Trump marks first 100 days amid series of controversial decisions

Published 28.04.2017 21:41
Updated 28.04.2017 21:42
President Donald Trump listens as Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin speaks at the Treasury Department in Washington on April 21. (AP Photo)
President Donald Trump listens as Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin speaks at the Treasury Department in Washington on April 21. (AP Photo)

Even though the first 100 days barely represent 6 percent of his first term, they had been mentioned on many occasions during the campaign trail by several candidates, both Democrat and Republican

Candidate Trump had pledged to take several actions in what has roughly been three months since he took office, amongst which were plans to repeal and replace Obamacare, impose a temporary travel ban from terror-prone nations, push the construction of pipelines, withdraw the U.S. from TTP and possibly the Paris climate deal from 2015, as well as many others.

Several of these actions have been taken, most of them warmly welcomed by his supporters and fiercely opposed by his opponents, while other, more recent decisions regarding foreign policy have actually managed to split both his base and opposition.


One of candidate Trump's key rhetoric devices, while he was running against Democrat Hillary Clinton, was his opposition of Obamacare or the Affordable Healthcare Act, passed under former president Barack Obama, calling it a "total disaster" that is "imploding."

Even though Obamacare itself is losing popularity, the idea of having affordable healthcare, prompted Trump not only to "repeal" but also "replace" it with a working plan. However, the outcome of a Republican attempt at replacing Obamacare ended up being scuttled after it failed to garner enough support from the Republicans in the House of Representatives, more notably from the Freedom Caucus, spearheaded by Senator Rand Paul.

The new bill was criticized for its likeness to Obamacare and not dealing with the "core problems" of Obamacare according to Senator Paul. It was deeply unpopular even among Trump supporters due to the fact that it was mainly revolving around House Speaker Paul Ryan, who, before the election, had said that he would never support the President, according to leaks released by Breitbart.

The President had warned that if left unchanged, Obamacare would eventually collapse on its own under the weight of ever-increasing premiums, as well as the fact that insurers are leaving the plan, leaving nearly one third of all U.S. counties with virtually no options. Trump is confident, however, that the Democrats will eventually be forced to cooperate and "will make a deal with me on healthcare as soon as Obamacare folds – not long."

National Security

In another stark contrast to Clinton, Trump had pledged to be much tougher on illegal immigration from the southern border as well as terrorists who assumed the roles of Syrian and other refugees.

Seven days post his inauguration the president signed an executive order, imposing a 120-day suspension on the refugee program as well as a 90-day travel ban to the U.S. by citizens of seven terror hot spots, including Syria, Iran, Iraq, Libya, Yemen, Somalia and Sudan.

The decision was widely perceived to be a "Muslim ban" even though it did not affect close to 90 percent of the world's Muslim population, and it was also a temporary restriction so that the U.S. could've imposed better vetting procedures. The administration cited the numerous terrorist attacks in Europe, many of whom were perpetrated by terrorists, posing as refugees, home-grown terrorists or a combination of the two.

The executive order caused mass outrage on the Democrat front and had Republican opposition as well. It was blocked by democrat-heavy courts, despite the clear authority given to the President by U.S. Code 1182.

The case is still being contested and after attempts by the administration to re-impose the order, the president has said that he will go all the way to the Supreme Court with it and now with Neil Gorsuch in there, keeping the Antonin Scalia-era balance, it's likely that he will do so.

President Trump has also pledged to "build a wall" on the southern border of the U.S. in order to prevent mass entry of illegal immigrants from central and South America, particularly from Mexico, mainly to deal with Mexican drug cartels.

"We have a porous border […] our money going out and the drugs coming in."

The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency has already reported a drop of over 40 percent in illegal entries and has also moved in to deport illegal immigrants, prioritizing those with criminal records.

The president has also threatened to cut federal funding of so-called "sanctuary cities" who've made it really difficult for ICE to deport illegals, mainly due to political reasons. An executive order to do so has, again, been blocked by a democrat judge, citing unconstitutionality.

U.S. Economy

Perhaps one of his greatest promises during his campaign as well as the slogan "Make America Great Again" was to make the U.S. economy "great again."

Amongst other things, he ran on the premise of being a successful businessman and a deal maker. He had railed against his opponents' failures in cutting good deals with U.S. adversaries, including the Iran deal, and promised to deliver fair deals, as well as put "America First." He's signed numerous orders pursuing this objective.

He's also signed the "Buy American Hire American" executive order as part of his pledge to "bring back jobs," something that he's delivered on by the hundreds of thousands so far, despite the limited time he's been in office. Due to the business enthusiasm that followed after his election and inauguration, Dow Jones as well as Nasdaq hit record numbers.

However, Trump also promised to declare China a "currency manipulator," something that he backpedaled on after meeting China's Xi Jinping.

The president has also pledged to introduce the biggest tax cuts since the Ronald Reagan administration, dropping taxes to just 15 percent in an attempt to support small businesses as well as stop the shrinking of the middle class.

In his inaugural address, he painted a grim image of the nation, talking about "Mothers and children trapped in poverty in our inner cities; rusted-out factories scattered like tombstones across the landscape of our nation; an education system flush with cash, but which leaves our young and beautiful students deprived of knowledge; and the crime and gangs and drugs that have stolen too many lives and robbed our country of so much unrealized potential.

"This American carnage stops right here and stops right now."

In a move that has received bilateral support, President Trump has said he will invest $1 trillion in U.S. infrastructure, including funds for new "schools, roads, bridges," etc.

U.S. Foreign Policy

Another, almost total U-turn in contrast to other candidates, Trump had heavily criticized American involvement in the Middle East, having opposed the Iraq war from the start and saying that "We've spent $6 trillion in the Middle East […] we could've rebuilt our country twice if we knew what the hell we were doing."

The extent of his foreign intervention policy, up until recently, was to "take out ISIS [Daesh]," however after a chemical weapons attack in Syria, allegedly conducted by the Assad regime, Trump decided to bomb a Syrian military airfield as retaliation, which has made some of his supporters feel betrayed while other are saying he's playing "4D chess."

Some opponents of Trump, including Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, who's gone against Trump on nearly every other policy of his, praised the move, and so did Republican Senator John McCain, a "Never-Trumper." Now all eyes are on the Korean peninsula, as the situation there has escalated following series of provocative missile tests by Pyongyang. Trump has said that the U.S. stands behind its allies in the region "100 percent" and has sent in the U.S. Navy's Strike Group 1 as a show of force.

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