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The Year in Trump: Memorable Moments From the President’s First Year in Office

14 minute read

Donald Trump campaigned on the promise that he would be unlike his predecessors. His first year proved that, although not always in the way he meant.

Throughout the first 12 months of his Administration, Trump broke norms about presidential behavior, ranging from feuding with a military widow to reducing the size of a national monument.

He achieved some substantive goals, including passing a major tax cut and appointing Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch. But he also failed to make good on some promises, such as repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act and building a wall on the border with Mexico. To his consternation, investigations into Russian meddling in the 2016 election continue under special prosecutor Robert Mueller.

Heading into his second year, Trump’s job approval rating from Gallup remained stuck in the high 30s. Though the stock market continues to do well, job growth lags the rates under President Obama. Fearing a Democratic wave in the fall elections, a number of Republican members of Congress have already retired.

Here’s a look back at memorable moments from Trump’s first year in office.

Donald Trump Is Sworn In As 45th President Of The United States
President-elect Donald Trump arrives at his inauguration on Jan. 20, 2017.Doug Mills—Pool/Getty Images

Jan. 20, 2017: Inauguration

Donald J. Trump is sworn in as the 45th president of the United States, pledging to put “America First” in his inaugural address. “The forgotten men and women of our country will be forgotten no longer,” he says.

Jan. 21, 2017: Women’s March, ‘largest audience’

Hundreds of thousands of protesters gather in D.C. and other cities for the Women’s March on Washington, likely the largest single-day protest in history. Knitted “pussy” hats become a symbol of the protest.

White House spokesman Sean Spicer inaccurately insists that “this was the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration — period.” Fact checkers rate this false.

For over 8 hours  thousands flooded into Terminal 4 at New
People protest Donald Trump's executive order banning Muslims from certain countries from traveling to the U.S. at New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport.Michael Nigro—Pacific Press/LightRocket/Getty Images

Jan. 27, 2017: First travel ban

Trump signs the first travel ban executive order, halting Syrian refugees and barring citizens from seven countries for 90 days Protests break out at airports.

Jan. 28, 2017: Hanging up on Australia, hiring Bannon

Trump harangues Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull over a refugee deal, hanging up halfway through a planned hour-long phone call. The transcript is later leaked.

Trump adds chief strategist Steve Bannon to the National Security Council’s principals committee. The move is considered unusual because political strategists have not served on the committee previously.

Jan. 30, 2017: Firing Yates, rescinding regulations

Trump fires acting Attorney General Sally Yates after she refuses to defend the travel ban, arguing it is unconstitutional.

Fulfilling a campaign pledge, Trump signs an executive order that requires for every new piece of federal regulation, two existing measures must be rescinded.

President Trump Announces His Supreme Court Nominee
Judge Neil Gorsuch speaks to the crowd on Jan. 31, 2017 after President Donald Trump nominated him to the Supreme Court.Alex Wong—Getty Images

Jan. 31, 2017: Nominating Gorsuch

Trump nominates conservative federal appeals court judge Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court seat left vacant after Antonin Scalia’s death. He is later confirmed.

Feb. 6, 2017: No bathrobe

Pushing back on a New York Times article which said that Trump watches a lot of cable news in his bathrobe, Spicer argues that the president does not own one.

Feb. 13, 2017: Firing Flynn

National Security Advisor Michael Flynn resigns, purportedly for misleading Vice President Mike Pence and others about his conversations with the Russian ambassador.

Feb. 14, 2017: Comey meeting

In a one-on-one meeting in the Oval Office, Trump asks FBI Director James Comey to shut down an investigation into Flynn, saying “I hope you can let this go.”

Feb. 16, 2017: That press conference

During a wide-ranging 77-minute press conference, Trump suggests a black reporter set up a meeting with the Congressional Black Caucus. “Are they friends of yours?” he asks.

Feb. 28, 2017: First address

Trump gives his first address to a joint session of Congress, toning down his usual blustery rhetoric and arguing “the time for trivial fights is behind us.”

Attorney General Jeff Sessions waits for his turn to speak at the US Customs and Border Protection Press Room on March 6, 2017.Mandel Ngan—AFP/Getty Images

March 2, 2017: Sessions recuses

Attorney General Jeff Sessions recuses himself from any investigation into Russian meddling in the election after facing criticism for undisclosed contacts with the Russian ambassador to the U.S.

March 4, 2017: Wiretap tweet

Trump accuses former President Obama of tapping his phones during the election, calling him a “bad (or sick) guy.” The Justice Department later says there is no evidence of this.

March 6, 2017: Second travel ban

After the first travel ban gets tied up in court, Trump signs a second version, which targets only six countries and bars refugees temporarily.

March 4, 2017: Bannon removed

Bannon is removed from his role on the NSC’s Principals Committee, in part by new National Security Advisor Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster.

North Korea Syria Airstrike - 7 Apr 2017
The guided-missile destroyer USS Porter launches a tomahawk land attack missile as the United States blasted a Syrian air base.AP/REX/Shutterstock

April 7, 2017: Syrian missile strike

Trump orders a missile strike on a Syrian airfield in response to a chemical weapons attack that killed dozens of civilians.

April 13, 2017: Mother of All Bombs

Trump orders the military to drop a MOAB, the most powerful non-nuclear bomb in the U.S. arsenal, on ISIS targets in Afghanistan.

April 20, 2017: Sarah Palin, Kid Rock and Ted Nugent

Trump dines with former Alaska governor Sarah Palin and musicians Kid Rock and Ted Nugent at the White House. The three guests take a controversial photo below Hillary Clinton’s official portrait.

President Trump Speaks At The White House After The House Voted On Health Care Bill
President Donald Trump congratulates House Republicans after they passed legislation aimed at repealing and replacing ObamaCare on May 4, 2017.Mark Wilson—Getty Images

May 4, 2017: Rose Garden

Trump brings House Republicans to the Rose Garden to celebrate passage of a bill repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act.

May 8, 2017: Two scoops

Trump hosts TIME correspondents at a private dinner in the White House in which he is served two scoops of ice cream, while everyone else gets one. This becomes a meme.

May 9, 2017: Firing Comey

Trump fires Comey, arguing that he mishandled the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s private email server and alleging that he told Trump he was not under investigation.

May 10, 2017: Russia meeting

Trump meets with the Russian Foreign Minister Ambassador to the U.S. in the Oval Office, reportedly revealing highly classified information, calling Comey “a real nut job” and criticizing the FBI investigation. “I faced great pressure because of Russia,” he says. “That’s taken off.”

May 11, 2017: ‘This Russia thing’

Trump tells NBC News’ Lester Holt that he fired Comey in part because of “this Russia thing,” contradicting earlier White House accounts of the firing. He also calls Comey “a showboat” and “a grandstander.”

May 12, 2017: Comey tapes

Trump tweets that Comey “better hope that there are no ‘tapes’ of our conversations” before leaking to the press. “Lordy, I hope there are tapes,” Comey later tells a Senate committee. More than a month later, Trump admits he does not have any tapes.

May 16, 2017: Comey memo

Because of the tweets, Comey sends a copy of memo he wrote about his meeting with Trump in the Oval Office to a law professor who is a friend, authorizing him to leak its contents to reporters. The New York Times promptly publishes a story.

May 17, 2017: Mueller appointment

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein appoints former FBI Director Robert Mueller as special counsel to investigate Russian meddling in the election.

US President Trump in Saudi Arabia
President Donald Trump, Melania Trump, Saudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdulaziz al-Saud and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi put their hands on an illuminated globe during the inauguration ceremony of the Global Center for Combating Extremist Ideology on May 21, 2017.Bandar Algaloud/Saudi Royal Council/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

May 20, 2017: The orb

During a visit to Riyadh, Trump, the king of Saudi Arabia and the president of Egypt pose for a photo while touching a glowing orb.

May 25, 2017: The brush-off

During a meeting of NATO leaders in Brussels, Trump appears to brush aside the Montenegrin prime minister for a group photo. Video of the moment goes viral.

May 31, 2017: Covfefe

Shortly after midnight, Trump tweets: “Despite the constant negative press covfefe,” to the world’s bewilderment. He deletes the tweet in the morning.

June 1, 2017: Paris climate deal

In a speech from the Rose Garden, Trump says he will withdraw the U.S. from the Paris climate deal: “I was elected to represent the citizens of Pittsburgh, not Paris.”

June 13, 2017: A ‘mean’ bill

During a meeting with 15 Republican senators, Trump calls the House health care bill — which he previously celebrated in the Rose Garden — “mean.”

June 29, 2017: ‘Crazy Mika’

In a pair of early morning tweets, Trump calls “Morning Joe” co-host Mika Brzezinski “low IQ” and says she was “bleeding badly from a face-lift” during a visit to Mar-a-Lago. The facelift tweet becomes the only one since he became president to receive more replies than likes, a sign of a poorly received tweet.

President Donald Trump chats with reporters on board Air Force One before departing from Andrews Air Force Base.Mandel Ngan—AFP/Getty Images

July 8, 2017: Russian adoption

On board Air Force One, Trump personally dictates a misleading statement in which Donald Trump Jr. claimed a 2016 meeting with a Kremlin-connected lawyer was about adoption.

July 11, 2017: Donald Trump Jr. emails

Donald Trump Jr. releases emails which reveal he set up the 2016 meeting with a Russian lawyer who promised dirt on Hillary Clinton.

July 13: 2017: ‘Such good shape’

During a meeting in Paris, Trump tells French First Lady Brigitte Macron that she’s “in such good shape” and “beautiful,” spurring criticism.

A look back at Donald Trump's first year in office
President Donald Trump waves after speaking to Boy Scouts during the National Boy Scout Jamboree on July 24, 2017.Saul Loeb—AFP/Getty Images

July 25, 2017: The yacht story

Speaking to the Boy Scout Jamboree, Trump breaks protocol and and angers parents by bragging about his election win, criticizing the media and telling a somewhat risque story involving a yacht.


July 28, 2017: Hiring Kelly, skinny repeal

Trump ousts White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus and replaces him with Homeland Security Secretary John F. Kelly, a retired four-star Marine general.

In a dramatic vote after midnight, Republican Sen. John McCain joins Sens. Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski to vote down the so-called “skinny repeal” of Obamacare.

July 31, 2017: Scaramucci

After new communications director Anthony Scaramucci gives a graphic interview about his White House rivals to a New Yorker reporter, he is fired after only 10 days on the job.

Aug. 8, 2017: ‘Fire and fury’

In response to North Korea’s testing of missiles, Trump says if they continue “they will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen.”

Aug. 15, 2017: ‘Some very fine people’

During an event on infrastructure in the lobby of Trump Tower, Trump argues that white nationalists who marched in Charlottesville, Va., included “some very fine people.”

President Donald Trump and Stephen Bannon at the White House on Jan. 22, 2017.Mandel Ngan—AFP/Getty Images

Aug. 18, 2017: Firing Bannon

Trump fires Bannon, who returns to his job at Breitbart News.

President Trump Views The Eclipse From The White House
President Donald Trump looks up toward the Solar Eclipse on Aug. 21, 2017.Mark Wilson—Getty Images

Aug. 21, 2017: ‘Don’t look!’

Standing on the White House balcony with wife Melania and son Barron, Trump is spotted staring at the sun during the solar eclipse without wearing protective viewing glasses. An aide is heard shouting “Don’t look!”

Aug. 25, 2017: Arpaio pardon

Trump pardons controversial former Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who had been convicted of criminal contempt over his hard-line tactics on undocumented immigrants.

Sept. 2, 2017: ‘Have a good time’

While touring an emergency shelter in Houston for people displaced by Hurricane Harvey, Trump says he sees “a lot of happiness” and tells everyone to “have a good time.”

Sept. 5, 2017: Ending DACA

Attorney General Jeff Sessions announces he is ending Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, the Obama program that protected undocumented immigrants who came as children.

Sept. 6, 2017: No shutdown

Trump strikes a deal with the Democratic congressional leadership to raise the debt ceiling and avoid a government shutdown.

Sept. 19, 2017: ‘Rocket Man’

In a speech before the United Nations, Trump calls North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un “Rocket Man” and his government a “band of criminals.”

Sept. 20, 2017: Hurricane Maria

Hurricane Maria slams Puerto Rico, leaving at least half of the island’s population without power for months. The official death toll is 64, but experts say many more are uncounted.

Oakland Raiders v Washington Redskins
Washington Redskins players during the the national anthem before the game against the Oakland Raiders at FedExField on Sept. 24, 2017.Patrick Smith—Getty Images

Sept. 22, 2017: Attacking NFL players

While campaigning for Republican Sen. Luther Strange in Alabama, Trump attacks NFL players who protest during the national anthem, saying they should be fired and calling one a “son of a b—-.”

Sept. 24, 2017: Third travel ban

As the second travel ban works its way through the courts, the State Department issues new restrictions on visas, which some say amount to a third version of the ban.

Sept. 30, 2017: Puerto Rico feud

When the San Juan mayor slams hurricane-relief efforts, Trump tweets that Puerto Ricans “want everything to be done for them.”

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson makes a statement to the press on Oct. 4, 2017.Jim Watson—AFP/Getty Images

Oct. 4, 2017: ‘Moron’

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson holds a press conference to affirm his support for Trump, but does not deny a report that he called the president a “moron.” Trump later says he would beat Tillerson in a comparison of IQ tests.

Oct. 8, 2017: ‘World War III’

Republican Sen. Bob Corker, the powerful chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, says Trump is treating the White House like “a reality show” and acting so recklessly he could set the nation “on the path to World War III.”

Oct. 16, 2017: Widow feud

Trump calls the widow of Sgt. La David T. Johnson, who was killed in an ambush in Niger, saying he “knew what he signed up for,” sparking several days of controversy.

Oct. 24, 2017: Flake’s farewell

Facing a tough re-election fight, Republican Sen. Jeff Flake announces he won’t run again in a 17-minute speech on the Senate floor harshly criticizing Trump.

Oct. 30, 2017: Manafort, Gates indicted

Former Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort and associate Rick Gates are indicted by a grand jury, while foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos pleads guilty to lying to the FBI.

Nov. 2, 2017: Twitter deactivation

A Twitter employee deactivates Trump’s personal account for 11 minutes on his last day of work. In an interview later, he says the action was a simple mistake.

President Donald Trump chats with Russia's President Vladimir Putin as they attend the APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting on Nov. 11, 2017.Mikhail Klimentyev—AFP/Getty Images

Nov. 3, 2017: Asian tour

Trump leaves the U.S. for a 12-day tour of five Asian countries, where he talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin on the sidelines of an APEC meeting. “He said he absolutely did not meddle in our election,” he tells reporters later.

Nov. 13, 2017: Donald Trump Jr. direct messages

Donald Trump Jr. releases direct messages he had with WikiLeaks’ Twitter account during the 2016 campaign.

Dec. 1, 2017: Flynn pleads guilty

Flynn pleads guilty to making false statements to the FBI as part of Mueller’s investigation. Protesters shout “Lock him up!” as he exits the courthouse.

Alabama GOP Senate Candidate Roy Moore Holds Campaign Event In Fairhope, Alabama
Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate in Alabama, Roy Moore, speaks at a campaign rally on Sept. 25, 2017.Scott Olson—Getty Images

Dec. 4, 2017: Endorsing Moore

After Strange loses the Republican primary, Trump backs former state Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore in the Alabama special election to fill Sessions’ seat. Moore later faces multiple allegations he pursued sexual relationships with girls as young as 14.

Trump dramatically reduces the size of Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante, two national monuments in Utah, in the largest rollback of federal land protection in U.S. history.

Dec. 6, 2017: Recognizing Jerusalem

Trump breaks with decades of U.S. and international policy by recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and beginning the process of moving the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv.

Dec. 12, 2017: Jones wins

Former federal prosecutor Doug Jones defeats Moore in the Alabama special election, becoming the first Democratic senator from the state in 25 years.

President Donald Trump signs the Tax Cut and Reform Bill in the Oval Office at The White House on Dec. 22, 2017.Brendan Smialowski—AFP/Getty Images

Dec. 22, 2017: Signing tax cut

Trump signs a $1.5 trillion tax cut into law, the first major tax overhaul in decades, saying he rushed the signing in order to fulfill a promise to pass a tax cut by Christmas.

Jan. 3, 2018: Blasting Bannon

Trump blasts Bannon after he is quoted calling the 2016 Trump Tower meeting with a Russian attorney “treasonous” and criticizing Donald Trump Jr. in excerpts from a book. “When he was fired, he not only lost his job, he lost his mind,” the president says in an official statement.

Jan. 6, 2018: ‘Stable genius’

Still angry over the controversial book Fire and Fury, which claims that Trump is seen by White House aides as a “child,” the president tweets that he is a “a very stable genius.”

Jan. 10, 2018: ‘No collusion’

Amid reports that his lawyers were preparing for a request from Mueller to interview the president, Trump says he probably won’t because there was “no collusion.” “It seems unlikely you’d even have an interview,” he says.

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