CNN argues Trump keeps his promises. Here’s the truth.

He actually broke 80 in his first 100 days alone.

Donald Trump speaks during the CNN Republican presidential debate at the Venetian Hotel & Casino on Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2015, in Las Vegas. CREDIT: AP PHOTO/JOHN LOCHER
Donald Trump speaks during the CNN Republican presidential debate at the Venetian Hotel & Casino on Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2015, in Las Vegas. CREDIT: AP PHOTO/JOHN LOCHER

An article on titled “Donald Trump — Keeper of Promises” describes the 45th president as, “a politician who actually does what he told voters he would do.”

But that’s not what the first year of Trump’s administration has demonstrated.

To become president, Trump made a lot of promises to a lot of people  —  663, in fact. 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. He broke 80 of the promises he made before he was sworn in as president within just the first 100 days of his administration.

In fact, the main promise that the CNN article, written by CNN White House reporter Stephen Collinson, highlights is his promise about recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, which he did on Wednesday.


Except that’s not what candidate Trump promised to do. Early last year, he told CNN’s Wolf Blizter that he would move the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem “fairly quickly.” Trump did direct the State Department to begin plans to move the embassy to Jerusalem on Wednesday, a controversial and dangerous move that will nevertheless take three to four years to accomplish.

So while the president did set his administration down a path to eventually accomplish what he said he would do in his campaign promise, it’s not exactly the best example of Donald Trump, Promise Keeper to base such a sweeping conclusion around.

The story links to a CNN interactive page tracking where Trump stands on his promises, and even that page shows that the president has only kept two of the 21 promises they are following. A nine percent completion rate within such a small subset of the promises he made does not make Trump a promise keeper. Politifact’s tracker currently shows eight promises kept out of 101 promises they are monitoring.

In recent months it’s become clearer and clearer that Trump is failing to keep his most important promises on health care, taxes, foreign policy, and the budget.

Collinson did not respond to a request for comment about his article by Thursday afternoon.

There were many, many more promises broken by the president this year than ones he kept. Trump 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, including promises to: unsign executive orders within the first hour, cancel every “unconstitutional” executive action issued by President Obama on the first day, and announce withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership. He promised to work with Congress to introduce several big pieces of legislation in his first 100 days, but none actually got a vote within 100 days.

Some other promises Trump broke:

  • Trump promised he won’t let countries steal our jobs anymore. But according to a ThinkProgress analysis of Labor Department data earlier this year, at least 11,934 American jobs had been lost or were in the process of leaving the United States since Inauguration Day.
  • Trump promised to replace Obamacare “immediately after we go in.” This did not happen.
  • Trump promised not to close borders through executive orders. Trump has issued several executive orders directed at the borders of the United States.
  • Trump promised to have no involvement with management of business. Trump still retains ownership of his companies, and will receive reports on their performance as his sons, who have been present in the White House for major events, nominally run the businesses.
  • Trump promised to always tell the truth. In just 298 days, Trump made 1,628 false or misleading statements, according to the Washington Post.
  • Trump promised to rarely leave the White House and not take vacation. In fact, he has spent almost a third of his presidency at Trump properties, and it’s very difficult to argue he has not taken vacations.
  • Trump promised to instruct Treasury Secretary to label China a currency manipulator and to apply tariffs. The Trump administration has repeatedly declined to do so.
  • Trump promised his administration would have a hacking report in 90 days. This did not happen.
  • Trump promised to start renegotiating trade deals within 90 days. This did not happen

He did keep promises to freeze all federal hiring, and to issue a temporary moratorium on new federal regulations, on his first day, and five more within his first month.