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Trump's First Week

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Trump image from sign at Womens March Philly
Trump image from sign at Womens March Philly
(Image by Rob Kall)
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To get an idea of what to expect from Donald Trump for the next four years, we only have to examine his first week in office.

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January 20: Trump was sworn in and delivered a dark inaugural address; a shorter versions of his "Make America Great Again" stump speech that featured two themes. One was Trump populism: "We are not merely transferring power from one administration to another or from one party to another, but we are transferring power from Washington, D.C. and giving it back to you, the people." The other was Trump's assessment of the "carnage" outside Washington, DC: "Mothers and children trapped in poverty in our inner cities; rusted out factories scattered like tombstones across the landscape of our nation; an education system flush with cash, but which leaves our young and beautiful students deprived of all knowledge; and the crime and the gangs and the drugs that have stolen too many lives and robbed our country of so much unrealized potential."

Initially Trump claimed to have written this speech by himself but it was later revealed that it had been penned by his aides Stephen Miller and Steve Bannon.

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Trump finished the day by removing all reference to global-climate-change from the White House website and signing a (symbolic) executive order "giving federal agencies broad powers to unwind regulations created under the Affordable Care Act."

January 21: Millions of Americans took to the streets in the national women's march. Trump ignored this and instead went to the headquarters of the CIA where he delivered a rambling speech where, among other things, he lashed out at the mainstream media: "I have a running war with the media. They are among the most dishonest human beings on Earth." Trump accused the media of distorting the size of the inauguration crowds.

A few hours later, Trump's Press Secretary, Sean Spicer held a bizarre press conference where he took no questions and, instead, huffed, "some members of the media were engaged in deliberately false reporting." Spicer, too, was worried about the crowd-size numbers.

January 22 (Sunday): For most of the day, Trump was quiet but at 4:47 AM he tweeted: "Watched protests yesterday but was under the impression that we just had an election! Why didn't these people vote? Celebs hurt cause badly."

Meanwhile, Trump Senior Adviser KellyAnne Conway made the talk-show rounds and revealed that Trump has broken another promise: he will not release his tax returns even after his IRS audit is completed. Conway went on the defend Sean Spicer, saying his estimates of inauguration crowd size were "alternative facts."

January 23: Trump signed several symbolic executive orders and then visited Democratic and Republican congressional leaders. During his extemporaneous remarks he explained that he lost the presidential popular vote because 3 million to 5 million "illegals" voted for Hillary Clinton.

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Trump's Press Secretary gave a relatively normal White House press briefing. However, he continued to complain about the media: "The default narrative is always negative, and it's demoralizing."

January 24: Trump continued to assert that "illegals" voted for Clinton and vowed "an investigation." Meanwhile, during his confirmation hearing, South Carolina Rep. Mick Mulvaney, nominated to head the Office of Management and Budget, indicated that Trump will abandon his promises to leave Social Security and Medicare alone.

It was widely reported that the Trump Administration has issued directives to muzzle Employees at the Environmental Protection Agency, the Interior Department, the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

January 25: Trump signed an executive order authorizing construction of a wall along the southern border and repeated his assertion that the United States would be reimbursed by the Mexican government. (The next day, Mexico's President, Enrique Peña Nieto, said his country would not pay for the wall and cancelled a meeting with Trump.)

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Bob Burnett is a Berkeley writer. In a previous life he was one of the executive founders of Cisco Systems.

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