Donald Trump’s Day 1 To-Do List

On the morning of Jan. 21, 2017, his first full day in office, President Donald J. Trump will take a minute to settle behind the 19th-century Resolute desk, first used in the Oval Office by John F. Kennedy.

Then he will get very busy — if he follows through on his campaign promises for what he will do on his first day in office.

On Day 1, Mr. Trump has promised, he will redirect immigration enforcement, alter trade relations with China and other nations, relax restrictions on energy production, impose new rules on lobbyists, halt efforts to combat global warming, lift curbs on guns, push for congressional term limits and demand a new strategy for defeating the Islamic State. He may face some legal and procedural hurdles, but most of his Day 1 pledges involve issuing presidential directives, executive orders or memorandums that do not need legislative approval.

Although Mr. Trump and his top advisers have appeared to moderate some of his broader campaign pledges — they have suggested he might keep parts of the Affordable Care Act, delay building a wall along the border with Mexico and not appoint a special prosecutor to investigate Hillary Clinton’s emails — Mr. Trump has said nothing to indicate that he will not make good on his explicit Day 1 promises, many of which he delivered in his “Contract With the American Voter” during a speech in late October in Gettysburg, Pa.

Moving quickly is, after all, a modern presidential tradition. On his first day in office, President Obama imposed lobbying rules, closed secret interrogation facilities, banned torture and ordered the prison at Guantánamo Bay closed (an order that Congress has blocked to this day). Bowing to conservatives, on his first day, President George W. Bush ended funding of overseas clinics that provided abortion services.

Here is what Mr. Trump has said he will do:

Immigration

Nowhere has Mr. Trump been more specific than in his desire to deal with immigration on his first day. During a campaign rally on Aug. 31 in Phoenix, he told the crowd that he would instruct his administration to begin deporting illegal immigrants with criminal records immediately.

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An undocumented immigrant boarding an Immigration and Customs Enforcement jet in Mesa, Ariz., before being deported, Photo: John Moore/Getty Images

“We will begin moving them out, Day 1,” he said. “My first hour in office, those people are gone.”

In fact, immigration enforcement agents at the Department of Homeland Security are already under a mandate from Mr. Obama to deport criminals. The executive actions the president took in late 2014 order officials to focus on deporting “national security threats, convicted felons, gang members and illegal entrants apprehended at the border.”

But Mr. Trump does have wide latitude to direct an even more aggressive deportation effort, and he appears determined to do so quickly. He has said he will immediately end Mr. Obama’s program that protects undocumented immigrants who were brought to the United States as young children. But it is unclear whether Mr. Trump will seek to quickly deport the 700,000 or so people who signed up for the program, or merely refuse to accept new applicants.

He has said he also plans on Day 1 to suspend immigration from “terror-prone” countries, and to impose “extreme vetting” on others. And he has said he will immediately inform sanctuary cities — about two dozen American cities where officials have pledged not to prosecute people solely for being undocumented — that they will lose federal funding.

Economy and Trade

Much of Mr. Trump’s campaign was built on a promise to help struggling American workers who are frustrated by the loss of jobs, especially in the heartland.

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A brokerage house in Shanghai day after the election, President-elect Trump promised to tell his Treasury secretary to label china a currency manipulator, Photo: Aly Song/Reuters

The president-elect has said he intends to take several actions to pursue those policies on his first day, including announcing his intention to renegotiate or withdraw from the North American Free Trade Agreement and to stop pursuing adoption of the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Both actions are well within Mr. Trump’s powers as president.

He has promised to pick up the phone and order his Treasury secretary to label China a currency manipulator, and to tell his commerce secretary to begin identifying foreign trade abuses.

He has also said he will call chief executives of major companies who have announced plans to move jobs overseas to warn them that he will impose 35 percent tariffs if they proceed. That promise may be difficult to keep: Tariffs require congressional approval, and the Constitution bans the imposition of taxes or tariffs specifically aimed at a single company.

The Environment

The president-elect has taken direct aim at Mr. Obama’s actions on the environment and climate.

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Gascoyne, N.D., where pipes for the planned Keystone XL pipeline were stored in 2014. President Obama rejected construction of the pipeline, but President-elect Trump has said he will approve it, Photo: Andrew Cullen/Reuters

Mr. Trump has said that on his first day in office, he will lift Obama-era rules that restrict where oil drilling and other energy production are done, although Mr. Trump may find it harder to change those plans than he thinks. In July, for example, Mr. Obama’s administration issued regulations making it harder to drill for oil in the Arctic by requiring extensive plans for containing spills. Undoing final regulations like the Arctic drilling rules would require a long legal process.

It may be easier to reconsider Mr. Obama’s ruling against construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, which would bring petroleum from Canada’s oil sands to Gulf Coast refineries. Mr. Trump has said he will indicate on his first day his desire to approve the pipeline. And he has promised to call United Nations officials the same day to inform them he is canceling United States’ financial commitments to United Nations climate change programs.

Other Day 1 Promises

At some point that day, Mr. Trump has said, he will convene a meeting of senior Pentagon officials to discuss the threat posed by the Islamic State and other terrorist groups. “I am also going to convene my top generals and give them a simple instruction: They will have 30 days to submit to the Oval Office a plan for defeating ISIS,” as the Islamic State is also known, Mr. Trump said in Greenville, N.C., during the campaign.

The president-elect has also promised to act to get rid of gun-free zones around schools and other facilities, a nod to Second Amendment supporters. “My first day, it gets signed, O.K.?” he said at a January rally. “My first day. There’s no more gun-free zones.”

But that may be a tough promise to keep. Gun-free zones are a result of a 1990 law proposed by Joseph R. Biden Jr., then a senator, and ending them would require legislation that Congress is unlikely to pass on Mr. Trump’s first day in office.

It will be easier to make good on his promises to attack corruption in Washington. He has said he will propose term limits for members of Congress, impose restrictions on the creation of new regulations, and limit the lobbying activities of White House and congressional officials after they leave office.

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(Source:nytimes.com)
Photo:John Taggart/Bloomberg

OECD Says Trump Tax and Spending Plans Will Boost Global Economy

Global growth will pick up faster than previously expected in the coming months as the Trump administration’s planned tax cuts and public spending fire up the U.S. economy, the OECD said on Monday, revising up its forecasts.

In its twice-yearly Economic Outlook, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development estimated global growth would accelerate from 2.9% this year to 3.3% in 2017 and reach 3.6% in 2018.

The Paris-based organization was slightly more optimistic about the U.S. outlook, with a forecast for growth next year of 2.3%, up from 2.1% in its last set of estimates dating from September.

 U.S. growth would pick up further in 2018 to reach 3.0%, the highest rate since 2005, as the incoming Trump administration cut taxes on business and households and embarked on an infrastructure investment program.
 That would in turn drive the unemployment rate in the world’s biggest economy down from 4.9% this year to 4.5% in 2018, the OECD estimated.

As the U.S. labor market becomes increasing tight and wages rise, the OECD forecast inflation would increase from 1.2% in 2016 to 2.2% in 2018, prompting the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates gradually to 2.0% by end-2018.

A resurgent U.S. economy would help offset softness elsewhere in the world.

The OECD was slightly less pessimistic about Britain’s outlook than it was in September, as the central bank has helped ease the economic impact of the country’s decision to leave the European Union.

Britain’s economy was seen growing 2.0% this year, revised up from 1.8% previously, although the rate would be halved by 2018.

China, which is not a member of the 35-country OECD, was seen slowing from growth this year of 6.7% to 6.4% in 2017, both slightly better than previously expected.

Stronger U.S. import demand was seen offsetting weak Asian trade for Japan, where growth was revised up to 0.8% for this year from 0.6% previously and lifted to 1.0% in 2017 from a 0.7% estimate in September.

The euro area’s outlook was also slightly brighter despite uncertainties about Britain’s future relationship with the continent.

Boosted by loose monetary policy, euro area growth was seen at 1.7% this year and 1.6% in 2017 with both years revised slightly higher from the OECD’s September estimates.

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(Source:fortune.com)
Photo:The Washington Post

From Lobbyists To Loyalists, See Who’s On Donald Trump’s Transition Team

The Trump transition team is a work in progress, but there are certain things we know. It’s being led by Vice President-elect Mike Pence, and it includes an executive committee that includes several members of President-elect Donald Trump’s family.

NPR has obtained an organizational chart, which lists the names of those who are heading “teams” with responsibility for many of the federal agencies and departments. Several of them, especially in the national security realm, played advisory roles in the Trump campaign. Most are white men. And, somewhat surprisingly for an administration that pledges to reduce the impact of lobbyists in Washington to “drain the swamp,” a fair number of them are lobbyists.

Keep in mind that the transition is a fluid process. For instance, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie was the original transition chairman until he was replaced by Pence, and Mike Rogers was originally the national security lead, until he unexpectedly withdrew. The New York Times reported that lobbyist Matthew Freedman, also on the national security team, was fired. (Trump denied the Times report that his transition team is in flux, tweeting that it’s going “so smoothly.”)

Here are some of the people who are on Trump’s transition team.

Agency Action Team
Ron Nicol, Director, Agency Action

A former officer in the Navy, Ron Nicol has worked as a senior adviser to The Boston Consulting Group (the same company where Mitt Romney got his start) since January of 2016. According to his bio on BCG’s website, Nicol’s focus is on telecommunications and airlines. Prior to his work at BCG, he worked at Babcock and Wilcox, an energy and environmental technology company.

Nicol will oversee the following six groups, each with its own lead.

Defense
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Retired Lt. Gen. Keith Kellogg, Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty images

Keith Kellogg is a retired Army lieutenant general who endorsed Trump last summer. He served two tours in Vietnam and was chief of staff for the 82nd Airborne Division in Operation Desert Storm. Since retiring from the military, Kellogg has worked for a number of defense and homeland security contractors.

 

  • Michael Meese is working under Kellogg on Veterans Affairs. He is a retired Army brigadier general who served as a senior adviser to Gen. David Petraeus in Iraq and Afghanistan. He taught at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and currently teaches at Georgetown University. He also serves as chief operating officer of the American Armed Forces Mutual Aid Association, which helps military families deal with financial matters. He happens to be the son of another transition team member, former Attorney General Edwin Meese.
National Security

Former Michigan Rep. Mike Rogers was originally slated to lead the National Security transition team. However, in a statement released Tuesday, he said he was “pleased to hand off our work” to a new team led by Mike Pence.

There are several people working underneath the head of the National Security team. They include:

  1. DHS: Cindy Hayden, lobbyist for Altria, a giant tobacco company.
  2. State: Jim Carafano, vice president at the conservative Heritage Foundation and, according to its website, “a leading expert in national security and foreign policy challenges.”
  3. Intelligence: Ronald Burgess, a retired Army lieutenant general who served as deputy director of national intelligence from 2005 to 2007 during the George W. Bush administration, and for a month in 2009. He has been at Auburn University, working on national security and cyber programs, since December 2012.
Economic Issues
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David R. Malpass, Photo:Mario Tama/Getty Images

David Malpass is the president of Encima Global, a consulting and economic research firm. Previous positions include work at Bear Stearns as a chief economist, controller at Consolidated Supply Co. and a variety of appointments during the Ronald Reagan and Bush administrations, including deputy assistant treasury secretary for developing nations, deputy assistant secretary of state and senior analyst for taxes and trade at the Senate Budget Committee. Malpass ran unsuccessfully for a New York Senate seat in 2010 and was an adviser to former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani during his 2008 bid for the White House. In an interview with Marketplace, Malpass expressed his belief that Trump is capable of changing government, saying, “[The federal government] is this giant entity that’s constantly affecting people’s lives. And I think they haven’t been making good decisions in the current administration and we need a better one.”

Bill Walton is the chairman of Rappahannock Ventures (a private equity firm) and Rush River Entertainment (film production company). He is a senior fellow for the Discovery Institute’s Center on Wealth, Poverty and Morality and is the chairman of the board and CEO of Allied Capital Corp.

Domestic Issues
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Ken Blackwell, Photo:Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Ken Blackwell is the senior fellow for human rights and constitutional governance at the conservative Family Research Council. The author of several books, including Resurgent: How Constitutional Conservatism Can Save America, Blackwell is a former mayor of Cincinnati and former Ohio secretary of state and treasurer. He was the first black major party nominee for Ohio governor in 2006 (he lost to Ted Strickland) and ran unsuccessfully for chairman of the Republican National Committee in 2009. Blackwell has previously spoken out against Trump, saying, “Donald Trump is an existential threat to conservatism. He is arguably one of the most divisive figures in modern political history and his candidacy represents not only a threat to the Republican Party, Donald Trump is dragging the nation into the political gutter. It’s time for conservative voters to open their eyes and understand the nation deserves better than this political huckster.” Blackwell’s appointment drew criticism from the left for anti-gay comments he has made.

There are several people working underneath Blackwell, heading up various teams. They include:

  1. EPA: Myron Ebell directs environmental and energy policy at the Competitive Enterprise Institute and is a leading climate change skeptic. He opposes the Clean Power Plan, which is aimed at reducing carbon emissions, calling it illegal. He heads a group called the “Cooler Heads Coalition” that questions “global warming alarmism.”
  2. DOE/NRC: Mike McKenna, president of MWR Strategies, a lobbying firm. His clients have included Koch Companies and Dow Chemical. He worked for the Department of Energy during the George H.W. Bush administration.
  3. Labor: Steve Hart, chairman of Williams & Jensen, a Washington lobbying firm. According to his bio on the company’s website, he has been named “one of Washington’s top lobbyists.” He worked at the Justice Department during the Reagan administration and at OMB and the Labor Department.
Management/Budget
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Edwin Meese, Photo:Mark Wilson, Getty Images

Edwin Meese is a fellow emeritus at the conservative Heritage Foundation. He served President Reagan in a variety of positions, including attorney general, and as a member of Reagan’s National Security Council. He also headed the transition team after Reagan won the 1980 election.

Kay Coles James is the former director of the Office of Personnel Management. She served as Virginia’s secretary of health and human resources and is the former senior vice president of the Family Research Council.

Agency Transformation and Innovation

Beth Kaufman

Policy Implementation Team

The policy implementation team is led by Ado Machida. Machida served as a deputy assistant and acting director for domestic policy to former Vice President Dick Cheney and was previously a lobbyist at Akin Gump Straus Hauer & Feld LLP and BAE Systems. He was a senior economic policy adviser on Bob Dole’s 1996 presidential campaign.

Machida oversees a team of 14 people, including the executive legal action lead and executive authority adviser.

Executive Legal Action Lead

Andrew Bremberg has long been an adviser to top Republicans. He served as a policy adviser to Gov. Scott Walker during his presidential campaign and to Republican Leader Mitch McConnell. He is the former chief of staff in the Office of Public Health and Science at the Department of Health and Human Services and was brought in to help on health policy as part of the transition team for Mitt Romney during his bid for the presidency.

Executive Authority Adviser

Carlos Diaz Rosillo is a lecturer at Harvard University. He recently taught a popular class called “The Road to the White House,” examining Trump’s campaign.

Other members of this team include:

  1. Immigration Reform and Building the Wall: Danielle Cutrona is Sen. Jeff Sessions’ counsel on the Judiciary Committee.
  2. Health Care Reform: Paula Stannard is a lawyer at Alston & Bird who was formerly the deputy general counsel and acting general counsel at the Department of Health and Human Services.
  3. Defense and National Security: Bert Mizusawa is a major general in the Army Reserve. He was awarded a Silver Star for his service in South Korea. He waged an unsuccessful campaign for a congressional seat in Virginia in 2010.
  4. Trade Reform: Jim Carter is a lobbyist for Emerson, a manufacturing company.
  5. VA Reform: Bill Chatfield is a lobbyist who served as a director of Selective Service after being nominated by George W. Bush.
  6. Regulatory Reform: Rob Gordon
  7. Energy Independence: Michael Catanzaro is a former energy staffer for John Boehner. He has a history of climate change denial and currently works as a partner at the lobbying firm CGCN, where his clients include Koch Industries.
  8. Financial Services: Brian Johnson is a lawyer for the House Financial Services Committee.
  9. Education: Gerard Robinson is a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute. His expertise is in education policy studies.
  10. Transport and Infrastructure: Martin Whitmer is chairman of the lobbying firm Whitmer and Worrall. He served as the deputy chief of staff at the Department of Transportation after his appointment by President George W. Bush.
  11. Protecting Constitutional Rights: Per Politico, Ken Klukoski is the director of strategic affairs for the First Liberty Institute, which is in charge of “protecting constitutional rights.”

 

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(Source:npr.org)
Photo: Michael Conroy/AP, Carolyn Kaster/AP, Mario Tama/Getty Images, Michael Stewart/WireImage

Trump Claims He’ll Still Tweet as President, But Will Be More “Restrained”

Among a long list of questions about what a Donald Trump presidency will look like, many voters are wondering how the president-elect will carry himself on Twitter while serving as the Commander-in-Chief. But according to Trump, his social media presence is one thing he’s prepared to dial back on. 

Trump sat down with interviewer Lesley Stahl on 60 Minutes on to discuss his controversial campaign for the White House and his intentions as the next president. And when asked whether he would continue to tweet uncensored remarks every time he was ticked off about something, the president-elect replied, “I’m going to do very restrained, if I do it at all.” That’s probably not quite the answer some voters were looking for, but it sounds like everyone can at least say goodbye to his 3 a.m. lash-outs.

Still, Trump attributed a lot of his Twitter use and his millions of followers to helping him beat Hillary Clinton. “It’s a modern form of communication. There should be nothing we should be ashamed of. It’s where it’s at,” he added. “I have a method of fighting back that’s very tough.”

So far, Trump’s “restrained” strategy has taken a pretty rocky start. Following the results of the election, he took to Twitter on Nov. 10 to blast the “professional protesters, incited by the media” who had taken to the streets across the nation to stand against him. “Very unfair,” he tweeted. By within a couple of hours, he sang a different tune, writing that he loved “the fact that the small groups of protesters last night have passion for our great country.” He added, “We will all come together and be proud.”

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(Source:www.complex.com)

 

The World Waits and Wonders About Donald Trump

The forces that brought Donald Trump to victory were largely American. The repercussions of his election, however, have rocked Western democracies accustomed to seeing the United States as a beacon for democracy, progress and stability. If the president-elect wants to take seriously his responsibilities as head of the free world, he should waste no time in making clear how much of his campaign bluster was just that.

In the immediate wake of the election, the chorus of excited reactions from Europe’s far right, which has made common cause with Mr. Trump’s anti-globalization, anti-immigration and anti-establishment messages, reflected a sense that its cause had been given a huge boost.

Marine Le Pen, head of France’s far-right National Front, saw in Mr. Trump’s election a “great movement across the world” to upend the status quo. In the Netherlands, Geert Wilders of the similar Party for Freedom declared the election “historic.” In Britain, Nigel Farage, whose U.K. Independence Party was a major force behind the vote to leave the European Union, declared he “couldn’t be happier.” Germany’s Alternative for Germany and Austria’s Freedom Party chimed in with similar cheers.

The Netherlands, France and Germany all face national elections next year, and though the far-right parties have not been given strong chances of winning, neither had Brexit nor Mr. Trump. Even a strong showing by the populists in these countries would be a major threat to the European Union and its existing policies.

Mr. Trump’s victory was also greeted warmly in Russia, where it raised speculation that sanctions over the annexation of Crimea might soon be lifted. Aside from such concrete possibilities, foes of Western liberal democracy in Russia, China and elsewhere celebrated what they perceived as a vindication of their illiberal policies.

Beyond the threat of further advances by the far right in European electoral politics, mainstream European politicians and commentators were aghast at the potential of a Trump presidency to upend the political, economic and social order of the post-Communist world — much of it based on America’s deep and steadfast relationship with European democracies. Economic turmoil and the flood of refugees from a disintegrating Syria had already fired up the same sort of nativist sentiments that Mr. Trump rode to power. But nobody had really anticipated that the same passions were smoldering in that firm bulwark of Western values, the United States.

Now the entire structure of convictions and policies that were to underpin the Western world in the 21st century — the international trading regime, the united Western front against Russian revanchism, the security of NATO, the Paris accord on climate change — seems uncertain. In its stead are fears of costly trade wars, of new Russian pressures on countries from Estonia to Ukraine, of a steadily warming planet beset by drought, sea-level rise and human displacement.

The German chancellor, Angela Merkel, arguably the strongest leader in Europe, infused her message of congratulations to Mr. Trump with an unusual lecture on liberal democracy: “Germany and America are bound by their values: democracy, freedom, the respect for the law and dignity of human beings, independent of their origin, skin color, religion, gender, sexual orientation or political beliefs.”

No other president-elect in recent memory has needed this reminder. Mr. Trump would do well to recognize the genuine and profound trepidation behind it, and to give Ms. Merkel, Europe and the world the urgent reassurance they require.

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(Source:www.nytimes.com)