Politics

His tweets have the power to shape international relations, send stock prices up — or down — and galvanize the American public.

We're watching how Donald Trump is using this platform of unfettered communication now that he’s commander in chief. Here is everything Trump has tweeted since he was sworn in as 45th president of the United States. In many cases, we look at what he was reacting to and whether what he said was accurate. And, as much as possible, we'll relate what else was going on at the time. Check back for more as Trump continues to tweet.

AccoladesHis schedule

Trump thanks service members after announcing deeper involvement in Afghanistan

President Trump thanked members of the U.S. military Monday night after announcing that he had approved what amounted to an open-ended military commitment to prevent terrorist safe havens in Afghanistan.

Trump admitted that he came into office wanting to pull all U.S. troops out of Afghanistan but said Monday he had changed his mind.

“My original instinct was to pull out, and historically I like following my instincts. But all of my life I heard that decisions are much different when you sit behind the desk in the Oval Office,” Trump said, in a rare acknowledgment of the unique pressures and vantage of his office.

“The consequences of a rapid exit are both predictable and unacceptable,” Trump said, adopting the rationale that his predecessors, Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama, had used to justify 16 years of U.S. military involvement in Afghanistan.

Trump’s speech — in a televised prime-time address before an audience of troops at Ft. Myer, across the Potomac River from Washington in Virginia — marked a shift to a much more traditional Republican foreign policy by a president who ran for office disparaging what he often referred to as the “stupid” decisions of the past.

Foreign policyHis schedule

Trump touts speech on Afghanistan

President Trump tweeted a link to a live broadcast of his address to the nation Monday night in Arlington, Va. He was expected to announce the commitment of more troops to the war in Afghanistan during the prime-time speech.

Trump, who as a private citizen blamed “stupid leaders” for prolonging the war in Afghanistan, faced the tough prospect of selling Americans on the need for deeper involvement there.

Committing thousands more troops to the nation’s longest war presents a new political challenge for the president at a time when his public approval — and credibility — has been damaged by a succession of missteps and misstatements in his young administration. The public by and large is divided over the war and its effectiveness.

With his decision, Trump is in the awkward position of taking ownership of a conflict he has long criticized.

AccoladesFox NewsOn the media

Trump thanks Jerry Falwell Jr. for defending him on 'Fox & Friends'

Democrats and Republicans, business executives, artists and many religious leaders have criticized President Trump for saying that "both sides" share blame for the deadly violence stemming from a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Va.

But evangelical leader Jerry Falwell Jr., president of Liberty University, has repeatedly defended Trump in tweets and interviews.

Trump tweeted his appreciation Monday morning, saying that Falwell had been "fantastic" during an appearance on Fox News' "Fox & Friends," where he again went to bat for the president.

"President Donald Trump does not have a racist bone in his body. I know him well. He loves all people," Falwell said Monday in the interview.

He said the president had made "very clear" who the culprits were because he called out "the Nazis, the white supremacists, the KKK members by name."

Some graduates of Liberty University said they were returning their diplomas to the evangelical school to denounce Falwell's latest show of support.

But Falwell dismissed the protest on Monday, telling the Associated Press that it was "all just grandstanding."

Trump has earned some of his highest approval ratings from evangelicals throughout his tumultuous presidency, and Falwell isn't alone among religious leaders who continue to support him. Trump dismantled other presidential boards amid multiple defections last week, but only one of Trump's evangelical advisors has quit.

Still, Trump's comments on Charlottesville appeared to have generated a negative reaction from his base as a whole, including residents of three states that put him over the top last year.

Among people who voted for Trump last year, 23% in Wisconsin, 19% in Pennsylvania and 16% in Michigan now do not approve of his performance in office, according to three polls conducted for NBC News that were released Sunday.

The president appeared to focus on the positive Monday: He also replied to a tweet expressing admiration for his ability to "stand strong," despite what the tweet's author characterized as attempts by the "fake news media" to sabotage Trump's presidency.

Accolades

Trump offers thoughts and prayers after U.S. Navy destroyer collides with tanker

President Trump offered thoughts and prayers to those aboard the U.S. Navy guided-missile destroyer John S. McCain, which collided with a tanker east of Singapore and the Straits of Malacca.

At least 10 sailors were missing and five others had been reported injured, the Navy said.

Trump tweeted Sunday night that search and rescue efforts were underway.

The John S. McCain sustained damage on its rear port side from the collision with the Alnic MC that occurred Monday at 5:24 a.m. local time, the Navy's 7th Fleet said.

It is the second collision in two months involving a ship from the Navy's 7th Fleet in the Pacific. Seven sailors died in June when the destroyer Fitzgerald and a container ship struck each other off Japan.

His scheduleInsultsOn the media

Trump lashes out at the media as he heads back to Washington

President Trump tweeted that he was headed back to Washington following a 17-day trip that the White House described as a "working vacation."

The president's mood appeared foul Sunday evening, as he assured the public that he had been "working hard" from his golf club in New Jersey.

Trump also suggested that he'd been indulging his well-documented cable television habit during his time away, writing that the coverage he'd watched consisted of "some of the worst and most dishonest Fake News reporting I have ever seen!"

Trump's tweet Sunday evening came as the White House announced that he had settled on a new military strategy in Afghanistan. Trump was slated to unveil the plan, which is expected to involve the authorization of more U.S. troops, Monday night from Ft. Myer, outside Washington.

The message was Trump's first public comment since he dispatched a string of confusing tweets Saturday afternoon in response to a far-right rally in Boston that was met with counter-protests.

In a tweet that was quickly deleted, then tweaked and posted again, then deleted again, Trump said the country had been "divided for decades, but will come together again. Sometimes protest is needed in order to heel, and heel we will!"

He then tweeted the sentiment a third time, but spelled "heel" as "heal."

The 26-hour Twitter silence that ensued was somewhat unusual for the president.

It seemed he had a lot to digest: In the annals of the modern presidency, few chief executives have been as alone as Trump appears now — shunned by major business leaders, at odds with his party’s congressional leadership and deeply estranged from more than half the nation.

Polls taken in the past week, since Trump made comments that seemed to make excuses for neo-Nazi demonstrators in Charlottesville, Va., have shown the negative reaction.

– This post contains reporting from Alex Wigglesworth, David Lauter and W.J. Hennigan

AccoladesPolitics and polls

In tweets on Boston, Trump cites 'anti-police agitators,' then thanks protesters for speaking out against hate

President Trump weighed in on the far-right rally and a counter-protest held Saturday in Boston, describing "anti-police agitators" and complimenting the police.

Boston police said they had a tight security plan in place to ensure the violence that roiled Charlottesville, Va., last weekend did not take place in their city.

The large gathering ended as scheduled by 2 p.m. local time without any major incidents.

Trump followed that tweet by another that appeared to be quickly deleted, then posted again, then deleted again.

In that tweet, Trump said the country had been "divided for decades, but will come together again. Sometimes protest is needed in order to heel, and heel we will!"

Then he tweeted the sentiment again, with a spelling correction.

He also praised those who came out in Boston to oppose bigotry.

Trump has come under intense criticism from both Democrats and Republicans for his response to the events in Charlottesville.

He initially laid blame for the violence on "many sides" and walked away when reporters shouted questions about whether he specifically denounced white supremacism. After the backlash, he gave a scripted statement Monday that said racism was evil and called out the "KKK, neo-Nazis, white supremacists and other hate groups" as repugnant.

But in a news conference on infrastructure the following day, he again spoke about blame on "both sides" and said the white supremacists' march included some "very fine people." 

AccoladesOn the mediaPolitics and pollsThe Clintons

Trump thanks Steve Bannon in first public comments since advisor's departure

President Trump thanked Stephen K. Bannon on Saturday, his first public comments since the controversial presidential advisor left the White House and returned to his perch at Breitbart News.

Bannon was an architect of Trump's "America First" agenda during the campaign last year, but his fiery brand of nationalist rhetoric sparked harsh criticism -- which was in the spotlight after Trump's racial comments about last weekend's white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Va. 

Trump's tweet Saturday morning thanked Bannon for helping take over his presidential campaign last summer when Trump was trailing in polls to Democratic rival Hillary Clinton. Trump did not mention Bannon's work in the White House.

Later Saturday, as thousands of protesters rallied against a far-right group's "free speech" rally in Boston, Trump tweeted again about the role he expects Bannon to play on the outside to counter what the president calls "fake news."

A White House spokeswoman had no information Saturday about how Trump was spending his day or whether he had spoken to Bannon since his exit.

The president, at his golf resort in Bedminister, N.J., had no public events on his schedule.

AccoladesForeign policyHis schedule

Trump tweets that he reached a decision on Afghanistan while at Camp David (but doesn't say what it is)

President Trump suggested that he has settled on a strategy for the United States' longest war, though he did not disclose exactly what that might be.

After huddling Friday with his top national security aides at Camp David, Trump tweeted Saturday morning that the meeting had resulted in "many decisions made, including on Afghanistan."

Parties to Friday's talks at the Maryland presidential retreat included Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Defense Secretary James N. Mattis and Vice President Mike Pence, who cut short a trip to South America to attend.

Afterward, the president returned to his New Jersey golf club to continue a prolonged stay that aides have described as a "working vacation."

The White House said Friday night that Trump had been briefed on a new strategy for the South Asia region and was  "studying and considering his options." 

Trump planned to publicly announce a course of action "at the appropriate time," Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a brief statement.

The president has expressed frustration at the lack of progress in Afghanistan, and his administration so far has struggled to articulate a strategy for moving forward.

–This post contains reporting from the Associated Press

Accolades

Trump extends condolences after two officers shot and killed in Florida

President Trump extended his condolences after two police officers were shot Friday night in Florida. Both officers died, and a suspect was taken into custody.

Sgt. Richard “Sam” Howard, 36, died Saturday from gunshot wounds he suffered when he and fellow officer Matthew Baxter, 27, were shot during a routine stop in Kissimmee, Fla.

Baxter died shortly after the shooting, which took place about 9:30 p.m. 

Police arrested a suspect, Everett Glenn Miller, 45, late Friday night.

Authorities didn't immediately disclose a possible motive but suggested that the officers were ambushed.

– This post contains reporting from Orlando Sentinel staff writer Caitlin Doornbos.

His scheduleTerrorism

Trump signs bill authorizing 'Global War on Terrorism Memorial'

President Trump touted his signing of legislation that provides for the construction of a memorial to U.S. service members who have fought in the so-called war on terrorism.

The bill authorizes a nonprofit called the Global War on Terrorism Memorial Foundation to oversee the creation of the monument, planned for the National Mall in Washington.

It also exempts the memorial from federal legislation prohibiting the installation of such tributes on the Mall until at least 10 years after a war has ended.

The Global War on Terrorism Memorial Foundation issued a statement hailing the president's "historic signing" of the measure.

“We’re looking forward to building a sacred place of healing and remembrance for our veterans and their families and want to thank our partners and advocates who worked tirelessly on Capitol Hill to pass this bipartisan legislation,” said founder and director Andrew J. Brennan.

Trump tweeted from his golf club in Bedminster, N.J., where he returned Friday evening after traveling to Camp David for a meeting on military strategy. He is staying at his club for what aides described as a "working vacation" while the White House undergoes renovations.

The president continued to lie low amid growing fallout over his handling of last weekend's violence in Charlottesville, Va., where a woman died when a car allegedly driven by a white supremacist sped through counter-protesters and pedestrians.

On Friday, all 17 members of the White House advisory commission on the arts and humanities resigned en masse to protest Trump's comments blaming counter-protesters as well as white supremacist groups for the deadly violence.

The White House had already disbanded two economic councils earlier in the week after a slew of business leaders quit over what they said was the president’s failure to sufficiently condemn neo-Nazis and other racist groups that gathered in Charlottesville. 

His schedule

Trump returns to Bedminster after Camp David meeting

President Trump returned to his New Jersey golf club Friday evening after huddling with his top national security aides at Camp David for a meeting on military strategy.

The president announced his return by tweeting a slideshow of photos from the meeting, which Vice President Mike Pence cut short a trip to South America to attend.

Afterward, the White House said that Trump was "studying and considering his options" for a new approach to Afghanistan and the broader south Asia region.

White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders issued a brief statement saying that Trump had been briefed extensively on a new strategy to "protect America's interests" in the region. She did not specifically mention Afghanistan.

"The president is studying and considering his options and will make an announcement to the American people, to our allies and partners, and to the world at the appropriate time," she said.

Domestic policy

Trump announces plan to elevate Pentagon's Cyber Command

President Trump announced plans Friday to elevate the Pentagon's Cyber Command to the status of a unified combatant command next year, part of a strategic shift to emphasize cyber offense for future combat and counterterrorism operations.

The move will place cyber operations on the same level as the Pentagon’s nine other combatant commands, which are all led by four-star generals or admirals.

It represents a historic expansion of America's war-fighting strategy and power projection. No other nation has publicly acknowledged using cyber for operations, although U.S. officials say it is part of the military doctrine for Russia, China, Iran and North Korea.

The decision to create a separate cyber command "demonstrates our increased resolve against cyberspace threats and will help reassure our allies and partners and deter our adversaries," Trump said in a statement.

It "will also ensure that critical cyberspace operations are adequately funded" by Congress, he said.

His schedule

Trump heads to Camp David for meeting on military strategy

President Trump huddled with his top national security aides in the seclusion of Camp David on Friday, trying to formulate a winning Afghanistan strategy after 16 frustrating years of war.

Trump met at the presidential retreat with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Defense Secretary James N. Mattis, top intelligence agency officials and other top military and diplomatic aides.

The officials and Trump weighed options for breaking a prolonged stalemate in the fight against a Taliban insurgency. There was no immediate word from the White House on whether Trump settled on a single course of action or asked for more deliberations. Afterward, the president returned to his golf club in Bedminster, N.J.

The meeting participants did not include Stephen K. Bannon, the Trump strategist who has clashed with other members of the national security team over how to proceed in Afghanistan. His resignation was announced at midday.

By retreating to the seclusion of Camp David in Maryland's Catoctin Mountains, Trump was taking an opportunity to regroup after a politically bruising week of criticism of his response to the deadly protests in Charlottesville, Va.

CourtsImmigrationPolitics and pollsTerrorismTravel ban

Trump appears to revive defense of travel ban in morning tweets on terrorism

President Trump tweeted that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and law enforcement are "on alert" and watching the borders for any sign of trouble.

His comment came the day after 13 people were killed and scores were injured when a van mowed down pedestrians in Barcelona, Spain, in an attack claimed by Islamic State.

Trump later lashed out at "obstructionist Democrats," claiming that they have impeded efforts to keep the country safe. "Radical Islamic Terrorism must be stopped by whatever means necessary!" he tweeted Friday morning.

That appeared to be a reference to a temporary travel ban that Trump sought to impose on visitors to the United States from six mostly Muslim countries. The ban has been challenged in court. The Supreme Court plans to hear arguments in the fall.

Trump commented on Twitter hours before he and his national security team met at Camp David in Maryland to discuss the way forward in Afghanistan.

Terrorism

Trump tells public to study discredited Gen. Pershing story that historians describe as urban legend

Hours after a van plowed through a crowd in Barcelona, Spain, and left at least 12 people dead, President Trump tweeted condemnation of the attack and quickly followed with a statement about U.S. Army Gen. John Joseph Pershing that historians describe as urban legend.

The full claim, which Trump repeated several times during his 2016 presidential campaign, is that in the aftermath of the Philippine-American War of 1899-1902, Pershing had his men dip 50 bullets in pig blood and use them to kill 49 Muslim prisoners. The survivor was told to relay the experience to others.

The story claims that terrorism decreased for decades.

If true, the story would constitute a war crime under U.S. law, which prohibits execution of prisoners.

The tale has circulated across the Internet for years. Trump told it in February 2016 during a speech to supporters in North Charleston, S.C., in which he lauded the benefits of heavy-handed interrogation techniques. 

"He took 50 bullets, and he dipped them in pigs’ blood. And he had his men load his rifles, and he lined up the 50 people, and they shot 49 of those people. And the 50th person, he said: 'You go back to your people, and you tell them what happened.' And for 25 years, there wasn’t a problem. OK? Twenty-five years, there wasn’t a problem," Trump told the crowd.

Two months later during a speech that criticized President Obama's acceptance of Middle Eastern war refugees into the U.S., Trump told the same story to supporters in Costa Mesa. This time, he altered the number of problem-free years from 25 to 42.

In a 2013 edition of Pershing's memoir, a letter from Maj. Gen. J. Franklin Bell to Pershing was added in the footnote. The letter described a long "custom to bury [insurgents] with pigs when they kill Americans." Bell called the tactic "a good plan."

The letter does indicate that pig blood was at one time used, or at the very least discussed, as an intimidation tactic against Muslim fighters, since Islam considers pigs unclean.

But there's no evidence that Pershing – who historians describe as less brutal than his predecessors – ever used such a technique.

"This story is a fabrication and has long been discredited," Brian McAllister Linn, a Texas A&M University historian, told Politifact. "I am amazed it is still making the rounds."

Foreign policyTerrorism

Trump denounces Barcelona attack

A van plowed into crowds of pedestrians in Barcelona’s historic Las Ramblas district on Thursday, leaving bloodied people sprawled on the sidewalk and sending others fleeing an attack claimed by the militant group Islamic State.

At least 12 people were killed and 80 injured, the president of Spain's Catalonia region, Carles Puigdemont, said.

President Trump immediately denounced the attack.

More than two hours after the initial attack, a car ran over two police officers in another part of the city, authorities said.

It was not immediately clear whether the attack on the police officers was related to the original incident.

Amaq, a news agency affiliated with Islamic State, released a statement saying the van attack had been carried out by its “soldiers” in response to the “coalition countries,” presumed to be a reference to the nations, including Spain, that are battling the militant group in Iraq and Syria.

Politics and polls

Defending Confederate memorials, Trump equates Gens. Lee and Jackson with Presidents Washington and Jefferson

Showing his characteristic refusal to back down in the face of criticism, President Trump deepened his defense of Confederate war memorials Thursday, sending out a series of messages on Twitter that adopted the language and arguments of white nationalists who have opposed their removal.

Trump's equation of Gens. Lee and Jackson, who took up arms against the Constitution, with Presidents Washington and Jefferson repeated one of the major arguments that defenders of the Confederate monuments have made.

Monuments to leaders of the Confederacy were erected across the South, and in some other parts of the country, mostly starting in the early years of the 20th century, as whites fought to prevent black citizens from voting and increased the strictures of segregation that barred blacks from schools, hotels, restaurants and white sections of trains and other public accommodations. 

The placement of the statues and monuments in public squares coincided with the rise of the Ku Klux Klan and the murder of thousands of blacks by lynch mobs in the early decades of the last century.

To blacks, and many white Southerners, the statues have long been a symbol of racial oppression. In recent years, the movement to take them down and, in some cases, put them in museums instead of public parks, has gained strength in many Southern cities.

His scheduleThe economy

Trump says he's taking 'many meetings' at his golf club in New Jersey

President Trump assured the public that he planned to work during the remainder of his time at his New Jersey golf club.

Trump tweeted Thursday morning that he would take meetings in Bedminster, N.J. He returned there Wednesday to resume his 17-day "working vacation" after brief visits to Washington and New York.

Trump planned to meet separately Thursday at his golf club with Linda McMahon, the administrator of the Small Business Administration, and Florida Gov. Rick Scott, a longtime Trump supporter. 

Trump also prepared for an unusual meeting Friday at the Camp David presidential retreat in Maryland with his national security team to discuss strategy for South Asia, including India, Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Vice President Mike Pence was cutting short a long-planned Latin America tour to attend the meeting.

That came as fallout continued over Trump's response to violence in Charlottesville, Va., where a woman was killed when she was hit by a car on Saturday while protesting a white supremacist rally.

Though out of public view, Trump sought to make his voice heard on Twitter as he found himself increasingly under siege and alone while fanning the controversy over race and politics toward a full-fledged national conflagration.

In other tweets Thursday morning, the president attacked two Republican senators and the news media, deepened his defense of Confederate war memorials, condemned an attack in Barcelona, Spain, and repeated a widely discredited anecdote about a U.S. Army general's treatment of Muslim prisoners.

InsultsOn the mediaPolitics and polls

Trump attacks two Republican lawmakers, deepening feud with members of his own party

President Trump attacked two Republican lawmakers, Sens. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Jeff Flake of Arizona, in tweets Thursday morning, deepening his feud with members of his party.

Both men got the sort of unkind brands Trump favors: "Flake Jeff Flake" and "Publicity seeking Lindsey Graham."

Strikingly, the president offered a semi-endorsement of Kelli Ward, a former Arizona state senator who plans to challenge Flake in a primary next year – a stand that would put him at odds not only with Flake, but with the state's senior senator, John McCain, whom Trump jabbed, not for the first time, earlier this week.

Presidents almost never get involved in primary battles against incumbents of their own parties – when they have, the efforts have usually ended badly for the White House.

But Flake opposed Trump last year and angered him further in recent weeks with the publication of his new book, which sharply criticizes both Trump and Republicans who have supported him.

Trump's jabs come two days after he again attacked McCain and after last week's series of slams against the Republican leader of the Senate, Mitch McConnell. In this case, Trump's intervention likely will deepen his fight with two senators at once, McCain and Flake – just as the president has, perhaps not coincidentally, scheduled a political rally in their state for Tuesday, in Phoenix. 

Last month, after McCain was diagnosed with brain cancer, Ward publicly called on him to step down from the Senate, saying he would die soon and that Gov. Doug Ducey should consider her as a replacement. She ran against McCain and lost in 2016 in a bitter primary in which she said he was too old to be reelected.

Ward is a favorite of a family of wealthy, deeply conservative, Republicans donors, the Mercers, who have been major financial backers of Trump and also of his strategist, Stephen K. Bannon.

White House officials have met with Ward and other candidates who might oppose Flake, and White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders recently made a point of leaving open the possibility that Trump would get involved in the primary.

Further deepening the feud, Trump also took a swipe at McCain's closest ally in the Senate, Graham, calling him a "publicity seeking" lawmaker.

Trump criticized Graham for what the senator had said about Trump's remarks on the violence last weekend in Charlottesville, Va.

Heather Heyer was killed when she was struck by a car driven into a crowd of people on Saturday who were protesting white supremacists in Charlottesville.

The reference to Graham's "trouncing" presumably referred to Graham's poor showing when he briefly sought the GOP presidential nomination last year. He was easily reelected to the Senate in 2014. 

In a statement, Graham responded that Trump's praise of Heyer was "very nice and appropriate. Well done."

"However, because of the manner in which you handled the Charlottesville tragedy, you are now receiving praise from some of the most racist and hate-filled individuals and groups in our country."

In a separate tweet, Trump accused "the Fake News" of distorting "what I say about hate, bigotry, etc. Shame!"

ImmigrationInsultsPolitics and polls

Trump thanks Miami-Dade County mayor for ending 'sanctuary' status

After President Trump signed an executive order in January and vowed to strip federal funds from "sanctuary" cities, Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez decided to honor federal authorities' requests to hold county prisoners for deportation.

Trump thanked Gimenez in a tweet that contained a video of Atty. Gen. Jeff Sessions speaking Wednesday in Miami, where he denounced Chicago for its defiant “sanctuary city” stance, again blaming the city’s surge in crime on policies designed to protect immigrants.

Although the link between illegal immigration and rising crime is weak — studies show immigrants tend to commit crimes at lower rates than other people — Sessions suggested Miami’s policies contributed to a dramatic drop in homicides.

“The same Independence Day weekend when Chicago suffered more than 100 shootings and 15 homicides, Miami-Dade also had a historic number of shooting deaths — zero,” Sessions said.

He said the Trump administration would not continue giving money to cities “that actively undermine the safety and efficacy of federal law enforcement and actively frustrate efforts to reduce crime in their cities.”

“So if voters in Chicago are concerned about losing federal grant money: Call your mayor,” Sessions said.

The dangers of immigrant crime are a major concern for Trump’s base of voters, and the issue was a favorite theme of his campaign. Sessions, a hard-line advocate for reducing immigration while serving in the U.S. Senate, has made the cause a top priority for the Justice Department

– This post contains reporting by staff writer Joseph Tanfani

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