Six Months In, Where President Trump's Agenda Stands
Six months into his term, President Donald Trump has made little progress on the big goals that got him elected and the issues voters said set him apart.
The president, for his part, routinely points to the number of bills he's signed as well as a healthy economy as evidence of his administration's success.
But the president has yet to sign a piece of major legislation. He’s touched on big priorities with executive orders, but struggled to make a legislative dent. After celebrating the House's passage of what would have been his biggest achievement to date — a bill to repeal and replace Obamacare in May — Trump failed to sell the GOP's health care plan and saw Senate efforts falter in July. Trump then indicated a willingness to break a major campaign promise by advocating for a repeal of Obamacare without a replacement.
Attempts to tackle big goals have been overshadowed by controversies — including a drip, drip drip of revelations relevant to the investigation into his campaign's ties to Russia that Trump has called a "witch hunt — and disregarded by Congress.
Consider one particularly emblematic week in June, when the White House announced what was touted as a policy-focused "Infrastructure Week." But the theme week coincided with former FBI Director James Comey's blockbuster testimony to the Senate Intelligence Committee on the circumstances surrounding his abrupt firing, and was short on specific proposals.
These aren't the only issues where Trump has made little headway in enacting his agenda. NBC News has been tracking the president's effort on his campaign promises since he took office half a year ago.
Look below to track his progress on 10 core goals: Crime, Jobs, Health Care, Global Deals, Health Care, Honesty, Immigration, Infrastructure, Terrorism, Unity, and Winning.
Trump Dissolves Business Advisory Councils as CEOs Quit
President Donald Trump dissolved two of his business advisory councils Wednesday after a rash of CEOs resigned in the wake of his response to a white nationalist attack in Charlottesville, Virginia, that occurred Saturday.
"Rather than putting pressure on the businesspeople of the Manufacturing Council & Strategy & Policy Forum, I am ending both," Trump tweeted. "Thank you all!
Trump Unwinds Regulations, but Overshadows Efforts With Controversy
President Donald Trump signed an executive order on Tuesday designed to speed up construction of infrastructure projects by eliminating portions of the federal permitting process, like an Obama-era mandate aimed at protecting future infrastructure from rising seawaters, and streamlining others.
Holding up a flow chart that he said showed a lengthy highway approval process — which could take 20 years — the president said his order would bring the process down to less than two years.
“This is going to happen quickly. That’s what I’m signing today,” he said, according to a White House transcript.
The news of the executive order was buried quickly when the president provoked widespread controversy with remarks about the violence in Charlottesville that were condemned by lawmakers across the political spectrum and praised by white nationalists.
Fact Checking Trump's Latest Boasts About Jobs, U.S. Economy
After President Donald Trump repeated claims of remarkable economic growth at an early August event announcing a new immigration policy, MSNBC's Ali Velshi and Stephanie Ruhle fact checked — and brought some necessary context — to the conversation.
Fact Checking Trump's Latest Boasts About Jobs, U.S. EconomyAug. 2, 201703:12
Second-Quarter Economic Growth Now Seen Doubling Pace of First Quarter
Economic growth is expected to be double the first quarter's pace when second-quarter GDP data is released Friday morning.
House GOP Approves $1.6 Billion for Trump’s Wall
The House passed a $788 billion spending bill Thursday that combines a $1.6 billion down payment for President Donald Trump's controversial border wall with Mexico with a whopping budget increase for the Pentagon.
The 235-192 vote both eases a large backlog of unfinished spending bills and gives Trump and his House GOP allies political wins heading into the August recess. Challenging hurdles remain in front of the measure, however, which will meet with more powerful Democratic opposition in the Senate.
Fmr Ethics Director: Trump Setting Wrong Tone
Fmr Ethics Director: Trump Setting Wrong ToneJuly 20, 201709:49
DHS Chief: U.S. Tested Prototype Bombs Before Implementing New Airplane Electronics Rules
ASPEN, Colo. — The U.S. government tested two prototype bombs, based on new terrorist technology, to determine that they could take down a passenger jet before implementing new cabin rules on electronic devices, Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly told NBC News’ Pete Williams Wednesday night
“We tested it on a real airplane on the ground, pressurized, and to say the least, it destroyed the airplane,” Kelly said during the opening session of the Aspen Security Forum.
Supreme Court Allows Broader Family Exceptions to Trump Travel Ban
The U.S. Supreme Court Wednesday cleared the way for a broader list of family exceptions to President Trump's ban on issuing visas to people in six Muslim-majority countries.
The justices declined to put a halt to a ruling by a federal judge in Hawaii who said grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, nephews, and siblings-in-law must be added to the list of close family members who can still get visas to travel to the U.S. during the 90 days while Trump's executive order is in force.
Trump Urges Senate to Keep Working on Health Care Bill to Replace Obamacare
Republican Senators filed onto a bus Wednesday for a short trip to the White House for lunch where they heard President Donald Trump urge them to keep working to both repeal and replace Obamacare after their health care bill collapsed earlier this week.
"I'm ready to act," Trump said at the outset of the lunch, noting that he has his "pen in hand" to sign legislation. "For seven years you promised the American people that you would repeal Obamacare. People are hurting. Inaction is not an option and, frankly, I don't think we should leave town unless we have a health insurance plan, unless we can give our people great health care."
After he spent late Monday night and Tuesday endorsing a plan to just repeal Obamacare and then a plan to just let it fail on its own, Trump emphasized that he is supporting both a repeal and a replacement in the same bill.
Insurers Fear Latest Chaos Over Health Care
Health insurers expressed concern Tuesday over the uncertainty surrounding Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act and President Donald Trump's most recent call to let Obamacare "fail."
"With open enrollment for 2018 only three months away, our members and all Americans need the certainty and security of knowing coverage will be available and affordable for them," said Justine Handelman, senior vice president for policy at Blue Cross Blue Shield, one of the nation’s largest insurers.
Insurers’ most immediate worry is the federal cost-sharing subsidies they’ve relied on to help make plans in the ACA’s exchanges more affordable. Trump has dubbed those funds "ransom money" and threatened to withhold them to hasten the collapse of Obamacare.
NBC News/WSJ Poll: Just 12% in Key Trump Counties Back GOP Health Care Effort
Just 12 percent of Americans living in the counties that fueled Donald Trump's win in the 2016 presidential election support the Republican Party's efforts on health care, according to results from the NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll of these "Trump counties."
Asked their views on the health care legislation passed by the House of Representatives in May and backed by President Trump, 12 percent of the respondents in these counties — consisting of Republicans, Democrats and independents — called the bill a good idea, while 41 percent said it was a bad idea. Forty-seven percent had no opinion or say they’re not sure.
Where Did Trump Dig Up 45,000 Mining Jobs?
President Donald Trump boasted Monday that the nation added 45,000 mining jobs recently — but there's scant data to back that up. One thing there is evidence for: Only 800 coal mining jobs have been created during his tenure.
"In Pennsylvania, two weeks ago, they opened a mine, the first mine that was opened in decades....Well, we picked up 45,000 mining jobs in a very short period of time," Trump said during an event pegged to American manufacturing. "Everybody was saying, 'Well, you won’t get any mining jobs,' we picked up 45,000 mining jobs. Well, the miners are very happy with Trump and with Pence, and we’re very proud of that."
Trump Drops Key Campaign Promise to 'Repeal and Replace'
In the wake of the latest health care bill failure, President Trump dropped a key campaign promise and announced his support for letting the American health care system collapse before trying to reform it again.
"I think we're probably in that position where we'll just let Obamacare fail. We're not gonna own it. I'm not gonna own it," he told reporters on Tuesday. "We'll let Obamacare fail and then Democrats are going to come to us."
This new promise comes after two years of promising to repeal and replace Obamacare with something "terrific," and hours after voicing his support for another promise-breaking proposition: a simple repeal of the Affordable Care Act without a replacement, a proposition that would leave 18 million uninsured in the first year. By 2026, the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office estimated a simple repeal would double premiums for consumers buying insurance on their own while leaving 32 million uninsured.
“Republicans should just REPEAL failing ObamaCare now & work on a new Healthcare Plan that will start from a clean slate. Dems will join in!” Trump said on Twitter, though that plan quickly lost Republican support.
Hours later, Trump tweeted that he had "always said" Obamacare should be allowed to fail first. He has previously said letting Obamacare fail and blaming Democrats for the consequences would be politically smarter, but it is far from one of his stalwart positions.
To wit: Watch the president’s many promises to repeal — and replace — Obamacare during the campaign.
Trump Drops Key Campaign Promise to 'Repeal and Replace'Feb. 2, 201701:19
Outgoing Ethics Director: Appearances Count on Trump Financial Conflicts
The outgoing head of the federal government’s ethics watchdog agency said he is leaving his post still unsure whether President Donald Trump is using the White House to enrich his businesses and himself.
"I can't know what their intention is," Walter Shaub Jr., the director of the independent Office of Government Ethics, said in an interview with CBS News. "I know that the effect is that there's an appearance that the businesses are profiting from his occupying the presidency. And appearance matters as much as reality.”
Shaub wrote Trump on Thursday to inform him he would be resigning later this month. The government ethics director clashed with the White House even before Trump was sworn in, especially when it came to how the real estate mogul handled his business interests after his election victory.
Trump's Frequent Travel to Trump Properties Prompts Ethics Concerns
During the campaign, Trump argued that Americans should vote for him because he would rarely leave Washington. He promised that he wouldn't go golfing or take vacations, because there was too much work to do.
But President Donald Trump frequently uses his luxury properties for government business and leisure, prompting ethics concerns over a president appearing to promote his private enterprise at public cost.
As of July 4, Trump has spent 50 days at his properties since taking office — and 36 of those were at one of his golf properties. The precise number of times Trump has played golf isn't known, however. His administration has tried to hide Trump's activity, keeping his traveling press pool away and often refusing to confirm whether he has played golf. Instead, social media has become a source of crowd-sourced reporting into the president's whereabouts.
Attorney General Sessions Orders Tougher Drug Crime Prosecutions
Attorney General Jeff Sessions ordered federal prosecutors this week to seek the maximum punishment for drug offenses, in one of the clearest breaks yet from the policies of the Justice Department under the Obama administration.
The move is an abrupt departure from policy made by President Barack Obama's attorney general, to reduce the number of people convicted of certain lower-level drug crimes being given long jail terms.
Trump's Carrier Deal Is Not Living up to the Hype
More than 600 employees at a Carrier plant in Indianapolis are bracing for layoffs beginning next month, despite being told by President Trump that nearly all the jobs at the plant had been saved. The deal, announced with great fanfare before Trump took office, was billed not only as a heroic move to keep jobs from going to Mexico but also as a seismic shift in the economic development landscape.
President Trump Tweets WWE Video of Himself Attacking ‘CNN’
"The president in no way form or fashion has ever promoted or encouraged violence. If anything, quite the contrary."
— Principal Deputy Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, June 29, 2017
President Trump Tweets WWE Video of Himself Attacking ‘CNN’July 2, 201702:50
The Senate Health Care Bill Would Break Just About All of Trump's Promises
President Donald Trump said his health care would be better and cheaper than Obamacare.
But that's not how things are turning out.
Based on the president's previous statements, people would enjoy lower premiums and deductibles. A replacement would cover everybody, including those with pre-existing conditions. There would be no cuts to Medicaid.
Now, as Senate Republicans finalize their legislation while Trump advocates for its speedy passage, the question is: Does the bill keep the president’s promises?
Here's how Trump's vows on the campaign trail and after taking office stack up against the findings from the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office report.
Medicaid Cuts Grow Even Deeper After 10 Years, New CBO Score Shows
The Senate health care bill’s Medicaid cuts would grow even deeper after a decade, according to a new report Thursday by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, leaving more people without coverage under the government program.
The new report complements the CBO’s main analysis of the Senate bill, known as the Better Care Reconciliation Act, which found Medicaid would spend 26 percent less and cover 15 million fewer people in 2026 if the bill passed.
The Senate bill caps Medicaid spending and, starting in 2025, grows it at a rate of inflation that’s expected to be less generous than either current law or the House bill, which included major cuts as well.
74 Percent. Your Health Care Premium Could Go Up That Much
The Senate bill, backed by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky. and President Donald Trump, encourages customers to buy insurance with higher deductibles, reduces subsidies that lower deductibles for low-income customers, allows insurers to charge older customers more, and provides more generous subsidies for young people than older people.
Senate Ignores Trump's FAA Privatization Push
After the White House’s Infrastructure Week, which featured speeches and non-binding letters but no more details on Trump's infrastructure policy, the president had just one concrete plan on the table: Privatizing the Federal Aviation Administration.
In a ceremony at the White House, Trump announced that he would push for turning the FAA into a nonprofit private corporation.
"It's about time," Trump said on Monday before signing a letter outlining the plan, adding that the change would herald an "air travel revolution."
The Senate, however, passed on Trump's plan — at least for now. It approved legislation last Thursday that would keep the FAA as a federal agency, while demanding greater accountability and adding new protections and funding.
Poll: Global Opinion of U.S., Trump Down Since Election
“The world is going to respect us again,” the president said on the campaign trail repeatedly. “Believe me.”
Five months into his administration, a new Pew poll reveals the opposite. Global opinions of the president, and the nation he leads, has fallen since Trump’s election: just 22 percent of the rest of the world has confidence in Trump, while 39 percent have an unfavorable view of the United States (up from 26 percent at the end of the Obama’s presidency.)
Just two countries have more confidence in Trump than they did in Obama at the end of his presidency: Israel, with a 7 point more favorable view, and Russia, which has a 42 point more favorable view.
Trump's Twitter — One Thing Democrats and Republicans Can Agree On?
Lawmakers in Trump's own party spoke out against the personal attacks he lobbed at MSNBC hosts Mika Brzezinski and Joe Scarborough on Twitter last week.
Sen. James Lankford, R-OK, brought up the recent attack on GOP congressmen at a baseball practice in Virginia, which briefly united Democrats and Republicans as Trump and others called for a putting aside of differences.
Trump's tweets Thursday, Lankford said in a statement, "don't help our political or national discourse and it does not provide a positive role model for our national dialogue."
Pentagon Weighs More Aggressive Role in Afghanistan
WASHINGTON — The Pentagon is considering an expanded and more aggressive role in Afghanistan, one that would include the American military once again targeting both Taliban and Haqqani network fighters, according to four U.S. defense officials.
Both Pentagon and White House officials have been considering the expanded authority for several months as they have worked through a strategy review for Afghanistan.
Polls on Trump Approval, Comey Firing Show Divided Nation
Recent polls show little evidence that Trump has unified the nation. His approval ratings paint a deeply divided country: his base supports him fervently, while a historic high numbers of Americans disapprove of how he's doing.
According to the latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, taken in late June, Trump’s overall job approval rating stands at 40 percent approve, 55 percent disapprove. A deep split emerges if you break the rating down by party: Democrats and independents give the president dismal marks, disapproving of the job he’s doing in the Oval Office by 90 percent and 63 percent, respectively. But Trump has seen no erosion of support from Republicans. His party affords him the same 82 percent approval rating in this latest survey that he enjoyed last month.
Meanwhile, by a 2-to-1 margin, Americans say they are more likely to believe former FBI Director James Comey than President Donald Trump when it comes to their differing accounts of events that led up to Comey's firing, according to a different NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll. Similarly to the approval rating, when you examine the findings by party, 76 percent of Democrats side with Comey, while 50 percent of Republicans believe Trump. Independents break for Comey over Trump, 47 percent to 17 percent.
Hawaii Challenges Enforcement of Trump Travel Order
Just hours after the Trump administration's travel order went into effect, the state of Hawaii went to federal court Thursday to challenge it, saying the order barred too many people.
The Supreme Court ruled Monday that Trump's order could be enforced in part until the court makes a final ruling on the order later this year. The order went into effect at 8 p.m. ET on Thursday.
The ruling allowed Trump to impose a 90-day ban on travelers from six countries — Iran, Syria, Sudan, Somalia, Libya and Yemen — as well as a 120-day ban on any refugees who have no "bona fide relationship" with an entity or person in the United States.
Supreme Court Reinstates Much of Trump’s Travel Ban, Will Hear Case in Fall
House Passes ‘Kate’s Law,’ Votes to Defund Sanctuary Cities
The House passed two bills Thursday to boost President Donald Trump’s immigration crackdown.
The bills — "Kate’s Law" and the "No Sanctuary for Criminals Act" — would up the penalties on undocumented immigrants who attempt to reenter the country illegally after being deported for crimes and slash funds from cities that protect them.
Kate's Law passed 257-167, largely along party lines, in the GOP-controlled House. Trump, who made immigration a key focus during the campaign and in his administration, celebrated its passage.
White House Champions Immigration Crackdown as Public Safety Win
The White House spent an entire day last week telling reporters that the president is “keeping his promises,” and indeed the president is cracking down on undocumented immigrants. Arrests of undocumented immigrants are up, and border crossings are down — a phenomenon his administration credits to the “uncertainty” about how immigration will be handled under the new president.
The president has championed this crackdown as key to making America safer, something that would surely be part of making the country “great again.” He’s launched an office to support victims of crimes committed by undocumented immigrants, met with victims of such crimes at the White House last week, and celebrated the passage of two House bills that boost his efforts.
He championed two House bills which passed last week that would crack down on undocumented immigrants who commit crime , as well. There’s just one hitch: there’s no evidence undocumented immigrants are a public safety risk. On the contrary, there’s evidence that immigrants — both legal and undocumented — commit crimes at a lower rate than native-born Americans.
U.S.-Backed Iraqi Forces Squeeze Fighters in Mosul’s Old City
U.S.-Backed Iraqi Forces Squeeze Fighters in Mosul’s Old CityJuly 1, 201701:20
Just About Every Major Medical Group Hates the GOP Health Care Plans
Groups representing pediatricians, cancer specialists, heart doctors and family physicians all agree: Both the House and the Senate offerings for fixing health care in the U.S. would make things worse, not better.
Within hours of its release, groups representing medical professionals were denouncing the Senate version, called the Better Care Reconciliation Act or BCRA.
"The Senate draft health care bill is literally heartless," American Heart Association CEO Nancy Brown said.
Poll: More Americans Believe Comey Over Trump
By a 2-to-1 margin, Americans say they are more likely to believe former FBI Director James Comey than President Donald Trump when it comes to their differing accounts of events that led up to Comey's firing, according to the latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll.
Forty-five percent of respondents say they are more likely to believe Comey's version of events from his June 8 testimony to the U.S. Senate, versus 22 percent who are more likely to believe what Trump has said.
Senate Health Care Bill Includes Deep Medicaid Cuts
Senate Republicans on Thursday unveiled a draft of their legislation to revamp the government's role in the nation's health care system.
The bill, written largely in secret, includes big reductions to Medicaid, defunds Planned Parenthood, eliminates the Obamacare mandate requiring individuals buy insurance, and slashes taxes on the wealthy.
U.S. Added 138,000 Jobs in May, Unemployment Falls to 4.3 Percent
Job creation fell sharply in May with just 138,000 new positions created, while the unemployment rate declined to 4.3 percent, according to Labor Department data released Friday.
Economists surveyed by Reuters expected nonfarm payrolls to grow by 185,000 and the unemployment rate to hold steady at 4.4 percent.
Plant Workers Still Losing Jobs Tell Trump: Don't Forget About Us
As Donald Trump held a victory lap touting a decision by Carrier to keep an Indianapolis plant open rather than move the facility to Mexico, workers at another of the company's Indiana plants said they are still losing their jobs.
Around 700 jobs will be lost when United Technologies Electronic Controls moves to Mexico sometime in 2018, workers told NBC News.
Donald Trump’s Border Wall: A ‘Progress’ Report
How close is President Donald Trump to making good on his signature promise to build a wall between the United States and Mexico?
Short answer: not very. Mexico won't pay, and construction doesn't seem to have begun.
D.C., Maryland Officials Hit President Trump With Lawsuit
D.C., Maryland Officials Hit President Trump With LawsuitJune 12, 201701:47
Trump Pulls U.S. Out of Paris Climate Agreement
The United States will pull out of a landmark global coalition meant to curb emissions that cause climate change, President Donald Trump announced, keeping one of his bigger campaign promises.
"The United States will withdraw from the Paris climate accord," Trump said to applause from the crowd gathered in the White House Rose Garden.
He added that the U.S. will begin negotiations to re-enter either the Paris accord or a new treaty on terms that are better for American businesses and taxpayers.
As a candidate, Trump repeatedly lambasted his predecessor for the focus placed on combating climate change, laughing off the Obama statement that climate change is the biggest threat the planet currently faces.
White House Grants 14 Ethics Waivers to Staff
Michael Catanzaro, a former oil and gas lobbyist, can help shape the Trump administration's energy policies. Shahira Knight can weigh in on retirement matters even though she previously worked for Fidelity, a financial company specializing in retirement services.
The White House posted on its website ethics waivers granted to four ex-lobbyists and numerous others who have joined government. In all, the White House has granted 14 ethics waivers.
Majority of Young Americans View Trump as Illegitimate President: Poll
A majority of young adults — 57 percent — see Trump's presidency as illegitimate, including about three-quarters of blacks and large majorities of Latinos and Asians, the GenForward poll found.
Donald Trump and NATO: Why His Silence on Article 5 Is a Big Deal
President Donald Trump has often shocked and confounded the world with his unique brand of rhetoric. But on Thursday it was what he did not say that caused a stir.
The 45th president had been expected to promise that America would defend its NATO allies if they ever came under attack. That principle of collective defense is, in theory, cemented by Article 5 of the alliance's charter, NATO's core tenet. It means that "an attack against one ally is considered as an attack against all."
No other president since NATO was founded in 1949 has questioned that principle — until Trump.
During 'Infrastructure Week,' Trump Administration Teases Plan, Again
Two weeks after President Donald Trump said his infrastructure plan was coming in two to three weeks, his secretary of transportation, Elaine Chao, issued the same tease: Stay tuned for a few more weeks.
Speaking at a U.S. Chamber of Commerce-sponsored “Infrastructure Week” event, Chao said the plan would call for $200 billion in taxpayer funds to spur outside dollars through private-public partnerships.
"These funds will be used to leverage $1 trillion in infrastructure investment over 10 years," Chao said according to the Associated Press, noting that the tax dollars would be offset by unspecified savings to keep from adding to the national debt.
While infrastructure is hardly the sexiest topic, there was considerable buzz around the event, with Twitter users jumping on the trending hashtag suggesting projects ripe for infrastructure investment, including a slew of tweets advocating building a wall on the southern border.
The $200 billion is the same number the White House budget director earmarked for infrastructure investment last month.
“We’re certainly going to spend some money,” Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney said then.
Clapper on FBI Probe: ‘I Don’t Know If There Was Collusion’
Hours after the president tweeted alleging that former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper had said there was no collusion between his campaign and Russia, Clapper set the record straight on MSNBC.
Clapper on FBI Probe: ‘I Don’t Know If There Was Collusion’May 12, 201702:23
GOP Health Plan Doesn’t Address the Biggest Health Care Problems
The new GOP health care bill does almost nothing to address some of the biggest health care issues troubling Americans, many experts agree.
With so much focus on health care by Congress, the White House and news media, Americans might be forgiven for thinking the health care system is about to be transformed. Every year a new report shows the U.S. health care system is a mess, with Americans spending far more for medical care than people in any other comparable country, and getting less to show for it.
Republicans who support the new bill, which passed the House of Representatives on May 4, say it will cut costs and help get government spending on health care under control. But neither the 2010 Affordable Care Act not the proposed partial replacement bill, the American Health Care Act, digs deeply into some of the biggest flaws in the U.S. medical system.
Donald Trump Wants to Rebuild America? Here Are 8 Places to Start
One in five miles of the country's highways is in shabby condition; 56,007 bridges are structurally-deficient, and at least 2,170 Americans dams have been deemed "high-hazard potential."
Degrading infrastructure projects affect millions of Americans every day, causing problems ranging from added car maintenance costs from bumpy roads to life-threatening health risks from unsafe drinking water.
President Donald Trump, looking to fulfill a campaign promise, has vowed to spend $1 trillion repairing America. After analyzing federal data, pouring over independent research, and consulting experts, here are some pressing infrastructure problems that need big fixes.
Report: Puerto Rico's Drinking Water at Brink of Crisis
Puerto Rico's drinking water system is on the brink of crisis, an environmental group said Wednesday.
Elevated lead levels, bacteria, chemicals and lax adherence to regulations have created a toxic mix for the American territory's 3 million-plus citizens, Natural Resources Defense Council Health Director Erik Olson told NBC News, citing his group's latest research.
"Puerto Rico just clearly has the biggest challenges of any state or territory in the United States," Olson said.
My Dinner With Comey: Current and Former FBI Officials Dispute Trump Account of Meeting With FBI Director
One day after the acting attorney general warned the White House that its national security adviser was subject to blackmail, the president summoned the FBI director to dinner at the White House, people close to James Comey told NBC News.
At the Jan. 27 dinner, a week after assuming the presidency, Trump requested a loyalty pledge from Comey, people familiar with the dinner say. Comey replied that he could not offer loyalty, but he could pledge his honesty.
This account of the dinner contradicts the one President Trump gave to NBC News Nightly anchor Lester Holt on Thursday. Trump said Comey requested the meeting, asked to be retained in his job, and told him he was not under investigation.
Fact Checking Donald Trump's Interview With NBC's Lester Holt
In an exclusive interview with NBC News' Lester Holt Thursday, President Donald Trump discussed at length his decision to fire FBI Director James Comey and the investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election.
U.S. Created 211,000 Jobs in April, Unemployment at Its Lowest Since 2007
The nation's economy is still on a strong upward trajectory, according to the latest monthly report from the Department of Labor, which showed an increase of 211,000 jobs for the month of April. Unemployment fell to 4.4 percent, its lowest level since May 2007.
April’s strong showing puts economic growth firmly back on track after a miserable March, when only 79,000 jobs were added (revised down from 98,000), and paves the way for the Federal Reserve to hike up the interest rate next month.
Trump, GOP Leaders Take Victory Lap After House Passes ‘Trumpcare’
President Donald Trump celebrated on Thursday taking the first step toward repealing and replacing Obamacare.
Trump called the measure "incredibly well crafted" and praised House Republicans for passing a "great plan" that will end the "suffering" and "ravages" of Obamacare and credited the legislation for uniting the GOP.
"They're not even doing it for the party," Trump said as he stood flanked by Republican House leaders and rank-and-file members in the Rose Garden at the White House. "They're doing it for this country because we suffered with Obamacare."
House Narrowly Passes GOP Health Care Bill
By the slimmest of margins, the House of Representatives passed the Republican plan to replace Obamacare Thursday afternoon, sending the measure to a skeptical Senate where it is almost certain to change shape. Republicans passed the bill by a vote of 217 to 213, just one vote over the 216 needed.
The vote was a big win for House Speaker Paul Ryan, who was able to deliver on Republicans' seven-year long campaign promise to repeal the Affordable Care Act even though the bill doesn't constitute a complete repeal. And for President Donald Trump, this gives him his first legislative victory since taking office more than 100 days ago.
Following the vote, House Republicans were met by protesters chanting "shame" outside the Capitol as they boarded buses for a trip down Pennsylvania Avenue to participate in a celebratory appearance with Trump, who lauded the members.
100 Days In: How's Trump Doing on Winning?
Status: Still looking for a big win
As a candidate, the president promised big wins that would be so frequent America would get bored of it. Ahead of the 100 days benchmark, the president seemed in search of such a win, hurrying to launch his tax plan and resurrecting the health care effort just weeks after it failed spectacularly.
"We are going to have a big win soon, because we are going to have health care and that's gonna happen. And there was no lose with health care, this is just a constant negotiation and the plan is getting better and better all the time,” Trump told a Wisconsin television network in April.
The president may also still be looking for a win in his approval ratings: Gallup said April 20 that Trump's average approval rating as is the lowest since the polling firm began its survey in 1953, though the latest NBC News poll saw his approval rating begin to creep back up.
100 Days In: How's Trump Doing on Crime?
Status: No action
There are few indicators that crime has moved one way or another in just a few months, and Trump declined to send federal agents to Chicago to combat crime as he suggested he might in January.
What's more, law enforcement experts believe that the president’s efforts on immigration could actually drive crime up, as communities close themselves off to police — refusing to report, testify, or even acknowledge witnessing a crime or being a victim — for fear of immigration enforcement.
Trump took one direct action aimed at highlighting crimes, rather than preventing them. The Department of Homeland Security and ICE launched an office to support victims of crime perpetrated by undocumented immigrants. Critics, citing statistics that show American citizens are more likely to commit crimes than immigrants, say it's an effort to further demonize immigrants.
100 Days In: How's Trump Doing on Global Deals?
Status: Some action, little progress
Trump kept his campaign promise to withdraw the U.S. from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which he said on the trail was badly negotiated and harmful to American workers.
On the other global deals, he has accomplished few of his promises: He has not withdrawn the U.S. from the trade deal NAFTA, though he announced late Wednesday that he's begin renegotiating it. He also has not removed the U.S. from the Paris Climate Change Agreement. His budget did, however, propose cancelling the billions of planned U.S. funding to United Nations climate change efforts, a step towards keeping that promise.
On the matter of global adversaries, Trump vowed to be tough on Iran and has issued sanctions on the nation over some missile tests in February. Still, he has yet to make good on his promise to unravel the nuclear deal his predecessor struck with the country — in Trump’s eyes, “one of the worst deals I’ve ever seen.” His administration said in mid-April that Iran was complying with the sanctions-relieving nuclear deal at present and subsequently continued the sanctions relief the president had condemned from the campaign trail. The White House said at the time they were reviewing the deal still, and Trump argued that Iran was violating the "spirit" of the deal, which may set the stage for future action.
Meanwhile, after promising to label China a currency manipulator within his first 100 days, he reversed himself entirely in April. "They're not currency manipulators," Trump told the the Wall Street Journal.
After an unorthodox call with the president of Taiwan in December and the suggestion that he might not abide by the One China policy, Trump agreed to honor it in February. The move came during a phone call with the Chinese president, who had reportedly only agreed to take if Trump publicly stated support for the One China policy.
Early calls with global allies have also proved problematic: A phone call with one of America's top allies, Australia, saw the president reportedly berate the Australian prime minister over a refugee deal, boast over his election win, and end a scheduled hour-long call after just 25 minutes. They have since appeared to mend ways and the Australian Prime Minister plans to meet with Trump in New York City next month.
100 Days In: How's Trump Doing on Infrastructure?
Status: Little action
The White House has not yet rolled out a plan to rebuild what Trump calls America’s “crumbling” infrastructure.
The president appointed a special assistant of infrastructure with D.J. Gribbin, who has a history brokering deals between private investors and governments seeking infrastructure investment, the very kind of deal Trump says is key to funding reform without growing the deficit. Congressional leaders and infrastructure experts say they’re unsure just how feasible such funding mechanisms are; domestically, the nation has seen both successes and failures arise from such partnerships.
Trump's only action to date on an infrastructure project is his approval of permits for the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines. With that, Trump made good on one campaign promise while reneging on another: The Keystone XL pipeline won’t have to use American steel in construction, despite a White House order mandating pipelines do so.
100 Days In: How's Trump Doing on Honesty?
Status: Some action, much of it potentially detrimental
Trump promised that one of his first actions as president would be to propose a constitutional amendment imposing congressional term limits. He has failed to do so, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said it won't happen.
The president used executive authority to institute some of the ethics reforms he promised from the campaign trail, imposing a lifetime ban on White House staffers lobbying for foreign governments and imposing a five-year ban on lobbying for domestic clients.
But he also weakened an Obama-era lobbying restriction that barred lobbyists from taking a job within an agency they had tried to influence in the last two years, which gives lobbyists more power to take jobs in the Trump White House as soon as they quit from their lobbying roles.
Meanwhile, the swamp has hardly vanished: Dozens of lobbyists were found in Trump administration hiring rolls by ProPublica, who also discovered three hires working on the issues they’d lobbied on previously, like Shahira Knight, a former Fidelity lobbyist who had lobbied on retirement and tax issues and now is the president’s special assistant for tax and retirement policy. The White House may have given Knight a waiver, the investigative outlet reported, but there’s no way to know because the administration has also ended the government’s publication of those waivers through the Office of Government Ethics.
100 Days In: How's Trump Doing on Health Care?
Status: Stalled action
Trump vowed a speedy repeal of his predecessor’s signature health care law countless times during the campaign, promising to replace it with “something better” that would lower costs, wouldn't cut Medicaid or take away anyone's insurance.
According to an analysis by the Congressional Budget Office and policy experts, the American Health Care Act, the House bill his Republican caucus proposed and Trump endorsed as a way to repeal much of the Affordable Care Act and replace it, would have broken all of those campaign promises. The CBO estimated that more people would lose their insurance under the GOP’s proposed replacement than if the party simply repealed Obamacare, and moderate Republicans in the House refused to support it in part because the cuts to Medicaid were too deep. More conservative Republicans, meanwhile, were frustrated that it didn't repeal the law in its entirety. With Democrats united in their opposition and Republicans divided in their support, GOP leaders pulled the bill from consideration.
Trump has said he’s not done working to get a repeal bill — he has gone as far as to threaten to deprive the the ACA of funding in order to tank the existing program — and Republican members of Congress have publicly bounced around ideas for a compromise.
Still, 100 days in, Obamacare remains law.
100 Days In: How's Trump Doing on Terrorism?
Status: Some action, progress stalled or unknown
During the campaign, Trump said a Muslim ban would make America safer from terrorist threats, later walking that back slightly before his election to be a ban on people traveling from certain countries.
As president, he signed two executive orders temporarily banning refugees and citizens of several Muslim-majority nations from entering the United States, but both orders were quickly challenged on legal grounds. The first order's immediate implementation resulted in chaos at the nation's airports and borders before being stopped by the courts, while the second order was blocked by the courts before implementation.
Trump promised to "destroy" ISIS as a candidate, and his first public effort against the terror group was certainly a headline maker. The U.S.military dropped the so-called “Mother of All Bombs” in Afghanistan, where ISIS was believed to be establishing a new foothold in the border region near Pakistan. The impact on the terror group is still unknown.
100 Days In: How's Trump Doing on Immigration?
Status: Limited direct action, some early progress
Trump has made some progress but the results are mixed: Deportations are up and southern border crossings are down, but the oft-promised "big, beautiful wall" between the U.S. and Mexico lacks funding. Despite Trump's promises on the campaign trail, Mexico says IT will not pay.
Trump signed an executive order authorizing construction to begin, but the government has just $20 million — enough for about seven miles of the wall — in its coffers, according to ProPublica. House Speaker Paul Ryan’s budget doesn’t include the money for it either, signaling that the president may struggle to get his own party on board.
Meanwhile, border apprehensions are down an unprecedented 70 percent over two months, according to Homeland Secretary John Kelly, who credits Trump’s tough rhetoric for adding “enough confusion” to slow crossings.
Domestically, the administration is more aggressively deporting undocumented immigrants, with immigration arrests rising by a third in the first weeks of Trump’s administration.
While Trump promised that he’d focus on deporting criminals, the uptick in deportations is in part fueled by the removal of twice as many immigrants without criminal records as compared to last year, according to data obtained by the Washington Post. The president has not eliminated the deferred action programs for childhood arrivals and the parents of American citizens — earning criticism from his supporters.
Trump also used an executive order to block federal funds from going to cities that limit federal immigration enforcement in their jurisdictions in January, but a judge put a temporary stop to it in late April, saying the president had overstepped his power in the order.
100 Days In: How's Trump Doing On Unity?
Status: No tangible progress or efforts
Trump has not taken any direct action that we can evaluate here, and divisions he has decried — a record-high 77 percent of Americans said in late November they see the nation as divided — persist. His legislative attempts have yet to attract bipartisan support, and his executive orders rolling back protections for transgender students and women in workplaces have been criticized as divisive.
The nation is sharply split in its view of Trump, too. Nearly 100 days in, more Americans disapprove of the president’s leadership than approve of it: The most recent NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll found 48 percent of Americans disapproving of his presidency, with 44 percent approving.
He reiterated his goal to unite the nation in a February interview, but insisted the problem wasn't his fault.
“It’s very important to me," he said in a press conference. “But this isn’t Donald Trump that divided a nation. We went eight years with President Obama, and we went many years before President Obama. We lived in a divided nation. And I’m gonna try, I will do everything within my power to fix that.”
100 Days In: How's Trump Doing on Jobs?
Status: Some direct action, progress
Job creators have applauded Trump’s “pro business” policies, and he’s taken some action aimed at job creation through executive orders. He rolled back regulations on the coal industry and ordered federal agencies to rescind regulations that “unduly burden” domestic energy development. Sources in the coal industry say the jobs are unlikely to come back, though his actions may stave off further losses.
He's blasted Canadian dairy farmers as a "disgrace" because their government-subsidized farms are charging low prices that undercut some American farmers, and he declared that the Canadian government's protection of its dairy industry through import tariffs and other measures is unfair.
The president also ordered a review of foreign-worker visa programs in hopes of encouraging domestic corporations to hire more Americans, though the details of implementation are unclear; effects on the H1-B visa program won’t be immediately known, as this year’s visa process won’t be affected.
Trump has been quick to take credit for the state of the economy, including claiming credit for job gains that came under President Barack Obama. He's also celebrated the very monthly jobs reports he had suggested were fraudulent under the Obama administration.
What's more, Trump's anecdotal claims of success have repeatedly been found to be exaggerated or had been announced months and sometimes years ahead of his presidency, like when he touted 900 new or saved jobs in Michigan that were part of a larger effort that saw a net loss of 200 jobs, or when he boasted of saving a Ford plant in Indiana that was not up for relocation.
Trump Agrees Not to Terminate NAFTA 'At This Time,' Says He'll Renegotiate
Donald Trump tweeted that he’d begin renegotiating the North Atlantic Free Trade Agreement on Thursday, fitting the first step on a core campaign promise just under the wire ahead of Saturday’s 100 days marker.
Trump campaigned repeatedly on his promise to renegotiate or withdraw from the deal, running televised ads on it while deriding from the campaign trail as “the worst trade deal maybe ever signed anywhere.” The deal was a bludgeon Trump used to criticize his opponent, Hillary Clinton, whose husband implemented the deal after it was negotiated by his Republican predecessor.
For a president who called the deal “a total disaster” that caused “carnage” and was “horrible," the renegotiation is a tempered step. After initial reports that he might take steps to leave it on Wednesday, Trump agreed to let it stand for now while the three nations — Mexico, Canada, and the United States — attempt to renegotiate the terms. He tweeted Thursday to insist that withdrawal was still on the table, saying he agreed to renegotiate “subject to the fact that if we do not reach a fair deal for all, we will then terminate NAFTA. Relationships are good - deal very possible!”
GOP Health Care Plan Gets Backing From Freedom Caucus After Changes
The once-sidelined Republican effort to repeal and replace Obamacare received a shot of momentum Wednesday as a group of conservative House Republicans came out in support of the bill after proposed changes to the underlying legislation.
The announcement by the Freedom Caucus changes the dynamics of the discussion and could provide enough votes for House Republicans to pass the measure.
"While the revised version still does not fully repeal Obamacare, we are prepared to support it to keep our promise to the American people to lower healthcare costs," the Freedom Caucus, a group of three-dozen members, said in a statement.
Poll: 50 Percent Have Little to No Confidence in GOP Health Care Push
Half of Americans say they have little to no confidence that Republican efforts to repeal and replace Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act would make things better, according to results from the latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll.
Fifty percent say they have little to no confidence that these GOP efforts would improve things – a 16-point increase from February's NBC/WSJ poll, which was taken before House Republicans pulled their health-care legislation from the floor in March. (Republicans are trying to revive the legislation, but there still isn’t a definite path forward.)
How Trump Has Impacted LGBTQ Rights, 100 Days In
For many LGBTQ Americans, the early days of Trump's Republican administration have been fear-inducing. A series of Cabinet appointments have been roundly criticized by LGBTQ advocacy groups. An early draft of a reported executive order legalizing broad discrimination against LGBTQ people threw the community into a panic. The dismantling of Obama-era protections through executive orders came with the simple stroke of a pen.
Will Trump’s Border Wall Prevent Human Trafficking? Experts Aren’t Sure
During a roundtable meeting with farmers on Tuesday, President Donald Trump remarked that his proposed border wall would help curb human trafficking.
"The wall is going to get built, and the wall is going to stop drugs, and it’s going to stop a lot of people from coming in that shouldn’t be here, and it’s going to have a huge effect on human trafficking, which is a tremendous problem in this world," Trump said.
"A problem that nobody talks about — but it’s a problem that’s probably worse than any time in the history of this world," he added. "Human trafficking, what’s going on."
DHS Announces New Office to Aid Victims of Immigrant Crimes
The Department of Homeland Security on Wednesday unveiled a new office aimed at supporting the victims of crimes committed by undocumented immigrants.
President Donald Trump first announced the Victims of Immigration Crime Engagement Office, or VOICE, during his address to a joint session of Congress in February. It is just the latest in Trump’s efforts to crack down on illegal immigration and highlight problems caused by current immigration laws.
U.S. Drops 'Mother of All Bombs' on ISIS Target in Afghanistan
U.S. forces dropped the largest non-nuclear bomb ever used in a strike against ISIS in eastern Afghanistan on Thursday, according to Pentagon officials, reportedly killing 36 militants.
The U.S. dropped a GBU-43 bomb, nicknamed the "mother of all bombs," on ISIS fighters and tunnels and caves used by the terror group in the country’s Nangarhar province, officials said. It was dropped from an aircraft.
In Major Reversal, Trump Says China 'Not Currency Manipulators'
President Donald Trump said Wednesday that he no longer believes China manipulates its currency, a complete shift from the position he repeatedly took during his 2016 campaign.
“They’re not currency manipulators,” Trump told the the Wall Street Journal during an Oval Office interview.
The reason he changed his mind, the president said, was because China has stopped manipulating its currency in recent months and the accusations could jeopardize U.S. negotiations with China to deal with the nuclear threat from North Korea.
Trump Blames Canada in Latest Trade Tiff
After repeated campaign promises to "get tough on trade," President Donald Trump has moved to slap a roughly 20 percent tariff on softwood lumber entering the United States from Canada, reviving a long-smoldering trade dispute between the U.S. and its second-largest trading partner.
"People don't realize Canada has been really rough with the United States," Trump said before signing an executive order on an agriculture task force on Tuesday." They've outsmarted our politicians for years."
"We don't want to be taken advantage of by other countries and that's stopping and that's stopping fast," he said.
Charity Worker Detained in Egypt for 3 Years Credits Trump for Release
An Egyptian-American charity worker returned home to the Washington, D.C. area Thursday night after spending three years in an Egyptian jail over what human rights groups say were bogus charges.
A freed Aya Hijazi got the opportunity Friday morning to shake hands with President Donald Trump, who her lawyer said helped to secure her release.
"First and foremost, there have been countless number of people advocating for Aya Hijazi's freedom," Wade McMullen told NBC News. "I think Trump and his team deserve credit for making this a priority at the most critical time in her case."
Court Blunts Trump’s Sanctuary Cities Crackdown
A federal judge Tuesday blunted the impact of one of President Donald Trump's executive orders on immigration, forbidding the White House from withholding federal funds from sanctuary cities — local governments that limit police cooperation with federal immigration authorities.
Federal District Court Judge William Orrick issued a nationwide injunction in response to a lawsuit filed by San Francisco and nearby Santa Clara County. They argued that the president's January 25th executive order, declaring sanctuary cities ineligible to receive federal grants, was unconstitutional.
How Trump's Promise to Increase Infrastructure Spending Would Help One City
President Donald Trump promised a $1 trillion infrastructure investment over ten years that he said would rebuild American cities and create millions of new jobs. Here in Arkansas’ second-largest city, where Trump won overwhelmingly in 2016, residents eagerly await details of a bill and see it as key to turning their fortunes around.
White House Won't Release Visitor Logs, Cites Privacy Concerns
The White House will keep most of its visitor logs secret, a senior administration official confirmed to NBC News Friday.
The decision comes after months of questions about the fate of the Obama-era precedent of releasing White House visitor logs and marks another stark contrast between the administrations. The Obama administration voluntarily disclosed more than 6 million records during his years in office.
Trump Building Plan: How One Public-Private Deal Hit a Bumpy Road
Texas had high hopes for the southern segments of SH 130, a 41-mile stretch of the high-speed toll road east of San Antonio.
The state had put off building that stretch of road until a pair of investors stepped forward and offered what sounded like a great deal: Texas would get a big check for turning the rights to build and operate the toll road over to a private entity, a move that would give the state a new highway and a share of the tolls. The state would own the road and rake in revenue, but wouldn’t have to put up the cash for its construction.
Trump Building Plan: This Public-Private Deal Is a Green Jewel
It's the kind of park that makes other parks jealous.
With a $4.3 million annual operating budget, Dallas’ Klyde Warren Park has five acres of green space dotted by a children's playground, food trucks, a restaurant and ample lounging and performance space. And it was built out of thin air, when a community group determined to connect two neighborhoods put a roof on the freeway that divided them. Where exhaust fumes once rose, a butterfly garden now sits.
Trump Donates First Salary to National Parks Service
President Donald Trump is donating his first salary to the National Parks Service.
The first quarter salary — totaling $78,333 — was given ceremoniously to Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke at the outset of Monday's White House Press briefing and Press Secretary Sean Spicer presented an enlarged check. The check was flashed on screens flanking Spicer's podium.
Republicans Pull Health Care Bill From House Floor
Republicans abruptly pulled their health care bill from the House floor on Friday, just minutes ahead of a planned vote, dealing a devastating blow to efforts by President Donald Trump and the GOP to repeal and replace Obamacare.
"This is a disappointing day for us," Speaker Paul Ryan told reporters shortly after the American Health Care Act (AHCA) bill was yanked. "Doing big things is hard. All of us, myself included, will need time to reflect how we got to this moment, what we could have done to do it better."
Trump’s Second Travel Ban Blocked by Hawaii Judge
A federal judge in Hawaii blocked enforcement of President Donald Trump's revised executive order on entry into the United States on Wednesday, just hours before it was to have taken effect.
The ruling, granting a request for a temporary restraining order by the state of Hawaii and Ismail Elshikh, stalls the president's second attempt to suspend admission of nearly all refugees for 120 days and to restrict visas for nationals from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen for 90 days.
Fact Checking Donald Trump’s Job Creation Claims
President Donald Trump overstated job gains again on Wednesday, boasting about a carmaker that will actually lay off more workers in Michigan than it will hire in the next year.
"Just today, breaking news, General Motors announced that they’re adding or keeping 900 jobs right here in Michigan and that’s going to be over the next 12 months," he said at a speech in the state.
Jobs Growth Slowed in March
In the third employment report of Donald J. Trump's young presidency, the economy gained just 98,000 jobs in March, lower than the 180,000 expected. It's also down markedly from gains of 219,000 in February and 216,000 in January.
Health Deal Could Weaken Protections for Pre-Existing Conditions
Less than a month after President Donald Trump walked away from health care legislation, members of the House Freedom Caucus are working on a deal with the White House to revive the failed bill. But the emerging compromise could overturn a popular element of the Affordable Care Act that Trump has repeatedly promised to keep: Protections for people with pre-existing conditions.
Under the ACA, insurers are required to offer comprehensive health plans to everyone and charge them the same price regardless of whether they have a pre-existing condition. They can charge smokers more than non-smokers and older people up to three times as much as young people, but they aren’t allowed to take other health factors into account.
The proposal the White House is floating would change all that.
Trump Breaks His 'Buy American' Promise on Keystone
Trump Breaks His 'Buy American' Promise on KeystoneMarch 22, 201702:17
Trump's Backing a Healthcare Plan That Breaks His Promises
President Donald Trump rode to the White House making big promises on health care — pledges that he is now in serious danger of breaking. Let's look at how the president's words on the campaign trail stack up against what we know today.
In addition to Trump's comments on the stump, his administration has spent weeks raising expectations on its Obamacare replacement. Among the claims: The Republican plan would cover more people, reduce their premiums and costs, avoid cutting Medicaid, and leave no one worse off than under the former president's signature achievement.
CBO: 24 Million More Without Health Insurance Under GOP Plan
The Republican plan to replace the Affordable Care Act would leave 24 million more Americans without health insurance by 2026 than under current law, according to an analysis Monday from the Congressional Budget Office.
The CBO report found that 14 million more people would be without health insurance by 2018.
Following a two-year spike, the plan would also lower average premiums after 2020 relative to President Barack Obama's healthcare law. But premiums would be expected to go down for younger people, while being raised for older Americans.
Trump Admin Ups Drone Strikes, Tolerates More Civilian Deaths: U.S. Officials
The Trump administration is moving ahead with plans to make it easier for the CIA and the military to target terrorists with drone strikes, even if it means tolerating more civilian casualties, U.S. officials told NBC News.
The military already has declared that parts of Yemen and Somalia are war zones — "areas of active hostilities" in Pentagon parlance — which means the U.S. has greater latitude to launch strikes even if civilian deaths are possible.
No more 'monkey business'? Trump touts big jobs number as proof of improvement
President Donald Trump on Friday flipped his approach to the government’s employment report, celebrating the kind of strong showing he dismissed as phony under President Barack Obama.
The Labor Department reported that the economy created 235,000 jobs in February, above the 190,000 consensus, allowing the president to claim that business enthusiasm over his approach to taxes and regulation is already paying off. The unemployment rate ticked down 0.1 percent, to 4.7 percent.
After Pledging to Donate Salary, Trump Declines to Release Proof
President Donald Trump pledged to forgo a presidential salary, but as his second payday approaches, the White House is declining to say if the president has donated any of his earnings yet.
During the campaign, Trump promised he would take "no salary" if elected — a pledge he reiterated after he won.
"I'm not going to the take the salary," he said on CBS' "60 Minutes" in November.
Both Parties Say Trump’s Infrastructure Plan Needs Repair
Promising a trillion dollars of infrastructure investment was an easy win for a billionaire builder running for the White House: Roads and bridges need fixing, workers need jobs, and the proposal has bipartisan appeal.
Accomplishing it as president? Not so easy.
President Donald Trump faces high stakes — some in his own party oppose more government spending — while others see potential political benefits and more: He could unite Republicans and Democrats on a key issue and big investment could contribute to the millions of jobs he promised as a candidate.
President Trump Signs New Immigration Executive Order
The Trump administration on Monday rolled out the second edition of a controversial immigration executive order, which suspends immigration into the United States from now only six predominantly Muslim countries.
Citizens from the affected countries — Iran, Somalia, Sudan, Yemen, Syria and Libya — will be subjected to a 90-day ban on travel to the United States. Iraq was previously listed among those nations, but it was removed from this latest iteration after reassurances from the Iraqi government of increased information sharing with the United States, a senior Department of Homeland Security official told reporters on Monday.
Flynn Attended Intel Briefings While Taking Money To Lobby for Turkey
Former national security adviser Michael Flynn was attending secret intelligence briefings with then-candidate Donald Trump while he was being paid more than half a million dollars to lobby on behalf of the Turkish government, federal records show.
Flynn stopped lobbying after he became national security adviser, but he then played a role in formulating policy toward Turkey, working for a president who has promised to curb the role of lobbyists in Washington.
White House spokesman Sean Spicer on Friday defended the Trump administration’s handling of the matter, even as he acknowledged to reporters that the White House was aware of the potential that Flynn might need to register as a foreign agent.
Who Benefits from the House Health Care Plan
Fact Check: Trump Claims the Keystone and Dakota Access Pipelines Create 'Tens of Thousands' of Jobs
“We have cleared the way for the construction of the Keystone and Dakota Access Pipelines — thereby creating tens of thousands of jobs," President Trump said.
The Facts: A 2014 State Department estimated last year that the two pipelines combined would create a 16,100 temporary construction jobs, while 26,000 jobs are expected to come from contractor and employee spending (think the fast food worker who serves construction workers breakfast).
Less than 100 are expected to outlast construction, according to the State Department and a Brookings Institution estimate.
Fact Check: Trump Says Immigrants Cost Taxpayers Billions. But They Give Back More Over Time
“According to the National Academy of Sciences, our current immigration system costs America's taxpayers many billions of dollars a year," President Trump said.
The Facts: Estimating the cost of immigrants is tough, but the study Trump cites on immigration found that first-generation immigrants do cost taxpayers about $57 billion a year. However, second and third-generation immigrants become a boon to government coffers, adding $30 billion and $223 billion dollars a year. The report said immigration was “integral to the nation’s economic growth,” and particularly praised high-skilled workers, who create jobs and have a significant “positive effect” on the economy.
Fact Check: Trump Quotes Mattis Claiming the SEAL Raid in Yemen Yielded 'Vital Intelligence'
"I just spoke to General Mattis who reconfirmed that, and I quote, 'Ryan was a part of a highly successful raid that generated large amounts of vital intelligence that will lead to many more victories in the future against our enemies,'" President Trump said of the raid in Yemen that killed Navy SEAL Ryan Owens.
NBC News Investigations' reporting disputes this claim. Multiple sources, including senior U.S. officials in different parts of the government with knowledge of the situation, told NBC News that last month's deadly commando raid, the first of its kind approved under Trump, has so far yielded no significant intelligence. But as NBC reported yesterday on "Nightly News," Department of Defense officials and military officials push back on that and insist they have obtained "significant intelligence," including data on explosives, according to a senior U.S. official cited by the AP.
Fact Check: Trump Claims Immigration Enforcement Makes Us Safer. Does It?
“By finally enforcing our immigration laws, we will … make our communities safer for everyone,” President Trump said.
The Facts: Trump, who has often talked about violence committed by undocumented immigrants, has said he'll enforce immigration laws by deputizing local police, but law enforcement experts tell NBC News that this is likely to drive crime up — not bring it down — as communities stop reporting crime and cooperating with the police for fear of deportation.
Police rely on family and friends outing criminals, experts stressed in interviews.
"It's hard enough to get someone to tell on their friends and family" without threatening them with deportation, one expert said.
Homeland Security Puts Out Notice for Border Wall Design Pitches
The Department of Homeland Security will solicit prototype pitches next month to fulfill President Donald Trump’s promise to build a border wall with Mexico.
The department announced online Friday that it intends to provide contractors an opportunity to offer proposals for the design and building of "several prototype wall structures in the vicinity of the United States border with Mexico."
Experts: Trump’s Immigration Orders Could Drive Crime Up
Trump ordered his administration to broker deals with local authorities that empower and deputize local police in immigration matters in January; if widely enacted, former police they say this will make communities across the nation less safe, as individuals and whole neighborhoods stop reporting crime and cooperating with police for fear of deportations.
DHS Memos Reveal Possible Reach of Immigration Order
Two memos written by the Department of Homeland Security would expand federal authorities’ powers to detain and deport undocumented immigrants within the United States.
Obtained by NBC News, the new directives signed by Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly provide greater detail about two of President Donald Trump’s executive orders relating to his campaign promises of building a border wall with Mexico and increasing deportation efforts.
Trump Aide May Face Ethics Charges for Plugging Ivanka Trump Clothing
Officials Warned Trump Against ‘Unprecedented’ Plan to Staff Cabinet Without Ethics Vetting
The federal government's ethics watchdog warned President Donald Trump's transition team last fall about its “unprecedented” and risky approach to staffing the cabinet, according to new emails obtained by NBC News.
Walter Shaub, Director of the Office of Government Ethics (OGE) who has clashed with Trump's administration, wrote to the then-president-elect's top lawyer on Saturday, Nov. 19, with a warning about “imminent” cabinet appointments.
Obamacare Repeal Would Leave 18 Million Uninsured, Send Premiums Soaring: Report
About 18 million people would lose or drop their health insurance in the first year after Obamacare is repealed, the Congressional Budget Office reported Tuesday.
The nonpartisan federal agency also found that health insurance premiums would spike another 20 to 25 percent, according to the new report. Within 10 years, 32 million more people would be without health insurance, the CBO projects.
Without a replacement, health care costs overall would continue to rise every year, as would the number of people going without health insurance. Premiums would continue to go up, as well.
New GOP Document Reveals Little About ACA Replacement Plans
Republican members of Congress Thursday armed themselves with a general outline of the party's ideas to replace the Affordable Care Act just as they head home to their districts for the next ten days.
It's a strategic document appropriately timed to help Republicans who might face constituents at town halls angry and worried about losing their health insurance amid their stalled effort to repeal and replace Obamacare.
The 19-page document, released by the House GOP leadership, is thin on specifics but provides general goals for the party on reforming health care policy. But even such a broad outline reveals a party divided on how to approach the issue.
Trump Takes Credit for Stock Market Rally
President Donald Trump has a message for stock investors: You're welcome.
Trump took credit for the stock market's latest record run during his first solo press conference Thursday afternoon, doubling down on an early morning tweet that boasted about a "great level of confidence and optimism.”
The Dow Jones industrial average, S&P 500, and Nasdaq composite all closed at all-time highs for five days straight, entering Thursday's session.
In His Own Words...
In His Own Words...Feb. 2, 201701:44
Donald Trump's Campaign Energized Anti-Muslim Hate Groups, SPLC Says
The number of hate groups in the United States rose for the second straight year in 2016, with a sharp spike in those spreading anti-Muslim messages, according to a civil rights group.
In its annual census of hate groups and extremist organizations, the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) said the overall number of hate groups grew from 892 in 2015 to 917 in 2016.
But the number of anti-Muslim groups nearly tripled — from 34 in 2015 to 101 last year.
Congressional Black Caucus Says Trump Ignored Letter Asking for Cooperation
President Donald Trump and members of the Congressional Black Caucus both say they are eager to meet and talk about Trump’s pledge to help America’s urban centers.
But why that meeting hasn’t taken place yet depends on whom you ask.
“I would love to meet with the black caucus, I think it’s great,” Trump said Thursday when asked by American Urban Radio Networks’ White House Correspondent April Ryan if the president planned to speak with the group about his campaign pledge.
In His Own Words...
In His Own Words...Feb. 2, 201701:08
Was It Legal for ICE to Arrest Young Immigrant With DACA Status?
WASHINGTON – Immigration advocates and attorneys pushed back on the Trump administration's insistence that a young man shielded from deportation and who twice cleared government background checks is involved in gang activity.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement arrested Daniel Ramirez Medina, 23, last week when it went to his father's home to arrest his father. Ramirez has permission to remain in the U.S. and work through the Deferred Action and Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program authorized by President Barack Obama in 2012.
The Promise: Make Deals With Countries and Corporations That Put 'America First'
President Donald Trump sold Americans on his ability to make a deal, and vowed to renegotiate the country's current agreements with corporations and other countries alike. He argued that his tough tactics were necessary to ensure that America is more respected on the world stage.
“As long as we are led by politicians who will not put America first, then we can be assured that other nations will not treat America with respect,” Trump said during his RNC acceptance speech.
The idea that foreign countries no longer respect America was a theme that featured heavily throughout his campaign, and he frequently lashed out at NATO and particularly allies like Japan as examples of alliances he said benefit other countries more than they benefit the United States.
He has pledged to withdraw the United States from the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal, renegotiate NAFTA, and suggested he might just rip up the Iran deal immediately after taking office. Watch for trade deals — as well as global diplomacy and perhaps foreign policy — to take a big turn in both tone and practice.
Why President Trump's Misleading Image of American Crime Matters
In talks with law enforcement officials this week, President Donald Trump offered a misleading view on American crime and police safety that experts say ignored — and could hurt — decades of progress in reducing crime.
The president’s description of an increasingly dangerous America feeds into his campaign narrative that the nation simply needs more “law and order" to be safer. He's argued that police are being mistreated amid a national debate about racial policing after groups like the Black Lives Matter movement demanded police reforms amid a slew of police killings of unarmed black men and women.
The Promise: Unite a Divided Nation by Being 'President for All Americans'
After he spent years pushing the false, racially-charged conspiracy that President Barack Obama was born in Africa, Donald Trump ran a deeply divisive and controversial presidential campaign. He labeled Mexican immigrants as criminals, accused a federal judge of bias due to his Mexican heritage, proposed banning Muslims from traveling to the United States, and threatened to sue women who accused him of sexual misconduct after a 2005 audiotape leaked showed Trump bragging about touching and kissing women without their consent.
As president-elect, however, Trump promised to unite America, something that will be a high bar for the most unpopular president in modern polling history.
"To all Republicans and Democrats and independents across this nation, I say it is time for us to come together as one united people. It's time. I pledge to every citizen of our land that I will be president for all Americans, and this is so important to me," Trump said in his victory speech on election night.
We'll watch for how Trump turns these words into actions: How do his policies affect the groups who felt most alienated by his campaign? What do his poll numbers say about his progress in uniting the country? What does the data show from civil rights groups?
Can Trump 'Open the Mines' Like He Said He Would?
In rallies across coal country, Donald Trump made a big, crowd-pleasing promise: He’d bring back the mining jobs.
“We’re gonna open the mines,” he said to big cheers in Charleston, West Virginia, as if the shuttered coal mines across eastern America’s coal country could hit a switch and reinstate the jobs once he won the White House.
“He can’t bring back coal jobs in any meaningful way unless he’s capable of inventing a time machine.”
But experts say despite Trump’s election, those jobs aren’t coming back.
Lawmakers, After Meeting With ICE, Say All Undocumented Immigrants at Risk of Deportation
Members of Congress expressed alarm that all undocumented immigrants in the U.S. are at risk of deportation. They said this was made clear to them in a meeting Thursday with a top Immigration and Customs Enforcement official.
There are approximately 11 million unauthorized immigrants in the U.S.
In His Own Words...
In His Own Words...Feb. 2, 201701:19
Yemen Raid Had Secret Target: Al Qaeda Leader Qassim Al-Rimi
The Navy SEAL raid in Yemen last week had a secret objective — the head of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, who survived and is now taunting President Donald Trump in an audio message.
Military and intelligence officials told NBC News the goal of the massive operation was to capture or kill Qassim al-Rimi, considered the third most dangerous terrorist in the world and a master recruiter.
But while one SEAL, 14 al Qaeda fighters and some civilians, including an 8-year-old girl, were killed during a firefight, al-Rimi is still alive and in Yemen, multiple military officials said.
Fact Check: Trump Claims Media Don’t Cover Terrorist Attacks, but Archives Say Otherwise
President Donald Trump made a claim Monday that the media "doesn't want to report" on terrorist attacks involving Islamic radicals.
"Radical Islamic terrorists are determined to strike our homeland, as they did on 9/11, as they did from Boston to Orlando to San Bernardino and all across Europe," Trump declared at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, Florida. "It's gotten to a point where it's not even being reported, and in many cases, the very, very dishonest press doesn't want to report it."
Trump did not say why the media might not report on terrorist attacks but gave no examples of stories that went uncovered.
"They have their reasons," he told the gathering. "And you understand that."
In His Own Words...
In His Own Words...Feb. 2, 201701:14
In His Own Words...
In His Own Words...Feb. 2, 201701:26
In His Own Words...
In His Own Words...Feb. 2, 201701:10
Trump Signs Executive Order to Start Wall Construction, but It's Not That Simple
Trump signed an executive order ordering construction to begin on the southern border of the United States, as well as ordering the hiring of 15,000 immigration officials and Border Patrol agents. He doesn't yet have the budget (Reuters reported that based on an internal DHS report, it would cost as much as $21.6 billion and take more than three years to construct) and there's a number of other barriers to building, well, the kind of barrier he's proposed.
The wall was the headline grabber, but it could take years to plan, fund, and build, and faces serious geographic and legal constraints along the way. Much of the border, especially in Texas, runs along private property, through state and national parks, and through areas with natural barriers that already limit illegal crossings.
Swamp Draining Efforts Stumble in Transition
Trump spent the months of his transition touting the fact that the president is exempt from conflict of interest legislation and defending himself against critics who said his continued ownership of his corporation created an ethical quagmire.
His transition team was initially riddled with lobbyists, who were later announced to all be axed, then later found to still be involved. The GOP created a headache right off the bat for this goal when they attempted to gut the Independent Office of Governmental Ethics by putting it under Congressional control ahead of Trump's inauguration, earning outrage from critics.
Eventually, Trump tweeted his disapproval, and the effort failed just hours later.
Inside the Navy SEAL Raid That Killed SEAL, American Daughter of al-Qaeda Leader
It might have been a barking dog, or a crashed drone, or overheard chatter on walkie talkies. But multiple military and intelligence sources told NBC News that something tipped off the terrorist targets of an early-morning raid by the U.S. and its allies in Yemen on Sunday, and all hell broke loose.
A well-rehearsed mission that was supposed to extract computers and other intelligence from an al Qaeda camp near a mountain village turned into a massive firefight involving Harrier jets, helicopter gunships and gun-wielding jihadi women that killed one Navy SEAL, 14 al Qaeda fighters and, allegedly, non-combatant women and children.
According to a senior military official, one of the dead was an 8-year-old American girl, the daughter of U.S.-born al Qaeda leader Anwar al-Awlaki, who himself was killed in a U.S. strike in Yemen in 2011.
In His Own Words...
In His Own Words...Feb. 2, 201701:24
Over 100,000 Visas Have Been Revoked by Immigration Ban, Justice Dept. Reveals
At least 100,000 visas have been revoked in a single week in response to President Donald Trump's executive immigration order, a lawyer for the Justice Department revealed in court Friday.
The number came to light in a Virginia courtroom as a federal judge granted the state's motion to join a lawsuit challenging the immigration ban that caused chaos at airports over the weekend.
Trump Bars Refugees and Citizens From Seven Muslim-Majority Nations
Less than 24 hours after President Donald Trump signed an executive order clamping down on refugee admissions and temporarily restricting travelers from seven predominantly Muslim countries, the impact was already resonating at airports around the world.
New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport was the scene of confusion and questions as a dozen people were detained and some separated from family members, according to lawmakers and attorneys scrambling to get them released and struggling to interpret the new rules.
The Promise: Reduce 'Carnage' as the 'Law and Order' President
Throughout his White House bid, Donald Trump painted America as dark, dangerous, and riddled with crime. He railed against "terrorism and lawlessness" and "violence in our streets" in his acceptance speech, while addressing a nation that's at near historic low levels of a crime.
"This American carnage stops right here and stops right now," he said in his inaugural address.
Trump hasn't offered a large-scale plan for combating the crime he warns of, but his Attorney General pick of prosecutor turned Senator, Jeff Sessions, signals a tough-on-crime approach will be central to it. He also championed the idea of a nationwide version of the New York Police Department's controversial stop-and-frisk policy despite, evidence that it was ineffective and a judicial ruling that in practice it profiled minorities. Other potential policies have emerged in the way of threats: He tweeted that he might send in federal authorities to combat crime in Chicago in the first few days of his term.
We'll watch for how Trump's policing rhetoric jives with nationwide efforts to increase community policing and minority outreach efforts, as well as how it will affect the bipartisan effort to reform minimum sentencing.
The Promise: Repeal and Replace Obamacare, Cover Everyone, Preserve Entitlements
“Repeal and replace with something terrific,” Trump said of the Affordable Care Act, telling crowds repeatedly that whatever insurance plan he came up with would be way better than the current program, which he trashed for rising premiums.
Additionally, he promised in an interview with the Washington Post that “we’re going to have insurance for everybody,” and also vowed to tackle drug costs by dealing with pharmaceutical companies.
Trump's pledge to dismantle the ACA, at least, made for a rallying cry that even mainstream Republicans could wholeheartedly get behind, but the GOP has struggled to move forward. Any health care system passed by Republicans would earn the party blame for any problems that arose from its inevitable flaws. A replacement, Trump said over and over again, would have to be immediate to avoid a coverage gap that would leave millions uninsured, but Republicans have yet to offer up a clear alternative.
Trump also insisted during his bid that he would not to touch entitlements like Social Security and Medicare, breaking with much of his party who advocate reforming entitlements.
We'll watch to see how Trump sticks to his promise to leave entitlements alone — particularly since his party has long supported reforms to the programs — and whether he's able to push through a new health care law at the same time as he repeals Obamacare that truly covers "everybody."
The Promise: Invest In and Improve America's Infrastructure
President Donald Trump promised to spend big on American infrastructure, vowing a $1 trillion dollar investment —largely through tax cuts aimed at securing private financing — over ten years. These kind of investments are usually hugely popular with Democrats who support using federal funds for these projects, while Republicans shy from the spending.
We'll watch to see if the parties can compromise on meaningful infrastructure reform, or whether tax cuts result in symbolic infrastructure investments from private businesses.
The Promise: 'Drain the Swamp' and Reform the U.S. Government
Campaigning as an outsider bent on tossing out the old, corrupt system and starting fresh, Donald Trump pitched himself as a reformer who could restore Americans' trust in the government with a package of ethics reforms.
His plan to “drain the swamp” in Washington, D.C. included placing restrictions on executive officials becoming lobbyists after leaving the public sector, something he accomplished in the first days of his administration with an executive order, and setting term limits for Congress, something that will prove much harder, if not impossible, to accomplish. He vowed to bring businesslike efficiency to the federal government, and said he would prosecute rival Hillary Clinton. He has since walked back that promise.
We'll watch to see whether Trump can restore trust in a government he derided while navigating his own conflicts of interest arising from his businesses. We will also look to see if he can root out corporate and lobbyist influence while keeping an eye on how government responds to things like his federal hiring freeze.
The Promise: Make America Win Again — Whatever That Means
At the core of Trump's political brand is winning. He cast himself, somewhat misleadingly, as a self-made winner who would bring prosperity, and win after win to America.
"We will have so much winning if I get elected that you may get bored with the winning," Trump said during the first year of his bid. "Believe me, I agree, you'll never get bored with winning. We never get bored. We are going to turn this country around."
The promise is as vague as it is appealing, but we'll seek to quantify it through data and reporting, asking at every turn: Is America winning? Does unemployment keep falling? What's the labor force participation rate? How's the stock market and housing market? How is America's standing on the global stage? We'll watch for big headliners, or a canary in a coal mine, to keep tabs on this most central promise.
In His Own Words...
In His Own Words...Feb. 2, 201701:44
In His Own Words...
In His Own Words...Feb. 2, 201701:27
In His Own Words...
In His Own Words...Feb. 2, 201701:43
The Promise: Fix America's Immigration System By Building the Wall, Deporting Millions
President Donald Trump rooted his White House bid in a vow to curb immigration, rework the nation's broken system, and deport millions. His repeated condemnation of undocumented immigrants — particularly those from Mexico — featured heavily in his year-long campaign.
With chants of "build the wall" rising from campaign rallies across the nation, Trump promised repeatedly to deport the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants living here and to make Mexico pay for a "big, beautiful wall" between the two countries. Trump, making unsubstantiated claims of higher rates of crime and violence perpetrated by immigrants, also promised to do away with so-called "Sanctuary Cities," communities that offer a measure of protection from deportation to undocumented immigrants.
As terror attacks rocked different parts of the world in the months leading up to the election, Trump also said immigration reform would make the nation safer, advocating for a Muslim ban that he later retooled as a travel ban on people from countries with a "history of terrorism." Thus far, executive orders have targeted both legal and illegal immigration.
The Promise: Fight Terror in the U.S. and Abroad, Address Cyber Security
Amid a campaign season rocked by devastating terror attacks inspired by ISIS, President Donald Trump argued that clamping down on the nation’s immigration system — in particular its screening of Muslims and refugees — would stop terror attacks in the United States. After a devastating attack on an Orlando nightclub perpetrated by an American-born gunman, Trump called for a ban on all Muslims entering the country, later rebranding it as “extreme vetting” for anyone traveling from nations with "a history of terrorism."
Additionally, Trump vowed to wipe out “radical Islamic terrorism” globally but mostly declined to specify a plan to do it. Trump has also promised to push back against cyber attacks and boost the nation’s cyber security defenses, while refusing to acknowledge that American intelligence identified Russia as the perpetrators of cyber attacks in the 2016 presidential election.
We'll track Trump's progress in the fight against ISIS, as well as the global response to his policies and rhetoric. We will also report on his administration's efforts to strengthen cyber security. Additionally, we will watch how the Trump administration addresses terror perpetrated by citizens of all stripes at home.
The Promise: Create Jobs, Jobs, Jobs for Americans
“My economic agenda can be summed up in three very beautiful words,” then-candidate Donald Trump told crowds so often they began to finish his sentence. The chant was always the same: “Jobs, jobs, jobs!”
He promised 25 million new jobs over the next decade, vowing to rebuild American manufacturing and energy industries while gutting regulations he says are hurting job creation.
We’ll watch for jobs lost and jobs created, how regulations on the chopping block change industry, and monitor how Trump's “America First” policies affect the global and domestic economy. We'll look particularly to see if the big tax cuts Trump has championed create jobs and help the working-class voters he has argued will most benefit.
White House Puts Iran 'On Notice' for Missile Test. What That Means is Unclear.
Tension between the Trump administration and Iran continued to rise Wednesday when National Security Adviser Michael Flynn said the White House was putting Tehran "on notice," an apparent threat of retaliation for a recent ballistic missile test.
Flynn said in a statement that the launch defied a U.N. Security Council resolution aimed at keeping Iran from developing nuclear-armed missiles.