Presidency in Review: Which Campaign Promises Did Trump Uphold?

On the campaign trail in 2016, President Donald Trump made numerous promises about what he would do when he reached the White House.

Stacker compiled data from PolitiFact's Trump-o-Meter, which continually tracks the promises President Donald Trump made in his 2016 campaign for president. For four years, PolitiFact's reporters kept track of the promises and researched whether each promise was kept, broken, compromised on, stalled, or in the works. Each slide provides a description of the promise, the status of the promise, a link to more information from PolitiFact's researchers on the promise, and our own research into the promise.

Presidency in review: Which campaign promises did Trump uphold?
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Among Trump's campaign promises was a pledge to roll back regulations implemented by his predecessor, President Barack Obama, and renegotiate the Iran nuclear deal, which Trump roundly criticized. Trump also pledged to withdraw the United States immediately from the Paris climate accord and redo NAFTA.

Some promises he was able to keep, while others have landed in court, among them many efforts to end environmental protections, or were dropped after he won the election, such as changing libel law to make it easier to sue media outlets.

Many of Trump's promises involved trying to deport undocumented immigrants or limiting immigrants or the entry of refugees. Others focused on bolstering American businesses or manufacturers. And some were entirely personal, such as when he threatened to sue the women who accused him of sexual misconduct, or refused to release his tax returns. While many of his pledges involved the functioning of government, some were expressions of his view of the country's cultural battles, such as the so-called "war on Christmas."

Keep reading to see which campaign promises President Trump upheld, and details about each.

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Trump pivots away from Asia
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Trump pivots away from Asia

- Campaign promise: Stop TPP
- Status: Promise kept
- Link to more information

The Trans-Pacific Partnership, an enormous free trade deal that the Council on Foreign Relations described as covering 40 percent of the world's economy, was part of what was known as President Barack Obama's pivot to Asia. President Trump withdrew from the agreement on his first day in office. President-elect Biden does not support rejoining it in its current form but could try to renegotiate environmental and labor aspects of it with its 11 other countries.

Trump nominates Gorsuch for Supreme Court
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Trump nominates Gorsuch for Supreme Court

- Campaign promise: Nominate someone from Trump's list of justices to replace Antonin Scalia
- Status: Promise kept
- Link to more information

President Trump nominated now-Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch to replace Justice Scalia. Like Justice Scalia, Justice Gorsuch is a constitutional originalist. Justice Gorsuch was confirmed by the U.S. Senate by a 54-45 vote largely along party lines, although the Senate Republicans had to change the rules to approve him. President Trump has since had two other justices confirmed, Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett.

Trump dismantles Obama’s regulations
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Trump dismantles Obama's regulations

- Campaign promise: Slash federal regulations
- Status: Promise kept
- Link to more information

President Trump has rolled back regulations across government, including ones affecting immigration, health, transportation, and labor, according to a tracker maintained by the Brookings Institution. More than 80 of those regulations concern the environment, with another 20 or so in progress, ones that were meant to provide for clean air and water and curb pollution from power plants and cars and trucks. President-elect Biden is expected to try to reverse much of Trump's deregulation.

Prices, cost-sharing information to be public
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Prices, cost-sharing information to be public

- Campaign promise: Require price transparency from health care providers
- Status: Promise stalled
- Link to more information

The Trump administration implemented a rule requiring most private health plans to disclose prices and cost-sharing information. Beginning in 2023, 200 million Americans will know how much their health care will cost them before going in for treatment, according to the administration. In June, a federal judge ruled against a challenge to the policy requiring hospitals and health insurers to publish negotiated prices for services.

Trump’s sexual misconduct accusers sue him
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Trump's sexual misconduct accusers sue him

- Campaign promise: Sue those who accused Trump of sexual misconduct
- Status: Promise broken
- Link to more information

Twenty-six women have accused President Trump of sexual misconduct, including groping and rape, charges he denies. He promised to sue "all of these liars" but has not. Instead, two of the women have sued him, among them E. Jean Carroll, who accused him of raping her in a department store in the 1990s and who is seeking a DNA sample from him.

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Trump turns back Obama gun regulation
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Trump turns back Obama gun regulation

- Campaign promise: Reverse Obama's 2016 gun executive order
- Status: Promise kept
- Link to more information

One of President Trump's first actions was to turn back an executive order that would have prevented people with mental illness from buying a gun. Liberals and conservatives disliked the order; liberals claimed it stigmatized those with mental illness, while conservatives argued it infringed on their Second Amendment rights.

Another of President Obama's executive orders tightened the so-called "gun show" loophole, making it harder for sellers who called themselves hobbyists to sell guns without a federal license and background checks.

Trump refuses to release tax returns
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Trump refuses to release tax returns

- Campaign promise: To release his tax returns after an audit is completed
- Status: Promise broken
- Link to more information

President Trump never released his tax returns, and he appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court as he fought attempts by Congress and New York officials to obtain those returns. The Supreme Court ruled that he could not block their release to the state officials. The New York Times independently obtained two decades of President Trump's federal tax returns, which showed he avoided paying taxes because of business losses and had hundreds of millions in debt coming due. The Times confirmed Trump is under audit; however, this does not prevent him from disclosing the paperwork to the American public.

Trump withdraws US from Paris Climate Accord
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Trump withdraws US from Paris Climate Accord

- Campaign promise: Withdraw from Paris Climate Accord
- Status: Promise kept
- Link to more information

President Trump announced on June 1, 2017, that he was ceasing implementation of the Paris climate accord, claiming that it placed "draconian financial and economic burdens" on the United States and that its "Green Climate Fund" was costing the country "a vast fortune." President-elect Biden said he will rejoin the agreement. Only China emits more greenhouse producing gases than the United States.

Trump fails to eliminate alternative minimum tax
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Trump fails to eliminate alternative minimum tax

- Campaign promise: Repeal the alternative minimum tax
- Status: Promise broken
- Link to more information

President Trump did not eliminate the alternative minimum tax for individuals in the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. The tax is intended to make sure that wealthier households that take many deductions pay some tax, and President Trump paid it in at least seven years. The Tax Foundation, a think tank that examines tax policies, notes that President-elect Biden has proposed a tax on corporations that is structured like an alternative minimum tax.

Wealthy investment managers benefit from Carried Interest Loophole
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Wealthy investment managers benefit from Carried Interest Loophole

- Campaign promise: Eliminate the carried interest loophole
- Status: Promise broken
- Link to more information

When President Trump signed the Republican tax bill at the end of 2017, the carried interest loophole that works to the advantage of hedge fund managers and private equity partners had not been eliminated. The New York Times credited lobbyists and lawmakers for ensuring it remained.

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Number of tax brackets remains at 7
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Number of tax brackets remains at 7

- Campaign promise: Cut the number of tax brackets
- Status: Promise broken
- Link to more information

Trump's promise to cut the number of tax brackets came to nothing. The 2017 Republican tax bill kept the seven brackets, the same number that federal income tax began with. But by 1920, there were 50, according to the Tax Policy Center. The number fell to two with the 1986 Tax Reform Act but rose again.

Business tax rate crops to 21%
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Business tax rate crops to 21 percent

- Campaign promise: Lower the business tax rate
- Status: Promise compromised
- Link to more information

President Trump promised to lower the business tax rate to 15 percent from 35 percent, but in the final Republican tax bill, the new rate was 21 percent. In October, before President Trump lost reelection, he again talked of lowering the rate, though to 20 percent. By contrast, President-elect Biden wants to raise it to 28 percent.

Estate tax remains
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Estate tax remains

- Campaign promise: Eliminate the estate tax
- Status: Promise compromised
- Link to more information

President Trump promised to eliminate the estate tax but instead, the 2017 tax bill doubled the amount exempted from the tax. For 2020, those figures are $11.58 million for individuals and $23.16 million for couples. The tax reverts to the earlier exemptions in 2026. The Washington Post noted that it brought in less than 1 percent of 2018 U.S. tax revenue.

US firms repatriate billions of dollars
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US firms repatriate billions of dollars

- Campaign promise: Create a 10 percent repatriation tax
- Status: Promise kept
- Link to more information

To encourage U.S. companies to bring money kept overseas back to the United States, President Trump proposed taxing that money one time at 10 percent. The 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act substituted 8 percent and 15.5 percent for liquid assets. The Wall Street Journal reported in 2019 that in five quarters since the changes went into effect, $876.76 billion had been repatriated.

Trump fails to create child care tax credits
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Trump fails to create child care tax credits

- Campaign promise: Create targeted child care tax credits
- Status: promise was broken
- Link to more information

The 2017 tax bill did not create child care tax credits, but what it did do was to double the tax credit for each child under 17 from $1,000 to $2,000, and extended it to families making up $400,000 a year. Critics say 35 percent of children do not qualify for the entire $2,000 credit because their parents make too little.

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Taxes decrease for some
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Taxes decrease for some

- Campaign promise: Cut taxes for everyone
- Status: Promise compromised
- Link to more information

Many Americans did see their taxes cut as a result of the 2017 tax bill, but not everyone. According to the Joint Committee on Taxation, by 2027, every income group below $75,000 will face a tax increase instead. Under the tax bill, individual income and estate tax changes sunset at the end of 2025.

Marriage penalty remains for wealthy
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Marriage penalty remains for wealthy

- Campaign promise: Eliminate the marriage penalty
- Status: Promise compromised
- Link to more information

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act eliminated the marriage penalty for many couples, with the exception of some wealthy ones, who could still pay more in taxes married than they would if each was single. Now the marriage penalty applies to couples with a combined income of at least $600,000, which is when they hit the 37 percent tax bracket. For singles, the benchmark comes at $500,000.

Foreign lobbyists raise money for Trump
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Foreign lobbyists raise money for Trump

- Campaign promise: Place lifetime ban on foreign lobbyists raising money for American elections
- Status: Promise broken
- Link to more information

President Trump pledged during the 2016 presidential campaign to ban U.S. citizens registered as foreign lobbyists from raising money for American elections. Once he took office, however, he did not institute such a prohibition. The Daily Beast reported in October that foreign lobbyists had bundled nearly $2 million for Trump's reelection campaign.

Guantanamo Bay prison stays open
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Guantanamo Bay prison stays open

- Campaign promise: Keep Guantanamo Bay Detention Center open
- Status: Promise kept
- Link to more information

President Trump has kept the Guantanamo Bay military prison in Cuba, open, with 14 prisoners who were initially confined in black site prisons overseas by the CIA. President Obama had promised to close the prison but was unable to; President-elect Biden has not yet said what he will do.

US Embassy opens in Jerusalem
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US Embassy opens in Jerusalem

- Campaign promise: Move U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv to Jerusalem
- Status: Promise kept
- Link to more information

President Trump opened the United States' new embassy in Jerusalem in 2018, keeping a campaign promise but, according to many Middle East observers, making peace in the area that much more difficult. The move was celebrated by Israelis, but angered Palestinians who believe the fate of Jerusalem should be negotiated. The president later presented a peace plan that favored Israel, which was rejected by Palestinians.

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Trump restricts travel from terror-prone locations
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Trump restricts travel from terror-prone locations

- Campaign promise: Suspend immigration from terror-prone places
- Status: Promise kept
- Link to more information

What began as President Trump's promise of a Muslim ban became strict restrictions on travelers from 13 countries, some mostly Muslim and many of which had been at war or were plagued by terrorism. The restrictions were challenged by opponents who argued they betrayed America's values but were upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court. President-elect Biden said he will immediately eliminate the restrictions.

Trump vacations at Bedminster, Mar-a-Lago clubs
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Trump vacations at Bedminster, Mar-a-Lago clubs

- Campaign promise: No vacations
- Status: Promise stalled
- Link to more information

President Trump claimed he would not take vacations. But while he did not travel to Hawaii as his predecessor did, Trump did spend ex for stretches at his Bedminster, New Jersey, club, and at his Mar-a-Lago club in Florida. Trump argued the stays were not vacations because he was working. Beyond that, Trump played golf frequently, something he had criticized President Obama for. By The Washington Post's count, he had on the golf course at least 247 times as of Nov. 7, three-quarters of President Obama's total in half the time.

Trump administration sets up veterans hotline
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Trump administration sets up veterans hotline

- Campaign promise: Create private White House veterans hotline
- Status: Promise kept
- Link to more information

President Trump kept his promise to establish what he described as a 24-hour White House hotline for veterans to lodge complaints about the Veterans Administration (VA), part of his plan to reform the agency. Stars and Stripes, the military newspaper, wrote that some veterans were under the impression the hotline was inside the White House. Pro Publica looked at the administration's record with veterans and noted charges that the VA secretary had tried to discredit a woman who said she was sexually assaulted in a VA hospital.

Trump keeps refugees out
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Trump keeps refugees out

- Campaign promise: Limit legal immigration
- Status: Promise kept
- Link to more information

President Trump set the number of refugees entering the United States in the fiscal year 2019 at 30,000, the lowest since 1980. In October 2020, the administration announced that because of job losses from the coronavirus pandemic, it would limit visas for skilled workers from overseas. The move fits Trump's goals to cut immigration.

Syrian refugees remain in U.S.
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Syrian refugees remain in U.S.

- Campaign promise: Remove existing Syrian refugees
- Status: Promise broken
- Link to more information

While campaigning in 2015, at a time when 250,000 people had been killed in a civil war in Syria and the U.S. had pledged to take in 10,000 Syrian refugees the following year, President Trump said they would go back if he won. In the end, Trump did not try to remove the refugees but did include Syrians in his initial Muslim ban, a version of which was approved by the U.S. Supreme Court.

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Trump bans travel from Muslim-majority countries
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Trump bans travel from Muslim-majority countries

- Campaign promise: Establish a ban on Muslims entering the U.S.
- Status: Promise broken
- Link to more information

During the 2016 campaign, President Trump promised to ban Muslims from coming into the United States. His first attempts at restricting travel from seven Muslim-majority countries were blocked by courts after charges that they violated religious liberty. The Trump administration responded that they were motivated by national security concerns. The third version, which included some non-Muslim countries, was upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court.

A very, very Merry Christmas
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A very, very Merry Christmas

- Campaign promise: Won't say 'Happy Holidays'
- Status: Promise kept
- Link to more information

President Trump kept this promise, sending out a White House greeting card that said "Merry Christmas," and wishing attendees at the national Christmas tree lighting ceremony a "very, very Merry Christmas." The Guardian newspaper noted in 2018 that at Trump businesses, the word "holiday" prevailed.

Budget deficit soars under Trump
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Budget deficit soars under Trump

- Campaign promise: Balance the federal budget 'fairly quickly'
- Status: Promise broken
- Link to more information

Far from balancing the federal budget, President Trump backed policies that added $3.9 trillion to the federal deficit through 2026, according to an estimate from the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget.The figure did not include what the coronavirus will cost the United States.

Mount Denali escapes a name change
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Mount Denali escapes a name change

- Campaign promise: Change the name of Mount Denali back to Mount McKinley
- Status: Promise broken
- Link to more information

President Trump asked Alaska's two Republican senators, Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan, if they wanted him to reverse President Obama's decision to change the mountain's name. They told him "no," Sullivan told a convention of the Alaska Federation of Natives as reported by the Anchorage Daily News. Denali is the name given by the Athabascan people more than 10,000 years ago.

No term limits for Congress
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No term limits for Congress

- Campaign promise: Enact term limits
- Status: Promise broken
- Link to more information

President Trump wanted to enact term limits for Congress and met with members who later proposed limiting senators to two terms and House members to six terms. The proposal went nowhere. One significant opponent, the Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, said, "I would say we have term limits now. They're called elections." McConnell won his seventh term in 2020 and is Kentucky's longest-serving senator.

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Waterboarding remains illegal
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Waterboarding remains illegal

- Campaign promise: Bring back waterboarding
- Status: Promise broken
- Link to more information

Waterboarding is still illegal in the United States. To resume its use, the Congress would have to pass a new law and President Trump would have to reverse President Obama's executive order forbidding it. In 2017, President Trump said he believed waterboarding worked but would defer to his defense secretary and CIA chief.

Trump offers states option of block grants
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Trump offers states option of block grants

- Campaign promise: Administer Medicaid through block grants
- Status: Promise broken
- Link to more information

President Trump in January 2020 did offer states the choice of a fixed annual payment in exchange for more control over the Medicaid program. They would be able to cap spending, just as Medicaid has been expanded. States currently receive more funding if health care costs rise or enrollments go up. Democrats say the optional block grants would undermine health care for poor people.

No change to tax status of premiums
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No change to tax status of premiums

- Campaign promise: Allow individuals to deduct health care insurance premiums from taxes
- Status: Promise broken
- Link to more information

Trump's promise to allow people to deduct their health care insurance premiums from their taxes could have been included in the 2017 Republican tax bill or the Republican health care act of that year. It was not included in either. Employer health benefits are tax-free for employees.

NATO countries increase spending
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NATO countries increase spending

- Campaign promise: Ask countries we protect to pay more for joint defense
- Status: Promise kept
- Link to more information

President Trump was particularly insistent that NATO members pay their shares of the joint defense agreement. When he took office, only five countries were spending the agreed-upon 2 percent of their GDP. By October, that number had doubled to 10 countries, according to a NATO report. Observers say other factors, including Russian aggression, contributed to the increase.

DACA survives efforts to end it
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DACA survives efforts to end it

- Campaign promise: terminate Barack Obama's immigration executive orders 'immediately'
- Status: Promise compromised
- Link to more information

President Trump tried to end two of President Obama's immigration programs, DACA and DAPA. He failed with DACA, or Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, that allowed undocumented immigrants who entered the United States as children to work or study. A federal judge in December 2020 ruled that the Trump administration must restore DACA fully. He was successful with DAPA, or Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents.

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Trump is now open to Medicare cuts
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Trump is now open to Medicare cuts

- Campaign promise: Make no cuts to Medicare
- Status: Promise compromised
- Link to more information

President Trump indicated in January 2020 that he would be open to cutting Medicare to help balance the federal budget deficit. His 2021 budget includes $500 billion in decreases in Medicare spending over 10 years, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. Most would be a result of cutting payments to health care providers.

Federal debt grows under Trump
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Federal debt grows under Trump

- Campaign promise: Eliminate the federal debt in eight years
- Status: Promise broken
- Link to more information

President Trump promised to eliminate the federal debt in eight years, but it rose instead. As of Sept. 30, 2020, the federal debt had reached $26.9 trillion, an increase of $4.2 trillion over last year, mostly because of the government's response to COVID-19, according to the U.S. Government Accountability Office. Under President Obama, the debt also rose, from $10.6 trillion to $19.9 trillion.

Trump fails to boot China From WTO
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Trump fails to boot China From WTO

- Campaign promise: Reverse China's entry into the World Trade Organization
- Status: Promise broken
- Link to more information

China became a member of the World Trade Organization in 2001 and remains one. Experts say President Trump was unable to expel China from the organization on his own, and so he instead worked to weaken the WTO and launched a trade war against China. The Brookings Institution found that the trade war hurt the U.S. more than China.

Common Core results disappointed
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Common Core results disappointed

- Campaign promise: Eliminate Common Core
- Status: Promise broken
- Link to more information

Although Education Secretary Betsy DeVos has attacked the standards known as Common Core, the Trump administration has not eliminated them because it has little control over whether states adopt the standards. Common Core was developed by governors and education officials under President Obama, and are still in effect in some states or have been replaced by something similar. Common Core was meant to serve as a set of college or career-ready standards, but results were disappointing.

Trump fails to triple ICE enforcement
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Trump fails to triple ICE enforcement

- Campaign promise: Triple ICE enforcement
- Status: Promise broken
- Link to more information

President Trump failed to triple the number of deportation officers in ICE. There were 5,800 officers and immigration enforcement agents when he took office, and he talked of hiring 10,000—but at the end of 2019 there were about 5,300. The president asked Congress for more money for officers, but it was not allocated.

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Most undocumented immigrants remain in US
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Most undocumented immigrants remain in US

- Campaign promise: Remove all undocumented immigrants
- Status: Promise broken
- Link to more information

President Trump similarly was unable to remove all undocumented immigrants from the United States, as he had promised he would do. Removals have become highly visible under the Trump administration because of raids on workplaces, neighborhoods, and even courthouses, the Migration Policy Institute notes. He has met resistance, however, from state and local officials who have declared sanctuary cities and taken other steps.

US Constitution guarantees birthright citizenship
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US Constitution guarantees birthright citizenship

- Campaign promise: End birthright citizenship
- Status: Promise broken
- Link to more information

The president wanted to do away with automatic citizenship for anyone born in the United States. Birthright citizenship, however, is specified in the U.S. Constitution, which President Trump does not have the power to amend. Trump called birthright citizenship a "magnet" for illegal immigration. Another way someone can become a citizen is if their mother is an American citizen.

Mexico doesn't pay for a border wall
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Mexico doesn't pay for a border wall

- Campaign promise: Build a wall and make Mexico pay for it
- Status: Promise broken
- Link to more information

As of Sept. 1, 2020, 307 miles of a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border had been built, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection. Of that, however, only five miles of the wall is new, in an area where there had been no barrier previously. Mexico has not paid for any of the construction.

Trump falls short on economy’s growth
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Trump falls short on economy's growth

- Campaign promise: Grow the economy by 4 percent a year
- Status: Promise broken
- Link to more information

Even before the coronavirus pandemic sent the American economy tumbling into a recession with millions unemployed, President Trump had failed to achieve an economy that grew by 4 percent a year. The annual average growth during his first three years in office was about 2.5 percent, similar to what was recorded during the last three years of the Obama administration. China was the only world economy that grew during 2020, by 1.9 percent, according to the International Monetary Fund.

No $20 billion for school choice
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No $20 billion for school choice

- Campaign promise: Add additional federal investment of $20 billion toward School Choice
- Status: promise was broken
- Link to more information

President Trump failed to win significant new federal investment in school choice. During his State of the Union address in 2020, he again called on Congress to fund the Education Freedom Scholarships and Opportunities Act. Democrats who control the House of Representatives rejected the proposal, which they said would undermine public education.

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Pandemic expands health savings accounts
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Pandemic expands health savings accounts

- Campaign promise: Create a health savings account
- Status: Promise broken
- Link to more information

Health savings accounts, which allow people to save pre-tax money for health care needs, were created in 2003 by President George W. Bush in the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act. Some changes have been made during the coronavirus pandemic, including allowing people to use them to pay for telehealth services.

Courts issue divergent rulings on sanctuary cities
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Courts issue divergent rulings on sanctuary cities

- Campaign promise: Cancel all funding of sanctuary cities
- Status: Promise broken
- Link to more information

President Trump's efforts to withhold money from sanctuary jurisdictions have ended up in court, with varied decisions. A federal appeals court ruled in February 2020 that the Justice Department can withhold money for fighting crime from sanctuary cities and states that refuse to share immigration information. A ruling in April 2020 by a federal appeals court went against the Trump administration.

Marine Corps reimagines itself smaller, faster
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Marine Corps reimagines itself smaller, faster

- Campaign promise: Rebuild the Marine Corps to 36 battalions
- Status: Promise broken
- Link to more information

After President Trump made this promise, the Marine Corps revealed a plan for a smaller, more nimble corps for the future that would have 21 active infantry battalions, six reserve battalions, and five cannon artillery batteries. The Marine commandant has warned of reductions in the number of Marines. There are more than 186,000 Marines today, compared to about 176,000 Marines before the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, according to The Marine Corps Times.

Infrastructure funding falls away
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Infrastructure funding falls away

- Campaign promise: Invest $550 billion in infrastructure and create an infrastructure fund
- Status: Promise broken
- Link to more information

President Trump promised to invest $550 billion in infrastructure projects—but how much would have been new federal spending and how much would have been private sector money was not spelled out. In the end, there was a tentative agreement with Democrats in Congress for a $2 trillion plan, but that was never finalized.

No increase on visa fees for Mexicans
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No increase on visa fees for Mexicans

- Campaign promise: Increase visa fees
- Status: Promise broken
- Link to more information

During the 2016 presidential campaign, President Trump said he would increase visa fees for Mexicans until Mexico paid for the border wall, but did not follow through on the threat. Fees to all applicants for U.S. citizenship, green cards, and asylum were set to rise in 2020, but a judge blocked the increase in September.

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Size of government approaches record high
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Size of government approaches record high

- Campaign promise: Impose hiring freeze on federal employees
- Status: Promise broken
- Link to more information

President Trump did implement a hiring freeze to reduce the federal workforce. An exception was made for his Cabinet, national security, the military, and public safety. The freeze was later lifted but without the smaller federal workforce. The size of the federal government is close to a record high, according to the Brookings Institution, and President Trump has added 2 million jobs.

Midwest sees manufacturing jobs fall
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Midwest sees manufacturing jobs fall

- Campaign promise: bring back manufacturing
- Status: Promise broken
- Link to more information

Rather than bringing back manufacturing jobs, President Trump has overseen the loss of hundreds of thousands of jobs as a result of the coronavirus pandemic and his trade wars. Politico reported that even before the pandemic, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Wisconsin had lost between 20,000 and 40,000 workers as of July 2020.

Supreme Court likely to uphold Obamacare
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Supreme Court likely to uphold Obamacare

- Campaign promise: Repeal Obamacare
- Status: Promise broken
- Link to more information

Republicans and President Donald Trump have failed repeatedly to repeal Obamacare, legislatively and in the courts. A particularly dramatic moment came in 2017 when the late Republican Sen. John McCain of Arizona turned his thumb down on the floor of the U.S. Senate to show he would vote against repealing Obamacare's individual mandate. In November, at least five justices on the U.S. Supreme Court indicated during arguments that they would uphold the health care law.

No safe zone for Syrian refugees
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No safe zone for Syrian refugees

- Campaign promise: Build a safe zone for Syrian refugees
- Status: Promise broken
- Link to more information

President Trump promised "safe zones in Syria" for refugees fleeing violence in the country and in 2017, said that Europe had made a mistake admitting millions of Syrians and refugees from elsewhere in the Middle East. He never acted on that promise, even as 5.6 million people left Syria.

Trump fails to see special prosecutor appointed
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Trump fails to see special prosecutor appointed

- Campaign promise: Appoint a special prosecutor to investigate Hillary Clinton
- Status: Promise broken
- Link to more information

President Trump was never able to get a special prosecutor appointed to investigate Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server while she was secretary of state. FBI officials did discuss naming a former U.S. attorney as a special prosecutor in their investigation of her in 2016 before the election, according to text messages released by the Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley.

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Size of US Army remains the same
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Size of US Army remains the same

- Campaign promise: Increase the size of the U.S. Army to 540,000 active duty soldiers
- Status: Promise broken
- Link to more information

President Trump campaigned on a promise of a U.S. Army of 540,000 active duty soldiers, up from 475,000, but that never occurred. A Defense Department report for April 2020 shows 475,000 soldiers. President Obama had planned to cut the Army, but Congress allocated the money for 476,000 soldiers.

Lobbying ban has loopholes
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Lobbying ban has loopholes

- Campaign promise: Enact five-year ban on White House and congressional officials from lobbying
- Status: Promise broken
- Link to more information

President Trump in 2017 banned administration officials from ever lobbying the U.S. on behalf of a foreign government and from other lobbying for five years. Questions were raised about how the bans would be enforced. The executive order applied only to whether officials could lobby their former agencies, not whether they could become lobbyists. President Trump named more former lobbyists to Cabinet-level jobs than did his predecessors throughout the previous administration.

States still regulate health insurance
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States still regulate health insurance

- Campaign promise: Get Congress to allow health insurance across state lines
- Status: Promise broken
- Link to more information

Congress still does not allow health insurance to be sold across state lines, which critics see as a way to deregulate insurance. States' varying regulations make interstate health insurance unlikely. President Trump was able to encourage association health plans, groupings of individuals in the same industries or chambers of commerce, but a federal judge ruled that the effort represented an "end-run around the Affordable Care Act." President Trump revived his push for interstate health insurance sales in 2019.

Preventing wasteful spending hit snags
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Preventing wasteful spending hit snags

- Campaign promise: Eliminate wasteful spending in every department
- Status: Promise broken
- Link to more information

President Trump tried to curb spending by reorganizing the Executive Branch. His administration proposed merging the Labor and Education departments, and food safety functions within the U.S. Department of Agriculture. He also wanted a new Bureau of Economic Growth within the Department of Commerce. Congress blocked some of the efforts. Forbes noted that his budget for the fiscal year 2021 included a section on curbing waste, fraud, corruption, and taxpayer abuse.

Penny plan to cut budget put aside
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Penny plan to cut budget put aside

- Campaign promise: Adopt the penny plan
- Status: Promise broken
- Link to more information

Under President Trump's Penny Plan, Congress would decrease discretionary spending by 1 percent each year. Spending for defense, Medicare and Medicaid, and Social Security would be excluded. The Washington Post pointed out that such cuts would add up quickly. President Trump signed spending bills that did not include cuts, but the coronavirus pandemic has necessitated additional spending.

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Push to expand right to carry firearms fails
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Push to expand right to carry firearms fails

- Campaign promise: Expand national right to carry to all 50 states
- Status: Promise broken
- Link to more information

President Trump failed to make concealed carry permits legal in all states. After the 2018 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, he refused to back a bill that the National Rifle Association supported that would have traded expanded concealed carry rights for stronger background checks. He instead favored a bill focused on background checks. The NRA meanwhile is being sued by New York State Attorney General Letitia James, who wants it dissolved.

Commission on radical Islam never convened
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Commission on radical Islam never convened

- Campaign promise: Establish a commission on radical Islam
- Status: Promise broken
- Link to more information

President Donald Trump did not establish a commission on radical Islam, though he once said he would consider naming former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani to lead it. He did take steps to try to curb immigration of Muslims into the United States, beginning with his 2016 campaign promises for a Muslim ban.

Once a skeptic, Trump pushes vaccines
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Once a skeptic, Trump pushes vaccines

- Campaign promise: Change the vaccination schedule for children
- Status: Promise broken
- Link to more information

President Trump once blamed childhood vaccines for autism and thought that they should be delayed. He said he thought they should be given in "smaller doses over a longer period of time," a proposal health experts warned was dangerous. Since the coronavirus pandemic, President Trump has done an about face and is an enthusiastic proponent of the coronavirus vaccines.

Justice Department fails to stop merger
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Justice Department fails to stop merger

- Campaign promise: Stop the AT&T Time Warner Merger
- Status: Promise broken
- Link to more information

The federal government twice lost court cases to block the merger of AT&T and Time Warner. A federal judge approved AT&T's acquisition of Time Warner in 2018 and an appeals court rejected a Justice Department challenge in 2019. The Justice Department argued that the merger would hurt customers by raising prices for television and internet.

Border crossers face shorter sentences
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Border crossers face shorter sentences

- Campaign promise: Have mandatory minimum sentences for criminals caught trying to reenter the United States illegally
- Status: Promise broken
- Link to more information

Crossing the U.S. border illegally is a misdemeanor for the first offense. Entering the country again after being deported or denied admission is a felony and results in greater penalties. Changes from the U.S. Sentencing Commission that took effect in 2016 have meant shorter sentences for crossing the U.S. border illegally after being deported. Congress has not passed a mandatory minimum sentence for border crossers.

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Gun-free zones remain in effect
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Gun-free zones remain in effect

- Campaign promise: Eliminate gun-free zones at schools and military bases
- Status: Promise broken
- Link to more information

President Trump criticized gun-free school zones after the shooting at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. Some Republicans in the House have been trying unsuccessfully to repeal the Gun-Free School Zones Act, including Kentucky Rep. Thomas Massie. Massie argues gun-free zones make students less safe. As far as military bases, each branch of the military makes its own regulations.

No new death penalty for cop killers
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No new death penalty for cop killers

- Campaign promise: Impose death penalty for cop killers
- Status: Promise broken
- Link to more information

This is another promise President Trump made on the 2016 campaign trail but failed to pursue once he was in office: impose the death penalty, through an executive order, for people who kill police officers. Presidents do not have the power to create such laws through executive order and the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled mandatory death penalties are unconstitutional. In 2019, the Justice Department announced legislation to speed up the imposition of the death penalty for cop killers.

No Inner City Resume Bank
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No Inner City Resume Bank

- Campaign promise: Replace J-1 Visa with Inner City Resume Bank
- Status: Promise broken
- Link to more information

President Trump wanted to replace a J-1 visa, which allows young people to come to the United States for educational and cultural opportunities, with an Inner City Resume Bank. The proposal stalled until the coronavirus pandemic, when the president temporarily suspended J-1 visas as well as visas for other foreign workers. A U.S. district judge in October ruled the administration did not have the authority to halt foreign worker visas. The resume bank was not created.

Trump’s education cuts blocked by Congress
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Trump's education cuts blocked by Congress

- Campaign promise: Dramatically scale back the U.S. Education Department
- Status: Promise broken
- Link to more information

Congress stymied President Trump's efforts to cut the budget of the Education Department. The president's budget for the 2021 fiscal year again included a decrease, of 8.4 percent below the appropriation for 2020. In a House hearing, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos told lawmakers the proposed block grant would provide states with flexibility. Democrats accused her of cutting key programs.

Trump withdraws US from Iran deal
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Trump withdraws US from Iran deal

- Campaign promise: Renegotiate the Iran deal
- Status: Promise broken
- Link to more information

The United States under President Trump in 2018 left the Iran nuclear deal that was negotiated by President Obama and which President-elect Biden has said he wants to revive. Politico reported that Israel and some Gulf Arab countries, which approved of President Trump's decision to withdraw from the accord, want to be part of the new negotiations, and perhaps push for a tougher agreement that covers Iran's use of proxy militia and other non-nuclear issues.

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Most workers lack guarantee of parental leave
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Most workers lack guarantee of parental leave

- Campaign promise: Guaranteed six-week paid leave
- Status: Promise broken
- Link to more information

President Trump prompted the proposal for six-week paid maternity leave for workers. He has signed even more generous legislation covering federal workers, up to 12 weeks of paid leave for a new child. The rest of the workforce still lacks guaranteed leave, however, and in 2018, only between 12 percent and 25 percent got time off for the birth, adoption or fostering of a child. The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities criticized the proposal in President Trump's 2021 budget for leaving financing and other details to the states.

Trump administration proposes Medicaid cuts
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Trump administration proposes Medicaid cuts

- Campaign promise: Make no cuts to Medicaid
- Status: Promise broken
- Link to more information

The Trump administration is allowing states to apply to convert Medicaid programs that cover adults into block grants, in which the federal funding is capped in exchange for more authority over the programs. That means states could decrease both coverage and benefits, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. The administration's 2021 budget proposal $1 trillion in cuts to Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act or Obamacare.

Trump lifts “currency manipulator” designation
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Trump lifts "currency manipulator" designation

- Campaign promise: Declare China a currency manipulator
- Status: Promise compromised
- Link to more information

In 2019, the U.S. Treasury Department at the request of President Trump declared China a currency manipulator. That designation was removed at the beginning of the year when the U.S. reached a trade agreement with China. President Trump has accused China of keeping its currency weak so that it can sell its goods for less.

US restricts visas over undocumented immigrants
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US restricts visas over undocumented immigrants

- Campaign promise: Cancel visas to foreign countries that won't take undocumented immigrants back
- Status: Promise compromised
- Link to more information

In 2017, the Trump administration imposed restrictions on visas issued by U.S. diplomats in Cambodia, Eritrea, Guinea, and Sierra Leone. The U.S. government accused the four countries of refusing to take back citizens who had been deported from the U.S. after committing crimes. Other countries affected include Burundi, Burma, Ghana, Laos, and Pakistan. Visa denials often affect government officials and their families.

Trump administration deports criminals among immigrants
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Trump administration deports criminals among immigrants

- Campaign promise: Remove criminal undocumented immigrants
- Status: Promise compromised
- Link to more information

The Trump administration has deported undocumented immigrants who are guilty of crimes, but not all of them all as he promised to do. Of the 1.9 million noncitizens convicted of crimes, 820,000 were in the country illegally, the Migration Policy Institute estimated in 2015. From 2015 to 2017, ICE deported 205,000 immigrants convicted of crimes, and 36,000 against whom charges were pending.

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Trump administration leaves ISIS weaker
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Trump administration leaves ISIS weaker

- Campaign promise: Develop a plan to defeat ISIS in 30 days
- Status: Promise compromised
- Link to more information

President Trump claimed the United States had defeated 100 percent of ISIS in October 2019, then revised the figure to 70 percent after the death of the Islamic State leader Abu al-Baghdadi. Critics say that President Trump deserves credit for weakening ISIS but not all of it. The Trump administration was following a strategy put into place by the Obama administration. The Hill noted the 16 times that the Trump administration had declared ISIS defeated.

Aging planes bedevil Air Force
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Aging planes bedevil Air Force

- Campaign promise: Provide the U.S. Air Force with 1,200 fighter aircraft
- Status: Promise compromised
- Link to more information

The Congressional Research Service counts 1,186 fighter aircraft in the U.S. Air Force, up 43 since President Trump took office and close to his goal. Some of those aircraft are quite old, according to the Heritage Foundation. According to the Air Force Times, fighter or attack jets were on average 27 years old in 2018. Costs for replacing those planes would average $40 billion in the 2030s, according to the Congressional Budget Office.

Trump has mixed record on drug pricing
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Trump has mixed record on drug pricing

- Campaign promise: Allow free access to the drug market
- Status: Promise compromised
- Link to more information

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration under President Trump has stepped up approval of generic drugs, 107 in 2019 compared to 73 in 2016, an increase of nearly 50 percent. Generic drugs are much less costly for patients than brand-name ones. Critics say that the administration must now address the availability of more complex drugs, called biosimilar drugs, which account for 93 percent of the cost increases since 2014. Another plan, to limit Medicare drug costs based on prices paid overseas, was blocked in December 2020 by a federal judge.

Trump fails to meet Navy goal
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Trump fails to meet Navy goal

- Campaign promise: Rebuild the U.S. Navy toward the goal of 350 ships
- Status: Promise compromised
- Link to more information

President Trump campaigned on a promise of a 350-ship U.S. Navy, and he is ending his presidency shy of that goal. The Navy has 293 ships, according to the Pentagon. China, on the other hand, has met that number and now has the largest navy in the world. By the end of 2020, it will have 360 ships, according to The Washington Post. The 350-ship goal is said to be out of reach for the U.S. until the 2050s.

Trump repeals environmental regulations, enacts immigration ones
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Trump repeals environmental regulations, enacts immigration ones

- Campaign promise: Enact a temporary ban on new regulations
- Status: Promise compromised
- Link to more information

President Trump put a temporary freeze on any new regulations when he took office and required agencies to repeal two regulations in order to pass a new one. Overall, though, the number of regulations has not decreased significantly since the Obama administration. President Trump repealed many environmental regulations, the Clean Power Plan for example, but enacted new ones governing immigration.

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Trump can't save coal mines
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Trump can't save coal mines

- Campaign promise: Save the coal industry
- Status: Promise compromised
- Link to more information

President Trump insisted he would end the "war on coal," but his efforts to keep coal mines open faltered against market forces that left coal continuing its decline. Bloomberg reported that coal production is expected to be down 31 percent this year. Up to five dozen coal-burning power plants have closed as utilities turn to renewable energy.

Trump gives preference to American workers
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Trump gives preference to American workers

- Campaign promise: Hire American workers first
- Status: Promise compromised
- Link to more information

President Trump encouraged the country to give priority to American workers. The Justice Department went after companies that gave preference to temporary visa workers over Americans, and as of March 2020, had reached settlements with eight companies. Trump had hoped to get rid of the visa lottery program and to favor skilled immigrants over ones arriving as part of family reunifications.

No new conference convened to defeat ISIS
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No new conference convened to defeat ISIS

- Campaign promise: Call for an international conference to defeat ISIS
- Status: Promise compromised
- Link to more information

President Trump failed to convene an international conference to defeat ISIS and curb radical Islam. An alliance formed by his predecessor, President Obama, continued to meet with 82 members. ISIS is much weakened, its leader Abu al-Baghdadi was killed by U.S. forces, and it has lost its territory, but it has not been eliminated.

Trump helps, harms mental health programs
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Trump helps, harms mental health programs

- Campaign promise: Expand mental health programs
- Status: Promise compromised
- Link to more information

President Trump pledged to expand mental health programs, but critics say some of his policies are having the opposite effect. An article for the Commonwealth Fund notes that his attempts to repeal Obamacare would dismantle some coverage of mental health care. President Trump has taken steps to prevent suicides among veterans and to address a shortage of mental health providers. The president and Congress have increased funding to combat the opioid crisis.

Energy independence remains elusive
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Energy independence remains elusive

- Campaign promise: Achieve energy independence
- Status: Promise compromised
- Link to more information

President Trump promised "complete" energy independence, but as his presidency ends, the country has not reached that goal. By one measure, the United States is not far: production and consumption are close. By another measure, importing energy, the country is further from the goal, but experts say the United States cannot be cut off from the global energy market. Another point: U.S. oil companies have not found it profitable to produce record amounts of oil and natural gas.

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Global warming payments continue
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Global warming payments continue

- Campaign promise: Cancel global warming payments to the United Nations
- Status: Promise compromised
- Link to more information

Despite President Trump's promise, Congress has continued to make contributions to international efforts to curb global warming and mitigate its effects. In 2020, for example, it set aside $6.4 million for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change. The payments are less than under President Obama and Congress has stopped payments to the Green Climate Fund for developing countries.

Keystone XL stalls despite Trump’s backing
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Keystone XL stalls despite Trump's backing

- Campaign promise: Approve Keystone XL project and reap the profits
- Status: Promise stalled
- Link to more information

The long-controversial Keystone XL pipeline would bring crude oil from Canada to Nebraska. From there, it would connect with existing pipelines to travel to refineries on the Gulf of Mexico. President Obama halted its construction, but President Trump reversed that decision. In July 2020 the U.S. Supreme Court refused to block a Montana judge's halt to the project. The company building the pipeline must complete a full environmental review.

ISIS’ online presence shrinks but internet remains open
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ISIS' online presence shrinks but internet remains open

- Campaign promise: Close parts of the internet where ISIS is
- Status: Promise stalled
- Link to more information

ISIS' online activity has declined but not because parts of the internet were closed, as Trump suggested in 2015 when he proposed that Bill Gates look into the idea. Moderation of social media has cut into its online presence. The terrorist organization's activities have also been curbed by international law enforcement.

US libel laws stay the same
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US libel laws stay the same

- Campaign promise: Open up libel laws
- Status: Promise stalled
- Link to more information

President Trump hoped to make it easier to sue news organizations, with whom he has had a contentious relationship throughout his presidency. In 2018, he called libel laws a sham and complained about what he called false and defamatory reporting. Reporters are protected by the First Amendment and a Supreme Court decision, New York Times v. Sullivan, under which public officials and public figures must meet a high bar to establish libel.

Trump saves Carrier Plant
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Trump saves Carrier Plant

- Campaign promise: Save Carrier plant in Indiana
- Status: Promise kept
- Link to more information

President Trump did save the Carrier plant in Indianapolis, in a deal that protected hundreds of jobs and represented his campaign promise to bolster manufacturing in the United States. But as the Indianapolis Star wrote, only some of the workers kept their jobs. Six hundred were laid off, among 3,000 jobs lost as more than 20 companies in Indiana moved their production overseas and a manufacturing resurgence did not materialize.

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Trump increases spending on veterans
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Trump increases spending on veterans

- Campaign promise: Increase veterans' health care
- Status: Promise kept
- Link to more information

President Trump has persistently tried to take credit for a veterans program begun during the Obama administration. The renamed veterans' community care program started by President Obama allows veterans to go to private doctors if the wait is too long at the Department of Veterans Affairs medical centers. Spending on health care for veterans rose under President Trump.

Trump donates salary; money flows to Trump properties
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Trump donates salary; money flows to Trump properties

- Campaign promise: Take no salary
- Status: Promise kept
- Link to more information

President Trump has not taken the $400,000 salary that comes with the presidency, instead donating it to government departments and directing the money to help fight the opioid crisis among other causes. Critics point out that he has benefited financially from the presidency through the Trump companies. The Washington Post has detailed how millions of dollars have gone from the government and the Republican party to Trump properties.

NAFTA Becomes USMCA
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NAFTA Becomes USMCA

- Campaign promise: Renegotiate NAFTA
- Status: Promise kept
- Link to more information

President Trump did renegotiate NAFTA, which is now USMCA for the United States, Mexico, and Canada Agreement. It includes updates for the auto industry, new policies on intellectual property protection, an opening of the Canadian dairy market, and standards for labor and the environment. The Brookings Institution called the changes mostly cosmetic.

Trump reverses Obama’s Cuba policy
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Trump reverses Obama's Cuba policy

- Campaign promise: Reverse Barack Obama's Cuba policy
- Status: Promise kept
- Link to more information

President Trump kept his promise on Cuba, reversing the opening that occurred under the Obama administration. He restricted travel to and commercial activity with Cuba, making it more difficult for Americans to visit, and his administration stepped up financial restrictions. In 2020, he prohibited importing Cuban cigars and imposed other sanctions.

Infrastructure projects use U.S. steel
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Infrastructure projects use U.S. steel

- Campaign promise: Use U.S. steel for infrastructure projects
- Status: Promise kept
- Link to more information

President Trump ordered the use of American steel be expanded in infrastructure projects and imposed tariffs on imported steel and aluminum. The amount of steel being imported to the United States is falling, which could indicate that the president's policy to bolster the industry is working. One part that remains missing: a big infrastructure plan. President-elect Biden is planning to build a modern infrastructure.

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Social Security survives with no cuts
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Social Security survives with no cuts

- Campaign promise: Make no cuts to Social Security
- Status: Promise kept
- Link to more information

Although President Trump did propose cutting programs administered by the Social Security Administration, Congress did not agree. Among the disability programs are the Social Security Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income. Both would have been cut in the 2021 proposed by the president.

Trump defunds Planned Parenthood
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Trump defunds Planned Parenthood

- Campaign promise: Defund Planned Parenthood
- Status: Promise kept
- Link to more information

President Trump kept this promise by prohibiting family planning money from going to organizations such as Planned Parenthood that provide abortion referrals. Previously Planned Parenthood and other groups could receive the money as long as it was used for non-abortion services. A federal court upheld the legality of the regulation.

Tariffs increased on imported goods
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Tariffs increased on imported goods

- Campaign promise: Raise tariffs on goods imported into the U.S.
- Status: Promise kept
- Link to more information

President Trump did increase tariffs on goods from countries that he believed were cheating the United States, among them China. Some $618 billion of U.S. imports were affected, including solar panels, washing machines, and steel and aluminum. Meanwhile, President Trump is engaged in a trade war with China that some observers say is benefiting China, not the U.S.

Defense sequester effectively ends
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Defense sequester effectively ends

- Campaign promise: End the defense sequester
- Status: Promise kept
- Link to more information

Although the tight limits on military spending that were imposed on the military, known as sequestration, have not been repealed, Congress has worked around them. They are scheduled to end after 2021. The process was meant to push the parties together in agreement, but it failed in that respect.

White House officials banned from lobbying
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White House officials banned from lobbying

- Campaign promise: Place lifetime ban on White House officials lobbying for foreign government
- Status: Promise kept
- Link to more information

Top administration officials are prohibited from ever lobbying the United States on behalf of a foreign government, under an executive order issued by President Trump. There are provisions for exceptions in the order. The officials are also forbidden to lobby their first year out of the White House by a criminal statute.

Trump ensures funding for Historic Black Colleges and Universities
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Trump ensures funding for Historic Black Colleges and Universities

- Campaign promise: Ensure funding for historic Black colleges
- Status: Promise kept
- Link to more information

The Trump administration ensured that Historic Black Colleges and Universities are funded by signing the FUTURE Act. The schools will continue to receive STEM funding that originated with President George W. Bush, which will amount to $255 million a year for the next 10 years.

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Trump fails to scale back EPA significantly
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Trump fails to scale back EPA significantly

- Campaign promise: Dramatically scale back the EPA
- Status: Promise compromised on
- Link to more information

President Trump was able to roll back numerous environmental protections put in place by the Obama administration, but he was unable to make significant changes at the EPA itself. His final budget proposal for 2021 would cut the EPA budget by 26 percent, and $600 million from 50 EPA programs.

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