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.
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.
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.
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
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.”
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.”
Aug. 18, 2017: Firing Bannon
Trump fires Bannon, who returns to his job at Breitbart News.
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
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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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