Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

INAUGURATION DAY FOR THE 45TH PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES ; Trump's Day 1 a Mystery; A Tsunami of Aggressive Policy Action

Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

INAUGURATION DAY FOR THE 45TH PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES ; Trump's Day 1 a Mystery; A Tsunami of Aggressive Policy Action

Article excerpt

INSIDE: Trump sweeps into Washington for his big day 2A The days schedule 7A

WASHINGTON - In rally after rally, and speech upon speech, Donald Trump built a verbal skyscraper of campaign promises about what he would do on his first day in the White House. Begin building a wall at the nation's Southern border. End the "war on coal. Label China a currency manipulator. The list went on and on.

But now, as President-elect Trump prepares to take the oath of office today, his Day One executive actions and policy plans

are a closely held secret, another prop in the Donald Trump show waiting to be unveiled with his trademark flourish and fanfare.

And, his aides are playing down how much will be done during that first day, while also sending conflicting signals about whether the real work of governing will begin today, when Trump officially becomes president, or Monday, his first full workday in the White House.

Incoming White House press secretary Sean Spicer said Trump will probably sign four or five executive actions today, mainly focused on logistics and government operations, with more coming Monday.

"We've got things planned but, right now, we're looking at, you know, several weeks of a very robust agenda that he will be engaging in, Spicer told reporters Wednesday.

Regardless of what happens on Day One, advisers to the president- elect and others close to the transition process say Trump will act quickly in the early days of his administration.

His initial plans are to undo many of President Barack Obama's executive actions and begin rolling back regulations, especially those he believes are financially burdensome. At least to start, the advisers said, he will focus more on unraveling the past eight years of the outgoing administration than on launching a new Trump vision.

Several advisers used the word "aggressive to describe Trump's early actions, with another predicting "a tsunami. The plans are still being drafted and tweaked, in a last-minute effort that spans the transition team, including the legal department, policy shop, legislative team and communications operation. The effort is being spearheaded by Stephen Miller, Trump's senior policy adviser.

One aide said to expect actions undoing aspects of Obama's health care policy in the first wave of signings and added that Trump will probably reinstate the "Mexico City policy, first implemented under President Ronald Reagan, that basically prevents groups receiving U.S. foreign aid from performing or promoting abortion services as a family-planning method.

Trump's promises on the campaign trail and since the election have set high expectations among his supporters for what he will do in the first days and weeks of his presidency. A failure to deliver likely will be seen as a setback for the new administration.

Rep. Chris Collins, R-N.Y., a member of Trump's transition team, said that when Vice President-elect Mike Pence met with congressional Republicans earlier this month, he offered lawmakers a simple message: "That President-elect Trump is going to walk down Pennsylvania Avenue in the parade and go into the Oval Office with a stack of papers on the desk and start signing them to roll back what we call Obama's unconstitutional executive actions.

Trump aides have yet to clarify, however, how many of his first moves will be actual executive actions that will take effect immediately and how many will be grand proclamations that might take time to fully implement.

Senate leaders, meanwhile, hope to confirm several of his Cabinet nominees as early as today, especially those filling national security posts, including retired Gen. John F. Kelly, to lead the Department of Homeland Security, retired Gen. James Mattis, as secretary of defense, and Rep. Mike Pompeo, R-Kan., to head the CIA.

A speech Trump delivered in October in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania - at the time intended to be his closing argument to voters - will serve as a blueprint for his initial policy prescriptions, according to his aides. …

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