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Donald Trump touts promise progress at press conference
Lauren Carroll
By Lauren Carroll February 16, 2017
By Gabrielle Healy February 16, 2017

We’re tracking more than 100 of President Donald Trump’s campaign pledges on our Trump-O-Meter. In a lengthy press conference Feb. 16, Trump listed several actions he’s taken since his Jan. 20 inauguration to meet these promises.

Here’s a quick rundown of the promises he listed. (We fact-checked the press conference in a separate article.)

"We've withdrawn from the job-killing disaster known as Trans Pacific Partnership."

We rated this a Promise Kept after Trump signed a presidential memoranda officially directing the United States to withdraw from the free trade deal. The TPP, negotiated by former President Barack Obama, had yet to be ratified by Congress and was unlikely to be. Trump's withdrawal is a largely symbolic move but underscores the new administration's very different outlook on global trade.

"We've imposed a hiring freeze on nonessential federal workers."

We rated this promise In the Works, after Trump signed a presidential memorandum imposing a hiring freeze on federal employees, with exceptions for employees in national security, public safety and the military sectors. But the real measure of success for this pledge will come down to how much he is able to reduce the scope of the government through attrition.

"We've issued a game-changing new rule that says for each one new regulation, two old regulations must be eliminated."

We rated this a Promise Kept, when he signed a Jan. 30 executive order directing that for every new regulation, two be repealed. Several regulation categories are exempt from Trump's order, including the military, foreign affairs and personnel management.

"We've begun preparing to repeal and replace Obamacare."

We rated this claim In the Works after Trump signed a broad executive order to minimize the law’s economic burden on his first day in office. However, the executive order did not repeal the former president’s signature health care law or offer executive branch agencies any new authority with regard to the policy.

"We have also taken steps to begin construction of the Keystone Pipeline and Dakota Access Pipelines."

We rated Trump’s promise to build the Keystone XL pipeline In the Works after he signed a presidential memorandum advancing the construction of the pipeline on Jan 25. He also signed another memorandum ordering the Army to "review and approve" the Dakota Access Pipeline. Both represent direct reversals of actions taken by the Obama administration, which took steps to halt construction of both pipelines.

We are "now in the process of beginning to build a promised wall on the southern border."

We rated this promise as In the Works after Trump signed an executive order on Jan. 25 calling for the wall’s "immediate construction of a physical wall." Trump didn’t mention in the press conference a key component of his promise — that Mexico would pay for for the wall. Mexican government officials say the country won’t pay.

"We've ordered a crackdown on sanctuary cities that refuse to comply with federal law and that harbor criminal aliens."

Trump promised to "end" sanctuary cities during his campaign. We rated this promise In the Works after he signed an executive order on Jan. 25 directing the attorney general's office and the secretary of homeland security to withhold grant money from cities that protect undocumented immigrants.

"We have taken decisive action to keep radical Islamic terrorists out of our country."

Trump promised to suspend immigration from terror-prone places. We rated this promise In the Works when he signed an executive order Jan. 27 temporarily halting entry into the United States of people from seven countries impacted by terrorism. The order is currently facing significant legal challenges.

"I've started by imposing a five-year lobbying ban on White House officials...

We rated this promise a Compromise.  Trump signed an executive order Jan. 28 that will restrict some of the lobbying White House officials can do after they leave his team. But like most presidential crackdowns on ethics, it has caveats. For example, the order only bans White House officials from lobbying their former agency, not from becoming lobbyists.

… and a lifetime ban on lobbying for a foreign government."

We rated this a Promise Kept. Trump signed an executive order on Jan. 28 banning administration officials from ever lobbying the United States on behalf of a foreign government.

"I have kept my promise to the American people by nominating a justice of the United States Supreme Court, Judge Neil Gorsuch, who is from my list of 20."

We rated this a Promise Kept. Not even two weeks into his presidency, Trump nominated Gorsuch to fill the late Justice Antonin Scalia's seat on the Supreme Court. Gorsuch, a conservative,  is currently a judge for the Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit based in Colorado.


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Donald Trump touts promise progress at press conference