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:


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.


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.


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.


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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Photo:John Taggart/Bloomberg

Donald Trump to Add K.T. McFarland to His National Security Team

President-elect Donald J. Trump plans to name K. T. McFarland, an aide to three Republican White Houses and a frequent Fox News commentator, to the position of deputy national security adviser, as he continues to fill his foreign policy staff with aides who have hard-line views on the fight against terrorism.

Ms. McFarland, like Lt. Gen. Michael T. Flynn, the president-elect’s choice for national security adviser, has been highly critical of President Obama’s approach to combating terrorism, saying he has not acknowledged the threat that global Islamism poses to Western civilization.

The choice of Ms. McFarland was confirmed on Friday morning by a senior adviser in Mr. Trump’s transition effort.

Ms. McFarland’s selection comes as Mr. Trump and his team remain locked in a debate over appointing a secretary of state, the most important foreign policy job in the administration. Aides to Mr. Trump have said a decision on that post may not come until next week at the earliest.

The dispute centers on whether Mr. Trump should select Mitt Romney or Rudolph W. Giuliani for the cabinet position. It remains possible, Mr. Trump’s advisers said, that the job could go to someone else, like Gen. John F. Kelly, a Marine who led the United States Southern Command under Mr. Obama.

Rival camps within Mr. Trump’s orbit have split over the decision, tracing many of the same battle lines that divided the Republican Party in its bitter struggle over Mr. Trump’s nomination.

Some Republicans with Mr. Trump’s ear, like Newt Gingrich and Stephen K. Bannon, the president-elect’s chief strategist, have voiced concerns that Mr. Romney’s vehement opposition to Mr. Trump during the primary campaign raises questions of his loyalty.

Others, like Vice President-elect Mike Pence, have said privately that Mr. Giuliani might not be a wise choice, given the questions over his outside income, which would be likely to complicate his Senate confirmation.

Ms. McFarland, who will not require Senate confirmation, worked for the Nixon, Ford and Reagan administrations. From 1970 to 1976, she was an adviser to Henry A. Kissinger on the National Security Council. She also ran unsuccessfully in a 2006 Republican Senate primary race for the seat held by Hillary Clinton.

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Photo: Angel Chevrestt

Donald Trump’s Cabinet Picks Still Not Entirely Known

By his own account, President-elect Donald Trump has worked out a few agreements after a parade of weekend visitors who could land major appointments in his administration.

By his own account, President-elect Donald Trump has worked out a few agreements after a parade of weekend visitors who could land major appointments in his administration.

There were hints but no decisions to announce. Mitt Romney, the Republican nominee in 2012, was “under active and serious consideration” for secretary of state, Vice President-elect Mike Pence said. Trump himself said retired Marine Corps Gen. James Mattis was an “impressive” prospect for defense secretary.

“We’ve made a couple of deals,” Trump told reporters at his Bedminster, N.J., golf club before returning to New York. He gave assurances that “incredible meetings” would be bringing “incredible people” into the government. “You’ll be hearing about them soon.”

More meetings are on Trump’s Monday schedule. His transition team said former Texas governor and GOP presidential rival Rick Perry was expected to meet with Trump on Monday.

Among the visitors to the white-pillared clubhouse Sunday were Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, billionaire investor Wilbur Ross, and retired Marine Gen. John Kelly, the former commander of U.S. Southern Command.

The businessman who is now the president-elect also apparently was considering options to lead the Commerce Department, meeting with Ross. “Time will tell,” Ross told reporters when asked if he wanted a post.

It was hard to tell if some of the visitors were on the job hunt. Hollywood powerbroker Ari Emanuel and BET founder Robert Johnson came through over the weekend as did health care billionaire Patrick Soon-Shiong. Trump made a show of each guest, greeting them formally at the door, shaking hands, and smiling for the cameras and telling the press how “great” they were.

“King of Hollywood,” Trump said, as he ushered Emanuel in the door Sunday.

Between conversations, Trump revealed he was making transition plans for his family. He told reporters that his wife, Melania, and their 10-year-old son, Barron, would move to Washington when the school year ends.

Trump also turned to Twitter to share some of his thinking. In between criticism of Saturday Night Live, the hit musical “Hamilton,” and retiring Democratic leader Harry Reid, he wrote that, “General James ‘Mad Dog’ Mattis, who is being considered for secretary of defense, was very impressive yesterday. A true General’s General!”

The comments were indications that Trump is looking outside his immediate circle as he works toward rounding out his foreign policy and national security teams. On Friday, he named a loyalist, retired Gen. Michael Flynn, as his national security adviser.

Romney, the former Massachusetts governor and 2012 GOP presidential contender, and Trump exchanged bitter insults during the campaign, and Mattis has not been considered a Trump confidante. The appointment of more establishment figures could offer some reassurance to lawmakers and others concerned about Trump’s hard-line positions on immigration and national security and his lack of foreign policy experience.

Trump told reporters Sunday that one of his most loyal and public allies, former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, was also a prospect for secretary of state “and other things.” Giuliani at one point had been considered for attorney general, but Trump gave that job to Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama.

But even as Trump and his team discussed pressing issues facing the country and how to staff the incoming administration, the president-elect’s Twitter feed suggested other issues too were on his mind.

His targets Sunday included Sen. Reid. Trump tweeted that incoming Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer, another media-savvy New Yorker, was “far smarter” than Reid and “has the ability to get things done.”

Trump also complained that Saturday Night Live, which thrives on making fun of politicians, is “biased” and not funny. The night before, actor Alec Baldwin portrayed Trump as Googling: “What is ISIS?”

Trump also insisted again that the cast and producers of “Hamilton” should apologize after the lead actor addressed Pence from the stage Friday night, telling the vice president-elect that “diverse America” was “alarmed and anxious.” Pence said on CBS’s “Face the Nation” that he wasn’t offended.

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Photo:NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

As Trump Embraces Term Limits, Allies in Congress Pull Away

Congressional Republicans are settling in for what they hope is a long run in the majority, but President-elect Donald J. Trump doesn’t want them to get too comfortable.

“We’re going to put on term limits, which a lot of people aren’t happy about, but we’re putting on term limits,” Mr. Trump said in an interview with “60 Minutes” that aired on Sunday. “We’re doing a lot of things to clean up the system.”

If one thing could put Mr. Trump on a collision course with his new allies on Capitol Hill, it is his embrace of proposals such as term limits and tougher restrictions on allowing lawmakers and top aides to become lobbyists in the lucrative world of Washington influence peddling.

Members of Congress like to talk about returning power to the people, but many would prefer not to vote to limit their own tenure or future employment opportunities. Bringing up term limits is seen by some as raining on their postelection parade.

Senator Mitch McConnell, Republican of Kentucky and the majority leader, made that quite clear last week when he said the Senate outlook for term limits was severely limited.

“I would say we have term limits now,” Mr. McConnell told reporters. “They’re called elections. And it will not be on the agenda in the Senate.”

Still, Mr. Trump’s highlighting of his call for term limits — it is No. 1 on his list of priorities to “clean up the corruption and special interest collusion in Washington, D.C.” — revives an initiative that has been dormant in Washington for years after Republicans rode it to the House takeover in 1994 but then failed to make it happen.

Mr. Trump found a surprising kindred spirit on term limits on Monday when President Obama seemed to endorse the concept.

“I think we want to see new voices and new ideas emerge,” Mr. Obama said at a news conference. “That’s part of the reason why I think term limits are a really useful thing.”

Aides said later that Mr. Obama might have been referring more to the limit on presidential tenure, and his view that George Washington set the right precedent by leaving after two terms. But his words could certainly be extended to Congress.

Proponents of term limits say Mr. Trump’s position has put new energy behind the campaign to adopt a constitutional amendment restricting House members to three two-year terms and senators to two six-year terms.

“The other part of the pressure is going to come from the public,” said Nick Tomboulides, the executive director of the group U.S. Term Limits. “When they know term limits is an issue on the table, they will make it very difficult for Congress to ignore. I think Congress is going to be forced to vote on it.”

Term limits have always been popular with voters and got a surge of momentum in the “throw the bums out” political atmosphere of the early 1990s, leading multiple states to adopt them for their legislatures through ballot initiatives and other means.

As part of the “Contract With America” in 1994, Republicans led by Representative Newt Gingrich of Georgia promised the “Citizen Legislature Act” and a “first-ever vote on term limits to replace career politicians with citizen legislators.” The mantra helped them topple Speaker Thomas S. Foley of Washington, a staunch opponent of term limits, via a challenger, George Nethercutt, who promised to serve just six years (though he later violated that pledge).

That term limits vote did come in March 1995 and won a majority but fell more than 60 votes short of the two-thirds majority necessary to advance a constitutional amendment. Forty Republicans, many of them committee and subcommittee chairmen, joined Democratic opponents in defeating the proposal. The amendment again fell short a year later.

Opponents argued then, and argue now, that arbitrary term limits would rob Congress of the institutional knowledge and expertise needed to conduct business and that voters had regular opportunities to end the service of their lawmakers. They don’t talk about how gerrymandering and the advantages of incumbency make it hard to defeat sitting lawmakers.

Whether the proposal can go anywhere this year will depend on how serious Mr. Trump and his advisers are about pushing it against the wishes of congressional leaders, or whether it was just part of his message to stir up frustrated voters. At this point, it is impossible to say, but it was a primary element of his call to “drain the swamp” that appeared to resonate with the public.

And term limits are just one issue. Conservatives also are raising the alarm about a move by House Republicans to restore congressional earmarks — special home-state spending — as long as they are directed to a government agency rather than a private interest, a source of corruption in the past.

Some lawmakers have argued that restoring the ability of individual lawmakers to earmark money would make it easier to pass spending bills, but critics are moving quickly to quash any effort to bring them back.

With the earmark proposal on the verge of being adopted by Republicans on Wednesday, Speaker Paul D. Ryan called off the vote, fearing it would send a bad signal so soon after the election. He promised a review of the idea and a vote early next year.

Like other self-professed outsiders before him, Mr. Trump will discover that draining the swamp is much easier said than done.

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Photo:Al Drago/The New York Times

Donald Trump offers CIA director post to Rep. Mike Pompeo

President-elect Donald Trump has offered the job of CIA director to Republican Congressman Mike Pompeo, according to Reuters.

Pompeo has accepted the offer, according to an unnamed transition team official cited by the news agency.

Speculation had been rife that the Kansas Representative was in line for a top position in the incoming administration after news emerged he met with Trump this week.

CIA director or army secretary were two likely possibilities based on Pomeo’s background in military and intelligence, according to Mc Clatchy DC.

Pompeo hails from Wichita, Kansas and has served three terms as a Republican representative. He is a West Point and Harvard Law graduate, and had originally pledged his support to Trump’s rival for the Republican presidential nomination, Marco Rubio.

News of his appointment is already drawing criticism as the lawmaker has come under fire for controversial statements made in relation to Muslims.

Meanwhile, Trump has reportedly offered the role of US attorney general to Senator Jeff Sessions.

Earlier it was reported that retired Lieutenant General Michael Flynn was chosen as Trump’s new national security adviser, according to a close source.

The appointments are expected to be confirmed later today.

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Photo:Saul Loeb / AFP

Where Donald Trump got his real power

Donald Trump’s candidacy was not taken seriously by the mainstream media and even the establishment of his own party, but his strategic use of social media propelled him to the presidency.

And while it may appear healthy for our political system that social media gives opportunities to people like him — who are, for example, less politically connected — to speak to the American people, the way social platforms were actually used in this election cycle is deeply dangerous for our democracy.

To see how we’ve come to this point, it’s useful to look at the past few presidential campaigns.

Indeed, although Donald Trump may appear to be the antithesis of Barack Obama, the last two men elected President of the United States are strikingly similar on two scores: both were anti-establishment candidates who won the presidency largely by outsmarting their opponents on social media.

Trump, who according to Reuters tweeted more than any other candidate in the presidential race, amassed 4 million more followers on Twitter than Hillary Clinton and 5 million more on Facebook. With Trump’s supporters enthusiastically liking and sharing his content, he created what Mike Berland, CEO of the market research firm Edelman Berland, called “a continuous Trump rally that happens on Twitter at all hours.

“The social media company SocialFlow calculated during the campaign that Trump was getting more than three times more free exposure on social media than Clinton. The company found that, by January, he had become “the most talked-about person on the planet.

“Last year, in an interview with New York Times reporter Michael Barbaro (between breaks to check Twitter), Trump said that before social media, his only option was to sue his rivals. But with the modern ability to argue on social platforms, he felt he had “more powert han they do.”

In his first interview as President-elect, the famously wealth-obsessed businessman reported that he believed social media is more powerful than money. “

The fact that I have such power in terms of numbers with Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc., I think it helped me win all of these races where they’re spending much more money than I spent,” Trump said. (His campaign spent about half as much as Clinton’s). Trump also appreciated the ability to bypass the filter of the traditional media and speak directly to citizens via social media, describing his large Twitter following (in a tweet) as “like having your own newspaper.

“Like Trump, Obama started as an outsider candidate whose unlikely rise was fueled by the savvy use of social media, suggesting the beginnings of a pattern. In 2008, Barack Obama had 112,474 Twitter followers, while John McCain had a mere 4,603. On the then-more popular platform Facebook, Obama had 2,379,102 supporters, compared to McCain’s 620,359. (Past studies have also found that opposition politicians in Congress tend to use social media more than their counterparts, “as an instrument for voicing dissent directly to the public.”)

If social media serves to broaden the pool of potential politicians by allowing candidates to get their ideas to the American people — and to run less expensive campaigns — how has it damaged the country?

Three major ways:

First, and most obviously, social media (literally) cut our national discourse short. Kerric Harvey, author of the Encyclopedia of Social Media and Politics, said Twitter “makes it so that what ought to be a conversation is just a set of Post-it notes that are scattered.

“This helps explain why a candidate who had never before discussed policy was able to win the election. In fact, in his interview with Barbaro of the Times, Trump said he only wished that Twitter’s 140 character limit was longer “on 10% of the occasions.” The words most frequently used by Trump in his tweets were “great,” “winner” or “winners,” and “loser” or “losers.”

The social media tracking company Brandwatch found that Trump and Clinton’s 10 most tweeted days (with the exception of conversations around the presidential debates) included just two conversations about policy.

Second, social media is fueling the so-called “post-truth” era in American politics because it allows candidates to bypass traditional fact checkers — reporters and debate moderators — to communicate directly with the American people. According to PolitiFact, just 14% of Donald Trump’s statements have been true. Fake accounts then amplified Trump’s (sometimes inaccurate) tweets. The website Twitter Audit found that 39% of Trump’s Twitter followers — compared with just 5% of Clinton’s — were computer generated bots.

Another problem is that fake news stories have proliferated on social media. According to Buzzfeed, people in the town of Veles, Macedonia, developed a cottage industry over the past year, creating at least 140 fake news sites that spread pro-Trump stories across social media platforms. Zeynep Tufekci, associate professor of information and library science at the University of North Carolina, noted that a single false story purporting that Pope Francis had endorsed Trump was likely viewed by tens of millions of people on Facebook.

Third, social media is deepening the divide among more conservative and liberal Americans. Eli Pariser has noted that social media users now live in a “filter bubble” in which social platforms tailor the content we see to our interests, leaving us unexposed to other points of view (the divide is so stark that this year the Wall Street Journal created an interactive to show Americans what the Facebook feeds of the other side actually look like.)

New York Post columnist Johnny Oleksinski argued recently that this explained why Clinton supporters were so shocked by the results of the election, because “neither America believes the other really exists. Because it’s nowhere to be found on its Facebook news feed.” Too often people fail to engage in productive conversations with friends on Facebook who have differing views, likely because discourse on social media has become so vitriolic. A Pew study released last month found that 84% of social media users somewhat or very much agree that “people say things when discussing politics on social media that they would never say in person.”

It doesn’t have to be this way. Citizens could demand that politicians use social media more substantively and truthfully — and tweet back to call them out when they don’t. Social media executives could better police false content (Facebook and Google both announced actions to combat false news this week). And we can all try to engage constructively with people of a wide range of beliefs to debate the issues of the day.

There is reason to think this can work. One study found that if social media users see that a lot of people recommend a particular story, they will click on it even if the news source is partisan and not in line with their beliefs. This suggests that there is still room for dialogue between people with red and blue feeds.

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Obama appeals to Americans to give Trump a chance

President Obama addressed concerned about President-elect Donald Trump in his first press conference since Election Day, saying that the massive responsibilities of the presidency would change the businessman’s tenor.

In a subtle effort to assuage fears, President Obama suggested Monday that the office of the president has a way of opening one’s eyes to the realities of governing and decision making. “Regardless of what experience or assumptions he brought to the office, this office has a way of waking you up,” Obama said.

Obama maintained his commitment to ensuring a smooth, peaceful transition of power during his first press conference since Election Day, refusing to weigh in on president-elect Donald Trump’s staffing picks and comments the president made about his successor’s qualifications on the campaign trail.

Speaking to the press ahead of his final international trip as president, Obama said it was important for the American people to allow Trump to make decisions and settle into the office before judging his presidency. “The people have spoken, Donald Trump will be the next president, the 45th president of the United States,” Obama said. “It will be up to him to set up a team that he thinks will serve him well and reflect his policies.”

Those who didn’t vote for Trump, Obama said, have to recognize that “that’s how the system operates.”

President Obama said again that he was encouraged by Trump’s sober response to his Election Night win and hopes that he’ll commit to unifying the country going forward. The two met in the Oval Office the Thursday after the surprising election and during that meeting, Obama said Monday, he advised the President-elect to reach out to communities that may feel disaffected as a result of his win. In the days since the election, protestors have taken to the streets across the country chanting things like “not my president” and “dump Trump.” There has also been an increase in racially charged incidents across the U.S. in the wake of the election.

“My advice, as I said to the President-elect, was that campaigning is different from governing,” Obama said Monday. I think he recognizes that I think he’s sincere in wanting to be a successful president. I think he’s going to try as best he can to make sure that he delivers not only for people who voted for him but the people at large.”

Obama also said he’d advised Trump to reach out to women, communities of color, and others who expressed concern about the “tenor of his campaign” and the nastiness of the 2016 election. As noted, the president did not weigh in on the announcement that controversial Breitbart News executive Steve Bannon will have a senior role in the Trump administration.

Reports and comments from advocates, Democrats, and civil rights groups signals that some are angered by the President-elect’s staffing choices. President Obama said he thinks of Trump as less of an ideologue and more of a pragmatist, something he hopes will benefit him when he’s in the thick of it.

The president also said he hopes the president will consider the impact of decisions like completely gutting the Affordable Care Act and reversing deportation deferrals of children who immigrated to the U.S.

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