What Trump has done in his first 7 days as U.S. president
New president alleges voter fraud, vows to build wall along U.S.-Mexico border
During his first week as U.S. president, Donald Trump followed through on some of his most controversial campaign promises — riling up the public, some world leaders and the media alike.
On Jan. 20, the Republican was sworn in as the country's 45th president. Then came conflicting reports about inauguration crowd sizes in Washington, huge "women's" marches around the world, and a series of controversial executive orders touching on everything from pipelines, to trade, immigration, and his promise to build a wall between the U.S. and Mexico.
But Trump also earned praise on some fronts, with some of his moves credited with sending the Dow Jones to its highest level ever.
Here's a more thorough look at Trump's first seven days in office:
How huge were those crowds?
Trump promised his inauguration would be an "elegant" day and draw huge crowds. When media outlets began posting aerial photos comparing the crowd sizes during the inaugurations of Trump and Obama, the new president took issue.
Sean Spicer, White House press secretary, delivered a sharp statement criticizing the media for inaccurately reporting on the size of the crowds. Trump's camp called the photos an attempt to diminish his presidency.
"This was the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration — period — both in person and around the globe," he asserted, even though the pictures told a different story.
Spicer's claim was roundly criticized, prompting Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway to issue a defence on Meet the Press. Host Chuck Todd said Spicer had told an obvious falsehood.
"You're saying it's a falsehood. And they're giving — Sean Spicer, our press secretary — gave alternative facts," Conway said.
"Alternative facts are not facts. They are falsehoods," Chuck Todd tells Pres. Trump's counselor Kellyanne Conway this morning. WATCH: <a href="https://t.co/Ao005dQ13r">pic.twitter.com/Ao005dQ13r</a>—@MeetThePress
The emergence of the term "alternative facts" spawned a slew of editorials and commentary about the meaning of the word "fact."
📈A fact is a piece of information presented as having objective reality. <a href="https://t.co/gCKRZZm23c">https://t.co/gCKRZZm23c</a>—@MerriamWebster
Women around the world join march
Hundreds of thousands of protesters gathered in Washington, D.C., the day after Trump's inauguration. Many women donned "pussyhats" — knitted caps with cat ears — to protest Trump's comment that he could grab women with impunity because of his celebrity. The protest attracted many groups, including environmentalists, human rights activists and gun safety advocates.
Marches were held around the world, including many across Canada.
These friends came from Toronto, to show solidarity with American women, they said people are thanking them for coming. <a href="https://t.co/w8gDJr854y">pic.twitter.com/w8gDJr854y</a>—@fitzpatrick_m
Trump responded to the marches, asking in a post on Twitter, "Why didn't these people vote?" He later pulled back his criticism and tweeted that peaceful protests are "a hallmark of our democracy."
Trump on Trump? 'A total home run'
By his own estimation, Trump has been doing a standup job.
"A poll just came out on my inauguration speech, which was extraordinary, that people loved it," Trump said in an ABC interview. "Loved and liked. And it was an extraordinary poll."
Trump also deemed a speech delivered at the CIA to be a "total home run." He pledged his support for the agency, but also veered off topic and spoke about his relationship with the media, referring to journalists as "among the most dishonest human beings on Earth."
Ex-CIA director John Brennan criticized Trump in a statement through his former deputy chief.
Former CIA Dir Brennan is deeply saddened and angered at Trump's despicable display of self-aggrandizement...(1/2)—@nick_shapiro
...in front of CIA's Memorial Wall of Agency heroes. Brennan says that Trump should be ashamed of himself." (2/2)—@nick_shapiro
Executive orders, in a nutshell
Trump regularly whipped up his supporters on the campaign trail with controversial promises, including deporting undocumented immigrants and building a giant wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. In his first week, he followed up these promises, using executive orders:
- Weaken Obamacare with an ultimate goal of a full repeal of the Affordable Care Act.
- Tighten immigration by building a wall along U.S.-Mexico border, hiring 10,000 more immigration officers, and revoking federal grant money from "sanctuary cities" that do not deport undocumented immigrants. It is still not immediately clear how Trump intends to make Mexico pay for the construction of the wall. Trump and former Mexican president Vicente Fox engaged in a Twitter spat over who would pay for the border structure. Mexican President Pena Nieto ended up cancelling a visit next week to the U.S.
- Proceed with construction of Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines.
- Bar the use of federal funds for non-governmental organizations overseas that advocate or perform abortions.
- After campaigning to "drain the swamp" in Washington, he instituted a hiring freeze on all federal agencies. The directive doesn't apply to military spending.
- Withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership. He also signalled that he wants to renegotiate NAFTA at a later date.
Cabinet picks approved
Four of Trump's cabinet nominees received Senate confirmations: Nikki Haley as the UN ambassador, James Mattis to head the Department of Defence, John Kelly in the Department of Homeland Security, and Michael Pompeo with the CIA. Twenty-eight other nominees are awaiting confirmation.
Trump has also reportedly asked James Comey to stay on as FBI director.
Trump meets with Big 3
Trump met with the heads of automakers GM, Ford and Fiat Chrysler on Tuesday to urge them to build more cars in the U.S.
He also met with Corning CEO Wendell Weeks, Johnson & Johnson CEO Alex Gorsky and Dell CEO Michael Dell to push his "America first" priority for domestic manufacturing. He also warned that companies failing to live up to that would face a "substantial border tax."
The 'Trump bump'
Amid several executive orders signed by the new president, the Dow Jones industrial average — the benchmark U.S. index of blue chip stocks — on Wednesday closed above the 20,000-point mark for the first time ever. The index ultimately finished the day at 20,068.51, up 155.80 points.
"Trump's been on the job for five days and he's a man of action," Brian Battle, director of trading at Performance Trust Capital Partners in Chicago, told Reuters. "That should get everyone confident he'll get those three other things done ... which is taxes, trade and regulation."
Battle said the "Trump bump" happened as investors came to understand the agenda of a pro-business president.
Voter fraud? 'Knock this off'
Trump repeated claims that voter fraud tainted the election and cost him the popular vote.
"You have people that are registered who are dead, who are illegals, who are in two states," he told ABC. "You have people registered in two states. They're registered in a New York and a New Jersey. They vote twice. There are millions of votes, in my opinion."
The new president has said he will open a probe into the matter. Senator Lindsey Graham is among the critics who reject Trump's unproven claims.
"I would urge the president to knock this off; this is the greatest democracy on Earth, we're the leader of the free world, and people are going to start doubting you as a person if you keep making accusations against our electoral system without justification," Graham told CNN.
Senior staff at State Department leave
All the senior managers at the State Department on Thursday said they would leave their positions. The Washington Post reported that senior foreign service officers resigned in protest of the new Trump administration, while CNN suggested they were asked to leave. Policy observers suggest that while turnover is common when a new president takes office, it is usually not so abrupt.
Eliot Cohen, who formerly worked in the State Department under George W. Bush, told Business Insider this was an unprecedented move.
"This is not like business, where you can just bring in new people and shake things up. It's a blow."