Week Two, in one sentence: Donald Trump temporarily banned refugees and immigration from Muslim-majority countries; replaced bedrock members of the National Security Council with his chief strategist, Steve Bannon; conducted his first counterterrorism raid, which drew immediate criticism; announced his Supreme Court nominee; reportedly yelled at and hung up on the Australian prime minister; prayed for Arnold Schwarzenegger at the National Prayer Breakfast; criticized CNN during a Black History Month event; and threatened to cut funds to one of the largest public university systems in the country.
All in a day’s work
Day 9 – Jan. 28: Chaos erupted at airports across the country the day after Trump signed an executive order temporarily banning all refugees, including Syrian refugees indefinitely, and immigrants from seven majority-Muslim countries from entering the U.S. The new policy, which Trump said would prioritize Christian refugees, lead to an onslaught of lawsuits.
Trump also quietly issued a presidential memorandum Saturday that removed the Director of National Intelligence and Joint Chiefs of Staff from their permanent roles on the National Security Council and handed Trump’s chief strategist, Steve Bannon, a seat. That puts a man with no foreign policy experience advising a president with no foreign policy experience — potentially without the help of the officials with arguably the most foreign policy experience.
Trump also reportedly berated Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull on a scheduled call and hung up on him half an hour early.
A quick fact-check
Day 10 – Jan. 29: In a tweet that built upon the religious prioritization of his executive order, Trump claimed that Christians are being executed in the Middle East in “large numbers.” NPR pointed out that Muslims die at the hands of ISIS in far larger numbers, however.
A deadly operation
Day 11 – Jan. 30: Although Trump called it “successful,” his first counterrorism raid didn’t go exactly as planned. The operation, which targeted al-Qaida in Yemen, killed an American soldier and 10 women and children, including the 8-year-old daughter of notorious propagandist Anwar al-Alwaki, an American citizen killed by a 2011 drone strike in Yemen.
Trump also fired acting Attorney General Sally Yates after she publicly declared the Department of Justice wouldn’t enforce the president’s controversial immigration ban while under her control.
Nominating the next Scalia
Day 12 – Jan. 31: Trump announced conservative federal judge and originalist Neil Gorsuch as his nominee for the vacant seat on the Supreme Court. Here’s what he could mean for legal weed, abortion, and LGBTQ rights.
VICE NEWS’ COVERAGE:
What do Frederick Douglass and fake news have in common?
Day 13 – Feb. 1: Trump kicked off Black History Month with some vague comments about famous black Americans — and fake news, of course. “Frederick Douglass is an example of somebody who’s done an amazing job and is being recognized more and more, I noticed,” Trump said before calling CNN fake news … again.
Will pray for ratings
Day 14 – Feb. 2: Trump tweeted a threat to pull federal funding from the University of California-Berkeley, the flagship of one of the country’s largest education systems, after it cancelled an appearance by alt-right troll Milo Yiannopoulos over imminent public safety concerns.
A few hours later, the president continued his ongoing feud with Arnold Schwarzenegger by asking 3,000 religious leaders at the annual National Prayer Breakfast to pray for the German action star to start earning better ratings in his new role as host of “Celebrity Apprentice.”
Trump puts Iran “on notice”
Day 15 – Feb. 3: A day after Trump tweeted that Iran had been put “on notice” for conducting a ballistic missile test Sunday, his administration announced a new wave of sanctions toward people and companies in the country — the same sanctions that Obama initiated.