The 45th President: Week 1

A review of President Trump’s first week in office (1/20-1/29)



Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks to supporters as he takes the stage for a campaign event in Dallas, Monday, Sept. 14, 2015. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

It’s been a wild week, so here’s the run-down:

Friday (1/20/17):

  • Donald J. Trump is sworn in as the 45th President of the United States
  • The Obamas and Bidens leave leave the White House for the final time
  • President Trump signs an executive order easing the process for the dismantlement of Obamacare, a move which could cost $1.5 trillion

Saturday (1/21/17):

  • The Women’s March on Washington, which had only expected a couple hundred thousand protestors, ballooned into a worldwide event with a protest on every continent totaling nearly 3 million people world-wide
  • Democratic minority leaders pledged to fight President Trump’s agenda every step of the way, and California, Massachusetts, New York, and other large Democratic states prepared to fight President Trump in the courts
  • At his first Press Conference, Press Secretary Sean Spicer gave false facts to the media, claiming that President Trump’s inauguration was the largest in history. Pictures comparing it to President Obama’s 2009 inauguration had been circulating over the weekend, and the pictures showed unequivocally that Trump’s inauguration crowd was much smaller than Obama’s
  • President Trump also addressed the controversy against the backdrop of a wall with the stars of fallen CIA operatives, arguing that the media was “dishonest” and had created the feud between him and the CIA (Trump had recently compared the CIA to Nazi Germany) and was creating the false facts about his inauguration size. The former CIA chief stated that Trump “should be ashamed of himself” for giving that speech in front of that wall
  • In the same speech, Trump ignited a controversy by stating that he would have taken the oil from Iraq, but that “maybe we’ll have another shot.” CIA and Pentagon officials were shocked and world leaders outraged by the statements which, if enacted, would be a breach of international law

Sunday (1/22/17)

  • On “Meet the Press,” senior Trump advisor Kellyanne Conway told the anchor that Press Secretary Sean Spicer had simply given the media “alternative facts” on Trump’s inauguration crowd size. The statement sparked a maelstrom of controversy over whether or not Trump’s administration would be grounded in fact or “alternative facts”
  • On the same interview, Conway reaffirmed that Donald Trump would not release his tax returns, giving “alternative facts” that the American people don’t want to see his tax returns
  • Trump pledged to renegotiate NAFTA and invited the Canadian and Mexican leaders to the White House
  • Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham (R.) pledged to vote for Rex Tillerson as Secretary of State, all but confirming the controversial nominee’s confirmation

Monday (1/23/17):

  • The Senate confirmed Mike Pompeo as the new head of the CIA, a man who once said that he would not be against reinstating torture
  • Trump officially took the US out of the TPP, signaling a US withdrawal from leadership in Asia
  • Trump, at his first meeting with congressional officials, repeated claims of debunked voter fraud, costing him the popular vote

Tuesday (1/24/17):

  • In a bad day for environmentalists, Trump signed an executive order that brought the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines back from life support and ordered hiring freezes and media blackouts on the EPA, DoA, DoHHS, NIH
  • Press Secretary Sean Spicer announced that President Trump believed in debunked voter fraud claims
  • Nikki Haley, governor of South Carolina, was approved as UN Ambassador by a margin of 96-4
  • Trump announces keeping Comey as head of the FBI

Wednesday (1/25/17):

  • Trump announces an executive order that begins the process of building his infamous border wall with Mexico
  • Mexican President Pena Nieto and former Mexican leaders announced that they would not pay for any border wall
  • Greenpeace activists drapped a flag saying “RESIST” on a crane in the background of the White House. The saying may become the rallying cry of the beleaguered Left as Congressional Republicans stay quiet over Trump’s executive orders

Thursday (1/26/17):

  • Mexico’s President cancel’s a meeting with Donald Trump over the proposed building of a border wall on the US’s southern border. Mexicans say that they believe Trump’s presidency is the greatest threat posed to Mexico by its northern neighbor since World War I
  • Trump aide Steve Bannon seems to have forgotten the Constitution as he tells the media that not only are they the “opposition” but that they should keep its “mouth shut.” Jake Tapper of CNN responded with a single word: “No”
  • State department officials resigned from their posts on Thursday, after the Trump team told them to go. While the departure of bureaucrats is no where near uncommon with a new administration, the four who left amount to what the Week called a “huge loss of institutional memory”
  • Theresea May urges Trump at a meeting with Republican congressmen to be wary of Russia
  • Still upset over the picture comparing his inauguration crowd with Obama’s, Trump orders the National Park Service to find a larger crowd size photo
  • Trump says he favors a rule to move Supreme Court nomination to a simple majority
  • Government employees from agencies, mainly science-based agencies such as NASA and the EPA, who were gagged by Trump’s administration have circumvented his communications ban and posted tweets protesting the ban and the administrations stance on climate change and other science-based facts. Scientists are preparing for marches across the United States, protesting the Trump administrations stance on Climate Change and even evolution. Vice President Mike Pence, back in 2002, gave a speech on the congressional floor berating schools for teaching evolution and not creationism

Friday (1/27/17):

  • Trump signs two new executive orders, bringing the total up to 14. One banning refugees and people from seven Muslim-majority countries, but promising to bring in affected Christians from those countries, was condemned by the ACLU and religious groups across the country as unconstitutional
  • Vice President Mike Pence addressed the annual March for Life in Washington, held every year on the passing of Roe v. Wade
  • Trump and British PM Theresa May met in Washington, with tension coming over topics such as the UN, NATO, and the EU, all things that Trump has disparaged
  • To pay for the border wall, the Trump team proposed a 20% increase of tariffs on Mexican imports
  • Congressional Republicans, behind closed doors, revealed that they were extremely divided over Obamacare

Saturday (1/28/17):

  • In a tumultuous day, the DHS and CBP began implementing Trump’s Executive Order on immigration, holding nearly 200 travelers in limbo after landing in places like JFK Int’l and LAX Int’l airport
  • One of the detainees at JFK had worked with the 101st Airborne in Iraq as an interpreter, and the Lieutenant of the company he had worked with called his detention crazy
  • Protests began outside of JFK airport, protesting the detention
  • The ACLU said it had “thousands” of lawyers ready to help detainees at airports across the country, and lawyers for two of the detainees at JFK got the Federal District of Brooklyn to rule that the executive order did not apply to people in transit from the seven restricted countries
  • Allies and adversaries joined religious groups and protestors to rail against Trump’s executive order as Trump spoke with leaders such as Angela Merkel, Shinzo Abe, and Vladimir Putin
  • In President Trump’s first military action, one US commando was killed and three others were wounded in a shoot-out with al-Qaeda leaders in Yemen

Sunday (1/29/17):

  • Following protests at JFK, major protests erupted across the country and airports against Trump’s executive order. More detainees were released, including a very threatening five-year-old Iranian boy
  • Trump rearranged his National Security Council, removing the Joint Chief of Staff and Director of National Intelligence from some meetings but adding Chief Strategist Steve Bannon, although many commentators note that his role is of a political strategist, not a military one. Senator John McCain of Arizona (R.) said that this moved “diminished the importance” of the most “indispensable” member of the council, the Joint Chief