As president, Trump has criticized Russia about Syria, Ukraine, North Korea, Venezuela, and the Skripal poisoning, but has sent mixed messages regarding Crimea. He forbade U.S. oil companies from drilling in Russia. Businesses involved in the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline from Russia to Germany have been sanctioned by the Trump administration with the passing of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2020 on December 20, 2019. Trump said the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, owned by Russia's Gazprom, could turn Germany into a "hostage of Russia".
In October 2019, after Trump spoke to Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, the White House acknowledged Turkey would be carrying out a planned military offensive into northern Syria; as such, U.S. troops in northern Syria were withdrawn from the area to avoid interference with that operation. The statement also passed responsibility for the area's captured ISIS fighters to Turkey. In the following days, Trump suggested the Kurds intentionally released ISIS prisoners in order to gain sympathy, suggested they were fighting only for their own financial interests, suggested some of them were worse than ISIS, and termed them "no angels".More Info
As president, Trump has criticized Russia about Syria, Ukraine, North Korea, Venezuela, and the Skripal poisoning, but has sent mixed messages regarding Crimea. He forbade U.S. oil companies from drilling in Russia. Businesses involved in the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline from Russia to Germany have been sanctioned by the Trump administration with the passing of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2020 on December 20, 2019. Trump said the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, owned by Russia's Gazprom, could turn Germany into a "hostage of Russia".More Info
His foreign policy has been marked by repeated praise and support of neo-nationalist and authoritarian strongmen and criticism of democratically-led governments. Trump has cited China's president Xi Jinping, Philippines president Rodrigo Duterte, Egyptian president Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, Turkey's president Tayyip Erdoğan, King Salman of Saudi Arabia, Italy's prime minister Giuseppe Conte, Brazil's president Jair Bolsonaro, Indian prime minister Narendra Modi, and Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orbán as examples of good leaders.More Info
In August 2017, Trump pardoned former sheriff Joe Arpaio, who was awaiting sentencing for contempt of court in a class action that alleged racial profiling. In March 2018, he pardoned former Navy sailor Kristian Saucier, who had been found guilty of taking classified photographs of a submarine. In April 2018 he pardoned Scooter Libby, a political aide to former Vice President Dick Cheney. Libby had been convicted of obstruction of justice, perjury and making false statements to the FBI. In May 2018 he granted a posthumous pardon to Jack Johnson, a black boxer who had been convicted in 1913 for traveling across state lines with his white girlfriend. In June 2018 he pardoned conservative commentator Dinesh D'Souza, who had made illegal political campaign contributions. That month he also commuted the life sentence of Alice Marie Johnson, a non-violent drug trafficking offender, following a request by celebrity Kim Kardashian. In February 2020, Trump pardoned white-collar criminals Michael Milken, Bernard Kerik, and Edward J. DeBartolo Jr., and commuted former Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich's 14-year corruption sentence.More Info
During his campaign, Trump repeatedly vowed to repeal and replace Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA or "Obamacare"). Shortly after taking office, he urged Congress to repeal and replace it. In May of that year, the House voted to repeal it. His first action as president was Executive Order 13765, which increased flexibility "to the maximum extent permitted by law" for the Cabinet to issue waivers, deferrals, and exemptions for the law while attempting to give states more flexibility. Executive Order 13813 was subsequently issued, designed to reduce regulations imposed under Obamacare by increasing competition. Trump has expressed a desire to "let Obamacare fail," and the Trump administration has cut the ACA enrollment period in half and drastically reduced funding for advertising and other ways to encourage enrollment. The 2017 tax bill effectively repealed the ACA's individual health insurance mandate in 2019, and a budget bill Trump signed in 2019 repealed the Cadillac plan tax, medical device tax, and tanning tax. As president, Trump has falsely claimed he saved the coverage of pre-existing conditions provided by ACA, while his administration declined to challenge a lawsuit that would eliminate it. As a 2016 candidate, Trump promised to protect funding for Medicare and other social safety-net programs, but in January 2020 he suggested he was willing to consider cuts to such programs.More Info
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