It took Obama ten days since he departed the White House one final time to break his promise that he would “stay on the sidelines” regarding Trump’s policies…
… and in his first public statement, the former president the charge that the Trump administration had based his immigration executive order on a policy adopted by his own administration, and endorsed the protests that have been taking place across the country in response to the new restrictions.
Kevin Lewis, Obama’s spokesman, said rejected Trump’s insistence that the decision to temporarily halt refugees from seven Muslim-majority countries and stop all Syrian refugee resettlement in America is similar to a 2011 decision by Obama. “With regard to comparisons to President Obama’s foreign policy decisions, as we’ve heard before, the President fundamentally disagrees with the notion of discriminating against individuals because of their faith or religion.”
As a reminder, over the past 24 hours, Trump has compared his actions to Obama’s 2011 moves to restrict entries from Iraq after two Iraqis were arrested in Kentucky on terrorism charges.
Former Obama administration officials have denied that there was ever a halt to the awarding of visas to Iraqis, though the processing of these applications slowed after they were subject to more intense scrutiny.
Obama’s decision to step back into the public light comes just 10 days after he left office. He joins the chorus of Democrats and mostly tech CEOs criticizing Trump for his decision to temporarily halt refugees from seven Muslim-majority countries and stop all Syrian refugee resettlement in America.
In less than two weeks as president, Donald Trump has signed several executive orders and presidential memoranda, but with the maelstrom that has followed some of them, it is easy to forget the range of them.
Executive order against Obamacare: Throughout the presidential campaign, Mr Trump promised that if elected, he would repeal and replace former President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act dubbed Obamacare. Within hours of being sworn in, Mr Trump signed an executive order that said agencies should exercise all their authority to “waive, defer, grant exemptions from, or delay the implementation” of any provision of Obamacare that would impose a cost or burden on states, individuals, insurers or healthcare companies.
Memorandum regarding Mexico City Policy: This move saw Mr Trump reviving a ban on foreign aid to overseas aid organisations that provide or promote abortions.
Presidential Memorandum on government hiring: Mr Trump last Monday ordered a freeze on hiring federal civilian employees but said the order did not apply to military personnel.
Presidential memorandum on the TPP: Withdrawing from the Trans Pacific Partnership and renegotiation other trade deals that he deemed unfair were also part of Mr Trump’s campaign promises. And just days after taking office, he withdrew America from the 12-nation TPP, which had been a signature trade deal for President Obama and part of his pivot to Asia. The move was in keeping with Mr Trump’s promises of “America first”.
Executive order expediting environmental reviews: He also signed an order aimed at speeding up environmental reviews and approvals for high priority infrastructure projects.
Presidential memoranda on pipelines: Last Tuesday, Mr Trump also took steps to advance construction of the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines, that had been rejected by the previous president. Mr Trump said the pipelines would help his campaign promises of creating blue-collar jobs at home and added that portions built in the US would have to use domestically produced steel.
Executive order ‘enhancing public safety in the Interior of the US: The purpose of the order is to enforce immigration laws domestically, giving immigration agencies authority to remove ‘aliens’ they believe could pose a risk to public safety or national security.
Executive order on border security and immigration enforcement: With this order, Mr Trump acted on his campaign promise of a physical wall on the border between Mexico and the US, including all points of entry. Mr Trump also took to Twitter to argue once again the Mexico would pay for the wall, a move that prompted Mexico president Enrique Pena Nieto to call off a planned meeting.
Executive order protecting the nation from foreign terrorist entry: It is Mr Trump’s order to severely restrict immigration from seven predominantly Muslim nations that stirred up rousing protests over the weekend.
Executive order on reducing regulation: The order that has been billed as a move to support local businesses requires that “whenever an executive department or agency (agency) publicly proposes for notice and comment or otherwise promulgates a new regulation, it shall identify at least two existing regulations to be repealed”.
Executive order on ethics commitments: The order signed on Saturday places a five-year lobbying ban on the executive branch of employees.
Presidential Memorandum plan to defeat Isis: On Saturday, Mr Trump also signed a plan to that would require the Secretary of Defense to, within 30 days submit a preliminary plan to defeat Isis.
Having taken on the Keystone pipeline and America’s struggling manufacturing sector in a flurry of executive actions on Tuesday, moments ago Reuters reported, citing several congressional aides and immigration experts briefed on the matter, that on Wednesday Donald Trump will sign several executive orders restricting immigration. The president is expected to sign the orders at the Washington headquarters of the Department of Homeland Security, whose responsibilities include immigration and border security.
Trump’s orders are said to involve restricting access to the United States for refugees and some visa holders from seven mostly Muslim nations including Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.
Additionally, Trump’s restrictions on refugees are likely to include a multi-month ban on admissions from all countries until the State Department and the Department of Homeland Security can increase the intensity of the vetting process.
During his presidential campaign, Trump initially proposed a temporary ban on Muslims entering the United States to protect Americans from jihadist attacks. Many Trump supporters decried Democratic President Barack Obama’s decision to increase the number of Syrian refugees admitted to the United States over fears that those fleeing the country’s civil war would carry out attacks. However, since then both Trump and his nominee for attorney general, Jeff Sessions, have said they would focus the restrictions on countries whose emigres could pose a threat rather than placing a ban on people who follow a specific religion.
As Reuters adds, to block entry from the designated countries, Trump is likely to instruct the U.S. State Department to stop issuing visas to people from those nations, according to sources familiar with the visa process. He could also instruct U.S. Customs and Border Protection to stop any current visa holders from those countries from entering the United States. White House spokesman Sean Spicer said on Tuesday that the State and Homeland Security departments would work on the vetting process once Trump’s nominee to head the State Department, Rex Tillerson, is installed.
“It’s a great thing for the American worker, what we just did,” Trump said on Monday after signing an order withdrawing the U.S. from the Trans-Pacific Partnership accord with 11 other nations. He didn’t sign any actions to direct a renegotiation of the Nafta accord with Mexico and Canada, yet he said on Sunday he would begin talks with the two leaders on modifying the accord, BBG reported. “We’ve been talking about this a long time,” Trump said.
As the AP notes, the move is basically a formality, since the agreement had yet to receive required Senate ratification. Trade experts say that approval was unlikely to happen given voters’ anxiety about trade deals and the potential for job losses. It remains unclear if Trump would seek individual deals with the 11 other nations in TPP— a group that represents roughly 13.5 percent of the global economy, according to World Bank figures. Trump has blamed past trade deals such as the North American Free Trade Agreement and China’s entrance into the World Trade Organization for a decline in U.S. factory jobs.
Trump’s trade focus fulfills a campaign promise to rewrite America’s trade policy during his first days as president. In declaring his determination to renegotiate Nafta, Trump would rework an agreement that has governed commerce in much of the Western hemisphere for 22 years. By scrapping the Trans-Pacific Partnership accord negotiated by former President Barack Obama, Trump will delight many of his most fervent supporters as well as a good many Democrats, while opening an economic vacuum in Asia that China is eager to fill.
Trump campaigned against the TPP and other trade deals, including Nafta, during his campaign for the White House. In a video released in November, Trump promised to exit TPP “on day one,” calling it “a potential disaster for our country.”
It’s finally over: Donald Trump has secured 304 Electoral Votes following the Texas vote (with 2 faithless electors), officially securing the presidency of the United States. Of course, the now official President-Elect Trump took to twitter to confirm the victory:
We did it! Thank you to all of my great supporters, we just officially won the election (despite all of the distorted and inaccurate media).
Texas’ 36 electoral votes for Trump pushed him over the edge at around 4:30 Central Time, even though two rogue electors’ defections deprived Trump of one of those votes. That gave Trump 304 total electoral votes.
A quick recap of the day’s events from the WSJ:
Members of the Electoral College meeting in state capitals across the country on Monday confirmed President-elect Donald Trump’s victory in the 2016 election, ending a last-ditch campaign to deny him the presidency. Mr. Trump amassed at least 270 electoral votes on Monday afternoon—enough to officially become the president-elect over his Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton, according to a tally of votes by the Associated Press.
Typically just a formality, this year’s Electoral College vote attracted an outsize amount of attention after a group of mostly Democratic electors made a late push to block Mr. Trump’s path to the White House. They argued the Electoral College had a constitutional duty to act independently of the will of the voters in extraordinary circumstances. Protesters gathered in several state capitols across the country to encourage electors to reject Mr. Trump.
results of the Nov. 8 election if he were to be unsuccessful in gaining 270 electoral votes. “I will look at it at the time…. I’ll keep you in suspense,” Trump told moderator Chris Wallace. His rival at the time, Hillary Clinton, called the now president-elect’s response “horrifying,” and throughout the accusation of “talking down our democracy.”
Clinton would run as long as she could with accusing Trump of undermining the democratic process by refusing to accepted the election results, making it a solid part of her attack platform from the third debate forward. During rallies, her supporters would boo Trump whenever Clinton mentioned the fact he refused to say he’d accepted.
Well, now it turns out that Clinton’s supporters are the ones who are refusing to accept the election results as they were announced in the early morning of Nov. 9.
A Change.org petition started by a man in North Carolina to persuade the Electoral College to elect Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump has 2,170,188 signatures since its creation on Wednesday night.
The petition reads:
On December 19, the Electors of the Electoral College will cast their ballots. If they all vote the way their states voted, Donald Trump will win. However, they can vote for Hillary Clinton if they choose. Even in states where that is not allowed, their vote would still be counted, they would simply pay a small fine — which we can be sure Clinton supporters will be glad to pay!
We are calling on the Electors to ignore their states’ votes and cast their ballots for Secretary Clinton. Why?
Mr. Trump is unfit to serve. His scapegoating of so many Americans, and his impulsivity, bullying, lying, admitted history of sexual assault, and utter lack of experience make him a danger to the Republic.
Secretary Clinton WON THE POPULAR VOTE and should be President.
Hillary won the popular vote. The only reason Trump “won” is because of the Electoral College.
Three weeks ago, when we first reported that Qatar had offered to pay the Clinton Foundation $1 million after a hacked Podesta email disclosed that the ambassador of Qatar “Would like to see WJC [William Jefferson Clinton] ‘for five minutes’ in NYC, to present $1 million check that Qatar promised for WJC’s birthday in 2011”, we said that in this particular case, the Clinton Foundation may also be in violation of State Department ethics codes.
SecState Hillary Clinton, left, meets the Prime Minister of Qatar Sheik Hamad bin Jassim bin Jabor Al Thani in 2010.
As we said in early October, while this has been seen by critics of the Clinton Foundation as yet another instance of influence pandering and “pay-to-play”, this time there may actually be consequences for the Clinton Foundation: according to the State Department, the previously undisclosed donation suggests there may be an ethics violation by the foundation, even though the State of Qatar is shown on the foundation’s website as having given at least that amount. There is no date listed for the donation.
Underscoring the potential flagrant abuse of ethical guidelines if the Qatar payment is confirmed, Hillary Clinton promised the U.S. government that while she served as secretary of state the foundation would not accept new funding from foreign governments without seeking clearance from the State Department’s ethics office. The agreement was designed to dispel concerns that U.S. foreign policy could be swayed by donations to the foundation.
Back in January, when it still wasn’t certain that Donald Trump would be the Republican presidential candidate, let alone be neck and neck with Hillary Clinton in the polls days ahead of the election, we explained why Trump should be praying for a market crash, or rather not so much a market crash as a swoon in the market in the three months prior to the election. We were referring to a market-based indicator which had a near flawless 86.4% accuracy track record.
As we noted at the time, the old saying that “people vote their pocketbooks” is more accurate than the average political analyst thinks. While Wall Street typically worries about how politics might affect the market, presidential candidates are far more concerned about how the stock market might affect their political outcomes.
Here is why this is important: historically, the market performance in the three months leading up to a Presidential Election has displayed an uncanny ability to forecast who will win the White House… the incumbent party or the challenger. Since 1928, there have been 22 Presidential Elections. In 14 of them, the S&P 500 climbed during the three months preceding election day. The incumbent President or party won in 12 of those 14 instances. However, in 7 of the 8 elections where the S&P 500 fell over that three month period, the incumbent party lost.
There are only three exceptions to this correlation: 1956, 1968, and 1980. Statistically, the market has an 86.4% success rate in forecasting the election!
The Standard & Poor’s 500 index closed lower Friday for a ninth straight day, marking its longest losing streak in 36 years, as uncertainty and angst related to Tuesday’s tough-to-call presidential election overshadowed a government report showing continued steady job growth.
At the close, the index was down 3.48 points, or 0.2%, to 2085.18. The last time it fell nine straight days was in December 1980, according to Howard Silverblatt, senior index analyst at S&P Dow Jones Indices, when Republican Ronald Reagan was celebrating his presidential election win over Democratic incumbent Jimmy Carter. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 42.39 points, or 0.2%, to 17,888.28. The Nasdaq composite declined 12.04 points, 0.2%, to 5046.37.
If stocks fall Monday, it would mark a 10th day of losses for the S&P 500, a streak last seen in the summer of 1975, according to Silverblatt. If election angst drags on beyond Election Day the S&P 500 will be in danger of eclipsing its longest losing streak of all time: a 12-day swoon back in April 1966 — or 50 years ago.
Stocks have been dragged down amid signs the presidential race between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump is narrowing, which is creating major uncertainty and making investors jittery. Wall Street had been pricing in a Clinton win, but as polls have narrowed following Clinton’s lastest email scandal, investors have opted to hedge against the possibility of a Trump surprise win.
Still the market’s nine-day swoon has only added up to a loss of 3.07%, which is modest, notes Silverblatt, noting that the S&PP 500 has lost more than that amount on a single day 298 times.