existing entrepreneurial programs to recruit and support women.”

Trump’s daughter Ivanka reportedly has been pushing for women-focused legislation. She released a statement about the bills, saying she “[looks] forward to working alongside [her] father to champion the economic empowerment of women and girls and encouraging gender diversity in STEM fields is critical to that mission.”

Trump gives a presidential speech

Donald Trump gave a speech Tuesday night in front of a joint session of Congress, where he took a much more conciliatory tone than any speech to date. In his speech, Trump discussed a healthcare overhaul, rebuilding the military and asked both sides of the aisle to put aside their fights and work together.

One of the most emotional parts of his speech came as he addressed Carryn Owens, the wife of Ryan Owens, who died in a raid in Yemen shortly after Trump took office.

But the speech was not devoid of his usual rhetoric: Trump also made some of his frequent claims, suggesting immigration enforcement makes us safer (studies show it drives crime up), saying 94 million people are unemployed (a misleading statistic), and claiming most terrorists are foreign-born (that’s false).

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White House will no longer contest Texas voter ID law

A lawyer for a voting rights group said Monday that the Justice Department told them it will no longer challenge Texas’ voter ID law in court, the Associated Press reported. The move represents an about-face from the Obama administration’s stance; in 2013, former President Obama’s government joined a lawsuit challenging the statute.

Last summer, a federal appeals court found that the law discriminates against minorities and the poor and ordered changes before the presidential election. The Trump administration’s position under new Attorney General Jeff Sessions is not necessarily surprising. Voter ID laws generally are divided on strict party lines.

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Another one bites the dust

The president lost yet another one of his Cabinet appointees Sunday when Philip Bildren, his nominee for Secretary of the Navy, withdrew from consideration. Bilden cited difficulties meeting the government’s ethics guidelines and the financial sacrifice he would have to make as his reason for withdrawing. Bilden isn’t the first Trump nominee to remove themself from the running; Trump’s pick for Secretary of the Army, Vincent Viola, also dropped out over business interests earlier this month.

Rumors that Bilden would quit were first reported February 18 by CBS, but White House press secretary Sean Spicer claimed on Twitter at the time that the report was false.

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Trump breaks up with the Correspondent’s Dinner

Donald Trump is following in Ronald Reagan’s footsteps by becoming the first president since to skip the White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner. Of course, when Reagan bailed on the press, he was recovering from an assassination attempt. Trump announced his plans via Twitter on Saturday, writing “I will not be attending the White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner this year. Please wish everyone well and have a great evening!”

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The White House tries to literally stop the presses

The New York Times, CNN and Politico were among the news outlets banned from attending today’s White House press briefing-an escalation of the already historically poor relations between the media and the Trump administration. Press secretary Sean Spicer handpicked which outlets would be allowed to attend an off-camera media huddle. NBC, ABC, CBS, and Fox News were allowed to attend, along with conservative outlets like the Washington Times and Breitbart, but other outlets chose to boycott the event.

The White House Correspondents Association released a statement condemning the action, saying “We encourage the organizations that were allowed in to share the material with others in the press corps who were not. The board will be discussing this further with White House staff.”

Trump’s CPAC speech, in a nutshell

The president spoke today at the Conservative Political Action Conference, known as CPAC, and repeated some of his favorite talking points.

Trump used a large chunk of his speech to continue his attacks on the “mainstream media,” to criticize NAFTA, suggest that Sweden’s crime rate is going up (it’s not), and claim that intelligence agency leaks are made up.

He also discussed the Affordable Care Act, saying that “Obamacare covers very few people” and claiming that many Americans had their healthcare taken away from them. In reality, roughly 20 million Americans became insured under the Affordable Care Act, and there are no reliable studies suggesting that “many” people lost their healthcare plans.

Trump also spoke about Immigrations and Customs Enforcement, once again claiming that the agency endorsed him for president. Numerous outlets have debunked that claim; federal agencies cannot endorse political candidates. A union representing ICE employees did endorse Trump, but not the agency itself.

White House wants the FBI to help them handle the press… Sad!

White House chief of staff Reince Priebus is in hot water after asking a top FBI official to dispute reports that Trump’s campaign advisers were talking to Russian intelligence agents during the election. A White House official reportedly said Priebus made the request after hearing from the FBI that it believed a New York Times report detailing the allegations was inaccurate. The FBI has not taken a public stance on this issue.

Democrats are angry about the request, arguing that the contact was inappropriate. “The White House is simply not permitted to pressure the FBI to make public statements about a pending investigation of the president and his advisers,” said Michigan Rep. John Conyers, the top Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee, the AP reported.

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Trump makes it one whole (work) day without Twitter

Stop the presses. For the first time since taking office, Donald Trump made it a whole day without tweeting… sort of. The president was noticeably absent from Twitter until 5:53 PM on Thursday, when he broke his nearly 34-hour silence to tweet out a link to a Fox Business report about the stock market.

‘S&P 500 Edges Higher After Trump Renews Jobs Pledge’ http://www.foxbusiness.com/markets/2017/02/23/s-p-500-edges-higher-after-trump-renews-jobs-pledge.html 

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S&P 500 Edges Higher After Trump Renews Jobs Pledge

U.S. stocks edged higher on Thursday, buoyed by energy stocks and a renewed pledge by President Donald Trump to chief executives of major U.S. companies to bring back millions of jobs to the United…

foxbusiness.com

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Spicer says Trump will lift transgender bathroom protections

White House press secretary Sean Spicer said today that Donald Trump will rescind federal guidelines allowing transgender students to use bathrooms that match their gender identity. This would be a major reversal of an Obama administration policy that trans advocates say is necessary to protect transgender students. In a press conference, Spicer said “The president has made it clear throughout the campaign that he is a firm believer in states’ rights and that certain issues like this are not best dealt with at the federal level.”

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos reportedly resisted the idea at first, until Trump sided with Attorney General Jeff Sessions and asked her to drop her objection. In addition to its impact on schools throughout the country, the new guidance could affect future Supreme Court cases, particularly one scheduled to be heard next month that involves a transgender student from Virginia who was denied bathroom access.

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Trump administration drastically expands deportation rules

The White House released expanded immigration guidelines today that will dramatically increase the number of people targeted for deportation. Under former President Obama, immigration officials focused their efforts of undocumented immigrants who had been convicted of violent crimes. The new directives target people who have been convicted of any crime, including those who “have abused any program related to receipt of public benefits,” reported The New York Times.

Bizarrely, administration officials reportedly confirmed that the U.S. plans to deport anyone who enters the country illegally from Mexico back there, even if they are not actually from Mexico. The new guidelines will not affect people under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, but the new policy is likely to result in a major increase in deportations.

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One month down

Monday marked the end of the chaotic first month of Donald Trump’s presidency. In his first month in office, Trump has signed 23 executive orders, the most notable being his Muslim travel ban, which is currently mired in court proceedings. He faced his first staff shakeup just 24 days in when his national security adviser, Michael Flynn, resigned over controversial dealings with Russia. So far, he has spent one-quarter of his presidency in Florida, where he raised eyebrows for receiving a classified security briefing at a public dinner table at his Mar-a-Lago resort, and his campaign is under investigation by intelligence agencies for alleged collusion with Russia to hack the Democratic National Committee and influence the outcome of last year’s election.

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#LastNightInSweden

The Swedish embassy in Washington, D.C. is asking the State Department for an explanation over comments Donald Trump made yesterday suggesting there was a terror attack in Sweden. During his rally in Florida, Trump discussed national security and said, “You look at what’s happening in Germany. You look at what’s happening last night in Sweden.”

The only problem is that nothing happened Thursday night in Sweden. After the rally, the hashtag “#LastNightInSweden” went viral, and former Swedish foreign minister Carl Bildt tweeted: “Sweden? Terror attack? What has he been smoking? Questions abound.”

The White House has not yet clarified Trump’s remarks.

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Trump begins campaigning for 2020, because that’s a good use of his time

Although Donald Trump has been in office for less than a month, he’s already kicked off his re-election campaign. Despite a difficult week in the White House, Trump held a campaign-style rally in Florida on Saturday, where he doubled down on his feud with the media-at-large and reiterated his campaign promises. The rally drew roughly 9,000 to see Trump speak but garnered criticism for taking precious time away from his duties when the White House is in flux. Trump has not yet nominated a replacement for former national security adviser Michael Flynn.

The event was hosted by his campaign group rather than the White House, which is highly unusual this early in a presidency. Trump filed paperwork for his re-election bid shortly after taking office. In contrast, it took former President Obama more than two years to file for his own re-election campaign.

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Key tweet(s) of the day:

The FAKE NEWS media (failing @nytimes, @NBCNews, @ABC, @CBS, @CNN) is not my enemy, it is the enemy of the American People!

Thank you for all of the nice statements on the Press Conference yesterday. Rush Limbaugh said one of greatest ever. Fake media not happy!

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Trump tried to appoint Bob Harward, but he said no, no, no

Retired Vice Admiral Robert Harward turned down an offer Thursday from the Trump administration to become the new national security adviser. Harward was considered a top pick for Michael Flynn’s vacated post, and had previously served as Defense Secretary Mattis’ deputy when Mattis was in charge of U.S. Central Command. The White House said Friday that Harward turned down the offer because of the time commitment, but severalnews outlets are reporting that Harward was concerned about not being allowed to form his own team. The national security adviser role is often a highly sought-after position, so Harward’s rejection is notable.

Today’s news conference was… interesting

Donald Trump held a news conference this afternoon where he attacked the media (again), falsely claimed that he won the election in a landslide (again), asked a veteran black reporter if she was friends with the Congressional Black Caucus and criticized intelligence agencies for their “absolutely real [leaks]” of fake news.

He also made bizarre comments about uranium, asking reporters: “You know what uranium is, right? It’s a thing called nuclear weapons and other things. Like lots of things are done with uranium, including some bad things.”

Trump’s conference was impromptu and puzzling, perhaps a harbinger of new media practices from the White House.

Trump set to announce new labor secretary pick

Less than 24 hours after Donald Trump’s labor secretary pick Andrew Puzder withdrew his nomination, Trump is set to name a new one. He is expected to nominate Alexander Acosta, dean of Florida International University Law School. Acosta served as assistant attorney general at the Department of Justice under President George W. Bush, where he worked in the civil rights division. If confirmed, Acosta would be the first Hispanic member of Trump’s Cabinet.

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Trump picks the option “both parties like” to solve Israeli-Palestinian conflict

Donald Trump threw away decades of diplomatic policy on Wednesday when he met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. In a joint conference, Trump said he was “looking at two-state and one-state” options to solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict before adding “I like the one that both parties like. I’m very happy with the one that both parties like.”

Of course, there is not really an option that “both parties like,” which is part of the reason the conflict has lasted more than 50 years. The Palestinians are unlikely to accept any deal that doesn’t give them a sovereign state, and Netanyahu is facing pressure from far-right members of his government to annex parts of the West Bank. Trump, for his part, did tell Netanyahu during the conference that he wants Israel to stop expanding settlements while they work on a deal and emphasized that both sides will need to compromise. But this message is somewhat undercut by Trump’s refusal to commit to a two-state solution.

Intelligence agencies reportedly withholding intel from Trump

The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday that U.S. intelligence officials have withheld information from Donald Trump because “they are concerned it could be leaked or compromised.” The report cites anonymous current and former officials and underscores that none of the sources know of an instance where information about security threats was withheld. This is not unheard of; intelligence agencies have withheld information from past presidents when they deemed it necessary to protect sources. What makes this instance different is the officials citing the president’s discretion as their reason for withholding.

Andrew Puzder withdraws his labor secretary nomination

Donald Trump’s secretary of labor nominee Andrew Puzder withdrew his nomination today, just one day before he was scheduled to appear before the Senate. Puzder, a fast-food executive, had been facing growing pushback from Senate Democrats and Republicans alike after several scandals. Among them: that his family once employed an undocumented immigrant and past abuse allegations that rocketed into the public sphere after Politico obtained tape from an episode of Oprah where his ex-wife accused Puzder of leaving “permanent” damage from physical abuse.

Puzder’s withdrawal is the latest blow to the Trump administration, after a chaotic week that saw the resignation of national security adviser Michael Flynn less than one month into his tenure.

It wasn’t just Michael Flynn

Several of Donald Trump’s allies, including former campaign manager Paul Manafort, were speaking with Russian officials during the election season, the New York Times reports. The “repeated contacts” between Trump allies and Russia were leaked by four current and former American officials, who intercepted the communications last year. Intelligence agencies have not yet found anything to suggest that the Trump campaign was colluding with Russia to interfere with the election, but the agencies were reportedly worried because of the amount of contact that came while Trump was speaking highly of Russian President Vladimir Putin on the campaign trail.

Manafort strongly rejected these claims. “I have no idea what this is referring to” he said in a statement. “I have never knowingly spoken to Russian intelligence officers, and I have never been involved with anything to do with the Russian government or the Putin administration or any other issues under investigation today.” He then added, “It’s not like these people wear badges that say, ‘I’m a Russian intelligence officer.'”

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PSA: Do not shine cell phones at classified documents

Donald Trump is facing criticism from Democrats and security analysts after reports broke that he read sensitive documents in public at his Mar-a-Lago resort over the weekend. A member of the resort, Richard Agazio (who has since deleted his Facebook), posted photos online of Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe reviewing the documents at a dinner table while staff shined cell phones lights on them. As many have pointed out, aiming an internet-connected cell phone at classified documents is extremely inappropriate, as these devices’ cameras and audio can be hacked. Furthermore, it’s troublesome that Trump chose to receive classified information in a room full of his resort guests, most of whom likely do not have security clearances.

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*Mike drop*

UPDATE (11:21 PM EST): National security adviser Michael Flynn abruptly resigned from office Monday night after the Justice Department told the White House it believed he could be subject to blackmail by Russian entities. Flynn was in office for less than a month when reports began to circulate that he had deliberately misled Vice President Mike Pence about a conversation he had with the Russian ambassador prior to Trump’s inauguration. Keith Kellogg will reportedly serve as the interim national security adviser until President Trump selects a new nominee.

Trump loves Flynn, loves him not

No one really knows where President Trump stands on his national security adviser, Michael Flynn. Late last week, reports surfaced suggesting Flynn misled Vice President Mike Pence about a conversation he had with Russia’s ambassador about lifting sanctions. Since then, Trump’s response-and the responses from his administration-have been mixed. Trump first suggested Friday that he was unaware of the controversy. Since then, several prominent members of his Cabinet have hedged, refusing to give a direct answer on whether Trump is considering replacing Flynn. Such an early staff shakeup would be very unusual, particularly because Trump has left the National Security Council with an unprecedented amount of vacant positions.

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Key tweet of the day:

Just leaving Florida. Big crowds of enthusiastic supporters lining the road that the FAKE NEWS media refuses to mention. Very dishonest!

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Hundreds arrested in immigration raids around the U.S.

Hundreds of undocumented immigrants were arrested this week in raids across the country, marking the first major move toward enforcing President Trump’s campaign promise to deport the 11 million people living in the U.S. without visas. The raids, which Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) called “routine,” targeted people living in New York, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Chicago and the Carolinas.

Similar raids during the Obama administration targeted undocumented immigrants with criminal records. The new raids are different, because ICE officials also rounded up immigrants with no convictions. In January, Trump broadened the criteria the Department of Homeland Security can use to target undocumented immigrants, allowing them to include people with minor or no criminal records.

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Key tweet of the day:

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Ninth Circuit says no to Trump’s travel ban

The 9th Circuit Court is not here for Donald Trump’s travel ban. In a unanimous decision released Thursday evening, the appeals court ruled againstthe government, meaning Trump’s ban will remain suspended. The court’s decision said that the government “had not shown a likelihood of success on its merits,” or, in other words, the appeals court doesn’t believe the law will be upheld in court. Although this is a setback for Trump’s travel ban, it is not expected to be the end of the legal battle over the executive order. The government is expected to appeal the decision to the Supreme Court.

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The president has strong opinions about Nordstrom

Donald Trump lashed out Wednesday at department store Nordstrom for dropping his daughter Ivanka’s fashion label, tweeting “My daughter Ivanka has been treated so unfairly by @Nordstrom. She is a great person-always pushing me to do the right thing! Terrible!” (The official POTUS account then retweeted it.) His attack on the company raised eyebrows over the ethics of the president using his platform to criticize a company over a deal with his daughter.

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Trump’s legal battle with Washington State continues

The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals heard arguments Tuesday night over Donald Trump’s immigration ban. The government is appealing a decision handed down by U.S. District Court Judge James Robart, who ruled last Friday that the ban was temporarily suspended nationwide. The three-judge appeals court panel is expected to rule in the next few days on whether the ban should be “immediately” reinstated or if the lower court’s suspension should remain in place. If they choose not to reinstate the ban, then it’s possible that the case would move forward with Robart. However, it’s more likely that the government will appeal to the Supreme Court.

Trump gives out fake news to the National Sheriffs Association

Donald Trump was criticized by media Tuesday for once again citing inaccurate murder rate statistics-this time, during a speech at the National Sheriffs Association. During his speech, Trump said “the murder rate in our country is the highest it’s been in 47 years.” This is patently wrong; the murder rate in the U.S. is actually at its lowest, according to FBI crime data. Trump has been repeatedly critiqued in the past for claiming the murder rate is up but appears to be sticking with his claim.

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Trump escalates his feud with the media

President Trump continued his attacks on the media Monday, accusing the New York Times of “making up stories [and] sources” and later accusing the press of intentionally covering up terrorist attacks in Europe. Though Trump has called the Times a “failing” newspaper regularly since he began campaigning in 2015, today’s unsubstantiated accusations are an escalation of his feud with the outlet.

In the afternoon, Trump gave a speech at United States Central Command, where he suggested the media is refusing to report on terrorism in Europe. He did not specify what attacks he is referring to and offered no evidence to support this claim, but said “In many cases the very, very dishonest press doesn’t want to report it.” It’s troubling that Trump continues to attack the legitimacy of any news company that publishes negative coverage about him; earlier in the day, he called “any” negative polls about his immigration ban illegitimate.

Russia wants an apology over Putin being called a “killer”

Russia is asking for an apology over comments Fox News host Bill O’Reilly made in an interview with Donald Trump that aired Sunday. In the interview, O’Reilly called Russian President Vladimir Putin “a killer,” and Trump did not disagree. He instead responded that “There are a lot of killers. We’ve got a lot of killers. What do you think? Our country’s so innocent?” Republicans and Democrats alike have criticized Trump for his refusal to condemn Putin and his authoritarian style of governing.

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Trump says Obamacare replacement could take a year

Donald Trump said in an interview aired Sunday that a replacement for Obamacare could take “till sometime into next year,” a notable walk-back from his earlier promises to have the Affordable Care Act repealed quickly. As recently as January 11th, Trump was suggesting that former President Obama’s landmark healthcare act would be overturned as soon as his pick for secretary of health and human services was confirmed. The walk-back suggests that the protests from Americans nationwide-as well as some members of Congress-who argue that repealing Obamacare without a replacement plan would be disastrous are having an effect.

Appeals court delivers a blow to Trump’s immigration ban

The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals refused early Sunday morning to immediately reinstate Donald Trump’s immigration and travel ban, delivering a blow to the administration. Instead, the appeals court asked both sides-the Department of Justice and the State of Washington-to file legal briefs by Monday afternoon before the court makes its final decision. What this means is that the ban will remain suspended until at least Monday, and anyone affected by it can continue to enter the country. But regardless of how the appellate court rules, it is likely this case will quickly make its way to the Supreme Court.

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Federal judge puts a stop to Trump’s immigration ban

The Department of Homeland Security announced this morning that they are suspending “any and all actions implementing…the Executive Order” after a Republican-appointed federal judge suspended the ban nationwide. The State Department also announced this morning that they have begun re-issuing visas to travelers from the seven countries affected by Trump’s ban, and have notified Customs & Border Protection that approved refugees, travelers with valid visas, and green card holders are to be admitted. Trump’s press secretary Sean Spicer has already announced that the Department of Justice will appeal the court’s order.

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Trump rolls back financial regulations because his friends “can’t borrow money”

President Trump signed an executive order Friday that scales back large portions of the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial regulations, which were designed after the recession to prevent banks from speculating with consumers’ money. Trump-and the financial industry-have been critical of Dodd-Frank for a long time, with Trump promising on the campaign trail to overturn it.

At a meeting with business leaders Friday, Trump said, “We expect to be cutting a lot out of Dodd-Frank, because frankly, I have so many people, friends of mine that had nice businesses, they can’t borrow money.” Though people commonly disagree over how much the financial industry should be regulated, it is noteworthy that the president has openly stated that he’s making policy to help his friends.

States plan to sue the president over the immigration ban

Hawaii has reportedly joined the growing number of states suing Donald Trump over his immigration ban. The state’s attorney general, Doug Chin, announced at a press conference that they would file paperwork in court today to challenge the ban. Several other states-Washington, New York, Virginia and Massachusetts-have already filed a suit, arguing that the ban is unconstitutional. Current legal challenges against the ban surround everything from due process to the establishment clause, which prohibits laws that favor specific religions. If these challenges are successful in district court, it is likely they will be appealed and potentially make their way up to the Supreme Court.

House Republicans repeal a ban on mentally ill people buying guns

The House GOP has overturned an Obama-era gun control regulation that would have helped prevent people with documented mental illnesses from buying guns. The policy meant that people who can’t manage their finances because of a mental illness such as schizophrenia or bipolar disorder would be reported to the FBI so their names would appear during background checks. The National Rifle Association, as well as some disability advocacy groups, opposed the measure for being discriminatory-and now it’s off the table.

Kellyanne Conway makes up a massacre on MSNBC

White House senior adviser Kellyanne Conway defended Trump’s immigration in a TV interview Thursday by saying that people didn’t know “that President Obama had a six-month ban on the Iraqi refugee program after two Iraqis came here to this country, were radicalized and they were the masterminds behind the Bowling Green massacre. It didn’t get covered.” That’s true; it didn’t get covered-because it didn’t happen.

First of all, former President Obama never banned Iraqi refugees. Instead, he ordered a re-vetting of more than 57,000 Iraqi refugees, which caused a temporary delay in admitting new ones.

Second, there was no massacre at Bowling Green. Conway later clarified that she meant “Bowling Green terrorists,” but the two men she’s referring to-Waad Ramadan Alwan and Mohanad Shareef Hammadi, who settled in Bowling Green, Kentucky-never carried out (or even planned) an attack on U.S. soil. They were arrested for trying to get weapons to Al Qaeda in Iraq.

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Spicer uses attack Iran didn’t carry out to justify putting them “on notice”

At a press conference Thursday, White House press secretary Sean Spicer falsely claimed that Iran attacked a U.S. naval ship, which would be an act of war. In reality, the attack was carried out by Houthi rebels on a Saudi Arabian ship, the Intercept reported. Spicer’s comments were an attempt to justify the White House putting Iran “on notice” several days before, and he has not yet addressed his false statement that Iran was behind the attack.

Trump wants to build a bridge between church and state

Donald Trump said at this morning’s National Prayer Breakfast that he wants to “destroy” the Johnson Amendment, a federal law that prevents tax-exempt churches from engaging in political activity. Trump had promised evangelical voters that he would overturn the amendment during his campaign, but to do so as president would require approval from Congress. It also would mark a serious move away from the separation of church and state that has been a traditional hallmark of American democracy.

Trump prays for Arnold Schwarzenegger’s TV ratings

Trump is now feuding with Arnold Schwarzenegger. At this morning’s National Prayer Breakfast, the president referenced leaving The Apprentice and how “the ratings went right down the tubes.” He then said he wanted to pray for Arnold Schwarzenegger, “for those ratings.” Schwarzenegger, the former governor of California, fired back on Twitter, saying “Hey Donald. I have a great idea. Why don’t we switch jobs? You take over TV, cause you’re such an expert in ratings. And I take over your job, so that people can finally sleep comfortably again.” Trump’s comments may have been a joke, but they represent a departure from how former presidents have addressed the breakfast.

Republicans suddenly care about having a full Supreme Court

The New York Times reported yesterday that President Trump is encouraging Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to “go nuclear” with the Supreme Court vote if Democrats try to stall his pick. The so-called nuclear option would allow Republicans to approve Trump nominee Neil Gorsuch by simple majority, rather than with the traditional 60 votes. This would be an expansion of an action Democrats took in November 2013, when they used the nuclear option to eliminate filibusters on executive branch nominations and federal judicial appointments other than the Supreme Court. But Democrats are furious that Republicans are asking for a smooth confirmation process after stalling action on Obama nominee Merrick Garland for almost a full year.

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U.S.-Australia relations go down under

On Wednesday, Donald Trump threatened to break an international deal on Twitter.

Do you believe it? The Obama Administration agreed to take thousands of illegal immigrants from Australia. Why? I will study this dumb deal!

The tweet was the latest in a new dispute between Trump and Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, after Trump shouted at Turnbull during a scheduled call, told Turnbull it was “the worst call by far” that he’d had with a foreign leader, and then hung up 25 minutes into what was expected to be an hourlong talk. Australia is one of the United States’ staunchest allies, so Trump’s treatment of Turnbull raised some eyebrows, and some worry this could cause a rift in the countries’ relationship.

Republicans push Trump nominees through without Democrats present

The Republican-run Senate Finance Committee approved two of Donald Trump’s Cabinet picks-Steve Mnuchin for the treasury and Tom Price for the department of health and human services-by overriding a rule that requires at least one Democrat to be present. (Democrats were boycotting the committee meeting for a second straight day.) The move is an unusual about-face from normal procedures-and will likely increase tensions between the parties.

Trump’s Black History Month speech is about everything but black history

Donald Trump gave a speech today in honor of Black History Month, but spent most of it talking about himself, how he did with black voters in the election, and why CNN is “fake news.” Although Trump referenced several African-American heroes, most mentions were brief. He also seemed to claim during his speech that he got “substantially more [black votes] than other candidates who had run in the past years.” This is false; exit polls showed that Hillary Clinton won around 88 percent of the black vote.

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Trump nominates Judge Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court

In a primetime livestream, Trump announced Neil Gorsuch as his nominee to fill Antonin Scalia’s nearly year-long vacant seat on the Supreme Court. He’s very much in the mold of Scalia, a “textualist” conservative who many believe-based in part on his famous decision to allow Hobby Lobby to deny employees contraception coverage for religious reasons-could put women’s reproductive rights in jeopardy if confirmed. (Read 10 key takeaways about Gorusch here.)

Now, the confirmation process begins in the Senate, where Gorsuch needs 60 votes-eight of which must come from Democrats-to be confirmed.

Trump meets with his potential Supreme Court nominees ahead of announcement

The New York Times reports that Trump is meeting with his top two choices for Supreme Court nominee today ahead of his official announcement, which will take place at 8 p.m. The two judges are Neil Gorsuch and Thomas Hardiman.

Trump won’t touch LGBT rights

Despite rumors that the Trump administration had drafted a new executive order that would affect federal benefits, adoption rights, and access to services for LGBT citizens, the White House issued a statement this morning saying the president would let Obama’s protections stand. “President Trump continues to be respectful and supportive of L.G.B.T.Q. rights, just as he was throughout the election,” the statement said.

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Trump fires acting Attorney General Sally Yates

Just over two hours after she told the DOJ not to defend Trump’s immigration ban, he fired her. In a press release, he claimed that Yates had “betrayed the Department of Justice” by refusing to enact the order. His administration swore in Dana Boente, U.S. attorney for the eastern district of Virginia, as her replacement.

Acting Attorney General Sally Yates tells Department of Justice not to defend the immigration ban

Because she doesn’t believe it’s lawful, Obama-appointed Attorney General Sally Yates-who will be replaced by Jeff Sessions if and when he’s confirmed by the Senate-told the Department of Justice not to make legal arguments defending President Trump’s immigration ban.

Trump says the media is “the opposition party”

In a tweet, the president referred to the mainstream media as “the opposition party,” an idea introduced by Steve Bannon last week in an interview with the New York Times. Trump’s ongoing feud with the media is unusual; though most presidents conflict with media outlets at some point, Trump’s statements about what the press’ role is, comments about holding reporters “accountable” for treating him “unfairly” (which is to say reporting on his actions), and repeated attacks on the legitimacy of certain legacy news outlets are a notable escalation.

Trump announces that he’ll announce his Supreme Court nominee tomorrow

In a bit of reality-TV flair, President Trump teased that he will announce his Supreme Court pick tomorrow at 8 p.m. (two days earlier than originally planned, which may be an attempt to shift the news narrative away from the immigration ban). Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley also announced today that Democrats will filibuster any pick other than Merrick Garland, who was Obama’s nominee to replace the late Antonin Scalia nearly a year ago, and who Republicans have actively resisted confirming so Trump could make the pick instead.

Trump institutes new federal regulation swap

Trump signed an executive order this morning that for every new federal regulation, two must be revoked.

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The White House softens the immigration ban-but only for green card holders and permanent residents

Senior White House official Reince Priebus appeared to reverse the administration’s position on green card holders Sunday. In an interview, Priebus said that the immigration and travel ban would not apply to permanent residents “moving forward.” But he also added that people traveling to and from the listed countries-potentially including U.S. citizens-could be subject to extra questioning if Customs officials deem them “suspicious.

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People continue to be detained at airports

Customs and Border Protection is reportedly ignoring the court order and continuing to detain people with valid visas at airports across the country.

A federal judge assists detained refugees and requests further legal review of the ban

A federal judge ruled around 9 p.m. that the government could not return refugees to their country of origin until further legal review of the ban. Several other judges have since ruled along similar lines.

Steve Bannon gets unprecedented power on the National Security Council

The Trump administration downgraded the national director of intelligence and joint chiefs of staff from their permanent positions on the National Security Council and replaced them with White House senior adviser Steve Bannon, the former publisher of alt-right white nationalist news hub Breitbart. Restructuring the National Security Council this way puts the controversial Bannon-whose appointment to Trump’s administration did not require Senate confirmation-in a key decision-making position about war and other critical threats to the country.

Protests erupt amid refugee ban outrage

Thousands of protesters demonstrated across the country in reaction to what Democrats-and Trump advisor Rudy Giuliani-are referring to as the “Muslim ban,” the implementation of which has resulted in the detention of refugees and green card and visa holders at airports across the U.S. Because the executive order was drafted without the input of various government agencies, it took officials by surprise, and they’re struggling to determine who can enter the country and who, now, cannot.

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Trump signs a monumental executive order preventing citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States

President Trump signed a controversial refugee ban that, under the auspices of preventing radical Islamic terrorists from committing crimes against our citizens, bars all Syrian refugees from entering the country indefinitely, halts the remaining refugee program for 120 days, and blocks any entry by citizens of Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria or Yemen for 90 days, regardless of visa status. It’s worth noting that the ban excludes countries where Trump has business ties.

The White House shows unprecedented support for the March For Life demonstration

President Trump tweeted out his support for the anti-abortion March For Life, saying their demonstration is “so important.” Vice President Mike Pence spoke at the rally, making him the highest ranked public official to ever speak at the annual March For Life event.

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Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto cancels his meeting with President Trump

President Trump tweeted Thursday that if Mexico is unwilling to pay for his proposed border wall-one of his campaign promises-that they should cancel the planned meeting between the two countries. Following this announcement, Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto did cancel the meeting, saying “This morning we have informed the White House that I will not attend the meeting scheduled for next Tuesday with the POTUS.”

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Trump does his first White House interview

The president’s first interview-with ABC’s David Muir-aired tonight. He doubled down on false claims about the size of his inauguration crowd and the amount of voter fraud in the United States. See the interview’s five most talked-about moments here.

Trump orders the construction of the wall

He’s making good on what is perhaps his most notorious campaign promise: to build a wall between the U.S. and Mexico. Today he signed an executive order that directs the government to “take all appropriate steps to immediately plan, design, and construct a physical wall along the southern border, using appropriate materials and technology to most effectively achieve complete operational control…”

What remains to be seen-but is hotly contested-is who will pay for it.

Trump orders an immigrations and customs enforcement hiring increase

The president directed Immigrations and Customs Enforcement to hire 10,000 additional officers.

Trump orders large-scale investigation into voter fraud

Despite all evidence to the contrary, President Trump remains convinced that millions of Americans voted illegally in the 2016 presidential election-and maintains that none of these alleged illegal voters cast ballots for him. After reporters point out that if it were true, it would be a massive blow to democracy (and suggest that he put his money where his mouth is and investigate if he truly believes it), he announced that he will, in fact, order an investigation.

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Trump orders approval of the Dakota Access Pipeline construction project

Trump released a memorandum restarting construction on the Dakota Access Pipeline, which the Obama administration had effectively squashed. The Dakota Access Pipeline has faced significant opposition from environmentalists and the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe because the pipeline crosses through the Tribe’s sacred land and could impact the quality of their drinking water.

Trump signals that the Keystone XL pipeline will resume construction again

President Trump released a memorandum allowing TransCanada to re-submit its petition to build the Keystone XL pipeline, which has faced serious opposition from environmental activists.

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Trump signs a federal hiring freeze

Donald Trump signed a presidential memo freezing hiring on all federal government roles, excluding military and national security positions.

Trump reinstates an international abortion gag order

The president has implemented a Reagan-era policy preventing foreign NGOs from receiving U.S. funds if they perform or promote abortions. This policy has flip-flopped with every recent president-Bill Clinton revoked the rule during his time in office, George W. Bush reinstated it, and Barack Obama revoked it again in 2009.

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Kellyanne Conway says the White House’s crowd size claims are “alternative facts”

Kellyanne Conway appeared on NBC’s Meet the Press and told Chuck Todd that President Trump and White House press secretary Sean Spicer’s false claims about the size of President Trump’s inaugural crowd are “alternative facts.” Shortly afterward, #alternativefacts went viral online.

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Trump speaks about his crowd size and the media at the CIA

President Trump visited the CIA and, in front of the Memorial Wall commemorating fallen agents, gave a seemingly unscripted and wide-ranging speech. He said the media is to blame for making it sound like he “had a feud” with the agencies, although Trump personally criticized the intelligence community several times prior to the meeting.

Women protest Trump with the March on Washington

Far more than the originally estimated 200,000 people flooded the streets of the capitol (and cities around the globe) for the Women’s March, a protest of Trump’s anti-woman rhetoric and policy plans, causing the inevitable comparisons between today’s crowd and yesterday’s.

Press secretary Sean Spicer rails against the media in first briefing

At his first press briefing after the inauguration, in his first official capacity as journalists’ liaison to the White House, press secretary Sean Spicer lambasted the media for what he claims is unfair reporting about the inauguration crowd size. Watch here.

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Trump waives rules that would prevent cabinet members from serving

Among his other day-one moves: a regulatory freeze asking agencies not to submit any new regulations and signing waivers allowing certain members of his Cabinet-such as Secretary of Defense James Mattis-to serve in his administration despite conflicts.

And the Executive Orders begin

Donald Trump’s first executive order suspends a planned decrease in mortgage rates for first-time home buyers that was announced in the final weeks of former President Obama’s term. While Republicans say the move is an effort to prevent another taxpayer bailout of Wall Street, Democrats argue that it only raises costs for low-income and middle-class home buyers.

The administration also releases an executive order directing federal agencies to “waive, defer, grant exemptions from, or delay the implementation” of any part of the Affordable Care Act that creates an “economic burden” for states.

Inauguration Day gets a special name

Among his first official actions is to declare January 20, 2017, the “National Day of Patriotic Devotion.” Other presidents have named their inaugural days; historically, the names are chosen to mark an American value. Former President Obama, for example, named his 2009 inauguration the “National Day of Renewal and Reconciliation.”

Trump takes office

Today Donald Trump was sworn in as the 45th president of the United States. In his speech, he promises to end “American carnage” and says that his administration will prioritize “America first.”

Inauguration of Donald Trump

The inauguration of Donald Trump as the 45th President of the United States marked commencement of the four-year term of Donald Trump as President and Mike Pence as Vice President. An estimated 160,000 people attended the public ceremony held on Friday, January 20, 2017 on the West Front of the United States Capitol Building in Washington, D.C. Along with being the oldest and wealthiest person inaugurated as president, he is the first without prior military or governmental service experience to hold the office.

The event was the 58th presidential inauguration.[1] The official theme of the event was “Uniquely American”.[2] Held in Washington, D.C. from January 17 to 21, 2017, inaugural events included concerts, the swearing-in ceremony, a Congressional luncheon, parade, inaugural balls, and the interfaith inaugural prayer service.

Administered by Chief Justice of the United States John Roberts, the presidential oath was taken by Trump as his first task after becoming president at noon, in keeping with Article Two, Section 1, Clause 8 and the 20th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, with the vice presidential oath of office taken by Pence and administered by Associate Justice Clarence Thomas immediately preceding it.[3] Trump was sworn in with his left hand on the Lincoln Bible and on his family’s Bible.[4] The inauguration was accompanied by protests in the United States and other countries.

Context[edit]

The inauguration marked the formal culmination of the presidential transition of Donald Trump that began when he won the United States presidential election on November 8, 2016 and became the President-elect.[5] Trump and his running mate, Mike Pence, were formally elected by the Electoral College when it met on December 19, 2016.[6][7] The win was officially certified by an electoral vote tally by a joint session of Congress on January 6, 2017.[8]

Upon his inauguration, Trump became the first person to ever be elected President without any prior military or governmental experience.[9] He is also the oldest person to assume the Presidency, as well as the wealthiest person.[9] His wife, Melania, is only the second First Lady to be born outside the United States, after Louisa Adams (who had American descent), First Lady to John Quincy Adams when he assumed the Presidency in 1825.[10][11] Mike Pence of Indiana is the first sitting Governor to be elected as Vice President since Spiro Agnew under Richard Nixon in 1968, and the seventh Hoosier to occupy the office.[12]

Planning[edit]

The inauguration was planned primarily by two committees: the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies and the 2017 Presidential Inaugural Committee. Although the election was scheduled for November 8, 2016, the congressional committee began construction of the inaugural platform on September 21.[13]

A number of artists who were approached to perform at the inauguration refused, including Jennifer Holliday who was originally intended to perform, but withdrew herself from the program after further consideration.[14][15]

Joint Congressional Committee[edit]

The swearing-in ceremony and the inaugural luncheon for President-elect Trump and Vice President-elect Pence were planned by the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies, a committee composed of United States SenatorRoy Blunt of Missouri, the committee chair, and Senate party leaders Mitch McConnell of Kentucky and Chuck Schumer of New York, and House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wisconsin and House party leaders Kevin McCarthy of California and Nancy Pelosi of California.[16] The committee was overseen by the U.S. Senate Committee on Rules and Administration.

The Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies chose the inaugural theme, “Uniquely American”, a phrase that was meant to highlight the inaugural ceremony as “a uniquely American expression of our Constitutional system.”[2]The theme was also meant to to stress the peaceful transition of power, with Americans “united as a people behind an enduring republic”,[2] and invoke “Make America Great Again“, Trump’s campaign slogan and one of the main topics of his inaugural address.

The Inauguration Committee released the full schedule of the January 20 inaugural events on December 21, 2016.[17]Military support to the 58th inauguration was coordinated by Joint Task Force National Capital Region, providing musical military units, marching bands, color guards, ushers, firing details, and salute batteries.[18]

Presidential Inaugural Committee[edit]

The 2017 Presidential Inaugural Committee[19] organized several other inauguration-related events at the direction of the President‑elect and Vice President‑elect of the United States, such as the concerts, parade, balls and prayer service. The chairman of the committee was Thomas J. Barrack Jr., a real estate investor and longtime Trump friend and ally, and the founder, chairman and chief executive officer of Colony Capital. The co-chairs of the committee were Lewis M. Eisenberg and Roy Bailey.[20] Committee members included casino magnates Sheldon Adelson and his wife Miriam, Steve Wynn and Phil Ruffin, oil entrepreneur Harold Hamm, businesswoman Diane Hendricks, coal businessman Joe Craft, Gail Icahn, wife of Carl Icahn, and Woody Johnson, owner of the New York Jets.[21] The committee reported raising over $100 million for the inauguration from donors.[22]

Pre-inaugural events[edit]

Diplomat summit: Chairman’s Global Dinner[edit]

Then-President-elect Trump and his wife, Melania, arriving at Joint Base Andrews in Washington, D.C. for the inauguration

On Tuesday, January 17, then-President-elect Trump arrived in Washington, D.C. to attend what was titled the “Chairman’s Global Dinner,” a high-profile dinner that was intended to serve as an introduction between foreign diplomats and the incoming Trump administration officials and appointees.[23] The dinner was black tie and invitation-only, and was described by The Wall Street Journal as the most high-profile event preceding the inauguration,[24] with both Trump and Vice President-elect Mike Pence addressing the gathering.[23] The event was held at the Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium.[23] Thomas Barrack, the leading organizer of the inaugural activities, described the dinner as the “first fingerprint on the global canvas of social democracy and outreach.”[23]

Rex Tillerson, Trump’s choice to succeed John Kerry as Secretary of State, was in attendance, as well as former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani and National Security Advisor-designate Michael T. Flynn, and Israeli Ambassador Ron Dermer, according to reporters in attendance at the event.[23] More than 200 foreign diplomats attended the event out of 500 total guests.[23] During his speech to the group, Trump praised his choices thus far for Cabinet positions as well as his choice of Pence as his Vice President.[25]According to The Boston Globe and the Associated Press, the menu included mustard black cod and filet mignon as entrees, and baked Alaska for dessert.[25]

Arlington National Cemetery wreath laying ceremony[edit]

Donald Trump and Mike Pence at the wreath laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

After returning home to New York City, Trump returned to Washington, D.C. on Thursday, January 19, arriving at Joint Base Andrews on a plane flown by the U.S. Air Force.[26][27]

Trump and Vice President-elect Pence attended a luncheon at Trump’s hotel at the Old Post Office Pavilion,[28] and afterwards, the official wreath laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery, accompanied by his wife and family.[29] Trump and Pence were escorted by Major General Bradley Becker at the ceremony.[28] The Arlington National Cemetery is the final resting place of more than 400,000, mostly members of the armed forces, Medal of Honor recipients, and high ranking political officials.[30]

Make America Great Again Welcome Celebration concert[edit]

On the evening of January 19, Trump hosted the “Make America Great Again! Welcome Celebration,” a concert for his supporters that were attending his inauguration the following day. The concert, held on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, featured performances by Lee Greenwood (who performed “God Bless the USA“), Toby Keith, 3 Doors Down, DJ Ravidrums,[31] and The Piano Guys[32] Trump addressed his supporters at the start of the festivities, saying that the “forgotten man and the forgotten woman will not be forgotten anymore”.[31] Actor Jon Voight also spoke at the event, stating, “We have been witness to a barrage of propaganda that left us all breathless with anticipation, not knowing if God could reverse all the negative lies against Mr. Trump, whose only desire was to make America great again.”[31] The concert concluded with a fireworks celebration.[31]

Church service and White House reception[edit]

U.S. Capitol at dawn, mostly darkened but with the dome floodlit from without

Preparations at the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C. as the sun begins to rise on the morning of the inauguration

On the morning of the inauguration, on January 20, after staying the night at the Blair House, the traditional house used by the incoming President-elect due to its proximity to the White House,[33] Trump and his wife, Melania, and Mike Pence and his wife, Karen, attended a church service at St. John’s Episcopal Church.[34] The tradition dates back to James Madison, with every President since then attending the church service the morning of their inauguration.[35] The service was led by Robert Jeffress, a Southern Baptist minister who campaigned for Trump during the election.[34]

After the church service, Trump and his wife went to the White House to meet with President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama. The Obamas greeted the Trumps, and Melania presented the couple with a gift.[36] They then posed for photos in front of the White House press corps.[36] The presentation of a gift was a tradition started by Michelle Obama when she presented George W. Bush and Laura Bush with a gift on the day of her husband’s inauguration in 2009.[37] Afterward, they held a tea reception inside the White House, along with Vice President Joe Biden and his wife, Jill Biden, and Mike Pence and his wife, Karen Pence.[36] As per tradition, following the meeting between the President and the President-elect, they shared the Presidential motorcade limousine, and made their way to the Capitol for the inaugural ceremony.[36]

Inaugural events[edit]

Ceremony theme: “Uniquely American”[edit]

Trump delivering his inauguration speech following his swearing-in ceremony

File:President Trump's Inaugural Address.webm

Video of President Trump delivering his inaugural address

Roy Blunt kicked off the inauguration ceremony at 11:41 a.m. with welcoming remarks about the nation’s “commonplace and miraculous” tradition of a peaceful transition of power. Three religious figures delivered invocations, followed by the Missouri State University chorale performing an original work, “Now We Belong”. After short remarks, Chuck Schumer ended his speech by asking everyone to stand for the swearing-in ceremony.[38][39][40][41]

Presidents Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama, along with their respective wives, the First Ladies, all attended Trump’s inauguration,[42]including Hillary Clinton, Trump’s main opponent in the election.[43] George H. W. Bush and Barbara Bush did not attend the inauguration due to health reasons.[44]Vice presidents Joe Biden,[45] Dan Quayle[46] and Dick Cheney also were present.[47]

At 11:54 a.m, Associate Justice Clarence Thomas swore in Mike Pence as the 48th Vice President of the United States, with Pence’s hand on his personal Bible as well as the Bible of Ronald Reagan, the politician who inspired Pence to join the Republican Party. A performance of “America the Beautiful” by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir followed. At noon Trump became the 45th President of the United States, taking the oath of office with Chief Justice John Roberts. Trump was also sworn in using two Bibles, a Bible his mother gifted him and the historic Lincoln Bible. After the swearing-in, the Marine Band performed “Hail to the Chief“, and Trump received the traditional 21-gun salute in his honor.[48][49][50][51]

Trump then delivered his 16-minute inaugural address of 1,433 words, the shortest inaugural address since Jimmy Carter‘s 1,229-word address in 1977. In his speech, Trump promised to put “America First” and to end “American carnage”.[52][53]Three religious leaders delivered benedictions following Trump’s speech, bringing the total number of prayers during the ceremony to six, a record number. Reverend Franklin Graham, Timothy Cardinal Dolan, Archbishop of New York, Reverend Dr. Samuel Rodriguez, Pastor Paula White, Rabbi Marvin Hier and Bishop Wayne T. Jackson gave the benedictions. Jackie Evancho concluded the ceremony with a performance of the U.S. national anthem.[54][39][55]

Post-ceremony events[edit]

After the inaugural ceremony, President Trump, First Lady Melania Trump, Vice President Mike Pence and Second Lady Karen Pence escorted former President Barack Obama and former First Lady Michelle Obama to a departure ceremony on the east side of the U.S. Capitol. The Trumps exchanged remarks and bid farewell to the Obamas at the base of the helicopter that would transport them to Joint Base Andrews, and then returned to the steps of the Capitol building where they waved as the Obama’s helicopter took off. Before the luncheon and in keeping with tradition, President Trump signed his first presidential orders in the President’s Room at the Capitol,[56] and then signed the guest book for the luncheon.

President and First Lady Trump bidding farewell to former President and First Lady Obama on the East Front of the U.S. Capitol

Next, Trump signed orders to officially present the nominations for his Cabinet and several sub‑Cabinet officials to the Senate for confirmation.[57] His first bill that he signed into law was a waiver of the National Security Act of 1947 granted to him that allowed the nomination of retired General James Mattis to be nominated for the position of United States Secretary of Defense.[58] The National Security Act of 1947 requires a seven-year waiting period before retired military personnel can assume the role of Secretary of Defense.[58] Mattis became only the second Secretary of Defense to receive such a waiver, following George Marshall, who served under President Harry S. Truman.[58] Following in tradition, Trump used various commemorative pens to sign the Cabinet nominations, and distributed them among the lawmakers and guests that had gathered. The pens are traditionally given as a gift to politicians or individuals touched by the action, or were instrumental in its implementation.[57]

In addition to formally establishing his Cabinet nominees before the Senate confirmation process, Trump also signed a proclamation for a National Day of Patriotism, which has previously been called upon by several other former presidents including Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan.[59] Trump was accompanied at the signing ceremony by his wife, and children, and several of his grandchildren, as well as the chairs of the Joint Congressional Inauguration Committee, including Senators Roy Blunt, Mitch McConnell and Chuck Schumer, and Congressional leaders Paul Ryan, Kevin McCarthy and Nancy Pelosi.[59] During the ceremony, the lawmakers joked with President Trump, and traded pens based on their approval or disapproval of his Cabinet picks.[59] The Trumps and Pences then attended an inaugural luncheon at the U.S. Capitol before traveling from there to the presidential reviewing stand at the White House to watch the parade.[60][61]

President Trump signing his first official orders as President, including nominating his Cabinet

Luncheon[edit]

As former President and Mrs. Obama began their journey to a vacation in California, the Trumps and Pences joined several congressional guests for the inaugural luncheon in National Statuary Hall at the U.S. Capitol. Guests included top Washington lawmakers as well as former presidents and vice presidents. During his formal address at the lunch, Trump asked those in attendance to give Hillary Clinton, his opponent during the 2016 election, a standing ovation.[62][63][64]

A luncheon at the U.S. Capitol has been part of the inaugural program since 1953 (before that time, the luncheon was usually held at the White House and hosted by the outgoing President and First Lady). The menu for the 2017 inaugural luncheon, which in the past has often featured dishes representative of the home states of the new President and Vice President, included more traditional dishes from around the country.[60] The first course consisted of Maine lobster and Gulf shrimp with saffron sauce and peanut crumble, accompanied by a J. Lohr 2013 Arroyo Vista Chardonnay.[60] The second dish contained Seven Hills Angus beef in dark chocolate and juniper jus with potato gratin, served with a Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, and dessert included a chocolate soufflé and cherry vanilla ice cream with California Champagne.[60] Since 1985, a painting has served as a backdrop for the head table. For the 2017 inaugural luncheon, the featured painting was George Caleb Bingham‘s The Verdict of the People, which depicts a Missouri town and its citizens both celebrating and mourning the election victory of what historians say was a likely proslavery candidate.[65]

Parade[edit]

President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump walking the parade route on Pennsylvania Avenue

Following the luncheon, Trump, Pence, and their wives reviewed an honor guard of troops at the East Front of the U.S. Capitol before beginning the parade.[66][67] The inaugural parade route ran along Pennsylvania AvenueNW from the U.S. Capitol, ending at the north face of the White House.[68] During most of the parade, President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump traveled in the armored limousine used by the President because of potential security threats. The President and First Lady exited their limousine twice, walking on Pennsylvania Avenue for portions of the parade,[61] a longstanding custom.[69] Vice President Pence and his wife Karen walked the parade route at several points with their children as well.[70]

The parade lasted approximately two hours during the afternoon and early evening following the inaugural ceremony.[71] Parade participants included more than 8,000 people,[72] “representing forty organizations including high school and university marching bands, equestrian corps, first responders, and veterans groups,” according to the Joint Congressional Inauguration Committee.[73] Each branch of the United States military was also represented.[73]

Vice President Mike Pence invited several groups from Indiana to march in the parade in the Indiana section, including the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department Drill Team, the Culver Military Academy, and the Columbus North High School marching band from Pence’s native Columbus, Indiana.[74] Shortly after the parade, Trump went to the Oval Office to sign his first executive orders as president, including an order to start the process of dismantling the Affordable Care Act.[75][76]

Inaugural balls[edit]

The President and First Lady at the Liberty Ball on the evening of the inauguration

President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump attended three official inaugural balls during the evening of January 20, 2017,[50][77] titled “Liberty and Freedom: The Official Presidential Inaugural Balls.”[78] Donald Trump wore a classic black tuxedo, with a white button up shirt, and a black bow tie, in keeping with tradition.[79] Melania Trump wore a white, off-the-shoulder, sleeveless gown designed by French-American fashion designer Hervé Pierre.[80] Pierre has also designed dresses for First Ladies Laura Bush, Hillary Clinton and Michelle Obama, and he has been styling for Melania Trump for several years.[80] The dress featured a front slit, a ruffled accent and a thin red belt to cinch the waist.[79]

The Liberty Ball, one of two official balls held at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, was the first stop of the evening for the President and First Lady. The Trumps danced to their first song, which was chosen to be “My Way” by Frank Sinatra, and was performed by Erin Boheme, an American jazz singer.[78][79] In an attempt to allow more access to the inaugural balls, the Presidential Inauguration Committee announced that they intended to make the inaugural balls the most affordable in recent history, offering $50 tickets to either the Liberty or Freedom Balls.[81] The second ball that the Trumps attended was the Freedom Ball, also held at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, and also featured a first dance to “My Way”, as with the Liberty Ball.[79]

The President, First Lady, Vice President and Second Lady dancing with service members at the Armed Services Ball

The third ball that the President and First Lady attended was the Salute To Our Armed Services Ball, which took place at the National Building Museum. The ball was by invitation only, with free tickets being provided to “active duty and reserve military, Medal of Honor recipients, wounded warriors, military families, veterans, and first responders,” according to the Presidential Inauguration Committee.[81] At the beginning of the ball, Trump and his wife, Melania, addressed the crowd of gathered service members, and then spoke via satellite with active duty soldiers in Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan.[82] Trump thanked the active duty soldiers for the congratulations on his inauguration as Commander-in-chief.[82] Tony Orlando and the Josh Weathers Band performed at the Armed Services Ball.[82]

It is tradition for the President and First Lady, and the Vice President and Second Lady, to dance with military service members during the Armed Services Ball. A cover of the song “I Will Always Love You” by Whitney Houston was performed during the dance.[83] President Trump danced with U.S. Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Catherine Cartmell of Newport, Rhode Island.[83] Sgt. Angel Rodriguez, who danced with Second Lady Karen Pence, drew attention for his dancing style, spinning the Second Lady, which provoked playful laughter from Tiffany and Eric Trump.[84] After the dance concluded, President Trump and Vice President Pence used a saber to cut the ceremonial military cake in order to honor the sacrifice and service of the members of the Armed Forces.[83]

Prayer service[edit]

President and First Lady Trump arriving at Washington National Cathedral for the national prayer service

On January 21, President Trump, First Lady Melania Trump, Vice President Pence and Second Lady Karen Pence gathered at the Washington National Cathedral for a national day of prayer,[85] a tradition dating back to the first President, George Washington.[86] Among the parishioners were more than two dozen religious leaders from a variety of different faiths.[87] Marlana VanHoose, a 20-year-old vocalist who was born with cytomegalovirus, performed at the ceremony, singing “How Great Thou Art“.[88] Melania Trump was visibly emotional during the performance, and led a standing ovation for her after she finished performing.[88]The service began with call to prayer by the Reverend Rosemarie Duncan, Mikhail Manevich, a Jewish cantor, and Mohamed Magid, a Muslim imam.[86] The clergy spoke of both compassion and diversity.[86]

Crowd size[edit]

Photo comparison in crowd size between Trump’s 2017 inauguration, left, and Barack Obama’s first inauguration in 2009, right; the comparison was widely circulated on the internet.

Before the event, federal and local agencies estimated turnout would be between 700,000 and 900,000.[89][90] The federal government does not publish crowd estimates about events at the National Mall,[91] so overhead imagery[92] and statistics on public transportation ridership from the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA), which operates Metrorail, are used to estimate crowd sizes.[93] The WMATA reported that 193,000 passengers rode the Metro before 11 a.m. on the day of Trump’s inauguration, and 570,557 passengers during the entire day, lower than the average weekday ridership of 639,000 passengers.[94] USA Today reported on “a notable number” of empty seats along the parade route.[95]

Crowd counting experts cited by The New York Times estimated that about 160,000 people were in the National Mall areas in the hour leading up to Trump’s speech.[96]Many news outlets published pictures comparing Trump’s inauguration crowd with Obama’s in 2009, showing the significant difference in size between the two.[97] It is estimated that as many as 1.8 million people attended Obama’s 2009 inauguration[97] – which set a record for the total number of people in the National Mall at any one given time.[98]

Some political analysts cited the historically compelling nature of Obama’s inauguration as the first African American president as reason for the disparity.[99][100]

In a press conference on January 21, Sean Spicer, Trump’s White House Press Secretary, falsely stated that the crowd “was the largest audience ever to witness an inauguration, period, both in person and around the globe”, and accused the media of reporting false crowd estimates to “lessen the enthusiasm of the inauguration”.[101][102][103] Spicer stated that 420,000 people rode the Metro on the day of Trump’s inauguration, and that only 317,000 rode on the day of Obama’s inauguration.[103][101] In fact, WMATA figures report that 570,557 Metro trips were taken on the day of Trump’s inaugurations, compared to 1.1 million trips on the day of Obama’s first (2009) inauguration and 782,000 trips on the day of Obama’s second (2013) inauguration.

Numerous sources highlighted the fact that Spicer’s claims were incorrect, and many accused him of intentionally mis-stating the facts.[104][105][101][106] In response to these claims, Donald Trump’s counselor and spokesperson Kellyanne Conway, in an interview with NBC’s Chuck Todd, stated that Spicer merely presented “alternative facts“.[107] Todd responded by saying “alternative facts are not facts. They’re falsehoods.”[108] On January 23, Spicer admitted his error concerning WMATA ridership levels, stating that he was relying on statistics given to him, but he stood by his claim that the inauguration was the most-viewed, stating he also included online viewership in addition to in-person and television in his estimates.[109][110]

Nielsen ratings showed that television viewership of Trump’s inauguration in the United States was 30.6 million, lower than Obama’s inauguration in 2009 (38 million) and Ronald Reagan’s in 1981 (42 million).[111] Trump’s inauguration became the most streamed video on Twitter on the site’s history with over 6.8 million views.[112][113]

On January 20, the National Park Service‘s official Twitter account re-posted two Tweets that “the agency considered unsympathetic to President Trump.”[114] (One was a Tweet from Binyamin Appelbaum of The New York Times comparing “the new president’s relatively small inaugural crowd compared with the number of people Barack Obama drew to the Mall when he was sworn into office in 2009”; the other was “about several omissions of policy areas on the new White House website.”[114]) The Interior Department then circulated an “urgent directive” from the incoming administration, instructing social media managers at the department and its bureaus to “shut down Twitter platforms immediately until further notice.” The ban was lifted early the following day and the accounts were reactivated; an NPS spokesman said that the posts were “mistaken” re-tweets and issued an apology.[114]

Protests and demonstrations[edit]

File:Protesters Take to Parade Route.webm

Protesters in Washington D.C. at Trump’s inauguration

As of mid-December, there were 20 requests for demonstration permits for Donald J. Trump’s inauguration, including Bikers for Trump, and the Women’s March on Washington, scheduled for the day after inauguration day.[115] Supported by nearly 200 activist groups and organizations, and drawing an estimated three times as many participants as the inauguration,[96] the Women’s March demonstrated on racial and gender equality, affordable healthcare, abortion rights and voting rights.[116]

Protests occurred during the inauguration ceremonies in Washington, D.C. The vast majority of protesters, several thousand in all, were peaceful.[117][118][119] Disrupt J20 protesters linked arms at security checkpoints and attempted to shut them down.[120] A group of protesters, some black-clad self-described anarchists, engaged in sporadic acts of vandalism, rioting, and violence.[119][121][122] At least 217 were arrested and six police officers sustained minor injuries, and at least one other person was injured.[118][119][123]

67 Democratic U.S. Representatives publicly stated they would not attend Trump’s inauguration, citing “what they described as his alarming and divisive policies, foreign interference in his election and his criticism of civil rights icon John Lewis, a congressman from Georgia”.[124] Of the 67 boycotting, 66 came from safe Democratic seats where they are unlikely to face strong opposition from Republicans.

Democratic lawmakers skipping the inauguration specifically to protest Mr. Trump or to support Lewis:

Terri Sewell (D-Alabama),

Ruben Gallego (D-Arizona),

Raul Grijalva (D-Arizona),

Karen Bass (D-California),

Tony Cardenas (D-California),

Judy Chu (D-California),

Mark DeSaulnier (D-California),

Jared Huffman (D-California),

Barbara Lee (D-California),

Ted Lieu (D-California),

Zoe Lofgren (D-California),

Alan Lowenthal (D-California),

Jerry McNerney (D-California),

Grace Napolitano (D-California),

Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-California),

Raul Ruiz (D-California),

Mark Takano (D-California),

Juan Vargas (D-California),

Maxine Waters (D-California),

Alcee Hastings (D-Florida),

Darren Soto (D-Florida),

John Lewis (D-Georgia),

Luis Gutierrez (D-Illinois),

Jan Schakowsky (D-Illinois),

John Yarmouth (D-Kentucky),

Chellie Pingree (D-Maine),

Anthony Brown (D-Maryland),

Jamie Raskin (D-Maryland),

Michael Capuano (D-Massachusetts),

Katherine Clark (D-Massachusetts),

John Conyers (D-Michigan),

Keith Ellison (D-Minnesota),

Bennie Thompson (D-Mississippi),

Alma Adams (D-N.C.),

G.K. Butterfield (D-N.C.),

Carol Shea-Porter (D-N.H.),

Donald Payne Jr. (D-N.J.),

Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-N.J.),

Yvette Clarke (D-N.Y.),

Adriano Espaillat (D-N.Y.),

Grace Meng (D-N.Y.),

Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.),

José Serrano (D-N.Y.),

Louise Slaughter (D-N.Y.),

Nydia Velazquez (D-N.Y.),

Marcia Fudge (D-Ohio),

Earl Blumenauer (D-Oregon),

Kurt Schrader (D-Oregon),

Brendan Boyle (D-Pennsylvania),

Robert Brady (D-Pennsylvania),

Mike Doyle (D-Pennsylvania),

Dwight Evans (D-Pennsylvania),

Steve Cohen (D-Tennessee),

Joaquin Castro (D-Texas),

Lloyd Doggett (D-Texas),

Al Green (D-Texas),

Filemon Vila (D-Texas),

Don Beyer (D-Virginia),

Gerry Connolly (D-Virginia),

Donald McEachin (D-Virginia),

Pramila Jayapal (D-Washington),

Mark Pocan (D-Wisconsin),

Viewership[edit]

Legend

cable news network
broadcast network
Total cable TV viewers
11:45 AM and 12:15 PM Eastern

Network Viewers
FNC 11,768,000
CNN 3,375,000
MSNBC 1,487,000
Total cable TV viewers
8:00 to 11:00 PM Eastern

Network Viewers
FNC 6,958,000
CNN 4,528,000
MSNBC 1,621,000
Total television viewers
11:00 AM and 4:00 PM Eastern

Network Viewers
FNC 8,771,000
NBC 5,895,000
ABC 4,899,000
CBS 4,653,000
CNN 2,610,000
MSNBC 1,377,000

Source: adweek

See also