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President Trump focused on business and trade on Monday after spending his first few days in office disputing inauguration crowd size reports.
Trump began his first full week in office meeting with some of the country’s most prominent business leaders like Tesla's Elon Musk, Ford’s Mark Fields, and Lockheed Martin’s Marillyn Hewson. In the meeting he pledged to drastically reduce regulations and corporate taxes while delivering stern warnings to those looking to shift operations out of the country.
"We think we can cut regulations by 75 percent. Maybe more," Trump said ahead of the meeting. But those looking to leave the country will face “a very major border tax for the product when it comes in,” he added.
He also held an afternoon meeting with labor leaders at the White House.
In just his fourth day in office, Trump also began fulfilling some of his biggest campaign promises. He signed an executive order stating his intention to withdraw from the Trans Pacific Partnership, a trade agreement with 11 Pacific Rim countries. A White House official told NBC News the administration would begin to make individual negotiations with each of the countries.
The president also signaled he plans to soon sign an executive order stating his intention to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement.
“We are going to start renegotiating on NAFTA, on immigration and on security at the border," Trump said Sunday at a ceremony swearing in his top White House advisers.
The TPP order was one of three executive orders Trump signed Monday. He also placed a freeze on hiring federal workers, excluding the military, and reinstated a ban on federal funding to international groups that perform abortions.
Renegotiating the trade agreements were signature promises Trump made during his 2016 run and comes after the opening days of Trump’s presidency were dominated by the new president’s feud with the media over reports about the crowd size of his campaign.
In a speech aimed at resetting his relationship with the intelligence community, Trump went off script to bash coverage of his inaugural crowds by incorrectly stating the attendees stretched beyond the Washington Monument.
White House press secretary Sean Spicer appeared in the Brady Briefing Room for the first time to admonish reporters characterizations of the number of supporters at the event, though he provided scant evidence to support his claims.
White House counselor Kellyanne Conway said on NBC News’ “Meet The Press” on Sunday that Spicer presented “alternative facts.”
At the press briefing on Monday, Spicer admitted statistics he gave on metro ridership were inaccurate but maintained that -- between viewership on TV and online -- it was the most watched inauguration of all time.
He said the president and his team continue to see a spate of negative headlines he called “demoralizing.”
"When you wake up and that's what you see every day...yeah, it is disappointing. Some days we do the right thing. Same days we are successful...but it's not always wrong and negative," Spicer said.
But the Trump administration is expected to see some positive movement on Capitol Hill as Rep. Mike Pompeo prepares to be confirmed as the next head of the CIA during a vote Monday evening.
And Florida Sen. Marco Rubio announced he would support secretary of state nominee Rex Tillerson. The Republican senator grilled Tillerson over his ties to Russia during the confirmation hearing and his opposition threatened to derail Trump’s pick to head the State Department.
“It would be against our national interests to have this confirmation unnecessarily delayed or embroiled in controversy,” Rubio said. “Therefore, despite my reservations, I will support Mr. Tillerson’s nomination in committee and in the full Senate.”