Seldom do 12 days of governing come with such rapid-fire action, reaction and consequence.
The pace of action over the course of President Trump’s first days in office meant that just as Americans started digesting one news item, the next was rolling out at full-speed. Today the headlines are focused on the president’s pick for the Supreme Court, along with his executive order limiting refugees and citizens from seven other countries from entering the United States. Here’s an attempt at putting a haze of action into clear focus, day by day. With links.
Inauguration Day – Within hours of giving his 16-minute inaugural address, the new president signed his first executive actions, directing agencies to waive the Affordable Care Act when possible and freezing all regulations that were in the pipeline under President Obama.
Day two. January 21 – President Trump traveled to the CIA, where he spoke to a cheering group in front of the agency’s memorial wall and lambasted the press over reports of the inaugural crowd size. New press secretary Sean Spicer mistakenly backed up the president’s claims that photos of the crowd were distorted. Spicer also correctly pointed out that the press was wrong about the placement of an MLK, Jr. bust in the Oval Office. The Interior Department was told to stop tweeting, after Trump objected to photos of the inaugural crowd.
Day four. January 23 – Actions ramp up. Mr. Trump pulled the U.S. out of the TransPacific Partnership, deployed the anti-abortion Mexico City Policy and froze federal hiring. Additionally, his administration froze grants at the EPA. Sean Spicer took on a new tone. And the president falsely claimed in a meeting with congressional leaders that 3 to 5 million illegal votes were cast in the 2016 election.
Day five. January 24 – Five more executive actions come from President Trump, including moves easing the approval of the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines, as well as a requirement that all pipelines be made with American materials only.
Day six. January 25 – The president tweeted that he will launch an investigation into voter fraud. He also signed significant executive orders, directing the building of a border wall and increased deportation measures.
Day seven. January 26 – In his first sit-down interview, the president said he believes torture works. And the president of Mexico canceled his planned visit to Washington. Mr. Trump said it was a joint decision. Press Secretary Sean Spicer indicated the president wants a 20 percent tax on imports from Mexico, then said that was only one option to pay for the border wall.
Day eight. January 27 – The president hosted a meeting with British Prime Minister Theresa May. He said he still believes torture works but he will defer to his defense secretary on the issue. The New York Times reported that some close to Trump are registered to vote in two states. In the late afternoon, the president signed an executive order barring refugees from Syria indefinitely, and temporarily blocking all immigrants from seven countries (including Syria).
Day nine. January 28 – In response to the immigrant ban, protests erupted at airports around the country, making news even in pop culture magazines. At the White House, the president signed an order detailing that chief strategist Steve Bannon will sit on top security decision groups.
Day 10. January 29 – The president defended his immigration order. The White House clarified it (re:Green Card holders), while some Republicans expressed concern. The president called two Arab leaders, and pushed for “safe zones” in Syria.
Day 11. January 30 – After she refused to defend his order about refugees, President Trump fired the acting attorney general. Earlier, he signed an order requiring that for every new regulation, two more must be revoked.
Day 12. January 31 – Congressional Democrats step up criticism and cause delays for several of Trump’s cabinet nominees. Trump’s Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly went to the Capitol to answer lawmakers’ questions about the refugee order and insisted he did know details before it was announced. In a prime-time address, President Trump nominated conservative judge Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court. Gorsuch, 49, would be the youngest member on the court and is already drawing fierce opposition among many Senate Democrats.