News World The Trump presidency: Scandals, the Supreme Court and Twitter

The Trump presidency: Scandals, the Supreme Court and Twitter

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The Donald Trump presidency may be nearing its end, but his term will remain the memories of many for decades to come.

Here is a look back through Mr Trump’s four-year presidential term; the highlights, achievements, and scandals that dominated headlines.

January 2017

Mr Trump signed an executive order that temporarily banned citizens of seven majority-Muslim countries – Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen – from immigrating or visiting the US.

Protesters rallied against Mr Trump’s executive order. Photo: Getty

April 2017

Mr Trump gave the green light for 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles to be fired at a Syrian Air Force facility in retaliation for the Assad government’s chemical attack against civilians that same week.

The attack was the first direct US assault on Syria and the government of President Bashar al-Assad in the six-year war there. Photo: Getty

September 2017

Mr Trump tried to ban NFL players from ‘taking a knee’ during the US national anthem. He called on the league to “set a rule that you can’t kneel” while the anthem is played.

It came just over a year after San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick knelt as the anthem was being performed, to protest against police brutality towards African-Americans. 

Eli Harold, Colin Kaepernick and Eric Reid of the San Francisco 49ers kneel on the sideline during the anthem on October 16, 2016. Photo: Getty

December 2017

Mr Trump formally recognised Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and announced that the US embassy would be moved from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

For him, it was “a long-overdue step to advance the peace process and to work towards a lasting agreement”.

Arab leaders strongly feared this would escalate tensions in the Middle East, with Qatar’s foreign minister calling it a “death sentence for all who seek peace”.

Mr Trump signs his proclamation about his controversial decision to formally recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Photo: AAP

June 2018

Never before has a sitting president of the US come face to face with a North Korean leader – until Donald Trump met Kim Jong-un in Singapore for their historic summit.

Mr Trump and Mr Kim proceeded to sign an agreement to “work toward complete denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula”.

Mr Kim committed to denuclearise North Korea. Photo: AAP

July 2018

Mr Trump picked Brett Kavanaugh to become Associate Justice of the Supreme Court.

Mr Kavanaugh was sworn in on October 8, despite fronting accusations of sexual assault from multiple women.

Mr Kavanaugh was confirmed in the Senate 50-48. Photo: Getty

December 2018

Mr Trump declared victory over ISIS.

He announced that all 2000 American troops stationed in Syria would return home.

Mr Trump said US troops had defeated ISIS in Syria. Photo: Getty

March 2019

Special counsel Robert Mueller delivered his 448-page report into Russian interference in the 2016 election, bringing to a close an investigation that consumed the US and much of the world for more than two years.

Allegations of a conspiracy between Donald Trump’s presidential campaign and Russia, and allegations of obstruction of justice had hung a thick shadow over Mr Trump’s incumbency.

Mr Mueller delivered his 448-page report in 2019.

The chairman of the House Judiciary Committee said while a letter from the Justice Department describing Mr Mueller’s findings “does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him”.

June 2019

Journalist E. Jean Carroll accused Mr Trump of sexually assaulting her in the mid-1990s. Mr Trump denied ever having met her, before she provided a 1987 photo of herself and him.

Ms Carroll accused Mr Trump of sexually assaulting her in the mid-1990s.

Ms Carroll was the 25th woman to accuse Mr Trump of sexual misconduct since the 1970s.

Mr Trump later claimed she lied about the incident to sell a book, and said she was “not my type”.

July 2019

In a series of tweets on July 14, Mr Trump attacked four congresswomen of colour: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib and Ayanna Pressley.

“Originally came from countries whose governments are a complete and total catastrophe, the worst, most corrupt and inept anywhere in the world (if they even have a functioning government at all),” he tweeted.

Mr Trump suggested they “go back and help fix the totally broken and crime-infested places from which they came”.

All are American-born citizens.

November 2019

To international condemnation, Mr Trump officially pulled the US out of the Paris Agreement on climate change.

World reacts to Donald Trump paris climate decision
“I was elected to represent the citizens of Pittsburgh, not Paris,” Mr Trump said.

Of the world’s 197 countries, 189 have ratified the agreement.

Among the other non-signatories are Iran, Iraq, Angola and Libya.

December 2019

After weeks of hearings, Mr Trump became only the third US president to be impeached.


May 2020

Riots broke out after the death of George Floyd, an African-American man who was killed by a white police officer.

The officer was shown on video to have pressed his knee into Mr Floyd’s neck.

Mr Floyd, 46, worked as a security guard at a Minneapolis bistro.

Angry at the continued issue of black deaths at the hands of police, protests broke out across the country.

On Twitter, Mr Trump responded by calling protesters “THUGS”.

Days later, after spending time in a White House bunker, Mr Trump arranged a photo opportunity for himself in front of St John’s church.

Protesters were sprayed with tear gas so he could get to the church.

Later, on July 14, Mr Trump was asked in an interview with CBS News why African-Americans were still dying ‘‘at the hands of law enforcement’’ and Mr Trump replied: “So are white people. What a terrible question to ask.”

Mr Trump caused controversy when he went for a spin around the block while being treated for coronavirus.

October 2020

After he spent months playing down the severity of the coronavirus outbreak that had killed more than 207,000 people in the US, Mr Trump and the First Lady tested positive on October 2.

Mr Trump had tweeted in February: “The coronavirus is very much under control in the USA”, as the virus spread at an alarming rate.

“We are in contact with everyone and all the relevant countries. CDC & World Health have been working hard and very smart. Stock Market starting to look very good to me!”

More than nine million Americans have so far contracted the virus.

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