FACT CHECK: Trump’s view at odds with events of the week
WASHINGTON — In the Washington week that wasn’t, President Donald Trump’s new administration whirred like a “fine-tuned machine,” piling on big-league accomplishments at a pace never before seen.
Immigration agents newly empowered by Trump’s call to secure borders sent hordes of bad foreigners back home, validating a president who won the most lopsided Electoral College victory since Ronald Reagan.
That’s what the audacity of hype looks like.
In the Washington week that actually was, Trump fired his national security adviser for misleading the vice president, was rebuffed by his next choice, saw a Cabinet nominee’s prospects flame out, and stirred anxiety among some fellow Republicans over the tumult holding up Trump’s agenda. Immigration officials announced a sizable but routine roundup of people living in the country illegally, which resulted in fewer arrests than raids mounted under President Barack Obama almost two years earlier.
Trump was called out on his latest of many boasts about the Electoral College, which handed him one of the narrowest victories since Reagan’s first run for the White House — sixth out of eight — and not one of the biggest.
A look at some of his statements in the past week:
TRUMP: “I see stories of chaos. Chaos. Yet it is the exact opposite. This administration is running like a fine-tuned machine, despite the fact that I can’t get my Cabinet approved.”
“This last month has represented an unprecedented degree of action on behalf of the great citizens of our country. Again, I say it. There has never been a presidency that’s done so much in such a short period of time.”
THE FACTS: Trump’s first month has been consumed by a series of missteps and firestorms and produced less legislation of significance than Obama enacted during his first month.
Republican-led congressional committees will investigate the Trump team’s relations with Russians before he took office and the flood of leaks that altogether forced out his national security adviser in record time. His pick for labor secretary withdrew because he didn’t have enough Republican support.
By many measures, the administration is in near paralysis in its earliest days, leaving allies unsettled and many in Congress anxious about what Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., called the “constant disruption.” To many Republicans — never mind Democrats — the machine seems in danger of its wheels coming off.
In his first month, Obama signed a $787 billion stimulus package into law, as well as a law expanding health care for children and the Lilly Ledbetter bill on equal pay for women. Trump has vigorously produced executive orders, which don’t require congressional approval and typically have narrow effect. The one with far-reaching consequences — banning entry by refugees and by visitors from seven countries — has been blocked by courts.
Trump’s biggest initiatives, such as tax cuts and a replacement for Obama’s health care law, have not emerged. On Thursday he signed into law a rollback of Obama-era regulations on mining near streams. Congress has sent him little else.
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