On Saturday, Donald Trump marks the 100th day of his presidency, and finds his approval ratings much lower than any of his modern predecessors.
One reason for this could be perceptions about his accountability. To become president, Trump made a lot of promises to a lot of people — 663, in fact. In just 100 days of what would be 1,461 days of a first term, Donald Trump has broken 80 promises he made before he was sworn in.
The White House, and Trump in particular, have placed a great deal of emphasis on the administration’s accomplishments in the first 100 days. He signed a one-week extension to keep the government open on Friday night, for instance. There is a brand-new section on the White House website devoted to the “historic pace” at which Trump “is keeping his promises to the American people.”
At times, however, Trump has also tried to downplay the importance of his first 100 days. “Because the hundred days is just an artificial barrier,” he told the Associated Press last week. “The press keeps talking about the hundred days. But we’ve done a lot. You have a list of things. I don’t have to read it.”
A White House press release showed how many executive orders Trump issued in the first 100 days in comparison to his predecessors — ignoring the fact that he had mocked Obama’s use of them in the past.
The White House is bragging about the number of executive orders President Trump has signed in his first 100 days. pic.twitter.com/yHIBg1mheZ
— Sahil Kapur (@sahilkapur) April 25, 2017
The American people, according to a recent CBS poll, do largely believe Trump is trying to fulfill his campaign promises, even though large majorities oppose the policies associated with those promises.
Yet a close analysis of the 663 promises Trump made on the campaign trail shows how few he has kept, and how many more he has broken.
Trump’s promises about what he would accomplish in his first 100 days are not the first vows pegged to a key milestone that were summarily ignored or broken. As a candidate, Trump made several pledges about the first paper he would sign, as well as what would he would do during his first minute and first hour as president. He kept none of them. On his first day in office, Trump failed to keep 34 different promises of what he said he would do on Day One in the White House — and fulfilled just two.
In total, during his first month in office, Trump broke 64 promises. He kept just seven of his promises in that first month.
Including those from the first month, Trump has broken 80 promises and kept seven in the first hundred days. Three promises have been addressed with some caveats in a separate category below.
Many of the 100 days promises are legislative, introduced in an October speech in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. In that speech, he said, “I will work with Congress to introduce the following broader legislative measures and fight for their passage within the first 100 days of my administration.” But none of these measures have been passed, and aside from an Obamacare repeal bill that has floundered in Congress, no Trump-approved bills have even been introduced in either chamber.
Asked about this at Monday’s press briefing, Press Secretary Sean Spicer explained it away as merely a promise to work with Congress: “I think we’re going to continue to work with Congress — as he says in that document, I will work with Congress to achieve these things; we are going to continue to work with Congress to achieve those.”
Asked again about the lack of progress so far on the legislative front, Spicer pointed to the confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch, the number of new executive orders Trump had signed, and the fact that Trump “has been extremely busy.”
When the AP’s Julie Pace asked Trump about the 100-day plan, Trump replied, “I’m mostly there on most items.”
The reality shows the opposite.
Trump promised he would work with Congress to introduce for passage in the first 100 days the End Illegal Immigration Act which funds construction of the wall
“Next, I will work with Congress to introduce the following broader legislative measures and fight for their passage within the first 100 days of my administration. … End Illegal Immigration Act. Fully funds the construction of a wall on our southern border — don’t worry about it, remember, I said Mexico’s paying for the wall — with the full understanding that the country of Mexico will be reimbursing the United States for the full cost of such a wall. Okay? We’re going to have the wall. Mexico’s going to pay for the wall. … But it establishes a two-year mandatory minimum federal prison sentence, this is people coming in illegally, for illegally reentering the United States after a previous deportation. And a five-year mandatory minimum for illegally reentering for those with felony convictions, multiple misdemeanor convictions, or two or more prior deportations.” [Gettysburg, PA, 10/22/16]
No such bill has been introduced, let alone passed, and the prospects for including even a small percentage of the funding to start the wall in the FY 2017 budget bill dimmed even further this week when Trump said he would be willing to delay funding in order to keep the government open. And not only has Mexico refused to pay for the wall, but this week its foreign minister also said Mexico would consider the construction of the wall a “hostile act.”
Trump promised he would work with Congress to introduce for passage in the first 100 days the Repeal and Replace Obamacare Act
“Next, I will work with Congress to introduce the following broader legislative measures and fight for their passage within the first 100 days of my administration. … The Repeal and Replace Obamacare Act. Fully repeal Obamacare and replace it with health savings accounts. We can do that.” [Gettysburg, PA, 10/22/16]
Despite running on repealing Obamacare for four straight elections, the Republican-led Congress has thus far failed to repeal the signature health care law of the land. The White House signaled a late push to resuscitate the failed repeal effort in recent weeks, but no vote happened in the first 100 days of Trump’s presidency. And Trump himself has admitted, assuming the law is repealed, that people shouldn’t expect a replacement bill until 2018. This is not to say that Trump cannot threaten Obamacare without the help of Congress, with various departments, including Health and Human Services, being directed to undermine the law in several ways. Still, no bill passed in the first 100 days.
Trump promised he won’t let countries steal our jobs anymore
“We’ll put our people back to work, we will not let other countries steal our jobs. It it is not going to happen anymore.” [Worcester, MA, 11/18/15]
According to a ThinkProgress analysis of Labor Department data, at least 11,934 American jobs have been lost or are in the process of leaving the United States since Inauguration Day.
Trump promised he would work with Congress to introduce for passage in the first 100 days the American Energy and Infrastructure Act
“Next, I will work with Congress to introduce the following broader legislative measures and fight for their passage within the first 100 days of my administration. … The American Energy and Infrastructure Act, leverages public/private partnerships and private investment through tax incentives to spur $1 trillion in infrastructure investment over the next ten years.” [Gettysburg, PA, 10/22/16]
Trump has yet to unveil his long-promoted infrastructure plan, nor even endorsed any legislation in Congress.
Trump promised he would work with Congress to introduce for passage in the first 100 days the Restoring National Security Act
“Next, I will work with Congress to introduce the following broader legislative measures and fight for their passage within the first 100 days of my administration. … Restoring National Security Act, which rebuilds our military, by eliminating the defense sequester, which has been very tough for our military and expanding military investment. … It also provides our great veterans with the ability to receive public VA treatment or attend a private doctor of their choice.” [Gettysburg, PA, 10/22/16]
This bill has not been introduced, and as these issues are largely budgetary, they would be addressed in spending bills. Congress just passed a one-week extension of the FY 2017 budget which included baseline levels of military spending.
Trump promised he would work with Congress to introduce for passage in the first 100 days a bill to end the Offshoring Act
“Next, I will work with Congress to introduce the following broader legislative measures and fight for their passage within the first 100 days of my administration. … End the Offshoring Act, establish tariffs to discourage companies from laying off their workers in order to relocate in other countries and ship their products back to the United States tax-free.” [Gettysburg, PA, 10/22/16]
This bill has not yet been introduced, let alone passed.
Trump promised he would fight for passage of tax cut in first 100 days
“Next I will work with Congress to introduce a series of legislative reforms and will fight for their passage in the first 100 days of my administration. This legislation quickly includes the Middle Class Tax Relief and Simplification Act.” [Sanford, FL, 10/25/16]
While Trump did release a one-page, whittled-down outline of a tax plan this week, it has not been introduced in legislative form in Congress, let alone voted on or passed.
Trump promised he would work with Congress to introduce for passage in the first 100 days a middle class tax relief bill
“Next, I will work with Congress to introduce the following broader legislative measures and fight for their passage within the first 100 days of my administration. … Middle class tax relief and simplification act. An economic plan designed to grow the economy 4% per year and create at least 25 million new jobs through massive tax reduction and simplification in combination with trade reform, regulatory relief and lifting the restrictions on American energy. … The largest tax reductions are for the middle class. … The middle class with family of two children will get basically approximately a 35% tax cut. … The current number of brackets will be reduced from seven to three. And tax forms will likewise be greatly simplified. The business rate will be lowered from 35% to 15%. And the trillions of dollars of American corporate money overseas can now be brought back at a 10% rate.” [Gettysburg, PA, 10/22/16]
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Thursday that there is no guarantee that middle class families would not pay more under the proposals. The focus is on corporate tax reform, and Trump himself would benefit from a proposal to change the way corporations like the Trump Organization pay taxes.
Trump promised he would work with Congress to introduce for passage in the first 100 days and Education Opportunity Act
Next, I will work with Congress to introduce the following broader legislative measures and fight for their passage within the first 100 days of my administration. … An Education Opportunity Act. Redirects education dollars to give parents the right to send their kid, their children to public, private, charter, magnate, religious or home schools of their choice. [Gettysburg, PA, 10/22/16]
A bill from Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ) was introduced in March that attempts to achieve some of these goals, but the bill has no cosponsors and was referred to committee. Trump has made no public mention of it nor offered his support. No other Trump-approved legislation has been introduced, let alone passed or signed.
Trump promised he would work with Congress to introduce for passage in the first 100 days the Restoring Community Safety Act
“Next, I will work with Congress to introduce the following broader legislative measures and fight for their passage within the first 100 days of my administration. … Number eight, Restoring Community Safety Act. Reduces surging crime, drugs and violence by creating a task force on violent crime, and increasing funding for programs that train and assist your local police, who are doing such a great job. Believe me. Increase the resources for federal law enforcement agencies, and federal prosecutors to dismantle criminal gangs and put violent offenders behind bars or out of our country and into the country where they came from.” [Gettysburg, PA, 10/22/16]
This bill has not been introduced, let alone passed.
Trump promised he would work with Congress to introduce for passage in the first 100 days the Clean Up Corruption in Washington Act
“Next, I will work with Congress to introduce the following broader legislative measures and fight for their passage within the first 100 days of my administration. … Clean Up Corruption in Washington Act. Enacts tough new ethics reforms, to reduce the corrupting influence of special interests, and donors, on our politics.” [Gettysburg, PA, 10/22/16]
While some members of Congress have introduced various bills related to ethics reform, Trump has not publicly endorsed any of them.
Trump promised he would work with Congress to introduce for passage in the first 100 days the Affordable Child Care and Elder Care Act
“Next, I will work with Congress to introduce the following broader legislative measures and fight for their passage within the first 100 days of my administration. … Affordable Child Care and Elder Care Act allows Americans to deduct child care and elder care from their taxes. Incentivizes employers to provide on-site — so important — child care services. And you see that with a couple of companies, and it’s such a great thing to see. And creates tax-free dependent care savings accounts for both young and elderly dependents with matching contributions for low-income families. So good.” [Gettysburg, PA, 10/22/16]
This bill has not been introduced, let alone passed.
Trump promised his administration would have a hacking report in 90 days
“What are Hillary Clinton’s people complaining about with respect to the F.B.I. Based on the information they had she should never….. released by ‘Intelligence’ even knowing there is no proof, and never will be. My people will have a full report on hacking within 90 days!” [Twitter, 1/13/17]
Ninety days into his presidency, there was no team, no plan, and no report on hacking, according to Politico. There is no evidence 100 days in, either.
Trump promised he would impose new Secretary of State ethics rules
“Number one, the first 100 days… we’re going to impose tough new ethics rules to restore dignity to the Office of the Secretary of State.” [New York, NY, 6/22/16]
As of yet, the State Department has not released any new ethics rules related to the Office of the Secretary of State.
Trump promised to start renegotiating trade deals within 90 days
“But I would start — because I noticed your question briefly — boom, what would you do in the first 90 days? I would immediately start renegotiating our trade deals with Mexico, China, Japan and all of these countries that are just absolutely destroying us. [Washington Post, 4/2/16]
While there is some talk that Trump may sign an executive order withdrawing from NAFTA, and more talk about issuing a broader executive order that would re-examine all 14 trade deals, none of that happened within the first 100 days, let alone 90 days.
Trump promised that his immigration rule changes will lower unemployment
“Number one, the first 100 days… I will change immigration rules to give unemployed Americans an opportunity to fill good, really good paying jobs. We don’t have good paying jobs anymore. These will be good paying jobs.” [New York, NY, 6/22/16]
While Trump has attempted to change several rules related to the country’s immigration system though two executive orders — which attempted to halt both the entry of foreign nationals from Syria and other Muslim-majority countries into the United States and suspend all refugee resettlement — both were held up in court. Another executive order targeted the enforcement of high-skilled visas, although it had no weight without congressional action. While the unemployment rate has ticked down from 4.8 percent in January to 4.5 percent in March, there has also been no evidence of a swath of new good-paying jobs in the first hundred days, nor that his policies have had any effect on the unemployment rate.
Ask every department head in government to provide a list of wasteful spending to eliminate
“We are going to ask every department head in government to provide a list of wasteful spending, on projects that we can eliminate in my first 100 days. The politicians have talked about this for year, but I’m going to do it.” [Cleveland, OH, 7/21/16]
Trump did indeed sign an executive order in March ordering a government-wide review of spending and waste, which asked agency heads to send a list of recommendations for waste to be cut within six months — not 100 days. Thus far no lists have been made public.
Trump promised to deregulate drilling technologies
“Here is my 100-day action plan … We’re going to revoke policies that impose unwarranted restrictions on new drilling technologies. These technologies create millions of jobs with a smaller footprint than ever before.” [Trump campaign website, 5/26/16]
The president has certainly not been quiet on this front. Almost half of Trump’s executive actions in the first hundred days have been related to the environment. The EPA has announced it will reconsider the 2016 rule limiting methane pollution from new oil and gas wells, although it has not been revoked yet. Trump’s executive order on Friday opening up federal waters in the Arctic, Atlantic, and the Gulf of Mexico to offshore drilling may serve to ease the use of certain drilling technologies. These executive orders, however, will not bring back the jobs Trump says they will, however, as automation and cheaper alternatives have had greater impacts.
Trump promised to rescind executive actions
“Here is my 100 day action plan. We’re going to rescind all the job destroying Obama executive actions. Including the Climate Action Plan and the Waters of the United States Rule. Okay? Remember that. We’re going to save the coal industry.” [Anaheim, CA, 5/25/16]
Trump did sign an executive order aimed at the Clean Water Rule, although it faces numerous legal and scientific hurdles. It cannot be said he has rescinded it yet. In March, Trump signed a behemoth executive order unilaterally rescinding the Climate Action Plan, as well as several other key environmental rules and regulations. Either the White House has concluded that the Climate Action Plan is the only executive action that destroyed jobs, or he has not fulfilled his promise.
There were no 100 days promises clearly kept by the administration in ThinkProgress’ analysis.
Trump promised not to close borders through executive orders.
“All I’m saying is I’ll make great deals and we’ll get them done and we don’t to have use executive orders and all the stuff that Obama is using which at some point, I would imagine the courts are going to overrule in one form or another. But we’re not going to be opening our borders or closing our orders based on executive orders. We’re going to do it. We will get along well.” [Fox Special Report with Brett Baier, 1/26/16]
Trump promised to replace Obamacare “immediately after we go in.”
“You’re going to end up with great health care for a fraction of the price and that’s gonna take place immediately after we go in. Okay? Immediately. Fast. Quick.” [Las Vegas, NV, 2/22/16]
Trump supporters waiting for this promised immediate replacement of the Affordable Care Act will have to wait until 2018, the president admitted this month.
Trump promised to immediately terminate Obama’s “two illegal executive amnesties.”
“We will immediately terminate President Obama’s two illegal executive amnesties in which he defied federal law and the constitution to give amnesty to approximately 5 million illegal immigrants.” [Phoenix, AZ, 8/31/16]
As of this writing, Trump has yet to terminate or rescind Obama’s executive actions on immigration.
Trump promised to ask Congress to convene a special session to repeal and replace Obamacare.
“When we win on November 8th and elect a Republican congress, we will be able to immediately repeal and replace Obamacare. Have to do it. I will ask Congress to convene a special session so we can repeal and replace, and it will be such an honor for me, for you, and for everybody in this country because Obamacare has to be replaced and we will do it and we will do it very, very quickly.” [Valley Forge, PA, 11/1/16]
Conservatives began to notice in the first month that not only did Congress not convene a special session on Obamacare, but Trump also had not unveiled any plan to replace the Affordable Care Act in any short timeframe. Trump made no public statements asking Congress for a special session, so if he kept his promise, it was in private, and it was ignored.
Trump promised to create reform so that for every new regulation, two old regulations eliminated.
“I will formulate a reform that says for every new regulation, two old regulations must be eliminated, so important.” [Video message, 11/21/16]
While some media outlets gave Trump credit for fulfilling this promise, he actually broke it. It does not require that two regulations actually be repealed, only that agency heads identify “at least two prior regulations” for elimination. Federal laws are on the books that compel the executive branch to promulgate regulation to implement various laws.
Trump promised to instruct Treasury Secretary to label China a currency manipulator and to apply tariffs.
“I’m going to instruct my Treasury Secretary to label China, and I like China, they’re my tenant, they buy condos all the time, they’re just fine, but you know what, they’re a currency manipulator and we’re going to apply tariffs to any country that devalues its currency to gain an unfair advantage over the United States.” [Economic Club of New York, 9/15/16]
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said during the first month that “we’re not making any judgments” at this time when asked about labeling China a currency manipulator. This month, Trump announced he would not follow through after all.
Trump promised to protect “religious liberty.”
“So the first priority of my administration will be to preserve and protect our religious liberty. The first amendment guarantees our right to practice our faith as we see fit, not just during the holy days, but all the time, always, wherever.” [Iowa, 9/19/15]
Trump as a candidate called for a total ban on Muslims entering the United States. Even though he subsequently walked that position back, his administration has attempted, through executive order, to implement a travel ban that is reportedly the best way for Trump to ban Muslims “legally.” His administration has promised to both fight current legal challenges facing the ban and introduce a revised order to avoid judicial scrutiny. He also declined, in three separate occasions in one week, to denounce anti-Semitism.
Trump promised to approve the Keystone pipeline and make a deal for 25 percent of profits in two minutes.
“I want like 25% of the profits. Does that make sense? I could say 50% but I wanna be nice. No seriously, I want 25% of the profits. And I am gonna approve it fast but I want 25. I am gonna negotiate a deal, it will take me about two seconds. Those guys have been so beaten up with that stupid pipeline, they have been so beaten up. I’ll get them into my office, they’ll give me whatever I want in about two minutes.” [Manchester, NH, 11/11/15]
Trump signed an executive memorandum asking TransCanada to resubmit its application for the tar sands oil pipeline, but it will take much longer than the timeframe he described to approve it, much less winning a deal with a 25 percent profit share.
Trump promised to protect Muslims from profiling.
“Don’t worry about profiling. I promise I will defend from you profiling. I promise.” [Mt. Pleasant, SC, 12/7/15]
Later in the campaign, Trump said racial profiling “is something that we’re going to have to start thinking about as a country.” During the transition, a Trump policy adviser recommended that the incoming administration could adopt a registry targeting Muslim immigrants. Another surrogate cited the Japanese internment camps from WWII as precedent for such a registry. The Trump administration wants the Department of Homeland Security to focus less on white supremacists and more on Islamic extremism. Rex Tillerson, before he was confirmed as Secretary of State, would not rule out a Muslim registry when asked about it during his confirmation hearings.
Trump promised a death penalty for cop killers by executive order.
“One of the first things I’d do in terms of executive orders, if I win, will be to sign a strong, strong statement that will go out to the country, out to the world, that anybody killing a policeman, a policewoman, a police officer, anybody killing a police officer: Death penalty is going to happen, okay?” [Portsmouth, NH, 12/10/15]
Trump’s executive order, signed on February 9, does not mention the death penalty, though it does direct the Justice Department to prosecute crimes against police officers and pursue legislation to make such attacks a federal crime — even though FiveThirtyEight noted that some former police officers doubted the order’s efficacy. Still, Trump did not, and could not, issue the executive order he promised to issue.
Trump promised to tell the Dept. of Commerce to immediately review foreign trade practices that hurt the American worker.
“I’m going to instruct the Dept of Commerce to immediately begin a review of all foreign trade practices that unfairly hurt American manufacturing.”
Trump had issued no executive order or memo about this, and there were no public statements signifying he has told the Commerce Department to do this.
Trump promised to make policy decisions transparent.
“Policy decisions will be public and very, very transparent. They won’t be made on Hillary’s private email account.” [Anaheim, CA, 5/25/16]
International transparency watchdog groups have “serious concerns” over the approach already taken by the Trump administration when it comes to conflicts of interest. Other watchdog groups have flagged the secretive nature of Trump’s CEO advisory boards. The first law Trump signed removed a transparency rule for Big Oil. Not to mention the subversion of transparency norms signaled by Trump’s refusal to release his tax returns and his campaign and administration’s dealings with Russia.
Trump promised to rarely leave the White House and not take vacation.
“Real estate mogul and reality TV star Donald Trump (R) says he wouldn’t get out much if he wins the Oval Office next year. ‘I would rarely leave the White House because there’s so much work to be done,’ Trump, 69, tells ITK. ‘I would not be a president who took vacations. I would not be a president that takes time off. … You don’t have time to take time off,’ Trump adds.” [The Hill, 6/23/15]
Trump left the White House for three (sometimes long) weekends in a row to stay at his Mar-a-Lago club in Palm Beach, FL in the first month of his presidency. This trend continued through the second and third months of his presidency.
Trump promised to have great negotiators for diplomats, not nice people who gave political contributions.
“Carl Icahn’s one of the best. If I put Carl in charge of Japan, ‘Carl, handle Japan trade deals.’ It’s over, just walk away let him run the- oh forget it. They even know that they don’t have a chance. Okay? It’s over. You understand. Not Caroline Kennedy, I love her, but not Caroline. .. I want the great negotiators negotiating our deals I don’t want these nice people that got there because they gave political contributions.” [Greenville, SC, 8/27/15]
Trump picked a big political donor, NY Jets owner Woody Johnson, to be the ambassador to the United Kingdom.
Trump promised to apologize if wrong.
“I will absolutely apologize sometime in the hopefully distant future if I’m ever wrong.” [New York, NY, NBC Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, 9/11/15]
Trump and his administration lied at least 40 times in the first three weeks of his presidency. During a press conference at the end of the first month, Trump overstated the scope of his electoral college victory. When given the opportunity in real time to at least acknowledge, if not apologize for, his wrong statement, he blamed someone else for the bad information, and did not apologize. The only time Trump publicly apologized for something during the campaign was when the video was released of him bragging about groping women using foul language, and Trump used the apology to pivot to an attack on Hillary Clinton.
Trump promised that his kids won’t do business deals during his term(s) in office.
Presidency. Two of my children, Don and Eric, plus executives, will manage them. No new deals will be done during my term(s) in office.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 13, 2016
Trump promised in January that his companies would not commit to new deals while he is in office. The Trump organization moved forward with a plan to expand its resort in Scotland a few days before Trump’s inauguration, and this month, Trump’s sons attended a lavish opening of a golf course in Dubai. The deal had been in the works before Trump’s election, but it was not necessarily a done deal by the time he was sworn in. There is not much difference between renegotiating an existing deal, as in the Scottish example, and signing a new deal. Trump has deals still moving forward all over the world — in India and Indonesia, Uruguay and Canada — and the Trump organization can also revive deals that were previously dormant. Because Trump has not released his tax returns, it is impossible to know what deals Trump’s businesses actually have in place.
Trump promised not to make crazy comments as president.
“BARTIROMO: So, in that vein, I mean, do you think sometimes that maybe you need to pull in some of the comments, some of the rhetoric that so many people talk about? For example, this weekend, at your campaign stop, you said, ‘I could literally go on Fifth Avenue and shoot someone and not lose support.’ Do you want to rein that — would you say things like that if you were — TRUMP: As a president I wouldn’t, no. As a president, I wouldn’t; but as a campaigner, running against, you know, I had 17 people total.” [FBN, Mornings with Maria, 1/26/16]
Trump promised to set up a “private trust,” where he doesn’t know anything about his business.
“HANNITY: Yes. Would you, if president, would you go to the private trust, a secret trust where you don’t know anything about your business? TRUMP: I would do that. And you know, my children are very capable and I have great executives. So I would do that. And my executives and my children would run my companies.” [Fox News, Hannity, 2/8/16]
Trump agreed to place some of his assets into a trust, but it is not blind, secret, independent, nor private. He will receive reports on how his companies are doing and can revoke the trustees at any time.
Trump promised not to settle the Trump University lawsuit.
“Now just so you understand, I could have settled this case a long time ago. I chose not — I’m going to win the case in court, because I do that. I win cases in court. It’s a lawsuit. … I don’t believe in settling cases. I believe in winning cases.” [West Palm Beach, FL, 2/28/16]
In November, Trump agreed to settle the case for $25 million.
Trump promised to restart Trump University.
“You have the wins and all of that, and Trump University, we are going to start it up as soon as I win the lawsuit. Does that make sense? I mean that’s it, OK?” [Jupiter, FL, 3/8/16]
Trump settled the lawsuit, and has not signaled any intention to restart the university.
Trump promised to be “so presidential you won’t even recognize me.”
“My natural inclination is to win. And after I win, I will be so presidential that you won’t even recognize me. You’ll be falling asleep, you’ll be so bored.” [Washington Post, 4/2/16]
Whatever one may say about the president’s first month in office, it cannot be said that it was a boring month, with Trump putting the nation to sleep with his presidential behavior. Millions of people around the world protested the day after his inauguration, and each new action by his administration has prompted even more civic engagement and protests.
Trump promised not to tweet anymore because it’s “not presidential.”
“I tweeted today. At ‘realdonaldtrump,’ I tweet. You know it… don’t worry, I’ll give it up after I’m president. We won’t tweet anymore, I don’t think. Not presidential.”
— POLITICO (@politico) April 25, 2016
Trump has continued to use his personal Twitter account, frequently hijacking the news cycle, and the stock market, with his characteristic early-morning bizarre tweets that would be difficult to describe as presidential.
Trump promised to cut ties to his companies.
“Q: Seven in ten voters told us in a CNN poll they want to see you cut ties with your business while you are running for president — TRUMP: I will do that. Q: Will you do that while — TRUMP: Oh yea, I’ll do that. Q: — while you’re running though? TRUMP: I will do that.” [Turnburry, Scotland, 6/24/16]
Trump promised not to redecorate the White House.
“TAPPER: If you win, or, in your construct, when you win, you’re going to move into the White House, yes? TRUMP: Yes. Yes. TAPPER: Will you redecorate it Trump-style? TRUMP: No, I wouldn’t. I would — I just want a place — honestly, look, it’s a very special place. It’s a very special building.A lot of people say I’m going to move into the hotel that I’m building two blocks away. No. The White House represents something so important. TAPPER: So, no big Trump sign on top of the White House? TRUMP: It’s going to be clean. It’s going to be beautiful. It’s going to be well-maintained. It’s going to be just like it is. I’m going to be working. I’m not going to be decorating.” [CNN , State of the Union, 6/5/16]
The first photos of Trump in the Oval Office show that the drapes in the Oval Office, red during Obama’s term, are now colored gold.
Trump promised not to dodge questions.
President Obama refuses to answer question about Iran terror funding. I won't dodge questions as your President. https://t.co/jsAMGO3s4P
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 5, 2016
During his most recent press conference, Trump dodged a yes-or-no question about whether his campaign was in contact with Russia for three minutes. He dodged a similar question during his first press conference as president-elect. He routinely dodges questions in interviews.
Trump promised to always tell the truth.
“But one thing I can promise you is this: I will always tell you the truth.” [Charlotte, NC, 8/18/16]
Trump promised not to be involved with his business.
“I won’t be involved in my business at all, even though I have a legal right to be under the laws, as you know, because the president has a certain doctrine that he can do things. But I just don’t want to do it. Even if I could do it, which I’m allowed to, I wouldn’t want to. I want to devote my time…” [Fox News Sunday, 12/11/16]
Trump still owns his businesses, and will receive reports on how they are doing. In addition, his sons have been present in the White House for major events, even though they are meant to be independently running the Trump businesses.
Trump promised to hand over his businesses to his sons and resign from all positions.
“And what I’m going to be doing is my two sons, who are right here, Don and Eric, are going to be running the company. They are going to be running it in a very professional manner. They’re not going to discuss it with me. Again, I don’t have to do this. They’re not going to discuss it with me. And with that, I’m going to bring up Sheri Dillon, and she’s going to go — these papers are just some of the many documents that I’ve signed turning over complete and total control to my sons. … DILLON: … President-elect Trump as well as Don, Eric and Allen are committed to ensuring that the activities of the Trump organization are beyond reproach and cannot be perceived to be exploitative of the office of the presidency. President-elect Trump will resign from all officer and other positions he holds with the Trump Organization entities.” [New York, NY, 1/11/17]
Trump did reportedly resign from all his positions, yet Donald Jr. and Eric Trump have been present in the White House for major events, even though they are meant to be independently running the Trump businesses. Walter Shaub, director of the U.S. Office of Government Ethics, described Trump’s plan to let his sons run his businesses while he retains ownership as “meaningless.”
Trump promised that political activists with extreme agendas won’t write the rules in his administration.
“In a Trump administration, political activists with extreme agendas will no longer write the rules because that’s what’s happening now. Instead we will work with conservationists whose only agenda is protecting nature…” [Anaheim, CA, 5/25/16]
Steve Bannon, the proprietor of a website that promotes and caters to white nationalists, is Trump’s chief strategist and won himself a seat for a while on the National Security Council. Bannon and White House Policy Director Steven Miller are reportedly the ones writing many of the executive orders Trump signs.
Trump promised to have no involvement with the management of his business.
“TRUMP: Well, essentially I’m not going to have anything to do with the management of the company. WALLACE: I know, but isn’t that a huge conflict of interest, sir? TRUMP: When I ran, everybody knew that I — I was a very big owner of real estate all over the world. I mean, I’m not going to have anything to do with the management of the company. You know, when you sell real estate, that’s not like going out and selling a stock. That takes a long time. It takes — I have — I’m going to have nothing to do with it. And I’ll — I’ll be honest with you, I don’t care about it anymore. I’m so focused on doing a great job as president, I don’t care if our rent goes up a little bit or down. I couldn’t care less. WALLACE: But you hammered — TRUMP: My — my executives will run it with my children. It’s a big company. It’s a great company. But I’m going to have nothing to do with management.” [Fox News Sunday, 12/11/16]
Select SCOTUS picks from list
“So I am gonna get a list of anywhere from 5 to 10 judges and those are going to be the judges that I am going to put in, it will be one of those judges and I will guarantee it personally, like we do in the world of business, which we don’t like to do too often, but I will guarantee that those are gonna be the first judges that I put up for nomination if I win.” [Palm Beach, FL, 3/20/16]
Trump promised to not object to Russia helping to bomb ISIS.
“If Russia wants to help us, if Russia wants to drop bombs all the hell over ISIS, who are cutting people’s heads off and drowning people, that’s OK with me.” [Fox News, Hannity, 4/4/16]
Russia has been bombing targets in Syria, including ISIS, and Trump has not publicly objected. He and Vladimir Putin discussed collaborating on fighting ISIS militants in a phone call last month. However, the White House denied a report last month that the Russian Defense Ministry said it had received bombing coordinates from a U.S.-Russian “communications channel.”
Trump promised to ask TransCanada to renew its application for the Keystone XL pipeline.
“I’m going to ask TransCanada to renew its permit application for the Keystone pipeline.” [Anaheim, CA, 5/25/16]
Just a few days into his term, Trump signed an executive memorandum asking the Canadian company to resubmit its application for the tar sands oil pipeline. He has also promised he will approve the application, and ensure a good deal for the United States, though the this has not happened yet.
Trump promised to ask generals for plan to defeat and destroy ISIS within 30 days.
“I will ask my generals to present to me a plan within 30 days to defeat and destroy ISIS.” [Philadelphia, PA, 9/7/16]
On January 29, Trump signed an executive action ordering Defense Secretary Mattis, in coordination with other cabinet officials, to develop a plan to defeat ISIS within 30 days.
Trump promised to take quick action on the Dakota Access and Keystone XL pipelines.
“WALLACE: Let me ask you a couple specific questions. Will you still pull out of the Paris climate agreement, which has been signed by more than 100 countries to reduce carbon emissions? Will you restart the Dakota Access Pipeline, which the Army just stopped? TRUMP: OK. Let me not answer the Dakota because perhaps that’ll be solved by the time I get there, so I don’t have to create enemies on one side or the other. But I will tell you when I get to office, if it’s not solved, I’ll have it solved very quickly. WALLACE: Meaning you’re going to start it? TRUMP: I’m not saying anything. I just say something will happen, and it’ll be quick. I think it’s very unfair. So, it’ll start one way or the other. WALLACE: And Paris? TRUMP: You’ll have a decision pretty quickly. And also, the Keystone Pipeline, you’re going to have a decision fairly quickly. And you’ll see that.” [Fox News Sunday, 12/11/16]
While Trump did not take action on the first day of his presidency, he did attempt to speed up the process for the completion of the Dakota Access pipeline, which had been halted after the Army Corps of Engineers ordered a full Environmental Impact Statement for the project. Trump’s action on the defunct Keystone XL pipeline asked TransCanada to resubmit its application.
Trump promised to instruct the Treasury Secretary to label China a currency manipulator on day one.
“Therefore, on the first day of my term of office, my administration will immediately pursue the following six measures to clean up the corruption and special interests collusion in Washington. … On the same day I will begin taking, and really taking strongly seven actions to protect American workers. … Third, I will direct my Secretary of the Treasury to label China a currency manipulator. China is a currency manipulator.” [Gettysburg, PA, 10/22/16]
Steven Mnuchin said in his confirmation hearing that he was willing to label China a currency manipulator, yet Trump could not keep the promise on Day One because he did not yet have a Treasury Secretary. This month, Trump announced he would not follow through on the threat after all.
Trump promised to announce plans to renegotiate NAFTA on day one.
“If I win, day one, we are going to announce our plans to renegotiate NAFTA.” [Greensboro, NC, 10/14/16]
Trump has yet to announce any plans to do so. The new Trump White House website states his position on NAFTA: “President Trump is committed to renegotiating NAFTA.” It is now official White House policy, and while automakers have noticed it as such, there is no promised plan. One-hundred days later, it remains a position without an announced plan.
Trump promised to create a requirement that for every new regulation, two existing regulations must be eliminated on day one.
“Therefore, on the first day of my term of office, my administration will immediately pursue the following six measures to clean up the corruption and special interests collusion in Washington. … Third, a requirement that for every new federal regulation, two existing regulations must be eliminated.” [Gettysburg, PA, 10/22/16]
Trump’s administration had not announced any such requirement in the first 24 hours of his presidency. While some media outlets gave Trump credit for fulfilling this promise after he did issue an executive order directing this, he actually broke it. It does not require that two regulations actually be repealed, only that agency heads identify “at least two prior regulations” for elimination.
Trump promised to begin canceling billions in climate change spending for the United Nations on day one.
“Therefore, on the first day of my term of office… We’re going to cancel billions in payments to the United Nations climate change programs, and use the money to fix America’s water and environmental infrastructure.” [Gettysburg, PA, 10/22/16]
Trump’s new administration had not announced any such cancellation on the first day. In the last days of the Obama administration, the State Department transferred $500 million in commitments to the United Nations’ Green Climate Fund. Trump’s “skinny budget” proposal removed essentially all funding for climate programs across the government, so if that passes, money to the U.N. for climate will almost certainly dry up.
Trump promised to prevent the EPA from “killing your companies” and causing job losses on day one.
“The EPA is killing and killing your companies and you are losing your jobs. Let me tell you that’s going to be turned around on day one if I win. On day one. Your jobs are coming back to Pennsylvania and they are coming back to this area and that means and we are going to take care of our steelworkers and our miners.” [Ambridge, PA, 10/10/16]
Whatever job loss and company killing Trump warned Pennsylvania about last October had not received any official White House attention 24 hours after being sworn in.
Trump promised to stop jobs from leaving Florida and nationwide on day one.
“Look, no country has ever lost jobs like us. They’re sucked out of our country, the companies leave, they fire everybody, they go to Mexico and many other countries. Never happened before like this and we are going to stop it day one. It’s so easy. So easy to stop. A Trump administration will stop the jobs from leaving America and we will stop the jobs from leaving Florida. Promise.” [Sarasota, FL, 11/7/16]
There has been no reported nationwide stoppage of jobs leaving the United States as of Saturday, January 21.
Trump promised to propose a constitutional amendment for term limits on day one.
“Under my contract with the American voter we are proposing a series of ethics reforms on day one to end government corruption. They include a constitutional amendment to impose term limits on all members of congress.” [Sanford, FL, 10/25/16]
The White House had not announced such a proposed amendment as of day one.
Trump promised to propose ethics reforms on day one to end government corruption.
“Under my contract with the American voter we’re proposing a series of ethics reforms on day one to end government — right? To end government corruption.” [Tallahassee, FL, 10/25/16]
No ethics reforms were proposed by the Trump White House on day one, and there is no sign that government corruption has ended.
Trump promised to pursue a five-year ban on White House and congressional officials becoming lobbyists on day one.
“Therefore, on the first day of my term of office, my administration will immediately pursue the following six measures to clean up the corruption and special interests collusion in Washington. … Fourth, a five-year ban on white house and congressional officials becoming lobbyists after they leave government service.” [Gettysburg, PA, 10/22/16]
If the Trump White House was pursuing such a ban on Day One, it was not disclosed to the public that day. Trump did sign an executive order a week later, however, banning just executive branch officials (but not congressional staff) from lobbying their own agencies for five years. They are allowed to lobby other agencies.
Trump promised to get “all of the criminal immigrants out” on day one.
“Day one of my administration we’re getting all of the criminals out. We have many, many criminals. Gang members, heads of cartels, drug members and they lead all sorts of drug gangs, all of those — and the police know who they are. They’re all getting out.” [Manchester, NH, 8/25/16]
Trump had not publicly directed any such expulsion or deportation on day one.
Trump promised to get rid of “international gangs of thugs and drug cartels” before anything else, with the first piece of paper he signs.
“These international gangs of thugs and drug cartels will be I promise you from the first day in office, the first thing I’m going to do, the first piece of paper I’m going to sign is we are going to get rid of these people day one, before the wall, before anything and our great law enforcement they know who they are. They have been living with them for years and they don’t want to put up with it anymore. So we are going to get rid of them day one. We start day one.” [Joni Ernst Roast and Ride, IA, 8/27/16]
This was not the first piece of paper Trump signed that day, and there have been no reports of law enforcement getting rid of more gangs or drug cartels. The rhetoric has kept up, however, as Trump officials vow to crack down on gangs like MS-13.
Trump promised to begin moving two million “criminal aliens” out of the country on day one.
“According to federal data, there are at least 2 million — 2 million, think of it — criminal aliens now inside of our country. 2 million people, criminal aliens. We will begin moving them out day one as soon as I take office, day one. In joint operation with local, state and federal law enforcement. Now just so you understand, the police who we all respect, say hello to the police. Boy, they don’t get the credit they deserve, I can tell you. They’re great people. But police and law enforcement, they know who these people are. They live with these people. They get mocked by these people. They can’t do anything about these people and they want to. They know who these people are. Day one, my first hour in office, those people are gone!” [Phoenix, AZ, 8/31/16]
There have been no reports of any such joint operation moving undocumented immigrants with criminal records on day one. While this goal may be on Steve Bannon’s whiteboard, it has not been accomplished yet.
Trump promised that all undocumented immigrants will be out “day one.”
“And by the way, do you know that the gangs that you see, all of these terrible gangs that you see, many of those gangs are made up of illegal immigrants, and they’re tough dudes. And by the way, they’re going — day one they’re going to be out of here. We’re going to get rid of them day one.” [CNN, 9/24/15]
Trump had not demonstrated that he has deported any undocumented immigrants, let alone all of them, on day one. Since then, people have certainly been deported, but nowhere near as complete as Trump promised.
Trump promised to repeal Obama’s immigration executive orders on day one.
“You know Obama signed an executive order than said everybody come in. …the first minute in office I will counter sign and revoke those executive orders.” [Sioux City, IA, 10/27/15]
None of the Obama executive orders on immigration were revoked on day one.
Trump promised to ask Congress to pass “Kate’s Law” on day one.
“On my first day in office, I am also going to ask Congress to pass “Kate’s Law” — named for Kate Steinle — to ensure that criminal aliens convicted of illegal reentry face receive strong mandatory minimum sentences.” [Phoenix, AZ, 8/31/16]
Though Trump may have asked House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) to pass the law at the lunch after his inauguration, there is no report of such a conversation, and the more traditional route is for the White House to publicly urge that such a bill be passed. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) introduced a version in the Senate, and Rep. Steve King (R-IA) introduced one in the House two weeks ago.
Trump promised to cancel all federal funding of sanctuary cities on day one.
“Additionally, on the first day, I will take the following five actions to restore security and constitutional rule of law. … Third, we will cancel all federal funding of sanctuary cities.” [Gettysburg, PA, 10/22/16]
No such action had been reported or announced during Trump’s first day. Trump certainly has tried to make it harder for sanctuary cities to receive federal funding, but he has not been able to cancel it yet due to legal problems.
Trump promised to immediately suspend admission of Syrian refugees.
“That’s why my first day in office, I will immediately suspend the admission of Syrian refugees.” [Toledo, OH, 9/21/16]
Trump did not announce the suspension of the Syrian refugee program on his first day, and though two later executive orders attempted to suspend the entry of Syrian nationals into the United States, both were held up in court.
Trump promised to suspend immigration from “terror-prone regions” on day one.
“Additionally, on the first day, I will take the following five actions to restore security and constitutional rule of law. … We’re going to suspend immigration from terror-prone regions, where vetting cannot safely occur.” [Gettysburg, PA, 10/22/16]
Trump did not suspend immigration from any country on the first day, and two subsequent attempts at doing so for several majority-Islamic countries via executive order met a swift halt in the judicial system.
Trump promised to begin working on an impenetrable physical wall with latest technology on day one.
“We will build a great wall along the southern border. And Mexico will pay for the wall. Believe me. Hundred percent. They don’t know it yet, but they’re going to pay for the wall. And they’re great people and great leaders, but they’re going to pay for the wall. On day one we will begin working on an impenetrable, physical, tall, powerful, beautiful southern border wall. We will use the best technology, including above and below ground sensors, that’s the tunnels. Remember that above and below. [ makes hand gesture ] Above and below ground sensors. Towers, aerial surveillance and manpower to supplement the wall, find and dislocate tunnels and keep out criminal cartels and Mexico, you know that, will work with us. I really believe it. Mexico will work with us.” [Phoenix, AZ, 8/31/16]
While Trump did talk about protecting U.S. borders in his inaugural address, he did not announce any the start of any work on his wall within the first day of his presidency — and has not made progress in the first 100 days.
Trump promised to get rid of gun-free zones in schools on day one.
“I will get rid of gun-free zones in schools and you have to, and on military bases. My first day it gets signed. My first day it gets signed. My first day. There’s no more gun-free zones. Think of it.” [Burlington, VT, 1/7/16]
Trump did not publicly sign any order or legislation eliminating gun-free zones anywhere.
Trump promised to end gun free zones on military bases on day one.
“I will end gun-free zones on military bases so fast your head will spin. It’ll be the first day. The first day.” [Waterloo, IA, 2/1/16]
Trump did not publicly sign any order or legislation eliminating gun-free zones anywhere.
Trump also broke 13 promises by failing to do them in the time period he stated, even if he eventually accomplished or addressed the goals in a certain sense:
- unsigning executive orders within the first hour
- cancelling every “unconstitutional” executive action issued by President Obama on the first day
- ordering a review of all regulations on the first day
- asking departments to review immigration procedures regarding “extreme vetting”
- submitting “very strong language” mandating that, when undocumented immigrants get caught returning to the United States, they get jail time
- issuing a mandate to get the “bad” undocumented immigrants out
- asking Congress for a bill repealing Obamacare and replacing it
- institute a lifetime ban on White House officials lobbying on behalf of a foreign government
- banning foreign lobbyists from raising campaign dollars
- lifting environmental “roadblocks” to “energy infrastructure projects”
- lifting restrictions on the production of fossil fuels
- directing cabinet officials to identify foreign trading abuses that affect the American worker
- announcing withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership
Pursue a hiring freeze on all federal employees to reduce workforce size.
“Therefore, on the first day of my term of office, my administration will immediately pursue the following six measures to clean up the corruption and special interests collusion in Washington. … Second, a hiring freeze on all federal employees to reduce federal workforce through attrition. Exempting military public safety and public health.” [Gettysburg, PA, 10/22/16]
White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus sent a memo to federal agencies ordering such a hiring freeze for federal workers.
Issue a temporary moratorium on new agency regulations.
“Upon taking office, I will issue a temporary moratorium on new agency regulations.” [Detroit, MI, 8/8/16]
As President Obama did in 2009, White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus sent a memo to federal agencies halting new regulations.