President of the United States
The presidency of Donald Trump began at noon EST on January 20, 2017, the day that Donald Trump became the 45th President of the United States, succeeding Barack Obama. Trump, a Republican, was a businessman from New York City at the time of his victory in the 2016 presidential election over Democrat Hillary Clinton. His running mate, former Governor Mike Pence of Indiana, took office as the 48th Vice President of the United States on the same day. At age 70, Trump is the oldest person to assume the presidency. Trump's term in office is set to end on January 20, 2021, and he is eligible to be elected to a second term.
During his time in office, Trump has issued several consequential presidential orders and memoranda, including Executive Order 13769, which suspended the admission of refugees into the United States. Trump also nominated Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court and has appointed numerous executive branch officials. Several of Trump's nominees, including Gorsuch, remain before the United States Senate.
The 2016 election saw the Republican ticket of businessman Donald Trump of New York and Governor Mike Pence of Indiana defeat the Democratic ticket of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton of New York and Senator Tim Kaine of Virginia. Trump won 304 electoral votes compared to Clinton's 227, though Clinton won a plurality of the popular vote.
Trump is the fifth person to win the presidency but lose the popular vote, after John Quincy Adams (1824),[a] Rutherford B. Hayes (1876), Benjamin Harrison (1888), and George W. Bush (2000). Although Republicans lost a net of two seats in the Senate elections and six seats in the House elections, they maintained their majorities in both houses for the 115th Congress. The election gave Republicans unified control of Congress and the presidency for the first time since the 2006 elections. Trump claimed that massive amounts of voter fraud in Clinton's favor occurred during the election, and he called for a major investigation after taking office.
After the election, Republican Mitch McConnell of Kentucky retained his position as Senate Majority Leader, while Democrat Chuck Schumer of New York replaced the retiring Harry Reid of Nevada as Senate Minority Leader. Democrat Nancy Pelosi retained her position as House Minority Leader, while Republican Paul Ryan retained his position as Speaker of the House.
Prior to the election, Trump named Chris Christie as the leader of his transition team. After the election, Vice President-elect Mike Pence replaced Christie as chairman of the transition team, while Christie became a vice-chairman alongside Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama, retired Army Lt. Gen. Michael T. Flynn, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, former presidential candidate Ben Carson, and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich. Trump's transition team launched the website Greatagain.gov. Trump and his transition team began choosing key personnel for his administration following his election victory.
Trump was inaugurated on January 20, 2017, shortly after Pence was inaugurated as vice president. Accompanied by his wife, Melania Trump, Donald Trump was sworn in by Chief Justice John Roberts. In his seventeen-minute inaugural address, Trump sounded a populist note, condemning federal politicians who he argued prospered while jobs and factories left the country. Trump promised that "[e]very decision on trade, on taxes, on immigration, on foreign affairs, will be made to benefit American workers and American factories."
|The Trump-nominated Cabinet|
|Vice President||Mike Pence||2017–present|
|Secretary of State||Rex Tillerson||2017–present|
|Secretary of Treasury||Steven Mnuchin||2017–present|
|Secretary of Defense||James Mattis||2017–present|
|Attorney General||Jeff Sessions||2017–present|
|Secretary of the Interior||Ryan Zinke||2017–present|
|Secretary of Agriculture||Sonny Perdue||2017–present|
|Secretary of Commerce||Wilbur Ross||2017–present|
|Secretary of Labor||Alex Acosta||2017–present|
|Secretary of Health and
|Secretary of Education||Betsy DeVos||2017–present|
|Secretary of Housing and
|Secretary of Transportation||Elaine Chao||2017–present|
|Secretary of Energy||Rick Perry||2017–present|
|Secretary of Veterans Affairs||David Shulkin||2017–present|
|Secretary of Homeland Security||John F. Kelly||2017–present|
|Chief of Staff||Reince Priebus||2017–present|
|Administrator of the
Environmental Protection Agency
|Director of the Office of
Management and Budget
|Ambassador to the United Nations||Nikki Haley||2017–present|
|United States Trade Representative||Robert Lighthizer||2017–present|
|Director of National Intelligence||Dan Coats||2017–present|
|Director of the
Central Intelligence Agency
|Administrator of the
Small Business Administration
Days after the presidential election, Trump announced that he had selected RNC Chairman Reince Priebus as his Chief of Staff, a position that does not require Senate confirmation. Priebus and Senior Counselor Steve Bannon were named as "equal partners" within the White House power structure, although Bannon will not be a member of the Cabinet. Aside from the vice president and the chief of staff, the remaining Cabinet-level positions require Senate confirmation.
On November 18, Trump announced his first Cabinet designee, choosing Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions for the position of Attorney General. Trump continued to name designees for various positions in November, December, and January. Former Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue was announced as the nominee for Secretary of Agriculture on January 19, completing Trump's initial slate of Cabinet nominees. Trump is the first incoming president to benefit from the 2013 filibuster reform, which eased the use of cloture on executive and lower-level judicial nominees, reducing the amount required to invoke from an absolute supermajority of three-fifths to a bare majority.
By February 8, 2017, President Trump had fewer cabinet nominees confirmed than any other president except George Washington by the same length of time into his presidency. On February 8, 2017, President Trump formally announced his cabinet structure. There will be 24 members, the most by any president. The Chair of the Council of Economic Advisers added by President Obama in 2009 was removed. The Director of National Intelligence and Director of the CIA were elevated to cabinet-level.
White House staff
Security and international affairs
Federal Reserve Board
2Appointed by Barack Obama; term ends in June 2018.
3There are two immediate vacancies (formerly held by Sarah Bloom Raskin and Jeremy C. Stein). Trump is expected to name one of his appointees to these vacancies as the new regulatory Vice Chair.
Trump took office with a Supreme Court vacancy, which arose after the February 2016 death of Antonin Scalia. During his campaign, Trump released two lists of potential nominees to fill the vacancy caused by Scalia's death. On January 31, 2017, Trump nominated federal appellate judge Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court.
The first 100 days of Donald Trump's presidency began when he was sworn in at noon on January 20, 2017, and will last until April 29, 2017.
On his first day in office, Trump signed an executive order directing all federal agencies to minimize the "unwarranted economic and regulatory burdens" of the Affordable Care Act. Trump also ordered a freeze on all new regulations that agencies had been working on during the previous administration. On January 23, Trump signed an executive order withdrawing the United States from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, an unratified free trade agreement. That same day, Trump signed another order re-instating the Mexico City Policy and a third order that placed a freeze on federal hiring. On January 24, Trump signed another series of executive actions, including an executive order designed to fast-track "high-priority infrastructure projects", as well as two presidential memoranda supporting the construction of the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines. On January 25, Trump signed an executive order directing the Department of Homeland Security to begin building a wall on the Mexican-American border. On January 27, Trump banned former government officials from lobbying agencies they had worked for a five-year period. On January 31, Trump nominated Neil Gorsuch to fill a Supreme Court vacancy. On February 3, Trump signed an order designed to loosen many of the financial regulations imposed by the 2010 Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. On February 13, National Security Advisor Michael T. Flynn resigned from his position due to potentially illegal contacts he had had with Russia's ambassador to the United States.
On January 27, Trump signed an executive order which indefinitely suspended admission of refugees fleeing massacres in Syria, suspended admission of refugees in general for 120 days, and denied entry to citizens of Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen for 90 days. The order also established a religious test for refugees from Muslim nations by giving priority to refugees of other religions over Muslim refugees. Later, the administration seemed to reverse a portion of part of the order, effectively exempting visitors with a green card. Two Iraqi nationals detained upon arrival filed a complaint. Several federal judges issued rulings that curtailed parts of the immigration order, stopping the federal government from deporting visitors already affected. On January 30, Trump fired Acting Attorney General Sally Yates after she stated she would not defend the order in court; Yates was replaced by Dana Boente, who stated the Justice Department would defend the order.
On January 28, Trump reorganized the National Security Council in an executive measure, removing the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Director of National Intelligence from their permanent status on the Principals Committee, and elevating the Chief Strategist, Steve Bannon, to permanent status on the committee. The new arrangement was widely criticized, with Susan Rice, the former National Security Advisor, calling it "stone cold crazy." The reorganization however placed the Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development as a permanent member of the Deputies Committee, winning moderate praise.
According to several reports, Donald Trump's and his family's trips in the first month of his presidency cost the US taxpayers nearly as much as former President Obama's travel expenses for an entire year. By mid February, since his inauguration, Trumps' trips have racked up around 11.3 million dollars, while Obama's average yearly expenses spent on travel was 12.1 million dollars, according to the conservative group Judicial Watch. When Obama was president Trump frequently criticized him for taking vacations which were paid for with public funds. Former Secret Service employees have described the task of protecting Trump family's business and private travels as a "logistical nightmare".
The Washington Post reported that Trumps' atypical lavish lifestyle is far more expensive to the taxpayers than what was typical of former presidents and could end up in the hundreds of millions of dollars over the whole of Trump's term.
On the campaign trail in 2015 and 2016, Trump frequently "railed against" the press, referring to the media as "the most dishonest people" and "absolute scum." Trump continued to rail against the press early into his presidency.
Throughout the 2016 presidential primaries and the 2016 presidential campaign, Trump's campaign relied on free coverage in the news media. This coverage was largely generated through his unorthodox campaign style. While Trump only spent $10 million on media advertising in the primaries, he earned nearly $2 billion worth of free coverage. This dwarfed the combined spending and free coverage of his Republican rivals. Throughout the entire campaign, he earned $5 billion in free coverage.
When campaigning for the presidency, and after assuming office, Trump frequently attacked the media for what he called their unfair treatment of him. On the campaign trail in 2015 and 2016, Trump has frequently "railed against" the press, referring to the media as "the most dishonest people" and "absolute scum."
Trump continued to rail against the press early into his presidency. After becoming president, Trump began to refer to media organisations including CNN and the New York Times as the "enemy of the American people". On February 16, 2017, in a 77-minute press conference, he alleged:
Trump, in his first few days in office, signed an executive order reinstating the Mexico City policy that requires all foreign non-governmental organizations that receive federal funding to refrain from performing or promoting abortion as a method of family planning in other countries.
On February 7, 2017, during a meeting with sheriffs, President Trump reiterated false assertions he made during the campaign that crime was on the rise in the United States. In that same meeting, when a sheriff complained about how "a state senator in Texas... was talking about legislation to require conviction before we could receive that forfeiture money", Trump responded to laughter, "Who is the state senator? Do you want to give his name? We'll destroy his career."
The next day, President Trump correctly said that the crime rate had increased "by double digits" in American cities in 2016.
Shortly before Trump's election, the United States had an unemployment rate of 4.9% and a Federal Reserve-projected GDP growth rate of 1.8% for 2016 (adjusted for inflation). With a GDP of $17.9 trillion according to a 2015 World Bank estimate, the US represented just under a quarter of the GDP of the world economy. After hovering around 18,000 on election day 2016, the Dow Jones Industrial Average reached 20,000 shortly after Trump took office.
During the 2016 campaign, Trump proposed $1 trillion in investments in infrastructure such as roads, bridges, and airports.
One of Trump administration's first actions was to indefinitely suspend a cut in fee rates for mortgages that Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) had announced under the Obama administration. The cut in fee rates would have saved individuals with lower credit scores around $500 per year on a typical loan.
Just before the confirmation of Betsy DeVos as Education Secretary, a U.S. Department of Education website containing information for parents of disabled children disappeared.
During the 2016 campaign, Trump rejected the scientific consensus on climate change, and favored withdrawing the United States from the Paris Agreement, a 2015 climate change accord reached by 200 nations.
In its first few days, the Trump administration instructed the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) "to remove the website's climate change page, which contains links to scientific global warming research, as well as detailed data on emissions". Anticipating political interference that could result in loss of government data on climate, the scientific community started to source links and copy the data into independent servers. They also collaborated with the Internet Archive on its End of Term 2016 project, an effort, that runs during every presidential transition, that finds and archives valuable pages on federal websites. Following the National Park Service's retweets of messages that negatively compared the crowd sizes at Barack Obama's 2009 inauguration to Donald Trump's inauguration, the new administration asked the Interior Department's digital team to temporarily stop using Twitter out of hacking concerns. In addition, on January 24, 2017, the Trump administration instituted a temporary media blackout for the EPA, which prevents EPA staff from issuing press releases, blog updates or posting to official EPA social media or awarding new contracts or grants. The transition team clarified that this was to make sure the messages going out reflect the new administration's priorities.
In February 2017, President Trump and Congress removed a rule that required the oil, gas and mining industries to disclose how much they paid foreign governments. The industries claimed the rule gave global rivals a competitive edge. European, Canadian, Russian, Chinese and Brazilian energy firms are bound by similar requirements. Supporters of the rule claimed it kept payments to foreign nations in government coffers, not private pockets, and generally avoided bribes and graft.
Also in February 2017, Trump signed into effect House Joint Resolution 38, a Congressional Review Act passed in the Senate and the House of Representatives, to invalidate the Stream Protection Rule implemented by the Obama administration a few months prior. The regulation was intended to prevent coal mining debris from being dumped into nearby streams, and to lessen the impact of coal mining on groundwater and surface waters. By doing so, Trump declared that he was "continuing to keep my promise to the American people to get rid of wasteful regulations".
During the 2016 campaign, Trump promised to "drain the swamp in Washington D.C.", and he proposed a series of ethics reforms. Among his proposals was a five-year ban on serving as a lobbyist after working in the executive branch. Trump's transition team also announced that registered lobbyists would be barred from serving in the Trump administration.
Ethics experts found Trump's plan to address conflicts of interest between his position as president and his private business interests to be entirely inadequate; Norman L. Eisen and Richard W. Painter, who served as the chief White House ethics lawyers for Barack Obama and George W. Bush, respectively, stated that the plan "falls short in every respect." Unlike every other president in last 40 years, Trump did not put his business interests in a blind trust or equivalent arrangement "to cleanly sever himself from his business interests." Eisen stated that Trump's case is "an even more problematic situation because he's receiving foreign government payments and other benefits and things of value thats expressly prohibited by the Constitution of the United States" in the Foreign Emoluments Clause.
Upon taking office, the watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington sued Trump. In the pending case of CREW v. Trump, the group, represented by a number of constitutional scholars, alleges that Trump is in violation of the Foreign Emoluments Clause (a constitutional provision that bars the president or any other federal official from taking gifts or payments from foreign governments), because his hotels and other businesses accept payment from foreign governments. CREW separately filed a complaint with the General Services Administration (GSA) over Trump's Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C.; the 2013 lease that Trump and the GSA signed "explicitly forbids any elected government official from holding the lease or benefiting from it." The GSA said that it was "reviewing the situation."
In February 2017, Trump senior advisor Kellyanne Conway, in an appearance from the White House briefing room to Fox & Friends, promoted the "wonderful" clothing line of Ivanka Trump, saying: "I'm going to give a free commercial here. Go buy it today, everybody. You can find it online." Office of Government Ethics director Walter Shaub, in a letter to the White House Counsel's office, wrote that "there is strong reason to believe that Ms. Conway has violated the Standards of Conduct and that disciplinary action is warranted...Therefore, I recommend that the White House investigate Ms. Conway's actions and consider taking disciplinary action against her." Under federal ethics regulations, federal employees are barred from using their public office to endorse products. Conway's promotion of Ivanka Trump's product line was criticized by House Oversight Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz, Republican of Utah (who said Conway's conduct was "absolutely wrong, wrong, wrong"), and the House Oversight Committee ranking Democratic member Elijah E. Cummings of Maryland (who said the coinduct was "a textbook violation of federal ethics rules").
Since 2006, before he became president, Trump repeatedly lost cases in Chinese courts seeking to trademark his name, so as to brand it for construction services. Beginning in 2016, however, Trump's fortunes within the Chinese bureaucracy turned, and the Chinese Trademark Review and Adjudication Board, which had previously denied Trump's claim, granted it. In February 2017, the Associated Press reported that "Ethics lawyers from across the political spectrum say the trademarks present conflicts of interest for Trump and may violate the emoluments clause of the U.S. Constitution, which bars public servants from accepting anything of value from foreign governments unless explicitly approved by Congress."
The 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (also known as "Obamacare") elicited major opposition from the Republican Party from its inception, and Trump called for a repeal of the law during the 2016 election campaign. On taking office, Trump promised to pass a healthcare bill that would result in better and less expensive insurance that would cover everyone.
Prior to taking office, Trump promised to deport the 11 million illegal immigrants living in the United States and to build a wall along the Mexico–United States border. Trump later stated that in certain areas fencing would be acceptable. On January 25, 2017, Trump signed Executive Order 13767 Border Security and Immigration Enforcement Improvements, which directed the Secretary of Homeland Security to begin work on a wall. In February 2017, Reuters reported that an internal report by the Department of Homeland Security estimated that Trump's proposed border wall would cost $21.6 billion and take 3.5 years to build. This estimate is far higher than estimates by Trump during the campaign ($12-billion) and the $15 billion estimate from Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. Other experts and analyses have estimated a total cost of up to $25 billion, with the cost of private land acquisitions and fence maintenance pushing up the total cost further.
On January 31, 2017, Donald Trump announced that his administration would keep intact the 2014 executive order that protects employees from anti-LGBTQ workplace discrimination while working for federal contractors.
During the 2016 campaign, Trump promised major federal tax cuts. Trump's plan called for a move from seven income tax brackets to three, cutting rates and lowering the top bracket from $415,050 to $112,500. Trump's plan would also cut the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 15 percent and eliminate the estate tax.
Trump took office while the United States remained involved in the War in Afghanistan, which began in 2001 and is the longest war in American history. President Obama plans to have 8,400 soldiers deployed in Afghanistan at the end of his term, with the soldiers focused on training and counter-terrorism operations.
Trump's first phone call as president with the Australian Prime Minister, Malcom Turnbull, took place in February and lasted around 25 minutes. During the call, Trump disagreed with Turnbull about the deal made during President Obama's presidency to give refuge to asylum seekers currently located on Nauru and Manus Island. On Twitter, February 2, 2017, Trump tweeted that the refugee agreement was a "dumb deal."
During the transition phase, Trump became the first president or president-elect since 1979 to speak directly to the President of Taiwan. This called into question whether President Trump will continue to follow the long-standing One-China policy of the United States regarding the political status of Taiwan.
At the end of January 2017, China moved its long-range nuclear-capable missiles closer to the Russian border, where they would be in reach of the United States. The Independent wrote that the action was "apparently in response to President Donald Trump's 'agression.'"
A delegation of Mexican diplomats and officials including the foreign minister and the economy minister is expected to be the first foreign dignitaries to visit Washington during Trump's administration. They are expected to discuss on trade, security and immigration. On January 26, 2017, Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto cancelled a meeting with Trump in Washington. Trump tweeted at 6:55 AM, Eastern Time that it would be better to skip the meeting if Mexico continues to insist that it would not pay for the wall. This came amid existing tensions over the proposed United States-Mexico border wall.
Trump took office while the United States remained involved in a military intervention against ISIL (also known as ISIS, the Islamic State or Daesh), a Salafi jidahist unrecognized state that gained control of parts of Iraq and Syria following the outbreak of the Syrian Civil War. There were roughly 4,500 American soldiers in Iraq as of February 2016. Under Obama, the United States also backed non-ISIS forces opposed to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in the Syrian Civil War.
Trump took office after Barack Obama signed the Iran deal. Trump has criticized it as one of the "worst deals ever made". This concern has been shared by many Republicans in Congress, including Senators Marco Rubio and Lindsey Graham.
On February 3, Trump and the Iranian foreign minister, Javad Zarif, "sparred on Twitter" over sanctions and Executive Order 13796. Trump tweeted that Iran was "playing with fire" after the country conducted a ballistic missile test earlier in the week.
During the transition phase, Trump designated David Friedman, a strong supporter of Israeli settlements and a skeptic of the two-state solution, as his nominee for United States Ambassador to Israel. Trump also pledged to move the Embassy of the United States to Jerusalem, a city contested between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.
President-elect Trump spoke with Russian President Vladimir Putin over phone on November 14 to discuss future efforts to improve the U.S.-Russia ties and the settlement of Syrian crisis among others. It is widely believed that both leaders have intentions to cooperate on some strategic and regional issues. While Senators such as John McCain and Marco Rubio raised concerns, Representatives like Dana Rohrabacher defend this approach as some believe defeating radical Islam and deterring China are more urgent priorities.
There has been controversy regarding Trump's relationship with Russia and Putin. During an interview with Bill O'Reilly released on February 6, 2017, Trump "appeared to equate US actions with the authoritarian regime of Russian President Vladimir Putin," according to CNN. On February 7, 2017, Trump tweeted that he does not know Putin and has no deals in Russia. The tweet contradicts earlier statements by Trump where he states he does know Putin, and praises Putin's leadership qualities. Trump had also spoken with Putin on the phone in January 2017 after taking office. Trump's possible deals in Russia are impossible to verify without the release of his tax returns.
During the 2016 campaign, Trump called for a re-negotiation of free trade agreements, including NAFTA, a free trade agreement among the United States, Canada, and Mexico that entered into force in 1994. Trump also strongly opposed the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a proposed free trade agreement among several nations that border the Pacific Ocean. Shortly after taking office, Trump signed an executive order withdrawing the United States from the TPP. The Trump administration created the National Trade Council to advise the president regarding trade negotiations, and Trump named professor Peter Navarro as the first Director of the National Trade Council.
At the time of the 2016 election, polls by Gallup found Trump had a favorable rating around 35% and an unfavorable rating around 60%, while Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton held a favorable rating of 40% and an unfavorable rating of 57%. 2016 was the first election cycle in modern presidential polling where both major-party candidates were viewed so unfavorably. By January 20, 2017, Inauguration Day, Trump's approval rating average was 42%, the lowest rating average for an incoming president in the history of modern polling. After one week in office, RealClearPolitics gave Trump a polling average of 44 percent approval and 45 percent disapproval, with a Quinnipiac poll registering a low of 36 percent approval and a Rasmussen poll registering a high of 55 percent approval.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Presidency of Donald Trump.|
Officially, there are now 3,650 U.S. troops in Iraq, there primarily to help train the Iraqi national army. But in reality, there are already about 4,450 U.S. troops in Iraq, plus another nearly 7,000 contractors supporting the American government's operations.
|U.S. Presidential Administrations|