U.S. troop numbers in Afghanistan increased from 8,500 to 14,000, as of January 2017, reversing his pre-election position critical of further involvement in Afghanistan. U.S. officials said then that they aimed to "force the Taliban to negotiate a political settlement"; in January 2018, however, Trump spoke against talks with the Taliban. On February 29, 2020, the Trump administration signed a conditional peace agreement with the Taliban, which calls for the withdrawal of foreign troops in 14 months if the Taliban uphold the terms of the agreement. Trump said "it is time" to bring U.S. soldiers home from Afghanistan.
In June 2018 the New York attorney general's office filed a civil suit against the foundation, Trump himself, and his adult children, asking for $2.8 million in restitution and additional penalties. In December 2018, the foundation ceased operation and disbursed all its assets to other charities. The following November, a New York state judge ordered Trump to pay $2 million to a group of charities for misusing the foundation's funds, in part to finance his presidential campaign.More Info
In April 2019, the House Ways and Means Committee made a formal request to the Internal Revenue Service for Trump's personal and business tax returns from 2013 to 2018. Two deadlines to provide the returns were missed, then Treasury secretary Steven Mnuchin in May 2019 ultimately denied the request. Committee chairman Richard Neal then subpoenaed the Treasury Department and the IRS for the returns. These subpoenas were also defied in May 2019. A fall 2018 draft IRS legal memo asserted that tax returns must be provided to Congress upon request, unless a president invokes executive privilege. Congress need not justify the request, the memo stated, contradicting the administration's justification that a legislative purpose is needed to produce the tax returns. Mnuchin asserted the memo actually addressed a different matter.More Info
On January 27, 2017, Trump signed Executive Order 13769, which suspended admission of refugees for 120 days and denied entry to citizens of Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen for 90 days, citing security concerns. The order took effect immediately and without warning. Confusion and protests caused chaos at airports. Sally Yates, the acting Attorney General, directed Justice Department lawyers not to defend the executive order, which she deemed unenforceable and unconstitutional; Trump immediately dismissed her. Multiple legal challenges were filed against the order, and on February 5 a federal judge in Seattle blocked its implementation nationwide. On March 6, Trump issued a revised order, which excluded Iraq, gave specific exemptions for permanent residents, and removed priorities for Christian minorities. Again federal judges in three states blocked its implementation. On June 26, 2017, the Supreme Court ruled that the ban could be enforced on visitors who lack a "credible claim of a bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States".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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