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Republican Donald Trump’s First 100 Days: What Are His Plans as President of the United States?

Responding to criticisms that his platform lacked specifics and solid plans, Trump laid out a list of proposals for what he wanted to accomplish once reaching the Oval Office

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100 Days
Donald Trump, then a candidate for the U.S. presidency, holds a sign supporting his plan to build a wall between the United States and Mexico that he borrowed from a member of the audience at his campaign rally in Fayetteville, North Carolina, March 9, 2016. VOA
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November 13, 2016: In October, Donald Trump laid out his agenda for his first 100 days as president of the United States.

Responding to criticisms that his platform lacked specifics and solid plans, Trump laid out a list of proposals for what he wanted to accomplish once reaching the Oval Office.

Proposals were divided into three categories: measures to “clean up the corruption and special interest collusion” in Washington, actions to protect American workers, and restoration of security and the constitutional rule of law.

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Additionally, Trump proposed 10 legislative measures he intended to work with Congress on, including repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act, President Barack Obama’s signature health care plan that expanded medical insurance to millions of Americans. Trump and other critics have said the plan of costs too much and provides inferior care. The controversial health care measure, known as Obamacare, was signed into law in 2010.

A man holds up a "Drain the Swamp in Washington DC" sign as then-Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump attends a campaign event on the tarmac of the airport in Kinston, North Carolina, Oct. 26 2016. VOA
A man holds up a “Drain the Swamp in Washington DC” sign as then-Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump attends a campaign event on the tarmac of the airport in Kinston, North Carolina, Oct. 26 2016. VOA

‘Drain the swamp’

In the first category of his efforts to “drain the swamp” of Washington, Trump listed six initiatives, including tightening regulations on lobbyists.

The first of these six, imposing term limits on all members of Congress, would actually have to be initiated and approved by the Senate, because it would require a constitutional amendment. Constitutional amendments are proposed by Congress, not the president. Although Republicans hold a majority in both houses, it is still not clear how much support some of Trump’s proposals will receive from Congress. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has already said he opposes term limits.

Another proposal on Trump’s list is a hiring freeze on all federal employees to reduce the size of the federal workforce through attrition. This is most likely supported by Republican lawmakers, whose spending plans for years have called for reducing the number of non-national-security employees.

Of the seven proposals Trump made regarding the protection of American workers, three of them are related to the environment and U.S. energy policy, including approving construction of the controversial Keystone pipeline, canceling payments to U.N. climate change programs, and lifting restrictions on the production of shale oil, natural gas and clean coal.

Other proposals include rejecting the Trans-Pacific Partnership and renegotiating a number of other trade deals, including the North American Free Trade Agreement.

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Trump listed five actions to restore “security and the constitutional rule of law,” one of which is filling the Supreme Court seat held by the late Justice Antonin Scalia — an action Obama tried to take, only to be blocked by the Senate.

Rep. Luis Gutierrez, D-Ill., right, speaks with Lenka Mendoza of Dumfries, Va., who is originally from Peru, during a rally in front of the White House in support of executive action addressing immigration reform, Nov. 19, 2014. VOA
Rep. Luis Gutierrez, D-Ill., right, speaks with Lenka Mendoza of Dumfries, Va., who is originally from Peru, during a rally in front of the White House in support of executive action addressing immigration reform, Nov. 19, 2014. VOA

Cancel ‘unconstitutional’ orders

Other actions deal largely with immigration issues. The first proposal is to cancel all executive actions, memoranda and orders issued by Obama that Trump has labeled “unconstitutional.” Of these, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program is one that could end, affecting protection for more than 1 million immigrants who were brought to the country as children.

Trump also stated his intention to remove undocumented immigrants with criminal records from the country, as well as suspend immigration from “terror-prone” countries from which he contends immigrants cannot safely be vetted.

Another is his proposal to build a wall on the U.S. border with Mexico, which he reaffirmed the Mexican government would ultimately pay for. Mexico’s president told Trump in a meeting earlier this year that Mexico would not finance a wall.

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The full transcript of Trump’s speech in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, that outlined his plan for his first 100 days in office can be seen here. (VOA)

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Facebook Chief Operating Officer Supports Releasing Russia-linked Advertisements

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Chief Operating Officer of Facebook, Sheryl Sandberg, delivers a speech during the visit of a start-up companies gathering at Paris' Station F, in Paris. voa

Washington, October 12: Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg said Thursday she “absolutely” supports the public release of all advertisements produced by a Russia-linked organization during the 2016 presidential election.

Sandberg said the company is “working on transparency” following the revelation last month that a group with alleged ties to the Russian government ran $100,000 worth of ads on Facebook promoting “divisive” causes like Black Lives Matter.

“Things happened on our platform that shouldn’t have happened,” she said during the interview with Axios’s Mike Allen.

Later Thursday, Facebook Chief Operating Officer is set to meet with Congressional investigators who are looking into what role the advertisements which began running in 2015 and continued through this year may have played in the 2016 presidential election.

The $100,000 worth of ads represent a very small fraction of the total $2.3 billion spent by, and on behalf of, President Donald Trump and losing-candidate Hillary Clinton’s campaigns during the election.

Multiple congressional investigations have been launched, seeking to determine what effect alleged Russian meddling may have played in the election.

In addition, Robert Mueller, a former director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, is conducting a criminal probe, including whether President Trump’s campaign colluded with Russian operatives during the election season. Trump has denied working with the Russians.

Facebook had previously agreed to disclose the thousands of Facebook ads to congress. Sandberg said Thursday she thinks “it’s important that [the investigators] get the whole picture and explain that to the American people.”

In response to the Russian ad buys, Facebook Chief Operating Officer said that company is hiring 4,000 new employees to oversee ads and content. She said the company is also using “machine learning and automation” to target fake accounts that spread fake news.

She defined fake news as “things that are false hoaxes” and said Facebook is working to stamp out the bad information by teaming up with third-party fact checkers and warning users before they share news deemed fake by Facebook.

She said it is important to be cautious when going after fake news because “a lot of what we allow on Facebook is people expressing themselves” and “when you cut off speech for one person, you cut off speech for all people.”

“We don’t check the information posted on Facebook before people post it, and I don’t think people should want us to,” she said.

Hundreds of fake accounts were used to distribute the Russia-linked advertisements, Sandberg said. But had those ads been posted by legitimate users, “we would have let them run,” she said.(VOA)