In August 2019, a whistleblower filed a complaint with the Inspector General of the Intelligence Community about a July 25 phone call between Trump and President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky, during which Trump had pressured Zelensky to investigate CrowdStrike and Democratic presidential primary candidate Joe Biden and his son Hunter, adding that the White House had attempted to "lock down" the call records in a cover-up. The whistleblower further stated that the call was part of a wider pressure campaign by Giuliani and the Trump administration which may have included withholding financial aid from Ukraine in July 2019 and canceling Vice President Pence's May 2019 Ukraine trip. Trump later confirmed having withheld military aid from Ukraine and offered contradicting reasons for the decision.
The Trump administration has been characterized by high turnover, particularly among White House staff. By the end of Trump's first year in office, 34 percent of his original staff had resigned, been fired, or been reassigned. As of early July 2018, 61 percent of Trump's senior aides had left and 141 staffers had left in the past year. Both figures set a record for recent presidents – more change in the first 13 months than his four immediate predecessors saw in their first two years. Notable early departures included National Security Advisor Michael Flynn (after just 25 days in office), Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, replaced by retired Marine general John F. Kelly on July 28, 2017, and Press Secretary Sean Spicer. Close personal aides to Trump such as Steve Bannon, Hope Hicks, John McEntee and Keith Schiller, have quit or been forced out. Some, like Hicks and McEntee, later returned to the White House in different posts. Trump has disparaged several of his former top officials as incompetent, stupid, or crazy.More Info
On April 22, Trump signed an executive order restricting some forms of immigration to the United States. In April 2020, Republican-connected groups organized anti-lockdown protests against the measures state governments were taking to combat the pandemic; Trump encouraged the protests on Twitter, even though the targeted states did not meet the Trump administration's own guidelines for reopening. He first supported, then later criticized Georgia Governor Brian Kemp's plan to reopen some nonessential businesses, which was a key example of Trump often reversing his stances in his communication during the COVID-19 pandemic. Throughout the spring he increasingly pushed for ending the restrictions as a way to reverse the damage to the country's economy.More Info
Before and during his presidency, Trump has repeatedly accused China of taking unfair advantage of the U.S. During his presidency, Trump has launched a trade war against China, sanctioned Huawei for its alleged ties to Iran, significantly increased visa restrictions on Chinese nationality students and scholars and classified China as a "currency manipulator". In the wake of the significant deterioration of relations, many political observers have warned against a new cold war between China and the U.S.More Info
On March 6, Trump signed the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act into law, which provided $8.3 billion in emergency funding for federal agencies. On March 11, he announced partial travel restrictions for most of Europe, effective March 13. That same day, he gave his first serious assessment of the virus ("horrible") in a nationwide Oval Office address; he also said the outbreak was "a temporary moment" and that there was no financial crisis. On March 13, he declared a national emergency, freeing up federal resources.More Info
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