Donald Trump - Key Events
Donald J. Trump is inaugurated as the 45th President of the United States.
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.
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Reagan first introduced this ban in 1984 at a U.N conference in Mexico City, and U.S. presidents have consistently rescinded and reinstated since.
President Trump directs the office of the US trade representatives to withdraw the United States from the Trans-Pacific Partnership.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Judge Neil M. Gorsuch is sworn into the US Supreme Court, replacing Justice Antonin Scalia who died in 2016.
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.
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.
President Trump announces that the United States will withdraw from the 2015 Paris climate accord, another agreement negotiated by Obama.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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’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.
President Trump leaves on a five-nation tour of Asia. He travels to Japan, South Korea, China, Vietnam, and the Philippines.
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.
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.
The federal government shuts down for three days after Congress cannot reach an agreement to maintain funding for the government.
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.
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.
Special Counsel Robert Mueller issues indictments for 13 Russians who allegedly meddled in the 2016 US presidential election.
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.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson serves his last day in office. President Trump nominates CIA Director Mike Pompeo to replace him.
President Trump announces that he is pulling the United States out of the deal with Iran to contain its nuclear program.
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.
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.
The Senate confirms Trump’s nominee, Gina Haspel, to head the CIA. She is the first woman to be director of the CIA.
President Trump meets with North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un, at a summit in Singapore.
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.
The head of the Environmental Protection Agency, Scott Pruitt, resigns after being accused of mismanagement and ethics scandals.
President Trump nominates Brett Kavanaugh to the US Supreme Court after Justice Anthony Kennedy announces his resignation.
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.
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.
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.
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).
The Attorney General of the United States, Jeff Sessions, resigns from office after President Trump requests his resignation.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
President Trump declares a national emergency to secure funds to build a wall at the southern border.
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.
At a rally in Florida, President Trump officially launches his 2020 reelection campaign.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The House Intelligence Committee begins the public broadcast of the impeachment hearing.
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).
The United States kills General Qasem Soleimani of Iran in a drone attack in Iraq. Iran vows retaliation against the United States.
Iran fires ballistic missiles into two bases in Iraq where US soldiers are stationed. There are no deaths.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
President Trump attends the second attempted launch of the SpaceX Dragon 2 spacecraft from the Kennedy Space Center. The launch is successful.
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.
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.
President Trump tells Congress and the United Nations that the United States will withdraw from the World Health Organization, effective 2021.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
The Senate votes to confirm President Donald Trump's supreme court nominee Judge Amy Coney, eight days before the general presidential election.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
US Attorney General William Barr announces that after their detailed investigation, the Justice Departmetn found no widespread voter fraud.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.