During White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer’s first official press conference on Monday afternoon, the reporters he called on pressed him for news on the many promises Trump made before taking the Oath of Office. Toward the end of the conference, Politico’s Shane Goldmacher asked in particular about a speech then-candidate Trump gave in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania wherein he outlined a “Contract with the American Voter” (though not before promising to sue all the women who accused him of sexual assault after the election).
This contract included many promises regarding the first day of his presidency. Spicer said that Trump would space out the executive actions over more than one day to ensure each got attention — Trump intends to keep the promises he made.
SHANE GOLDMACHER: Three months ago, then-candidate Trump was in Gettysburg and he made a whole list of “day one” promises. He called it a Contract with the American voters. A bunch of them are not going to get done today because you said he’s done with making executive orders. Labeling China a currency manipulator imposing congressional term limits. I want to ask you, why not pursue all of those on day one as he promised in a contract with the voters?
SEAN SPICER: Well I think he is — we’re going to continue to sequence those out. I think part of it is to make sure that we don’t spend our entire day signing executive orders and bringing you in. There’s a that way we can do this to make sure we’re getting all of those things he promised the American people done in short haste and doing it in a way that doesn’t just jam them out in a fire hose. I think part is ensuring we sequence these that gives the issue, the proper attention, that they deserve. Because part of it is that when — if we put them all out on one day, they lose — they get lost in the ether. He made these promises and pledges to the American people because they’re important to him. So —
GOLDMACHER: He still plans to fulfill that day one list?
SPICER: Yes, that’s his intention.
On Friday, the first day of his presidency, Trump fulfilled two of his promises: pursuing a federal hiring freeze via a memo to all agencies from Chief of Staff Reince Priebus and issuing a regulatory freeze similar to the one imposed by other presidents, like former President Obama. He broke 34 other promises. On Monday, Trump signed an executive order withdrawing from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which was promised on day one. He made official the hiring freeze, and also cut American aid to international groups that provide information about abortion access. The so-called “global gag rule” was not something Trump had promised on the campaign trail.
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 then-Vice President-elect Pence said on January 4 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.”
Spicer also promised to “stay here as long as you want” when queried about his unusual weekend statement in the briefing room, where he took no questions from the press after attacking them for five minutes.
But Spicer ended the press conference while many reporters were still asking questions.