Donald Trump has been causing a ruckus in American politics since his decision to run back in 2015. As he made his way through the campaign trail and finally into the White House, his knack for causing controversy appears to have no limits. The first year under the Trump administration has truly been a wild ride.
Trump made his first presidential blunder shortly after his inauguration when he made the claim that his inaugural crowd was significantly the largest ever, despite clear visual evidence that this was not so. Though, this was quickly overtaken by more consequential acts, this blatant and unnecessary denial of the truth, referred to by Trump aide Kellyanne Conway as a provision of “alternative facts,” stood as a fair warning of what was to come.
Not even two weeks after his official transition into the presidency, Trump signed an executive order which barred travelers from seven predominantly Muslim countries from entering the U.S.-even if they had a visa. The signing of the document was met with wide disapproval by Congress and the public, leading Trump to replace it months later with what he called a “watered down, politically correct version” of the original executive order.
A few months later in May, Trump sent shockwaves across the nation as he relieved the Director of the FBI, James Comey, of his duties. Contrary to the administration’s claims that his firing was a result of his handling of the Hillary Clinton email investigation, Comey revealed under oath that he believed he was “…fired because of the Russia investigation.” This eventually led to the appointment of former FBI Director Robert Mueller as Special Counsel to oversee the ongoing investigation.
In August, after a summer filled with staff changes in the Trump administration, a protest in Charlottesville, Virginia turned violent when a car plowed into pedestrians who were protesting against white nationalists. Several were injured and one killed. The situation led to upsets around the nation but Trump seemed indifferent, claiming that there are “Some very fine people on both sides.
In September, Trump announced the end of DACA, which could potentially displace over 800,000 undocumented immigrants who had been protected by the program since 2012. Naturally, protests broke out all over the country including student walkouts and rallies directly outside of the capitol. On January 9th. a federal judge temporarily blocked the administration’s move to end DACA, ordering the government to renew the program until further order of the court.
When the arrival of fall brought a series of natural disasters to the American people the president failed greatly to show sympathy for the victims in Puerto Rico. As is characteristic of him, he took to Twitter to criticize the mayor of San Juan, and when the people on the island demanded more help, he tweeted that “They want everything to be done for them.” Eventually, he visited the island to survey and help distribute supplies, though he was highly criticized for saying that Maria wasn’t “a real catastrophe like Katrina” and for shooting rolls of paper towels into the crowd as if using a t-shirt cannon at a sports game.
October brought about the first charges in the Russia investigation conducted by Robert Mueller, which pinned the likes of Paul Manafort and George Papadopoulos, who admitted lying to the FBI about contact with Russian agents during the campaign.
The year eventually ended on a high for the Trump administration with the passing of the new tax laws. The new plan cuts corporate and individual tax rates in most brackets, benefiting most families until 2025 when the individual changes expire.
Overall, the past year in American politics has been an astounding one with things we could never have expected to happen. The Trump administration has really altered so much of what so many knew as normal, and I’m sure there’s more to come in 2018.
By Robyn Forbes