WASHINGTON — Much of President Donald Trump’s first weekend in the White House was driven by criticism from Trump and press secretary Sean Spicer of media coverage over the size of his inauguration crowd.
But the new administration is also driving policy changes that will have far more long-term significance.
Here’s a list of the Trump administration’s actions in its first 72 hours:
- Taken over running of the entire federal government.
- Issued an executive order aimed at rolling back former President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act.
- Halted a reduction to the annual mortgage insurance premiums borrowers pay when taking out government-backed home loans.
- Ordered agencies to freeze new regulations, giving the new administration time to review them.
- Received a key legal OK from the Justice Department for Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner to take on a role in the White House.
- Met with the CIA, where he addressed employees. Trump also took over the nuclear codes Trump’s nominee for CIA director, Kansas Rep. Mike
- Pompeo, contradicted his earlier testimony and said he was open to revisiting limits on interrogation techniques including waterboarding if his intelligence officers think it is needed.
- Raised the specter of another conflict in Iraq, with Trump expressing regret for not taking over the country’s oil and telling the CIA, “We should have kept the oil. Maybe we’ll have another chance.”
- Spoke to the Mexican president and said the two will meet at the end of January.
- Spoke to the Canadian prime minister about the two nations’ economic relationship.
- Announced he has meetings with leaders in Mexico and Canada to begin re-negotiating NAFTA.
- Announced his first foreign leader meeting will be Friday with the United Kingdom Prime Minister Theresa May.
- Signaled a shift in the Justice Department’s civil rights efforts when it requested a delay in the lawsuit over a Texas law requiring voters to present certain types of government-issued IDs.
- Prepared to issue more executive orders this week. Told the National Park Service not to tweet after it retweeted side-by-side images showing the crowd at former President Barack Obama’s 2009 inauguration and Trump’s inauguration.
- Began discussions about moving the US embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Confronted his first national disaster as President, deadly tornadoes in Georgia.
- Issued executive orders to withdraw from the Trans Pacific Partnership trade deal negotiations, as well as executive order on abortion and lobbyists who want to work in the White House.
President Donald Trump on Monday will start to unravel the behemoth trade deal he inherited from his predecessor, as he signed an executive action to withdraw from the negotiating process of the Trans-Pacific Partnership.
That executive action sends signals to Democrats and leaders in foreign capitals around the world that Trump’s rhetoric on trade during the campaign is turning into action. Trump vowed during the campaign to withdraw the US from the Pacific trade deal, commonly known as TPP, which he argued was harmful to American workers and manufacturing.
The TPP was negotiated under former President Barack Obama, but never ratified by Congress, so withdrawing from it will not have an immediate, real effect on US economic policies, although it does signal a new and very different US outlook on trade under Trump.
The other executive actions signed Monday included reinstating the Mexico City abortion rules and instituting a hiring freeze for federal agencies.
Trump’s action comes as the President is looking to change the conversation after a rocky first weekend at the White House, during which, he and his officials feuded with the press and his presidency was greeted with massive protests in the nation’s capital and in large cities across the US.
The executive action will be just one part of the Trump administration’s efforts to focus attention on its plans to radically reshape US trade policies, making good on a central premise of Trump’s campaign and its economic nationalist underbelly.
Trump on Monday will also meet with union leaders and blue-collar workers several hours after signing the executive action, as well as separate meetings with business leaders.
As the Republican nominee, Trump railed against free trade agreements he argued were lopsided against the US and vowed to implement more protectionist trade policies as president, rallying voters to the polls with his “America First” slogan.
Trump has also threatened to impose trade tariffs as a way to revive American manufacturing and compel US companies not to take their manufacturing operations abroad.
Obama’s administration worked with the 11 countries that became signatories for more than two years to formulate the massive free trade deal that was set to reshape commerce throughout the Pacific Rim, triggering movement among multinational companies in the region at the same time. Trump’s election swiftly dealt a death knell — one formalized on Monday — to the deal, sending shockwaves in Asian capitals that had pinned their economic hopes on the deal.
Trump’s decision to withdraw the US from TPP is also a first step in the administration’s efforts to amass a governing coalition to push the new President’s agenda, one that includes the blue-collar workers who defected from Democrats and flocked to Trump’s candidacy in November.
The move could also put many Democrats — particularly those who opposed the trade deal — in a tricky position as they look to hold on to union support, a key constituency in their political coalition.
Obama struggled to sell many Democrats on the trade deal, in particular because of concerns about how the trade deal would impact American manufacturers and the US workers in that industry.
Even Hillary Clinton, the Democratic presidential nominee who pushed the TPP deal as secretary of state, backed off her support for the deal during the campaign amid pressure from the left.
Democrats with heavy union worker constituencies will either need to get on board with Trump’s protectionist trade policies or risk losing reelection.
Republican leaders, many of whom supported the TPP trade deal and free trade more broadly, will also be pressed to react Monday — reactions that could show daylight between top Republicans on Capitol Hill and the White House on a top policy issue.
Trump has said that he also plans to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement, a free trade deal joining the US, Mexico and Canada.