Trump has been using his executive powers considerably after being inaugurated as the 45th President of the United States on 20th January. Here are the biggest events so far:
24th February 2017: The White House has blocked several news corporations, including CNN, The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, Politico and BuzzFeed, from attending an off-camera press briefing.
“This is an unacceptable development by the Trump White House,” a CNN statement read, “apparently this is how they retaliate when you report facts they don’t like. We’ll keep reporting regardless.”
Despite showing up to the White House, these reporters were turned away, being told they were not on the list of attendees.
“Nothing like this has ever happened at the White House,” New York Times executive editor Dean Baquet commented. “Free media access to a transparent government is obviously of crucial national interest.”
Reporters from Associated Press and Time reportedly did not attend out of choice in protest, while Fox News stated they “joined in a complaint by the chair of the five-network television pool.”
Hours earlier to this seeming media censorship, President Trump opined that the press were “the enemy of the people.”
23rd February 2017: The Trump administration withdrew federal guidance that transgender students should have unrestricted access to the bathroom matching their gender identity. This could lead to encouraging schools to limit transgender rights further, at their choosing. Yet opponents remain optimistic, stating that even without the guidance, federal law still protects them. The use of bathrooms for transgender students is also being taken to federal court in the next few months, which could see more protections of transgender rights despite Trump administration actions.
14th February 2017: A petition calling to stop Trump’s State visit was rejected by the government today, despite receiving 1,856,111 signatures. The UK government response was as follows:
“HM Government believes the President of the United States should be extended the full courtesy of a State Visit. We look forward to welcoming President Trump once dates and arrangements are finalised.
HM Government recognises the strong views expressed by the many signatories of this petition, but does not support this petition.
During her visit to the United States on 27 January 2017, the Prime Minister, on behalf of Her Majesty the Queen, invited President Trump for a State Visit to the UK later this year. The invitation was accepted. This invitation reflects the importance of the relationship between the United States of America and the United Kingdom. At this stage, final dates have not yet been agreed for the State Visit.”
The US National Security Advisor, Michael Flynn, resigns after rumours that he discussed US sanctions with Russia before Trump was sworn into office. If true, Flynn would be acting illegally in discussing US diplomacy, as a private citizen. His letter of resignation admits that he “inadvertently briefed the Vice President Elect and others with incomplete information regarding [his] phone calls with the Russian Ambassador”, blaming it on the “fast pace of events”. The White House have announced in a statement that Lt Gen Joseph Keith Kellogg has replaced Flynn in the interim. Donald Trump’s involvement in the issue is still yet to be clear, as some democrats are calling for an investigation into Flynn’s actions and who authorised him to do so.
13th February 2017: Protests in Mexico are attended by tens of thousands of people, marching against Trump’s immigration policy and the order to construct an “impassable physical barrier” between US and Mexico. Protesters stated they wanted to present a united nation against the US president. Marches spanned over 12 cities in Mexico. “It should not be forgotten that American society was made by migrants and continues to be made by migrants”, one protester, Maria Amparo Cassar, commented.
9th February 2017: The 9th US Circuit of Appeals rejected an appeal that sought to reinstate Trump’s travel ban. The government’s legal team argued that the President’s authority should be sufficient reason to restore the ban. The court ruled that the administration had not provided enough evidence to prove the ban was a necessary action to address a pressing national security threat. The President responded to the ruling by tweeting: “SEE YOU IN COURT, THE SECURITY OF OUR NATION IS AT STAKE!”
6th February 2017: A total of 97 tech companies in the U.S. have acted against Trump’s immigration ban as they file a report stating how the legislation “violates the immigration laws and the Constitution” and impinges “significant harm” on their businesses. The file expresses how “a broad, open-ended ban – together with an indication that the ban could be expanded to other countries without notice – does not fit the goal of making the country more secure. Instead, it will undermine American interests.” Amongst the corporate giants are Apple, Facebook, Twitter, Netflix, Google, Microsoft and Intel. The ban remains temporarily halted under federal judge orders.
4th February 2017: The US federal appeals court has rejected President Trump’s request to have the travel ban immediately reinstated. The late night ruling means that the ban will remain suspended until a full case has been heard by the court. The White House and the states challenging the ban have both been given until Monday 6th February to present more evidence.
3rd February 2017: President Donald Trump’s travel restrictions have been immediately halted following a federal ruling in Seattle. District Judge James Robart heard lawyers from the states of Washington and Minnesota, who took the President to court on the grounds that the ban was unconstitutional. According to the lawyers, it denied people with valid entry documents the right to travel without due process. The law also violated freedom of religion by appearing to target Muslims. Robert was subsequently criticised by the President on Twitter, called “ridiculous” and a “so-called judge”.
31st January 2017 – Alexandre Bissonnette faces six counts of first-degree murder and five of attempted murder after shooting down a mosque in Quebec, Canada. Despite the charges, people are viewing the attack as terrorism triggered after Trump’s “Muslim ban” in the US. It has been reported that Bissonnette is a Trump supporter.
30th January 2017 – A petition to UK parliament calling to “prevent Donald Trump from making a State Visit to the United Kingdom”; meaning that Trump should not be invited into the country to visit the Queen. It was initiated on 29th January and has over 1,500,000 signatures standing: well over the 100,000 signatures needed for it to be considered in parliament for debate. The petition could have been triggered by photos of the UK prime minister Theresa May and the US president Donald Trump holding hands at a joint press conference in the White House Colonnade on 27th January: although this has since been reported to be because the president is afraid of stairs.
Downing street have announced today that the president will still meet with the state despite the petition, as cancelling it would be a “populist gesture” and “undo everything” achieved between the two countries last week.
What is now being referred to as the “Monday Night Massacre” saw the acting US attorney general, Sally Yates, and the acting director of the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Daniel Ragsdale, fired by Trump this evening. Yates’ sacking came after she questioned the legality of the president’s executive order banning immigrants from seven Muslim countries. No reason was given for the sudden removal of Ragsdale.
29th January: An American commando died in a battle with militants in Yemen, during the first counter-terrorism raid of Trump’s administration. Three other commandos were injured.
27th January: The president has signed an order preventing Syrian refugees from entering the US until further notice, as well as temporarily banning the issuing of visas to refugees from seven Muslim-majority countries: Iran, Iraq, Libya, Sudan, Yemen and Somalia. On Saturday 28th January the ‘Muslim Ban’ was enacted and many refugees were detained at airports.
Comment on the ‘Muslim ban’ from Mireia Molina: http://www.concrete-online.co.uk/trump-legitimised-religious-discrimination-name-national-security/
25th January: Executive Orders on national security and immigration Trump has kept his promise and issued an executive order for the construction of a border wall between the US and Mexico. He also demanded, in a separate order, that punishments be issued for cities who protect and hide illegal immigrants.
Trump orders EPA blackout: http://www.concrete-online.co.uk/trump-silences-epa/
23rd January: Executive Order on abortion Trump has reinstated the “Mexico City” policy. First implemented by Ronald Reagan at a UN conference in Mexico’s capital in 1984, the order bars NGOs around the world who receive US funding from providing referral and advocacy for abortion services to women and families. The policy was rescinded by the Democrats under the Clinton administration.
20th January: Executive Order to repeal the Affordable Care Act Trump’s first executive order mere hours after being sworn into office, marked the beginning of dismantling Obamacare and the Affordable Care Act. This claimed that agencies can “waive, defer, grant exemptions from or delay implementation of any provision or requirement” of Obamacare that poses a financial or regulatory burden.
Trump’s climate change wipe-out: http://www.concrete-online.co.uk/trumps-climate-change-wipe/