Donald Trump / Donald Trump - Key Events

Donald Trump - Key Events

Trump inaugurated

Donald J. Trump is inaugurated as the 45th President of the United States.

Women's March

Millions of people around the world participate in the Women’s March, the largest single-day march in US history, to protest the Trump administration and its policies.

Global gag rule reinstated

In one of his first policy decisions, President Trump decides to reinstate the “Mexico City Policy,” a ban on aid to international groups performing or counseling on abortion. President Ronald Reagan first introduced this ban in 1984 at a U.N conference in Mexico City, and U.S. presidents have consistently rescinded and reinstated since.

Withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership

President Trump directs the office of the US trade representatives to withdraw the United States from the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

Travel ban

President Trump signs an executive order that denies entry into the United States for people from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen, and suspends the Refugee Admissions Policy for 120 days. Trump’s travel ban sparks large protests and legal challenges. As a result of legal challenges, Trump revises the executive order.

Gorsuch nominated for SCOTUS

President Trump announces his nomination of Neil Gorsuch to the US Supreme Court. Judge Gorsuch will fill the seat vacated when Justice Antonin Scalia died in February 2016. The US Senate denied President Barack Obama the chance to fill the seat.

Flynn resigns

President Trump’s National Security Advisor Michael T. Flynn resigns after he admits to misleading Vice President Mike Pence about conversations Flynn had with the Russian ambassador before Trump’s inauguration.

New executive order on the travel ban

President Trump signs a revised travel ban to respond to legal challenges to the first travel ban. The new travel ban implements a travel ban from six Muslim majority countries and temporarily suspends the Refugee Admission Program.

Reversal on environmental protection

President Trump signs an executive order that rolls back the Obama administration’s temporary ban on mining coal and a protection rule for streams. Trump reverses much of Obama’s clean power strategy, rolling back US action to combat climate change.

Action against Syrian government

President Trump orders US strikes against an air base in Syria after the Syrian government launches a chemical weapons attack against the Syrian province of Idlib, killing civilians including children.

Neil M. Gorsuch joins the US Supreme Court

Judge Neil M. Gorsuch is sworn into the US Supreme Court, replacing Justice Antonin Scalia who died in 2016.

FBI director James Comey removed

President Donald Trump fires director of the FBI, James Comey. The firing is unexpected and raises concerns about abuse of power and the independence of the FBI.

Robert Muller chosen as special counsel

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein names Robert Muller, former director of the FBI under Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama, as special counsel to investigate Russia’s interference in the 2016 election.

Withdrawal from Paris climate accord

President Trump announces that the United States will withdraw from the 2015 Paris climate accord, another agreement negotiated by Obama.

Chief of Staff Kelly named

President Trump announces that he has replaced Reince Priebus as his chief of staff with John F. Kelly, former general and secretary of Homeland Security.

Trump comments on white nationalist rally

After a rally of white nationalists and neo-Nazis in Charlottesville, Virginia, Trump denounces the violence on “both sides.” He is strongly criticized for not denouncing white supremacy. He later condemns the attack that killed Heather Heyer.

Bannon resigns

Stephen Bannon resigns from the White House. Bannon was a chief strategist in the White House and campaign aid for President Trump. He helped develop the administration’s nationalist and populist approaches to immigration policy.

US increases presence in Afghanistan

President Trump announces a new US strategy in Afghanistan, increasing the number of US troops in the country to try to achieve a stable peace.

UN Address

President Trump addresses the 72nd session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York City. He focuses on his message of "America First" and discusses the ongoing situations with North Korea, Iran, and Syria. 

Trump officials plead in court

Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort pleads not guilty on charges of laundering money. George Papadopoulos, a former foreign policy adviser to the Trump campaign, pleads guilty to lying to the FBI and is cooperating with Mueller investigation.

Tour of Asian countries

President Trump leaves on a five-nation tour of Asia. He travels to Japan, South Korea, China, Vietnam, and the Philippines.

Flynn pleads guilty

President Trump’s former National Security Adviser, Michael Flynn, pleads guilty to lying to the FBI. His guilty plea indicates that Flynn is cooperating with Robert Mueller’s investigation into the Trump administration’s dealings with Russia.

Tax bill signed

President Trump signs $1.5 trillion tax bill into law. The bill overhauls the federal tax code and is a victory for Republicans. The bill cuts taxes for corporations and the wealthy while delivering only moderate cuts to most Americans.

Government shutdown begins

The federal government shuts down for three days after Congress cannot reach an agreement to maintain funding for the government.

Trade War with China Begins

Prrsident Trump launches a still-running tariff war against China by slapping tariffs of between 30 and 50 per cent on solar panels and washing machines. Tariffs are gradually applied to other US imports from China and to other countries.

Attorney speaks on affair

President Trump’s personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, admits that he paid $130,000 of his own money to an adult film actress who had an affair with Trump.

Indictments issued for Russian election interference

Special Counsel Robert Mueller issues indictments for 13 Russians who allegedly meddled in the 2016 US presidential election.

March for Our Lives

The March for Our Lives is held in Washington, DC, with companion marches around the country to push for gun control legislation. The march is organized by students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, which had been the site of a mass shooting in February 2018.

New secretary of state

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson serves his last day in office. President Trump nominates CIA Director Mike Pompeo to replace him.

Withdrawal from Iran nuclear deal

President Trump announces that he is pulling the United States out of the deal with Iran to contain its nuclear program.

Pandemic office closed

Timothy Ziemer, Senior Director for Global Health Security and Biothreats in the National Security Council is dismissed as his position is abolished. Ziemer is in charge of leading a US response against a pandemic. When the coronavirus hits the United States in early 2020, many critics point to abolishing this office as one of the reasons the Trump administration’s response is ineffective.

US Embassy opens in Jerusalem

The United States moves its embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. The same day, the Israeli army kills more than 50 Palestinians and injures more than 2,000 at the border between Gaza and Israel.

Senate confirms new CIA director

The Senate confirms Trump’s nominee, Gina Haspel, to head the CIA. She is the first woman to be director of the CIA.

Trump meets with North Korean leader

President Trump meets with North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un, at a summit in Singapore.

Controversial child separation at the border

President Trumps signs an executive order ending the policy of separating children from their parents. Between April and June, almost 2,000 children were separated from their parents as they crossed the border into the United States. After public opinion widely condemned the separations, the Trump administration ended the policy.

EPA head resigns

The head of the Environmental Protection Agency, Scott Pruitt, resigns after being accused of mismanagement and ethics scandals.

Kavanaugh nominated for SCOTUS

President Trump nominates Brett Kavanaugh to the US Supreme Court after Justice Anthony Kennedy announces his resignation.

Trump meets with Putin

President Trump and President Vladimir Putin of Russia meet in Helsinki, Finland, for a summit. During the press conference, Trump refuses to speak out against Russian involvement in the 2016 US elections, and he receives criticism from Democrats and Republicans for not standing up to Russia.

Trumps’s attorney pleads guilty

President Trump’s former personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, pleads guilty to federal charges, including campaign finance violations and bank and tax fraud. Trump’s former campaign manager, Paul Manafort, is convicted of eight charges including tax evasion and bank fraud.

Kavanaugh appointed amidst controversy

Brett Kavanaugh is sworn in as a Supreme Court Justice. His confirmation hearings roiled the nation as three women came forth with accusations of sexual misconduct against Judge Kavanaugh. The Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing with one of the accusers, Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, and Judge Kavanaugh. The Senate later confirmed his appointment 50 to 48.

Democrats take control of the House

In the 2018 midterm elections, the Republicans lose the House of Representative but gain seats in the US Senate. Democrats take control of the House, gaining 30 seats and moving the balance of power in the House to 225 Democrats to 197 Republicans. In the Senate, Republicans gained two seats, 53 to 45 (with 2 independent seats).

Attorney General resigns

The Attorney General of the United States, Jeff Sessions, resigns from office after President Trump requests his resignation.

Trump attorney sentenced

Michael Cohen, President Trump’s former lawyer, is sentenced to three years in prison after cooperating with federal investigators and Robert Mueller’s investigation and admitting to campaign finance violations when he paid women to remain silent about alleged affairs with Trump before the 2016 presidential election.

Government shutdown begins

After failing to reach agreement on a continuing funding resolution, the federal government began a partial shutdown. President Trump and Congress could not agree over funding a border wall between the United States and Mexico.

Secretary of Defense resigns

Secretary of Defense James Mattis resigns after President Trump announces he is pulling US troops out of Syria, a decision that Mattis opposes. Trump appoints Patrick Shanahan as acting defense secretary.

Diversity in Congress

The 116th Congress is sworn into office. Democrats retake the House, and the new Congress is the most diverse ever with more than 100 women, the first two Native American women representatives, and the first two Muslim women representatives. Nancy Pelosi is sworn in as Speaker of the House.

Trump announces reopening plan

After the longest government shutdown in US history, 35 days, President Trump announces an agreement to reopen the government. Although the President had demanded funding for a wall along the southern border, he agrees to reopen the government while negotiations continue over how to fund the building of the wall and border security.

Budget approval

Congress passes a budget deal to avert another government shutdown. In the deal, Congress provides $1.375 billion for a border wall but it is far short of the $5.7 billion that President Trump wanted.

Border wall funding becomes national emergency

President Trump declares a national emergency to secure funds to build a wall at the southern border.

Mueller report released

Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller releases his report on the Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and the Trump campaign’s involvement to the Justice Department.

Reelection campaign launched

At a rally in Florida, President Trump officially launches his 2020 reelection campaign.

Trump and Jong-un meet at the DMZ

Trump shakes hands with Kim at a jointly controlled area inside the DMZ and becomes the first US president to cross over into North Korean territory. Kim then walks over the demarcation line into South Korea with Trump.

Trump call to Ukraine president

President Trump speaks to President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine. In the call, President Trump pushes Zelensky to investigate alleged corruption by Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden and his son Hunter.

Whistleblower complaint filed

A member of the US intelligence community files an official complaint against Trump, alleging that the president is trying to get foreign interference to help him win the 2020 election. The complaint is not made public until September.

Space Command

President Trump announces the creation of the US Space Command, which will be responsible for military operations in space as part of the Department of Defense.

Democrats begin impeachment inquiries

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi announces that the House will begin formal impeachment inquiries against President Trump after a whistleblower complaint against President Trump’s conduct becomes public. At issue is a phone call in which Trump spoke with President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine in July 2019 and pressured the Ukrainian president to help Trump with information that might discredit a domestic political rival.

Impeachment hearings televised

The House Intelligence Committee begins the public broadcast of the impeachment hearing.

Trump impeached

The House of Representatives impeaches President Trump on two articles of impeachment: abuse of power (230-197) and obstruction of Congress (229-198). Trump becomes the third US president to be impeached (along with Andrew Johnson in 1868 and Bill Clinton in 1998).

Soleimani drone strike

The United States kills General Qasem Soleimani of Iran in a drone attack in Iraq. Iran vows retaliation against the United States.

Iran retaliates against the United States

Iran fires ballistic missiles into two bases in Iraq where US soldiers are stationed. There are no deaths.

NAFTA replaced

The Senate ratifies by a vote of 89 to 10, the United States–Mexico–Canada Agreement (USMCA), President Trump's replacement for the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

Limits on travel from China

The Trump administration limits travel from China into the United States because of the coronavirus outbreak in that country. It prohibits entry into the United States by foreign nationals who have been in mainland China 14 days prior to coming to the United States.

Senate acquits Trump

The US Senate votes to acquit President Trump of the articles of impeachment. Senators voted mostly in a party-line vote to acquit the president on the first article of impeachment, Abuse of Power, 52 to 48, and on the second article of impeachment, Obstruction of Congress, 53 to 47.

White House Coronavirus Task Force created

As the coronavirus, which causes Covid-19, spreads worldwide, President Trump appoints Vice President Mike Pence to oversee the management of the virus. Pence works with doctors and health officials to coordinate a response to the virus. By March 1, the virus has killed two people in Washington state and has appeared in a handful of other states, including California, Florida, Illinois, New York, Oregon, and Rhode Island.

Coronavirus pandemic escalates

The World Health Organization announces that the coronavirus has become a global pandemic, and President Trump addresses the American public to announce a 30-day travel ban on Europeans coming into the United States. Meanwhile daily life in the United States is disrupted as schools, colleges, and universities move to online classes, events are canceled, and people are encouraged to limit their interactions with others.

Pandemic becomes national emergency

President Trump declares a national emergency in response to the coronavirus. As Americans are urged to stay home and create social distance with others to slow the virus, Trump announces the national emergency to free up funds and allow government agencies more latitude in protecting people. He also asks every hospital in the country to activate its emergency preparedness plan so that they can meet the needs of Americans everywhere.

Economic shutdown and relief efforts

The United States leads the globe with the most cases of coronavirus. As the virus spreads throughout the country, more states and cities try to limit people’s activities, shutting down business, restaurants, bars, and events. President Trump signs a $2-trillion emergency spending bill, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which provides money for individuals, corporations and small businesses, and state and local governments.

Unemployment hits 22 million

A month after much of the US economy shuts down to address the threat of the coronavirus, 22 million Americans file for unemployment. Cases in the country continue to rise as the United States surpasses many other countries in the number of COVID-19 cases.

Withdrawal from the international arms treaty

President Donald Trump announces at the National Rifle Association's annual meeting that the United States will drop out of an international arms treaty, which then-President Barack Obama signed in 2013 but the NRA and other conservative groups oppose.

Spacex launch success

President Trump attends the second attempted launch of the SpaceX Dragon 2 spacecraft from the Kennedy Space Center. The launch is successful.

Clearing protestors for photo op

The nation explodes in protests after a Minneapolis police office murders George Floyd, a killing that is captured on film. After a press conference in response to the nationwide and worldwide protests for the death of George Floyd, President Trump walks to the nearby St. John's Church in Lafayette Square for a photo op. In preparation for Trump's arrival, riot police and military police use tear gas and stun grenades to clear protesters assembled at the park.

Pandemic campaign rally

President Trump holds an indoor campaign rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma. It is the first public rally he has held since the country largely shut down in March because of COVID-19.

Withdrawal from WHO

President Trump tells Congress and the United Nations that the United States will withdraw from the World Health Organization, effective 2021.

Trump questions mail-in voting

In one of his tweets, President Trump suggests delaying the November presidential election because of his concerns about mail-in voting. Although only the US Congress can change the date of a presidential election, Trump floats the idea.

Social media national security concerns

President Trump signs executive orders banning the use of TikTok and WeChat in the United States within 45 days if their Chinese parent companies refuse to sell them as a result of national security concerns.

Trump expands economic relief

President Trumps signs four executive orders to help the American people during the coronavirus pandemic after negotiations with Democrats in Congress stall. The four orders include a payroll tax holiday, extending unemployment benefits, providing protections to prevent evictions, and suspending student loan payments.

Advocating for education amidst a pandemic

Cases of COVID-19 continue to rise with the United States, reaching more than 5 million cases and more than 160,000 deaths. Although the Trump administration continues to push for schools to reopen, many schools around the country opt for opening virtually in the fall.

Bannon arrested

Steve Bannon, the driving force behind the right-wing Breitbart News website who later became Donald Trump's chief strategist, is arrested and charged with fraud three years after leaving the White House. Bannon is charged with defrauding donors, using money donated to build a wall along the Mexican border for personal expenses.

Supreme Court Justice Ginsberg dies

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dies due to complications of metastatic pancreas cancer. President Bill Clinton appointed Ginsburg in 1993. In recent years, RGB served as the most senior member of the court's liberal wing. Her death is less than seven weeks before election day, which opens up a political fight over the future of the court.

GOP pushes to nominate justice

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell reiterates his plans to move forward on President Trump's nominee to fill the vacancy on the US Supreme Court left by the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. The GOP plan is controversial as McConnell refused to consider President Obama’s nominee after Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia died in February 2016, claiming it was too close to the election and the voters should decide. Ginsberg died seven weeks before the 2020 election.

Trump swiftly announces Supreme Court nomination

President Trump nominates Judge Amy Coney Barret, a conservative Federal Appeals Court Judge, to succeed the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the US Supreme Court.

NY Times Article on President's Tax Returns

The New York Times releases an story that claims that President Trump paid no federal income taxes in 10 out of 15 years beginning in 2000.

POTUS and FLOTUS test positive

President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump test positive for coronavirus. By October 5, numerous White House officials and staff, members of the press, and US senators test positive.

Commission cancels second debate

The commison on presiential debates decides to cancel the second debate between Donald Trump and Joe Bden over concerns of the Presients recent Covid-19 diagnosis. The third and final debate takes place on October 22 in Nashville, TN.

GOP accuses social media of censorship

GOP Senate votes to supoena Facebook and Twitter CEO's Marc Zuckerburg and Jack Dorsey to force them to address accusations of censorship in the closing weeks of the presidential campaign. This comes directly after these platforms banned all user's ability to share a NY post article regarding allegations of the Biden family business relations and deals in Ukraine.

GOP confirms SCOTUS

The Senate votes to confirm President Donald Trump's supreme court nominee Judge Amy Coney, eight days before the general presidential election.

Trump's final campaign rallies

In the last few days of his campaign before the election, Donald Trump hosts several large campaign rallies in key swing states, gathering large crowds of supporters

Election Day

On Election Day, President Trump carries 23 states and 213 electoral college votes. The race is close in many states due to unprecedented amounts of mail in ballots, and no winner is declared on election night.

Trump declares victory

In the early morning hours, President Trump declares victory in the 2020 presidential election and claims the remaining ballots should be cast out due to fraud.

Press calls race for Biden

The Associated Press, along with many other news networks, declares former Vice President Joe Biden winner of the presidential election. Biden will become the 46th president of the United States.

Trump campaign contests election

Directly after the election results are announced, President Trump and his campaign began filing lawsuits across key swing states in an attempt to contest the election by claiming mass amounts of voter fraud from mail-in ballots.

Justice Department concludes voter fraud investigation

US Attorney General William Barr announces that after their detailed investigation, the Justice Departmetn found no widespread voter fraud.

FDA approves COVID-19 vaccine

The US Food and Drug Administration issues the first emergency use authorization for a Coronavirus vaccine in individuals 16 and older. The authorization allows the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine to be distributed.

Supreme Court rejects claims of voter fraud

The Supreme Court rejects the case brought by the Texas justice department and 17 states that alleged widespread voter fraud to contest the results of the election.

Bill Barr Resigns

US Attorney General William Barr announces his resignation and that he will step down before the end of the Trump presidency. Barr's resignation comes shortly after Trump discusses firing the attorney general after his announcement that the Justice Department has not found evidence of voter fraud.

Electoral College declares the 46th POTUS

The Electoral College officially votes Joe Biden as president and Senator Kamala Harris as vice president of the United States. This decision ends the legal battle initiated by the Trump campaign which alleged mass amounts of voter fraud in the election.

Phone call leaked

President Trump calls the Secretary of State of Georgia to pressure him to "find" votes so that Trump can win Georgia. The Secretary tapes the conversation and leaks it to the press the next day.

Mob attacks US Capitol

Trump supporters and white supremacists gather to protest the results of the 2020 presidential election. A mob overwhelms Capitol police and pushes their way into the US Capitol, where Congress is meeting to certify the election results. As members of Congress rush out of harm's way, police are unable to contain the intruders who broke windows, destroyed property, and trespassed through the building. The police shoot and kill one pro-Trump demonstrator as she tries to break through a door, and one Capitol police officer dies of injuries sustained during the riot.

Second impeachment

Donald Trump becomes the first US president to be impeached twice, when the US House of Representatives impeaches him for “incitement of insurrection,” for the attack on the Capitol on January 6. The House votes 232 to 197 with 10 Republicans supporting the impeachment.

Trump leaves office

Donald Trump leaves the White House on the morning of January 20. He is the first president since 1869 to skip his successor's inauguration. He and his family fly to Florida.