Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Trump's First 100 Days

Written by  The staff of The New American

Prior to entering the White House, Donald Trump pledged an energetic “100-day action plan to Make America Great Again.” How much will he be able to accomplish, and how will his accomplishments compare to his promises? To shed light on these questions, we survey President Trump’s executive orders and other actions as president in the following chronology, updated daily.

 

Day 33 (Tues., Feb. 21)

• Securing the border: In keeping with President Trump’s promises to secure the borders of the United States, the Department of Homeland Security released today two memoranda, dated Feb. 20, detailing how the Trump administration will enforce immigration laws both along the border and in the interior. The memos, from Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly, detail the ways in which the administration will prosecute illegal immigrants and criminal immigrants as well as allow local law enforcement to enforce federal immigration laws. Under Trump’s immigration policy, Border Patrol and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents will not be barred from pursuing illegal immigrants, as they were under Obama’s policy. As White House press secretary Sean Spicer said in a press conference, “For so long, [Border Patrol and ICE agents] had their hands cuffed behind them.... What we’ve done is to make sure that they have the ability and the guidance and the resources to do what their mission is. And that’s it, plain and simple.” The policy also puts the heat on the so-called sanctuary cities, where immigration laws have not been considered enforcible, and eliminates an office Obama had put in place to act as an advocate of illegal immigrants within DHS.

• African American museum: President Trump toured the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C. He described the museum as “a beautiful tribute to so many American heroes — heroes like Sojourner Truth, Harriet Tubman, Frederick Douglass, Booker T. Washington, Rosa Parks, the Greensboro students, and the African American Medal of Honor recipients,” and said that he’s “deeply proud that we now have a museum that honors the millions of African American men and women who built our national heritage, especially when it comes to faith, culture and the unbreakable American spirit.” He also said that his tour “was a meaningful reminder of why we have to fight bigotry, intolerance and hatred in all of its very ugly forms,” adding, “The anti-Semitic threats targeting our Jewish community and community centers are horrible and are painful, and a very sad reminder of the work that still must be done to root out hate and prejudice and evil.”

 

Day 32 (Mon., Feb. 20)

• New national security advisor: President Trump announced from his Florida estate Mar-a-Lago that Lt. General H.R. McMaster will be his new national security advisor, replacing former Lt. General Michael Flynn, who resigned on February 13 in the midst of controversy regarding his phone conversations with the Russian ambassador last December, during the transition period. Press Secretary Sean Spicer said the day after Flynn resigned that the decision to ask him to do so was was “not based on a legal issue, but based on a trust issue." For more information about Flynn's resignation, click here.

• What's happening in Sweden? In response to media reports claiming that there is no refugee crisis in Sweden, President Trump tweeted: “Give the public a break - The FAKE NEWS media is trying to say that large scale immigration in Sweden is working out just beautifully. NOT!” Is it working out “beautifully” or isn't it? What’s really happening in Sweden? For information on the subject, see The New American's article "Swedish Police: Government Covering Up Huge Migrant Crime Spree."

• U.S.-EU “partnership”: Speaking alongside European Council President Donald Tusk at a joint news conference in Brussels, where the European Union is headquartered, Vice President Pence said: “It’s my privilege on behalf of President Trump to express the strong commitment of the United States to continued cooperation and partnership with the European Union.” For more information, click here. However, in a BCC interview in January, Trump’s proposed ambassador to the EU, Ted Malloch, described Trump’s position on the EU differently: “[He] doesn’t like an organization that is supranational, that is unelected, where the bureaucrats run amok, and is not frankly a proper democracy.” Earlier this month, in another BBC interview, Malloch said Trump wants to deal with the nation-states in the EU bilaterally. For more information, click here.

 

Day 31 (Sun., Feb. 19)

• Sweden statement: Clarifying a statement he made Saturday in his Melbourne, Florida, speech (see below), President Trump tweeted: “My statement as to what's happening in Sweden was in reference to a story that was broadcast on @FoxNews concerning immigrants & Sweden.”

 

Day 30 (Sat., Feb. 18)

• Defending his travel ban: Speaking at a rally in Melbourne, Florida, President Trump defended his executive order that suspended foreign nationals from seven countries from entering the United States. Trump read from the statute providing the legal basis for his executive order. He said that he disagreed “big league” with the court ruling blocking enforcement of his order, and that “we will do something next week. I think you'll be impressed. Let's see what happens.” He then added, “Here's the bottom line. We've got to keep our country safe.... You look at what's happening in Germany, you look at what's happening last night in Sweden. Sweden, who would believe this. Sweden. They took in large numbers. They're having problems like they never thought possible. You look at what's happening in Brussels. You look at what's happening all over the world. Take a look at Nice. Take a look at Paris. We've allowed thousands and thousands of people into our country and there was no way to vet those people. There was no documentation. There was no nothing.” The reference to “last night in Sweden” served as a lightning rod for criticism of Trump’s remarks since there were no reports of terrorism in Sweden Friday night. But although largely dismissed by the major media, Europe is in the throes of a refugee crisis that is going from bad to worse. For information about this crisis, click here, here, and here. Regarding Sweden in particular, click here.

 

Day 29 (Fri., Feb. 17)

• “Buy American and hire American”: President Trump attended the unveiling ceremony of the Boeing 787 “Dreamliner” aircraft in North Charleston, South Carolina. “We're here today to celebrate American engineering and American manufacturing,” he said. “We're also here today to celebrate jobs.... This plane, as you know, was built right here in the great state of South Carolina. Our goal as a nation must be to rely less on imports and more on products made right here in the U.S.A.” Trump continued: “This is our mantra: Buy American and Hire American.... Since November, jobs have already begun to surge.  We’re seeing companies open up factories in America. We’re seeing them keep jobs at home. Ford, General Motors, Fiat-Chrysler — just to name a very, very few. So many more already. They are keeping and bringing thousands of jobs back in country because the business climate, they know, has already changed.”

 

Day 28 (Thurs., Feb. 16)

• “Fake News”: In an extraordinary news conference, President Trump condemned the major media’s dissemination of “fake news,” using the phrase seven times in his answers to the White House press corp. The phrase was also used five times in the questions Trump fielded from reporters. The word “fake” was used in the context of news stories based on fabricated information at least another nine times. Trump was the first to interject the phrase “fake news” into the news conference, when he was asked if he had asked for Michael Flynn’s resignation as national security advisor. Trump began his response by saying: “Mike Flynn is a fine person, and I asked for his resignation.  He respectfully gave it. He is a man who — there was a certain amount of information given to Vice President Pence, who is with us today. And I was not happy with the way that information was given…. What he did wasn’t wrong,” But taking the establishment media to the woodshed, Trump continued:  What was wrong was the way that other people, including yourselves in this room, were given that information, because that was classified information that was given illegally. That’s the real problem.  And you can talk all you want about Russia, which was all a fake news, fabricated deal to try and make up for the loss of the Democrats, and the press plays right into it..” Later in the news conference, Trump said that “over the course of time, I'll make mistakes and you’ll write badly and I'm okay with that.  But I’m not okay when it [the news] is fake.” Citing CNN specifically, he said, “It’s so much anger and hatred…. I don’t watch it anymore.”

• Travel ban redux: In the same press conference, President Trump addressed the ongoing legal battle over his suspension of the controversial refugee program, saying that while appealing the restraining order, he will be “issuing a new executive action next week that will comprehensively protect our country.” He promised that the new executive action “will be done some time next week, toward the beginning or middle at the latest part.” This appears to be the type of action The New American addressed in a previous article.

• Claim: Intel being withheld from the president: The Wall Street Journal reported today that intelligence agencies have “withheld sensitive intelligence from President Donald Trump because they are concerned it could be leaked or compromised.” The information being withheld includes “the sources and methods that the intelligence agencies use to collect information” such as “the means that an agency uses to spy on a foreign government,” according to unnamed current and former officials. For more information, click here.

• Coal mining: President Trump signed legislation (House Joint Resolution 38) nullifying the Stream Protection Rule finalized by the Interior Department on December 20, 2016, after Trump’s election to the presidency but prior to Obama’s departure. When he signed the legislation, Trump said that “compliance costs for this rule would be over $50 million a year for the coal industry alone, and it’s unnecessary.” A White House-released statement about the bill said, “Since January 2009, the coal mining industry has lost over 36,000 jobs without any relief in sight.”

 

Day 27 (Wed., Feb. 15)

• U.S.-South Africa relations: President Trump spoke with South African President Jacob Zuma about how to expand cooperation and trade between the two nations. “President Trump also suggested that the United States and South Africa do more to collaborate on shared security interests, including the fight against terrorism,” the White House reported. Ironically, the African National Congress (ANC) political party that Zuma leads was officially on the U.S. State Department’s list of terrorist organizations until 2008. The Soviet-backed, Communist Party controlled terrorist organization and political party was placed on this list in the 1980s by the Ronald Reagan administration — and for good reason. In its war against the South African government backed by communist forces from around the world, the ANC was ruthless, regularly bombing civilians. The party also frequently murdered dissidents, particularly black opponents of the ANC, using some of the most savage techniques imaginable, including a method touted by Nelson Mandela’s wife known as “necklacing” in which a gasoline-soaked tire would be set ablaze around the victim’s neck. More recently, Zuma went on national television and sang a genocidal song promising to massacre members of the embattled Afrikaner minority. For more information about the ANC, its communist views, and its terrorist history, click here.

• U.S.- Israel relations: President Trump welcomed Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to the White House, telling a joint press conference: “With this visit, the United States again reaffirms our unbreakable bond with our cherished ally, Israel. The partnership between our two countries built on our shared values has advanced the cause of human freedom, dignity and peace. These are the building blocks of democracy.” Trump used the occasion to say that he would “do more” to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons: “The security challenges faced by Israel are enormous, including the threat of Iran's nuclear ambitions…. My administration has already imposed new sanctions on Iran, and I will do more to prevent Iran from ever developing — I mean ever — a nuclear weapon.” Regarding U.S. foreign aid to Israel, the president said: “Our security assistance to Israel is currently at an all-time high, ensuring that Israel has the ability to defend itself from threats of which there are unfortunately many.” And regarding the animus at the United Nations toward Israel, Trump said that he rejects the “unfair and one-sided actions against Israel at the United Nations — just treated Israel, in my opinion, very, very unfairly — or other international forums, as well as boycotts that target Israel.”

• Deregulation: President Trump held a “listening session” at the White House with the Retail Industry Leaders Association and CEOs of member companies. He told them that “overregulation costs our economy an estimated $2 trillion a year, which is incredible — $2 trillion — and it costs your businesses a lot of money, tremendous amounts of money and time.” He noted too that he’s “taken executive action to create a permanent structure of regulatory reduction” by knocking out two regulations for every new regulation.

 

Day 26 (Tues., Feb. 14)

• Deregulation: President Trump signed into law House Joint Resolution 41, which nullifies the "Disclosure of Payments by Resource Extraction Issuers" rule finalized by the Security and Exchange Commission in 2016. In its summary of the resolution, the Congressional Research Services says that the rule “requires resource extraction issuers to disclose payments made to governments for the commercial development of oil, natural gas, or minerals.” The White House released a statement the day Trump signed H. J. Res. 41 saying that “this legislation could save American businesses as much as $600 million annually in regulatory compliance costs and spare them 200,000 hours of paperwork,” and that “the regulation created an unfair advantage for foreign-owned extraction companies.”

• Flynn resignation: During his press briefing, Press Secretary Sean Spicer said that Michael Flynn was asked to tender his resignation as national security advisor “not based on a legal issue, but based on a trust issue, where a level of trust between the President and General Flynn had eroded to the point where he felt he had to make a change.” He continued: “The President was very concerned that General Flynn had misled the Vice President and others. He was also very concerned in light of sensitive subjects dealt with by that position of national security advisors — like China, North Korea and the Middle East — that the President must have complete and unwavering trust for the person in that position. The evolving and eroding level of trust as a result of this situation and a series of other questionable instances is what led the President to ask for General Flynn’s resignation.” For information regarding the controversy resulting in Flynn’s resignation, click here.

• School choice: At a “Parent-Teacher Conference Listening Session at the White House,” President Trump expressed his support for charter schools: “I want every single disadvantaged child in America, no matter what their background or where they live, to have a choice about where they go to school…. Charter schools, in particular, have demonstrated amazing gains and results. And you look at the results — we have cases in New York City that have been amazing in providing education to disadvantaged children and the success of so many different schools that I can name throughout the country that I got to see during the campaign. As described by Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, the conference included “parents and educators representing traditional public schools, charter public schools, homeschools, private schools, a range of choices.” For more information about the administration's support of charter schools and school choice, click here.

 

Day 25 (Mon., Feb. 13)

• National Security Advisor Michael Flynn resigns: President Donald Trump’s national security advisor, Michael Flynn, resigned from his post in the midst of a controversy over a late-December conversation with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak during the transition period prior to Trump's inauguration. Flynn is accused of having given Kislyak assurance, or at least the impression, that the incoming Trump administration would lift sanctions the Obama administration had imposed on Russia in retaliation for that country’s alleged interference in last year’s presidential election. The two men spoke by telephone on December 29, the same day the sanctions were announced. In his resignation letter, Flynn did not comment on whether he had discussed the sanctions with Kislyak. He did, however, confess to having “inadvertently briefed the Vice President Elect and others with incomplete information regarding” his conversations with Kislyak. “I have sincerely apologized to the president and the Vice President, and they have accepted my apology,” he wrote. For more information, click here. Following Flynn's resignation, Trump named Lt. General Joseph Keith Kellogg, Jr. (Ret.) as acting national security advisor.

• Roundtable with women entrepreneurs: President Trump welcomed Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to the White House, where the two leaders participated in a roundtable discussion about women in the workforce as part of their first official meeting. In his remarks at the roundtable, Trump said: “We need to make it easier for women to manage the demands of having both a job and a family, and we also need to make it easier for women entrepreneurs to get access to capital.” A joint statement from Trump and Trudeau about a number of topics including women entrepreneurs said: “It is a priority of both countries to ensure equal opportunities for women in the workforce. We are committed to removing barriers to women’s participation in the business community and supporting women as they advance through it. As part of this effort, we are creating a United States-Canada Council for Advancement of Women Entrepreneurs and Business Leaders.”

 

Day 24 (Sun., Feb. 12)

• Travel ban: President Trump tweeted regarding the seven countries targeted by his travel ban: “72% of refugees admitted into U.S. (2/3 -2/11) during COURT BREAKDOWN are from 7 countries: SYRIA, IRAQ, SOMALIA, IRAN, SUDAN, LIBYA & YEMEN.”

 

Day 23 (Sat., Feb. 11)

• Hosting the Japanese prime minister: President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania hosted Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo and his wife at Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Florida. The previous day, the White House issued a joint statement from Trump and Abe about the U.S.-Japan alliance.

 

Day 22 (Fri., Feb. 10)

• U.S.-Iraq alliance: President Trump spoke by phone with Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi. According to the “readout” of the call released by the White House, the president “underscore[ed] the support of the United States for the Iraqi people in our shared fight against the terrorist group the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and “emphasized the buildup of the United States military.” Also, Trump and al-Abadi “spoke to the threat Iran presents across the entire region” and “reaffirmed their commitment to the long-term partnership between the United States and Iraq grounded in the U.S.-Iraq Strategic Framework Agreement.”

• U.S.-Japan alliance: Welcoming Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to the White House, President Trump said at a joint press conference: “The U.S.-Japan alliance is the cornerstone of peace and stability in the Pacific region. It is important that both Japan and the United States continue to invest very heavily in the alliance to build up our defense and our defensive capabilities.” The White House released a joint statement from the two leaders that expressed the United States’ military commitment to Japan’s security: “The U.S.-Japan Alliance is fully capable of ensuring the security of Japan. The United States is fully committed to defending its homeland, forces, and allies, through the full range of U.S. military capabilities.” The joint statement also said that the United States and Japan are “committed to rigorous implementation of the U.N. Security Council resolutions on North Korea.”

 

Day 21 (Thurs., Feb. 9)

• “SEE YOU IN COURT”: After the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a suspension of President Trump’s travel ban, which applies to citizens of seven countries and refugees, Trump fired back on Twitter, in all uppercase letters: “SEE YOU IN COURT, THE SECURITY OF OUR NATION IS AT STAKE!” For information about the travel ban, click here; for information about travel bans imposed by previous presidents (Jimmy Carter, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama) that were not suspended by the courts, click here.

• “One China” policy: President Trump spoke by phone with Chinese President Xi Jinping. According to the “readout” of the call released by the White House, “President Trump agreed, at the request of President Xi, to honor our ‘one China’ policy.” Under this policy, the U.S. government does not recognize the Republic of China as a sovereign country. In 1979, the United States broke off diplomatic relations with the Republic of China and recognized instead the People’s Republic of China, the communist regime that subjugated the mainland.

• Tax cuts: In a meeting with airline executives at the White House, President Trump promised an announcement soon regarding tax cuts: “Lowering the overall tax burden on American businesses big league. That’s coming along very well. Way ahead of schedule, I believe.  And we're going to be announcing something, I would say, over the next two or three weeks that will be phenomenal in terms of tax, and developing our aviation infrastructure.”

• Executive orders on crime and law enforcement: After swearing in Attorney General Jeff Sessions, President Trump signed three executive orders that, he said in his remarks at the swearing in, were “designed to restore safety in America.” After signing the three orders, the White House released a statement summarizing them. “[The] first executive order will place the government firmly on the side of federal, state, tribal, and local law enforcement. This will ensure that funding supports officers on the street, and anyone who tries to do them harm will be aggressively prosecuted,” according to a statement. “The second Executive Order will instruct the Attorney General to form a task force to look at how crime can be reduced and public safety increased.” And the third “instructs the Attorney General to form a separate task force to focus on destroying transnational criminal organizations and drug cartels.”

• U.S.-Afghanistan strategic partnership: President Trump spoke by phone with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani. According to a “readout” of the call released by the White House, Trump “emphasized the ongoing importance of the U.S.-Afghanistan Strategic Partnership and his support for the National Unity Government.”

 

Day 20 (Wed., Feb. 8)

• What's happening with ObamaCare repeal? During the press briefing by Press Secretary Sean Spicer, the Breitbart News reporter noted that “journalist Matt Drudge tweeted today that the Republican Party should be sued for fraud, basically upset about the lack of any legislation to repeal Obamacare or any tax cut legislation.”  — and then asked: ”So what's your message to him and anyone else who's worried about sort of the big push in the beginning and who might be concerned that that momentum is stalling?” Spicer responded: “I think it's hardly stalling. I think it's a mammoth thing to repeal and replace. I think there's no question the President's commitment to doing this. You've heard Speaker Ryan talk about how we should be able to have this wrapped up by the end of the year. It's a big bill. It got jammed through, and it was very sweeping. We're talking about one-fifth of our economy. We can either do it quickly, as the Democrats did, and end up with a monstrosity where premiums go up, access is limited, or we can do it right.”

• The Cabinet: President Trump formally announced his 24 Cabinet members, including those not yet confirmed. To see the list at WhiteHouse.gov, click here. One of the names on the list, Senator Jeff Sessions, who is well known for his strong opposition to the TPP and illegal immigration, was confirmed by the Senate today as attorney general.

 

Day 19 (Tues., Feb. 7)

• School choice and Betsy DeVos: Vice President Pence cast the tie-breaking vote in the Senate confirming President Trump’s nomination of Besty DeVos for secretary of education. DeVos is known as an advocate of school choice. In a statement after the vote, Pence said of DeVos: “It doesn’t matter whether it’s a public school, a private school, a parochial school, a charter school, or any other kind of school — she will help ensure that every student has access to a good school.” Presumably this means that federal funds would be used to support both private and public schools including charter schools, raising the specter of federal control of education being expanded into private education through federal funding. Although "school choice" advocates opine that federal support for education should not be limited to traditonal public schools, the federal government has no constitutional authority to interject itself into the education sector. For more information about Betsy DeVos and school choice, see here and here.

• Cabinet confirmations: President Trump lamented today on Twitter: “It is a disgrace that my full Cabinet is still not in place, the longest such delay in the history of our country. Obstruction by Democrats!”

• Asset forfeiture before conviction: When President Trump met with National Sheriffs’ Association members at the White House for a “roundtable” discussion, Rockwall County, Texas, Sheriff Harold Eavenson told the president: “On asset forfeiture, we got a state senator in Texas who was talking about introducing legislation to require conviction before we can receive their forfeiture.” After Trump interjected, “Can you believe that?," Eavenson added: “And I told him that the cartel would build a monument to him in Mexico if he could get that legislation.” To which Trump responded, “Who is the state senator?  Want to give his name?  We'll destroy his career.” For more information, click here.

 

Day 18 (Mon., Feb. 6)

• “We strongly support NATO": In his remarks at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, Florida, President Trump said: “We strongly support NATO. We only ask that all of the NATO members make their full and proper financial contributions to the NATO Alliance, which many of them have not been doing. Many of them have not been even close, and they have to do that.” Under the 1949 North Atlantic Treaty, member nations “agree that an armed attack against one or more of them ... shall be considered an attack against them all.” This agreement, requiring the United States to go to war if any member of NATO is attacked, undermines the provision in the U.S. Constitution that gives the U.S. Congress the power to declare war.

 

Day 17 (Sun., Feb. 5)

• NATO: President Trump spoke by phone with NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg “about the United States’ strong support for NATO,” according to a “readout” of the call released by the White House. Trump and Stoltenberg, who is Norwegian, also discussed “how to encourage all NATO allies to meet their defense spending commitments” and “the potential for a peaceful resolution of the conflict along the Ukrainian border.”

• The president on Putin: In a pre-taped Fox News interview broadcast before the Super Bowl, Bill O’Reilly asked President Trump if he respected Putin. Trump said that “I do respect him” and that “I respect a lot of people but that doesn’t mean I am going to get along with him. He's a leader of his country. I say it's better to get along with Russia than not. And if Russia helps us in the fight against ISIS ... that’s a good thing. Will I get along with him? I have no idea.” When Reilly pressed, “Putin’s a killer,” Trump said: “There are a lot of killers. Do you think our country is so innocent?” For a perspective regarding the latter comment, click here.

 

Day 16 (Sat., Feb. 4)

• Response to restraining order against travel ban: President Trump unleashed a flurry of tweets protesting the temporary restraining order a federal judge had issued the day before against his travel ban pertaining to nationals of seven countries and refugees. Trump said in one of his tweets: “The opinion of this so-called judge, which essentially takes law-enforcement away from our country, is ridiculous and will be overturned!” In another tweet he stated: “Because the ban was lifted by a judge, many very bad and dangerous people may be pouring into our country. A terrible decision.” By the end of the day, the Trump administration appealed the decision and asked that the temporary restraining order be stayed, allowing the travel ban to be reinstituted. For more information, click here.

 

Day 15 (Fri., Feb. 3)

• Rolling back Dodd-Frank: President Trump signed an executive order directing the secretary of the treasury to review financial regulations. The order is intended to be a first step toward rolling back the Obama-era Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. In a morning meeting with business leaders, Trump said, “We expect to be cutting a lot out of Dodd-Frank.” For more information, click here.

• The Fiduciary Duty Rule: Trump signed an executive memorandum ordering a review the Department of Labor’s Fiduciary Duty Rule, due to take effect in April, that would raise the standards of all financial professionals who work with retirement plans or provide retirement planning advice to the level of a fiduciary, a much higher level of accountability than previously required of financial salespersons, such as brokers, planners and insurance agents. The memorandum sets the stage for repealing or revising the Fiduciary Duty Rule. In his memorandum, Trump states, “One of the priorities of my Administration is to empower Americans to make their own financial decisions, to facilitate their ability to save for retirement and build the individual wealth necessary to afford typical lifetime expenses, such as buying a home and paying for college, and to withstand unexpected financial emergencies.”

• Iran: National Security Advisor Michael T. Flynn said in a statement: “Today, the United States sanctioned twenty-five individuals and entities that provide support to Iran’s ballistic missile program and to the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ Quds Force.” Flynn charged: “Iran’s senior leadership continues to threaten the United States and our allies. Since the Obama Administration agreed to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action with Iran in 2015, Iran’s belligerent and lawless behavior has only increased.... Just this week, Iran tested a ballistic missile, and one of its proxy terrorist groups attacked a Saudi vessel in the Red Sea.” The statement concluded: “The days of turning a blind eye to Iran’s hostile and belligerent actions toward the United States and the world community are over.”

 

Day 14 (Thurs., Feb. 2)

• The Johnson Amendment: In his remarks at the National Prayer Breakfast, President Trump acknowledged that “our Republic was formed on the basis that freedom is not a gift from government, but that freedom is a gift from God," and that “among those freedoms is the right to worship according to our own beliefs." He continued: “That is why I will get rid of, and totally destroy, the Johnson Amendment and allow our representatives of faith to speak freely and without fear of retribution.” The Johnson Amendment is a provision in the U.S. tax code that prohibits tax-exempt organizations including churches from endorsing or opposing political candidates. For more information, click here.

 

Day 13 (Wed., Feb. 1)

• Policy statement on legislation to nullify regulations: The White House released a “Statement of Administration Policy” in support of five House joint resolutions, including legislation to begin nullifying “unnecessary” and “burdensome” regulations imposed by the executive branch on American businesses. The legislation includes H.J. Res. 38, which would nullify a recently promulgated rule that “would establish onerous requirements for coal mining operations”; and H.J. Res. 41, which would nullify a rule that would “require oil and gas producers to reduce natural gas waste and emissions, regardless of whether or not it is economically viable to do so.” The recommended legislation also includes H.J. Res. 40, which would nullify a rule that “would prevent some Americans with disabilities from purchasing or possessing firearms based on their decision to seek Social Security benefits.” The statement concludes: “If these bills were presented to the President in their current form, his advisors would recommend that he sign them into law.”

• Iran: National Security Advisor Michael T. Flynn said in a statement today: “Recent Iranian actions, including a provocative ballistic missile launch and an attack against a Saudi naval vessel conducted by Iran-supported Houthi militants, underscore what should have been clear to the international community all along about Iran’s destabilizing behavior across the Middle East.” He added: “As of today, we are officially putting Iran on notice.”

 

Day 12 (Tues., Jan. 31)

• Nominating Judge Gorsuch for the Supreme Court: Calling 10th Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Neil Gorsuch a man whose “qualifications are beyond dispute” with “an extraordinary résumé as good as it gets,” President Donald Trump announced Gorsuch his pick Tuesday night to replace the late Justice Antonin Scalia on the U.S. Supreme Court. Gorsuch promised that, if confirmed, he would be a “faithful servant of the Constitution and laws of this great country.” Calling the U.S. Constitution the “greatest charter of human liberties” ever conceived on Earth, he told a prime time national television audience that he saw the judge’s role to apply that Constitution to cases that come before him. For more information, click click here.

 

Day 11 (Mon., Jan. 30)

• President Trump to the acting attorney general: You’re fired! President Trump fired Acting Attorney General Sally Yates tonight, after she had earlier in the day ordered Justice Department lawyers not to defend challenges to the president’s executive order temporarily banning foreign nationals from seven countries from entering the United States and suspending the refugee program. For more information, click here.

• Reducing regulation: President Trump signed an executive order on “Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs,” which states that “it is the policy of the executive branch to be prudent and financially responsible in the expenditure of funds, from both public and private sources,” and that “for every one new regulation issued, at least two prior regulations be identified for elimination.” The order also states that for fiscal year 2017, “the total incremental cost of all new regulations, including repealed regulations, to be finalized this year shall be no greater than zero, unless otherwise required by law or consistent with advice provided in writing by the Director of the Office of Management and Budget.” For more information, click here.

 

Day 10 (Sun., Jan. 29)

• U.S. soldier killed in Yemen: The White House released a statement by President Trump on a U.S. service member killed in Yemen. “The sacrifices made by the men and women of our armed forces, and the families they leave behind, are the backbone of the liberty we hold so dear as Americans, united in our pursuit of a safer nation and a freer world. My deepest thoughts and humblest prayers are with the family of this fallen service member,” Trump said in his statement. “I also pray for a quick and complete recovery for the brave service members who sustained injuries.” But the tragic death of a U.S. soldier in Yemen raises important questions: Should the U.S. military have boots on the ground there? Should we be engaged in a war in Yemen without the constitutionally required declaration of war — and without even a congressional debate? Should a single person decide when to plunge the nation into the crucible of war, regardless if he is President Obama or President Trump? Does our military interventionism in Yemen (and elsewhere in the Middle East) reduce the terrorist threat and make America safer, or does it have the opposite effects? And is the interventionism worth the sacrifice — including the ultimate sacrifice — of our soldiers?

 

Day 9 (Sat., Jan. 28)

• Defeating ISIS: President Trump signed a memorandum stating that “it is the policy of the United States that ISIS be defeated.” To achieve this end, the memorandum orders the secretary of defense to develop a comprehensive plan in collaboration with other administration officials, and to submit a preliminary draft of the plan to the president within 30 days. The memorandum warns that “ISIS has engaged in a systematic campaign of persecution and extermination in those territories it enters or controls,” and that, if “left in power, the threat that it poses will only grow.” The memorandum does not comment, however, on how ISIS became a threat to begin with. For information regarding the role that U.S. foreign policy played in the rise of ISIS, see here and here.

• Lobbying ban on political appointees: President Trump signed an executive order banning the administration’s appointees in “every executive agency” from being able to “engage in lobbying activities with respect to that agency” for five years after the termination of employment.

 

Day 8 (Fri., Jan. 27)

• Suspending refugee program and entry of nationals from seven countries: President Trump signed an executive order to suspend for at least 90 days the entry of foreign nationals into the United States from seven “countries of particular concern”: Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen. (In the case of Syria, the suspension is indefinite.) The order also suspends the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP) for 120 days. In the "Purpose" section of his order, Trump explained: “Numerous foreign-born individuals have been convicted or implicated in terrorism-related crimes since September 11, 2001, including foreign nationals who entered the United States after receiving visitor, student, or employment visas, or who entered through the United States refugee resettlement program. Deteriorating conditions in certain countries due to war, strife, disaster, and civil unrest increase the likelihood that terrorists will use any means possible to enter the United States.” He also stated: “In order to protect Americans, the United States must ensure that those admitted to this country do not bear hostile attitudes toward it and its founding principles. The United States cannot, and should not, admit those who do not support the Constitution, or those who would place violent ideologies over American law.” For more information, click here.

• March for Life: On the day of the March for Life in Washington, D.C., President Trump tweeted: “The #MarchForLife is so important. To all of you marching --- you have my full support!” Vice President Pence appeared at the pro-life event on behalf of the Trump administration. “More than two-hundred and forty years ago, our Founders wrote words that have echoed through the ages," Pence told the massive crowd. “They declared ‘these truths to be self-evident.’ That we are, all of us, ‘endowed by our Creator with certain unalienable rights,’ and ‘that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.’” He continued: “Forty-four years ago, our Supreme Court turned away from the first of these timeless ideals," in reference to the January 22, 1973 Roe v. Wade decision. For more information about this year’s March for Life, click here.

• U.S.-Mexico relations: President Trump and Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto spoke by phone “for an hour” this morning and had “a productive and constructive call," according to a “Joint Statement on U.S.-Mexico Relations” posted at WhiteHouse.gov. “With respect to payment for the border wall,” the statement said, “both presidents recognize their clear and very public differences of positions on this issue but have agreed to work these differences out as part of a comprehensive discussion on all aspects of the bilateral relationship.” The previous day, Nieto had cancelled a face-to-face meeting he was to have with Trump, but after the hour-long phone conversation — originally scheduled for just 10 minutes — the White House said it would reschedule a face-to-face meeting “in the near future.” For more information, click click here.

• U.S. British relations: President Trump hosted his first foreign head of state at the White House, British Prime Minister Theresa May. “Together, America and the United Kingdom are a beacon for prosperity and the rule of law,” Trump said in his opening remarks. “That is why the United States respects the sovereignty of the British people and their right of self-determination.”

 

Day 7 (Thurs., Jan. 26)

• National School Choice Week: The White House website announced today that President Trump had released a proclamation the day before declaring “January 22 through January 28, 2017, as National School Choice Week.” In the proclamation, he states: “ I encourage parents to evaluate the educational opportunities available for their children. I also encourage State lawmakers and Federal lawmakers to expand school choice for millions of additional students,” by which he presumably means allocating more taxpayer dollars to private, religious, and charter schools. For more information, click here.

• Bradley Manning: President Trump called Bradley Manning (who now goes by the name "Chelsea") a "traitor" in a tweet today: “Ungrateful TRAITOR Chelsea Manning, who should never have been released from prison, is now calling President Obama a weak leader. Terrible!” For more information about Manning and the commutation of his sentence by President Obama,  click here.

 

Day 6 (Wed., Jan. 25)

• Building the border wall and ending "catch and release": President Trump signed an executive order to “immediately plan, design, and construct a physical wall along the southern border” of the United States. Building this barrier was one of Trump’s signature campaign promises, and today White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said that it is “more than just a campaign promise, it’s common sense, the first step to really securing our porous border.” The order also directed the termination of the “catch and release” policy practiced by the Obama administration. Under that policy, illegal border crossers were released instead of being detained, and ordered to appear before an immigration court at a future date. But many failed to show up for the hearings.For more information, click here.

• Sanctuary cities: Trump signed an executive order (separate from the one described above) to strip federal grants from “sanctuary” cities and states that do not enforce federal immigration laws. “We’re going to strip federal grant money from the sanctuary states and cities that harbor illegal immigrants,” White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said. For more information, click here.

 

Day 5 (Tues., Jan. 24)

• Reviving the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipeline projects: President Trump signed three executive actions reviving action on the Keystone XL and Dakota Access oil pipeline construction projects aborted by former President Obama. Trump said he wants to seek a “better deal” on the Keystone XL Pipeline and asked TransCanada Corporation to resubmit its application for permission to complete the project. He added, “If we’re going to build pipelines in the United States, the pipes should be made in the United States.” Approvals of both projects are “subject to terms and conditions to be negotiated by us.” For more information, click here.

• High-priority infrastructure projects: Trump signed an executive order stating that “it is the policy of the executive branch to streamline and expedite, in a manner consistent with law, environmental reviews and approvals for all infrastructure projects, especially projects that are a high priority for the Nation, such as improving the U.S. electric grid and telecommunications systems and repairing and upgrading critical port facilities, airports, pipelines, bridges, and highways.”

• Domestic manufacturing: Trump signed a memorandum directing federal agencies “to support the expansion of manufacturing in the United States through expedited reviews of and approvals for proposals to construct or expand manufacturing facilities and through reductions in regulatory burdens affecting domestic manufacturing.” The memorandum is to be “implemented consistent with applicable laws.”

 

Day 4 (Mon., Jan. 23)

• Withdrawing from the TPP: In a major victory for American national sovereignty, President Trump fulfilled his campaign pledge to withdraw the U.S. government from the “free trade” regime known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Despite strong support from Obama, most congressional Republicans, and the establishment wing of both parties, the secretly negotiated “trade” scheme was unconstitutional, dangerous, and extraordinarily unpopular across the political spectrum. The TPP would have stripped Americans of their right to self-government across a wide array of policy areas. From policies on immigration and trade to regulation and labor, the TPP and related schemes would purport to give foreign powers the ability to make rules for Americans. But with a simple executive order by the new president, the globalist establishment's cherished dream for what lawmakers described as a “Pacific Union”-style super-government went up in smoke. For more information, click here.

• Reinstating the Mexico City policy: Trump signed an executive order reinstating the Mexico City policy, which bars federal money from going to foreign non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that perform or promote abortion. For more information, click here.

• Federal hiring freeze: Trump signed a memorandum ordering “a freeze on the hiring of Federal civilian employees to be applied across the board in the executive branch.” The order excludes the military and also exempts positions deemed “necessary to meet national security or public safety responsibilities.”

• Meeting with corporate leaders: Trump outlined some of his proposals for boosting U.S. manufacturing in a meeting with corporate leaders. “What we want to do is bring manufacturing back to our country,” Trump told the chief executives, which also included the leaders of companies such as Ford, Dow Chemical, Lockheed Martin, and U.S. Steel. To accomplish that, Trump proposed slashing corporate tax rates from 35 percent “down to anywhere from 15 to 20 per cent,” helping to bring U.S. tax rates — the highest in the developed world — back in line with those of other industrialized countries. He also vowed to seek a “very major border tax” on companies that shut down their U.S. factories and then try to sell goods back into the United States. And regarding the regulatory burden, he told the CEOs, “We think we can cut regulations by 75 percent, maybe more.”

 

Day 3 (Sun., Jan. 22)

• Renegotiating NAFTA: "Anybody ever hear of NAFTA?" Politico quoted Trump as joking at a swearing-in ceremony for top White House advisors. "I ran a campaign somewhat based on NAFTA. But we're going to start re-negotiating on NAFTA.” For more information, click here.

 

Day 2 (Sat., Jan. 21)

• Visiting the CIA: Visiting the headquarters of the Central Intelligence Agency on his first full day as president, Trump said, “There is nobody that feels stronger about the intelligence community and the CIA than Donald Trump." He also told the crowd: “So I can only say that I am with you 1,000%. And the reason you’re my first stop is that, as you know, I have a running war with the media. They are among the most dishonest human beings on Earth…. And they sort of made it sound like I had a feud with the intelligence community. And I just want to let you know, the reason you’re the number one stop is exactly the opposite.” His remarks at CIA headquarters notwithstanding, Trump has been critical of the intelligence community and its treatment of him, saying in a January 11 press conference that leaking “information that turned out to be so false and fake” was “something that Nazi Germany would have done.” His remarks were in reference to an unsubstantiated “dossier” added to the intelligence community’s report of alleged Russian interference in the recent U.S. presidential election. For more information about the chasm between Trump and the intelligence community, see here, here, and here.

 

Day 1 (Fri., Jan. 20)

• Inaugural speech: At his inauguration as the 45th President of the United States, President Donald Trump put the globalist establishment that has been selling out America for so long on notice: The American people are back in charge. Quoting the Bible and acknowledging God the Creator as the true source of America's protection, Trump did not mince words when he described the betrayal of America by the self-appointed establishment. But starting today, Trump said the “historic movement” that propelled his campaign to victory against the entire establishment apparatus was ready to ensure that America will come first. “From this day forward, a new vision will govern our land,” Trump said. “From this moment on, it’s going to be America First.” No doubt globalists and establishment types — in both parties — were left squirming in their seats at the thought of it all. For more information,  click here.

• Executive order on ObamaCare: After his inauguration, President Trump signed an executive order for “minimizing the economic burden” of ObamaCare. “It is the policy of my Administration to seek the prompt repeal of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act [ObamaCare],” the order states.  "In the meantime, pending such repeal, it is imperative for the executive branch … take all actions consistent with law to minimize the unwarranted economic and regulatory burdens of the Act, and prepare to afford the States more flexibility and control to create a more free and open healthcare market.”

• Other first-day executive actions: President Trump signed a law passed by Congress to grant retired General James Mattis a waiver to legally serve as Trump's secretary of defense, required by law because the Marine was still in military service less than seven years ago. He signed documents making his cabinet picks official. For more information about Trump's actions during his first day as president as well as his agenda, click here.

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