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

Trump may empower local police to round up immigrants

MIAMI — Deputizing local police officers from around the country to enforce the nation’s immigration laws is one plan being proposed to President-elect Donald Trump to fulfill his pledge to crack down on undocumented immigrants.

The idea was on a sheet of proposals for the Department of Homeland Security that was photographed when a member of Trump’s immigration transition team met with him Sunday. The list of proposals carried by Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach also addressed Trump’s campaign pledge to cut off the program that accepts Syrian refugees and to enhance screening of people from countries with ties to terrorism.

Kobach, who has helped several states draft laws that crack down on illegal immigration, did not respond to requests for comments about the proposals.

The so-called 287(g) program on the list allows the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency to train local police officers and sheriffs deputies to locate and catch undocumented immigrants living in their communities.

The program was created by Congress in 1996 and used by President George W. Bush. By 2010, local officers in 24 states were trained and empowered by ICE to respond to crime scenes, make traffic stops and check local jails to determine the immigration status of suspects.

The program was largely phased out by President Obama. Local officers now only work in local jails, not on the street.

Kobach’s proposal suggests the program be ratcheted back up to “at least 70 cities and counties” when Trump enters the White House in January. Trump said in a post-election interview that a top priority will be deporting an estimated 2 million to 3 million undocumented immigrants with criminal records.

Expanding local enforcement would be a quick, cheap “force multiplier” for a Trump administration intent on increasing deportations, said Jessica Vaughan, director of policy studies at the Center for Immigration Studies, a group that favors steps to curb illegal immigration. She said federal agents are already stretched thin, and adding local officers to do immigration work would help expand their reach.

“I would expect ICE to be inundated with applications” from local agencies interested in taking part, Vaughan said. “It’s a great thing for public safety and our immigration enforcement. You’re going to have fewer criminal aliens falling through the cracks and more sent home rather than being allowed to stay in those communities.”

Opponents counter that expanding local enforcement would alienate communities with significant Hispanic populations. Lake County (Ill.) Sheriff Mark Curran, a former prosecutor, said he looked into the program when it was created, but changed his mind once he thought through the downside of such a step.

Curran said solving crimes requires witnesses to step forward and talk to police, something the Hispanic community would not do if the officers were also acting as immigration agents.

“As soon as your police car pulls up, all the doors are going to shut,” Curran said. “All they know is you dragged some relative of theirs out of the house a week ago who hadn’t done anything but try to provide for his family. They’re not going to want to cooperate with you.”

Opponents counter that expanding local enforcement would alienate communities with significant Hispanic populations. Lake County (Ill.) Sheriff Mark Curran, a former prosecutor, said he looked into the program when it was created, but changed his mind once he thought through the downside of such a step.

Curran said solving crimes requires witnesses to step forward and talk to police, something the Hispanic community would not do if the officers were also acting as immigration agents.

“As soon as your police car pulls up, all the doors are going to shut,” Curran said. “All they know is you dragged some relative of theirs out of the house a week ago who hadn’t done anything but try to provide for his family. They’re not going to want to cooperate with you.”

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Photo: AP

Donald Trump’s staff picks alarm Muslims, illegal immigrants

US President-elect Donald Trump picked three conservative loyalists to lead his national security and law enforcement teams on Friday, underscoring his campaign promise to take a hard line confronting Islamist militancy and curbing illegal immigration.

Trump picked US Senator Jeff Sessions for attorney general, rewarding a staunch supporter whose tough and sometimes inflammatory statements on immigration have reflected his own. The choice was applauded by the top Republican in the Senate but drew sharp criticism from civil rights activists.

Retired Army Lieutenant General Mike Flynn , who has championed Trump’s promises to take a more aggressive approach to terrorism, was chosen as his national security adviser.

Trump named Representative Mike Pompeo, a vocal critic of the Obama administration’s security policy, as director of the Central Intelligence Agency.

The three choices, announced by Trump’s transition team, come as the Republican president-elect works to fill key positions in his administration, which will take over from Democratic President Barack Obama on January 20.

The picks could heighten concerns abroad that the Trump administration might carry out campaign promises of banning Muslims from entering the United States or imposing more severe restrictions on migrants from countries or regions with high levels of militant Islamist activity, such as Iraq and Syria.

Sessions and Pompeo seem likely to be confirmed by the Senate despite heavy resistance from Democrats. Republicans will control a majority, with at least 51 seats in the 100-seat chamber, when Congress reconvenes in January. Flynn’s post does not need Senate confirmation.

One of the earliest Republican lawmakers to support Trump’s White House candidacy, Sessions opposes any path to citizenship for illegal immigrants and was an enthusiastic backer of Trump’s campaign promise to build a wall on the border with Mexico. He has also argued for curbs on legal immigration on the grounds that it drives down wages for US workers.

A former Alabama attorney general and US attorney, Sessions, 69, has been in the Senate for 19 years. Allegations that he made racist remarks led the Senate to deny his confirmation as a federal judge in 1986. The chamber’s top Democrat, Chuck Schumer, said he would want Sessions to answer “tough questions” about his civil rights positions.

The attorney general acts as the country’s chief law enforcement officer and head of the Justice Department. Civil rights groups slammed Sessions as a poor choice to head a department charged with protecting voting rights and running immigration courts.

“How can we trust someone in that role who has demonstrated he thinks all forms of immigration are bad for America?” said Beth Werlin, head of the American Immigration Council.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he strongly supported Sessions for attorney general, calling him “principled, forthright, and hardworking.”

Sessions has been one of Trump’s most enthusiastic backers on Capitol Hill and the president-elect has hired several of Sessions’ staffers, including policy chief Stephen Miller and Rick Dearborn, who has a top job managing the transition.

Also on Friday, the first set of transition “landing teams” were starting work at the departments of State, Justice, Defense and the National Security Council to begin hashing out the details of shifting to a new administration.

Islamist militants

Flynn, one of Trump’s closest advisers, was fired from the Defense Intelligence Agency in 2014, a move he has attributed to his outspoken views about fighting Islamist militancy. Other officials who worked with Flynn cited his lack of management skills and leadership style as reasons for his firing.

An Army intelligence veteran of three decades, Flynn was assistant director of national intelligence under Obama. He views the 2003 invasion of Iraq as a strategic blunder and has refused to condemn Trump’s support for the renewed use of waterboarding. This is an interrogation technique that simulates drowning, is widely considered torture and was banned by Obama.

Pompeo, 52, a third-term Republican congressman and former US Army officer who founded an aerospace company, was a surprise pick to lead the CIA.

A member of the House Intelligence Committee, Pompeo has called for a revival and expansion of a now-defunct domestic spying program to include “financial and lifestyle information” as well as phone records. He has said that Edward Snowden, a former government contractor who uncovered the spying program and who now lives in Russia, should get the death penalty if he is ever tried and convicted.

Pompeo has been one of the most aggressive critics of the Obama administration’s handling of a 2012 attack on US diplomatic facilities in Benghazi, Libya, that killed the US ambassador and three other Americans.

Nevertheless, Democrats who have worked with him joined Republicans in describing Pompeo as knowledgeable and hard working.

“While we have had our share of strong differences – principally on the politicization of the tragedy in Benghazi – I know that he is someone who is willing to listen and engage,” Representative Adam Schiff, the top Democrat on the Intelligence Committee, said on Friday.

Trump met on Friday with former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, a possible pick to head the Department of Homeland Security, and US Senator Tom Cotton of Arkansas, a possible candidate for defense secretary.

Trump is considering retired General David Petraeus, who resigned as CIA chief in 2012 after an extra-marital affair, is being considered for the post of defense secretary, the Wall Street Journal said.

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Photo: Reuters

Donald Trump Changes Stance on Immigration, but Not on Abortion

President-elect Donald J. Trump appeared to soften some of his hardest-line campaign positions on immigration on Sunday, but he also restated his pledge to roll back abortion rights and used Twitter to lash out at his critics, leaving open the possibility that he would continue using social media in the Oval Office and radically change the way presidents speak to Americans.

In his first prime-time television interview since his upset victory on Tuesday, Mr. Trump repeated his promise to name a Supreme Court justice who opposed abortion rights and would help overturn the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that recognized them, returning the issue to the states.

Asked where that would leave women seeking abortions, Mr. Trump, on the CBS program “60 Minutes,” said, “Well, they’ll perhaps have to go — they’ll have to go to another state.”

On immigration, he said the wall that he has been promising to build on the nation’s southern border might end up being a fence in places. But he said his priority was to deport two million to three million immigrants he characterized as dangerous or as having criminal records, a change from his original position that he would deport all of the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants in the country. President Obama has deported more than two million undocumented immigrants during his time in office.

Mr. Trump said that undocumented immigrants who are not criminals are “terrific people,” and that he would decide how to handle them after the border is secure. The House speaker, Paul D. Ryan, echoed the president-elect, saying on Sunday that there would be no deportation force, something Mr. Trump had promised to create early in his campaign.

“That’s not what we’re focused on,” Mr. Ryan said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

Mr. Trump also said he considered the Supreme Court decision last year that validated same-sex marriages as settled, and that he was “fine with that.” He endorsed popular aspects of President Obama’s health insurance law, including a provision that requires coverage of people with pre-existing medical conditions and one that allows young people to remain on their parents’ plans until the age of 26.

But even as he appeared to inch toward the political center, Mr. Trump used a series of postings on Twitter to argue that The New York Times’s coverage of him has been “BAD” and “very poor and highly inaccurate.” He falsely stated that The Times had issued an apology to readers, an apparent reference to a letter to readers from The Times’s publisher, Arthur Sulzberger Jr., and its executive editor, Dean Baquet. The letter noted the unpredictable nature of the election and said The Times aimed to “rededicate” itself to “the fundamental mission of Times journalism.”

In the letter, The Times posed a series of what it called inevitable questions, including, “Did Donald Trump’s sheer unconventionality lead us and other news outlets to underestimate his support among American voters?”

Mr. Trump also claimed that the newspaper had been losing thousands of subscribers over its campaign coverage. In a Twitter message in reply to Mr. Trump, The New York Times Company said it had seen a “surge” in new subscriptions since the election — four times the pre-election rate.

“We’re proud of our election coverage & we will continue to ‘hold power to account,’” the company said.

Mr. Trump, in another Twitter post, said The Times had falsely reported that he believed additional nations should acquire nuclear arms.

However, in an interview in March with The Times, Mr. Trump, asked about the North Korean threat to its neighbors, said he thought the United States’ allies might need their own nuclear deterrent.

“If Japan had that nuclear threat, I’m not sure that would be a bad thing for us,” he said. Later, he added, “The bottom line is, I think that frankly, as long as North Korea’s there, I think that Japan having a capability is something that maybe is going to happen whether we like it or not.”

His posts on Twitter were a striking public display from a man who, after winning the election, had worked to project an air of seriousness and self-discipline, first in a victory speech early Wednesday and then in an Oval Office meeting the next day with Mr. Obama, whom he called a “good man” for whom he had “great respect.”

But by Thursday evening, Mr. Trump was using Twitter to complain about demonstrations against his victory, saying they were being mounted by “professional protesters, incited by the media,” and branding them as “very unfair!”

In an interview on Friday with The Wall Street Journal, Mr. Trump did not rule out prosecuting Mrs. Clinton.

On Sunday, his campaign manager, Kellyanne Conway, warned that Senator Harry Reid, Democrat of Nevada and the minority leader, could face legal action for having said that Mr. Trump’s election had “emboldened the forces of hate and bigotry in America.”

Mr. Trump has said he is proud of how he has used social media to create his own version of events and communicate it to his followers. He suggested in the “60 Minutes” interview that he is reluctant to surrender that platform when he takes the oath of office in January.

“I’m not saying I love it, but it does get the word out,” Mr. Trump said of Twitter during the interview, adding that his millions of followers on various social media sites had given him “such power” that it helped him win the election.

“When you give me a bad story, or when you give me an inaccurate story,” Mr. Trump added, “I have a method of fighting back.” He said, however, that he would be “very restrained” in his Twitter posts should he continue to make them as president.

Mr. Trump is a highly public scorekeeper of his own accolades and accomplishments, and his elevation to the highest office in the land has not changed his instinct to crow about the smallest details. During the interview, Mr. Trump boasted that since his election, he had built up his social media following by tens of thousands of people. “I’m picking up now — I think I picked up yesterday 100,000 people,” Mr. Trump said.

The interview, which also featured Mr. Trump’s wife, Melania, and adult children, showed a side of the president-elect that he did not display during the campaign — a man awed and somewhat intimidated by the significance of the office to which he had just laid claim.

“I’ve done a lot of big things; I’ve never done anything like this,” Mr. Trump said. “It is — it is so big, it is so — it’s so enormous, it’s so amazing.”

Mr. Trump said he had been inaccurately portrayed as “a little bit of a wild man” during the campaign, and he promised that he would be able to tamp down some of his more heated speech as president. But he suggested that he would still use such tactics to galvanize his supporters, just as he did during his bid for the White House.

“Sometimes you need a certain rhetoric to get people motivated,” he said. “I don’t want to be just a little nice monotone character.”

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