9 Scary Things Donald Trump Has Already Done Since Taking Office
It took an astonishingly short amount of time for President Donald Trump to begin making policy changes. In one sense, this was to be expected — presidents often make sweeping changes within their first 100 days to distinguish themselves from the previous administration, and Trump's decisions do nothing if not show the stark difference between his and Barack Obama's approach to government. But his changes haven't necessarily been for the better — a number of scary things have already happened since Trump took office, and if his plan for his first 100 days is any indication, there will be many more to come.
In his first four days in the Oval Office, Trump has already made good on many of his campaign promises by signing executive orders that restrict abortion access and making moves to weaken and repeal the Affordable Care Act. Not to mention, he also took control of the military and nuclear codes, which is simultaneously totally normal and utterly terrifying.
Below are nine scary things that have happened since Trump took office on Jan. 20. This list represents the scariest of them all, but there have been and will continue to be many more regressive, horrifying, or downright puzzling things to come out of the White House and the GOP-led Congress over the next 100 days (and the next four years).
1. Removed The LGBT & Climate Change Sections Of WhiteHouse.Gov
Only a few hours after Trump was sworn in as the 45th president, people began noticing significant changes to the White House website. Some of the biggest changes were the parts that were taken out — there is now no mention of climate change, while the disabilities page is gone along with the 'Issues' page about LGBT rights, and the page that formerly addressed civil rights now exclusively discusses keeping police safe. There is also no Spanish translation for the new administration's website.
2. Signed An Executive Order Weakening The Affordable Care Act
In one of his first acts after being sworn in, President Trump signed an executive order aimed at weakening and beginning the process of repealing the Affordable Care Act. The language of the bill states that while the president will recognize the law in the short term, the order's goal is "to seek the prompt repeal" of the ACA. While the executive order is a jarring reminder of what's to come, it didn't undo the ACA and is more of a statement of intent on the president's part.
3. Received The Department Of Justice's Blessing To Employ Son-In-Law Jared Kushner In The White House
Prior to his inauguration, there were ethics concerns regarding Trump's desire to promote his son-in-law and close confidant Jared Kushner to an adviser role within the White House, but on Jan. 21, the Department of Justice issued a statement saying that hiring Kushner doesn't violate anti-nepotism laws. It's since been revealed that former President Jimmy Carter was unable to hire his son as a White House intern due to the same rules Kushner's hiring doesn't violate.
4. Took Over The Nuclear Codes
This commonplace changing-of-the-guard between presidents, which traditionally takes place when an unknown soldier hands over "the nuclear football" from the outgoing president to the new one, is only a big deal in light of the person who now occupies the Oval Office. Known as "The Biscuit," the card with the nuclear codes is supposed to be carried on the president's person at all times. The fact that that card will now live inside the silk-lined suit pockets of President Trump is alarming in and of itself.
5. Kellyanne Conway Introduced The World To "Alternative Facts"
On Jan. 22, Trump's adviser and campaign manager Kellyanne Conway told Meet the Press that White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer was simply stating "alternative facts" when he gave false numbers about the size of inauguration crowds. "Alternative facts" became an instant meme on Twitter, but perhaps more tellingly, sales of George Orwell's 1984, a seminal dystopian novel that popularized the term "doublethink," surged online. These falsehoods, as echoed by the president and his people, have already caused people who have studied authoritarianism to worry about Trump's potential dictatorial tendencies.
6. Reportedly Prohibited Two Federal Agencies From Social Media Use
After the National Park Service retweeted a seemingly unflattering tweet about attendance at Trump's inauguration versus Obama's, officials from the Trump Administration reportedly asked the Interior Department to stop tweeting, ostensibly due to concerns that their account had been hacked. The NPS tweeted an apology soon after, but that didn't stop Badlands National Park from going rogue and tweeting climate change facts in defiance of the president's request. On Jan. 24, Trump reportedly also banned members of the Environmental Protection Agency from making social media updates, among other federal agencies that reported communication bans.
7. (Falsely) Stated That Millions Of Undocumented Immigrants Caused Him To Lose The Popular Vote
During a private White House Reception on Jan. 23, President Trump told Congress members that millions of undocumented immigrants cast votes that caused him to lose the popular vote to Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton. These claims are unsubstantiated and even Congressional Republicans are distancing themselves from this false statement.
8. Signed An Order In Favor Of Dakota Access & Keystone XL Pipelines
On Jan. 24, Trump issued a memorandum that orders moving forward with the approval of the Dakota Access Pipeline, and reviving the Keystone XL pipeline that President Obama rejected in 2015. In December 2016, President Obama ordered an environmental impact review on the Dakota Access pipeline following massive protests at the Standing Rock Sioux reservation in North Dakota. Tribal and environmental advocates say the pipeline will threaten their water source.
9. The President & Congress Put Forth Sweeping Anti-Abortion Measures
Since Trump took office, there have been two major anti-abortion actions taken by the executive and legislative branches that in tandem will affect women all over the world. On Jan. 23, Trump signed an executive order to reinstate the "global gag rule" that cuts American foreign aid to any organizations that even mention abortion as a family planning option (much less provide abortion and related services.) The next day, the House of Representatives passed HR-7, a bill that expands on the Hyde Amendment (a 1976 law that bars taxpayer funds for abortion) to include provisions that effectively ban all insurance providers from covering abortions. If passed, the law will make abortion even more expensive and therefore less accessible to low-income and millennial women.
In the several days since Trump took office, the United States has become unrecognizable. There's now more need for protests like the nationwide women's marches than ever before.