Early in President Trump’s term, McSweeney’s editors began to catalog the head-spinning number of misdeeds coming from his administration. We called this list a collection of Trump’s cruelties, collusions, and crimes, and it felt urgent then to track them, to ensure these horrors — happening almost daily — would not be forgotten. This election year, amid a harrowing global health, civil rights, humanitarian, and economic crisis, we know it’s never been more critical to note these horrors, to remember them, and to do all in our power to reverse them. This list will be updated between now and the November 2020 Presidential election.
Various writers have compiled this list during the course of the Trump administration. Their work has been guided by invaluable journalistic resources, including WTFJHT, NPR, the New York Times, the Washington Post, and other sources, to whom we are grateful.
– Sexual Misconduct, Harassment, & Bullying
– White Supremacy, Racism, & Xenophobia
– Public Statements / Tweets
– Collusion with Russia & Obstruction of Justice
– Trump Staff & Administration
– Trump Family Business Dealings
- – November 6, 2018 – A class-action lawsuit challenged the government’s detentions of migrants, including children kept in cages. Under Trump, more migrant children have been in government custody than at any time in American history.
- – November 7, 2018 – Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who refused to protect Trump from investigations into his presidential campaign — officially recusing himself — resigned under pressure from the president. Trump had publicly mocked Sessions for months.
- – November 7, 2018 – A White House intern tried to wrestle away a microphone from CNN’s Jim Acosta after he asked Trump challenging questions at a press conference. The White House later revoked Acosta’s press pass, releasing a video to justify its reprimand. A C-SPAN video of the incident differed from the video released by the White House, which appeared to have been altered to depict Acosta as the aggressor.
- – November 8, 2018 – Trump introduced new laws denying asylum to migrants who enter the U.S. illegally, despite declining border crossings in recent years. Immigration advocates challenged the ban with a lawsuit, saying the proclamation would deny protection to thousands of vulnerable individuals.
- – November 9, 2018 – In defending his appointment of acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker, who had criticized investigations into Russia’s involvement in the 2016 election, Trump told reporters, “I don’t know Matt Whitaker.” In reality, the president had met his appointee at least a dozen times.
- – November 9, 2018 – In the aftermath of tight midterm elections, Trump backed Florida Governor Rick Scott’s claims that voter fraud occurred. He tweeted “Law Enforcement is looking into another big corruption scandal having to do with Election Fraud.” The Florida Department of Law Enforcement said that there were no allegations to investigate.
- – November 10, 2018 – Trump blamed the Camp Fire, the deadliest blaze in California’s history, on poor forest management. In a tweet, he threatened the state: “Remedy now, or no more Fed payments!” California regulators, however, came to a different conclusion, determining that Pacific Gas & Electric equipment caused the fire.
- – November 19, 2018 – Ivanka Trump used a personal email account for hundreds of government-related emails — “many of them in violation of federal records rules,” the Washington Post reported. When running for president, her father infamously lashed out at Hillary Clinton for using a private server for government business, leading chants of “lock her up.”
- – November 20, 2018 – Trump declared that the U.S. would remain a “steadfast partner” of Saudi Arabia. His support of the totalitarian monarchy came despite the CIA’s assessment that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman approved the gruesome killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. The White House statement put the murder in an economic context. “The Kingdom agreed to spend and invest $450 billion in the United States. This is a record amount of money. It will create hundreds of thousands of jobs, tremendous economic development, and much additional wealth for the United States.” The $450 billion figure was later determined to be incorrect.
- – November 25, 2018 – U.S. Border Patrol Agents sprayed tear gas at a group of migrants at the entry point between Tijuana and San Diego. Trump said, “First of all, the tear gas is a very minor form of the tear gas itself. It’s very safe.” The Chemical Weapons Convention banned tear gas in international war in 1993.
- – November 26, 2018 – Facing prison time for bank fraud and conspiracy to obstruct justice, Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort breached his plea agreement by repeatedly lying to federal investigators.
- – November 29, 2018 – Michael Cohen, Trump’s former lawyer, pleaded guilty to making false statements to Congress about negotiations for a Trump Tower in Moscow. Cohen testified to Congress that discussions about the project ended in January 2016. Actually, they stretched well into Trump’s presidential campaign.
- – November 30, 2018 – The Trump administration authorized five companies to use seismic airguns to search for offshore oil and gas. In doing so, the administration disregarded the federal government’s estimate that airgun testing poses a threat to many marine mammals, including dolphins and whales.
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- – December 6, 2018 – A New York Times story revealed that Trump employed undocumented workers for years at the Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, N.J. Immigrants worked as housekeepers, groundskeepers, waitstaff and stonemasons. Trump has frequently referred to illegal immigration a national crisis which, “hurts American workers; burdens American taxpayers; and undermines public safety; and places enormous strain on local schools, hospitals, and communities.”
- – December 7, 2018 – A seven-year-old girl from Guatemala died of dehydration and shock in the custody of the U.S. Border Patrol. After the death of Jakelin Caal Maquin was made public, a White House spokesman said, “Does the administration take responsibility for a parent taking a child on a trek through Mexico to get to this country? No.”
- – December 11, 2018 – If Congress refused to provide funding for construction of his border wall, Trump told Democratic lawmakers that he would be “proud” to shut down the government. “I’ll be the one to shut it down,” he said. “I will take the mantle.”
- – December 22, 2018 – The government entered a partial shutdown as Trump stonewalled Congress over funding for his border wall. The shutdown lasted for thirty-four days — the longest in the nation’s history. Trump’s action left about 800,000 federal workers without pay.
- – December 25, 2018 – An eight-year-old from Guatemala died on Christmas Day in custody of Customs and Border Patrol. Felipe Gomez Alonso was the second child to die in a month while in U.S. custody. “So you have drugs, you have human trafficking,” Trump told reporters later in the day. “You have illegal people coming into our country. We can’t do that. We don’t know who they are.”
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- – January 2, 2019 – In a cabinet meeting, Trump said that Russia invaded Afghanistan in the 1970s to stop terrorists from entering the country. “They were right to be there,” he said. In fact, the Soviet Union intervened in the Afghan War to support the Afghan communist government in its fight against anti-communist Muslim rebels — who were backed by the United States.
- – January 9, 2019 – Trump stormed out of a meeting with Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer after the congressional Democrats said they would not back his proposed $5.7 billion border wall. “We saw a temper tantrum,” Schumer said. Trump tweeted, “Cryin Chuck told his favorite lie when he used his standard sound bite that I ‘slammed the table & walked out of the room. He had a temper tantrum.’ Because I knew he would say that, and after Nancy said no to proper Border Security, I politely said bye-bye and left, no slamming!”
- – January 10, 2019 – In an impromptu news conference, Trump denied ever saying Mexico would pay for his border wall. “I never meant they’re going to write out a check,” he said. While running for president, Trump vowed numerous times that Mexico would reimburse the U.S. for the wall via trade restrictions, foreign aid or other means, stating in February 2016, “Believe me, they’re going to pay for the wall.”
- – January 12, 2019 – Trump met with Russian President Vladimir Putin five times over the course of two years, but no detailed record of the conversations exist — even in classified files. The Washington Post reported that Trump went to “extraordinary lengths” to conceal what the two leaders discussed.
- – January 14, 2019 – The Clemson Tigers football team visited the White House after winning the national championship. Previous White House celebrations for sports teams have featured elegant meals that highlight the best of American cuisine. Trump served them a candlelit dinner of McDonald’s fast food, still in paper wrappers.
- – January 15, 2019 – A federal judge ordered the Trump administration to remove the question “Is this person a citizen of the United States?” from the 2020 census. The new question had been proposed by the Trump administration after prompting from then-presidential advisor Steve Bannon and Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, appointed by Trump to lead a voter fraud commission.
- – January 17, 2019 – Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen admitted to rigging online polls during the 2016 campaign to make it appear as though the presidential candidate had more support than he did. Cohen said he acted “at the direction of and for the sole benefit of” Trump.
- – January 17, 2019 – House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was scheduled to visit troops in Afghanistan, but Trump canceled her use of a military aircraft. The retaliatory move came after she urged him to delay his State of the Union address because of the shutdown.
- – January 18, 2019 – A class-action lawsuit was brought against the Office of Refugee Resettlement. It accused them of working with the Trump administration’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement to use children as “bait to arrest immigrants who come forward to sponsor them.”
- – January 19, 2019 – A government watchdog report revealed that thousands more children were separated from their parents at the southern border than had been reported. The report also said that the Trump administration’s policy of separating children actually began months before it was announced.
- – January 22, 2019 – The conservative-dominated Supreme Court ruled 5-4 to reinstate Trump’s ban on transgender people from serving in the military.
- – January 25, 2019 – The Trump administration began enforcing a plan that forces migrants seeking asylum in the United States to stay in Mexico for the duration of their immigration proceedings.
- – January 25, 2019 – Roger Stone was indicted on one count of obstruction of an official proceeding, five counts of false statements, and one count of witness tampering in connection with Russia’s involvement in the 2016 presidential election. Stone was an aide for Richard Nixon’s 1972 scandalous re-election campaign. He had advised Trump since the 1980s.
- – January 28, 2019 – Mocking climate change, Trump sarcastically tweeted, “What the hell is going on with Global Waming?” referencing cold temperatures in the Midwest with a misspelling. “Please come back fast, we need you!”
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- – February 8, 2019 – In a tweet, Trump praised Kim Jong Un, saying that under Mr. Kim’s rule, North Korea would become an “economic powerhouse.” Trump’s tweet continued: “I have gotten to know him & fully understand how capable he is. North Korea will become a different kind of Rocket – an Economic one!” Kim is one of several authoritarian leaders Trump has praised over the years.
- – February 15, 2019 – Trump declared a national emergency along the United States’ southern border in order to acquire his requested $5.7 billion for border wall funding.
- – February 22, 2019 – The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services introduced a new rule that cancels federal funding to cover contraceptive or STD services for any organization that provides or refers patients for abortions.
- – February 27, 2019 – In his testimony before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, Trump’s former attorney, Michael Cohen, called the president a “conman,” a “cheat,” and a “racist.”
- – February 28, 2019 – When asked if he confronted Kim Jong Un about the 2017 death of Otto Warmbier — an American college student who was detained in North Korea — Trump chose to believe and to flatter one of the world’s foremost tyrants. Trump said of Mr. Kim, “He tells me that he didn’t know about it, and I will take him at his word.”
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- – March 2, 2019 – In a rambling speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference that lasted more than two hours, Trump hugged an American flag, called Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation “bullshit" and mocked renewable energy. “When the wind stops blowing, that’s the end of your electric,” he said. “Let’s hurry up. Darling—Darling, is the wind blowing today? I’d like to watch television, darling.”
- – March 8, 2019 – Trump officially nominated David Bernhardt to be Secretary of the Interior, a role responsible for the management and conservation of federal land and natural resources. A former oil lobbyist, Bernhardt played a key role in rolling back the protection of endangered species.
- – March 11, 2019 – Trump called for $8.6 billion for his border wall in his budget proposal for fiscal year 2020. The same budget called for increased spending for the Department of Homeland Security and a 31% spending cut to the Environmental Protection Agency.
- – March 15, 2019 – Trump vetoed a joint congressional resolution that would have overturned the national emergency he declared at the southern border. In a rare rebuke, Republicans in both the House and Senate voted in favor of ending the national emergency.
- – March 21, 2019 – In addition to Ivanka Trump using a personal account for government-related emails, a lawyer for her husband, Jared Kushner, said the senior adviser to the president used private communications to discuss official matters. When running for president, Trump said the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server was “bigger than Watergate.”
- – March 22, 2019 – Special Counsel Robert Mueller delivered his 448-page report into Russian interference in the 2016 election to Attorney General William Barr. Barr gave the first formal remarks on the report and issued a 4-page summary before its release, downplaying and mischaracterizing Trump’s culpability. Mueller’s report did not exonerate Trump, and Barr’s statements seemed to absolve Trump of wrongdoing. Mueller and others condemned Barr’s summary of the report, and in a follow-up letter, Mueller stated, “There is now public confusion about critical aspects of the results of our investigation. This threatens to undermine a central purpose for which the Department appointed the Special Counsel: to assure full public confidence in the outcome of the investigations.”
- – March 29, 2019 – Trump said that if migrant families continue to enter the United States, he would close the southern border. “Mexico’s tough. They can stop them, but they chose not to,” he said. “And if they don’t stop them, we’re closing the border. … And we’ll keep it closed for a long time. I’m not playing games.”
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- – April 5, 2019 – During a visit to Calexico, California, Trump lashed out at those attempting to cross the southern border. “We can’t take you,” he said. “Our country is full … Can’t happen. So turn around.” The United States has space for about 45 million more people.
- – April 9, 2019 – Trump repeated a false claim he made in 2018 that the Obama administration was responsible for child-separating policies at the border. Trump said his own administration put an end to them. It was Trump, however, who created the zero-tolerance policy.
- – April 10, 2019 – Trump signed executive orders that would make it easier for gas and oil companies to lay pipelines without being blocked by states citing the Clean Water Act.
- – April 12, 2019 – Trump said he was considering placing undocumented immigrants in sanctuary cities to retaliate against the “Radical Left.” ICE’s legal department had rejected the proposal in February.
- – April 18, 2019 – The Department of Justice released a redacted version of the Mueller Report. At the time Trump was holding a Wounded Warrior event in the East Room of the White House. Interrupting the veterans event, Trump declared the investigation a “hoax” saying, “This type of abuse must never be permitted to occur again,” he said. He also noted that he was having a “good day.”
- – April 21, 2019 – In the wake of the Mueller Report’s release, Trump’s attorney, Rudy Giuliani, defended his client’s ties to Russia. “There’s nothing wrong with taking information from Russians,” he told CNN. On NBC, he was asked, “So, it is now OK for political campaigns to work with materials stolen by foreign adversaries?” Giuliani’s response: “Well, it depends on the stolen material.”
- – April 26, 2019 – More than 100 countries have ratified a treaty to promote peace and end illicit arms trade. Trump used a large gathering at the National Rifle Association’s annual convention to announce that the United States would withdraw from the Arms Trade Treaty.
- – April 29, 2019 – Looking to block congressional Democrats from obtaining his financial information, Trump filed a lawsuit against Deutsche Bank and Capital One. Deutsche Bank, Trump’s largest creditor, has a history of working with Russians laundering money.
- – April 29, 2019 – Asylum-seekers should pay more money to pursue citizenship, Trump said in a presidential memorandum. Under the proposal, some application fees would be increased by 83 percent. People fleeing persecution would also be charged a fee for seeking protection. Never before in U.S. history has a fee existed for such applicants.
- – April 30, 2019 – A 16-year-old Guatemalan migrant died in U.S. Customs and Border Patrol custody, becoming the third child in five months to perish in the care of the U.S. immigration authorities. A video obtained by ProPublica showed that workers at the facility where Carlos Gregorio Hernandez Vasquez was held missed signs that the teenager was in grave condition.
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- – May 7, 2019 – The White House blocked former White House Counsel Don McGahn from disclosing records to the House Judiciary Committee. The documents contain information about Trump urging McGahn to fire Mueller. They also reference subsequent conversations in which the president told his former counsel to deny the exchanges.
- – May 9, 2019 – At a rally in Florida, Trump said, “How do you stop these people?” when referring to migrants at the border. An audience member yelled, “Shoot them!” The president then smirked and joked, “Only in the Panhandle!”
- – May 13, 2019 – Trump hosted Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán at the White House. Orbán’s actions include installing a barbed-wire fence along the border to prevent impoverished migrants from the Middle East and Africa from entering the country. Trump said of the reactionary politician, “Viktor Orbán has done a tremendous job in so many different ways. … Probably, like me, a little bit controversial, but that’s OK. … And I know he’s a tough man, but he’s a respected man. And he’s done the right thing, according to many people, on immigration.”
- – May 15, 2019 – The Federal Register published safety rule changes that loosened an Obama-era restriction on offshore drilling. The safety regulation was enacted after the deadly 2010 Deepwater Horizon explosion in the Gulf of Mexico. The changes meant a savings of hundreds of millions of dollars for oil companies, which donated large amounts of money to Trump’s re-election campaign.
- – May 20, 2019 – At a rally in Pennsylvania, Trump repeated a claim that the United States has no more room for immigrants. “Our country is full. We don’t want people coming up here,” he said. His words contradicted what he said a month earlier: “We have companies pouring in,” he said. “The problem is we need workers.”
- – May 21, 2019 – The Department of Health and Human Services finalized a rule that allowed health workers to opt out of providing medical care if the procedure violates their conscience. Examples cites include abortion, gender confirmation surgery, and assisted suicide.
- – May 24, 2019 – The Trump administration informed Congress that it would go ahead with $8 billion worth of arms sales to Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and the United Arab Emirates — despite congressional objections that it would lead to Saudis dropping bombs on civilians in Yemen.
- – May 29, 2019 – Special Counsel Robert Mueller finished his report and then resigned from his investigative position, transferring the responsibility of holding Trump accountable to Congress. “If we had had confidence that the president clearly did not commit a crime, we would have said so,” Mueller said. “We did not, however, make a determination as to whether the president did commit a crime.”
- – May 30, 2019 – Trump threatened to impose a five percent tariff on all goods coming into the United States from Mexico — “until such time as illegal migrants coming through Mexico, and into our Country, STOP.”
- – May 30, 2019 – The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services sent an email to federal migrant shelters notifying them that the government would not pay for educational and recreational programs for unaccompanied minors, including English classes and legal aid.
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- – June 5, 2019 – The Department of Health and Human Services announced new restrictions on human fetal tissue research. The new policy prohibits federal scientists from obtaining fetal tissue samples from elective abortions to conduct research projects. Fetal tissue research has been beneficial in developing vaccines, studying the transmission of HIV, and treating Parkinson’s, diabetes, and rheumatoid arthritis.
- – June 12, 2019 – In an ABC News interview, the president said that if he was offered information about a 2020 political opponent, “It’s not an interference, they have information — I think I’d take it.”
- – June 13, 2019 – The U.S. Office of Special Counsel released a report to the White House recommending that presidential adviser Kellyanne Conway be removed from office for numerous violations of the Hatch Act, a law that ensures federal programs are administered in a nonpartisan fashion. “She repeatedly continues to violate the law,” the report said, citing her endorsement of the president’s re-election campaign during media appearances and on Twitter. In 2017, Conway was reprimanded for another Hatch Act violation, touting Ivanka Trump’s clothing and jewelry products, telling Fox News viewers, “Go buy Ivanka’s stuff.”
- – June 19, 2019 – Former White House communications director Hope Hicks’ name showed up throughout Robert Mueller’s report. But when it came time for her to become the first confidante of Trump to testify before the House Judiciary Committee, she declined to answer any questions about her time in his administration.
- – June 19, 2019 – The Environmental Protection Agency issued the final Affordable Clean Energy Rule, which rolled back power-plant regulations established under President Obama.
- – June 21, 2019 – Journalist E. Jean Carroll accused Trump of sexually assaulting her in the mid-1990s. Trump denied ever having met her, but Carroll provided a photo of herself with Trump from 1987. Carroll was the twenty-fifth woman to accuse Trump of sexual misconduct since the 1970s.
- – June 24, 2019 – When asked about E. Jean Carroll’s sexual assault accusations, Trump responded, “I’ll say it with great respect, number one, she’s not my type.”
- – June 25, 2019 – A day after the United States imposed sanctions against Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Trump increased tensions by threatening Iran in a tweet. “Any attack by Iran on anything American,” he wrote, “will be met with great and overwhelming force. In some areas, overwhelming will mean obliteration.”
- – June 27, 2019 – Customs and Border Protection officers detained eighteen-year-old American Francisco Erwin Galicia for twenty-six days. Under Trump, border officials can now fast-track deportations. Galicia was carrying a Texas ID, a Social Security card, and a copy of his birth certificate.
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- – July 1, 2019 – Roughly 9,500 current and former Border Patrol agents used a secret Facebook group for exchanging derogatory remarks about migrants and lawmakers, ProPublica revealed. Members of the group joked about migrants deaths, referred to Latina lawmakers as “scumbuckets” and “hoes,” and shared vulgar illustrations depicting U.S. Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
- – July 2, 2019 – The Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Inspector General issued a report calling for immediate action to alleviate “dangerous overcrowding and prolonged detention” of migrants in the Rio Grande Valley. The report included photographs of migrants packed into cells and cages; in one photo, a man holds up a cardboard sign that reads “HELP.”
- – July 4, 2019 – Trump’s “Salute to America” Independence Day program included military flyovers and cost $1.2 million. The Trump administration would not say how the event was funded, but the Defense Department said the money came largely from budgets dedicated to military training.
- – July 8, 2019 – Trump delivered a speech on America’s environmental leadership in which he neglected to mention climate change. Despite his administration’s history of rolling back environmental regulations, Trump said, “From day one, my administration has made it a top priority to ensure that America has among the very cleanest air and cleanest water on the planet.” Pollution has grown worse under Trump’s tenure.
- – July 12, 2019 – Labor Secretary Alex Acosta resigned, accused of violating victims’ rights in sex offender Jeffrey Epstein’s 2008 case. Epstein was a convicted and registered sex offender, accused of sex trafficking and sexual abuse with dozens of victims, some as young as 14 years old.Acosta was the top federal prosecutor in the Florida case which ended in a plea deal. Epstein and Trump frequently socialized together at Trump’s Palm Beach Mar-a-Lago resort.
- – July 14, 2019 – In a series of tweets, Trump attacked four congresswomen of color: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib and Ayanna Pressley. He said they “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).” Trump suggested that they “go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came.” Ocasio-Cortez was born in New York, Tlaib in Detroit, and Pressley in Cincinnati.
- – July 15, 2019 – The Trump administration announced a new rule that migrants who pass through other countries on their way to the United States were ineligible to seek asylum. However, Congress — and not the President — has the authority to determine if such migrants have the right to enter the country.
- – July 17, 2019 – At a rally in North Carolina, Trump ridiculed U.S. Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s name. “No, no,” he said. “I don’t have time to go with three different names. We’ll call her Cortez.” Trump had made racist remarks about Ocasio-Cortez in the past. During the same rally, he criticized Representative Ilhan Omar and let the crowd chant “send her back” for thirteen seconds before continuing his speech.
- – July 24, 2019 – The Trump administration proposed changes to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program that would cancel food assistance for Americans. Trump said that a robust economy and low unemployment meant that the program was not needed by many people. Roughly 40 million Americans rely on the program’s free food.
- – July 25, 2019 – In early July, at Trump’s behest, Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland urged aides of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskey to investigate democratic candidate Joe Biden and his son Hunter. Days later, Trump blocked planned U.S. military aid to Ukraine. On July 25, Trump spoke by phone with Zelenskey. The conversation, which Trump called “a perfect phone call,” became the focal point of a whistleblower complaint that led to his impeachment. On the phone call, Zelenskey asked about increasing military aid, and Trump suggested the Bidens’ possible corruption. Trump prefaced his suggestion by saying, “I need you to do me a favor, though.”
- – July 27, 2019 – Trump attacked Representative Elijah Cummings, calling him a “brutal bully” and referring to Baltimore as “a disgusting, rat and rodent infested mess.”
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- – August 1, 2019 – Providing no evidence to support his claim, Trump told the crowd at a rally in Cincinnati that “We will be ending the AIDS epidemic shortly in America and curing childhood cancer very shortly.”
- – August 2, 2019 – The United States withdrew from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, a Cold War-era agreement between the United States and Russia that limited the types of weapons the two nations could possess or pursue.
- – August 10, 2019 – Sex offender Jeffrey Epstein was found dead by apparent suicide in his jail cell. The FBI and the Department of Justice opened investigations into his death, which occurred after case documents naming several high-profile figures were unsealed. In 2002, Trump said that he had known Epstein for fifteen years and that he was a “terrific guy.” Trump added, “It is even said that he likes beautiful women as much as I do, and many of them are on the younger side.”
- – August 12, 2019 – The Trump administration significantly weakened the Endangered Species Act, signed in 1973 by Republican Richard Nixon. The adjustment allows economic assessment to factor into the protection of a species. It also removed the blanket rule that requires the same treatment for threatened species as endangered species.
- – August 12, 2019 – A federal whistleblower issued a complaint to Senator Richard Burr and Representative Adam Schiff that “the President of the United States is using the power of his office to solicit interference from a foreign country in the 2020 U.S. election.” The bombshell report referred to a July 25 phone call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and efforts to restrict access to call records.
- – August 13, 2019 – Speaking about a new regulation that denies government benefits to immigrants, Acting Director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Ken Cuccinelli twisted the poem written on the Statue of Liberty. “Give me your tired and your poor who can stand on their own two feet and who will not become a public charge,” he said.
- – August 14, 2019 – The Department of Homeland Security finalized a rule that limits benefits such as food stamps, housing support, and Medicaid to immigrants. The rule denies green cards to immigrants who are “likely at any time to become a public charge.”
- – August 20, 2019 – Trump suggested that the U.S. purchase Greenland, telling reporters, "Strategically, it’s interesting." Greenland, which is part of Denmark, has a wealth of natural resources, including coal, zinc, and copper, that held an interest for Trump. The president posted an image on Twitter of a golden Trump Tower skyscraper on the island. When Denmark’s prime minister Mette Frederiksen responded to the suggestion by saying, “Greenland is not for sale,” Trump canceled his planned visit to Denmark, attacked NATO, and called Frederiksen “nasty” and her remarks “inappropriate.”
- – August 21, 2019 – The Department of Homeland Security introduced an updated policy that would allow the government to detain migrant families with children indefinitely. The American Psychological Association said, “The large majority of these children have already experienced trauma before arriving at immigration facilities, and the longer they are held in detention, the more likely their mental health will continue to suffer.” Trump, when asked about the policy, replied, “Very much I have the children on my mind. It bothers me very greatly.”
- – August 21, 2019 – After mass shootings in Texas and Ohio, Trump blamed mental illness, not guns, for the violence. “Mental illness and hatred pull the trigger, not the gun,” Trump said. The American Psychiatric Association, however, has said that mental illness is a factor in less than one percent of mass shootings in the United States. The National Rifle Association, which Trump supports, spent more than $30 million on his 2016 election campaign.
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- – September 1, 2019 – Engaged in a trade war with China, the Trump administration implemented 15% tariffs on $112 billion worth of Chinese imports. JPMorgan Chase estimated that the taxes on consumer goods would cost the average American household an additional $1,000 a year.
- – September 1, 2019 – Trump inaccurately tweeted that Hurricane Dorian would hit Alabama. The National Weather Service corrected the misinformation, but later in the day the president doubled down on his statement. The following day, he held up a map of the hurricane’s projected course that had been clearly altered with a Sharpie.
- – September 7, 2019 – Trump announced in a series of tweets that he planned to meet with Taliban leaders at Camp David to negotiate peace. But Trump had to cancel the meeting with the fundamentalist group after an attack of theirs in Kabul killed an American soldier and several civilians.
- – September 9, 2019 – House Democrats launched an investigation of Trump’s lawyer, Rudy Giuliani. Their goal: to look into his alleged scheme to “coerce the Ukrainian government into pursuing two politically motivated investigations under the guise of anti-corruption activity.”
- – September 14, 2019 – New sexual assault allegations were brought up against Trump-nominated Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh a year after his confirmation hearing in which Christine Blasey Ford accused him of sexual assault.
- – September 24, 2019 – House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced a formal impeachment inquiry into Trump to determine if he pressured Ukraine to investigate the son of his political rival, Joe Biden. Trump immediately responded via Twitter, calling the inquiry “Witch Hunt garbage.”
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- – October 1, 2019 – Trump congratulated China on the seventieth anniversary of the People’s Republic of China, sparking backlash from conservatives for celebrating communism. Trump sent his congratulatory message as Chinese protesters were calling for democracy, and just hours after Hong Kong police shot a teenage demonstrator.
- – October 3, 2019 – Trump, already under investigation for applying political pressure on Ukraine, publicly called for China to investigate Joe and Hunter Biden. The remarks recalled when Trump urged Russia to hack Hillary Clinton’s email servers in 2016.
- – October 4, 2019 – Trump signed a proclamation barring immigrants without health care from entering the country. Only migrants with approved health insurance or the means to pay for “reasonably foreseeable medical costs” would be allowed to immigrate.
- – October 7, 2019 – Trump threatened to punish Turkey if it mounted an offensive in Syria. His tweet read, “As I have stated strongly before, and just to reiterate, if Turkey does anything that I, in my great and unmatched wisdom, consider to be off limits, I will totally destroy and obliterate the Economy of Turkey (I’ve done before!).”
- – October 15, 2019 – Rudy Giuliani, loyal to Trump since the 1980s, refused to comply with a congressional subpoena for documents related to his work in Ukraine; they were requested as part of an impeachment inquiry into Trump. Giuliani called the inquiry “illegitimate, unconstitutional, and baseless.”
- – October 17, 2019 – White House acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney announced that one of Trump’s golf resorts would host the annual G7 summit in June 2020. The move was swiftly condemned as an attempt on Trump’s part to profit from the presidency.
- – October 28, 2019 – Charles Kupperman, former deputy national security adviser with suspected information on Trump’s Ukraine policy, defied his subpoena to testify in Trump’s impeachment inquiry.
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- – November 4, 2019 – Trump pulled the U.S. out of the Paris Agreement on climate change. Of the world’s 197 countries, 189 have ratified the agreement. Among the other non-signatories are Iran, Iraq, Angola, and Libya
- – November 4, 2019 – Four witnesses in Trump’s impeachment inquiry defied their subpoenas to testify. The witnesses, all members of the Trump administration, were John Eisenberg, deputy counsel to the president for national security affairs; Robert Blair, assistant to the president; Michael Ellis, senior associate counsel to the president; and Brian McCormack of the Office of Management and Budget. All were under Trump’s orders not to cooperate with the inquiry.
- – November 7, 2019 – A New York judge ordered Trump to pay $2 million to settle claims that the Trump Foundation misused money raised for charitable donation during his 2016 campaign. Trump had raised the money during a televised fundraiser for veterans.
- – November 8, 2019 – At Trump’s direction, Mick Mulvaney defied his congressional subpoena to testify in Trump’s impeachment inquiry.
- – November 15, 2019 – Roger Stone, a political adviser of Trump’s, was found guilty on five counts of lying to Congress, one count of witness tampering, and one count of obstruction of a proceeding. Stone originally pleaded not guilty to charges of his involvement in collusion between Russia and Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign.
- – November 26, 2019 – The New York Times reported that Trump knew about the whistleblower’s complaint before unfreezing military aid to Ukraine. The new timeline undercut Trump’s argument that there was no ulterior motive for releasing the aid.
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- – December 4, 2019 – The Trump administration proposed new work requirements that could prevent almost 700,000 adults from receiving Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits. In defending the cuts, U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said, “We need to encourage people by giving them a helping hand, but not allowing it to become an infinitely giving hand.”
- – December 6, 2019 – The White House refused to cooperate with the impeachment trial, deciding not to send representative counsel to future hearings, instructing officials not to testify, and refusing to hand over documents.
- – December 12, 2019 – In response to TIME naming 16-year-old climate activist Greta Thunberg person of the year, Trump tweeted: “So ridiculous. Greta must work on her Anger Management problem, then go to a good old fashioned movie with a friend! Chill Greta, Chill!”
- – December 17, 2019 – Trump sent Nancy Pelosi a scathing six-page letter denouncing the impeachment effort as “an unprecedented and unconstitutional abuse of power.” Those accused in the Salem witch trials, he said, were afforded more due process than he was.
- – December 17, 2019 – Although Marie Yovanovitch’s colleagues praised her professionalism, Rudy Giuliani tweeted that the former U.S. envoy to Ukraine who testified against Trump was removed from her post because she “was OBSTRUCTING JUSTICE and that’s not the only thing she was doing. She at minimum enabled Ukranian collusion.”
- – December 18, 2019 – After weeks of hearings, Trump became only the third president to be impeached in U.S. history. He tweeted: “THIS IS AN ASSAULT ON AMERICA, AND AN ASSAULT ON THE REPUBLICAN PARTY!!!!”
- – December 20, 2019 – Mark Galli, editor in chief of Christianity Today, called for Trump’s removal from office based on the president’s “moral deficiencies.” In a harshly worded tweet, Trump slammed the conservative publication as a “far left magazine.”
- – December 21, 2019 – The White House incorrectly tweeted “the Obama Admin tried to limit Americans to buying more-expensive LED bulbs for their home.” In reality, the regulations date back to the George W. Bush administration.
- – December 23, 2019 – Rudy Giuliani confirmed his involvement in removing Ukranian Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch from office after she refused to cooperate in the smear campaign against Joe Biden. “I believed that I needed Yovanovitch out of the way,” Giuliani told The New Yorker. “She was going to make the investigations difficult for everybody.”
- – December 28, 2019 – Trump retweeted a post that contained the name of the alleged whistleblower whose complaint sparked the president’s impeachment inquiry.
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- – January 2, 2020 – Without notifying Congress ahead of time, Trump ordered an airstrike that killed Iranian General Qassim Suleimani, prompting worry about war with Iran. Trump said that he believed that Suleimani had plans for “imminent and sinister attacks on American diplomats and American personnel,” but Defense Secretary Mark Esper said that Trump “didn’t cite a specific piece of evidence.”
- – January 4, 2020 – In a thread of tweets, Trump said that if Iran retaliated for the airstrike that killed Suleimani, the U.S. would target 52 sites “important to Iran & the Iranian culture” and “HIT [them] VERY FAST AND VERY HARD.” Targeting sites of cultural significance is in direct opposition to the 1954 Hague Convention and the Department of Defense’s Law of War manual.
- – January 9, 2020 – In another attempt to loosen environmental regulations, Trump proposed major changes to the National Environmental Protection Act. The new rules would allow federal agencies to bypass consideration of the environmental impact of proposed infrastructure projects.
- – January 9, 2020 – An appeals court allowed Trump to divert $3.6 billion from Defense spending to the construction of his border wall. Declaring a national emergency along the southern border in February 2019 allowed Trump to have the money reallocated.
- – January 21, 2020 – In an address to the World Economic Forum, Trump ridiculed climate change activists as “prophets of doom.” He added, “We will never let radical socialists destroy our economy.”
- – January 23, 2020 – The Environmental Protection Agency finalized its revised Navigable Waters Protection Rule. Under Trump, protections for many rivers, streams, and wetlands were now officially removed.
- – January 24, 2020 – Hours after the Office of Civil Rights issued California a formal notification that “it cannot impose universal abortion coverage mandates on health insurance plans and issuers,” Trump addressed the crowd at the March for Life in person. He was the first president to do so since the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision in 1973.
- – January 24, 2020 – Trump’s State Department imposed a new rule that allowed consular officers to deny a woman who is pregnant or may become pregnant a tourist visa in order to deter “birth tourism.” The rule targeted countries, largely outside the West, that Trump has belittled.
- – January 31, 2020 – Breaking from more than 160 countries that agreed to the Mine Ban Treaty, Trump canceled a policy that prohibited the use of anti-personnel landmines outside of the Korean peninsula. Most landmine casualties have been civilians.
- – January 31, 2020 – The Trump administration placed immigration restrictions on Nigeria, Sudan, Tanzania, Eritrea, Myanmar, and Kyrgyzstan. In 2018, Trump referred to African nations as “shithole countries.”
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- – February 6, 2020 – In retaliation for passing New York state’s “Green Light” law, which allows immigrants to apply for driver’s licenses and blocks New York’s DMV from giving information to immigration authorities, Trump’s Department of Homeland Security announced that New York residents would no longer be able to enroll in Trusted Traveler programs that expedite security screenings at ports of entry.
- – February 7, 2020 – Within 48 hours of the Senate acquitting the president, Trump fired European Union Ambassador Gordon Sondland and Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman after they testified in the president’s impeachment trial.
- – February 10, 2020 – Trump’s proposed fiscal year 2021 budget included significant cuts to foreign aid and Medicare. Among the departments facing the biggest losses was the Environmental Protection Agency, which has issued numerous deregulatory policies since Trump took office.
- – February 18, 2020 – Trump commuted the sentence of former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich, who was convicted on corruption charges in 2010 — the same year he appeared on Trump’s TV show, The Celebrity Apprentice.
- – February 24, 2020 – “The Coronavirus is very much under control in the USA,” Trump tweeted as the virus spread at an alarming rate. “We are in contact with everyone and all relevant countries. CDC & World Health have been working hard and very smart. Stock Market starting to look very good to me!” Within a few days, the stock market suffered its worst week since the 2008 financial crisis.
- – February 24, 2020 – In rare remarks from a president, Trump lashed out at two Supreme Court justices, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor, who had been critical of him in the past. While visiting India, he asserted in a news conference that they should “recuse themselves for anything Trump or Trump related.”
- – February 26, 2020 – Even though Mike Pence had come under fire for health policy that worsened Indiana’s HIV outbreak during his time as the state’s governor, Trump appointed Pence to lead the United States’ response to the coronavirus outbreak. Pence has no medical background.
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- – March 4, 2020 – Despite dire warnings from the World Health Organization, Trump disputed the deadliness of Covid-19 on a “hunch.” In an upbeat tone, he added: “So, if we have thousands or hundreds of thousands of people that get better just by, you know, sitting around and even going to work—some of them go to work, but they get better.” The following day, Trump tweeted, “I NEVER said people that are feeling sick should go to work. This is just more Fake News and disinformation put out by the Democrats.”
- – March 5, 2020 – Disregarding advice from the World Health Organization to avoid contact with people, Trump said in a town hall that he would continue to shake hands. “You can’t be a politician and not shake hands,” he said. “People come out—when I leave, I’ll be shaking hands with people. They want to shake your hand. They want to say hello. They want to hug you. They want to kiss you. I don’t care.”
- – March 9, 2020 – The Trump administration finalized a new rule that would allow law enforcement authorities to collect DNA from immigration detainees in federal custody. The information would be stored in the FBI’s CODIS database, which is used to search for matches to traces of DNA found at crime scenes. Under the rule, the privacy rights of migrants would no longer be protected.
- – March 13, 2020 – Trump said an Obama-era rule was to blame for the Trump administration not being able to provide coronavirus tests more expediently. However, no such rule exists.
- – March 15, 2020 – Officials from Germany’s Health Ministry said that Trump “offered large sums of money” to CureVac, a German company working on a coronavirus vaccine, in order to give the U.S. exclusive access to its information. U.S. Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell claimed that the story was wrong, but CureVac’s CEO confirmed the meeting with the White House.
- – March 18, 2020 – Trump announced that the U.S.-Mexico border would be sealed off to combat the spread of the coronavirus. But as NPR reported, there were roughly 100 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Mexico—far less than the 8,000 cases in the United States. The measure, though, allowed the administration to deport migrants without due process.
- – March 18, 2020 – Even though the World Health Organization advised him not to, as his words could give rise to racial profiling, Trump defended his use of the term “Chinese virus” to refer to COVID-19.
- – March 20, 2020 – Republican Senators Richard Burr and Kelly Loeffler were urged to resign following reports that they sold millions of dollars in stocks between late January and early February — ahead of the stock market’s decline due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Burr, chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, warned a small group of constituents to prepare for economic turmoil while publicly upholding Trump’s assertions that the virus was being blown out of proportion.
- – March 21, 2020 – Trump endorsed the combination of two drugs, hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin, to treat coronavirus—despite a lack of testing or backing by the FDA. In fact, respected medical professionals warned that taking the drugs together could be dangerous.
- – March 23, 2020 – Trump vowed that “America will again and soon be open for business — very soon.” At his daily press conference on the crisis, Trump equated the alarming increase in coronavirus deaths to automobile fatalities. “You look at automobile accidents, which are far greater than any numbers we’re talking about,” he said. “That doesn’t mean we’re going to tell everybody no more driving of cars.”
- – March 24, 2020 – Trump told Fox News that he “would love to have the country opened up and just raring to go by Easter.” On Twitter, he wrote, “THE CURE CANNOT BE WORSE (by far) THAN THE PROBLEM!” In February, Trump said the number of coronavirus cases would soon be “down to close to zero.” By Easter, the number exceeded half a million.
- – March 26, 2020 – Although health experts around the world have been warning about a pandemic for years, Trump claimed that the coronavirus crisis caught the U.S. by surprise. “This was something that nobody has ever thought could happen to this country,” he said. “Nobody would have ever thought a thing like this could have happened.”
- – March 27, 2020 – Trump singled out the governors of Michigan and Washington for not being sufficiently grateful for federal government aid during the pandemic. “I want them to be appreciative,” he said. “If they don’t treat you right, I don’t call.”
- – March 27, 2020 – Trump boasted that “We’ve now established great testing. … We’ve tested now more than anybody.” The U.S. did test more people for the coronavirus than South Korea, but South Koreans were tested much earlier, conducted five times as many tests per capita than the U.S., and had a per capita death toll twenty-five times lower than the United States death toll per capita.
- – March 29, 2020 – Trump said that as many as 2.2 million Americans could have died “if we didn’t do what we’re doing.” He added that if the U.S. was able to limit COVID-19 deaths to between 100,000 and 200,000 people, “we altogether have done a very good job.”
- – March 30, 2020 – The New York Times noted that "President Trump is a ratings hit. Since reviving the daily White House briefing, Trump and his coronavirus updates have attracted an average audience of 8.5 million on cable news, roughly the viewership of the season finale of The Bachelor.” Trump quoted this in a tweet adding, “The numbers are continuing to rise…”
- – March 31, 2020 – Trump said his impeachment “probably” diverted his attention from dealing with the crisis more swiftly, a claim first made by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. “Did it divert my attention?” Trump said. “I think I’m getting A-pluses for the way I handled myself during a phony impeachment. Okay? It was a hoax. But certainly, I guess, I thought of it.”
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- – April 1, 2020 – In an interview on CNN, Mike Pence said Trump had never “belittled” the coronavirus threat. Trump made the same argument at his daily briefing. “I knew how bad it was,” he said. Both statements contradicted what Trump had said in the past, as when he claimed on Jan. 22 that “we’re not at all” worried about the virus. “And we have it totally under control.”
- – April 2, 2020 – Jared Kushner, a White House adviser and Trump’s son-in-law, asserted that the Strategic National Stockpile of ventilators and medical supplies was “supposed to be our stockpile — it’s not supposed to be states’ stockpiles that they then use.” Journalists at the Kushner news conference pointed out that what he said went against the program’s description on its website. The following day, the program website’s wording was altered to match what Kushner had said.
- – April 4, 2020 – After Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, confirmed there was no evidence that hydroxychloroquine could fight the coronavirus — or that it was safe — Trump said he was considering it for himself. “I may take it, OK? I may take it," he said. “And I’ll have to ask my doctors about that, but I may take it.”
- – April 5, 2020 – The U.S. stockpiled 29 million hydroxychloroquine pills, even though health experts doubted its efficacy and warned about its dangerous side effects. Trump pushed for hydroxychloroquine as a treatment for COVID-19. “What do I know?” he said at a news briefing. “I’m not a doctor. But I have common sense.”
- – April 6, 2020 – Trump’s trade adviser Peter Navarro warned the White House as early as January that the coronavirus posed a great threat to the United States. Navarro said “the lives of millions of Americans” could be imperiled by the pandemic. Trump continued to downplay the threat, saying a month later, “Now, this is just my hunch, and — but based on a lot of conversations with a lot of people that do this, because a lot of people will have this, and it’s very mild. They will get better very rapidly.”
- – April 7, 2020 – Trump blamed the World Health Organization for what he called its slow response to the pandemic. The WHO, however, warned of a “public health emergency of international concern” weeks before Trump declared a national emergency. “They called it wrong,” he said. “They really, they missed the call.”
- – April 7, 2020 – Trump ousted the chairman of a watchdog panel that oversaw how the Trump administration managed $2 trillion in coronavirus relief. Glenn Fine, the acting Pentagon inspector general, was chosen in March to head the Pandemic Response Accountability Committee. Fine was the second inspector general in a week to be fired by the president, after the April 3 firing of whistle-blower Michael Atkinson.
- – April 9, 2020 – Defying health experts, Trump rejected the notion that more people needed to be tested for the coronavirus before the U.S. economy could be restarted. “Do you need it?” he asked about testing. “No. Is it a nice thing to do? Yes.” He added, “We’re talking about 325 million people. And that’s not going to happen, as you can imagine.”
- – April 11, 2020 – Trump refused to help the U.S. Postal Service, arguing that it needed to raise its rates for Amazon and other private shippers. If the $2 trillion coronavirus relief bill contained any money to help the USPS, Trump said that he would veto the act, according to an administration official. The pandemic, meanwhile, took a heavy toll on postal workers: Roughly 500 of them tested positive for Covid-19, and 19 died of the disease.
- – April 12, 2020 – “Time to #FireFauci” read a message that Trump retweeted after the nation’s top infectious disease expert said fewer Americans would have died had the country gone under lockdown earlier. Trump didn’t only go after Fauci; in a series of tweets, he condemned, China, the World Health Organization, and President Obama.
- – April 13, 2020 – Trump held a 2½-hour news conference in which he attacked the press. “You know you’re a fake,” he told one reporter. “Everything we did was right,” he said. He also incorrectly said that the power to reopen the country rested solely with him, not governors. “When somebody is the president of the United States,” he said, “the authority is total, and that’s the way it’s got to be.”
- – April 13 – The Treasury Department ordered that Trump’s name appear on the $1,200 stimulus checks that millions of Americans were to receive. Part of the government’s $2 trillion coronavirus rescue package, the checks were proposed by Sens. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) and Mitt Romney (R-Utah). No IRS disbursement had ever carried a president’s name. According to administration officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity, it was Trump’s idea to have his name printed on the checks.
- – April 14, 2020 – Trump said that he would cut off U.S. payments to the World Health Organization, claiming that the WHO engaged in a coverup of the outbreak in its early days in China. “We have not been treated properly,” he said of the organization.
- – April 15, 2020 – As a result of waiting for months to obtain N95 respirator masks, the Trump administration paid companies $5 per mask — almost eight times what the price was earlier in the year.
- – April 17, 2020 – Trump used Twitter to call on protesters to challenge governors’ stay-at-home orders. “LIBERATE MICHIGAN!” and “LIBERATE MINNESOTA!” he wrote about two states that mandated social-distancing restrictions. He also urged Virginians to resist stricter gun-control measures in that state, writing, “LIBERATE VIRGINIA, and save your great 2nd Amendment. It is under siege!”
- – April 18, 2020 – Trump faulted Democratic governors for not doing enough to test people for COVID-19. “They don’t want to use all of the capacity that we’ve created,” he said in a briefing. “We have tremendous capacity.”
- – April 20, 2020 – Trump announced that he planned to temporarily suspend immigration into the country. The extreme measure, revealed in a late-night tweet, could allow the president to close borders in a way he couldn’t before the pandemic. Trump said he wanted to block what he called an “attack from the Invisible Enemy.” The U.S. confirmed in March that it had more coronavirus cases than any other country in the world.
- – April 21 – Suffering from a sharp decline in business, like all hotels across the nation, Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C., asked for a break on its lease payments — from the Trump administration. Trump’s business also asked Florida’s Palm Beach County if it was required to continue making $88,000 monthly lease payments for the Trump International Golf Club.
- – April 21, 2020 – Congress approved $6 billion to help college students affected by the pandemic pay for food, childcare and housing. The Trump administration worked in a restriction to prevent undocumented students from getting any of the aid.
- – April 22, 2020 – Dr. Rick Bright, who headed the agency to develop a coronavirus vaccine, cast doubts on whether hydroxychloroquine could prevent Covid-19. Questioning the drug touted by Trump cost him his position: Bright was ousted as director of the Department of Health and Human Services’ Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority.
- – April 23, 2020 – Prompting widespread alarm, Trump speculated about ingesting or injecting disinfectants to fight the coronavirus. “Because you see it gets in the lungs and it does a tremendous number on the lungs, so it would be interesting to check that,” he said at his daily briefing. He also mused about the use of ultraviolet light. “Supposing we hit the body with a tremendous—whether it’s ultraviolet or just very powerful light,” he said. “And I think you said that hasn’t been checked, but we’re going to test it?” Health officials and manufacturers of household cleaners urged Americans not to follow Trump’s proposed remedies. The next day, New York City’s poison control center reported more than twice the calls related to household disinfectants than it received for a comparable timeframe in 2019.
- – April 25, 2020 – “I never said the pandemic was a Hoax!” Trump tweeted. “Who would say such a thing?” Two months earlier, at a South Carolina rally he said, “Now the Democrats are politicizing the coronavirus,” he told the crowd on February 28. “And this is their new hoax.”
- – April 26, 2020 – In a series of tweets which misspelled both “Nobel Prize” and “hamburger,” Trump assailed reporters who “have received Noble Prizes for their work on Russia, Russia, Russia, only to have been proven totally wrong” and complained about a New York Times story on his work ethic. “Then I read a phony story in the failing @nytimes about my work schedule and eating habits, written by a third rate reporter who knows nothing about me. I will often be in the Oval Office late into the night & read & see that I am angrily eating a hamberger & Diet Coke in my bedroom. People with me are always stunned.”
- – April 27, 2020 – If Americans were ingesting or injecting disinfectants to fight the coronavirus, it wasn’t his fault, Trump said. States reported numerous cases of people drinking cleaning products after Trump’s comments. At his daily briefing, the president was asked if he accepted any responsibility for people improperly using cleaning products. “No, I don’t,” he said.
- – April 27, 2020 – Trump ignored at least a dozen classified briefings in January and February which called the coronavirus an imminent threat. Officials said, on the condition of anonymity, that Trump seldom reads or listens to an oral summary of the President’s Daily Brief.
- – April 29, 2020 – Trump berated his political advisers after they told him that his polling numbers were declining in key states due to his handling of the pandemic. According to officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity, Trump repeatedly said, “I am not fucking losing to Joe Biden.”
- – April 29, 2020 – Although many states were still under lockdown, and despite increasing COVID-19 cases, Jared Kushner predicted that “a lot of the country should be back to normal” by June. “The hope is that by July the country’s really rocking again," said Trump’s son-in-law.
- – April 30, 2020 – Trump administration officials put pressure on U.S. spy agencies to dig up evidence that the coronavirus originated in a lab in Wuhan, China — a theory that was widely discredited. The strategy was part of Trump’s attempt to blame China for what he continued to call the “Chinese virus.”
- – April 30, 2020 – Trump said of the coronavirus, “Nobody’s thinking about it more. Nobody has spent more time, late in the evening, thinking about what’s happened to this country in a short period of time.” The Washington Post noted at least 44 times in March, April and early May in which Trump downplayed the threat of the virus calling it “very well under control” again and again.
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- – May 3, 2020 – The coronavirus death toll could reach 100,000, Trump said during a Fox News town hall broadcast from the Lincoln Memorial. The figure was double the estimate he predicted only two weeks earlier. Nevertheless, he said the country should still reopen its economy. He called his predecessors “foolish” and “stupid” and boasted that he had “done more than any other president in the history of our country.” Pointing to the statue of the 16th president, who was assassinated, Trump said, “They always said nobody got treated worse than Lincoln. I believe I am treated worse.”
- – May 4, 2020 – The White House issued new guidance that banned members of its pandemic task force from testifying before Congress. The decision was made shortly after infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci, whose views often diverged from Trump’s, was prohibited from testifying before a House committee.
- – May 5, 2020 – Rick Bright, the scientist who lost his job as head of the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, filed a whistleblower complaint with the U.S. Office of Special Counsel. In the complaint, Bright said his warnings about the coronavirus were dismissed by the Trump administration and that he was punished by being moved to another post.
- – May 6, 2020 – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention put together a 17-page report advising Americans on when they could reopen the economy. According to a CDC official who spoke on the condition of anonymity, the Trump administration prevented the release of the report, telling the CDC that it “would never see the light of day.”
- – May 7, 2020 – The criminal case against Michael Flynn, Trump’s first national security adviser, was dropped by the Justice Department — even though Flynn had pleaded guilty twice to lying to the FBI in an investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election. Trump called those who opposed him “dishonest, crooked people… They’re scum — and I say it a lot, they’re scum, they’re human scum.”
- – May 8, 2020 – Trump met with seven World War II veterans, all in their 90s, to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Allied victory in Europe. Even though he was close enough to speak with the men, he didn’t wear a mask in their presence. “The wind was blowing so hard and such a direction that if the plague ever reached them, I’d be very surprised,” Trump told reporters. “It could have reached me, too. You didn’t worry about me, you only worried about them, but that’s OK.”
- – May 11, 2020 – The Trump administration unveiled two large banners at a Rose Garden briefing that read, “AMERICA LEADS THE WORLD IN TESTING.” The event ended suddenly, however, after a testy exchange between Trump and journalists Weijia Jiang and Kaitlan Collins. “You’ve said many times that the U.S. is doing far better than any other country when it comes to testing,” Jiang said. Trump told Jiang, who is Chinese American, “Don’t ask me, ask China that question, OK?” He then tried to have Collins ask him a question, but she deferred back to Jiang. Frustrated, Trump abruptly turned around and left the briefing.
- – May 12, 2020 – Though U.S. law dictates that the election occurs on the Tuesday after the first Monday in November, White House adviser Jared Kushner suggested that the presidential election might have to be delayed because of the pandemic. “I’m not sure I can commit one way or the other,” he said, though neither Kushner nor Trump has the authority to postpone an election.
- – May 12, 2020 – During a pandemic that had killed tens of thousands of Americans, Trump took the time to promote a conspiracy theory that suggested that Joe Scarborough of MSNBC committed murder. “When will they open a Cold Case on the Psycho Joe Scarborough matter in Florida,” Trump wrote on Twitter. “Did he get away with murder? Some people think so.”
- – May 13, 2020 – At a time when the coronavirus was spreading throughout American prisons, infecting thousands of inmates, Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort was released from prison at his attorneys’ urging. Manafort, who pleaded guilty to conspiracy to defraud the U.S. and obstruct justice, was allowed to complete his seven-year sentence under home confinement.
- – May 14, 2020 – Trump spoke of coronavirus testing in contradictory terms while visiting a medical equipment distribution center in Pennsylvania. “We have the best testing in the world,” he boasted, then added, “Could be that testing’s, frankly, overrated. Maybe it is overrated.”
- – May 14, 2020 – Perchlorate, a toxic chemical compound used in rocket fuel, has been found to contaminate water, causing fetal and infant brain damage. The Obama administration planned to regulate the chemical, but the Environmental Protection Agency, led by Trump’s appointee Andrew Wheeler, went against the decision, saying that the regulation was “not in the public interest.”
- – May 15, 2020 – The coronavirus stabilization law that Congress passed included money for public education institutions hurt by the pandemic, but Trump’s Education Secretary Betsy DeVos directed $180 million of it to private and religious schools.
- – May 16, 2020 – Trump fired State Department Inspector General Steve Linick. Appointed by President Obama, Linick was another government watchdog ousted late on a Friday night. He was replaced by an ambassador who is close to Mike Pence.
- – May 17, 2020 – After President Obama, addressing high school seniors, alluded to Trump’s lack of leadership during the pandemic, Trump attacked his predecessor as “grossly incompetent.”
- – May 18, 2020 – Trump confirmed that he was taking hydroxychloroquine, a drug he had long praised even though medical experts warned that it could be dangerous and was not shown to combat Covid-19. “I started taking it, because I think it’s good,” he said. “I’ve heard a lot of good stories.”
- – May 21, 2020 – Unlike everyone around him who followed company policy and state law, Trump did not wear a mask when touring a Ford Motor Company factory in Michigan. “I had one on before,” he told reporters. “I wore one in this back area, but I didn’t want to give the press the pleasure of seeing it.” Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel called him a “petulant child who refuses to follow the rules.” Trump responded in a tweet: “Do nothing A.G. of the Great State of Michigan, Dana Nessel, should not be taking her anger and stupidity out on Ford Motor.”
- – May 21, 2020 – Michael Cohen, Trump’s former attorney, was released from prison, a week after Paul Manafort, Trump’s former campaign chairman, was released. Concerns about the coronavirus cut short Cohen’s three-year term for financial and political crimes. He was ordered to serve the remainder of his sentence in his multimillion-dollar Manhattan apartment.
- – May 22, 2020 – Calling houses of worship “essential,” Trump told governors to reopen them, despite the pandemic. It was not certain if Trump had that power. Nevertheless, he said of the governors, “If there’s any question, they’re going to have to call me, but they are not going to be successful in that call.”
- – May 22, 2020 – Trump, whose approval ratings dropped during the pandemic, expressed doubt that the nation’s coronavirus death toll was as high as health departments said it was. The official total was almost 95,000, but Trump said it could be “lower than” that. Experts averred that it was certainly higher than the confirmed count.
- – May 24, 2020 – As the nation marked a somber benchmark — 100,000 were killed by Covid-19 — Trump instead used the Memorial Day weekend to insult numerous people on Twitter. The president called Stacy Abrams “Shamu,” saying she “visited every buffet restaurant in the State.” He accused Nancy Pelosi of drinking “booze on the job.” And he referred to Hillary Clinton as a “skank.”
- – May 26, 2020 – Trump continued to spread a conspiracy theory that MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough had committed murder, this time addressing the allegation at a press conference in the Rose Garden. Police in Florida had ruled that there was no sign of foul play in the 2001 death of Lori Klausutis, who died when hitting her head in a fall after a heart attack. That didn’t stop Trump from saying, “It’s certainly a very suspicious situation. Very sad, very sad and very suspicious.”
- – May 27, 2020 – Twitter added a fact-check label to two of Trump’s tweets that claimed that mail-in ballots were fraudulent. In response, he threatened to shut down his favored social media platform on which he’d issued more than 50,000 tweets. “Republicans feel that Social Media Platforms totally silence conservatives voices,” he wrote on the very site that he said was silencing him.
- – May 28, 2020 – Following up on his threat to punish Twitter for tagging warning labels to two of his tweets, Trump signed an executive order to “defend free speech from one of the gravest dangers it has faced in American history.”
- – May 29, 2020 – Trump said he would end the country’s relationship with the World Health Organization. He had warned of the action since the early days of the pandemic. “Countless lives have been taken and profound economic hardship has been inflicted all around the globe,” he said.
- – May 29, 2020 – Grief-stricken and angry, many people in Minneapolis took to the streets to protest the killing of George Floyd, an African American man who was killed by a white police officer who pressed his knee into Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes. On Twitter, Trump responded by calling protesters “THUGS,” a racially loaded term. For the second time in a week, Twitter attached a warning label to his tweet, in which the president seemed to condone violence, writing, “Any difficulty and we will assume control but, when the looting starts, the shooting starts.”
- – May 30, 2020 – For the second day in a row, Trump condemned people across the country who protested the killing of George Floyd, threatening them with “vicious dogs” and “ominous weapons.” In a tweet that seemed to welcome a confrontation, he wrote, “Tonight, I understand, is MAGA NIGHT AT THE WHITE HOUSE???” He later suggested he didn’t mean to incite any violence. “I was just asking,” he said. “By the way, they love African-American people. They love black people.”
- – May 31, 2020 – Following days of unrest and rioting, Trump stayed silent — except for tweets that he composed from within a White House bunker while fires raged outside. “Get tough Democrat Mayors and Governors,” he wrote in one of them. “These people are ANARCHISTS. Call in our National Guard NOW.”