When Trump was trumped!

Donald Trump has not been able to evade controversies—be it the allegations on his Russian links or his accusations on Barack Obama tapping his phones.

Published: 29th April 2017 01:10 AM  |   Last Updated: 29th April 2017 01:10 AM   |  A+A-

President Donald Trump | AP

By Express News Service

Since taking charge as the 45th President of the United States, Donald Trump has not been able to evade controversies—be it the allegations on his Russian links or his accusations on Barack Obama tapping his phones. He may be occupying the most powerful office in the world but not everything has gone his way.

1. Russia

What is the issue?

In January 2017, media reports emerged about the existence of a dossier on Donald Trump’s ties with the Russian government. Reports indicated that the dossier, allegedly written by a British intelligence agent, accused Russia had interfered in the US elections and favoured Trump. The dossier alleged Russian intelligence had embarrassing details about Trump’s activities in the country which could be used to blackmail him. The document stated Trump’s associates and Russian officials had exchanged information during the presidential election campaign. The Congress and the FBI are conducting investigations into the matter.

What’s the latest?

Donald Trump’s former national security adviser, General Michael Flynn has demanded immunity in return for testifying for the Senate and House Intelligence Committees’ investigation into the alleged Russian interference in the US Presidential elections. According to some media reports, the Senate Intelligence Committee has rejected the request. Trump, meanwhile, has been blasting the media calling the entire controversy as fake news.

Devin Nunes, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, is facing flak for going to Trump post a secret intelligence briefing before reporting the findings to the committee. He was earlier a part of Trump’s transition team. Democrats have questioned the possibility of an impartial investigation into the Russian links given Nunes’ links with Trump.

2. Immigration

What is the issue?

According to an executive order issued by Trump on January 27, which temporarily prevented citizens of seven countries—Iraq, Iran, Syria, Libya, Sudan, Somalia and Yemen—from entering the United States. A court had temporarily put a hold on the ban following which Trump indicated he is working on a new version of the immigration order. Trump also directed the government to reduce the number of refugees entering the United States to 50,000 in the current fiscal. The order froze all refugee admissions for a period of 120 days with an indefinite ban on Syrian refugees till changes are made in the program. A few weeks back, Trump signed a revised travel ban order that does not have Iraq on the list and only affects those to new visa applicants. However, a federal judge blocked the revised travel ban hours before it was could take effect.

What’s the latest?

A federal judge has extended the order, which blocked the revised travel ban, for an indefinite period. The revised travel ban might be considered by the US Court of Appeals in May. According to reports, many universities and colleges have filed an amicus brief against the US President’s revised executive order. The brief states that the revised order will deter students from across the globe from studying in the United States and will “set a dangerous precedent for discrimination.”

3. Obamacare

What is the issue?

Obamacare—technically known as the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act—was signed into a law by former US President Barack Obama in March 2010. Obamacare was designed to reduce the number of uninsured people in the United States and also aimed at increasing the quality of health insurance as well as affordability. However, over the last few years, the Republicans had made it their priority to repeal Obamacare. On many occasions, the Republicans voted to repeal the act but were overruled by the Senate or the President himself.

What’s the latest?

In March 2017, the House Republican leadership unveiled the American Health Care Act (ACHA) which was a proposed replacement for Obamacare. However, the republicans failed to get enough support for the same. It met with strong opposition from the House Freedom caucus. Almost a week back, Republican leaders pulled the legislation down with the House Speaker Paul Ryan conceding “We’re going to be living with Obamacare for the foreseeable future”. This is considered as one of the biggest failures of the Trump administration as it showed that divisions do exist within the Republican Party.

4. Flak on Nepotism

What is the issue?

Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner was appointed as the Senior White House Advisor to the President in January 2017. Reportedly, he has also divested considerable amount of assets and has resigned from over 200 positions. Kushner had played a major role in Trump’s presidential campaign. Recently, Trump’s daughter and Kushner’s wife, Ivanka Trump, was appointed as a special assistant to the US President. Ivanka Trump has had stints in modelling, business and has also authored a book.

What’s the latest?

There have been allegations that Trump’s hiring is a violation of nepotism laws which indicate public officials may not hire or promote a relative. A financial disclosure report released on Friday stated that both Kushner and Ivanka will still benefit from a multi-million dollar real estate and investment empire. Reports also cite the example of Rex Tillerson, the Secretary of State and the former chief of Exxon Mobil, who agreed to liquidate all stock holdings and ownership stake.

5. Wiretapping claims

What is the issue?

In a series of tweets, President Trump accused Barack Obama of wire-tapping the phones of Trump Tower office. “Terrible! Just found out that Obama had my "wires tapped" in Trump Tower just before the victory. Nothing found. This is McCarthyism!” Trump said in one of his tweets. Although he did not present any evidence supporting the claims, Trump did call for a congressional investigation. He asked the congressional intelligence committees to find out whether executive branch investigative powers were abused in 2016.

What’s the latest?

FBI director James Comey said the agency and the Justice Department have no information to support Trump’s claims. The House Intelligence Committee also came out saying there was no evidence supporting the accusation. Devin Nunes, Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, pointed out that he didn’t believe there was an actual tap. “As I told you last week, in regard to the president talking about tapping Trump Tower. That evidence still remains the same. We don’t have any evidence that took place,” he stated. “And I don’t believe, having spoken to people just in the last week, I don’t believe there was an actual tap of Trump Tower,” Nunes said.

6. EPA

What is the issue?

The Trump administration is proposing a 31% budget cut to the Environmental Protection Agency. Reports indicate the budget cuts would eliminate more than 3,000 jobs.

Current Status:

The US President is facing criticisms from various corners for trimming the budget, especially from many non-profit organisations. The EPA has come out with a detailed plan to lay-off close to 25% employees and to scrap over 50 programmes.


Donald Trump's Presidential Job Approval Ratings

  Approval rating % Dates
Most recent weekly average 39 Mar 20-26, 2017
Term average to date 42 Jan 20, 2017-present
High point, weekly average 45 Jan 20-29, 2017
Low point, weekly average 39 Mar 20-26, 2017
High point, three-day average 46 twice; last on Jan 23-25, 2017
Low point, three-day average 36 Mar 24-26, 2017

Source: Gallup

Donald Trump's Presidential Job Approval Ratings -- Historical Comparisons

Average for U.S. presidents   53 1938-2017
Average for elected presidents' 1st quarter   63 various
Other presidents in March of first year Barack Obama 62 Mar 2009
  George W. Bush 58 Mar 2001
  Bill Clinton 53 Mar 1993
  George H.W. Bush 60 Mar 1989
  Ronald Reagan 60 Mar 1981
  Jimmy Carter 72 Mar 1977
  Richard Nixon 64 Mar 1969
  John Kennedy 73 Mar 1961
  Dwight Eisenhower 74 Mar 1953

Source: Gallup



What is Trump’s net worth?

According to Forbes, Trump’s net worth is close to $3.5 billion. He is the first billionaire president of the United States.

What is his educational qualification?

Trump graduated from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania with an economics degree.

Did he make any appearances in movies/television?

Yes, he did. Trump has portrayed himself in “Home Alone 2: Lost in new York”, “Zoolander”, “The Jeffersons”, “Sex and the City” among many others.

Was Trump always a Republican?

No. Trump was once a registered Democrat and his stint with the party continued for eight years.



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