Donald J. Trump’s successful campaign to become the President of the United States was one of the defining moments of 2016. His election to the position often referred to as ‘leader of the free world’ signaled a significant shift in the political discourse both domestically and around the world. The rise of a business man with no experience in holding elected office to the highest office in the land solidified 2016’s claim as the year of the anti-establishment.
On June 16th, 2016 Trump announced his candidacy for President of the United States claiming he would be “the greatest jobs president God had ever created” in a speech that was widely criticized for being discriminatory towards Mexicans. Initially, Trump was considered a long shot to secure the Republican nomination. However, Trump’s mantra of “Make America Great Again” struck a chord with Republican voters and by the end of the Republican primary process Trump had secured the nomination by a significant margin.
After frequently citing how good his relationship with Russian president Vladmir Putin would be if he became the president, reports surfaced of possible Russian interference in the Democratic campaign for the presidency. Then President-Elect Donald Trump came under fire with the media and members of the public calling for an official probe into the relationship with Russia. By early March, nearly two thirds of the public believed a special prosecutor should be appointed to investigate the issue.
As if to ensure the controversial fanfare of his inauguration, on January 27th, 2017, Trump signed an executive order establishing travel bans for nationals of Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Somalia, Yemen, Iran and Sudan. The ban conjured criticism from around the world with the travel ban becoming informally referred to as “the Muslim ban” due to the predominantly Muslim population bases of the banned countries. Domestically, the travel ban brought disgust among liberals with a majority of those believing that the intention of the ban was to ban Muslims from entering the United States. The executive order was eventually blocked by rulings in a federal court. Although Trump attempted to push through a revised addition of the order, it remained blocked with judges extending the review period on March 29th.
Marred by the controversy of his apparent backroom communications with Russian officials, General Michael Flynn – Trump’s national security adviser – became the first political casualty of the Trump administration. However, the removal of Flynn did not provide reprieve for the remainder of Trump’s appointees. A March 2017 survey showed over one third of the public strongly disapproved of a number of appointees including Education Secretary Betsy DeVos.
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