Since his inauguration on 20 January, President Trump has wasted no time. And in our new TrumpWatch section, we’ll be bringing you all the news from Trump’s America. So without further ado, here’s what he’s been up to in his first week in power.
20 January – Chipping away at Obama’s legacy
- Trump almost immediately signed an executive order aimed at rolling back the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare). This wasn’t a fundamental change in the law, but it signalled his healthcare intentions.
- He also froze all pending regulations signed by Barack Obama in his final weeks in office. Those included measures related to energy efficiency standards.
23 January – Abortion and TPP
- He ordered that federal money should not go to organisations that provide abortion services. This was no surprise, as all Republican presidents since Ronald Reagan have rolled back abortion-related measures implemented by Democratic presidents.
- Living up to one of the only promises he shared with Democratic presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders, Trump withdrew the US entirely from the controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) deal.
24 January – An environmental assault
Tearing himself away from praising right-wing Fox News and calling CNN “FAKE NEWS” again on Twitter, Trump:
- Took measures to speed up the approval of the Keystone XL and Dakota Access oil pipelines.
- Demanded the establishment of faster deadlines and environmental approval for “high priority” infrastructure projects.
- Ordered a review of manufacturing regulations in the hope of speeding up permitting and other processes.
Meanwhile, news came out that Trump had instituted a media blackout at the Environmental Protection Agency, stopping officials from posting updates on social media or speaking to reporters.
25 January – The wall
As employees from US government agencies established “rogue” Twitter accounts to resist Trump’s perceived assault on science and the environment, the President turned to the hot topic of immigration. He signed two executive orders:
- To build a wall on the Mexican border as soon as possible (probably within months). (He later stated that he still expected Mexico to pay for the wall.)
- To cut federal funding for cities that don’t enforce federal laws on undocumented immigrants.
These orders also included plans to build or contract out more detention facilities near the Mexican border, and to employ thousands more border and immigration officers.
Ahead of a planned White House meeting with Trump in the coming days, Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto insisted that his country would not pay for the wall. Former president Vicente Fox, meanwhile, created the Twitter hashtag #FuckingWall to emphasise the point.
26 January – Trump endangers US-Mexican relations even further
After reminding the world that he is no saviour of whistleblowers (calling Chelsea Manning an “Ungrateful TRAITOR… who should never have been released from prison”), Trump also took to Twitter to challenge Mexico again. Regarding the scheduled meeting with President Peña Nieto, he said: “If Mexico is unwilling to pay for the badly needed wall, then it would be better to cancel the upcoming meeting.” Accordingly, Peña Nieto tweeted that he would not attend that meeting.
Edward Alden, a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, insisted that the Mexican President had no other choice but to pull out of the visit. He called the provocations aimed at Mexico “extremely dangerous to US-Mexico relations”, stressing that:
Mexico is a proud sovereign country, to have the president of the United States bully Mexico into submission is not going to go over well.
Meanwhile, Trump was preparing to move forward with a probe into his allegations of voter fraud. Claims which are currently unsubstantiated.
Following through with promises?
In short, quite a first week. Attacks on women, scientists, the environment, Mexico, Muslim immigrants, and so much more. As The Washington Post says:
The Trump administration is showing every sign of taking the nation far to the right in an effort to make good on a number of his pledges.
That’s what TrumpWatch is here for. To monitor America’s shift rightwards. And to hold the new US President to account.
– See more TrumpWatch articles.
– Follow Trump’s ‘Promise Tracker’ here.
Featured image via Gage Skidmore
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