Although Trump's early campaign filing is extraordinarily unusual, aspects of a "permanent campaign" are not entirely unprecedented in American politics. Such a phenomenon had a presence in the White House at least as early as the presidency of Bill Clinton. Under the advice of Sidney Blumenthal, Clinton's staff continued to engage in campaign methodology once in office, using polling for assistance in making decisions.
On January 23, 2017, Trump ordered a temporary government-wide hiring freeze, except for those working in certain areas. The Comptroller General of the Government Accountability Office told a House committee that hiring freezes have not proven to be effective in reducing costs. Unlike some past freezes, the current freeze bars agencies from adding contractors to make up for employees leaving. A week later Trump signed Executive Order 13771, which directed administrative agencies to repeal two existing regulations for every new regulation they issue. Agency defenders expressed opposition to Trump's criticisms, saying that the bureaucracy exists to protect people against well-organized, well-funded interest groups.
Adult film actress Stormy Daniels has alleged that she and Trump had an affair in 2006, which Trump denied. In January 2018, it was reported that just before the 2016 presidential election Daniels was paid $130,000 by Trump's attorney Michael Cohen as part of a non-disclosure agreement (NDA); Cohen later said he paid her with his own money. In February 2018, Daniels sued Cohen's company asking to be released from the NDA and be allowed to tell her story. Cohen obtained a restraining order to keep her from discussing the case. In March, Daniels claimed in court that the NDA never came into effect because Trump did not sign it personally. In April, Trump said that he did not know about Cohen paying Daniels, why Cohen had made the payment or where Cohen got the money from. In May, Trump's annual financial disclosure revealed that he reimbursed Cohen in 2017 for payments related to Daniels. In August 2018, in a case brought by the office of the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Cohen pleaded guilty in federal court to breaking campaign finance laws, admitting to paying hush money of $130,000 to Daniels and $150,000 indirectly to Playboy model Karen McDougal, and said that he did it at the direction of Trump, with the aim of influencing the presidential election. In response, Trump said that he only knew about the payments "later on", and that he paid back Cohen personally, not out of campaign funds. Cohen also said he would cooperate fully with the Special Counsel investigation into collusion with Russia.
In September 2017, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced that the DACA program would be repealed after six months. Trump argued that "top legal experts" believed that DACA was unconstitutional, and called on Congress to use the six-month delay to pass legislation solving the "Dreamers" issue permanently. As of March 2018, when the delay expired, no legislation had been agreed on DACA. Several states immediately challenged the DACA rescission in court. Two injunctions in January and February 2018 allowed renewals of applications and stopped the rolling back of DACA, and in April 2018 a federal judge ordered the acceptance of new applications; this would go into effect in 90 days.
Trump reportedly lobbied "dozens" of European officials against doing business with Iran during the May 2017 Brussels summit; this likely violated the terms of the JCPOA, under which the U.S. may not pursue "any policy specifically intended to directly and adversely affect the normalization of trade and economic relations with Iran." The Trump administration certified in July 2017 that Iran had upheld its end of the agreement. On May 18, 2018, Trump announced the United States' unilateral departure from the JCPOA.
Election International reactions Transition Inauguration Polls Timeline first 100 days 2017 Q1 2017 Q2 2017 Q3 2017 Q4 2018 Q1 2018 Q2 2018 Q3 2018 Q4 domestic trips (2017/2018) international trips Ambassadors Judicial appointments Supreme Court Neil Gorsuch nomination Brett Kavanaugh nomination controversies U.S. Attorneys U.S. Marshals Cabinet formation Appointments Economic advisors Stormy Daniels scandal Dismissal of James Comey Pardons and commutations Joe Arpaio Executive actions Proclamations Foreign policy America First Trump–Kim meeting Trump–Putin meeting Tariffs
In every move President Trump has made in terms of foreign policy, wildly, he has kept consistent on two levels. He has kept his campaign promises. He has also delivered an America First policy without apology. I use the word apology purposefully. The previous administration apologized for America endlessly. The lack of appreciation for the country that gave Barack Obama everything he ever deemed of value in his life took a psychological toll on our people. But decades of policies allowing trade, security, and immigration imbalances took tolls on our welfare. From NATO to the G7, Saudi Arabia, to Israel, North Korea to Iran, from Russia to China, Trump’s unapologetic stance of advocating for his nation’s best standing is reversing that psychological effect. And he now lives rent free in the minds of all who believed America was weak.
In Duluth, as he stood in front of a sea of red hats, white faces, and blue signs filling the local hockey arena, the frustration melted away. Trump demanded credit for his nuclear summit with Kim Jong Un. (“We had a great meeting, great chemistry.”) He whined that the media would downplay the crowd size. (“Did you see the thousands and thousands of people outside? That will never be reported by the fake news.”) He griped about not being considered a member of the country’s elite. “I have a much better apartment than they do,” he said to the audience. “I’m smarter than they are. I’m richer than they are. I became president and they didn’t.”
Honduran migrants climb a border fence, in Tecun Uman, Guatemala, Friday, Oct. 19, 2018. Migrants broke down the gates at the border crossing and began streaming toward a bridge into Mexico. After arriving at the tall, yellow metal fence some clambered atop it and on U.S.-donated military jeeps. Young men began violently tugging on the barrier and finally succeeded in tearing it down. Oliver de Ros, AP
Trump began his campaign unusually early for an incumbent President of the United States. He began spending for his reelection effort within weeks of his election, and officially filed his campaign with the Federal Elections Commission on the day of his inauguration. Since February 2017, Trump has held several rallies and a fundraiser for this campaign. He has visited key electoral states. The campaign has raised funds and run two nationwide advertising campaigns. The campaign has announced, and Trump has confirmed in several stump speeches, that the slogan for the 2020 race will be changed from "Make America Great Again" to "Keep America Great", once a sufficient level of greatness is reached. As of the fall of 2018, Trump continues to use the old slogan.