The First Ten Days: Trump Administration Begins Controversial Reign

Photo Courtesy of of Gage Skidmore

January 20

On Jan. 20, 2017, President Barack Obama stepped down after eight years of service and President-elect Donald J. Trump was sworn in as the 45th President of the United States. After capturing an electoral victory despite being counted out by nearly all major media outlets, hundreds of thousands came to watch President Trump’s inaugural address in which he emphasized unity, stating that Americans “all bleed the same blood of patriots”. The newly sworn in President began to work to realize said promises immediately after being sworn in, signing his first executive order on inauguration day. The first piece of legislation of the Trump Administration authorized government agencies to scale back parts of the Affordable Care Act, but its ambiguous language provides little insight in regards to the scope of the order.

January 21

Following the inauguration, President Trump visited the headquarters of the Central Intelligence Agency. The visit was shadowed by the harsh comments President Trump made toward the intelligence community in the days preceding his inauguration. Trump, however, claims that there is not one who feels as strongly towards the intelligence community as himself, a statement that still leaves his views towards the organization unknown. In the second day of Trump’s presidency, a strong statement against the administration was made by the millions of individuals who participated in the Women’s March in National Mall as well as in cities around the globe ranging from London to Nairobi, to Kolkata. The marches were in protection of a host of liberties including women’s rights, immigrant rights, and LGBTQIA+ rights which are seen by the participants as being threatened under the Trump Administration. In the midst of an eventful Saturday, the credibility of the White House newsroom fell as Sean Spicer falsely propagated the record crowd size at Trump’s inauguration.

January 22

Two significant orders emerged from the White House, the first being a withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership. In February of 2016, 12 nations, including the United States, Mexico, and Canada began talks to form a coalition from a group of nations that are responsible for 40% of global trade. President Trump was not alone in his staunch opposition of the Partnership. Proponents of brokering the deal cite the strengthening of U.S. standing in the Asian Pacific region while opponents on both sides of the aisle fear outsourcing as well as opening the door for companies to sue the United States as the rationale for terminating the ongoing talks. In addition to ceasing talks for the TPP, President Trump brought back the Mexico City policy preventing overseas NGOs from performing abortions and distributing information about abortions. The order was first signed by then-President Ronald Reagan in the 1980s since the policy has been periodically enacted and terminated depending on the current administration. In addition to signing two significant executive orders, President Trump also saw fit to meet with congressional leaders to discuss his accusation of millions of illegal immigrants voting in the 2016 Presidential election, which resulted in President Trump losing the popular vote. There is no empirical evidence to support the President’s claims.

January 23

The fourth day of the Trump administration saw a revival of the 3.8 billion dollar project known as the Dakota Access Pipeline, which would reduce dependency on foreign oil, but at the cost of environmental hazards to the Standing Rock Sioux due to its proximity to the tribe’s reservation boundary. After a series of confrontation protesters celebrated on Dec. 4 as the Army Engineering Corps halted construction of the pipeline, the arrival of the Trump Administration meant a new push to see the construction completed. In addition, it would pass through areas of cultural significance such as burial sites. In a similar vein, President Trump ordered the EPA to cease contact with media outlets and releasing statements. All contracts tied to the Environmental protection agency were frozen.

January 24

The new administration made progress towards enacting its campaign promises not only by dealing with the Access Pipeline, but also by setting aside federal funds to extend the existing structure along the U.S.- Mexico border. The most significant executive order involved a temporary immigration ban on refugees from seven Middle Eastern and African countries as follows, Syria, Somalia, The Sudan, Iraq, Iran, Libya, and Yemen. The ban implemented in the interest of National Security does little to increase the protection of American citizens as immigrant experts from the Cato institute found that nationals from the seven temporarily banned nations have perpetrated a grand total of zero terrorist attacks on U.S. Soil from 1975-2015.

January 25th

Trump issued a disaster declaration for the state of Georgia in the wake of a series of storms and hurricanes that killed 15 people, allowing federal aid to be used in the recovery efforts.

January 26th

On the sixth day of his presidency, President Trump spoke at the annual Congressional GOP retreat in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. In his address, Trump summarized the achievements his administration made during the past week such as his executive order to better prepare for repealing and replacing Obamacare, withdrawing from the Trans-Pacific Partnership and much more. At the event, Trump stated, “In addition to fixing our healthcare we are going to pursue new trade deals that create higher wages and more opportunities for American workers bringing back those words ‘Made in the USA!’”

January 27th

On the seventh day of Trump’s presidency, thousands of Pro-life activists attended the 44th-annual March for Life in Washington D.C. The Trump administration showed their support for the event by having Vice President Mike Pence and Kellyanne Conway, Counselor to the President, in attendance. Additionally, the White House had their first official visit from a foreign leader, British Prime Minister Theresa May.
In the late afternoon, President Trump signed an executive order titled Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States. The purpose of this executive action was to install a temporary 90-day pause on immigration from 7 high-risk state sponsored terrorist countries in the Middle East.

January 28th

On the eighth day of his presidency, President Trump ordered three new presidential actions. The first of the actions was titled Ethics Commitments by Executive Branch Appointees. This executive action detailed a five-year lobbying ban upon the departure of anyone appointed to the executive branch.
Furthermore, the President announced a Presidential Memorandum to Defeat the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria in which his administration would “develop a comprehensive plan to defeat ISIS.”
Another Presidential Memorandum the President instituted was the organization of both a National Security Council and Homeland Security Council to advise the President in ensuring “the safety and security of the American people.”
The President also held a series of telephone conversations with foreign leaders such as Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan, Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany, Russian President Vladimir Putin, French President Francois Hollande, and Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.

January 29th

On the ninth day of his presidency, President Trump held telephone conversations with the King of Saudi Arabia, Salman bin Abd as-Aziz Al Saud, the Crown Prince of the United Arab Emirates, Mohammed bin Zayed, and the Acting President of South Korea, Hwang Kyo-Ahn.
According to the Readout of the President’s call with both King Salman and Prince Zayed, they both resulted with the monarchs agreeing to support safe zones for the refugees displaced by the conflict in the region. The monarchs also agreed to combat the spread of Radical Islamic Terrorism.
In the phone conversation with Hwang Kyo-Ahn, there was much discussion about the importance of the United States alliance with the Republic of Korea and the significance of maintaining a defense against North Korea.

January 30th

On the tenth day of his presidency, the President established an executive order titled Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs. The order states that in “addition to the management of the direct expenditure of taxpayer dollars [that it was] essential to manage the costs associated with the governmental imposition of private expenditures required to comply with Federal regulations.”
Later, President Trump fired acting Attorney General Sally Yates due to her refusal to comply with the enforcement of the executive order titled Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States. To replace Yates, Trump appointed Dana Boente.
Additionally, Trump appointed Thomas Homan as Acting Assistant Secretary of Homeland Security (Director of ICE), and Elaine Duke as Deputy Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security.

Co-Authored by Alejandro Arias and Angela Cruz