It was a busy year for U.S. President Donald Trump while he served his first 12 months in office. Here's a look back at how the year unfolded.
Donald Trump is sworn in as 45th president of the United States. In his inaugural address, Trump pledges to always put “America first.” Trump and White House Spokesman Sean Spicer wrongly claim the inauguration ceremony drew the largest audience ever. The next day more than four million people around the world attend the women’s march protesting the Trump administration. It is the largest single-day protest in U.S. history.
Trump signs a flurry of executive orders and memorandums directing the U.S. to: withdraw from the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal, reverse former U.S. President Barack Obama’s decision to block the Keystone XL and Dakota Access oil pipelines, and initiate construction of a border wall with Mexico.
Trump also signs an executive order suspending refugee admissions for 120 days and denying entry to citizens from the Muslim-majority countries of Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen for 90 days. The so-called ban causes chaos at U.S. airports and widespread condemnation and protests. Tech executives in Canada call on Ottawa to provide temporary refugee status to affected workers. Two days later, courts in several U.S. states issue orders halting implementation of the executive action.
Trump nominates Neil Gorsuch to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Trump holds a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Trump says he wants to “tweak” the North American Free Trade Trade Agreement.
Trump’s National Security Advisor Michael Flynn resigns following allegations he failed to disclose meetings with Russia to discuss the potential removal of U.S. sanctions. The move comes amid continued media coverage of alleged improper contact with Russia during the presidential election.
Trump makes his first speech to a joint session of the U.S. Congress. Pundits praise the “presidential” tone of the speech that addresses matters including immigration, gang crime, trade and infrastructure. The next day the Dow Jones Industrial Average soars 200 points to top 21,000 for the first time.
The U.S. Congressional House Intelligence Committee opens an inquiry into allegations of Russian interference in the 2016 elections.
In a series of early morning tweets, Trump accuses Obama of “wiretapping” his offices at Trump Tower during the election campaign. Trump provides no evidence and an Obama spokesman denies the claim. In the coming weeks, current and former intelligence and U.S. justice officials say there is no evidence to support the president’s claim.
A Republican bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, better known as “Obamacare”, is withdrawn indefinitely after U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan admits the bill lacks the votes to pass. It is a major defeat for a promise Republicans have been campaigning on since Obama’s bill was passed in 2010.
Trump issues a presidential permit to allow construction of the Keystone XL pipeline by TransCanada, whose CEO, Russ Girling, stands next to Trump during the Oval Office ceremony. When Trump asks when construction would start, Girling replies, "We've got some work to do in Nebraska to get our permits there.” "Nebraska?" Trump said. "I'll call Nebraska."
The Trump administration delivers to the U.S. Congress a draft list of priorities for potential renegotiation of NAFTA. It is a first step in opening up the trilateral trade deal. Trump also signs two executive orders aimed at preventing foreign trade abuses. The signing occurred behind closed doors after Trump walked out of a public signing without having signed the orders.
Chinese President Xi Jinping arrives in Florida for two days of meetings with Trump at his Mar-a-Lago mansion in Florida.
Trump orders the firing of 59 cruise missiles at a military airbase in Syria as retaliation for the use of chemical weapons. The action is contrary to numerous tweets Trump issued over the years arguing the U.S. should not use military force in Syria.
The U.S. Senate confirms Trump Supreme Court Nominee Justice Neil Gorsuch.
In a speech in Wisconsin to promote his signing of a “Buy American, Hire American” executive order, Trump takes direct aim at Canadian dairy farmers. He later adds Canadian lumber and energy to the list of trade irritants and steps up his attacks on NAFTA.
Later in the month, the U.S. imposes a 20-per-cent tariff on Canadian softwood lumber imports. U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross tells reporters at the White House: “[Canada is] a close ally, they are an important ally, they are generally a good neighbour — that doesn’t mean they don’t have to play by the rules.”
The Trump administration unveils a broad plan of tax cuts and other changes that would lower the U.S. corporate tax rate to 15 per cent and simplify the tax code.
Both the Canadian dollar and Mexican Peso react amid reports that Trump is considering a plan to pull the U.S. out of NAFTA. After phone calls with both Canada and Mexico, Trump backs down from the threat, for the time being.
Trump fires FBI Director James Comey. The White House explains Comey was let go over his public statements about the Clinton email investigation. Trump contradicts that justification in an interview and alludes to Comey’s persistent investigation into alleged Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. Two weeks later, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein appoints former FBI Director Robert Mueller as a special prosecutor for the Russia investigation.
Trump formally announces his intent to withdraw the U.S. from the 2015 Paris climate agreement. Tesla's Elon Musk and Disney CEO Bob Iger resign from the president's business advisory council in protest.
Comey testifies that Trump asked him to drop the investigation into former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn.
Trump appoints replaces Press Secretary Sean Spicer with Anthony Scaramucci – an American financier and entrepreneur. His tenure lasts less than two weeks after a series of bizarre and profane media interviews.
Trump appoints John F. Kelly as White House Chief of Staff, replacing Reince Priebus.
Following Senator John McCain’s dramatic thumbs-down vote to kill a slimmed down Obamacare repeal package, Trump describes Republican senators as looking like "fools" following the 49-51 vote.
The war of words between Trump and North Korea Leader Kim Jong-un heats up. Trump threatens North Korea with “fire and fury” after reports emerge that the rogue nation had successfully miniaturized a nuclear warhead to fit into an intercontinental ballistic missile. Trump later tweets that America’s military capabilities against North Korea are “locked and loaded.”
Trump comes under fire for failing to specifically condemn Neo-Nazis at a far-right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, where an anti-racism protestor was murdered. High-profile CEOs begin to resign from the president’s American Manufacturing Council after Trump blames “both sides” for violence at the event. Trump eventually dissolves the council as well as a planned infrastructure advisory council.
High-stakes talks aimed at “modernizing” NAFTA kick off in Washington, with both U.S. and Mexican officials aiming to conclude a new pact in early 2018.
The White House announces that Chief Strategist Steve Bannon has left his position "by mutual agreement".
Hurricane Harvey ravages Houston, Florida and Puerto Rico. It will eventually become the costliest tropical cyclone on record, inflicting more than US$125 billion in damage. Trump signs a US$15.25-billion disaster relief bill for Hurricane Harvey and Irma.
Trump orders an end to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA) by March 2018. If the program is not amended, the move puts more than 800,000 undocumented immigrants who came to America as children at risk for immediate deportation.
In a speech to the United Nations General Assembly, President Trump announces that if Kim Jong-un, dubbed "Rocket Man", forces the United States to defend itself, the United States will "totally destroy" North Korea.
Trump holds another meeting with Trudeau at the White House, to discuss NAFTA and US-Canadian trade possibilities. "I think Justin understands that if we can't make a deal, it'll be terminated, and that'll be fine," he said.
The FBI charges former Trump campaign offficials Paul Manafort and Rick Gates with conspiracy. The FBI also announces a guilty plea from former Trump official George Papadopoulos. Trump states on Twitter that the charges refer to events from "years ago" and that "there is NO COLLUSION!".
Trump presses Republicans to pass the “Tax Cut and Jobs Act” without Democratic votes. The bill includes a permanent corporate tax cut as well as tax relief for individual taxpayers.
Michael Flynn pleads guilty to lying to the FBI. President Trump states that there was “absolutely no collusion” between his election campaign and Russia.
Trump signs into law the US$1.5-trillion tax bill passed by Congress on Dec. 20.
Trump denies charges of racism after reports emerge that the he referred to Haiti and African nations as “shithole countries” and expressed a preference for immigrants from Norway.
The Wall Street Journal reports that a month before election day in 2016, Trump’s lawyer arranged for a US$130,000 payment to an adult film actress in exchange for her silence regarding a 2006 extramarital affair.