In his first frantic week at the White House, Donald Trump is doing almost exactly what he promised to do during his campaign, stunning those who thought he’d adapt his style as president.
Trump has signed an executive order to begin building a wall on the Mexican border and doubled down on his promise to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement and repeal ObamaCare.
From The Hill
On Wednesday, he announced a “major investigation” into his unsubstantiated claims about voter fraud.
President Obama famously said that “elections have consequences” in explaining to Republicans why he was moving forward with a nearly $1 trillion stimulus plan and his signature healthcare bill.
Now Trump is showing Washington and the world the truth of Obama’s words.
During the campaign, Trump’s critics dismissed his ambitious agenda as rhetoric that he’d back away from once in office.
If candidate Trump beat the odds and made it to the White House, they said, The Trump Show will surely grind to a halt once he’s confronted with the realities of governing.
It hasn’t turned out like that at all.
“Enough all talk, no action. We have to deliver,” Trump told Republican lawmakers Thursday. “This is our chance to achieve great and lasting change for our beloved nation.”
Hours after taking the oath of office last Friday, Trump returned to the White House to sign an order directing federal agencies to “ease the burden of ObamaCare.”
Trump’s chief of staff, Reince Priebus, followed that with a memo telling federal agencies to stop issuing regulations.
In the days since, Trump thrilled social conservatives with an executive order blocking foreign aid for international organizations that provide abortions, a traditional priority for new Republican administrations.
Trump fulfilled one of his main campaign promises by pulling the U.S. from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal.
He froze hiring for non-military federal employees and attempted to move two controversial pipeline projects forward by signing a pair of executive actions that could speed approvals for the Keystone XL and Dakota Access projects.
Trump also signed an executive order that expanded the definition of criminal immigrants who considered priorities for deportation. The order also called for federal funds to be stripped from so-called “sanctuary cities” that do not help federal authorities enforce immigration law.
The actions are in some cases vague, appearing aimed at satiating his supporters while the White House and Congress work on a broader legislative strategy.
For example, Trump visited the Department of Homeland Security on Wednesday to sign an order that directs federal agencies to begin constructing a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border.
But Trump will need congressional approval to fund the wall. And construction on the project might not begin for months. The order gives DHS 180 days to conduct a study to see how much money and material will be needed to build the wall.
There are also some areas where Trump has yet to deliver, including a proposed ban on Trump administration officials from lobbying after leaving their positions and the termination of an Obama-era program that allows people brought illegally to the U.S as children to live and work without fear of deportations.
Veteran GOP operative Charlie Black said that Trump’s aggressive early posture shouldn’t come as a surprise.
“Democrats should’ve been sweating this on Nov. 9,” Black said. “They should’ve known he’d follow through on the things he said. Some things will require Congressional action or need to go through the regulatory process for what he can’t do on his own. But if he can do it on his own, you can bet he’ll do it.”
Trump has announced his administration’s energetic stance through Twitter, as well as in the same style of dramatic confrontations that punctuated his chaotic campaign.
White House press secretary Sean Spicer instigated a war Saturday with the press over accurate media reports that Trump’s inauguration crowd was smaller than Obama’s. That led to senior adviser Kellyanne Conway’s heated exchange with NBC’s Chuck Todd, in which she maintained that the administration in some cases will have its own “alternative facts.”
At a Monday meeting with a bipartisan group of lawmakers, Trump reiterated his unsubstantiated claim that he had only lost the popular vote to Hillary Clinton because millions of “illegals” cast ballots.
The remarks provoked a media firestorm. Rather than backing away, Trump is expected to direct a task force to investigate voter fraud and his claim that illegal immigrants influenced the outcome of the election.
Read Full Story At The Hill