presidency of Donald Trump

American presidential administration beginning in 2016

The presidency of Donald Trump began at noon EST (17:00 UTC) on January 20, 2017, when Donald Trump was inaugurated as the 45th president of the United States, succeeding Barack Obama. A Republican, Trump was a businessman and reality television personality from New York City at the time of his 2016 presidential election victory over Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton. While Trump lost the popular vote by nearly three million votes, he won the Electoral College vote, 304 to 227, in a presidential contest that American intelligence agencies concluded was targeted by a Russian interference campaign. Trump has made many false or misleading statements during his campaign and presidency. The statements have been documented by fact-checkers, with political scientists and historians widely describing the phenomenon as unprecedented in modern American politics. Trump's approval rating has been stable, hovering at high-30 to mid-40 percent throughout his presidency. Trump rolled back numerous environmental protections, as well as reduced enforcement of existing regulations. He ended the Clean Power Plan, withdrew from the Paris Agreement on climate change mitigation, and urged for subsidies to increase fossil fuel production, calling man-made climate change a hoax. Trump failed in his efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA), but took numerous actions that hindered its functioning and sought to have the courts rule it unconstitutional. Despite pledges made as a candidate, President Trump sought substantial spending cuts to Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security and food stamps. He enacted a partial repeal of the Dodd-Frank Act (that had previously imposed stricter constraints on banks in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis), hindered the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in policing fraud and protecting consumers, and withdrew from the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Trump signed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, which lowered corporate and estate taxes permanently, and lowered most individual income tax rates temporarily while increasing them for some. He enacted tariffs on steel and aluminum imports and other goods, triggering retaliatory tariffs from Canada, Mexico and the European Union, and a trade war with China. These tariffs adversely affected the U.S. economy. For most of Trump's term until 2020, the economy kept improving, following trends from the Obama presidency. The federal deficit soared under Trump due to spending increases and tax cuts. Trump's "America First" foreign policy has featured more unilateral American actions, disregarding the advice and support of many traditional allies while drawing the United States closer to others like Saudi Arabia and Israel. Despite pledges to reduce the U.S. military personnel deployed overseas, the number was essentially the same three years into Trump's presidency as they were at the end of Obama's. Trump's administration agreed to sell $110 billion of arms to Saudi Arabia, recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, and issued a controversial executive order denying citizens from several Muslim-majority countries entry into the U.S. His administration withdrew U.S. troops from northern Syria, allowing Turkey to attack American-allied Kurds. The Trump administration unilaterally decided to hold talks with North Korea, with Trump saying he and North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Un "fell in love". Trump withdrew the United States from the Iran Deal (at the time, Iran was in compliance with the terms of the agreement), and escalated the dispute with Iran by assassinating Iranian General Qasem Soleimani. Since US withdrawal from the Iran Deal, Iran has increased its stockpiles of enriched uranium. Trump's demand for federal funding of a U.S.–Mexico border wall resulted in the 2018–2019 government shutdown (the longest in American history) and followed with Trump's declaration of a national emergency regarding the U.S. southern border. He ended the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program which had provided temporary protection for undocumented immigrants brought into the U.S. as minors. The Trump administration implemented a family separation policy for migrants apprehended at the U.S.–Mexico border, controversially separating parents from their children, resulting in bipartisan condemnation and international outcry. After Trump dismissed FBI Director James Comey in May 2017, a former FBI director, Robert Mueller, was appointed as special counsel to take over a prior FBI investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 elections and related matters, including coordination or links between the Trump campaign and the Russian government. Six Trump campaign advisers and staff were indicted and five pled guilty to criminal charges. Trump repeatedly denied collusion or obstruction of justice, and frequently criticized the investigation, calling it a politically motivated "witch hunt". Mueller concluded his investigation in March 2019, with a report of the probe showing Russia interfered to favor Trump's candidacy and hinder Clinton's. The report concluded the prevailing evidence "did not establish that members of the Trump campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government" but documented ten actions by the Trump presidency that could be construed as obstruction of justice. The Mueller team could not indict Trump once investigators decided to abide by an Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) opinion that a sitting president cannot stand trial, and did not exonerate Trump on this issue. Barr and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein decided the evidence was not sufficient to demonstrate a criminal offense of obstruction. Barr later said he had not exonerated Trump. The House of Representatives launched an impeachment inquiry following a September 2019 report that Trump had abused his presidential power by pressuring the president of Ukraine to undertake actions which would have the effect of helping Trump's 2020 re-election campaign. Among other inducements, Trump ordered congressionally-mandated military aid for Ukraine to be withheld. Witnesses subsequently testified that he and his surrogates had been carrying out that pressure campaign for months. On December 18, 2019, Trump became the third president in American history to be impeached. The trial took place from January 16 to February 5, 2020; he was acquitted of all charges. The final year of Trump's current term was marked by the COVID-19 pandemic.
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main subject: presidency of Donald Trump


Fire and Fury

2018 book by Michael Wolff detailing the first year of the presidency of Donald Trump

author: Michael Wolff

I Am Part of the Resistance Inside the Trump Administration

op-ed article in The New York Times written by an anonymous senior official working for the Donald Trump administration

author: anonymous


Media Madness

book by Howard Kurtz

author: Howard Kurtz


A Very Stable Genius

2020 book by Philip Rucker and Carol Leonnig about the presidency of Donald Trump

author: Philip Rucker, Carol D. Leonnig

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