List of federal judges appointed by Donald Trump

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Donald Trump with his first Supreme Court nominee, Neil Gorsuch.

Following is a comprehensive list of all Article III and Article IV United States federal judges appointed by President Donald Trump during his presidency, as well as a partial list of Article I federal judicial appointments, excluding appointments to the District of Columbia judiciary.[1]

As of May 9, 2017, the total number of Trump Article III judgeship nominees to be confirmed by the United States Senate is 1, including 1 justice to the Supreme Court of the United States, 0 judges to the United States Courts of Appeals, 0 judges to the United States district courts, and 0 judges to the United States Court of International Trade.[2] The number of nominations currently awaiting Senate action is 10.[3] There are currently no vacancies on the Supreme Court of the United States, but there are 20 vacancies on the United States Courts of Appeals, 101 vacancies on the United States district courts, 2 vacancies on the United States Court of International Trade,[3] and 21 announced federal judicial vacancies that will occur before the end of Trump’s first term.[4]Trump has not made any recess appointments to the federal courts.

In terms of Article I courts, Trump has made 0 appointments to the United States Tax Court, 0 appointments and 1 pending nomination to the United States Court of Federal Claims, 0 appointments to the United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims, 0 appointments to the United States Court of Military Commission Review, and 0 appointments to the United States Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces. He has also not elevated any chief judges of the Court of Federal Claims.

On the Article IV territorial courts, he has made 0 appointments and has elevated 0 judges to the position of chief judge.

United States Supreme Court Justices[edit]

Denotes nomination pending before the Senate Judiciary Committee      Denotes nomination reported by the Senate Judiciary Committee

# Justice Seat State Former Justice Nomination
date
Confirmation
date
Confirmation
vote
Began
service
Ended
service
1 Neil Gorsuch Seat 9 Colorado Antonin Scalia February 1, 2017 April 7, 2017 54–45 April 8, 2017 Incumbent

Courts of Appeals[edit]

Denotes nomination pending before the Senate Judiciary Committee      Denotes nomination reported by the Senate Judiciary Committee

# Judge Circuit Nomination
date
Confirmation
date
Confirmation
vote
Began active
service
Ended active
service
Ended senior
status
Amul Thapar Sixth March 21, 2017
Joan Larsen Sixth May 8, 2017
David Stras Eighth May 8, 2017
Amy Coney Barrett Seventh May 8, 2017
John K. Bush Sixth May 8, 2017
Kevin C. Newsom Eleventh May 8, 2017

District courts[edit]

Denotes nomination pending before the Senate Judiciary Committee      Denotes nomination reported by the Senate Judiciary Committee

# Judge Court
[Note 1]
Nomination
date
Confirmation
date
Confirmation
vote
Began active
service
Ended active
service
Ended senior
status
David Nye D. Idaho May 8, 2017
Scott L. Palk W.D. Okla. May 8, 2017
Dabney L. Friedrich D.D.C. Pending
Terry F. Moorer M.D. Ala. Pending

United States Court of International Trade (Article III)[edit]

Denotes nomination pending before the Senate Judiciary Committee      Denotes nomination reported by the Senate Judiciary Committee

# Judge Nomination
date
Confirmation
date
Confirmation
vote
Began active
service
Ended active
service
Ended senior
status

Specialty courts (Article I)[edit]

United States Tax Court[edit]

Denotes nomination pending before the Senate Finance Committee      Denotes nomination reported by the Senate Finance Committee

# Judge Nomination
date
Confirmation
date
Confirmation
vote
Began active
service
Ended active
service
Ended senior
status

United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims[edit]

Denotes nomination pending before the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee      Denotes nomination reported by the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee

# Judge Nomination
date
Confirmation
date
Confirmation
vote
Began active
service
Ended active
service
Ended senior
status

United States Court of Military Commission Review[edit]

Denotes nomination pending before the Senate Armed Services Committee      Denotes nomination reported by the Senate Armed Services Committee

# Judge Nomination
date
Confirmation
date
Confirmation
vote
Began active
service
Ended active
service
Ended senior
status

United States Court of Federal Claims[edit]

Denotes nomination pending before the Senate Judiciary Committee      Denotes nomination reported by the Senate Judiciary Committee

# Judge Nomination
date
Confirmation
date
Confirmation
vote
Began active
service
Ended active
service
Ended senior
status
Damien M. Schiff May 8, 2017

United States Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces[edit]

Denotes nomination pending before the Senate Armed Services Committee      Denotes nomination reported by the Senate Armed Services Committee

# Judge Nomination
date
Confirmation
date
Confirmation
vote
Began active
service
Ended active
service
Ended senior
status

Territorial courts (Article IV)[edit]

Denotes nomination pending before the Senate Judiciary Committee      Denotes nomination reported by the Senate Judiciary Committee

# Judge Court
[Note 2]
Nomination
date
Confirmation
date
Confirmation
vote
Began active
service
Ended active
service
Ended senior
status

Cabinet of Donald Trump

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Meeting of then confirmed Cabinet members on March 13, 2017.

This article lists the members of President Donald Trump‘s Cabinet. Trump assumed office on January 20, 2017.

The President of the United States has the authority to nominate members of his or her Cabinet to the United States Senate for confirmation under Appointments Clause of the United States Constitution. Before confirmation, a high level career member of an executive department heads this pre-confirmed cabinet on an acting basis. The Cabinet’s creation is part of the transition of power following the 2016 United States presidential election.

This page documents the confirmation process for any successful or unsuccessful cabinet nominees of Donald Trump‘s administration. They are listed in order of creation of the cabinet position (also used as the basis for the United States presidential line of succession).

Announced nominees[edit source]

All members of the Cabinet require the advice and consent of the United States Senate following appointment by the president prior to taking office. The vice presidency is exceptional in that the position requires election to office pursuant to the United States Constitution. Although some are afforded cabinet-level rank, non-cabinet members within the Executive Office of the President, such as White House Chief of Staff, National Security Advisor, and White House Press Secretary, do not hold constitutionally created positions and most do not require Senate confirmation for appointment.

The following have been named as Cabinet appointees by the President. For other high-level positions, see the list of Donald Trump political appointments.

Cabinet of President Donald J. Trump
  Individual officially confirmed by a full Senate vote
  Individual took office with no Senate consent needed
  Individual’s nomination officially reported by Senate committee
  Individual was rejected by either a Senate committee or a full Senate vote
  Individual’s nomination pending Senate committee confirmation

Cabinet members[edit source]

Office
Date announced / confirmed
Designee Office
Date announced / confirmed
Designee
Seal of the Vice President of the United States.svg

Vice President
Announced July 15, 2016
Took office January 20, 2017
Mike Pence official portrait (cropped).jpg
Former Governor
Mike Pence
from Indiana
US Department of State official seal.svg

Secretary of State
Announced December 13, 2016
Took office February 1, 2017
Rex Tillerson official portrait.jpg
Former CEO of ExxonMobil
Rex Tillerson
from Texas
Seal of the United States Department of the Treasury.svg

Secretary of the Treasury
Announced November 30, 2016
Took office February 13, 2017
Steven Mnuchin official portrait.jpg
Steven Mnuchin
from California
United States Department of Defense Seal.svg

Secretary of Defense
Announced December 1, 2016
Took office January 20, 2017
James Mattis Official SECDEF Photo.jpg
Retired General (USMC)
James Mattis
from Washington
Seal of the United States Department of Justice.svg

Attorney General
Announced November 18, 2016
Took office February 9, 2017
Jeff Sessions, official portrait.jpg
Former Senator
Jeff Sessions
from Alabama
Seal of the United States Department of the Interior.svg

Secretary of the Interior
Announced December 15, 2016
Took office March 1, 2017
Ryan Zinke official photo (cropped).jpg
Former Representative
Ryan Zinke
from Montana
Seal of the United States Department of Agriculture.svg

Secretary of Agriculture
Announced January 18, 2017
Took office April 25, 2017
Secretary Sonny Perdue official photo (cropped).jpg
Former Governor
Sonny Perdue
from Georgia
Seal of the United States Department of Commerce.svg

Secretary of Commerce
Announced November 30, 2016
Took office February 28, 2017
Wilbur Ross Official Portrait (cropped).jpg
Wilbur Ross
from Florida
Seal of the United States Department of Labor.svg

Secretary of Labor
Announced February 16, 2017
Took office April 28, 2017
Alexander Acosta.jpg
Former U.S. Attorney
Alex Acosta
from Florida
Seal of the United States Department of Health and Human Services.svg

Secretary of Health and Human Services
Announced November 29, 2016
Took office February 10, 2017
Tom Price official Transition portrait.jpg
Former Representative
Tom Price
from Georgia
Seal of the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development.svg

Secretary of Housing and Urban Development
Announced December 5, 2016
Took office March 2, 2017
Ben Carson official portrait as HUD secretary.jpg
Ben Carson
from Florida
Seal of the United States Department of Transportation.svg

Secretary of Transportation
Announced November 29, 2016
Took office January 31, 2017
Elaine L. Chao (cropped).jpg
Former Secretary
Elaine Chao
from Kentucky
Seal of the United States Department of Energy.svg

Secretary of Energy
Announced December 14, 2016
Took office March 2, 2017
Secretary Rick Perry (cropped 2).jpg
Former Governor
Rick Perry
from Texas
Seal of the United States Department of Education.svg

Secretary of Education
Announced November 23, 2016
Took office February 7, 2017
Betsy DeVos official Department of Education portrait.jpg
Betsy DeVos
from Michigan
Seal of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.svg

Secretary of Veterans Affairs
Announced January 11, 2017
Took office February 14, 2017
SECVA-David-Shulkin-MD.jpg
Former Under Secretary
David Shulkin
from Pennsylvania
Seal of the United States Department of Homeland Security.svg

Secretary of Homeland Security
Announced December 7, 2016
Took office January 20, 2017
John Kelly official DHS portrait.jpg
Retired General (USMC)
John F. Kelly
from Virginia

Cabinet-level officials[edit source]

Office
Date announced / confirmed
Designee Office
Date announced / confirmed
Designee
US-WhiteHouse-Logo.svg

White House Chief of Staff
Announced November 13, 2016
Took office January 20, 2017
Reince Priebus CPAC 2017 by Michael Vadon.jpg
Former RNC Chairman
Reince Priebus
from Wisconsin
US-TradeRepresentative-Seal.svg

United States Trade Representative
Announced January 3, 2017
Robert Lighthizer official Transition portrait.jpg
Robert Lighthizer
from Florida
The Office of the Director of National Intelligence.svg

Director of National Intelligence
Announced January 7, 2017
Took office March 16, 2017
Dan Coats official DNI portrait.jpg
Former Senator
Dan Coats
from Indiana
US Department of State official seal.svg

Ambassador to the United Nations
Announced November 23, 2016
Took office January 27, 2017
Nikki Haley official Transition portrait.jpg
Former Governor
Nikki Haley
from South Carolina
US-OfficeOfManagementAndBudget-Seal.svg

Director of the
Office of Management and Budget
Announced December 16, 2016
Took office February 16, 2017
Mick Mulvaney, Official Portrait, 113th Congress (2).jpg
Former Representative
Mick Mulvaney
from South Carolina
Seal of the Central Intelligence Agency.svg

Director of the Central Intelligence Agency
Announced November 18, 2016
Took office January 23, 2017
Mike Pompeo official Transition portrait.jpg
Former Representative
Mike Pompeo
from Kansas
Environmental Protection Agency logo.svg

Administrator of the
Environmental Protection Agency
Announced December 7, 2016
Took office February 17, 2017
Scott Pruitt, EPA official portrait (cropped).jpg
Former Attorney General
Scott Pruitt
from Oklahoma
Seal of the United States Small Business Administration.svg

Administrator of the
Small Business Administration
Announced December 7, 2016
Took office February 14, 2017
Linda McMahon official photo.jpg
Linda McMahon
from Connecticut
Source: Trump Administration and NPR[1][2]

Confirmation process timeline[edit source]

[hide]Cabinet Confirmation Process
Office Name Announcement Hearing date Senate
Committee
Vote date
Senate
Committee
Vote
Full Senate
Vote date
Confirmation[3] Notes
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson December 13, 2016 January 11, 2017 January 23, 2017 11–10[4] February 1, 2017 56–43[5] Hearings.[a]
Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin November 30, 2016 January 19, 2017 February 1, 2017 14–0[6] February 13, 2017 53–47[7] Hearings.[b]
Secretary of Defense James Mattis December 1, 2016 January 12, 2017 January 18, 2017 26–1[8] January 20, 2017 98–1[9] Hearings.[c]
Attorney General Jeff Sessions November 18, 2016 January 10, 2017 February 1, 2017 11–9[10][11][12] February 8, 2017 52–47[13] Hearings.[d]
Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke December 15, 2016 January 17, 2017 January 31, 2017 16–6[14] March 1, 2017 68–31[15] Hearings.[e]
Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue January 18, 2017 March 23, 2017 March 30, 2017 Voice Vote (19–1)[16] April 24, 2017 87–11[17] Hearings.[f]
Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross November 30, 2016 January 18, 2017 January 24, 2017 Voice Vote[18] February 27, 2017 72–27[19] Hearings.[g]
Secretary of Labor Andrew Puzder December 8, 2016 Nomination withdrawn on February 15, 2017[20][21]
Alex Acosta February 16, 2017 March 22, 2017 March 30, 2017 12-11[22] April 27, 2017 60–38[23] Hearings.[h]
Secretary of Health and Human Services Tom Price November 29, 2016 January 18, 2017 February 1, 2017 14–0[6] February 10, 2017 52–47[24] Hearings.[i]
Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson December 5, 2016 January 12, 2017 January 24, 2017 23–0[25] March 2, 2017 58–41[26] Hearings.[j]
Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao November 29, 2016 January 11, 2017 January 24, 2017 Voice Vote[27] January 31, 2017 93–6[28] Hearings.[k]
Secretary of Energy Rick Perry December 14, 2016 January 19, 2017 January 31, 2017 16–7[14] March 2, 2017 62–37[29] Hearings.[l]
Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos November 23, 2016 January 17, 2017 January 31, 2017 12–11[30] February 7, 2017 51–50[31] Hearings.[m]
Secretary of Veterans Affairs David Shulkin January 11, 2017 February 1, 2017 February 7, 2017 15–0[32] February 13, 2017 100–0[33] Hearings.[n]
Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly December 7, 2016 January 10, 2017 January 18, 2017 Voice Vote (14–1)[34] January 20, 2017 88–11[35] Hearings.[o]
Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer January 3, 2017 March 14, 2017 April 25, 2017 26-0[36] May 15, 2017[37] Hearings.[p]
Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats January 7, 2017 February 28, 2017 March 9, 2017 13–2[38] March 15, 2017 85–12[39] Hearings.[q]
Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley November 23, 2016 January 18, 2017 January 24, 2017 Voice Vote (19–2)[40] January 24, 2017 96–4[41] Hearings.[r]
Management and Budget Mick Mulvaney December 16, 2016 January 24, 2017 February 2, 2017 12–11, 8–7[42] February 16, 2017 51–49[43] Hearings.[s]
Director of the Central Intelligence Agency Mike Pompeo November 18, 2016 January 12, 2017 January 20, 2017 Voice Vote[44] January 23, 2017 66–32[45] Hearings.[t]
Environmental Protection Agency Scott Pruitt December 7, 2016 January 18, 2017 February 2, 2017 11–0[46] February 17, 2017 52–46[47] Hearings.[u]
Small Business Administration Linda McMahon December 7, 2016 January 24, 2017 January 31, 2017 18–1[48] February 14, 2017 81–19[49] Hearings.[v]

Analysis[edit source]

Due to President Trump’s lack of government or military experience and his political positions,[50] much interest existed among the media over his cabinet nominations, as they are believed to show how he intends to govern.

President Trump’s proposed cabinet was characterized by the media as being very conservative. It was described as a “conservative dream team” by Politico,[51] “the most conservative cabinet [in United States history]” by Newsweek,[52] and “one of the most consistently conservative domestic policy teams in modern history” by the Los Angeles Times.[53] The Hill described Mr. Trump’s potential cabinet as “an unorthodox team” popular with conservatives, that more establishment Republicans such as John McCain or Mitt Romney likely would not have chosen.[54] CNN agreed, calling the proposed cabinet “a conservative dream team of domestic Cabinet appointments.”[55] On the other hand, The Wall Street Journal stated that “it’s nearly impossible to identify a clear ideological bent in the incoming president’s” cabinet nominations.[56]

The Wall Street Journal also stated that Mr. Trump’s nominations signaled a pro-deregulation administration policy.[57] Several of his cabinet nominees politically opposed the federal departments they were selected to lead.[58]

In terms of total personal wealth, Mr. Trump’s cabinet is the wealthiest in modern American history.[59]

President Trump’s cabinet is largely made up of nominees who have business experience but minimal experience in the government when compared to the administrations of Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama.[60] The Pew Research Center also noted that Mr. Trump’s cabinet is one of the most business-heavy in American history. The think tank stated that “A third of the department heads in the Trump administration (33%) will be people whose prior experience has been entirely in the public sector. Only three other presidents are in the same range: William McKinley (three out of eight Cabinet positions, or 37.5%), Ronald Reagan (four out of 13 positions, or 31%), and Dwight Eisenhower (three out of 10 positions, or 30%).”[61]

There are no economists in President Trump’s cabinet.[62] There are also significantly fewer lawyers in Mr. Trump’s cabinet than in previous administrations.[63]

Confirmation delays[edit source]

Despite being nominated promptly during the transition period, most cabinet members were unable to take office on Inauguration Day because of delays in the formal confirmation process. By February 8, 2017, President Trump had fewer cabinet nominees confirmed than any prior president two weeks into their mandate, except George Washington.[64][65] Part of the lateness was ascribed to obstructionism by Senate Democrats and part to delays in submitting background-check paperwork.[66]

History[edit source]

Choosing members of the presidential Cabinet (and other high-level positions) is a complicated process, which begins prior to the November 2016 general election results being known. In the case of the Trump ’16 campaign, his former rival for the Republican nomination Chris Christie was appointed to lead the transition team in May 2016, shortly after Ted Cruz and John Kasich suspended their campaigns (thus making Trump the presumptive nominee of the party). In addition to various other responsibilities, the transition team is responsible for making preliminary lists of potential executive branch appointees—at least for the several dozen high-level positions if not for the several thousand lower-level positions—and doing some early vetting work on those people. The transition team also hires policy experts (over 100 in the case of the Trump transition team by October 2016), using primarily federal funds and federal office space, to help plan how the hypothetical-at-the-time future Trump administration will implement their policy-goals via the various federal agencies and departments.

After the election in November 2016, when the Trump/Pence ticket defeated the Clinton/Kaine ticket as well as various third party opponents, the transition team was quickly reshuffled and expanded; Mike Pence was given the lead role (over Chris Christie), and several additional top-level transition personnel were added to the transition effort, most of them from the now-finished campaign effort. During the remainder of 2016, the team continued finding and vetting potential nominees for the various positions, as the Electoral College process was ongoing (including recounts in some states where the winning margin was relatively tiny) and prior to the presidential inauguration in January 2017.

President-elect Trump announced his first post-election Cabinet nominee, Jeff Sessions for the role of United States Attorney General, on November 18, 2016. (Trump had earlier announced Mike Pence as his pick for vice-presidential running mate in July 2016, which was shortly thereafter confirmed by the delegates to the Republican National Convention when they officially nominated first Trump and then Pence.) Although most positions were simultaneously under consideration by the transition team, the official announcement of offers, and the public acceptance of the offers, usually happens gradually as slots are filled (Richard Nixon being the exception).

President[67][68][69] Week Weighted
Average
Notes
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Nixon ’68 12 6.0 weeks The twelfth Cabinet role was quasi-privatized in 1971.
Carter ’76 1 2 7 2 6.8 weeks New roles: Energy in 1977, Education in 1979.
Reagan ’80 8 4 1 6.6 weeks Reagan was unable to abolish the federal Department of Education.
Bush ’88 2 2 1 3 5 1 5.3 weeks New role: VA in 1989. The four earliest nominees were continuations of the Reagan Cabinet.
Clinton ’92 4 6 4 7.0 weeks
Bush ’00 1 5 8 7.5 weeks New role: DHS in 2003. Announcements of appointees were delayed by the Florida recount.
Obama ’08 1 4 2 4 4 5.4 weeks Slightly differing figures are given in some sources.[67][70][71][69]
Trump ’16 1 3 4 3 2 2 4.9 weeks There are officially fifteen Cabinet positions to nominate; Senate confirmation of nominees usually follows the inauguration.

For purposes of historical comparison, this chart only includes Cabinet roles, and not the cabinet-level positions. However, note that the number of Cabinet positions has varied from administration to administration: under Nixon there were twelve such roles in 1968, whereas under Trump in 2016 there are fifteen.

After Trump had been president for a full three weeks, the number of his approved cabinet members stood at 7 as compared to 12 for Obama and no vacancies for George W. Bush. Whereas all but one cabinet nominee was approved in less than a day for President Bill Clinton.[72]

Formation[edit source]

After election day, media outlets reported on persons described by various sources as possible appointments to senior positions in the incoming Trump presidency. The number of people which have received media attention as potential cabinet appointees is higher than in most previous presidential elections, partly because the Trump ’16 campaign staff (and associated PACs) was significantly smaller and less expensive,[73] thus there are not as many people already expected to receive specific roles in the upcoming Trump administration. In particular, “Trump ha[d] a smaller policy brain trust [policy group] than a new president normally carries”[74] because as an anti-establishment candidate who began his campaign by largely self-funding his way to the Republican party nomination,[75] unlike most previous presidential winners “Trump does not have the traditional cadre of Washington insiders and donors to build out his Cabinet.”[76] An additional factor that tends to make the field of potential nominees especially broad, is that unlike most presidential transition teams who select politicians as their appointees, the Trump transition team “has started with a mandate to hire from the private sector [as opposed to the governmental sector] whenever possible.”[76]

Vice President[edit source]

There were dozens of potential running mates for Trump who received media speculation (including several from New York where Trump himself resides). Trump’s eventual pick of Governor Mike Pence of Indiana was officially announced on July 16, 2016 and confirmed by acclamation via parliamentary procedure amongst delegates to the 2016 Republican National Convention on July 19, 2016.

Cabinet[edit source]

The following cabinet positions are listed in order of their creation (also used as the basis for the United States presidential line of succession).

Secretary of State[edit source]

The nomination of a Secretary-designate is reviewed during hearings held by the members of the Foreign Relations committee, then presented to the full Senate for a vote.

Rex Tillerson[edit source]

Tillerson at his confirmation hearing on January 11, 2017

On December 12, 2016, Rex Tillerson, CEO of ExxonMobil, was officially selected to be the Secretary of State.[77] Tillerson was first recommended to Trump for the Secretary of State role by Condoleezza Rice, during her meeting with Trump in late November.[78] Rice’s recommendation of Tillerson to Trump was backed up by Robert Gates, three days later.[78]

Tillerson’s confirmation hearing with the Foreign Relations committee was held on January 11, 2017. During the hearing, Tillerson voiced support for the Trans-Pacific Partnership and opposed a Muslim immigration ban that has been proposed by Donald Trump in the past.[79]Tillerson was approved by the Foreign Relations committee on January 23, 2017 by a vote of 11–10.[80] On Wednesday, February 1, Tillerson was confirmed by the senate 56–43.[81] Prior to Tillerson’s confirmation Tom Shannon was the acting Secretary of State.

Secretary of the Treasury[edit source]

The nomination of a Secretary-designate is reviewed during hearings held by the members of the Finance committee, then presented to the full Senate for a vote.

Steve Mnuchin[edit source]

Trump announced the selection of Steve Mnuchin as Secretary of the Treasury on November 30, 2016. In the statement, Trump called Mnuchin a “world-class financier, banker and businessman,” and he said Mnuchin played an important role in developing his “plan to build a dynamic, booming economy.” Mnuchin himself said he was “honored to have the opportunity to serve our great country in this important role.” He called Trump’s economic agenda a “bold” one “that creates good-paying jobs and defends the American worker.”[82]

The New York Times noted that Mnuchin’s selection “fits uneasily with much of Mr. Trump’s campaign attacks on the financial industry.” For example, an ad of Trump’s campaign said Goldman Sachs’ CEO had “robbed [the] working class.” Mnuchin will be the third Goldman alumnus to serve in the job, after Henry M. Paulson Jr., under President George W. Bush; and Robert E. Rubin, under President Bill Clinton in the 2000s and 1990s, respectively.[83]

After the nomination was announced, Mnuchin resigned from his position on the board of trustees of the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, to which he had donated between $100,000 and $250,000.[84][85] When the pick was announced, Mnuchin was also a member of the boards of UCLA Health System, the NewYork–Presbyterian Hospital, and the Los Angeles Police Foundation.[82]

During his Senate confirmation hearing on January 19, 2017, Mnuchin was condemned by Democrats due to the foreclosure practices at OneWest. Mnuchin said, “Since I was first nominated to serve as Treasury secretary, I have been maligned as taking advantage of others’ hardships in order to earn a buck. Nothing could be further from the truth”.[86]Mnuchin was criticized for failing to disclose, in required disclosure documents, $95 million of real estate that he owned and his role as director of Dune Capital International, an investment fund in a tax haven. Mnuchin described the omissions as mistakes made amid a mountain of bureaucracy.[87]

Democrats of the Senate Finance Committee boycotted the vote of Mnuchin and many other nominees in response to Trump’s controversial immigration executive order. Additionally, Democrats sought an additional hearing due to Mnuchin’s failure to disclose $100 million in assets. On February 1, 2017, Republicans suspended committee rules to send the nomination to the Senate floor. His nomination was approved by a vote of 11–0.[88][87]

Steve Mnuchin was confirmed on February 13, 2017. As expected, the Senate vote fell along party lines, with exception of Senator Joe Manchin as the sole Democratic vote for Mnuchin.[89][90] Adam Szubin served as acting secretary prior to Mnuchin’s confirmation.

Secretary of Defense[edit source]

The nomination of a Secretary-designate is reviewed during hearings held by the members of the Armed Services committee, then presented to the full Senate for a vote.

James Mattis[edit source]

Trump informally announced the selection of General James Mattis as Secretary of Defense on December 1, 2016.[91] (The Trump Transition Team formally announced the selection on December 6, 2016.[92]) As with most cabinet roles, the Secretary-designate of Defense undergoes hearings before the appropriate committee of the United States Senate, followed by a confirmation-vote. In the case of Mattis, there was an additional step needed as he had retired from the military three years ago, since statute section 903(a) of the NDAA demands a minimum of seven years as a civilian for Pentagon appointees, therefore Mattis needed a waiver to be allowed to become Secretary of Defense.[93] On January 12, 2017 the Senate Armed Services Committee voted 24–3 to grant the waiver. The full Senate voted 81–17 to pass the waiver three hours later. After the Trump transition team cancelled a meeting between Mattis and the House Armed Services Committee, the waiver narrowly passed the committee by a vote of 34–28. The House voted 268–151 to grant the waiver.[94] The Senate Armed Services Committee approved Mattis’ confirmation on January 18, 2017 by a 26–1 margin, and sent the nomination to the full Senate for consideration.[95] One of Donald Trump’s first acts as President was the approval of Mattis’ waiver to become Secretary of Defense. After being confirmed by the Senate on the evening of January 20, 2017 by a vote of 98–1, Mattis was sworn in on the same evening.

Attorney General[edit source]

The nomination of an Attorney General-designate is reviewed during hearings held by the members of the Judiciary committee, then presented to the full Senate for a vote.

Acting Attorney General[edit source]

On January 30, 2017, Trump appointed Dana Boente, the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, to serve as acting Attorney General until Jeff Sessions‘ Senate confirmation.[96] Boente had replaced Sally Yates who was fired by Trump for ordering the Justice Department to not defend Trump’s Executive Order 13769 which restricted entry to the United States.[97] Yates claimed that, “At present, I am not convinced that the defense of the executive order is consistent with these responsibilities [of the Department of Justice], nor am I convinced that the executive order is lawful”.[98][99] Boente served until the confirmation of Jeff Sessions on February 9, 2017.

Jeff Sessions[edit source]

Trump’s selection of Senator Jeff Sessions from Alabama was officially announced on November 18, 2016.

Members of the Democratic party in the Senate had stated their intention to oppose Sessions; that said, successfully defeating the nomination of Sessions would have required peeling away the votes of at least two or three Republican members of the Senate body.[89] Republican members of the Judiciary Committee spoke favorably towards Sessions,[100] as Sessions had been a former member of the Judiciary Committee while serving as Senator. Although Democratic party Senators, including Elizabeth Warren, criticized Sessions, at least one Democratic Senator, Joe Manchin of West Virginia, stated he would vote to confirm Sessions.[100] Historically, there has never been a sitting Senator appointed to cabinet position who was denied that post during the confirmation process.[100]

The confirmation process for Trump’s nominee Senator Jeff Sessions was described as “strikingly contentious” by The New York Times;[101] as Senator Mitch McConnell invoked Rule XIX to silence Senator Elizabeth Warren for the rest of the hearing. McConnell interrupted Warren as she had read a letter by Coretta Scott King opposing Sessions’ nomination to a federal judgeship along with several statements which were made by Senator Ted Kennedy in 1986 during Senate hearings on Sessions’ nomination. Afterwards, Warren live-streamed herself reading the letter, critical of Sessions, that Coretta Scott King had written to Senator Strom Thurmond in 1986.[102]

On February 8, Sessions, was confirmed as United States Attorney General by a vote of 52–47, with all of the Republican Senators and Democratic Senator Joe Manchin voting in favor of Sessions’ confirmation and all other Senators voting against Sessions’ confirmation. Sessions’ confirmation ended a nomination battle which was described by The New York Times, as “bitter and racially charged”.[103]

Secretary of the Interior[edit source]

The nomination of a Secretary-designate is reviewed during hearings held by the members of the Energy and Natural Resources committee, then presented to the full Senate for a vote.

Ryan Zinke[edit source]

On December 9, 2016, Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Washington was originally selected for the role, according to anonymous leaks within the Trump transition team.[nb 1][118]However, instead Ryan Zinke was reportedly offered the role of Secretary of the Interior on December 13, 2016. Trump’s transition team formally announced the decision to nominate Zinke on December 15, 2016.[119]

His nomination was approved by a 16–6 vote from the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee on January 31, 2017.[120] Zinke was confirmed on March 1, 2017 by a vote of 68–31, becoming the first Navy SEAL to occupy a Cabinet position.[121][122] Prior to Zinke’s confirmation, Kevin Haugrud served as the acting Secretary of the Interior.

Secretary of Agriculture[edit source]

The nomination of a Secretary-designate is reviewed during hearings held by the members of the Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry committee, then presented to the full Senate for a vote.

Sonny Perdue[edit source]

On January 18, 2017 Sonny Perdue, former governor of Georgia, was selected to be the Secretary of Agriculture.[123] On April 24, 2017 Perdue was confirmed by the Senate in an 87-11 vote. Prior to Perdue’s confirmation the acting Secretary of Agriculture was Michael Scuse.

Secretary of Commerce[edit source]

The nomination of a Secretary-designate is reviewed during hearings held by the members of the Commerce, Science, and Transportation committee, then presented to the full Senate for a vote.

Wilbur Ross[edit source]

Trump’s selection of CEO Wilbur Ross from Florida (formerly of New York) was officially announced on November 30, 2016. Several days earlier starting November 24, unofficial staff interviews said that Ross either would be,[124][125][126][127] or was expected to be,[128][129][130][131][132] offered the role.

Confirmation hearings were originally scheduled for January 12, but were postponed because the Commerce Committee had not yet received the ethics agreement from the Office of Government Ethics and the Department of Commerce.[133] On February 27 2017, he was confirmed by the United States Senate in a 72–27 vote. He assumed office on February 28, 2017.[19]

Secretary of Labor[edit source]

The nomination of a Secretary-designate is reviewed during hearings held by the members of the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions committee, then presented to the full Senate for a vote.

Failed nomination of Andy Puzder[edit source]

On December 8, 2016 Andy Puzder, CEO of CKE Restaurants, was officially selected to be the Secretary of Labor. The Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions committee (HELP) delayed Puzder’s hearing five times due to missing paperwork from the Office of Government Ethics.[134] It was revealed that prior to the nomination Puzder employed a housekeeper who was not authorized to work in the U.S. Puzder failed to pay employer taxes. Puzder fired the housekeeper and amended his taxes only after his nomination.[135]Prior cabinet nominations from the Bush and Clinton administrations with undocumented housekeepers have had to withdraw their nominations.

On February 8, 2017 the Office of Government Ethics submitted Puzder’s ethics paperwork to Congress.[136] It was also revealed Puzder’s ex-wife Lisa Fierstein appeared in disguise on Oprah Winfrey‘s talk show in the 1980s. In the interview, she alleged Puzder beat her. She later recanted. Fierstein sent a letter to Congress shortly after his nomination stating, “Andy is not and was not abusive or violent.” Complying with the HELP committee, the Oprah Winfrey Network produced tapes from the interview for members of the committee to view.[137] Four Republican Senators from the HELP committee Susan Collins, Tim Scott, Johnny Isakson, and Lisa Murkowski expressed doubt over Puzder’s nomination.[135] On February 15, 2017 reports surfaced that Puzder would withdraw his nomination, a day before his scheduled hearing.[138] Later that day Puzder released a statement to the Associated Press officially withdrawing his nomination.[139]

Alex Acosta[edit source]

On February 16, 2017 Alex Acosta, dean of the Florida International University College of Law and former Justice Department attorney, was officially selected to be the Secretary of Labor.[140] On April 27, 2017, Acosta was confirmed by the Senate in a 60–38 vote. Prior to Acosta’s confirmation the acting Secretary of Labor was Ed Hugler.

Secretary of Health and Human Services[edit source]

Although historically the nominee also holds meetings with the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions committee, officially the nomination of a Secretary-designate is reviewed during hearings held by the members of the United States Senate Committee on Finance, then presented to the full Senate for a vote.

Tom Price[edit source]

Trump’s selection of Representative Tom Price from Georgia was officially announced on November 28, 2016.[141][142][143]

Members of the Democratic party in the Senate such as Debbie Stabenow, Brian Schatz, and Sherrod Brown have stated their intention to oppose this nominee.[89] However, successfully blocking the nomination would have required the support of at least two Republican members of the full body, which was expected to have a partisan split (52 who caucus with the Republicans versus 48 who caucus with the Democrats).[citation needed] Price was confirmed by the Senate on February 10, 2017 in a 52–47 vote along party lines, with all Republicans voting in favor and all Democrats voting against.[144] Prior to Price’s confirmation, the acting Secretary of Health and Human Services was Norris Cochran.

Secretary of Housing and Urban Development[edit source]

The nomination of a Secretary-designate is reviewed during hearings held by the members of the Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs committee, then presented to the full Senate for a vote.

Ben Carson[edit source]

On December 5, 2016, President-elect Donald Trump announced that he would nominate Ben Carson to the position of Secretary of Housing and Urban Development.[145] During confirmation hearings, Carson was held under close scrutiny for his lack of relevant experience, and because he has been one the most hostile critics of HUD’s role in enforcing anti-discrimination laws.[146] On January 24, 2017, the Senate Banking Committee voted unanimously to approve the nomination, sending it to the Senate floor for a complete vote.[147] On March 2, 2017, Carson was confirmed by the United States Senate in a 58–41 vote.[148] Prior to Carson’s nomination, Craig Clemmensen served as the acting Secretary of Housing and Urban Development.

Secretary of Transportation[edit source]

The nomination of a Secretary-designate is reviewed during hearings held by the members of the Commerce, Science, and Transportation committee, then presented to the full Senate for a vote.

Elaine Chao[edit source]

On November 29, 2016 it was reported that President-elect Trump selected former United States Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao of Kentucky as his Secretary of Transportation.[149][150] On January 31, Chao was confirmed by the Senate by a vote of 93–6. Her husband Senator Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) only voted present due to the conflict of interest. Prior to Chao’s confirmation the acting Secretary of Transportation was Michael Huerta.

Secretary of Energy[edit source]

The nomination of a Secretary-designate is reviewed during hearings held by the members of the Energy and Natural Resources committee, then presented to the full Senate for a vote.

Rick Perry[edit source]

On December 13, 2016 Rick Perry, former Governor of Texas, was selected to be the Secretary of Energy.[151] During a previous presidential campaign, Perry said he intended to abolish the department.[152] His nomination was approved by a 16–7 vote from the United States Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources on January 31, 2017.[153]On March 2, 2017, Perry was confirmed by the United States Senate in a 62-37 vote.[154] Prior to Perry’s confirmation, the acting Secretary of Energy was Grace Bochenek.

Secretary of Education[edit source]

The nomination of a Secretary-designate is reviewed during hearings held by the members of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, then presented to the full Senate for a vote.

Betsy DeVos[edit source]

File:Betsy DeVos final confirmation vote in US Senate tie broken by Mike Pence.webm

Vice President Mike Pence breaks the 50–50 tie in the Senate in DeVos’s favor, confirming DeVos as Secretary of Education.

Trump’s selection of former RNC member Betsy DeVos from Michigan was officially announced on November 23, 2016.

Originally scheduled for January 11, but was postponed because the Office of Government Ethics had not completed its review of DeVos’ financial holdings and potential conflicts of interest.[155] On January 20, the Office of Government Ethics completed their ethics report on DeVos, three days after her hearing with the Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions was held. The completion of the report prompted the delay of her scheduled committee vote to January 31. Senate Democrats had requested a second hearing for DeVos to committee chair Senator Lamar Alexander, which he denied. DeVos has repeatedly said that she will divest from 102 companies within 90 days if confirmed.[156][157][158] On February 7, 2017, the full senate voted 51–50 – with Vice President Pence casting the tie-breaking vote – to confirm DeVos, with Pence becoming the first vice president in U.S. history to cast the tie-breaking vote for a cabinet nominee,[159][160]since Henry A. Wallace having his confirmation tie broken by Truman.[161] Prior to DeVos’ confirmation, Phil Rosenfelt served as the acting Secretary of Education.

Secretary of Veterans Affairs[edit source]

The nomination of a Secretary-designate is reviewed during hearings held by the members of the Veterans Affairs committee, then presented to the full Senate for a vote.

David Shulkin[edit source]

On January 11, 2017 David Shulkin, the Under Secretary of Veterans Affairs for Health under President Barack Obama, was selected to be the Secretary of Veterans Affairs.[162]He was later confirmed by the Senate by a 100 to 0 vote. Prior to Shulkin’s confirmation, Robert Snyder served as the acting Secretary of Veterans Affairs.

Secretary of Homeland Security[edit source]

The nomination of a Secretary-designate is reviewed during hearings held by the members of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs committee, then presented to the full Senate for a vote.

John F. Kelly[edit source]

On December 7, 2016 John F. Kelly, retired four-star Marine general was selected to be the Secretary of Homeland Security.[163] He was confirmed by the Senate with a vote of 88–11 and sworn in on the evening of January 20.

Cabinet-level officials[edit source]

Cabinet-level officials have positions that are considered to be of Cabinet level, but which are not part of the Cabinet. Which exact positions are considered part of the presidential cabinet, can vary with the president. The CIA and FEMA were cabinet-level agencies under Bill Clinton, but not George W. Bush. The head of the Office of National Drug Control Policy (aka the drug czar) was a cabinet-level position under both Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, but not under Barack Obama. (Not to be confused with the head of the DEA, who has remained in the org chart underneath the cabinet position held by the Attorney General.) Designation of an agency as being cabinet-level requires[citation needed] that Congress enact legislation, although executive orders unilaterally created by the president can be used to create many other types of position inside the executive branch.[citation needed] Members of the cabinet proper, as well as cabinet-level officials, meet with the president in a room adjacent to the Oval Office.

White House Chief of Staff[edit source]

Trump’s selection of former RNC chair Reince Priebus from Wisconsin was officially announced on November 13, 2016. This role does not require Senate confirmation. The appointment of Stephen Bannon as Chief Strategist was announced simultaneously. Although that strategy-role is not a Cabinet-level position in the statutory sense, in an “unusual arrangement”[164] Priebus and Bannon were envisioned by the Trump transition team as being equal partners, and were announced simultaneously.[165][166] See also, team of rivals.[167][168] With Priebus accepting a role within the administration, the person who replaces Priebus in his former role as RNC chair will be decided in January.

This position does not require confirmation by the Senate.

United States Trade Representative[edit source]

The nomination of a Director-designate is reviewed during hearings held by the members of the United States Senate Committee on Finance then presented to the full Senate for a vote. On March 2, 2017 Trump selected Stephen Vaughn to serve as acting Trade Representative. Prior to Vaughn’s appointment Maria Pagan served as acting Representative.[169]

Robert Lighthizer[edit source]

On January 3, 2017 Robert Lighthizer, a former Deputy United States Trade Representative under President Ronald Reagan, was selected to be the United States Trade Representative.[170] Due to Lighthizer’s prior representation of foreign governments with a trade dispute with the United States, he will first need to obtain a special waiver to bypass the Lobbying Disclosure Act. The waiver would need to pass Congress and have the President’s signature to assume the position. Congress waived the ban for Charlene Barshefsky, President Clinton’s choice for Trade Representative in 1997.[171][172]

Director of National Intelligence[edit source]

On February 8, 2017 President Trump outlined the 24 members of the Cabinet with the Director of National Intelligence being newly included.[173][174] The nomination of an Director-designate is reviewed during hearings held by the members of the United States Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and then presented to the full Senate for a vote.

Dan Coats[edit source]

On January 7, 2017 Dan Coats, former Senator of Indiana, was officially selected to be the Director of National Intelligence.[175] On March 15, 2017 Coats was confirmed by the Senate by a vote of 85-12.[176] Prior to Coats’ confirmation, the acting Director of National Intelligence was Mike Dempsey.

Ambassador to the United Nations[edit source]

Like all ambassadorships and all official Cabinet positions, the nominee for this Ambassador to the U.N. requires confirmation by the Senate. The nomination of an Ambassador-designate to the United Nations is reviewed during hearings held by the members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and then presented to the full Senate for a vote.

Nikki Haley[edit source]

Haley sworn in by Vice President Mike Pence on January 25, 2017

Trump officially announced Governor Nikki Haley from South Carolina as his selection for this role on November 23, 2016. She was confirmed on January 24, 2017 and subsequently resigned as South Carolina governor. Haley supported Marco Rubio in the Republican primaries and caucuses, but later endorsed Trump as the presumptive Republican nominee.[177] Haley’s Lieutenant Governor, Henry McMaster, who was an early supporter of Trump, was also under consideration for a role in the Trump administration, but since he did not accept such a role, he succeeded to the governorship of South Carolina upon Haley’s resignation.[178]

Director of the Office of Management and Budget[edit source]

The nomination of a Director-designate is reviewed during hearings held by the members of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee and Budget Committee then presented to the full Senate for a vote.

Mick Mulvaney[edit source]

On December 13, 2016 Mick Mulvaney, U.S. Representative for South Carolina’s 5th congressional district, was selected to be the Director of the Office of Management and Budget.[179]

In his statement to the Senate Budget Committee, Mulvaney admitted that he had failed to pay $15,000 in payroll taxes from 2000–04 for a nanny he had hired to care for his triplets. Mulvaney said he did not pay the taxes because he viewed the woman as a babysitter rather than as a household employee. After filling out a questionnaire from the Trump transition team, he realized the lapse and began the process of paying back taxes and fees. Senate Democrats noted that Republicans had previously insisted that past Democratic nominees’ failure to pay taxes for their household employees was disqualifying, including former Health and Human Services nominee Tom Daschle in 2009.[180][181]

Budget Chairman Senator Mike Enzi (R-Wyoming) noted on the Senate floor, “According to Senate records from President Jimmy Carter to President Obama, the longest it has ever taken to approve a first budget director for a new president was one week — one week.”[182] On February 16, 2017, the Senate confirmed Mulvaney, 51–49.[183]

Director of the Central Intelligence Agency[edit source]

On February 8, 2017 President Trump outlined the 24 members of the Cabinet with the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency being newly included.[173][174] The nomination of an Director-designate is reviewed during hearings held by the members of the United States Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and then presented to the full Senate for a vote.

Mike Pompeo[edit source]

On November 18, 2016 Mike Pompeo, the Representative of Kansas’ 4th congressional district, was officially selected to be the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency.[184] He was confirmed by the United States Senate on January 23, 2017, with a vote of 66–32.[185] Pompeo was opposed by 30 Democratic Senators while the sole Republican vote against him came from Rand Paul. He was sworn in on the same night by Vice President Mike Pence.

Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency[edit source]

The nomination of an Administrator-designate is reviewed during hearings held by the members of the Environment and Public Works Committee,[186] then presented to the full Senate for a vote.

Scott Pruitt[edit source]

On December 7, 2016, Scott Pruitt, Attorney General of Oklahoma was selected to be the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency.[187][188] In response to the nomination, Pruitt said, “I intend to run this agency in a way that fosters both responsible protection of the environment and freedom for American businesses.”[189]

During his January 18 confirmation hearing, Pruitt’s testimony openly acknowledged climate change. Pruitt declared the EPA has a “very important role” in regulating carbon dioxide emissions. Pruitt has sued the Environmental Protection Agency as the Attorney General of Oklahoma on more than a dozen occasions. When pressed by Senator Ed Markey on whether he would recuse himself from ongoing lawsuits, Pruitt “would not commit to recusing himself from all the cases he had brought.”[190][191] Pruitt deflected questioning from Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) on the issue of whether human activity is largely responsible for climate change. Stating, “I believe the ability to measure, with precision, the degree of human activity’s impact on the climate is subject to more debate on whether the climate is changing or whether human activity contributes to it.”[192] Pruitt declined to comment on whether California could set its own emission standards and said he would review the policy.[193] Prior to Pruitt’s confirmation, the acting Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency was Catherine McCabe.

Administrator of the Small Business Administration[edit source]

The nomination of an Administrator-designate is reviewed during hearings held by the members of the United States Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship and then presented to the full Senate for a vote.

Linda McMahon[edit source]

On December 7, 2016 Linda McMahon, former CEO of World Wrestling Entertainment Inc. and Senate nominee, was selected to be the head of the Small Business Administration.[194][195] McMahon was confirmed by a Senate vote of 81–19 on February 14, 2017. Marianne Markowitz served as acting administrator prior to McMahon’s confirmation.

McMahon earned approval votes from Senators Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy from Connecticut; they defeated McMahon in their respective Senate races. Senator Jim Risch (R-Idaho), chairman of the Senate Committee on Small Businesses and Entrepreneurship, said, “Mrs. McMahon made it very clear that she has the experience, understanding and instincts necessary to bolster America’s small business community and advocate for much-needed regulatory reforms.” [196]

Removal of the Chair of the Council of Economic Advisers[edit source]

On February 8, 2017 President Trump outlined the 24 members of the Cabinet, excluding the Council of Economic Advisers chairman position.[173][174] In addition to the chairman, the council had two other members, also appointed by the president, as well as a staff of economists, researchers, and statisticians. Historically, appointees to chair the council have held Ph.Ds in economics, and the role of the group is to provide advice in the form of economic analysis with respect to policy, as distinct from shaping economic policy per se.[197][198]

Trump released a list of his campaign‘s official economic advisers in August 2016,[199][200] which simultaneously was anti-establishment[201] and therefore lean on those with governmental experience,[202] yet at the same time aimed to include some members of business and finance,.[199] Many of the listed names received media attention as potential appointees to the Council of Economic Advisers, or in other Trump administration roles.

Although removed from the Cabinet, the Chair-designate, if nominated, must be reviewed during hearings held by the members of the United States Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs and then presented to the full Senate for a vote.

Various other Trump administration appointees are directly involved with economic matters, for example Director of the National Economic Council Gary Cohn, National Trade Council director Peter Navarro, SEC chairman Jay Clayton, OMB director Mick Mulvaney, Treasury secretary Steven Mnuchin, Commerce secretary Wilbur Ross, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and SBA administrator Linda McMahon.

See also[edit source]

First 100 days of Donald Trump’s presidency

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
File:A Message from President-Elect Donald J. Trump.webm

Donald Trump outlines his plan for the first 100 days of his presidency on November 21, 2016.

One of Trump’s major accomplishments, made as part of a “100-day pledge“, was the confirmation of Neil Gorsuch as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. Structurally, President Trump had the advantage of a Republican Party majority in the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate, but was unable to fulfill his major pledges in his first 100 days and had an approval rating of between 40 and 42 percent, “the lowest for any first-term president at this point in his tenure”.[3] Although he tried to make progress on one of his key economic policies—the dismantling of the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act—his failure to repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) in the first 100 days was a major setback.[4] He reversed his position on a number of issues including labeling China as a currency manipulator,[5][6] NATO, launching the 2017 Shayrat missile strike without congressional approval, the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), renomination of Janet Yellen as Chair of the Federal Reserve,[5][6] and the nomination of Export-Import Bank directors. Supporters claim he is the first to have been elected President in present times who has held neither military or political office and therefore faced a steep learning curve.[3] Trump’s approval among his base is high, with 96% of those who voted for him saying in an April 2017 poll that they would vote for him again.[7]The first 100 days of Donald Trump‘s presidency began with his inauguration as the 45th President of the United States, which occurred at noon on January 20, 2017. The 48th Vice President of the United States, Mike Pence, was inaugurated on the same day. The 100th day of Trump’s presidency was April 29, 2017. Trump first announced his plan for the first hundred days of his presidency in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania,[1] on October 23, 2016, before the election.[2]

Near the end of the 100 days, the Trump administration introduced a broad outline of a sweeping tax reform focusing on deep tax cuts. While it is intended to encourage economic growth, there were concerns from some members of the United States Congress about raising the national deficit.[8] In spite of the sharp decline in gross domestic product (GDP) in the first quarter of 2017—representing the weakest quarterly economic growth in three years[9]—the S&P 500 was near an all-time high, representing a 12% rise from the first quarter of 2016, as investor confidence remained elevated.[10] Although Trump had to concede to delay funding for the U.S.–Mexico border wall he had promised, narrowly avoiding a government shutdown a few days before the end of the first 100 days,[11] his rhetoric may have contributed to a sharp drop in the number of illegal crossings at the Mexico–United States border.[12]

Trump signed 24 executive orders in his first 100 days, the most executive orders of any President since World War II.[13] He also signed 22 presidential memoranda, 20 presidential proclamations, and 28 bills.[14] About a dozen of those bills roll-back regulations finalized during the last months of his immediate predecessor Barack Obama‘s presidency using the Congressional Review Act.[15][16][17] Most of the other bills are “small-scale measures that appoint personnel, name federal facilities or modify existing programs.”[18] None of Trump’s bills are considered to be “major bills”—based on a “longstanding political-science standard for ‘major bills’.”[14] Presidential historian Michael Beschloss said that “based on a legislative standard”— which is what the first 100 days has been judged on since the tenure of President Franklin Roosevelt, who enacted 76 laws in 100 days including nine that were “major”—”Trump is really pretty low down on the list.”[13]

Pledges

Trump pledged to do the following in his first 100 days:[2][19][20][21]

  • Appoint judges “who will uphold the Constitution” and “defend the Second Amendment
  • Construct a wall on the southern U.S. border and limit illegal immigration “to give unemployed Americans an opportunity to fill good-paying jobs”
  • Re-assess trade agreements with other nations and “crack down” on companies that send jobs overseas
  • Repeal and replace the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (commonly called the Affordable Care Act or Obamacare)
  • Remove federal restrictions on energy production
  • Push for an amendment to the United States Constitution imposing term limits on Congress[22][23]
  • Eliminate gun-free zones[24]
  • Formulate a rule on regulations “that for every one new regulation, two old regulations must be eliminated”[25]
  • Instruct the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to “develop a comprehensive plan to protect America’s vital infrastructure from cyberattacks, and all other form of attacks.”[25]
  • Label China a “currency manipulator”[26][27]
  • Enforce rules and regulations for China’s unfair subsidy behavior. Instruct the U.S. trade representative to bring trade cases against China, both in U.S. and at the WTO.[27][28]
  • Use every lawful presidential power to remedy trade disputes, including the application of 45% tariffs consistent with Section 201 and 301 of the Trade Act of 1974, and Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962 to stop China’s illegal activities, including its theft of American trade secrets.[28][29]

Inauguration

The first 100 days began with the inauguration on January 20, 2017, at 12:00 pm. This was the third presidential online portal transition and the first to transition social media accounts such as Twitter.[30] As Trump took the oath of office, the official @POTUS Twitter account switched to President Trump with previous tweets archived under @POTUS44. All 13 million followers of the POTUS account during Obama’s administration slowly transitioned[clarification needed] as well.[31]

Cabinet

On February 8, when Trump formally announced his 24-member-cabinet—the largest cabinet of any President so far—fewer cabinet nominees had been confirmed than any other president except George Washington by the same length of time into his presidency.[32][33][34] Trump’s reorganization of the cabinet removed the Chair of the Council of Economic Advisers that President Obama had added in 2009. The Director of National Intelligence and Director of the CIA were elevated to cabinet-level.[35] During the transition period, Trump had named a full slate of Cabinet and Cabinet-level nominees, all of which require Senate confirmation except for White House Chief of Staff and the vice presidency.[36]

By April 29, almost all of his nominated cabinet members had been confirmed, including Secretaries of State Rex Tillerson, Secretary of the Treasury) Steven Mnuchin, DefenseJames Mattis, Justice Jeff Sessions, the Interior Ryan Zinke, Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue, Commerce Wilbur Ross, Secretary of Labor Alex Acosta, Health and Human Services HHS Tom Price, Housing and Urban Development) HUD Ben Carson, Transportation Elaine Chao, Energy Rick Perry, Education Betsy DeVos, Veterans Affairs David Shulkin, Homeland Security John Kelly, Director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Mike Pompeo, UN Ambassador Nikki R. Haley, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)Scott Pruitt, Small Business Administration Linda McMahon, Management and Budget OMB Mick Mulvaney, and Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats. Only two were awaiting confirmation—Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Council of Economic Advisers CEA Kevin Hassett.[37]

James Mattis was confirmed on January 20 as Secretary of Defense by a vote of 98–1. Mattis had previously received a waiver of the National Security Act of 1947, which requires a seven-year waiting period before retired military personnel can assume the role of Secretary of Defense.[38] John Kelly was confirmed as United States Secretary of Homeland Security on the first day by a vote of 88–11.[39] Former ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson was sworn in as Secretary of State by Vice-President Mike Pence on February 1.[40][41] Trump nominated Tillerson for the position as top U.S. diplomat (the equivalent of a foreign minister) on December 13, 2016.[42] He was approved by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on January 23, 2017,[43] and by the full Senate in a 56–43 vote.[40][41] Nikki Haley was confirmed as UN Ambassador with a Senate vote of 96 to 4.[44]

On January 26, 2017, when Tillerson visited the United States State Department, Undersecretaries Joyce Anne Barr, Patrick F. Kennedy, Michele Bond, and Gentry O. Smith all simultaneously resigned from the department. Former State Department chief of staff David Wade called the resignations “the single biggest simultaneous departure of institutional memory that anyone can remember.”[45] The Trump administration told CNN the officials had been fired[46] and the Chicago Tribune reported that several senior state department career diplomats left the State Department, claiming they “had been willing to remain at their posts but had no expectation of staying.”[47]

On February 10, Tom Price was confirmed as Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS), a “$1 trillion government department”.[48] HHS includes National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Price, who is a vocal opponent of the Affordable Care Act, will oversee its repeal and replacement.[48] He has published articles in the “small, conservative medical association”, the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, to which he belongs, that opposes mandatory vaccination and continue to argue that the vaccines causes autism,[49] a “discredited conspiracy theory that Trump has long espoused”. In response to questions from Senators at the hearing as to whether he believes autism is caused by vaccines, he responded, “I think the science in that instance is that it does not”.[50]

Steve Mnuchin, who was nominated by Trump in November 2016,[51][52] was finally confirmed on February 13, 2017, as Secretary of the Treasury department[53] after lengthy confirmation hearings.[54][55][56][57]

On February 16, the Senate voted 54 to 46 to advance Scott Pruitt‘s nomination as Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency.[58] On February 16, a District Court Judge in Oklahoma, Aletia Timmons, ordered Pruitt to “turn over thousands of emails related to his communication with the oil, gas and coal industry” in a case brought to court by the Center for Media and Democracy.[59] Lawmakers had criticized Pruitt who sued the EPA 14 times on behalf of the State of Oklahoma.[58]

Trump nominated Alexander Acosta as Secretary of Labor on February 16, when his first nominee Andrew Puzder stepped down[60] under a wave of criticism for having employed an illegal immigrant as a former housekeeper, for his “remarks on women and employees at his restaurants” and for his “rancorous 1980s divorce”.[61][62][63][64]

Notable non-Cabinet positions

According to a database compiled by the Washington Post in collaboration with the Partnership for Public Service, as of April 27, 473 of the 554 key executive branch nominations that require Presidential nomination and Senate confirmation, had not yet been appointed, including “Cabinet secretaries, deputy and assistant secretaries, chief financial officers, general counsel, heads of agencies, ambassadors and other critical leadership positions.”[65] Only three of the 119 Department of State executive branch positions have been filled and only one position in the Department of Defense—the Secretary of Defense, James Mattis—has been filled out of 53 key positions. Trump has not yet nominated anyone for 49 of these positions.[66][67] On February 28, in an exclusive interview Tuesday with Fox & Friends, said, “a lot of those jobs, I don’t want to appoint, because they’re unnecessary to have….You know, we have so many people in government, even me. I look at some of the jobs and it’s people over people over people. I say, ‘What do all these people do?’ You don’t need all those jobs…Many of those jobs I don’t want to fill. I say, isn’t that a good thing? That’s not a bad thing. That’s a good thing. We’re running a very good, efficient government.”[68]

Prior to taking office, Trump named several important White House advisers to positions that do not require Senate confirmation, including Stephen K. Bannon as his “senior counselor and chief West Wing strategist” and Reince Priebus as Chief of Staff, with a mission “as equal partners to transform the federal government.”[69] Other important advisers outside of the Cabinet include (Counselor to the President) Kellyanne Conway, Senior Advisor (National Security Advisor) Michael Flynn (replaced by H. R. McMaster) and (National Trade Council) Director Peter Navarro.[70] (Homeland Security Adviser) Thomas P. Bossert, (Regulatory Czar) Carl Icahn, (White House Counsel) Donald F. “Don” McGahn II, and (Press Secretary) Sean Spicer.

Michael T. Flynn served as Trump’s National Security Advisor from January 20 until his resignation on February 13, 2017.[71][72] He set a record for the shortest tenure as National Security Advisor in American history.[73] The Justice Department warned the Trump administration that Flynn, who had a “well-established history with Russia”,[74] may have been “vulnerable to blackmail by Moscow.” Flynn had “mischaracterized his communications” with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak to Vice President Mike Pence regarding U.S. sanctions on Russia.[73][74] Flynn’s phone calls had been “recorded by a government wiretap” and several days after Flynn was named as Trump’s Advisor, Sally Yates, who was then acting attorney general, warned the White House that “Flynn was susceptible to blackmail by the Russians because he had misled Mr. Pence and other officials”. According to a February 14 article by The New York Times, it was unclear why the White House did not react to Yates’ warning in early January. There were also questions about how much was known in early January by Bannon, Pence, Spicer, and Trump. Yates was fired on January 30, in an unrelated incident.[74][75][76]

On February 20, 2017, Trump named “warrior-scholar deemed an expert in counter insurgency”,[77] Lieutenant General H. R. McMaster, to replace Flynn as National Security Advisor.[78][79][80] Trump overruled McMaster’s attempt to replace 30-year-old NSC aide Ezra Cohen-Watnick, a Mike Flynn appointee, with Linda Weissgold, when Bannon and Kushner intervened on Cohen-Watnick’s behalf on March 11–12.[81][82] Cohen-Watnick gathered classified files on intelligence information on U.S. persons.[82]

On January 28, 2017, Trump signed a Memorandum, the Organization of the National Security Council and the Homeland Security Council[83] which restructured the Principals Committee—the senior policy committee—of the National Security Council, assigning a permanent invitation to Steve Bannon, White House Chief Strategist, while at the same time withdrawing the permanent invitations of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and Director of National Intelligence.[84] On April 5, the 75th day of Trump’s presidency, under guidance from Army Lieutenant General H. R. McMaster, the National Security Advisor (NSC advisor) who replaced Mike Flynn, Trump removed Bannon, who has no security experience, from the National Security Council’s principals committee.[85][86]

Trump’s 36-year-old son-in-law, Jared Kushner is Trump’s Senior Advisor alongside Stephen Miller. “In his January interview with the Times of London, Trump said that Kushner would be in charge of brokering peace in the Israeli–Palestinian conflict.[87][88][89] He is also a “top adviser on relations with Canada, China and Mexico.”[90] On April 3, Kushner accompanied the head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Joseph F. Dunford Jr. and Homeland Security Advisor Thomas P. Bossert to meet with Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi “to discuss the fight against the Islamic State and whether the United States would leave troops in Iraq afterward.”[91][90] Trump named Kushner as head of the White House Office of American Innovation, (OAI), established on March 29 and mandated to use ideas from the private-sector to overhaul all federal agencies and departments in order to “spur job creation”.[92][93][94] One of the OAI’s first priorities is to modernize the technology of departments such as Veterans Affairs.[95] In his new position, Kushner will work with Chris Christie, who will chair the newly established “President’s Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis” in response to Trump’s pledge to combat opioid abuse.[96][97][95]

On January 28, in his eleventh Presidential Memoranda, “Organization of the National Security Council and the Homeland Security Council”, White House Chief Strategist, Steve Bannon, was designated as a regular attendee to the National Security Council (NSC)′s Principals Committee, a Cabinet-level senior interagency forum for considering national security issues, in a departure from the previous format in which this role is usually held for generals.[98][99][100] While at first there was some confusion over meeting attendees, Priebus clarified on January 30, that defense officials could attend the meetings.[101][102] On April 5, the 75th day of Trump’s presidency, under guidance from Army Lieutenant General H. R. McMaster, the National Security Advisor (NSC advisor) who replaced Mike Flynn, Trump removed Bannon, who has no security experience, from the National Security Council’s principals committee.[85][86]

On February 2, Time published an article about Bannon as potentially, the second most powerful man in the world, illustrated with a cover labeling him as the “Great Manipulator.”[103][104] After only a fortnight into Trump’s presidency, NPR described Bannon as “the power behind the throne” and the “gray eminence behind much of what Trump was prioritizing”, rivalling Kushner’s and Priebus’ roles.[105] Mike Pence affirmed in a PBS NewsHour report that only Trump was “in charge”.

Bannon and Steve Miller have been called the “architects” of the inaugural address, executive orders, including the controversial travel and refugees EO,[106] and presidential memoranda.[105][106]

In an often-cited October 8, 2015, lengthy profile entitled “This Man Is the Most Dangerous Political Operative in America” by Joshua Green, a senior national correspondent for Bloomberg News, Green described how Breitbart News with Bannon at its helm, had “championed Trump’s presidential candidacy” and helped “coalesce a splinter faction of conservatives” who were irate over the way in which Fox News had treated Trump.[107] Green quoted then-Senator Jeff Sessions as an admirer of Breitbart, which was “extraordinarily influential”, with many radio hosts “reading Breitbart every day”.[107] Trump cited Breitbart News to vindicate his claims.[108]

Stephen Miller, Trump’s Senior Advisor, was Jeff Sessions’ communications director when he served as Senator for Alabama.[109][110][111] Thirty-one-year old Miller, Bannon, and Andrew Bremberg sent over 200 executive orders to federal agencies for review before January 20.[112] Miller has been an architect behind the inaugural address and the most “contentious executive orders”[112] including Executive Order 13769.[113][114]

In a February 12 interview with ABC News anchor George Stephanopolous, when asked to provide evidence “for Trump’s “unfounded allegations”[115] where former Senator Kelly Ayotte lost her bid for election, and Trump narrowly lost to Clinton in 2016,[116][117] Miller suggested Stephanopolous interview Kansas Senator, Kris Kobach, who relied upon a 2012 Pew Research Center study[118] in his voter fraud claims.[115][119] The day before the interview a Federal Election Commission Commissioner called on Trump to provide evidence of what would “constitute thousands of felony criminal offenses under New Hampshire law.”[117]

Gary Cohn, the former Goldman Sachs investment banker and executive, took office on January 20, as Trump’s Director of the National Economic Council, (NEC), a position which did not require Congressional confirmation,[55][120] By February 11, 2017, The Wall Street Journal described Cohn as an “economic-policy powerhouse” in Trump’s administration and The New York Times called him Trump’s “go-to figure on matters related to jobs, business and growth.”[121] While the confirmation of Trump’s December 12, 2016, nominee for Secretary of Treasury, Steven Mnuchin, was delayed until February 13 by Congressional hearings, Cohn filled in the “personnel vacuum” and pushed “ahead on taxes, infrastructure, financial regulation and replacing health-care law.”[55][54] In November, Trump considered offering Cohn the position as Secretary of Treasury.[55] If Cohn had stayed at Goldman Sachs, some believed he would have become CEO when Lloyd Blankfein vacated that office and his $285 million severance package “raised eyebrows” according to CNN.[55][122] Bannon and Cohn disagree on the border-adjustment tax,[123] the centerpiece of Paul Ryan‘s controversial tax reforms presented on February 17,[124][125] which includes a 20% import tax, export subsidies and a 15% reduction in corporate tax rates that would, among other things, pay for the Mexican wall,[126] which according to a The Washington Post study, would cost $25 billion[127] and which Trump stated would cost $12 billion.[128]

United States Domestic Policy Council

The Domestic Policy Council (DPC) consists of Trump and Andrew Bremberg as Directors with Paul Winfree as Deputy Assistant. Council attendees include Mike Pence, Jeff Sessions, Tom Price, John F. Kelly, David Shulkin, Ryan Zinke, Betsy DeVos, Ben Carson, Elaine Chao, Wilbur Ross, Rick Perry, Steven Mnuchin, and-when appointed—the Secretary of Labor and the Secretary of Agriculture. Additional attendees include Scott Pruitt, Mick Mulvaney (Director of the Office of Management and Budget), Gary Cohn, and—when appointed—the Chair of the Council of Economic Advisers and the Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy.[129] The Congressional Research Service describes DPC’s role as analyses of domestic policies and social programs including “education, labor and worker safety; health-care insurance and financing; health services and research; aging policy studies; Social Security, pensions and disability insurance; immigration, homeland security, domestic intelligence and criminal justice; and welfare, nutrition and housing programs.”

Withdrawal of Affordable Care Act

Within the first hours of Trump’s presidency, he signed his first executive order, Minimizing the Economic Burden of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act Pending Repeal (EO 13765) to fulfill part of his pledge to repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA),[130] which was part of a series of steps taken prior to 2017 to repeal and defund the ACA,[131] including most recently, the FY2017 budget resolution, S.Con.Res. 3, that contained language allowing the repeal of ACA through the budget reconciliation process.[132][133] A CBO report estimated 18 million people would lose their insurance and premiums would rise by 20% to 25% in the first year after repealing Obamacare. Uninsured could reach 32 million by 2026, while premiums could double.[134] The order states what Mr. Trump made clear during his campaign: that it is his administration’s policy to seek the “prompt repeal” of Obamacare.[135] During his Fox News interview with Bill O’Reilly airing before the Super Bowl, Trump announced that the timeline for replacing Obamacare had to be extended and that a replacement would probably not be ready until 2018. Republicans are limited as to how much of ACA they can undo as they do not have a 60-vote majority in the Senate. They also “must balance the interests of insurers and medical providers”.[136] According to the March 13, 2017 report by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office and staff of the Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT) on the budgetary impact of the Republican bill to repeal and replace ACA over the coming decade, there would be a $337 billion reduction in the federal deficit and an estimated loss of coverage to 24 million more Americans.[137][138][139] The Republican health-care plan was unveiled on March 6 and faced opposition from both moderate and conservative Republicans, such as the House Freedom Caucus.[140][141] The American Health Care Act of 2017 (AHCA), a bill to repeal and replace the ACA, was withdrawn in Congress on March 24, 2017 due to lack of support from within the Republican caucus.[142][141][140]

Immigration policy

In his first 100 days, President Trump set the tone of harsh immigration policies[143] by signing executive orders to set in motion travel bans and restrictions on refugees and immigrants from Muslim-majority countries, increased immigration enforcement including deportations, and expanded efforts to prevent illegal entry into the United States by building a wall along the Mexico-United States border. While the numbers of people deported were very similar to those in 2016, the categories of people targeted for deportations was broadened during this period, which meant that many more people are at a heightened risk of deportation. Secretary Kelly clarified that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) “will no longer exempt classes or categories of removable aliens from potential enforcement.” By April 3, according to ICE, there had been 35,604 removals in January and February 2017 compared to 35,255 in the same period in 2016. But the “tough rhetoric” and some “high-profile Ice operations” widely cited in the media resulted in widespread fear and panic within immigrant communities.[143]

In an AP April 20 interview, Trump said that, “The dreamers should rest easy”.[144] There are 800,000 young people protected by Obama’s “Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals” (DREAMERS) who came to the U.S. as children and are living there illegally. Some of these “dreamers” in interviews with The Associated Press on April 21, said they “were not comforted by Trump’s pledge” particularly since the April 18 deportation of 23-year-old “dreamer”, Juan Manuel Montes.[145] Trump supporters who are “immigration hard-liners”, such as NumbersUSA and Mark Krikorian of the Center for Immigration Studies, feel deceived by Trump’s softening stance on DREAMERs arguing that “[h]is promise on DACA was pretty clear and unequivocal”.[146]

Travel ban and refugee suspension

Map of countries affected by Executive Order 13769. Collectively, the order applies to over 200 million people (approximate population of the seven countries) while about 90,000 people from these countries currently hold a US immigrant or non-immigrant visa[147][148]

On January 27 at 4:42 p.m, Trump signed Executive Order 13769,[149] entitled “Protecting the Nation From Terrorist Attacks by Foreign Nationals” which temporarily suspends the U. S. Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP) for 120 days and denies entry to citizens of Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen for 90 days. The suspension for Syrian refugees is for an indefinite period of time.[150][151] The Economist described the order as “drafted in secret, enacted in haste and unlikely to fulfill its declared aim of sparing America from terrorism” with “Republican allies” lamenting that a “fine, popular policy was marred by its execution.”[152] Notably Saudi Arabia was not on the list though most of the 9/11 hijackers were from there.[153] See Provisions of Order 13769.

On February 4, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the State Department suspended all actions to implement the week-old EO[154] in response to the February 3 ruling by federal judge James Robart which blocked the EO.[154][155][156] According to CNN and the Los Angeles Times, the architects behind the order, were Stephen Miller and Steve Bannon.[157][114] White House officials deny that it was written without input from the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Legal Counsel (OLC).[158] It was argued that these 7 countries ranked among the lowest 15 out of the 104 countries evaluated by the Henley & Partners Visa Restrictions Index in 2016 based on the “number of countries that their citizens can travel to visa-free.” For example, Germany ranks the highest at 177 points, Afghanistan the lowest of all 104 at 25.[159]:3 The order also calls for an expedited completion and implementation of the Biometric Entry-Exit Tracking System for all travelers coming into the United States.[150][160] The first legal challenge against the EO was filed on January 28, and within two days there were dozens of ongoing lawsuits in the United States federal courts.[161][162][163][164] By February 3, federal judge, James Robart temporarily blocked the week-old EO which opened American airports to visa holders from the seven targeted countries.[155][156] At the international level legal concerns have been raised by the UN, Zeid Ra’ad al Hussein, who claimed that “discrimination on nationality alone is forbidden under human rights law.”[165][166] On January 30, in a telephone call to Trump, German Chancellor Angela Merkel explained that his EO “ran counter to the duties of all signatory states” to the Geneva Refugee Convention “to take in war refugees on humanitarian grounds”.[167]

Thousands protested at airports and other locations throughout the United States.[168] Critics of the ban include most Democrats and several top Republican Congressmen,[169]former President Obama,[170] the Council on American–Islamic Relations,[171] over a dozen state attorneys general,[172] thousands of academics,[173] Nobel laureates,[173][174]technology companies[175][176][177] Iran, France, Germany,[178][179] and 800,000 petitioners in Britain.[180] Supporters of the ban include 82% of GOP voters,[181][182] Paul Ryan, Bob Goodlatte, Czech President Miloš Zeman,[179][183][184][185] and members of the European far right.[184][186] According to an IPSOS online poll conducted on January 31, in response to the question, “Do you agree or disagree with the Executive Order that President Trump signed blocking refugees and banning people from seven Muslim majority countries from entering the U.S.?”, 48% of the 1,201 Americans polled agreed with the statement (23% of the 453 Democrats, 82% of the 478 Republicans, and 44% of the Independents polled).[181]

On the evening of January 30, Trump replaced acting Attorney General Sally Yates with Dana Boente.[187] Spicer’s statement described Yates as an “Obama administration appointee” who had “betrayed the Department of Justice” by “refusing to enforce a legal order.” In the Senate, Chuck Schumer, called her firing a Monday Night Massacre in reference to Nixon‘s firing of his attorney general, referred to as the Saturday Night Massacre during Watergate.[188] Trump also replaced DHS‘s ICE Chief Daniel Ragsdale with Thomas Homan as Acting Director in the evening of January 30.[189][190]

In a live interview with Chris Wallace on January 29, Fox News Sunday, Kellyanne Conway, justified the list of 7 countries by claiming that the countries were originally identified as a threat in the Terrorist Prevention Act passed by Congress in 2015.[191] HUD’s Visa Waiver Program Improvement and Terrorist Travel Prevention Act of 2015, was extended amid some controversy in February 2016, when it revoked the privilege of traveling to the States without a visa to people who “had recently traveled to Iraq, Syria, Iran or Sudan,” as they were considered to be high-risk.[192][193] A spokesman for former president Obama issued a statement stating, “The president [Obama] fundamentally disagrees with the notion of discriminating against individuals because of their faith or religion,” In his final press statement as president, Obama stated, “There’s a difference between [the] normal functioning of politics and certain issues or certain moments where I think our core values may be at stake,” and stated his intention to speak out if a situation is serious enough.[170] Obama encouraged Americans to protest the issue.[194]

In response to a temporary restraining order (TRO) issued in the case of State of Washington v. Trump, the Department of Homeland Security said on February 4 that it had stopped enforcing the portions of the executive order affected by the judgment, while the State Department activated visas that had been previously suspended. The restraining order was upheld by the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit on February 9, 2017.[195]

On March 15, a United States Federal Judge, Derrick Watson of the District Court of Hawaii, issued a 43-page ruling which blocked Trump’s revised March 6 executive order 13780 on the grounds that it violated the First Amendment‘s Establishment Clause by disfavoring a particular religion.[196][197][198] The temporary restraining order was converted to a preliminary injunction by Judge Watson on March 29.[199] On an April 18 airing of the Mark Levin Show Jeff Sessions commented, “We are confident that the President will prevail on appeal and particularly in the Supreme Court, if not the Ninth Circuit. So this is a huge matter. I really am amazed that a judge sitting on an island in the Pacific can issue an order that stops the President of the United States from what appears to be clearly his statutory and Constitutional power.”[200]

High-profile ICE operations

On February 8, 2017, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents arrested 35-year-old Guadalupe García de Rayos, when she attended her required annual review at the ICE office in Phoenix, and deported her to Mexico the next day based on a removal order issued in 2013 by the Executive Office for Immigration Review.[201][202][203][204]Immigrant advocates believe that she is one of the first to be deported after the EO was signed and that her deportation “reflects the severity” of the “crackdown” on illegal immigration.[205] ICE officials said that her case went through multiple reviews in the immigration court system and that the “judges held she did not have a legal basis to remain in the US”.[206] In 2008, she was working at an amusement park in Mesa, Arizona when then-Sheriff Joe Arpaio ordered a raid that resulted in her arrest and felony identity theft conviction for possessing a false Social Security number. Arpaio was a subject of several controversies during his tenure as sheriff. In 2015 the U.S. Department of Justice partially settled a lawsuit filed against Arpaio for unlawful discriminatory police conduct, alleging that Arpaio had overseen the worst pattern of racial profiling in U.S. history.[207][208][209][210][205] ICE officials in Los Angeles released a report on February 10, 2017, that about 160 foreign nationals were arrested in a five-day operation. Of those, 150 had criminal histories, and of the remaining arrests, five had final orders of removal or were previously deported. Ninety-five percent were male.[211] Under Trump’s EO, the definition of criminal is much more “sweeping” than Obama’s, which “prioritized expulsion of undocumented immigrants who threatened public safety or national security, had ties to criminal gang activity, committed serious felony offenses or were habitual misdemeanor criminal offenders” and a single immigration officer decides.[206] On the morning of February 14, ICE officials entered the Des Moines, Washington family home of 23-year-old Daniel Ramirez Medina on an arrest warrant for Ramirez’ father, who was taken into custody.[212] Ramirez, who has no criminal record, entered the United States illegally as a child, and was later able to get a legal work permit through the 2012 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy, was placed in detention in the Northwest Detention Center,[212] Tacoma, Washington. According to ICE, Ramirez was detained based on “his admitted gang affiliation and risk to public safety”.[212] According to Ramirez’s lawyer, Ramirez “unequivocally denies” these allegations and claimed ICE agents “repeatedly pressured” Ramirez to “falsely admit” gang “affiliation.”[212][213] “The case raises questions about what it could mean for Dreamers, undocumented immigrants who were brought to the United States as children.”[212]

U.S.–Mexico border wall proposal

President Trump signs an executive order at a ceremony at DHS Headquarters

While visiting the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) on January 25, President Trump signed his third executive order Border Security and Immigration Enforcement Improvements (EO 13767)[214][215][216][217] under the (INA), the Secure Fence Act, and the (IIRIRA) for the construction of a Mexican border wall[218] to deter illegal migration and smuggling of illegal products.[219] The existing Mexico–United States barrier is not one continuous structure, but a series of physical walls and physical and “virtual” fences monitored by the United States Border Patrol.[218][220] The proposed wall which would be a “a contiguous, physical wall or other similarly secure, contiguous, and impassable physical barrier”[217] along the entire length of the border, which Trump estimated in 2016 would cost $10 billion to $12 billion,[221] and by January 27 was estimated to be $20 billion,[222] to be initially paid by Congress. Trump plans on eventually negotiating a reimbursement from the Mexican government.[219] While the Executive Order entitled “Border Security and Immigration Enforcement Improvements“, contains no information of payment, it requests federal agency reports by late March 2017 which “identify and quantify all sources of direct and indirect Federal aid or assistance to the Government of Mexico on an annual basis over the past five years, including all bilateral and multilateral development aid, economic assistance, humanitarian aid, and military aid.”[217]

On January 27, Forbes cautioned that the 20% Mexican Import Tariff on all imported goods announced by Spicer to pay for the 1,933-mile (3,111 km) frontier wall would be “paid by Americans”.[222] GOP donors, Brothers Charles and David Koch, and their advocacy group, Americans For Prosperity, oppose Paul Ryan’s ‘Buy American’ Tax Plan, which they claim would add a “whopping tax hike of more than $1 trillion on American families and small businesses over 10 years.” The import tariff would raise prices at Wal-mart, for example, directly impacting lower income families.[223]

The Washington Post reported on April 25, that Trump had agreed to delaying funding for the construction of the wall until September to avoid a government shutdown.[11]

Sanctuary cities

Main article: Executive Order 13768

On January 25, Trump signed an executive order, “Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States”, to the Secretary of Homeland Security and the Attorney General and their departments and agencies to increase the enforcement of immigration laws[224] which included the hiring of 10,000 “additional immigration officers.” His order requires the cooperation of state and local authorities. The order states “sanctuary jurisdictions” including “sanctuary cities” who refuse to comply will not be “eligible to receive Federal grants, except as deemed necessary for law enforcement purposes by the Attorney General or the Secretary”.[224] Some officials claim that the “U.S. Constitution bars the federal government from commandeering state officials or using federal funds to “coerce” states into doing the bidding of Washington.”[225] Mayors of New York, Boston, Denver, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Seattle have expressed concerns about the Order and do not want to “change the way their cities treat immigrants.”[226][227] Jeff Sessions is considered to be an “inspiration” for Trump’s anti-immigration policies.[228] On August 31, 2016, Trump laid out a 10-step plan as part of his immigration policy where he reiterated that all illegal immigrants are “subject to deportation” with priority given to illegal immigrants who have committed significant crimes and those who have overstayed visas. He noted that all those seeking legalization would have to go home and re-enter the country legally.[229][230][231][232][233] In a meeting with concerned mayors, Sessions explained that the Executive Order merely directs cities to enforce the preexisting thirty-year-old law, 8 U.S.C. 1373 which means that “there is no sanctuary city debate.”[234] On April 25, U.S. District Judge William Orrick III sided with San Francisco and Santa Clara in their lawsuit against the Trump administration effectively blocking EO targeting so-called sanctuary cities. Justice Orrick said that the president “has no authority to attach new conditions to federal spending”.[235]

Social policy

Trump’s appointment of a conservative justice, Neil Gorsuch, his reinstatement of the Mexico City Policy, and his signing H.J. Res. 43—HHS Title X Funding for Planned Parenthood Rule[16] are in keeping with his pro-life policy.[236] On January 23, Trump signed a Presidential Memorandum on the Mexico City Policy regarding federal funding to foreign NGOs.[237][238][239] This is a key point in the abortion debate as foreign NGOs that receive US federal funding will no longer be able to offer, promote or perform abortion services as part of family planning in their own countries using non-U.S. government funds.[240][241] Forbes claimed this could “potentially affect $9.5 billion” in programs that reach “225 million women globally”.[242]

On April 13, Trump quietly signed H.J. Res. 43—HHS Title X Funding for Planned Parenthood Rule—[16] reversing Obama’s December 2016 regulation which had mandated that Title X recipients—like states local and state governments—distribute federal funds for services related to contraception, sexually transmitted infections, fertility, pregnancy care, and breast and cervical cancer screening to qualified health providers, regardless of whether they also perform abortions”.[243] Bloomberg noted that although this was “one of the few opportunities” Trump has had in his first 100 days to enact legislation, he signed this bill in private.[244] The Obama rule never came into effect as it was blocked by a federal judge.[245] Republicans want to cut off federal funding from health-care organizations such as Planned Parenthood that perform abortions. Proponents of the bill claim it supports states’ rights over federalist rights.[244] The bill was passed under the procedures of the Congressional Review Act. In the Senate Vice-President Pence cast a tie-breaking vote.[17][246] This will be an issue at the end of the first 100 days as Congress tries to avoid a government shutdown.[244] In FY2014 Planned Parenthood clinics received $20.5 million of the $252.6 million distributed under the Title X Family Planning grant program.[244]

The proposed American Health Care Act, announced by Congressional Republicans in March 2017, would have made Planned Parenthood “ineligible for Medicaid reimbursements or federal family planning grants”.[247]

Suspended reduction of Federal Housing Mortgage Insurance Premium rates

Within the first hours of Trump’s presidency, he “suspended indefinitely” the reduced “Mortgage Insurance Premiums for loans with Closing/Disbursement date on or after January 27, 2017”, known as the Federal Housing Administration‘s (FHA) Annual Mortgage Insurance Premium (MIP) Rates managed under the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). It is “effective immediately”.[248][130] Obama’s rate cut would have lowered borrowing costs for first time and low income house buyers.[249]

Gun control

The policy statement also nullified the NICS Improvement Amendments Act of 2007 which would have “prevent some Americans with disabilities from purchasing or possessing firearms. This was enacted following the 2007 Virginia Tech shooting in which Seung-Hui Cho killed 32 people and wounded 17 others armed with two semi-automatic pistols.[250]It also nullified Obama’s Executive Order, Fair Pay and Safe Workspaces, which required contractors seeking federal contracts to disclose all recent employee-related violations.[251][252]

High-priority infrastructure

Main article: Executive Order 13766

On January 24, Trump signed his second Executive Order entitled Expediting Environmental Reviews and Approvals for High Priority Infrastructure Projects[253] (EO 13766)[254][255] [256] which is part of a series of five executive orders to date.[257] This Order was part of a series “designed to speed environmental permitting and reviews” as ” major infrastructure projects trigger an array of overlapping environmental and natural resource laws and requirements”.[255]

On April 19, Trump signed a bill that extended the VA’s Choice beyond August. The 2014 Veterans’ Access to Care through Choice, Accountability, and Transparency Act was enacted in by the Obama administration in response to the Veterans Health Administration scandal of 2014.[258]

Foreign Affairs, Defense and Trade (FDT)

Foreign policy

The main group advising the President on foreign affairs and national security is the National Security Council (NSC)[259] which coordinates national agencies such as the secretaries of defense and state; the secretaries of the army, navy, and air force.

On April 10, The Wall Street Journal described Trump’s foreign policy as moving away from the “America First”, “isolationist” policies towards more “mainstream” and “conventional” tendencies under the more stabilizing influence of Tillerson, Mattis, McMaster, Ross and Kushner.[260]

On the first day of Trump’s presidency, the White House website had posted a 220-word description of its foreign policy. It was protectionist with a focus on “America First” as was his inaugural address. His three top priorities were to defeat ISIS, to rebuild the military and to embrace diplomacy.[261]

Defense

At the time Trump took office, military spending had reached its highest peak ever[261] Trump requested $30 billion for FY 2017 which ends in September and an increase of $54 billion to Defense Department for FY 2018. The $639 billion in FY2018 would result in deep cuts to many other departments including the State Department, the diplomatic arm of the administration.[262]

After Trump’s April 12 first face-to-face meeting with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, Trump announced that he had changed views about NATO. Trump had previously complained that NATO was “obsolete” as it did not fight terrorism.[263] On March 18, Trump called on NATO’s member nations to contribute more to NATO.[264] After the White House meeting, Trump realized that NATO has been engaged in combating groups like ISIS. Trump will maintain the “US commitment to NATO while reiterating its member nations must step up their military financing”.[263][265][266]

On January 29, Trump authorized the first military operation of his Presidency—a raid by US commandos on Al-Qaeda in Yakla, Baida in Yemen.[267] At least 14 jihadists were killed in the raid,[268] as well as 10 civilians, including children.[269] The raid also resulted in the death of Chief Petty Officer William Owens a 36-year-old Virginia-based Navy SEAL, the first U.S. combat casualty in Trump’s presidency.[270]

According to the New York Times, Owen’s death “came after a chain of mishaps and misjudgments that plunged the elite commandos into a ferocious 50-minute firefight that also left three others wounded and a $75 million aircraft deliberately destroyed.”[267]

On April 6, 2017, Trump ordered a missile strike on Shayrat Air Base near Homs, in Syria. 59 Tomahawk missiles were launched from the USS Ross (DDG-71) and USS Porter (DDG-78) from the Mediterranean Sea.[271][272][273]

On April 8, four days after North Korea had test-fired a ballistic missile, an announcement by the United States Pacific Command (PACOM) commander was posted via U.S. Third Fleet Public Affairs stating that PACOM had ordered the USS Carl Vinson supercarrier to “sail north and report on station in the Western Pacific Ocean”.[274] It was a premature announcement that led to a “glitch-ridden sequence of events”—a result of confusion created by a “miscommunication” between the “Pentagon and the White House.”[275] On April 8[276][277] and April 9, media outlets such as Fox News, RT, CNN, USA Today,[278] BBC[279][280] and others had published the erroneous announcement that warships were heading to the Korean Peninsula within the context of escalating US-North Korean tensions. In an interview with FOX Business Network’s Maria Bartiromo that aired on April 12, President Trump warned, “We are sending an armada. Very powerful. We have submarines. Very powerful. Far more powerful than the aircraft carrier. That I can tell you.”[281] By April 17 North Korea’s deputy United Nations ambassador accused the United States of “turning the Korean peninsula into “the world’s biggest hotspot” and the North Korean government stated “its readiness to declare war on the United States if North Korean forces were to be attacked.”[282] On April 17 the Defense News broke the story that the Carl Vinson and its escorts were 3,500 miles from Korea engaged in scheduled joint Royal Australian Navy exercises in the Indian Ocean.[275][283][284] According to Dana White, the Pentagon’s chief spokeswoman, the Carl Vinson was heading north on April 18.[275] The Wall Street Journal reported on April 19, that the incident sparked both “criticism and ridicule” as some felt “duped by Trump.” In the article, Hong Joon-pyo, a candidate in the 2017 South Korean presidential election, was quoted as saying, “What President Donald Trump said was important for the national security of South Korea. If that was a lie, then during Trump’s term, South Korea will not trust whatever Trump says.”[285]

On April 13 the United States dropped a ‘mother of all bombs’ (MOAB) in the Nangarhar Province Afghanistan[286]—the first use of the bomb on the battlefield.[287] On April 8 Staff Sgt. Mark De Alencar was killed during an operation against ISIS in Nangarhar Province.[288][289][290]

The most consequential shift in Trump’s defense policy was the April 6 cruise-missile launch at a Syrian air base.[291]

Trade policies

Peter Navarro, Director of the White House National Trade Council, addresses President Donald Trump‘s promises to American people, workers, and domestic manufacturers (Declaring American Economic Independence on 6/28/2016) in the Oval Office with Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of CommerceWilbur Ross before President Trump signs 2 Executive Orders regarding trade in March 2017

On January 23, Trump fulfilled a campaign pledge by signing an executive order withdrawing the United States from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) or Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA).[292][237][293] According to the BBC, Trump had pledged to withdraw from the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) and he signed an executive order on the TPP his first few days.[236] However, the EO was largely symbolic since the deal has not been ratified by a divided US Congress.”[294] The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) or Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA), was a trade agreement between the United States and eleven Pacific Rim nations—Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam that would have created a “free-trade zone for about 40 percent of the world’s economy.”[295][296][238][292][237][293]

On April 18, 2017, President Trump signed an executive order that directed federal agencies to implement a “Buy American, Hire American” strategy.[297] The executive order directs federal agencies to implement a new system that favors higher-skilled, higher-paid applicants.[298][299][300] The order is the first initiative in response to a key pledge made by Trump during his presidential campaign to promote a ‘Buy American, Hire American.’[301] The EO is intended to order federal agencies to review and propose reforms to the H-1B visa system.[302] Through the executive order, Trump states his broad policy of economic nationalism without having to go through Congress. Cabinet secretaries from Departments of Labor, Justice, Homeland Security, and State[298] will “fill in the details with reports and recommendations about what the administration can legally do.”[303] Trump argued that the EO would “end the ‘theft of American prosperity’, which he said had been brought on by low-wage immigrant labor.”[304]

On March 31, President Donald Trump signed two executive orders on trade. One examines forms of “trade abuse,” taking a country-by-country as well as product and industry look over 90 days at cheating, law enforcement, and currency misalignment by foreign countries that causes U.S. trade deficits. President Trump said the order ensures “that we fully collect all duties imposed on foreign importers that cheat, the cheaters.” Another to strengthen anti-dumping rules and countervailing duties. The order directs Homeland Security, Commerce, and Treasury departments to ensure enforcement and “those who break the rules will face severe consequences”.[305][306][307]

Trump—who had been dismissive of the Export-Import Bank (ExIm)—made an about-face on April 15 by nominating Scott Garrett as head of the ExIm breaking a deadlock that had prevented the Bank from operating since 2014.[308] Although Trump had privately made known that he would not side with “conservative Republicans, including those in his own administration”, who wanted to “cripple” the ExIm in February, he did not announce it publicly until April 13, when he told The Wall Street Journal that he would fill two seats of ExIm’s five-seat board which would allow the Bank to make loans greater than $10 million.[309] Trump had been one of ExIm’s harshest critics. Conservatives call it the ‘Bank of Boeing’ and an ‘epicenter of crony capitalism’. Its supporters such as Boeing and General Electric Co, claim that it facilitates trade worth billions of dollars in exports helping hundreds of businesses.[310] Prior to making the announcement, Trump held two significant meetings related to ExIm—an April 3 formal visit with Egyptian president Abdel Fattah el-Sisi who is negotiating for billions of dollars in ExIm financing[311] and an April 11 meeting with Boeing Chief Executive Jim McNerney.[308] Sisi also met with Lockheed Martin and General Electric CEOs during his visit to the U.S. in April.[311]

International relations

Australia

A February 2 report by The Washington Post claimed that US President Donald Trump berated the Australian, Prime Minister Turnbull during one of Trump’s first phone calls made to foreign officials. Trump stated that the 2016 asylum deal was an attempt to export the next Boston bombers to the United States.[312][313] The contentious deal involves a 2016 agreement between the Obama administration and Australia whereby the U.S. would resettle 1,250 refugees held in controversial[314] offshore immigration detention facilities—Manus and Naura islands. In return, Australia would ‘resettle refugees from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras.”[315][312] Later that day, Trump explained that while he respected Australia, they, along with many other countries, were “terribly taking advantage” of the United States.[316] The following day, Australian Ambassador to the United States Joe Hockey was sent to the White House and held meetings with White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon and Chief of Staff Reince Preibus. Spicer described the phone call as “very cordial”.[317] The 25-minute phone call on January 28, was described as “acrimonious” by Reuters and Trump’s “worst call by far” with a foreign leader by the Washington Post.[315] During a joint news conference with Prime Minister Turnbull, Vice-President Pence—who was on a “10-day, four-country trip” in April to the Pacific Rim, announced that even if the United States did not “admire the agreement”, Trump had made it clear that the United States would honour the 2016 agreement to resettle refugees.[318] Turnbull responded, “whatever the reservations of the president are”, the decision “speaks volumes for the commitment, the integrity of President Trump, and your administration, sir, to honour that commitment.”[318] “The US is Australia’s most important security partner, while China is its most important trading partner.”[318]

Canada

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau (left) and President Donald Trump (right) meet in Washington in February 2017

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau met Trump in Washington DC in February 2017.[319] Trudeau said that “The last thing Canadians expect is for me to come down and lecture another country on how they choose to govern”, referring to Trump’s “refugee ban” – Executive Order 13769.[320] The two leaders emphasized the importance of the two countries’ ongoing relationship, with Trudeau adding that “there are times when we have differed in our approaches. And that’s always been done firmly and respectfully,”.[320] Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said that, “It has been a bad week for U.S.-Canada trade relations.” as he announced stiff tariffs up stiff tariffs of up to 24% on Canadian lumber on April 24 as dairy product trade fell through.[321] The Canada–United States softwood lumber dispute has been since ongoing since the 1980s making it one of the longest trade disputes between the two countries, as well as one of the largest.[322] Trump is under pressure to begin renegotiating NAFTA, the trade deal between Canada, Mexico and the US.[321] On April 25, Canada’s International Trade Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne and soft lumber industry representatives promoted trade with China in Beijing in response to what is perceived as U.S. protectionist policies.[323]

China

The Mar-a-Lago summit meeting on April 6 and 7 between Trump and President Xi Jinping of China, during the first 100 days of the new US administration was heralded by The Telegraph as the “most significant bilateral summit in decades.”[324] The South China Morning Post reported that—in spite of differences regarding Taiwan, the South China Sea and the most urgent issue—North Korea’s nuclear programme—”the summit between the US and Chinese presidents had both symbolic and tangible successes.”[325] During the April 7–8 visit with Chinese President Xi Jinping, Trump acknowledged that international relations are much more complicated than he had imagined. In regards to North Korea, he had hoped to negotiate better trade deals with China in exchange for China dealing with the nuclear threat from North Korea. In an interview with Wall Street Journal’s Gerald F. Seib Trump said, “After listening for 10 minutes, I realized it’s not so easy. I felt pretty strongly that they had a tremendous power [over] North Korea. … But it’s not what you would think.” Trump also affirmed that North Korea was the United States’ “biggest international threat”.[326]

The BBC reported on April 19 that China “was ‘seriously concerned” about nuclear threats” as tensions between North Korea and the United States escalated with a “war of words”[327] between North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-un and the Trump administration.[328][329] Recent threats included Vice-President Mike Pence statement that the period of “strategic patience” was over and his April 19 statement that the US “would meet any attack with an ‘overwhelming response.’ North Korea recently warned of “full-out nuclear war if Washington takes military action against it.”[327] Trump has called for China to rein in North Korea, but China Daily reported that “Washington must be aware of the limitations to Beijing’s abilities, and refrain from assuming that the matter can be consigned entirely to Beijing alone.”[330] China Daily considered the U.N. Security Council statement adopted on April 20 condemning North Korea’s recent attempted missile launch,[329] as an indication that the Trump administration is considering a “diplomatic solution.”[330]

In an April 12 interview with Wall Street JournalTrump said he had changed his mind and he would not label China a currency manipulator, which had been one of his 100-day pledges. By April he believed that China had not been manipulating its currency for months. He did not want to “jeopardize” talks with the Chinese “on confronting the threat of North Koreas.”[5][6] Early in Trump’s presidency, the world’s largest financial newspaper, Nikkei Asian Review, had reported on February 1, that Trump had labelled China and Japan as currency manipulators.[331]

The Trump administration confirmed its commitment to defend Japan against China’s claims to the Senkaku Islands in the (the East China Sea) through the Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security between the United States and Japan during a U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis‘s visit to Japan on February 4.[332] By February 9, US-Chinese relations—the most important bilateral relationship—had remained strained,[333][334][335][336][337][338] President Xi Jinping and Trump had not spoken and this had “drawn increasing scrutiny.”[333] Xi was concerned by the December 2, 2016, phone call from Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen to Trump[339] and Trump’s questioning of the One China policy.[340][341][342] On February 10, Trump and Xi Jinpin spoke on the phone for the first time since Donald Trump took office, during which Donald Trump committed to honoring the One China policy at Xi’s request.[343][344]

During the World Economic Forum annual meeting in Davos on January 17–20, China’s President Xi Jinping, as keynote speaker, “vigorously” defended globalization in a speech that the Financial Times described as “one would have expected to come from a US president”. Mr. Xi observed that “blaming economic globalisation for the world’s problems is inconsistent with reality… globalisation has powered global growth and facilitated movement of goods and capital, advances in science, technology and civilisation, and interactions among people[345][346] In 2015, China became the United States’ largest trade partner, placing Canada second.[347] The Times 2017 article, citing an analysis by Peterson Institute for International Economics, noted that “China and Mexico together account for a quarter of US trade”.[346] Concerns have been raised about Trump’s proposed imposition of a 45 percent tariff on imports from China.[348][349][350] On January 23, The U.S. Commerce Department announced new countervailing duties (CVDs) ranging from 38.61 to 65.46 percent on Chinese vehicles in the antidumping case. In 2015, over 8.9 million Chinese truck and bus tires worth $1.07 billion were imported to the United States.[351]

At his Senate confirmation hearing as Secretary of State, in mid-January, Rex Tillerson’s statements about the South China Sea, “set the stage for a possible crisis between the world’s two biggest economies should his comments become official American policy” and “put further strains on one of the world’s most important bilateral relationships.”[352]According to an article on January 28, in the South China Morning Post, an official from China’s Central Military Commission‘s Defence Mobilisation Department, ranking Chinese military official considers war between China and the United States a real possibility during Trump’s term as president.[353] An article in The Guardian claims, “The bad news is that if in the coming months or years Trump faces an ignominious end to his presidency through scandal or mismanagement, a national crisis – involving China, or ISIS or another foreign actor – could allow him to cling to power.”[354]

Egypt

On April 3 Trump hosted a formal visit with Egyptian president Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, in an effort to “reset” relations between the two countries, offering the U.S. government’s “strong backing.”[311] Ties between the two countries were strained since Sisi deposed Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi during the July 2013 military coup.[355][356] Trump publicly stated that Sisi’s autocratic leadership was ‘fantastic.’[311] Sisi, who is seeking “billions of dollars in financing” from the Export-Import Bank for large investments in infrastructure investments, also met with the representatives from the IMF, the World Bank, Lockheed Martin and General Electric.[311] Trump nominated a new head of ExIm which facilitates its operation—the ExIm had been hamstrung since 2014 because of opposition by Republicans.[308] During his talks with Sisi in April, Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) had advocated for the release of six humanitarian workers, including a U.S. citizen—30-year-old Aya Hijazi and her husband, who had been imprisoned in Egypt since May 1, 2014.[311] A court in Egypt dropped all charges against them on April 16.[311]

European Union

In a 60-minute interview at Trump Tower in mid-January, with Michael Gove of the Times of London and Kai Diekmann of Bild, Trump praised Brexit, criticized NATO as “obsolete”, and the European Union as “basically a vehicle for Germany.” He said it was a “very catastrophic mistake” on Angela Merkel‘s part to admit a million refugees – whom he refers to as “illegals”.[87] These “worrying declarations”, among others, compelled the President of the European Council, Donald Tusk, to raise concerns in a letter to 27 European leaders, that the Trump administration seemed to “question the last 70 years of American foreign policy,” placing the European Union in a “difficult situation.”[357]

Iran

There are no formal diplomatic relations between Iran and the United States. Iranian citizens were temporary banned from entering the United States by the executive order “Protecting the Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into the United States.” On late April 18, 2017 the Trump Administration certified that Iran had continued to comply with the 2015 nuclear framework agreement.[358] During his campaign, Trump had denounced the agreement as ‘the worst deal ever’ but was frustrated in his plans to renegotiate the nuclear deal as “canceling the deal would likely cause significant problems.”[358]

Israel

Israel’s prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Trump held their first official visit at the White House on February 15. At the press conference, Trump urged Netanyahu to “‘hold back’ on building Jewish settlements on territories occupied by Israel in 1967 ‘for a little bit’.”[359] According to The Economist, Trump appeared to step back from the “long-standing, bipartisan American insistence that peace can be reached only through the establishment of a sovereign Palestinian state alongside the Jewish one”, the two-state solution.[359] Trump’s priority of destroying the Muslim radicals of Islamic State (IS)” differs from Netanyahu’s. Israel is more concerned about “containing Iran, the largest power in the Shia Muslim world. Given that Iran is itself fighting IS in Syria and Iraq, the two goals could even be in conflict.”[359] In a marked change from his visit to the White House under the Obama administration, Netanyahu blurred the distinction by “denouncing both IS and Iran in the same attack on ‘militant Islam’ and hailing Mr Trump’s ‘great courage’ in tackling ‘radical Islamic terror'”.[359]

Mexico

Since early in Trump’s presidency, Mexico and United States faced a diplomatic crisis. Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto opposes Trump’s approach to the renegotiation of NAFTA and the implications of Trump’s Executive Order 13767.[360][361][360][361] After decades of cooperation between the two nations relations between the US and Mexico are seriously weakened.[362]

North Korea

On February 12, North Korea tested a ballistic solid-fuel missile,[363] the Pukguksong-2, which is part of a series of missile tests that have largely defined the hostile North Korea–United States relations over recent years.[364] According to The Economist, on February 13, while Trump promised “to deal with the ‘big, big’ problem of North Korea ‘very strongly'”, he has few options.[363] Trump received the news of the launch during the first official visit of Japan’s prime minister, Shinzo Abe. They were dining at Mar-a-Lago, Trump’s Florida resort.[363]

Russia

According to a Reuters report on February 9, 2017, in his first 60-minute telephone call with Putin, Putin inquired about extending New START (Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty) a nuclear arms reduction treaty between the United States and the Russia signed in 2010, which was expected to last until 2021.[365][366] and, after ratification,[367][368] Trump denounced the treaty claiming that it favored Russia and was “one of several bad deals negotiated by the Obama administration”.[369] The New York Times reported that on February 14, Russia deployed a new type of fully operational ground-launched intermediate-range cruise missile that “violates a landmark arms control treaty”. The Americans have changed its name from SSC-X-8 to SSC-8, reflecting its status as “operational” not “X” referring to “in development”.[370]

On February 16, 2017, President Trump’s Secretary of Defense, James Mattis, declared that the United States was not currently prepared to collaborate with Russia on military matters – including future anti-ISIL US operations.[371]

On February 24, Trump “risked triggering a new Cold War-style arms race between Washington and Moscow. In an interview with Reuters, Trump said that the “treaty limiting Russian and U.S. nuclear arsenals was a bad deal for Washington” and he “would put the U.S. nuclear arsenal “at the top of the pack.” In response, Russia’s Konstantin Kosachev wrote on his Facebook page, “arguably Trump’s most alarming statement on the subject of relations with Russia”.[372]

Trump’s campaign slogan ‘Make America great again’, if that means nuclear supremacy, will return the world to the worst times of the arms race in the ’50s and ’60s.”

— Konstantin Kosachev, Chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Russian Federation Council February 24, 2017

Trump had “promised one of the ‘greatest military buildups in American history’ in a feisty, campaign-style speech extolling robust nationalism” at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference on February 24 at National Harbor.[373][374][375]

Syria

On April 5, 2017 Trump responded to the April 4 chemical attack allegedly by Syrian Armed Forces on rebel-held Khan Shaykhun in Idlib province which enveloped men, women and children in a suffocating fog of sarin gas leaving more than eighty people dead and over three hundred more injured”[376][377] …my attitude towards Syria and Assad has changed very much.”[378] Both Tillerson and Nikki Haley had previously stated that the Trump administration had no intention of interfering in President Bashar Assad‘s leadership in the Syrian Civil War, as the US focused on eliminating ISIS.[379][380][381][382]

United Kingdom

President Donald Trump meets British Prime Minister Theresa May in the Oval Office of the White House on January 27, 2017

In January 2017, the Prime Minister Theresa May invited Trump to a state visit to the UK when she met Trump in Washington DC.[383][384][385] The visit was planned to occur in June, although it may be delayed to July to coincide with the upcoming G20 summit in Hamburg.[386] Some sources have suggested that the UK government may delay the visit until after the House of Commons is in recess for the summer to avoid criticm from MPs.[387] The Speaker of the House of Commons, John Bercow, stated on February 6, 2017, that Trump would not be welcome to address parliament during any future state visit, drawing applause and cheering from some Members of Parliament.[388]

More than 1,860,000 people have signed a petition to prevent Trump from making an official state visit, which states that such a visit “would cause embarrassment to Her Majesty the Queen”.[389][390] The FCO responded to this petition by stating that HM Government recognises the strong views expressed by the many signatories of this petition, but does not support this petition.” Lord Ricketts, former Permanent Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, said that the unprecedented speed of May’s invitation has put the Queen in a “very difficult situation”.[391] He questioned whether Trump was “specially deserving of this exceptional honour”, given that US presidents are usually only invited to such visits after at least a year in office.[391] Writing to May, opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn stated that the “invite should be withdrawn until the executive orders are gone”.[390]

It has been suggested that Trump’s visit would have to take place outside London, after Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, the chief of the Metropolitan Police, said that he had concerns about the visit given the amount of protests expected.[392] One suggestion being considered is for Trump to address a rally at the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham,[386] a city where 50.4% of voters voted to leave the EU,[393] rather than London, which saw 59.9% voting to remain.[394] Local politicians and activists in Birmingham promised to stage protests if the visit is moved, with Shabana Mahmood, Labour MP for the Birmingham Ladywood constituency, saying that “President Trump with his hateful and divisive rhetoric, policies and Muslim ban is not welcome here.”[395]

During a March 14 Fox & Friends interview, Andrew Napolitano said, “Three intelligence sources have informed Fox News that President Obama went outside the chain of command,” using the British GCHQ to implement surveillance on Donald Trump to avoid leaving “American fingerprints”.[396] On March 16, Press Secretary Sean Spicer repeated Napolitano’s claim at a White House press briefing. The following day, a GCHQ spokesperson called Napolitano’s claim “utterly ridiculous”.[397] The White House denied reports that it had apologized to the British government for the accusation.[398]

Government and Finance (G&F)

The G&F Division focuses on issues related to Congress, the executive and the judicial branches, the budget and appropriations, legislative process, homeland security, elections and certain financial issues such as public debt, inflation, savings, GDP, taxation and interest rates, banking, financial institutions, insurance and securities, public finance, fiscal and monetary policy, public debt, interest rates, gross domestic product, inflation and savings.[399]

Supreme Court nomination

Judge Neil Gorsuch, his wife Louise,[400] and President Donald Trump during the announcement in the East Room of the White House.

On the evening of January 30, Trump announced his nomination of U.S. Appeals Court judge Neil Gorsuch for the Supreme Court fulfilling his campaign pledge that he would choose someone ‘in the mold’ of the late Justice Antonin Scalia.[401]

Following the February 3 ruling by federal judge James Robart, that temporarily blocked Trump’s travel ban on people from seven Muslim countries, Trump has been openly critical of the judiciary.[402] According to CNN and Washington Post, on February 8, Gorsuch expressed concern that Trump’s remarks on the judiciary were ‘demoralizing’ and ‘disheartening’ to the independence of the judiciary.[403]

Gorsuch was approved by the Senate Judiciary committee on April 3.[404] Senate Republicans invoked the “nuclear option” after the April 6 filibuster that prevented cloture.[405] After a year-long Republican block on nominations, the Senate confirmed Gorsuch nomination with a 54-45 vote, mainly along party lines.[406][407] Gorsuch took office in a private ceremony on April 10.

Hours after Gorsuch and four other Supreme Court conservatives justices voted on April 20 to deny a stay of execution request from eight inmates on Arkansas death-row, Ledell Lee was put to death with a lethal injection, the first in Arkansas since 2005.[408][409] Two inmates—Jack Jones and Marcel Williams—received lethal injections on April 24.[410]

Monetary policy

On April 19 in an interview with The Wall Street Journal—in a reversal of previous statements—Trump said he was considering keeping Janet Yellen as chair of the Federal Reserve System, which oversees the U.S. monetary policy.[6] He explained that, “I do like a low-interest rate policy, I must be honest with you.” In the same interview, Trump said he would not label China a currency manipulator,[6] which had been one of his 100-day pledges.[5] Trump expressed concerns in that interview that, “I think our dollar is getting too strong, and partially that’s my fault because people have confidence in me. But that’s hurting — that will hurt ultimately.” He believes a low dollar favors the U.S. in international trade.[6] From November 8, 2016—when Trump was elected—to December 30, 2016, the trade-weighted average of the foreign exchange value of the U.S. dollar (TWEXB) increased 4.4 percent.[411] Towards the end of the first 100 days, the TWEXB had dropped two percent.[411] This table shows some highs and lows of the Trade Weighted U.S. Dollar Index: Broad [TWEXB] from 2002 to April 2017.[412]

Sample of trade weighted averages of foreign exchange value USD (highs/lows ) DMY[412]
20-02-2002 09-04-2008 23-07-2011 27-07-2011 18-03-2015 03-06-2015 17-02-2016 04-05-2016 26-08-2016 23-11-2016 04-01-2017 19-04-2017
129.3639 95.6084 102.1682 94.0323 117.4927 115.5347 123.7823 118.6478 120.2955 127.2899 128.5246 124.0479

Small government

On January 23, President Trump signed an executive order that froze all federal hiring except for the military. The order specified that no new positions can be created and no currectly vacant positions may be filled unless an agency head believes that the position is “necessary to meet national security or public safety responsibilities”. The order is due to expire once the head of the Office of Management and Budget, Mick Mulvaney, creates a “long-term plan to reduce the size of the Federal Government’s workforce through attrition.”[413]

On January 24, the Associated Press reported on emails from the Administration to some government agencies sent shortly after the inauguration, which “detailed specific prohibitions” banning certain government agencies, such as the Agricultural Research Service Agriculture Department from issuing “press releases, blog updates or posts to the agency’s social media accounts.”[414] In what the Associated Press described as a “broader communications clampdown within the executive branch,” the Administration “instituted a media blackout.”[414][415] In his January 25 press briefing, White House press secretary Sean Spicer claimed that the emails did not come from the Administration: “They haven’t been directed by us to do anything…That directive did not come from here.”[416]

On January 23, in a Presidential Memorandum, the president ordered a temporary government-wide hiring freeze[417][418] of the civilian work force in the executive branch, which is managed by the Office of Personnel Management. This will prevent federal agencies, except for the offices of the new presidential appointees, national security, the military and public safety, from filling vacant positions.[419][420] The Brookings Institution questioned whether this freeze would include financial regulators who exercise independence from the executive branch – such as the Federal Reserve Board of Governors (Fed), Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) among others.[421] In a Fox News report, based on statistics from the Office of Personnel Management, the number of executive branch employees “hasn’t been this low since 1965” and has been “more or less steady” since 2001.[419][422]

Economic policy of Donald Trump

Trump’s key economic policies included the dismantling of the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, and the repeal of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA).[4]

According to the April 28, 2017 Commerce Department report, in the first quarter of 2017 there was a “sharp decline from the 2.1% in Q1 2016 to 0.7% in Q1 2017—representing the weakest quarterly economic growth in three years. The report presents a statistical analysis of the American economy in the 2017 Q1—the gross domestic product (GDP).[9]In spite of the soft GDP, by the end of Q1 2017, the S&P 500 was near an all-time high representing a 12% rise from the first quarter of 2016, as investor confidence remained elevated[10] based on Trump’s promise to cut taxes, deregulate and spend heavily on infrastructure such as roads and bridges.

In March 2017 the unemployment rate fell to 4.5 percent[425] and the Consumer Sentiment Index reached 125.6, a level of consumer confidence in the United States last seen in December 2000.[426] It fell to 120.3 in April.[427] Consumer confidence or soft data contrasted with real consumer spending or hard data, with a “big drop-off” in the amount Americans actually spent during Trump’s first 100 days.[428]

Consumer confidence index[429]
04-2016 05-2016 06-2016 07-2016 08-2016 09-2016 10-2016 11-2016 12-2016 01-2017 02-2017 03-2017 04-2017
94.7 92.4 97.4 96.7 101.8 103.5 100.8 109.4 113.3 111.6 116.1 124.9 120.3
Real Personal Consumption Expenditures[430]
06-2009 06-2010 06-2011 06-2012 06-2013 06-2014 06-2015 06-2016 12-2016 01-2017 02-2017
9,801.1 10,021.2 10,248.3 10,390.3 10,543.8 10,851.8 11,199.2 11,522.2 11,709.4 11,684.8 11,676.1

Changes to Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act

Main article: Executive Order 13772

On February 3, after a meeting with his strategic and policy forum, which included Jamie Dimon, Chairman and CEO JPMorgan Chase, Trump issued an Executive Order, Core Principles for Regulating the United States Financial System,[431][432][433] which directed the “Treasury secretary to submit a report on recommended changes to bank regulations in 120 days.”[434] Trump wants to get “banks to lend money more aggressively”[435] and wants to make changes to the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (2010)[436] which was enacted in response to the Great Recession, bringing significant changes to U. S. financial regulation.[437][438][439][440][441]

We expect to be cutting a lot out of Dodd-Frank… Frankly, I have so many people, friends of mine, that have nice businesses that can’t borrow money. They just can’t get any money because the banks won’t let them borrow because of rules and regulations in Dodd-Frank.

— Trump in meeting with his business advisory council, February 3

In an interview on February 3, with The Wall Street Journal, Trump’s National Economic Council Director, Gary Cohn, announced the planned rollback of the fiduciary rule, which stated that brokers and advisers who work with tax-advantaged retirement savings “must work in the best interest of their clients” even at the expense of their own profits.[442]

Deregulation

One of the first acts by the Trump administration was an order signed by Chief of Staff Reince Priebus on January 20, under the subject “Regulatory Freeze Pending Review” to all Heads of Executive Departments and Agencies ordering agencies to immediately suspend all pending regulations and to “send no regulation” to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OFR) until the Trump administration can review them except for “emergency situations” or “urgent circumstances” allowed by the Director or Acting Director, Mark Sandy,[443][444][445] of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).[414][446][447] This was comparable to prior moves by the Obama and Bush administrations shortly after their inaugurations to revert executive orders by outgoing presidents, signed in their final days in office.[448]

On January 30, Trump signed his seventh Executive Order “Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs.”[449]

Deregulation and corporations

At a January 23 meeting with leaders of the United State’s largest corporations, including Ford‘s Mark Fields, Dell TechnologiesMichael Dell, Lockheed Martin‘s Marillyn Hewson, Under Armour‘s Kevin Plank, Arconic‘s Klaus Kleinfeld, Whirlpool‘s Jeff Fettig, Johnson & Johnson‘s Alex Gorsky, Dow Chemical‘s Andrew Liveris, U.S. Steel‘s Mario Longhi, SpaceX‘s Elon Musk, International Paper‘s Mark Sutton, and Corning‘s Wendell Weeks promised to reward the companies who stay in the United States with aggressive cuts on U.S. federal regulations governing their companies by “75 percent or more.”[450][451][452]

Trump meets with CEOs of pharmaceutical companies

On January 31, Trump met with CEOs of pharmaceutical firms, including Novartis‘s Joseph Jimenez who also represented the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America – the pharmaceutical industry’s powerful lobbying group, Merck & Co.‘s Kenneth Frazier, Johnson & Johnson, Celgene‘s Robert Hugin, Eli Lilly, Amgen‘s Robert Bradway.[453] Trump called for lower prices, “We have no choice. For Medicare, for Medicaid. We have to get the prices way down.” In return, he promised to boost the pharmaceutical companies competitiveness by curbing regulations “from 9,000 pages” to “100 pages,” and by lowering pharmaceutical companies’ tax rates. Trump noted that Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approvals “force pharmaceutical companies to spend years and billions of dollars developing drugs.” He promised his nomination for FDA Commissioner would oversee an FDA overhaul.[454] In the listening session with pharmaceutical industry leaders, Trump noted that, “it costs sometimes $2.5 billion on average, actually, to come up with a new product. …15 years, $2.5 billion to come up with a product where there’s not even a safety problem. So it’s crazy. I’m surprised you can’t get them to move faster than that.”[455]

Trump had promised in March 2016, to reform the pharmaceutical industry, including the removal of existing free market barriers to allow imported, dependable, safe, reliable, and cheaper drugs from overseas, bringing more options to American consumers.[456] Following Trump’s press conference on January 11, Fortune claimed that the largest pharmaceutical companies had lost over $20 billion in 20 minutes.[457] The Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act (2003) expressly prohibited Medicare from negotiating bulk prescription drug prices and Trump had pledged to revert this. Following the morning meeting with CEOs on January 31, Trump abandoned his pledge to allow “Medicare negotiate bulk discounts in the price it pays for prescription drugs.”[458]

Limitations on executive agency members lobbying

On January 28, Trump signed an Executive Order to fulfilling his campaign pledge to limit lobbying of executive agency members.[459]

Department of Justice

On February 8, Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions, who was nominated by Trump in January, was confirmed as United States Attorney General (A.G.), the head of the Justice Department per 28 U.S.C. § 503. He is the United States government’s chief law enforcement officer and lawyer with 113,000 employees working under his leadership. According to The Washington Post, Sessions’ “conservative, populist views have shaped many” of Trump’s “early policies, including on immigration”.[460] The nomination battle was described by The New York Times, as “a bitter and racially charged”.[461] The confirmation process for Trump’s nominee Senator Jeff Sessions was described as ” strikingly contentious” by The New York Times;[462] with Fox News calling it a “wild night”,[463] and CNN calling the “rare rebuke” a “stunning moment”[464] as Senator Mitch McConnell invoked Rule XIX to silence Senator Elizabeth Warren for the rest of the hearing.[463] McConnell interrupted Warren as she read several pages by Coretta Scott King and Senator Ted Kennedy regarding Session’s alleged racial bias from the 500-plus page transcript submitted in 1986, that contributed to the decision by the then-Republican-led Judiciary Committee to reject his nomination to a federal judgeship. Warren immediately live-streamed her reading of the letter, critical of Sessions, that the widow of Martin Luther King Jr. had written to Senator Strom Thurmond in 1986.[465] and numerous media outlets made the full-text available.[466][464]

Trump appointed Dana J. Boente to serve as acting Attorney General until Session’s Senate Confirmation.[467] After firing Yates, Trumped signed his eleventh Executive Order 13775 on February 9, specifically reversing the DOJ’s line of succession in Obama’s EO 13762 in order to appoint the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia—Dana J. Boente—as Acting Attorney General.[468][469] Trump revoked EO 13775 on March 31 with “Presidential Executive Order on Providing an Order of Succession Within the Department of Justice.

Boente had replaced Acting Attorney General Sally Yates who was fired by Trump for ordering the Justice Department to not defend Trump’s Executive Order 13769 which restricted entry to the United States.[470] Yates claimed that, “At present, I am not convinced that the defense of the executive order is consistent with these responsibilities [of the Department of Justice], nor am I convinced that the executive order is lawful”.[471][472]

Voter fraud claims

Since November 2016, and during his presidency, Trump has repeated voter fraud allegations that between 3 and 5 million people voted illegally and cost him the popular vote to Hillary Clinton, and also that thousands of voters were illegally bused from Massachusetts into New Hampshire where former Senator Kelly Ayotte was defeated, and where Trump narrowly lost to Clinton in 2016.[116]

Trump had announced on January 25 that he was conducting an investigation into voter fraud. He repeated unsubstantiated claims about the number of fraudulent voters and referred to VoteStand founder Gregg Phillips, who could not produce any evidence of voter fraud.[473][474] In January, US News reported that members of Trump’s cabinet and family were registered to vote in multiple states.[475] On February 10, Federal Election Commission (FEC) Commissioner, Ellen L. Weintraub, issued a statement calling on Trump, to provide the evidence of what would “constitute thousands of felony criminal offenses under New Hampshire law.”[117] By February 12, Steve Miller was still unable to provide concrete evidence to support claims of voter fraud in an interview with Stephanopolous,[115][116] but he seemed to direct Stephanopolous to the often-cited 2012 Pew Research Center study.[118][115] In fact, the 2012 PEW report entitled “Inaccurate, Costly, and Inefficient Evidence That America’s Voter Registration System Needs an Upgrade,” that was based on 2008 data, was about “outdated voter rolls, not fraudulent votes” and “makes no mention of noncitizens voting or registering to vote”.[119] The report showed that because of inefficiencies in the voter system, 24 percent of eligible citizens were not able to be registered, representing “51 million citizens.”[118]:8 Problems related to voter registration often affected “military personnel— especially those deployed overseas and their families—who were almost twice as likely to report registration problems as was the general public in 2008.”[118]:7 In November, “the former director of Pew’s election program” explained that, “We found millions of out of date registration records due to people moving or dying, but found no evidence that voter fraud resulted.”[119] On January 25, Spicer confirmed in a press briefing that Trump continued to believe that “millions voted illegally in the election” based on “studies and evidence that people have presented him.”[476] This included an often-cited and contested[477][476] 2014 Old Dominion University study entitled, “Do non-citizens vote in U.S. elections?”.[478] Using Cooperative Congressional Election Study data from 2008 and 2010, the researchers had argued that more than 14% of non-citizens “indicated that they were registered to vote”.[476]

2018 United States federal budget

Trump submitted his first budget request which recommends funding levels for the next fiscal year 2018—covering the period from October 1, 2017 to September 30, 2018—to the 115th Congress.[479][480] Trump’s request including a $639 billion defense budget and corresponding major cuts to other federal departments.[262]

To avert a possible government shutdown, the Trump administration face an April 28 deadline—the expiration of the December 10, 2016 continuing resolution (H.R. 2028) (Public Law 114-254).[481][482][483][Notes 1][484] Discussion time on controversial issues such as funding for a border wall defunding Planned Parenthood,[16] was limited by the two-week Easter recess that began on April 7.[17] The government was shutdown during the Clinton and Obama administrations as a result of clashes between Republicans in Congress and Democrats in the White House. In late April 2017, Republicans have control of both Congress and the White House.[485][486] A shutdown would result in “government agencies [locking] their doors, national parks [refusing] visitors and federal workers [being] told not to report to work”.[486] The appropriations process cannot be accomplised without consulting the Democrats—unlike rolling back federal regulations with Congressional Review Acts and attempts to repeal Obamacare.[486]

Tax reform

The White House memo entitled “2017 Tax Reform for Economic Growth and American Jobs” was presented on April 26[487] in what the The Wall Street Journal described as his “finest moment” in the first 100 days and a policy and political success.[488] Individual reform includes “reducing the 7 tax brackets to 3 tax brackets for 10%, 25% and 35%, doubling the standard deduction, providing tax relief for families with child and dependent care expenses.” The taxation system will be simplified to “eliminate targeted tax breaks that mainly benefit the wealthiest taxpayers, protect the home ownership and charitable gift tax deductions, repeal the Alternative Minimum Tax, repeal the death tax and repeal the 3.8% Obamacare tax that hits small businesses and investment income.”[487] Business reform includes “15% business tax rate, territorial tax system to level the playing field for American companies, one-time tax on trillions of dollars held overseas and elimination of tax breaks for special interests.”[487] The memo did not provide legislative content but rather broad outlines that will be developed in Congress but may face some opposition from both sides.[489]

Resources, Science and Industry (RSI)

The RSI Division natural resources, environment, science and technology, and industry and infrastructure.[490]

Environmental Policy

On February 1, the Trump administration published a Statement of Administration Policy to allow coal companies to dump mining waste in streams by nullifying the Department of the Interior regulation known as the “Stream Protection Rule”, established in the Obama Administration.[251] Under the Congressional Review Act Congress passed the resolution to repeal on February 1 and the Senate also approved it on February 2.[491][492] The Statement nullified the Waste Prevention, Production Subject to Royalties, and Resource Conservation which limited venting, flaring, and leaks during oil and natural gas production. The Repeal of Stream Protection Rule (115-5) was signed into law by Trump on February 16. The Repeal of Stream Protection Rule was signed into law by Trump on February 16, 2017.

Additionally, the February 1 policy statement nullified the rule on Disclosure of Payments by Resource Extraction Issuers, a Securities and Exchange Commission regulation which required resource extraction issuers to report payments “to governments for the commercial development of oil, natural gas or minerals.”[251] The Repeal of the Disclosure of Payments by Resource Extraction Issuers Rule (115-4) was signed into law by Trump on February 14, 2017.

Climate change

Trump is rescinding a great many orders which Obama made cutting greenhouse gas emissions in the United States. There is strong opposition to this and there will be legal challenges. Tomás Carbonell, director of regulatory policy and senior attorney at the Environmental Defense Fund, said, “Large majorities of Americans in red and blue states alike support strong action to reduce carbon pollution from the nation’s power plants, and the clean power plan is supported by a broad and diverse coalition of states, municipalities, power companies, leading businesses, consumer advocates, faith organizations and many others. These supporters will turn out in force to oppose the administration’s outrageous attack on the United States’ only nationwide limits on carbon pollution from power plants – safeguards that are essential to protecting our public health, securing a clean energy economy and yielding a safer climate for our children.”[493] Trump proposed defunding Clean Power Plan in his FY2018 budget. Clean Power Plan is Obama’s key initiative that restricted GHG emissions at coal-fired power plants.[494] His March 28 executive order directed Scott Pruitt to review the Clean Power Plan.[495]He also lifted a 14-month-old halt on new coal leases on federal lands.[496]

American Pipelines: Dakota Access and the Keystone XL pipelines

On January 24, Trump signed three Presidential Memoranda regarding construction of pipelines; “Regarding Construction of American Pipelines” was his fifth memoranda, “Regarding Construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline” was his sixth and the seventh was “Regarding Construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline.” These were intended to “will clear the way to government approval”[497] of the Dakota Access and the Keystone XL pipelines.[498] In a meeting with small business leaders on January 30, Trump clarified that one of the reasons for approving the pipelines was to insist that pipeline makers implement a made-in-America approach.[499] He revealed how the federal government could exercise eminent domain strategically in the appropriation of private land, to pressure pipeline makers to use American raw steel, for example.[499]

Deregulation on environmental policies and programs

Priebus also signed an order on January 24, temporarily delaying the Environmental Protection Agency‘s (EPA) 30 final regulations that were pending in the Federal Register[500]until March 21, 2017.”[501] Employees in the EPA’s Office of Acquisition Management, received an email “within hours of President Trump’s swearing in”, from the new EPA administration, asking “that all contract and grant awards be temporarily suspended, effective immediately” which included “task orders and work assignments” until “further clarification.”[414][502][415]

On March 29, 2017, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt overturned the 2015 EPA revocation and denied the 2007 administrative petition by the Natural Resources Defense Council and the Pesticide Action Network North America (PANNA) to ban the widely used Dow Chemical Company‘s chlorpyrifos.[503] The eight-year delay by the EPA to respond to PANNA, had resulted in a court case, PANNA v. EPA, in which EPA was ordered to respond by October 2015. EPA revoked “all tolerances for the insecticide chlorpyrifos”[504][505][503] and Pruitt overturned the 2015 decision.[503]

On March 29, 2017, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt overturned the 2015 EPA revocation and denied the administrative petition by the Natural Resources Defense Council and the Pesticide Action Network North America to ban chlorpyrifos.[503]

By reversing the previous administration’s steps to ban one of the most widely used pesticides in the world, we are returning to using sound science in decision-making – rather than predetermined results.

— Statement by Scott Pruitt, EPA, Administrator March 29, 2017

Accompanied by coal executives and coal miners, Trump signed a “sweeping executive order” on March 28, at the EPA. In his remarks he praised coal miners along with pipelines and U.S. manufacturing and addressed the coal miners directly, “Come on, fellas. Basically, you know what this is? You know what it says, right? You’re going back to work.”[506] Trump instructed EPA “regulators to rewrite key rules curbing U.S. carbon emissions and other environmental regulations.”[506]

Acts of the 115th United States Congress

By April 10 Trump had signed 21 Acts of Congress into law under the 115th United States Congress—laws 115-2 through 115-22. The GAO Access and Oversight Act of 2017 (Pub.L. 115–3,H.R. 72) was the second law Trump signed as President. The bill ensures that the Government Accountability Office (GAO) has full access to the database, National Directory of New Hires, to ensure that recipients of federal means-tested programs like Unemployment Insurance, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Earned income tax credit (EITC), and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) are eligible, thereby reducing government waste and increasing accountability.[507][508]

Congressional Review Act

Beginning in January, the Trump administration used the 1996 Congressional Review Act (CRA) to overturn regulations—some of them major—finalized during the final months of Obama’s tenure. By April 6 Trump had signed into law 11 resolutions of disapproval under the CRA after they were passed by the Republican majority in the House and Senate.[15][16] Under the Congressional Review Act, Congress can circumvent the Senate’s filibuster to overturn legislation issued in the last 60 days of the previous administration.[244]

On February 14 the Repeal of the Disclosure of Payments by Resource Extraction Issuers Rule (Pub.L. 115–4, H.J.Res. 41) was signed, nullifying the Securities and Exchange Commission regulation known as the “Disclosure of Payments by Resource Extraction Issuers” rule.[509] The SEC regulation was mandated by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act and which was similar to transparency initiatives adopted by the European Union and Canada.[510] Advocates argued that “Disclosure of Payments” rule prevented companies from bribing foreign governments and engaging in other forms of corruption. Those who argued for the its repeal, claimed that rule had placed an excessive burden on American companies and created a competitive disadvantage.[509]

On February 16, he signed the Repeal of Stream Protection Rule (H.J.Res. 38 Pub.L. 115–5)[251] which nullified the DOI regulation known as the Stream Protection Rule[491][492]

On February 28 the Repeal of the Implementation of the NICS Improvement Amendments Act of 2007 (H.J.Res. 40 Pub.L. 115–8) was signed into law which overturned the Social Security Administration related to the implementation of the NICS Improvement Amendments Act of 2007 which had amended the National Instant Criminal Background Check System to prohibit those with severe mental illness from possessing firearms.[511]

On March 27 Trump overturned the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) which nullified the “Waste Prevention, Production Subject to Royalties, and Resource Conservation”, also known as “Methane and Waste Prevention” or “methane venting and flaring rule” which “limited venting, flaring, and leaks during oil and natural gas production”.[512][513] with Bill (H.J.Res. 44 Pub.L. 115–11) disapproved the DOI rule relating to Bureau of Land Management “regulations that established the procedures used to prepare, revise, or amend land use plans pursuant to the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976“. On the same day he signed the “H.J.Res.37 – Disapproving the rule submitted by the Department of Defense, the General Services Administration, and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration relating to the Federal Acquisition Regulation” (H.J.Res. 37 Pub.L. 115–11 ) which overturned the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) “Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces”—known by its opponents as the “Blacklisting” Rule. On March 27 he also signed the ED State and Local Education Accountability Rules (H.J.Res. 57 Pub.L. 115–13), which overruled the Department of Education rule relating to accountability and State plans under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 and the ED Teacher Preparation Rule (H.J.Res. 58 Pub.L. 115–14) overturning the Department of Education relating to teacher preparation issues.

On April 13 he signed the law which overturned the HHS Title X Funding for Planned Parenthood Rule.[17]

On March 31 Trump signed the DOL Unemployment Insurance Drug Testing Rule (H.J.Res. 42 Pub.L. 115–17) “disapproving the DOL rule relating to drug testing of unemployment compensation applicants.”

He also signed the DOL Employee Retirement Income Security Act ERISA Exemption for State-Run Retirement Plans Rule and the DOL ERISA Exemption for Municipality-Run Retirement Plans Rules.

On April 3, Trump signed the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) “Volks” Rule measure (115-21 Pub.L. 115–21) which overturned the DOL “Clarification of Employer’s Continuing Obligation to Make and Maintain an Accurate Record of Each Recordable Injury and Illness” enacted in December 2016.[514] On the same day he signed Public Law 115-22 which overturned the December 2, 2016 FCC Privacy Rule relating to “Protecting the Privacy of Customers of Broadband and Other Telecommunications Services”[515] [516][517][518][519][16] and the Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) Wildlife Management Rule (H.J.Res. 69 Pub.L. 115–20) overturning DOI rule relating to “Non-Subsistence Take of Wildlife, and Public Participation and Closure Procedures, on National Wildlife Refuges in Alaska.” Privacy advocates expressed concerned that Internet service providers (ISP)—including the largest ISPs, Comcast, Verizon, AT&T, Time Warner, Cox Communications, and CenturyLink Charter Communications and others[520]—will create and monetize detailed customer data such as internet search history and without consent. Supporters included Republicans who regarded the rule as executive overreach and trade groups that represent Internet service providers.[521]

Speech to joint session of Congress

The 45th President of the United States, Donald Trump, gave his first public address before a joint session of the United States Congress on February 28, 2017. Trump announced the creation of the Office of Victims of Immigration Crime Engagement (VOICE).[522]

Protests

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

On January 21, there were large demonstrations protesting Trump worldwide in 673 cities, with estimates for the global total at ~5 million people.[523][524] About half a million demonstrated in the Women’s March on Washington (in Washington, D.C.).[524]

Day Without Immigrants 2017 and Not My Presidents Day were held on February 16 and 20, respectively. Later protests include the Tax Day March (April 15), March for Science (April 22), and People’s Climate Mobilization (April 29).

Rallies

March 4 Trump supporters rally in Washington D.C.

March 4 Trump rallies, organized by Trump supporters, were held throughout the United States on March 4.[525]

Media coverage

On February 16, Trump held an hour-and-a-quarter-long press conference to “update the American people on the incredible progress that has been made in the last four weeks since my inauguration.” CNN described it as an “animated and unorthodox” intervention in which Trump appeared to be “deeply frustrated” by the way he was being portrayed by the media. The media has often described the administration as chaotic, while Trump claimed it was “running like a fine-tuned machine”.[526] Trump said that “the stock market has hit record numbers …. there has been a tremendous surge of optimism in the business world, and …a new Rasmussen Reports‘ poll which put his “approval rating at 55 percent and going up.”[527] Trump dismissed polls that gave lower numbers.[528] When asked by an Associated Press journalist about Trump’s performance at the press conference, Trump’s supporters said he came across as the “champion of Middle America…taking on the establishment and making good on his campaign promises to put the country first.”[529]

NBC News,[530] The Huffington Post/YouGov,[531] Gallup,[532] SurveyMonkey,[533] Rasmussen Reports,[534] Quinnipiac University,[535] The Economist/YouGov,[536]Reuters/Ipsos,[537] and The Washington Post[538] are among the organizations undertaking opinion polls on Trump’s approval ratings.

An April meeting of thirty White House staff members—including Communications Director, Mike Dubke, Jessica Ditto, and Kellyanne Conway—brainstormed on how to “repackage” the symbolic First 100 Days—which ends April 29—and to “rebrand Trump” by focusing on three main areas—prosperity, accountability and safety. The first includes “new manufacturing jobs, reduced regulations and pulling out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal”, the second “swamp-draining campaign promises such as lobbying restrictions” and the third “the dramatic reduction in border crossings and the strike in Syria”.[539] Politico summarized this period as “marred by legislative stumbles, legal setbacks, senior staff kneecapping one another, the resignation of his national security adviser and near-daily headlines and headaches about links to Russia.”[539] CNN called it “largely win-less”,[540] The Atlantic described its as a “disaster” marked by “chaos, confusion, and infighting” comparing it to Bill Clinton’s in 1993.[541] The Washington Times claimed the numerous mainstream media descriptions of Trump’s “worst 100 days” failed to mention the accomplishments: the TPP withdrawal, the Keystone XL and Dakota Access Pipelines approvals, the proposed “streamlined budget” with a “Reagan-era increase to national defense”, immigration laws enforcement “which decreased illegal border crossing by 40 percent in his first month”, and Gorsuch’s “incredibly smooth” nomination to the Supreme Court, the Dow Jones 20,000-point threshold, and rebounding manufacturing and mining jobs”.[542]

Sean Spicer

Main article: Sean Spicer

Sean Spicer was named as Trump’s White House Press Secretary on December 22, 2016, and his Communications Director on December 24.[543] after the resignation of Jason Miller.[544] At his first official press conference, on January 21, Spicer criticized the media for underestimating the size of the crowds at the inauguration under Trump’s direct orders.[545][546]

On February 1, Spicer held his sixth press briefing,[547] which for the first time included a number of Skype Seats as Chuck Todd had suggested on January 23.[548] Spicer fielded questions from Kim Kalunian (WPRI) in Rhode Island, Natalie Herbick (Fox 8) in Cleveland, Ohio, Lars Larson of the Lars Larson Show and Jeff Jobe of Jeff Jobe Publishing, South Central Kentucky. CBS NEWS reported that some journalists labelled their questions as “softball”, others welcomed them.[549][550] Spicer had also delivered a tense five-minute post-inauguration news conference on January 21.[551] The Skype solution helped resolve a concern about moving to a larger press room.[549][317] By February 13, Jim Hoft, from Gateway Pundit and the “freshly minted White House correspondent”, 28-year-old artist Lucian Wintrich, were granted White House press credentials and attended the press conference with Trump and the Canadian prime minister, Justin Trudeau.[552][553]

On February 4, Melissa McCarthy lampooned Spicer on Saturday Night Live.[554][555][556][557][558] On February 7, CNN reported that “President Donald Trump was disappointed with Spicer and with Priebus, who had recommended him.[559][560]

On February 24, journalists from The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, CNN and Politico, The Los Angeles Times, and BuzzFeed were barred from Sean Spicer’s small, off-camera press briefing or “gaggle”, held in his office.[561][562] Conservative-leaning Breitbart News, One America News Network, and The Washington Times were invited along with Fox News, Reuters, Bloomberg News, CBS and Hearst Communications. Reporters from the Associated Press and Time walked out of the briefing in protest. Media outlets allowed into the gaggle shared full details of the briefing, including their audio, with the entire press corps.[562] Fox News “joined a complaint by the chair of the five-network television pool”, although their journalist was not banned.[563] The White House Communications Agency (WHCA) lodged a complaint. Spicer explained that the White House is fighting against “unfair coverage.”[562]

I think we’re going to aggressively push back. We’re just not going to sit back and let false narratives, false stories, inaccurate facts get out there.

— Sean Spicer on barring media from February 24 “gaggle”

On April 11, while defending President Trump’s decision to bomb Syria, Spicer compared President Bashar al-Assad to Adolf Hitler and stated that even Hitler had not used chemical weapons on his own people during World War II, ignoring the Germany’s use of gas chambers during the Holocaust. Spicer apologized the next day, saying, “I got into a topic that I shouldn’t have, and I screwed up.”[564]

Kellyanne Conway

Main article: Kellyanne Conway

By February 3, televised interviews by Kellyanne Conway, Counselor to the President, were dominating the news cycle in the First 100 Days, according to the Washington Post claiming it was partly because of “misconstrued facts” and “falsehoods”.[565] Examples include the February 2 interview on Hardball with Chris Matthews, where she cited a fictitious incident involving two Iraqi refugees in Kentucky in 2011, who she claimed were the “masterminds behind Bowling Green massacre which she claimed was “brand new information” that had “very little [media] coverage.”[566]

Conway promoted Ivanka Trump’s business On February 9, on Fox & Friends in response to Nordstrom‘s decision to drop her products.[567][568] Organizations filed formal ethics complaints against Conway for violating federal law prohibiting use of a federal position “for the endorsement of any product, service or enterprise”.[569] Public Citizen asked the Office of Governmental Ethics (OGE) to investigate[570] and Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington filed a similar complaint.[571][572]

Investigations into Russian interference in the election

Three separate investigations on Russian interference in the 2016 United States elections include those undertaken by the FBI, the Senate Intelligence Committee and the House Intelligence Committee.[573]

On March 20, in a House Intelligence Committee public hearing FBI Director James Comey confirmed that the FBI has been conducting a broad counter-intelligence investigation of Russian interference in the elections starting in July 2016, which includes investigations into possible links between Trump associates and Russia.[574] Comey stated that the FBI has no evidence that corroborates Trump’s March 4 wiretapping claim.[575] On March 22, Devin Nunes, Republican chairman of the committee, held a press conference to reveal that, based on classified reports he had seen, U.S. intelligence agencies had incidentally collected communications of Trump’s transition team, and that Trump associates’ names were unmasked in the reports.[576][577]

The next House Intelligence Committee hearings will be closed and will include NSA Director Mike Rogers and Comey. Nunes canceled the public hearing with “former Acting Attorney General Sally Yates, former CIA Director John Brennan, and former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper”.[578][579] On April 6, 2017 Nunes temporarily recused himself from the Russia investigation as the House Ethics Committee began investigating claims that he improperly disclosed classified information. He called the allegations “entirely false”. Mike Conaway (R-TX) will replace Nunes to lead the investigation.[580][581][582]

Re-election campaign

Trump filed a form with the FEC declaring his eligibility to run for re-election in 2020 within hours of his taking office. The first rally paid for by the campaign[583] took place at the Orlando Melbourne International Airport near Orlando, Florida, on February 18, 2017.[584] During the event, Trump defended his actions as President and criticized the media.[585] He also claimed that the migrant crisis had made countries like France, Germany, and Belgium unsafe. He added Sweden to the list and referred to an event that had happened “last night in Sweden”.[586] According to The New York Times, while Trump “did not directly state, that a terrorist attack had taken place in Sweden”, “the context of his remarks… suggested that he thought it might have.”[587][588] The Guardians Alexandra Topping speculated[587] that Trump might have been referring to Tucker Carlson‘s February 17 interview on Fox News with filmmaker Ami Horowitz, whose then-recent documentary examines whether high crime rates in areas of Sweden is linked to its previous open-door policy on people fleeing war and persecution.[589] Aftonbladet published a satirical blog post detailing mundane events occurring on February 17 in Sweden.[588] Carl Bildt, Sweden’s former Prime Minister, tweeted “Sweden? Terror attack? What has he been smoking? Questions abound.”[590] The Swedish Embassy in Washington, DC, requested clarification from the U.S. State Department.[587][591] On February 19, the Cabinet of Sweden requested an explanation from the White House. The Swedish Embassy in the United States tweeted to offer to inform the US administration in the future about Swedish immigration and integration policies.[592] On February 23, the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs published an article attempting to evaluate the “simplistic and occasionally completely inaccurate information” that had been disseminated about Sweden and the Swedish migration policy.[593] On February 19, Trump explained on Twitter that his statement was based on a February 17 televised Fox News show about immigration in Sweden.[591]

The campaign rally was the earliest such event by any incumbent U.S. President in history.[584]

Donald Trump sexual misconduct allegations

Donald Trump, an American businessman and current President of the United States, has been accused of sexual assault and sexual harassment by at least fifteen women since the 1980s. Three women have filed lawsuits, which were eventually withdrawn and/or settled, alleging that they were sexually assaulted by Trump. Additionally one accuser filed a defamation lawsuit in 2017 after Trump called her a liar.[1] In addition to these lawsuits, Trump has also been publicly accused of non-consensual kissing, or non-consensual groping of breasts, buttocks and genitalia, by at least twelve more women.

Several of these allegations preceded Trump’s candidacy for president, but many more arose during that campaign, when a 2005 recording was leaked. Trump was recorded bragging that a celebrity like himself “can do anything” to women, including “just start kissing them … I don’t even wait” and “grab ’em by the pussy“. During the October 9, 2016 second presidential debate, two days after the recording was leaked, Trump denied that his recorded comments described sexual assault and denied ever inappropriately touching a woman. Many of his accusers stated that these denials provoked them into going public with their allegations.

A third type of accusation women have made, primarily after the 2016 debate, was of Trump entering dressing rooms of beauty pageant contestants in 1997, 2000, 2001, and 2006, while they were in various stages of undress, a practice that Trump admitted to during a 2005 interview on The Howard Stern Show. This practice allegedly extended to Miss Teen USA; several former participants in that pageant allege that Trump walked into the dressing rooms of girls as young as 15.

Trump has denied the allegations, saying that he has been the victim of media bias, conspiracies, and a political smear campaign.[2][3][4][5] In October 2016, Trump publicly vowed to sue all of the women who have made allegations of sexual assault or sexual harassment against him, as well as to sue the New York Times for publishing allegations,[6][7] but never followed through.

Accusations filed in court against Trump[edit]

Ivana Trump (1989)[edit]

Ivana Trump and Donald Trump married in 1977.[10] Ivana stated in a deposition taken in 1989, during their divorce proceedings, that Donald had visited her plastic surgeon following which he had expressed anger and ripped out hair from her scalp.[11] Donald said the allegation was “obviously false”.[10] The 1993 book Lost Tycoon: The Many Lives of Donald Trump, by Harry Hurt III, described the alleged attack as a “violent assault” during which Donald attacked Ivana sexually.[10]According to the book, Ivana later confided to some of her friends that Donald had raped her.[10] In a statement given just before the publication of Hurt’s book, and included in the book, Ivana said:

[O]n one occasion during 1989, Mr. Trump and I had marital relations in which he behaved very differently toward me than he had during our marriage. As a woman, I felt violated, as the love and tenderness, which he normally exhibited towards me, was absent. I referred to this as a “rape,” but I do not want my words to be interpreted in a literal or criminal sense.

— Ivana Trump[10][11]

The Trumps’ divorce was granted in December 1990[12] on grounds that Donald’s treatment of Ivana was “cruel and inhuman”.[10][13] According to Trump’s lawyer, Jay Goldberg, this was based on Trump having been seen in public with Marla Maples in 1990.[12] Their settlement[a] had a confidentiality clause, per a statement by Ivana.[11] In 1992, Trump sued Ivana for not honoring a gag clause in their divorce agreement by disclosing facts about him in her best-selling book, and Trump won a gag order.[16][17][18]

Years later, Ivana said that she and Donald “are the best of friends”.[11] In a July 2016 campaign endorsement, Ivana said: “I have recently read some comments attributed to me from nearly 30 years ago at a time of very high tension during my divorce from Donald. The story is totally without merit.”[19]

Jill Harth (1992)[edit]

Jill Harth alleges that Trump assaulted her several times. Harth has stated that in December 1992, while dining with Trump and her then-boyfriend George Houraney, Trump attempted to put his hands between her legs.[11] Harth and Houraney visited Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida in January 1993 for a contract-signing celebration. Trump, according to Harth, offered her a tour before pulling her into the empty bedroom of his daughter Ivanka. “I was admiring the decoration, and next thing I know he’s pushing me against a wall and has his hands all over me. He was trying to kiss me. I was freaking out.” Harth says she desperately protested against Trump’s advances, and eventually managed to run out of the room. She and her boyfriend left rather than stay the night, as they had intended.[11] After she became engaged, Harth alleges, Trump began to stalk her.[10]

Harth filed a lawsuit in 1997 in which she accused Trump of non-consensual groping of her body, among them her “intimate private parts”,[20][21] and “relentless” sexual harassment.[22] The suit was withdrawn after Houraney settled with Trump for an undisclosed amount in a lawsuit that claimed that Trump backed out of a business deal.[11][23] She still claims to have been sexually assaulted[11] and although he was never violent with her, she says he made attacks that were “unwanted and aggressive, very sexually aggressive.”[10] “They dated for several months in 1998, when he was separated from Maples, she says. In the end, he was a disappointing boyfriend, always watching television and rarely offering emotional support, she says.”[20]

In 2015, Harth worked at one of Trump’s rallies as a makeup artist. Of the experience, she said: “I’m a makeup artist. The guy is a mess, OK? He really needed my services, and I’m a makeup artist that needs a job. Why would, if I was on friendly terms, why wouldn’t I try to get that job?”[10]

Her case was first published in May 2016[10] in the New York Times article “Crossing the Line”.[24] Trump characterized her story in the Times as “false, malicious and libelous” and stated that he “strongly denies the claims.”[10] Harth stood by her charges in a July 2016 interview with The Guardian.[23] In October 2016, she stated that, if sued by Trump, she intends to counter-sue.[25]

Recording controversy and second 2016 presidential debate[edit]

Billy Bush

Billy Bush was recorded having “an extremely lewd conversation about women” with Trump in 2005.

Two days before the second 2016 presidential debate, the 2005 Access Hollywood tape was released, which records Trump having “an extremely lewd conversation about women” in which he described being able to kiss and grope women because he was “a star”: “You know I’m automatically attracted to beautiful—I just start kissing them. It’s like a magnet. Just kiss. I don’t even wait. And when you’re a star, they let you do it, you can do anything … grab them by the pussy. You can do anything.”[26] Many attorneys and media commentators have said that Trump’s statements described sexual assault.[b]

On October 7, Trump released a video statement in which he stated, “I said it, I was wrong, and I apologize.” He called the development a distraction and attempted to deflect attention to the Clintons, and in particular sex scandals involving Bill Clinton. Republican critics called on him to withdraw from the presidential race.[26]

During the second debate, Anderson Cooper asked Trump if he understood that he had bragged about sexually assaulting women. Cooper used the Justice Department’s sexual assault definition to include “any type of sexual contact or behavior that occurs without the explicit consent of the recipient.”[36][37] Trump denied that he had said that he had sexually assaulted women.[37][38] He claimed the comments were merely “locker room talk”, then, after being asked three times whether he had ever kissed or groped any person without consent, he said “no I have not”.[38] Several of his subsequent accusers said this was the moment at which they were motivated to come forward.[39][40][41]

Allegations of unwanted physical contact[edit]

In May 2016, The New York Times published the article “Crossing the Line: How Donald Trump Behaved with Women in Private”. For the article, Times reporters Michael Barbaro and Megan Twohey conducted 50 interviews with women who had known Trump socially, during their professional career, or while modeling or competing for a beauty pageant title.[24]

Their accounts — many relayed here in their own words — reveal unwelcome romantic advances, unending commentary on the female form, a shrewd reliance on ambitious women, and unsettling workplace conduct, according to the interviews, as well as court records and written recollections. The interactions occurred in his offices at Trump Tower, at his homes, at construction sites and backstage at beauty pageants. They appeared to be fleeting, unimportant moments to him, but they left lasting impressions on the women who experienced them.

Other women interviewed for the story, a few of whom had worked for Trump, stated they had not received unwanted advances and “they had never known Mr. Trump to objectify women or treat them with disrespect.” Jill Martin, a vice president and assistant counsel at the company, said that Trump was supportive of her and her role as a mother. Laura Kirilova Chukanov, a Bulgarian immigrant and 2009 Miss USA pageant contestant, said that Trump helped her make connections for a documentary that she was working on about her home country.[24]

Natasha Stoynoff, Mindy McGillivray, Jessica Leeds, and Rachel Crooks spoke out about their allegations in October 2016 after hearing Trump deny during the debate that he had ever assaulted women.[38][39][42] The Times stated that they verified the stories with friends and family members of the accusers to ensure that the stories had been relayed to them earlier.[43]

Jessica Leeds (1980s)[edit]

In the early 1980s, Leeds was a businesswoman at a paper company on a flight from the Midwest, returning to New York. A flight attendant offered her an empty seat in the first-class cabin next to Trump. Leeds described how, about 45 minutes after takeoff, Trump lifted the armrest and began to touch her, grabbed her breasts, and tried to put his hand up her skirt. “He was like an octopus,” she said. “His hands were everywhere. It was an assault.”[39][42] Leeds said she had sent a letter containing her allegations to the editor of The New York Times.[10][39]

Trump spokesman Jason Miller responded to the allegation calling it “fiction.” Miller stated the charges were politically motivated “for this to only become public decades later in the final month of a campaign for president should say it all.” Trump publicly threatened to sue the Times over the newspaper’s publication of the allegation, and demanded a retraction.[44][45] The Times rejected Trump’s retraction demand,[45][46] and Trump never followed through on his threat to take legal action against the company.[8] An alleged witness to the case who claimed he saw “nothing untoward” upon the flight was former British Conservative county councillor from Gloucestershire, Antony Gilberthorpe. Gilberthorpe has a history of making false allegations against politicians[47] and has been previously accused of making “advances of an intimate nature” towards Conservative students.[48]

Kristin Anderson (1990s)[edit]

On October 14, 2016, The Washington Post reported accounts by Kristin Anderson that Trump groped her beneath her skirt in a Manhattan nightclub in the early 1990s. An aspiring model at the time of the incident, Anderson related her experience to friends, and decided to come forward after reading accounts of other women who had done so.[49] Anderson believed that the incident occurred at the China Club, a Manhattan nightclub that Newsday referred to as “Donald’s Monday-night nest” due to his alleged habit of picking up women there.[49]

Cathy Heller (1997)[edit]

In February 2016, Cathy Heller was interviewed off the record for an article for The Guardian in which she recounted how she was grabbed and kissed by Donald Trump two decades earlier.[50] Heller reports that, in 1997, she met Trump when she attended a Mother’s Day brunch with her children, her husband, and her husband’s parents at his Mar-a-Lago estate. Her parents-in-law were members of Mar-a-Lago. Heller was introduced to Trump, who became angry when she avoided a kiss. He then “grabbed” her and, when he tried to kiss her, she turned her head. Trump kissed her on the side of the mouth “for a little too long” and then he left her.[50][51]

Heller’s husband and children, who were present during the event, have corroborated her account. In the summer of 2015, the members of Heller’s mahjong group heard Heller’s account of the 1997 incident; this was not long after Trump announced his candidacy.[52] She decided to go public after seeing the second presidential debate on October 9, 2016. Heller is a registered Democrat, and public supporter of Hillary Clinton.[50]

Trump campaign spokesperson Jason Miller stated that Heller’s account is “false” and “politically motivated”.[52]

Temple Taggart McDowell (1997)[edit]

Temple Taggart McDowell, Miss Utah USA in 1997, publicly accused Trump of unwanted kisses and embraces that left McDowell and one of her chaperones so uncomfortable, according to McDowell, that she claimed she was instructed not to be left in a room alone with him again. According to McDowell, a chaperone had accompanied her to Trump’s office.[53] At the time, McDowell was 21 and was known as Temple Taggart.[10] This incident occurred in Trump’s first year of ownership of the Miss USA contest.[10]

McDowell told her story initially to The New York Times in May 2016[53] which was published in the “Crossing the Line: How Donald Trump Behaved With Women in Private” article.[24] She had not intended to speak publicly about the incidents again, but she received numerous calls recently due to the “Crossing the Line” article and felt, as a mother, that it is important to share a message about unwanted advances: “You have the right to say no. You have the right to get out of there. You have the right to leave, and you have the right to make them feel uncomfortable if they’re making you feel uncomfortable,” she said. Trump stated that he does not know her and denied McDowell’s claims.[53] He also told The New York Times that he is “reluctant to kiss strangers on the lips.”[10]

Taggart McDowell stated that she is a Republican, and not coming out with the allegation in order to support Hillary Clinton.[54]

Karena Virginia (1998)[edit]

At an October 2016 press conference with attorney Gloria Allred, yoga instructor and life coach Karena Virginia stated that in 1998, Trump grabbed her arm and touched her breast. Virginia, who was 27 years old at the time, was waiting for a ride after the US Open in Queens, New York.[55] She stated that Trump, who she had not met previously, approached her with a small group of other men, while commenting on her legs, then he grabbed her right arm. Virginia continued, “Then his hand touched the right side of my breast. I was in shock. I flinched. ‘Don’t you know who I am? Don’t you know who I am?’ – that’s what he said to me. I felt intimidated and I felt powerless.”[55]

Trump campaign spokesperson Jessica Ditto responded to the allegation with a statement reading in part, “Discredited political operative Gloria Allred, in another coordinated, publicity seeking attack with the Clinton campaign, will stop at nothing to smear Mr. Trump.”[56]

Mindy McGillivray (2003)[edit]

In an article by The Palm Beach Post, Mindy McGillivray stated that in January 2003, when she was 23 years old, she was groped by Trump at his Mar-a-Lago estate.[10][41] She said, “All of a sudden I felt a grab, a little nudge. I think it’s [my friend Ken Davidoff’s] camera bag, that was my first instinct. I turn around and there’s Donald. He sort of looked away quickly.”[10]Ken Davidoff, a photographer, corroborated McGillivray’s account, saying he remembered her pulling him aside moments after the alleged incident to say “Donald just grabbed my ass!”[41]

McGillivray said that she “chose to stay quiet”[38] and never reported the incident to authorities. She had only shared details of the incident with close family and friends until she heard Trump deny such behavior during the second presidential debate on October 9, 2016.[41] Hope Hicks, Trump’s press secretary, stated that McGillivray’s allegations lacked “any merit or veracity” and were untruthful.[38]

Ken Davidoff’s brother, Darryl Davidoff, said that he was also present at the time at Mar-a-Lago, and stated that in his opinion McGillivray is lying.[57][58] According to Darryl: “I do not believe it really happened. Nobody saw it happen and she just wanted to be in the limelight.”[57][c]

Rachel Crooks (2005)[edit]

In 2005, Rachel Crooks was a 22-year-old receptionist at Bayrock Group, a real estate investment and development company in Trump Tower in Manhattan. She says she encountered Trump in an elevator in the building one morning and turned to introduce herself. They shook hands, but Mr. Trump would not let go. Instead, he began kissing her cheeks, then directly on the mouth.[39][42] “It was so inappropriate,” Crooks recalled in an interview. “I was so upset that he thought I was so insignificant that he could do that.”[42] Her story was printed by The New York Times, along with that of Jessica Leeds.[39]Trump has categorically disputed Crooks’ claims.[10] Crooks is a public supporter and donor to Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign.[59]

Natasha Stoynoff (2005)[edit]

Canadian author and journalist Natasha Stoynoff, who wrote for People magazine and, previously, the Toronto Star and Toronto Sun, went to Trump’s Florida estate in December 2005 to interview him and his wife, Melania. While there, Trump gave Stoynoff a tour of the Mar-a-Lago estate. She says that during this tour, he pushed her against a wall and forced his tongue into her mouth.[10][38]

Stoynoff described the alleged episode, “We walked into that room alone, and Trump shut the door behind us. I turned around, and within seconds he was pushing me against the wall and forcing his tongue down my throat … I was stunned. And I was grateful when Trump’s longtime butler burst into the room a minute later, as I tried to unpin myself.”[40] Stoynoff composed herself and conducted the interview,[10] after which she said Trump repeatedly told her, “We’re going to have an affair, I’m telling you.”[38][40] Melania was also interviewed for that article.[40]

Trump sent out a tweet on October 13, 2016, in which he said it had not happened and wondered why she had not mentioned the event in her People article of 2005.[10] Stoynoff responded that she had become angry when Trump denied assaulting women during the presidential debate and was triggered by the release of the Access Hollywood recording in early October. Until that point, she said, she had conflicting emotions common among victims of assault, combined with embarrassment and confusion. J.D. Heyman, People’s deputy editor, said: “It was disorienting for her. She felt a great deal of worry and distress about it. Then she felt angry.”[60]

That same day, Melania’s lawyer demanded an apology from People magazine, stating that Melania did not say some or all of what was quoted in the People article by Stoynoff published on October 12, 2016; Melania specifically denied Stoynoff’s claim that she’d run into her on Fifth Avenue following the article’s publication.[61] In an interview with Anderson Cooper that aired October 17 on CNN, Melania again denied having crossed paths with Stoynoff on Fifth Avenue, as stated in Stoynoff’s article. The following day, People published the account of Liza Herz. Herz said she witnessed the sidewalk encounter between Stoynoff and Melania Trump; Herz’ account corroborated that of Stoynoff.[62]

On October 18, People produced six corroborating witnesses who said Stoynoff had recounted the incident to them around the time that it occurred.[62] The six witnesses were: “two editors from People, Mary Green and Liz McNeil; a professor of journalism, Paul McLaughlin; a co-worker; and two personal friends of Ms. Stoynoff.”[63]

Trump’s former butler at Mar-a-lago resort in Florida, Anthony Senecal, 85, was asked about the 2005 incident in which Ms Stoynoff alleged that the butler “burst in” on Mr Trump when she was pinned down by him; Senecal denied that ever happened. Mr. Senecal further states as a butler “I don’t burst in. I knock, then I go in, usually after someone says ‘come in’,” further alleging “And when I went in, there was nothing strange about where she was standing.”[64][65] According to Senecal, the alleged incident took place in a massage room with windows all around which made it unsuitable to grope anyone since there was no privacy.[64]

Jessica Drake (2006)[edit]

On October 22, 2016, Jessica Drake and attorney Gloria Allred held a news conference in which Drake accused Trump of having sexually assaulted her and two acquaintances nearly ten years prior. Drake, an adult film actress and sex education advocate, said that she met Trump at her company’s booth during a charity golf tournament at Lake Tahoe in 2006. Drake claims that she was invited to meet with Trump, who was married at the time, at his hotel suite; she was “uncomfortable going alone” and brought two friends. Describing the meeting with Trump, Drake recounted that “He grabbed each of us tightly, in a hug and kissed each one of us without asking permission.”[66] Drake stated that she and her friends left the suite after 30–45 minutes. Shortly thereafter, Drake claims she received phone calls from Trump or his associate, requesting that she join him in his suite for $10,000, and offering to fly her on his jet back to Los Angeles. She said she declined his offers.[66]

During the news conference, Drake said, “I am not looking for monetary compensation. I do not need additional fame… I understand that I may be called a liar or an opportunist but I will risk that in order to stand in solidarity with women who share similar accounts.”[66][67] During the news conference, Gloria Allred held up a picture showing Trump and Drake standing together at the time.[66]

In response to Drake’s allegations, the Trump campaign stated that her story is “false and ridiculous”, that “[t]he picture is one of thousands taken out of respect for people asking to have their picture taken with Mr. Trump” but Trump did not know Drake and “would have no interest in ever knowing her,” and that the story was “just another attempt by the Clinton campaign to defame a candidate.”[68] Donald Trump appeared to dismiss the significance of the accusation because of Drake’s line of work, saying, “Oh, I’m sure she’s never been grabbed before.”[69][70]

Amanda Prestigiacomo, writing in the The Daily Wire, has criticized Drake for suggesting that being greeted with a hug and a kiss without permission is “sexual assault”.[71] According to Prestigiacomo, if this were to be “sexual assault” then everyone has been “sexually assaulted” numerous times, and making such a claim does a disservice to women who have actually faced sexual assault.[71]

Ninni Laaksonen (2006)[edit]

Ninni Laaksonen, Miss Finland 2006, appeared with Trump on the Late Show with David Letterman on July 26, 2006.[72]Laaksonen claims that before they went on the air, Trump grabbed her buttocks. As Laaksonen describes the interaction: “He really grabbed my butt. I don’t think anybody saw it but I flinched and thought: “What is happening?”[72] Someone later told Laaksonen that Trump liked her because she looked like his wife, Melania, when she was younger.[73][74][75]

Laaksonen revealed her account to a local Finnish newspaper, Ilta-Sanomat, which had contacted her regarding the level of professionalism involved in Donald Trump’s handling of his employees within the Miss Universe pageant. The story was published on October 27, 2016.[76]

Summer Zervos (2007)[edit]

Summer Zervos was a contestant on the fifth season of The Apprentice, which filmed in 2005 and aired in 2006.[77][d] After she contacted Trump, in 2007, about a job after the show’s completion, he invited her to meet him at The Beverly Hills Hotel. Zervos stated that Trump was sexually suggestive during their meeting, kissing her open-mouthed, groping her breasts,[77] and thrusting his genitals on her.[79] She also stated that his behavior was aggressive and not consensual.[78]Zervos is being represented by attorney Gloria Allred.[80]

John Barry, her cousin and a Trump supporter, claimed that Zervos had talked to her family and friends about Trump, promoting his candidacy and stating how he had helped her out in her life. During the presidential primary campaign, Zervos allegedly invited Trump to her restaurant, and he declined.[80][81] In October 2016, the Trump presidential campaign released an email by Zervos, sent in April 2016, in which she expressed her wish to ‘reconnect’ with Trump.[82]

On January 17, 2017, Zervos filed a defamation lawsuit against Trump, arising from his claim that she had lied about the allegations.[83][84]

Burnett’s unnamed friend (2010)[edit]

According to CNN anchor Erin Burnett, an unnamed female friend of Burnett’s alleges she was kissed in a Trump Tower boardroom in 2010. She said, “Trump took Tic Tacs, suggested I take them also. He then leaned in, catching me off guard, and kissed me almost on lips. I was really freaked out.” She was invited by Trump into his office. She and Trump were alone in the office when he made further advances, giving her his cell phone number, telling her she was special, and asking her to call him. The woman said that she “ran the hell out of there”. The story was reported by Burnett on CNN in October 2016.[10]

Cassandra Searles (2013)[edit]

Rolling Stone and NPR have reported that Cassandra Searles, Miss Washington USA of 2013, was fondled by Trump during the Miss USA pageant of that year.[10][85] Yahoo!News published an article in June 2016[10] stating that Searles had made Facebook postings that accused Trump of making unwanted advances. She said that he was “continually” groping her buttocks and had asked her to go “to his hotel room”.[10][85][86] Searles also asserted that Trump had “treated us like cattle.”[86] Trump and his campaign have not specifically responded to Searles’ allegations.[10]

Allegations of pageant dressing room visits[edit]

Trump owned the Miss Universe franchise, which includes Miss USA and Miss Teen USA, from 1996 to 2015.[53][85]Contestants of the shows have alleged that, during his tenure, Trump would enter the dressing rooms while they were in various stages of undress. These incidents happened in 1997, 2000, 2001, and 2006. Former Miss Arizona Tasha Dixon mentioned such an incident in 2001 at the Miss USA contest.[87]

Trump also entered the dressing room of the Miss Teen USA pageant in 1997 while the girls were dressing. The youngest contestants were 15 years old. He told the girls, “Don’t worry, ladies, I’ve seen it all before.”[42][85][88] Of the 15 former contestants who were interviewed, none alleged Trump said anything sexually explicit or made physical contact in the dressing room.[89]

During a Howard Stern interview in 2005, Trump described his practice of walking in unannounced while beauty pageant contestants were naked or partially clothed:

You know, no men are anywhere. And I’m allowed to go in because I’m the owner of the pageant. And therefore I’m inspecting it… Is everyone OK? You know, they’re standing there with no clothes. And you see these incredible-looking women. And so I sort of get away with things like that … I’ll go backstage before a show, and everyone’s getting dressed and ready and everything else.[85]

Miss Teen USA contestants[edit]

Mariah Billado, Miss Vermont Teen USA, is one of four women to mention such a dressing room visit incident in 1997.[89]Billado said of the visit: “I remember putting on my dress really quick, because I was like, ‘Oh my god, there’s a man in here.’ Trump, she recalled, said something like, ‘Don’t worry, ladies, I’ve seen it all before.'”[10] The dressing room had 51 contestants, each with their own stations. Eleven girls said that they did not see Trump enter the dressing room, though some said it was possible that he entered while they were somewhere else, or that they didn’t notice. Allison Bowman, Miss Wisconsin Teen USA, expressed skepticism: “these were teenage girls. If anything inappropriate had gone on, the gossip would have flown.”[89] Billado recalled talking to Ivanka, Trump’s daughter, who responded “Yeah, he does that.”[10] Trump’s campaign stated the allegations of him entering the dressing room “have no merit and have already been disproven by many other individuals who were present.”[90]

Bridget Sullivan (2000)[edit]

In 2000, Bridget Sullivan was Miss New Hampshire USA. As she prepared for a television broadcast, Trump walked into the dressing room. She told BuzzFeed that he was coming to wish the contestants good luck, but they “were all naked”. Some contestants that night do not remember him entering while the ladies prepared and other contestants mentioned that they had no negative experiences with Trump. A spokesman for Trump said that Sullivan’s claims were “totally false”.[10]

Tasha Dixon (2001)[edit]

Tasha Dixon, Miss Arizona USA 2001, told a CBS affiliate in Los Angeles that in 2001, “[Trump] just came strolling right in. There was no second to put a robe on or any sort of clothing or anything. Some girls were topless, other girls were naked.” She said that having been walked in on when the women had little or no clothes put them in a “very physically vulnerable position, and then to have the pressure of the people that work for him telling us to go fawn all over him, go walk up to him, talk to him …” Trump’s response, provided through spokeswoman Jessica Ditto, is that: “These accusations have no merit and have already been disproven by many other individuals who were present,” Ditto adds that she believes that there is a political motivation behind the accusation.[10]

Unnamed contestants (2001)[edit]

An unnamed Miss USA contestant said that in 2001 Trump walked into her dressing room unannounced while she and another contestant were undressed. She told The Guardian that Trump “just barged right in, didn’t say anything, stood there and stared at us …. He didn’t walk in and say, ‘Oh, I’m so sorry, I was looking for someone.’ He walked in, he stood and he stared. He was doing it because he knew that he could.” Another contestant told The Guardian that the contestant spoke to others of this event at the time.[10]

Samantha Holvey (2006)[edit]

On October 14, 2016, Samantha Carol Holvey, Miss North Carolina USA 2006, related that “Trump’s conduct was “creepy” around the women participating but never made an advance toward her.” She also said that prior to pageant events, Trump had “moved into areas where she and other contestants were getting ready,” and that she had “never been around men that were like that.”[91]

Reactions[edit]

Comparisons to other behavior[edit]

Shaun R. Harper, executive director of the Penn Graduate Center for Education, has said that “many men talk like Donald Trump”; objectifying women and saying offensive things about them. He puts Trump in a class of men whose behavior sometimes includes sexual assault and degrading women.[92] The Economist drew similar parallels, pointing to research that objectifying women can make sexual assault more likely.[93] NPR reported that Trump has exhibited questionable behavior in his treatment of women for some time, using offensive language to describe women including Megyn Kelly, Rosie O’Donnell, and former Miss Universe Alicia Machado.[94] Arwa Mahdawi of The Guardian called his past remarks a “masterclass in rape culture“, pointing to statements such as “26,000 unreported sexual assults [sic] in the military-only 238 convictions. What did these geniuses expect when they put men & women together?” and “women, you have to treat ’em like shit.”[95] On October 13, a transcript from a 1994 Primetime Live interview was unearthed where Trump states “I tell friends who treat their wives magnificently, get treated like crap in return, ‘Be rougher and you’ll see a different relationship.'”[96]

Donald Trump[edit]

File:Trump Faces More Accusations of Unwanted Sexual Advances.webm

“I have no idea who these women are.” – Donald Trump statement during campaign, published by Voice of America.

Trump has presented himself as a political martyr in the face of these accusations.[97][e] He declared “this is a conspiracy against you, the American people”, saying “the Washington establishment and the financial and media corporations that fund it exist for only one reason: to protect and enrich itself” and that “the Clinton machine is at the center of this power structure.”[98] In his next speech, he said New York Times reporters are “corporate lobbyists” for minority shareholder Carlos Slim and Hillary Clinton, suggesting Slim’s motivation is that he “comes from Mexico.”[99] Trump also said the accusers may instead have been motivated by fame or money.[99] He went on to wonder why President Barack Obama had not been accused yet, and denied the Jessica Leeds allegation by saying “she would not be my first choice.”[99]

In the third presidential debate, Trump repeated his claims: “I think they want either fame or her campaign did it and I think it’s her campaign.”[100] At a speech at Gettysburg outlining his vision for his first 100 days, he repeated his denials and stated “all of these liars will be sued after the election is over.”[101] To date, however, Trump has not filed suit against any of his accusers.[9]

Trump affiliates[edit]

Trump family[edit]

Melania Trump has responded to the allegations by charging Trump’s accusers with lying. Mrs Trump has insisted that her husband is a “gentleman” and claimed that he had become a victim of a conspiracy involving the news media and the Clinton campaign.[102][103]

Although Ivanka Trump has claimed to be shocked over Trump’s 2005 lewd Access Hollywood tapes, calling them “inappropriate and offensive”, she has refused directly to address the issue of her father’s alleged sexual assault.[104] In contrast, Donald Trump Jr. described the 2005 comments as “a fact of life”,[105] and Eric Trump dismissed all allegations of assault as “dirty tricks” from the Clinton campaign.[106]

Trump campaign[edit]

Leeds’s and Crooks’s allegations, published by The New York Times on October 13, were disputed by Trump’s campaign as having “no merit or veracity”. The campaign alleged that the Times had a vendetta against Trump.[43] The Trump campaign issued this statement through its spokesman Jason Miller:[10]

This entire article is fiction, and for The New York Times to launch a completely false, coordinated character assassination against Mr. Trump on a topic like this is dangerous. To reach back decades in an attempt to smear Mr. Trump trivializes sexual assault, and it sets a new low for where the media is willing to go in its efforts to determine this election. It is absurd to think that one of the most recognizable business leaders on the planet with a strong record of empowering women in his companies would do the things alleged in this story, and for this to only become public decades later in the final month of a campaign for president should say it all. Further, the Times story buries the pro-Clinton financial and social media activity on behalf of Hillary Clinton‘s candidacy, reinforcing that this truly is nothing more than a political attack. This is a sad day for the Times.

Trump’s campaign staff also stated that the Stoynoff and McGillivray accusations were without merit.[38]

Trump’s attorneys[edit]

Trump’s attorneys demanded a retraction of the Times article and an apology for what they said was a “libelous article”[38]defamation designed to destroy Trump’s run for president.[43] David McCraw, assistant general counsel for the Times, responded on October 13, 2016, to the libel claims from Trump’s attorney. He stated that Trump’s reputation is damaged and “could not be further affected” due to his own statements, like those he made on the Howard Stern show. McCraw continues, “it would have been a disservice not just to our readers but to democracy itself to silence [the accusers’] voices.”[107] In response to the request to retract the story, McCraw said, “We decline to do so” and stated that Trump was free to pursue the matter in court.[108]

Trump’s attorney, Michael D. Cohen, has defended Trump by saying that the accusers are not women Trump would find to be attractive.[f]

#WhyWomenDontReport[edit]

The hashtag #WhyWomenDontReport started trending on Twitter in response to the Trump campaign’s statements that the accusers lack credibility.[111] Many commentators disputed the claim that the timing of the allegations during the presidential campaign has a bearing on how likely the events were. The range of reasons given for why women are reluctant to immediately report sexual assault included fear of reprisals, fear that no one will believe them, the low likelihood of obtaining justice against the assailant, and the traumatic experience of having to be reminded of the event.[111] Liz Plank points out that Trump’s accusers are now experiencing all of these factors since coming forward.[112] Civil rights lawyer Debra Katz and others point out that high-profile cases tend to encourage victims to speak up, even years later.[113][114] Tom Tremblay, a police specialist in sexual assault, says: “Victims may wait days, weeks, months, years, decades … When one victim comes forward, it’s not at all uncommon to see other victims come forward, who are thinking, ‘Well, they came forward; now it’s not just my word.'”[115] Susan Dominus, writing for The New York Times Magazine, hopes this backlash against Trump will lead to more people believing women’s stories in the future.[116]

Smear allegations[edit]

Washington Times online opinion editor and Fox News contributor Monica Crowley has commented that the accusations come across as a “classical political hit job” on Trump. According to Crowley this “coordinated attack” could backfire and end up generating sympathy for Trump.[117]

Criticism of media silence[edit]

There was also criticism in the print media against the television media, which was perceived to have ignored the allegations until the Donald Trump and Billy Bush recording surfaced.[118]

Michelle Obama’s speech[edit]

External video
First Lady Michelle Obama live in Manchester, New Hampshire | Hillary Clinton on YouTube – speech about Trump, sexual predation, and women’s experiences

The day after The New York Times reported the allegations, First Lady Michelle Obama delivered a widely praised speech on women’s experiences of sexism and sexually predatory behavior.[119][120][121] Chris Cillizza of The Washington Post said the speech “will go down as one of the most important of this political cycle, a moment in which she crystallized the feelings of many women in the wake of the Trump tape.”[119]

Michelle Obama had planned to deliver her normal campaign speech, but said during her speech it would have been “dishonest and disingenuous” to do so, as she felt compelled to address Trump’s remarks on women.[122] The speech was “a message she’d been seeking to deliver for a long time about Donald Trump’s cruel language toward women.”[123] In her speech Obama denounced the Trump tape and Trump’s alleged advances: “This was a powerful individual speaking freely and openly about sexually predatory behavior, and actually bragging about kissing and groping women … And to make matters worse, it now seems very clear that this isn’t an isolated incident.” Her speech discussed the history of similar behavior, and the obstacles it places in women’s lives, her voice occasionally trembling with emotion:[121]

It’s that feeling of terror and violation that too many women have felt when someone has grabbed them, or forced himself on them and they’ve said no but he didn’t listen – something that we know happens on college campuses and countless other places every single day. It reminds us of stories we heard from our mothers and grandmothers about how, back in their day, the boss could say and do whatever he pleased to the women in the office, and even though they worked so hard, jumped over every hurdle to prove themselves, it was never enough.

Notes[edit]

  1. Jump up^ The final financial settlement following the Trumps’ divorce was made later. There is a discrepancy in reporting of the year of the final settlement; it is reported as having occurred in 1991[14][15] and 1992,[10][13]
  2. Jump up^ Grabbing someone’s vulva without consent is considered sexual assault in most jurisdictions in the United States.[27][28][29][30]Trump and some of his supporters claim that Trump was not saying he committed a sexual assault, or asserted that groping is not sexual assault.[31][32][33] Journalist Emily Crockett says that this is further evidence of a trend to minimize sexual assaults against women.[34] John Banzhaf, a public interest law professor at George Washington University, stated that “if Trump suddenly and without any warning reached out and grabbed a woman’s crotch or breast, it would rather clearly constitute sexual assault,” and that Trump’s remarks may imply consent, pointing to Trump’s statement “and when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything.”[35]
  3. Jump up^ Ken Davidoff has claimed that Darryl made the statement casting doubt on McGillivray’s allegation in order to protect the family photography business.[57]
  4. Jump up^ The Associated Press interviewed more than 20 people who had worked on The Apprentice television show for an article. The group included contestants, editors and crew members who described commonly hearing offensive and sexist comments. For instance, Trump talked about what women he wanted to have sex with. The article stated also that he “rated female contestants by the size of their breasts.”[78]
  5. Jump up^

    I take all of these slings and arrows, gladly, for you. I take them for our movement, so that we can have our country back. Our great civilization here in America and across the civilized world has come upon a moment of reckoning … This is our moment of reckoning as a society and as a civilization itself. I didn’t need to do this, folks, believe me — believe me. I built a great company and I had a wonderful life. I could have enjoyed the fruits and benefits of years of successful business deals and businesses for myself and my family. Instead of going through this absolute horror show of lies, deceptions, malicious attacks — who would have thought? I’m doing it because this country has given me so much, and I feel so strongly that it’s my turn to give back to the country that I love. Many of my friends and many political experts warned me that this campaign would be a journey to hell – said that. But they’re wrong. It will be a journey to heaven, because we will help so many people that are so desperately in need of help. “

    — Donald Trump[98]
  6. Jump up^ According to Cohen:

    Beauty is in the eye of beholder … these aren’t even women he’d be attracted to. I think what Mr. Trump is really trying to say is that they’re not somebody that he would be attracted to, and therefore, the whole thing is nonsense.[109][110]

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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Key tweet of the day:

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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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Key tweet of the day:

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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:

View image on TwitterView image on Twitter

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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Key tweet of the day:

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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 

Photo published for S&P 500 Edges Higher After Trump Renews Jobs Pledge

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 fo