On his first day in office, Trump broke 34 promises

The new president made 36 promises about his first day, but kept only two of them.

Vice President Mike Pence, left, watches as President Donald Trump prepares to sign his first executive order, Friday, Jan. 20, 2017, in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington. CREDIT: AP Photo/Evan Vucci
Vice President Mike Pence, left, watches as President Donald Trump prepares to sign his first executive order, Friday, Jan. 20, 2017, in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington. CREDIT: AP Photo/Evan Vucci

Before being inaugurated president on Friday, Donald Trump promised many things (663, to be exact). Many of those promises are things he said would be done on his first day in office. According to a ThinkProgress analysis of Trump’s public statements, 36 of them, he said, would be done or start on his first day.

Now, 24 hours after Trump took the Oath of Office, he can safely say he kept two of those promises, and broke or ignored 34.

First Hour Promises

Then-candidate Trump made several pledges about the first paper he would sign, as well as what would he would do his first minute and first hour as president. He kept none of them.

“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,” Trump said on the campaign trail in August 2016. In October 2015, Trump said about Obama’s immigration deferred action executive action initiatives, “the first minute in office I will countersign and revoke those executive orders.” He vowed to move 2 million “criminal aliens” out of the country “my first hour in office,” in August 2016. The following month, Trump said he would “give a mandate to everybody, including the local police,” to get the “bad ones” out of the country, also in the first hour.

Trump’s first bills and executive orders, signed in the Capitol minutes after being inaugurated, focused on none of these things. He officially nominated members of his cabinet, proclaimed a “National Day of Patriotism,” and waived a legal requirement that retired Gen. James Mattis be out of the military for seven years before taking over civilian leadership at the Pentagon. Trump’s administration also quickly revoked a cut in fee rates for federally-backed mortgages, something that was both unexpected and not anything he promised or spoke about before taking office.

Taking Promises Seriously

Vice President-elect Mike Pence said that the Trump administration would not be shirking from promises made in the heat of the campaign. During remarks made after a meeting with the House Republican Conference on January 4, Pence said, “we’re going to be in the promise-keeping business. The president-elect campaigned all across this country. He gave voice to the frustrations and the aspirations of the American people. He laid out an agenda to make America great again, and my message on his behalf today before this conference and before members of the Senate is that we intend to keep those promises.”

Trump had attempted to push his “day one” for planned executive action back to day four (from Friday, January 20 when he was inaugurated to Monday, January 23).

“… [D]ay one — which I will consider to be Monday as opposed to Friday or Saturday. Right? I mean my day one is going to be Monday because I don’t want to be signing and get it mixed up with lots of celebration,” Trump said in an interview with the Times of London.

Yet Pence said that executive action “will literally begin on day one; before the end of the day we do anticipate that the president-elect will be in the Oval Office taking action to both repeal executive orders and also set into motion through executive action policies to implement, promises that were made on the campaign trail.”

Below is the full scorecard for Trump’s day 0ne promises.

34 Day One Promises Broken

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]

Trump’s nominee to run the Treasury Department, Steven Mnuchin, said in his confirmation hearing on Thursday that he was willing to label China a currency manipulator. Trump had not publicly asked Mnuchin to do so, as Mnuchin had not been confirmed by the Senate. Trump cannot keep the promise because he does not yet have a Treasury Secretary.

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. If our partners refuse a renegotiation that gives American workers a fair deal, then the President will give notice of the United States’ intent to withdraw from NAFTA.” It is now official White House policy, and while automakers have noticed it as such, there is no promised 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.

Trump promised to announce withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership 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. … Second, I will announce our withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a potential disaster for our country. [Gettysburg, PA, 10/22/16]

Trump has yet to announce any such withdrawal. The new Trump White House website states his position: “This strategy starts by withdrawing from the Trans-Pacific Partnership and making certain that any new trade deals are in the interests of American workers.” Yet the new president had not announced a withdrawal from the TPP in his first day.

Trump promised to direct the Commerce Secretary and United States Trade Representative to identify foreign trading abuses that affect the American worker and begin ending those abuses immediately, 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. … Fourth, I will direct the Secretary of Commerce and U.S. Trade Representative to identify all foreign trading abuses that unfairly impact American workers, and direct them to use every tool under American and international law to end those abuses immediately. [Gettysburg, PA, 10/22/16]

Trump had no confirmed commerce secretary or trade representative and therefore cannot direct them to do anything in an official capacity. No such direction to their respective agencies had been announced by the White House in the first day.

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 promised to lift restrictions on the production of fossil fuels on day one.

Therefore, on the first day of my term of office, my administration will immediately pursue the following six measures… … On the same day I will begin taking, and really taking strongly seven actions to protect American workers. … Fifth, very importantly, I will lift the restrictions on the production of $50 trillion worth of job-producing American energy reserves, including shale, oil, natural gas and clean coal. And we will put our miners back to work. [Gettysburg, PA, 10/22/16]

Trump had not announced any lifting of restrictions on the first day.

Trump promised to lift environmental roadblocks to “energy infrastructure projects” 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. … Sixth, I will lift the Obama-Clinton road blocks that allow for this vital energy infrastructure projects to go forward. We have road blocks like you’ve never, ever seen. Environmental blocks, structural blocks. [Gettysburg, PA, 10/22/16]

Whatever roadblocks Trump had in mind when he made this promise are still in place as of the first day of his presidency.

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.

Trump promised to pursue a complete ban on foreign lobbyists raising campaign dollars 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. … Sixth, a complete ban on foreign lobbyists raising money for American elections. [Gettysburg, PA, 10/22/16]

If the Trump White House is pursuing such a ban, it was not disclosed to the public on day one.

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 is pursuing such a ban, it was not disclosed to the public on day one.

Trump promised to pursue a lifetime ban on White House officials lobbying on behalf of a foreign government 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. … Fifth, a lifetime ban on white house officials lobbying on behalf of a foreign government. [Gettysburg, PA, 10/22/16]

If the Trump White House is pursuing such a ban, it was not disclosed to the public on day one.

Trump promised to ask Congress for a bill repealing Obamacare and replacing it with “reforms that expand choice, freedom, affordability.”

My first day in office, I am going to ask Congress to put a bill on my desk getting rid of this disastrous law and replacing it with reforms that expand choice, freedom, affordability. [Sanford, FL, 10/25/16]

Trump’s first executive order did address Obamacare, but it had nothing to do with repealing or replacing the legislation. It allows federal agencies to ignore or put off parts of the law that “impose a fiscal burden on any State or a cost, fee, tax, penalty, or regulatory burden on individuals, families, healthcare providers, health insurers, patients, recipients of healthcare services, purchasers of health insurance, or makers of medical devices, products, or medications.” If Trump asked Congress to put a bill on his desk on day one, he did not do so publicly.

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.

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.

Trump promised to issue a mandate to get the “bad” undocumented immigrants out of the country in the first hour.

Once we have a secure border and we stop the drugs and stop the bad ones and get the bad ones out, those are going to be gone immediately. Day one, first hour, I’m going to give a mandate to everybody, including the local police because they know. You know the local police know every one of the bad ones, it’s not like, ‘Oh gee, let’s figure out who it is.’ They know every bad gang member, drug kingpin, they know all of them. As soon as I will be in office for one hour and that order will go out. We’re getting them the hell out of the country. [Interview with David Muir, 9/5/16]

Trump had not issued any such mandate in the first day, let alone the first hour.

Trump promised to submit “very strong language” on first day in office mandating that, when undocumented immigrants get caught returning to the United States, they get jail time.

And we’re putting very, very strong language in, it will be submitted, first day I’m in office. When they come in once, we deport them. When they come in twice, they go to jail for five years. When they come in another one, it will be 10 years. And you know what is going to happen? Sort of pretty simple. They are here, get caught again, they go to jail for five years. Guess what’s going to happen? They’re never coming back, folks. [Jacksonville, FL, 11/3/16]

Trump may have submitted strong language to the world in the form of his inaugural address, but he did not address sentencing for undocumented immigrants.

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.

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 promised to ask DoS, DHS, and DoJ to comprehensively review terror immigration cases for extreme vetting as soon as he entered office.

According to data provided by the Senate Subcommittee on Immigration and the National Interests, between 9/11 and the end of 2014, at least 380 foreign-born individuals were convicted in terror cases inside inside the United States. And even right now the largest number of people are under investigation for exactly this than we’ve ever had in the history of our country. Our country is a mess. We don’t even know what to look for anymore, folks. Our country has to straighten out and we have to straighten out fast. The number is likely higher but the administration refuses to provide this information, even to Congress. As soon as I enter office, I am going to ask the Department of State, which has been brutalized by Hillary Clinton, brutalized — Homeland Security and the Department of Justice to begin a comprehensive review of these cases in order to develop a list of regions and countries from which immigration must be suspended until proven and effective vetting mechanisms can be put in place. I call it extreme vetting, right? Extreme vetting. I want extreme. It going to be so tough. And if somebody comes in, that’s fine but they’re going to be good. It’s extreme. [Phoenix, AZ, 8/31/16]

Trump did not publicly ask any of these departments for such a review in the first 24 hours of his presidency.

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 had not, as of noon Saturday, suspended immigration from any country.

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.

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.

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 promised to order a review of every regulation issued over the last 10 years, cancelling “needless” ones on day one.

My first day in office, I’m also going to order a review of every single regulation issued over the last 10 years. All needless job regulations will be canceled. [Clive, IA, 9/13/16]

There was no public announcement of any such review on Trump’s first day in office.

Trump promised to cancel every unconstitutional Obama administration executive action, memo, and order on day one.

Additionally, on the first day, I will take the following five actions to restore security and constitutional rule of law. We have to do that. Cancel every unconstitutional executive action, memorandum, and order issued by President Obama. [Gettysburg, PA, 10/22/16]

Unless Trump concluded that no Obama executive action, memeorandum, or order was unconstitutional, this promise was broken 24 hours after he was sworn into office.

Trump promised to unsign executive orders in his first hour.

And we will unsign lots of different things including some of those terrible executive orders, believe me, they’re gonna be unsigned so fast, they’ll be unsigned the first hour I’m in office, the first hour I’m in office. In the first hour that I’m in office. [Louisville, KY, 5/20/16]

Nothing was “unsigned” in the first hour of Trump’s term.

2 Day One Promises Kept

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.

Another promise Trump may have broken is an assurance he would not redecorate his new home. After telling CNN’s Jake Tapper in June that he would indeed move into the White House, Tapper asked if Trump would “redecorate it Trump-style.” Trump said “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 confirmed, “so no big Trump sign on top of the White House?”

“It’s going to be clean,” Trump said. “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.”

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.