Following his inauguration, Donald Trump sealed the traditional Contract with the American Voter, pledging to “Make America Great Again.”
Pre-election: Donald Trump delivered an explosive immigration speech at a rally in Phoenix on August 31, 2016, saying that illegal immigration is one of the greatest challenges facing the United States. It was the first time that he outlined the idea of building a wall along Mexican border to stem the flow of illegal migrants.
“We will build a great wall along the southern border. And Mexico will pay for the wall. They don’t know it yet, but they’re going to pay for it.”
Post-election: While Trump maintains that he will one hundred percent deliver on his solemn vow, Mexico insists it will never pay for the wall. As of January 21, 2018, not one brick of the “big, beautiful wall” has been laid.
Moving Israel Embassy
Pre-election: During his campaign, Trump pledged to relocate the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. In a March 2016 address to AIPEC, he said:
“We will move the American embassy to the eternal capital of the Jewish people, Jerusalem.”
Post-election: On December 6, 2017 President Trump made a controversial statement announcing his decision to officially recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and relocate the embassy, sparking mass unrest across Muslim world.
Prosecuting Hillary Clinton
Pre-election: As a candidate, Trump threatened to jail his opponent Hillary Clinton for using her private email server during her tenure as a Secretary of State. Furthermore, he said that she “should get an award” from Islamists for founding Daesh, as her course as secretary of state accelerated the group’s formation. He was supported by Florida rally attendees, chanting “lock her up.”
“If I win I am going to instruct my attorney general to get a special prosecutor to look into your situation – there has never been so many lies and so much deception.”
Post-election: The president-elect made it clear that he had no intention of prosecuting Clinton, as he “hadn’t given [the prosecution] a lot of thought” and had other priorities.
“I don’t want to hurt the Clintons, I really don’t. She went through a lot and suffered greatly in many different ways.”
His demeanor radically changed after his victory: “Hillary has worked very long and very hard over a long period of time, and we owe her a major debt of gratitude for her service to our country.”
Pre-election: Trump made a pledge to “abandon” the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal, which has been considered an Obama legacy, which the former president fiercely struggled for. The TPP was regarded as a historic accord that would have slashed tariffs for American imports and exports with 12 countries, including Canada, Mexico, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Chile, Peru, Malaysia, Singapore, Vietnam and Brunei.
He called TPP a “potential disaster for our country,” saying he preferred bilateral trade deals.
Post-election: Shortly after his inauguration, Trump pulled the United States out of the 12-nation deal, having fulfilled his campaign promise.
Pre-election: Days after the terrorist attack in San Bernardino, California, on December 2, 2015, when a Muslim couple killed 14 people and wounded 21 in a shooting, the Trump campaign issued a press release that read “Donald J. Trump is calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United State until our country’s representatives can figure out what is going on.”
Post-election: Trump’s first immigration ban, aimed at seven countries, Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Syria, Sudan and Yemen, was introduced a year ago, immediately after he took office and was in effect until March 16, 2017. The executive order was challenged in court and revised twice to remove Iraq from the list and to allow some exceptions. In December 2017, the US Court of Appeals ruled that an immigration ban sought by the President for six Muslim-majority countries should not apply to people with strong ties to the United States.
In December 2017, the US Supreme Court allowed the Trump administration to fully enforce immigration ban affecting six predominantly Muslim nations. The latest version of the document prevents the entry of citizens of Iran, Syria, Somalia, Libya, Yemen and Chad. Nationals from Venezuela and North Korea were also added to the list.
On January 20, 2018 the Supreme Court said it would decide on the legality of the President’s ban after Omar Jadwat, Immigrants’ Rights Project Director at the American Civil Liberties (ACLU), said that the Supreme Court should “put a definitive end to Trump’s attempt to undermine the constitutional guarantee of religious equality and the basic principles of immigrations laws, including their prohibition of national origin discrimination.”
Pre-election: "Everybody is getting a tax cut, especially the middle class."
Post-election: On December 22, 2017 the US President signed the bill stipulating big tax cuts for business enterprises and smaller ones for individuals, including the middle-class and low-income families. The bill slashes tax rates for companies from 35% to 21%, marking the first major tax overhaul in the United States since the 1980s.
Will be signing the biggest ever Tax Cut and Reform Bill in 30 minutes in Oval Office. Will also be signing a much needed 4 billion dollar missile defense bill.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) 22 декабря 2017 г.
China as Currency Manipulator
Pre-election: “I will direct the Secretary of the Treasury to label China a currency manipulator,” Donald Trump vowed as part of his plan to reduce Chinese imports into the United States.
Post-election: President Trump backed away from his campaign pledge.
“They’re not currency manipulators.”
Labeling a country as a currency manipulator will trigger a series of negotiations with China, initiated by the Secretary of the Treasury, and if the US continues to regard China as a currency manipulator after a year, the President may as well limit Chinese investment in the country.
The Treasury kept China on a currency “monitoring list” anyway:
“Treasury remains concerned by the lack of progress made in reducing the bilateral trade surplus,” the department said in the report. “China continues to pursue a wide array of policies that limit market access for imported goods and services.”
Pre-election: As a candidate, Donald Trump described the alliance as “obsolete” in the modern age of terrorism, questioning its military purpose. He insisted that the United States carried too much of the burden within the bloc, lashing out at other allies for not allocating sufficient funds on defense.
Post-election: Having met with NATO’s secretary general Jens Stoltenberg, Trump changed his tune, saying he would maintain the US commitment to NATO.
"I said it was obsolete," Trump declared. "It's no longer obsolete."
"The secretary general and I had a productive discussion about what more NATO can do in the fight against terrorism," Trump said. "I complained about that a long time ago, and they made a change and now they do fight terrorism."
Pre-election: While Barack Obama put efforts to extend healthcare to the estimated 15 percent of the country that are not covered by health insurance, Trump pledged to repeal Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare.
Post-election: The Republican healthcare plan failed to pass the Senate, however Trump managed to sign the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which repeals the Obamacare tax on those who don’t get health insurance, removing the need for healthy people to sign up for a plan.
Pre-election: Back in the days when Donald Trump’s running for president seemed surreal, he posted a barrage of tweets calling for an end to US involvement in Afghanistan.
84% of US troops wounded & 70% of our brave men & women killed in Afghanistan have all come under Obama. Time to get out of there.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) 11 сентября 2012 г.
Let’s get out of Afghanistan. Our troops are being killed by the Afghanis we train and we waste billions there. Nonsense! Rebuild the USA.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) 11 января 2013 г.
The tycoon harshly criticized his predecessors, urging Obama to pull US troops out of the conflict zone.
Post-election: His rhetoric has significantly altered since his campaign pledge to withdraw troops from Afghanistan. Trump vowed to fight to win the war by deploying more US troops, as pulling them out of the country would leave a vacuum for terrorists to fill.
"America will work with the Afghan government, so long as we see commitment and progress," he said.
Pre-election: Not quite a pledge, but Donald Trump expressed hopes of improving relations between Moscow and Washington.
“I hope that we get along great with Putin because it would be great to have Russia with a good relationship.”
“I don’t think Putin has any respect whatsoever for Clinton, I think he does respect me. And I hope I get along great with him — it’s possible that we won’t,” Trump said in July, 2016.
Post-election: Donald Trump signed legislation imposing sweeping new sanctions on Russia, which Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev called a “full-scale trade war,” adding that “the hope that our relations with the new American administration would improve is finished.”
Trump said in a statement that the legislation was not perfect: “While I favor tough measures to punish and deter aggressive and destabilizing behavior by Iran, North Korea, and Russia, this legislation is significantly flawed.”
Furthermore, the Russian Foreign Ministry stated that US authorities had shut down the General Consulate of the Russian Federation in San Francisco and the Trade Representation in Washington D.C. and New York City on September 2, which were “the property of Russia and had diplomatic immunity.”
Pre-election: In September 2016, Trump said that he would reverse the deal President Obama struck to re-establish diplomatic relations and trade with Cuba "if we do not get the deal we want, and the deal that people living in Cuba and here deserve."
Post-election: As President he announced that he was “canceling the Obama administration’s one-sided deal,” while in fact he has only rolled back certain parts, ordering tighter restrictions on travel and business.
From Stay-Out-of-Syria to Tomahawk Strike
Pre-election: Long before his campaign, Trump took to Twitter to urge President Obama to steer clear of Syria.
What I am saying is stay out of Syria.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) 4 сентября 2013 г.
The only reason President Obama wants to attack Syria is to save face over his very dumb RED LINE statement. Do NOT attack Syria,fix U.S.A.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) 5 сентября 2013 г.
AGAIN, TO OUR VERY FOOLISH LEADER, DO NOT ATTACK SYRIA — IF YOU DO MANY VERY BAD THINGS WILL HAPPEN & FROM THAT FIGHT THE U.S. GETS NOTHING!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) 5 сентября 2013 г.
While campaigning he spoke about not intervening in Syria, saying that “you’re going to end up in World War Three over Syria if we listen to Hillary Clinton.”
"What we should do is focus on ISIS. We should not be focusing on Syria."
Post-election: Trump’s policy changed in April, 2017, and was marked by a statement issued by the White House in response to alleged use of chemical weapons by Bashar al-Assad government against civilians:
"These heinous actions by the Bashar al-Assad regime are a consequence of the past administrations weakness and irresolution. President Obama said in 2012 that he would establish a red line against the use of chemical weapons and then did nothing.”
A day after that Trump launched an attack on Syria with 59 Tomahawk missiles, targeting the Shayrat airbase in central Syria.
"My attitude on Syria and Assad has changed very much, that attack on children yesterday had a big impact on me," he explained.