- First 180 Days
20, 2017, 6-Month Anniversary
The White House
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 20, 2017
PRESIDENT DONALD J. TRUMP’S SIX MONTHS OF AMERICA FIRST
“Together, we are working every day for the citizens of this country: protecting their safety, bringing back their jobs and, in all things, putting AMERICA FIRST.” – President Donald J. Trump
BRINGING ACCOUNTABILITY BACK TO GOVERNMENT: In six months in office, President Trump has followed through on his promise to the American people to bring accountability back to government.
· President Trump fulfilled his promise to the American people by nominating and, after Senate confirmation, appointing Neil Gorsuch as an Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court.
· President Trump implemented higher ethical standards to make sure his Administration works for the American people.
o President Trump signed an Executive Order implementing tough new lobbying standards for political appointees, including a five-year ban on lobbying and a lifetime ban on lobbying for foreign countries.
o President Trump has donated his salary, following through on his promise to the American people.
· To make sure the Government serves the needs of all Americans, President Trump has called for a comprehensive plan to reorganize the executive branch and has used his budget to begin to implement his plan.
o President Trump created the Office of American Innovation to streamline and improve the Government for future generations.
SPURRING JOBS CREATION: President Trump’s impact on the economy has been immediate, spurring job creation across the country.
· President Trump signed the “Buy American and Hire American” Executive Order, prioritizing the interests of American businesses and workers.
o “Buy American” promotes American industry, protecting it from unfair competition by targeting the abusive use of waivers and exceptions to laws on the books.
o “Hire American” calls for the reform of our visa programs, ensuring that they no longer displace American workers, while fully enforcing laws governing the entry of foreign workers.
· President Trump signed an Executive Order, making it easier for businesses to start and expand apprenticeship programs.
· The Dow Jones Industrial Average has increased 17 percent since election day, hitting new highs 25 times this year already.
· Since January, the economy added 863,000 jobs, including 821,000 in the private sector.
o 79,000 construction jobs added since January.
o 42,000 mining and logging jobs added since January.
o 41,000 manufacturing jobs added since January.
CUTTING DOWN JOB KILLING REGULATIONS: Just six months in office, President Trump has taken historic action to eliminate wasteful and costly regulations that have stood in the way of hardworking Americans.
· The American Action Forum estimates a potential $70 billion in costs reductions from President Trump’s actions to cut back regulations.
· President Trump has signed 14 Congressional Review Act resolutions into law, ending burdensome Obama-era rules and regulations, more than all other Presidents combined.
· By withdrawing from the Paris Climate Accord, President Trump protected America from a bad deal that would have harmed our economy.
o According to a study by NERA Consulting, meeting the Obama Administration’s obligations under the Paris Climate Accord could have cost the United States economy nearly $3 trillion.
o According to the same study, 6.5 million industrial sector jobs could have been lost, including 3.1 million manufacturing sector jobs.
· In order to control regulatory costs, President Trump signed an Executive Order mandating that for every one new regulation, two old regulations must be eliminated.
· Through infrastructure reform and investment, the Trump Administration aims to dramatically reduce permit approvals for projects from 10 years to 2 years, spurring investment and job creation.
OPENING UP AMERICAN ENERGY: In six months, President Trump has turned around America’s policy on energy production after years of opposition.
· President Trump has acted aggressively to increase exports of our energy resources to a global market.
o Updated guidance from the Treasury Department to allow the United States to export coal.
o Expedited the permitting and approval processes of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) terminals and exports, including the approval of the Lake Charles LNG terminal in Louisiana.
· President Trump has unleashed oil and gas development in the United States by expanding access to resources and the infrastructure needed to get them to market.
o Approved the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines, creating over 42,000 jobs and $2 billion in earnings.
§ Signed an Executive Order mandating future pipeline work to be done by American workers and with American steel.
o Expedited new pipeline approval and production, such as the New Burgos Pipeline to Mexico.
o Signed an Executive Order to extend offshore oil and gas drilling and reissued a leasing program to develop offshore resources.
o Boosting oil and gas development on Federal lands.
· The Environmental Protection Agency is reconsidering an Obama-era rule on greenhouse gas emissions that is estimated to cost oil and natural gas operators as much as $530 million annually.
· President Trump kept his campaign promise to coal miners and rolled back the previous Administration’s “Stream Protection Rule,” which targeted the beleaguered industry with estimated costs of at least $81 million a year.
A FREE AND FAIR TRADE AGENDA: President Trump is putting America First in trade negotiations, pursuing reciprocal agreements with our trading partners so everyone benefits.
· One of President Trump’s first actions was to withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, after the Obama Administration’s efforts failed to protect American workers.
· President Trump announced he will renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) to better reflect our modern economy while benefitting all parties so involved.
o This week, the United States Trade Representative released its objectives for upcoming NAFTA negotiations.
· Last week, the President began the process of renegotiating the United States-Korea Free Trade Agreement.
· Negotiations President Trump started with China on economic cooperation have already produced results for American businesses.
o For the first time in 14 years, American beef imports have returned to China.
o China is welcome to negotiate contracts to import American liquefied natural gas.
· President Trump delivered on his campaign promise to roll back the Obama Administration’s bad deal on Cuba that benefitted the Cuban regime at the expense of the Cuban people.
RESTORING LAW AND ORDER TO IMMIGRATION: President Trump has prioritized enforcing immigration laws in his first six months to protect all Americans, ensuring that our immigration system treats everyone fairly.
· President Trump instituted tough immigration policies that have reduced illegal border crossings by 53 percent compared to the same time last year.
o The President ordered the hiring of 10,000 new Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers, including 5,000 additional border patrol agents.
· Within the first 100 days of President Trump signing his executive orders on immigration enforcement, ICE conducted nearly 40 percent more Enforcement and Removal Operations compared to the same time last year.
o Arrests of convicted criminal aliens climbed by nearly 20 percent in this time compared to the same time last year.
· In fiscal year 2017, ICE has removed over 2,700 criminal gang members, compared to 2,057 criminal gang members in all of fiscal year 2016.
o ICE has specifically targeted MS-13 criminal gang members for removal on immigration violations.
· To jumpstart construction on the border wall, the President ordered the Department of Homeland Security to use $100 million of unspent appropriations in its account for border security, fencing and infrastructure.
· President Trump directed executive agencies to employ all lawful means to enforce the immigration laws of the United States, including clamping down on sanctuary cities.
o Attorney General Jeff Sessions implemented new charging guidelines to end catch-and-release policies.
· President Trump ordered the creation of the Victims of Immigration Crime Engagement (VOICE) office at DHS, ensuring that our Government can no longer ignore the victims of criminal acts by illegal aliens.
PROVIDING FOR OUR NATION’S VETERANS: President Trump is making sure our veterans get the care they deserve after they have sacrificed for our country.
· Under President Trump, Department of Veterans Affairs fired over 500 employees, suspended 200, and demoted 33, as part of President Trump’s efforts to restore integrity and accountability to a department charged with supporting our Nation’s heroes.
o 22 senior leaders were disciplined.
· President Trump signed the Veterans Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act, enabling senior Veterans Affairs officials to fire failing employees while establishing important safeguards to protect whistleblowers.
· The Veterans Affairs administration is shifting veterans’ electronic medical records to the same system used by the Defense Department, ending a decades-old rift in sharing information between the two agencies.
· President Trump signed legislation allowing our veterans to receive care outside of the Veterans Affairs medical system.
· The Department of Veterans Affairs has acted to increase transparency and accountability by launching an online “Access and Quality Tool” to provide veterans a way to access wait time and quality of care data.
AMERICA FIRST FOREIGN POLICY AND NATIONAL SECURITY: In the first six months of his Administration, President Trump has put America First in world affairs and national security.
· During his historic speech in Poland, President Trump reasserted that America would defend its interests and allies after years of neglect by the previous Administration.
· President Trump brokered a ceasefire in southwest Syria as part of his commitment to end the conflict, reduce human suffering, and defeat ISIS.
· During his first international trip, President Trump supported the opening of a new “Global Center for Combating Extremist Ideology” in Saudi Arabia, created to empower Muslim-majority countries to more effectively combat radicalization.
· President Trump has increased pressure on Iran to end its destructive and destabilizing actions in the Middle East, including its continued ballistic missile research.
o The Department of the Treasury sanctioned over 25 entities and individuals involved in Iran’s ballistic missile program, ensuring our ability to monitor potentially malicious actors while preventing future acts of terrorism.
o This week, the United States sanctioned sixteen entities and individuals that have supported Iran’s military and Revolutionary Guard Corps in the development of drones, fast attack boats, and other military equipment.
· President Trump has allowed the military to push back against threats to our interests and allies.
o In his first six months, President Trump worked with our partners and allies in the Middle East to defeat ISIS, leading to Iraqi forces recapturing Mosul.
o After the Syrian regime used chemical weapons against civilians, President Trump authorized strikes against the airbase that launched the chemical attacks, demonstrating our national commitment to preventing further atrocities.
o President Trump has lifted restrictions that had prevented the Secretary of Defense and our commanders in the field from fully using their judgement and expertise.
Democratic National Committee
To: Interested Parties
From: The Democratic National Committee
Date: July 20, 2017
“Six months ago, Trump assumed the responsibilities of our nation’s highest office. In the months since, he has broken promise after promise while pursuing an agenda that would devastate the working families he claimed to stand for. Not only has President Trump failed to notch any significant accomplishment, he also continues to enrich himself and his businesses at the expense of American taxpayers. And on the international stage, he has disgraced our nation's standing, compromised our core values, and ceded leadership to countries like China and Russia.
“While Trump has failed to fulfill the oath he took, Democrats have been standing up for working families and fighting this administration's agenda at every turn. And across the country, millions of Americans have organized, made their voices heard, and turned this moment into a movement. Six months ago, we promised to fight back against Donald Trump's attacks on our democracy. And we're just getting started." – DNC Chair Tom Perez
Donald Trump has signed no major laws as president.
“Despite Claims To Contrary, Trump Has Signed No Major Laws 5 Months In” – NPR
This week was marked with the failure of Trump’s healthcare repeal bill, that he was “very active” on and “spending as much time as he can” to help ensure its passage.
“‘He’s been very active on the phone. He’s going to continue to meet with senators and he’ll have some ... senators over tonight. He’s been very active over the weekend.” - Sean Spicer
“He’s spending as much time as he can having meetings at the White House, on the phone, working with the senators, working with the legislature.” – Gary Cohn
“We’re focused on plan A, and that is repealing and replacing Obamacare. The President is fully engaged as—along with his administration in working with House and Senate members to make sure that we repeal and replace Obamacare and put in place a healthcare reform system that is sustainable and that works and serves all Americans. And that’s the focus right now, and that’s the only focus.” – Sarah Sanders, White House Daily Briefing, 6/28/17
On healthcare, Trump promised not to cut Medicaid, that nobody would lose coverage and nobody would be worse off financially. Every version of the Republicans’ repeal efforts would break those promises, including the most recent repeal-only plan.
“The number of people who are uninsured would increase by 18 million in the first new plan year following enactment of the bill. Later, after the elimination of the ACA’s expansion of Medicaid eligibility and of subsidies for insurance purchased through the ACA marketplaces, that number would increase to 27 million, and then to 32 million in 2026.” – CBO
“Premiums in the nongroup market (for individual policies purchased through the marketplaces or directly from insurers) would increase by 20 percent to 25 percent—relative to projections under current law—in the first new plan year following enactment. The increase would reach about 50 percent in the year following the elimination of the Medicaid expansion and the marketplace subsidies, and premiums would about double by 2026.” – CBO
“A repeal bill along the lines of the 2015 bill would end federal funding for Medicaid expansion abruptly on January 1, 2020, with no phase-out period.” – Center on Budget and Policy Priorities
After inheriting a strong economy from Obama, job creation and economic growth took a step back under Trump.
“This includes a decrease of 354,000 government workers, so private payroll growth has been slightly higher. The Obama administration loves to tout that the economy has added jobs every month for the past 75 months, the longest streak on record and much higher than the previous record of 48 between 1986 and 1990.” – Business Insider
“But the reality is the pace of job growth is now slightly slower than it was when President Obama left office.” – Politico
“Overall, the 362,000 jobs added from March to May are the fewest during a three-month period since mid-2012.” – Washington Post
“And the economy grew just 1.4 percent in the first quarter, down from 2.1 percent in the fourth quarter of 2016.” – Politico
Trump failed to deliver on his promises to bring back the auto, manufacturing, construction and coal industries.
“After Years Of Growth, Automakers Are Cutting U.S. Jobs” – New York Times
“President Trump’s promises to revive the struggling American manufacturing industry faces new headwinds as the automotive sector, the largest driver of manufacturing jobs, announces thousands of new layoffs. The layoffs come as the auto industry faces declining growth after a post-recession rebound.” – The Hill
“Homebuilders are building less under Trump than they did during the end of the Obama era… The story began: ‘U.S. homebuilding fell for a third straight month in May to the lowest level in eight months as construction activity declined broadly, suggesting that housing could be a drag on economic growth in the second quarter.’” – Toronto Star
“Amid otherwise decent job growth this year, manufacturing has been a weak spot, with the sector’s share of U.S. employment hitting a record low in June at just under 8.47 percent.” – Washington Post
“Indiana Lost 5,000 Manufacturing Jobs Under Trump” – Axios
“There is no boom in coal jobs, despite what President Trump and his surrogates say.” – CNNMoney
“President Donald Trump boasted Monday that the nation added 45,000 mining jobs recently — but there’s scant data to back that up. One thing there is evidence for: Only 800 coal mining jobs have been created during his tenure.” – NBC News
Despite Trump’s promise that companies would not leave, jobs continued to move overseas.
“American Jobs Are Headed To Mexico Once Again” – Bloomberg
“Illinois Tool Works Inc. will close an auto-parts plant in Mazon, Illinois, this month and head to Ciudad Juarez.” – Bloomberg
“Triumph Group Inc. is reducing the Spokane, Washington, workforce that makes fiber-composite parts for Boeing Co. aircraft and moving production to Zacatecas and Baja California.” – Bloomberg
“TE Connectivity Ltd. is shuttering a pressure-sensor plant in Pennsauken, New Jersey, in favor of a facility in Hermosillo.” – Bloomberg
Companies including Carrier, Rexnord, Boeing, Harley-Davidson, Ford and General Motors cut American jobs, despite Trump’s specific promises to their workers.
“Carrier Corp. plans to eliminate 338 jobs at its Indianapolis furnace factory Thursday — and the timing is likely to raise some eyebrows. The previously announced layoffs coincide, to the day, with the six-month anniversary of Donald Trump’s presidency. They are part of a deal Trump struck with the company in December to prevent deeper job cuts at the plant.” – Indy Star
“Local union president Chuck Jones says he expects layoffs to start within weeks at a 300-worker Rexnord bearings factory in Indianapolis that is moving to Monterrey. A Trump tweet in December accused Rexnord of ‘viciously firing’ the American workers.” – Associated Press
“The South Carolina Boeing plant where President Trump gave a speech promising to protect U.S. jobs says it’s laying off workers. Boeing confirmed to CNNMoney on Thursday that it’s cutting about 200 jobs at its plant in South Carolina. The plant had previously experienced sizable cutbacks in 2013 when Boeing significantly scaled back contract workers.” – CNNMoney
"Harley-Davidson Inc., the motorcycle maker President Donald Trump has praised for its U.S. manufacturing presence, is cutting workers... The moves run counter to Trump’s claims he would drive U.S. economic growth by spurring more factories and hiring. The president in February called Harley a 'great example' of successful American manufacturing and said his administration would make it easier for businesses to create jobs and build plants." -- Detroit News
“When Ford announced last year that it would not move production of its Ford Focus to Mexico, Trump hailed the decision as a victory. He didn’t offer a comment this week when Ford said it would move production of its Focus model to China, a decision that could hurt the broader American auto sector.” – The Hill
“General Motors is cutting factory jobs again. The automaker will eliminate one of two shifts at its Warren, Michigan plant, which makes transmissions. The company won’t say how many jobs will be affected, but the cuts could eliminate about half of the nearly 600 jobs at the plant.” – CNNMoney
Trump claimed trade concessions with China that did not actually amount to anything.
“Trump’s China Trade Deal Is Underwhelming” – Washington Post
“When Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross announced in May the ‘herculean accomplishment’ of extracting Chinese promises to open swiftly long-restricted markets in finance and agriculture, he pronounced the actions ‘more than has been done in the whole history of U.S.-China relations on trade.’ Now, as the two countries mark Sunday’s deadline for completing the agreements, affected American companies say Beijing has met the letter of its pledges, yet fallen short of the spirit. Their assessment: slow, modestly improved access in some sectors, while lingering obstacles in others will continue to stymie foreign firms for years, even as specific targeted barriers have been removed.” – Wall Street Journal
Trump did not label China a currency manipulator, despite having pledged to do so on day one.
“President Donald Trump said Wednesday that he no longer believes China manipulates its currency, a complete shift from the position he repeatedly took during his 2016 campaign. ‘They’re not currency manipulators,’ Trump told the the Wall Street Journal during an Oval Office interview.” – NBC News
Taxpayers have paid more than $3.5 million for White House flights in about half a year.
“The Feb. 5 flight to Houston was part of more than $3.5 million in White House travel that Judicial Watch has reviewed so far under the Freedom of Information Act since the Trump administration took office Jan. 20.” - USA Today
Palm Beach County wants to be reimbursed for $4.5 million in taxpayer money for overtime costs related to Trump’s Mar-a-Lago trips.
“Six members of Congress, including four from Palm Beach County, signed a pair of letters Monday to the heads of the U.S. Justice Department and the Federal Emergency Management Agency, urging them to reimburse the county for security and roadway management costs associated with Trump’s trips to his Mar-a-Lago mansion on Palm Beach since he was elected. […] While the expenses mentioned in the two letters add up to $3.7 million, sheriff’s spokeswoman Teri Barbera said Tuesday that PBSO’s Trump-related overtime costs now stand at $4.5 million.” – Palm Beach Post
The U.S. government signed a lease for space in Trump Tower, costing taxpayers $2.39 million.
“The U.S. government is paying more than $130,000 a month to lease space in Trump Tower for the military office that supports the White House, even though Donald Trump hasn’t spent a night at the New York skyscraper since becoming president. The government signed a $2.39 million lease to rent a 3,475 sq. ft. space in the building for the military from Apr. 11, 2017 to Sept. 30, 2018, nearly 18 months in total, according to lease documents that The Wall Street Journal obtained through a freedom of information request.” – Wall Street Journal
Trump’s kids’ business trip to Vancouver cost taxpayers more than $53,000.
“Federal documents examined by NBC News outline hotel bills for the U.S. Secret Service and State Department coinciding with other out-of-town visits by Trump's sons and daughters, including: $53,155.25 during Donald Trump Jr., Eric Trump and Tiffany Trump's business trip to Vancouver in late February.” –
Eric Trump’s business trip to Uruguay cost taxpayers nearly $100,000.
“This month, The Post reported that Secret Service and U.S. Embassy staffers paid nearly $100,000 in hotel-room bills to support Eric Trump’s trip to promote a Trump-brand condo tower in Uruguay.” – Washington Post
Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump’s Dubai business trip cost taxpayers more than $16,000.
“Federal documents examined by NBC News outline hotel bills for the U.S. Secret Service and State Department coinciding with other out-of-town visits by Trump's sons and daughters, including: … $16,738.36 during Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump's business trip to Dubai in mid-February.” – NBC News
Secret service hotel rooms in advance of Eric Trump’s business trip to the Dominican Republic cost taxpayers more than $5,000.
“Eric Trump and his security detail flew this month to the Dominican Republic, during which the president’s son met with developers proposing a Trump-brand luxury resort. Purchase orders showing government expenditures for that trip are not yet available, but records show that Secret Service officials traveled there in advance to scope out the area — staying at the five-star, oceanfront AlSol Del Mar hotel at a cost of $5,470.” – Washington Post
Hotels and limos for Eric Trump’s United Kingdom business trip cost taxpayers more than $15,000.
“The Trump children's trips around the world with Secret Service …
· Eric Trump’s hotel costs in the U.K. this week: $11,261
· Eric Trump’s limousine services in Dublin: $4,029.85” – Newsweek
Donald Trump has caused the world’s opinion of the United States to plummet.
“U.S. Image Suffers as Publics Around World Question Trump’s Leadership” – Pew Research Center
Trump has isolated the United States from our allies.
“Once dominant, the United States finds itself isolated at G-20” – New York Times
Under Trump, the United States is no longer leading on the world stage and his G20 trip made clear that China and other countries are ready to fill that void.
“But as Mr. Trump contemplates protectionism, Europe and Japan reached a landmark free trade agreement this week. Mexico and China, two of the United States’ largest trading partners, have been mulling their own deal. The world is moving ahead regardless.” – New York Times
“The United States’ step back has left other nations, especially Germany under veteran Chancellor Angela Merkel, to take up the banner of traditional Western leadership—a stunning scenario given Washington’s decades-long role as the most prominent player in global diplomacy.” – CNN
“China sees opening left by Trump in Europe, and quietly steps in” – New York Times
World leaders condemned Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris Climate Accord, and moved forward without the United States.
“World leaders move forward on climate change, without U.S.” – New York Times
“President Donald Trump faced a chorus of global disapproval Friday in the wake of his decision to pull the United States out of the Paris Agreement on climate change, with allies and rivals uniting to accuse him of failing future generations.” – CNN
Trump trashed our own intelligence agencies on foreign soil, and gave Putin a pass for Russia’s interference in last year’s election.
“President Donald Trump, speaking in Poland July 6, downplayed the strength of the intelligence community’s conclusion that Russia meddled in the election to his benefit.” – Politifact
“It could very well have been Russia. But I think it could well have been other countries. And I won’t be specific. But I think a lot of people interfere.” – Remarks By President Trump And President Duda Of Poland In Joint Press Conference, Warsaw Poland, 7/6/17
The Sunlight Foundation: On Trump, transparency and democracy
In the face of historic lows in public trust in government and an increasingly polarized electorate, we’ve seen a regression to secrecy in both Congress and the White House. The change has not gone unnoticed around the globe, as our nation’s standing to defend democracy and our government’s ability to advocate for anti-corruption efforts has been precipitously eroded.
In Sunlight's new report, we offer a comprehensive but not exhaustive accounting of the Trump administration’s record on open government to date. More than seven months after we first considered what Trump would mean for open government, the questions we sent to the White House were never formally answered. The actions of this administration, however, speak for themselves.
Whatever transparency the President of the United States is demonstrating by speaking directly to the public on Twitter is outweighed by his refusal to disclose and divest, undermined by the opacity of their authorship, and weighted down by false claims and misleading assertions. This president publicly accused his predecessor of wiretapping his campaign with no evidence. If that’s transparency, the word itself has been devalued.
Our conclusion on the Trump administration’s record on open government at six months is inescapable: this is a secretive administration, allergic to transparency, ethically compromised, and hostile to the essential role that journalism plays in a democracy.
Six months from now, we will compare and contrast the Trump administration’s progress — or further regression — with the Obama administration’s mixed record on open government and reflect further on the way forward.
We welcome your feedback and comment, including from the White House itself, which has declined to answer our queries regarding these issues.