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.

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Domestic policy

Trump announces freeze on elephant trophy imports in tweet

In a surprise move, the Trump administration will suspend its recent decision to allow hunters to bring elephant trophies back to the United States from parts of southern Africa, President Trump tweeted Friday night.

The move comes as celebrities, politicians and even some Trump supporters had intensely criticized the administration’s decision earlier this week to re-allow the importation of elephant parts back into the U.S. from Zambia and Zimbabwe.

AccoladesHis schedule

Trump welcomes college sports champions to White House

The White House was overrun with school spirit Friday as President Trump welcomed college sports champions and declared them "great athletes." Too many of them to fit in one room, the teams took up positions across the mansion for separate photo ops with the president.
 

In all, 18 NCAA teams attended the event at the White House; South Carolina's women's basketball team declined the invitation.

The Texas A&M women's equestrian team, Pennsylvania State University's women's rugby team, the University of Washington's women's rowing team and others gathered around the White House grounds to be recognized for their championships.

Trump posed for photos with the players throughout the Rose Garden, South Lawn and inside the White House and then sent them off to the Oval Office for a quick tour. At one point, the president playfully got into a wrestling pose with members of the Penn State men's team. Chatting with the Ohio State men's volleyball team, he popped a colorful volleyball into the air.

In the Red Room of the White House, the National Rifle Assn.-backed Trump greeted the West Virginia's co-ed rifle team by saying, "We saved the 2nd Amendment!" Then he asked, "So who is the best shot?" At another point, joined by Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, Trump bowed his head in prayer along with members of the Oklahoma softball team.

Domestic policyOn the media

Trump hails gang sweep aimed at MS-13 members

The Trump administration announced a major gang sweep Thursday, with the arrests of more than 200 members of the violent street gang Mara Salvatrucha, or MS-13.

President Trump on Friday tweeted a link to an article about the action. His message contained a video of a news conference announcing the arrests, interspersed with clips of a speech he gave in July in Brentwood, N.Y., in which he called for police and immigration officials to be “rough” with suspected gang members in order to rid the country of “animals” he said are terrorizing communities.

Officials from the Department of Homeland Security and Justice Department said "Operation Raging Bull" was conducted across the United States from Oct. 8 to Nov. 11, and concluded with the arrest of 214 members of MS-13.

The operation was the second phase of a federal effort to target MS-13. The first phase involved 53 arrests in El Salvador in September after an 18-month investigation.

In a statement, Atty. Gen. Jeff Sessions said more than 1,200 gang members had been convicted so far this year, and about 4,000 had been arrested and charged. He said the arrests would help make the country safer "by taking MS-13 off our streets for good."

Of the most recent round-up, officials said, criminal charges included murder, aggravated robbery, racketeering, narcotics trafficking, firearms offenses and assault. About 60 of the arrests involved people illegally crossing the border as unaccompanied children, officials said.

AccoladesDomestic policyPolitics and pollsThe economy

Trump pushes GOP tax plan in tweets

President Trump suggested Friday that Democrats could exert greater sway over the shape of tax overhaul legislation if they weren't focused wholly on defeating it.

In a pre-dawn tweet, Trump wrote: 

In another post to his Twitter account, the president lauded "Great numbers on Stocks and the Economy."

Trump has been exultant in the wake of House passage Thursday of a massive tax cut bill that ranks as his and the Republican Party's top legislative priority.

But in the Senate, a similar measure received a politically awkward verdict from nonpartisan congressional analysts showing it would eventually produce higher taxes for low- and middle-income earners but deliver deep reductions for those better off.

Despite controlling both chambers of Congress and the White House, the Republicans are still smarting from this summer's crash of their effort to dismantle President Obama's healthcare law. They see a successful tax effort as the best way to avert major losses in next year's congressional elections.

InsultsPolitics and polls

Trump mocks Sen. Al Franken in tweets on groping accusation

President Trump on Thursday criticized Sen. Al Franken after a Los Angeles radio show anchor said that the Minnesota Democrat had forcibly kissed her and later groped her on a 2006 USO tour.

"The Al Frankenstien picture is really bad, speaks a thousand words," Trump wrote Thursday night in one of two tweets on the topic. He misspelled "Frankenstein."

Leeann Tweeden, a news anchor on KABC's "McIntyre in the Morning," said in a post on the station's website Thursday and in interviews throughout the day that Franken had written a skit for the USO tour in which they kissed, and that he aggressively kissed her after demanding that they rehearse the scene.

Tweeden said she found out later, from a CD of photographs taken of the tour, that Franken had groped her while she was sleeping on the plane ride from the Mideast to the United States. It is not clear from the photo whether Franken touched her, but Tweeden said he had.

Franken apologized Thursday, and amid a blizzard of criticism said that he would “gladly cooperate” with a Senate Ethics Committee investigation into his actions.

The allegations brought increased scrutiny on some of the former comedian's past comments, including a 1995 New York magazine article that describes Franken pitching a joke about the rape of TV journalist Lesley Stahl while brainstorming a sketch for "Saturday Night Live." The joke was also raised as an issue during Franken's first Senate campaign in 2008.

In a CNBC interview this past September, Franken suggested that the comment would have caused less controversy in the current political climate, particularly given the emergence during last year's presidential campaign of the "Access Hollywood" tape that captured then-candidate Trump bragging about groping women in 2005.

Trump appeared to refer to that comparison in one of his tweets, writing, "Lesley Stahl tape?"

This post contains reporting from Times staff writers Cathleen Decker and Alex Wigglesworth.

AccoladesDomestic policy

Trump congratulates House GOP for passing tax plan

President Trump on Thursday congratulated House Republicans for approving their sweeping tax-cut package.

In a tweet, Trump called the vote "a big step toward fulfilling our promise to deliver historic TAX CUTS for the American people by the end of the year!"

The House approval of the tax plan set up a showdown with the Senate, where Republicans are struggling to win support for their own significantly different approach.

Senate GOP leaders, after making some revisions this week, are facing mounting dissent and criticism that their tax plan favors corporations and the wealthy. An analysis by Congress' bipartisan tax experts on Thursday concluded the Senate plan would raise taxes for some of the poorest Americans by 2021.

House Republicans had an easier time, passing their measure by a vote of 227 to 205, though 13 Republicans voted no.

This post contains reporting from Times staff writers Lisa Mascaro and Jim Puzzanghera.

Foreign policy

Trump presses for U.N. vote on chemical weapons in Syria


President Trump is pressing for the United Nations Security Council to extend the mandate of experts trying to determine who was responsible for chemical attacks in Syria.

The measure could face a veto from Russia, which is pushing a rival resolution opposed by the United States and other Security Council members.

If neither resolution is adopted, the Joint Investigative Mechanism would cease operations when its current mandate expires at midnight Thursday.

Trump tweeted Thursday morning that he needs "all" on the council to renew the so-called JIM "to ensure that Assad Regime does not commit mass murder with chemical weapons ever again."

Russia, Syria's most important ally, has been seeking changes in the way the JIM operates. Syria accepted a Russian proposal in 2013 to relinquish its chemical weapons stockpile.

Foreign policyNorth Korea

Trump calls Chinese envoy to North Korea 'a big move'

President Trump is calling China's plans to send an envoy to North Korea a "big move."

Trump weighed in on Twitter on Thursday:

The president did not elaborate.

Following Trump's visit to Beijing, China said Wednesday that it would send a high-level special envoy to North Korea amid an extended chill in relations between the neighbors.

The state-run New China News Agency said the director of the ruling Communist Party's International Liaison Department, Song Tao, would travel to Pyongyang on Friday to report on the party's national congress held last month. Song would be the first ministerial-level Chinese official to visit North Korea since October 2015.

Foreign policy

Trump suggests UCLA basketball players released from China owe him thanks

President Trump suggested Wednesday that three UCLA players accused of shoplifting in China owed him public thanks after their release from confinement and return home.

Hours after he returned from a 12-day Asia trip, Trump tweeted:

Trump said Tuesday that he had spoken to Chinese President Xi Jinping about the three athletes, who were taken into custody while in Hangzhou for a game against Georgia Tech.

Their teammates left China after the game, but freshmen LiAngelo Ball, Jalen Hill and Cody Riley were held until Tuesday, when they boarded a plane in Shanghai. When they arrived in Los Angeles, the three ignored reporters’ questions. They planned to speak at a news conference Wednesday.

AccoladesForeign policyHis schedule

Trump touts his accomplishments as he winds down Asia trip in Manila

After 11 days of honor guards, dancing children, palace banquets, deference from Asian leaders and an audience with an emperor, President Trump on Monday seemed determined not to spoil the pomp and ceremony with a sticky dispute over human rights.

So as he met in Manila with Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte, a leader accused of overseeing a broad crackdown on suspected drug dealers that has left thousands of people dead without charges or trials, Trump ignored reporters’ questions about human rights and instead focused on the hospitality.

"We've had a great relationship," Trump said as he and Duterte, host of this year's summit of the Assn. of Southeast Asian Nations, briefly met with reporters.

Trump tweeted a photo of himself standing alongside Duterte and other world leaders who attended the summit.

The president is wrapping up the last leg of his five-country tour of Asia, which included stops in China, Japan, South Korea and Vietnam.

At the start of a joint meeting Monday with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Trump raved about his accomplishments during his trip, including on trade and North Korea. He said he would wait until his return to Washington on Wednesday to elaborate with a "major statement." 

"We've made some very big steps with regard to trade — far bigger than anything you know," Trump told reporters in Manila, touting business deals forged between U.S. and foreign companies.

He followed up with a tweet pledging that items on his agenda "are rapidly being fulfilled."

On Tuesday, Trump was to attend a second conference, the annual East Asia Summit, before returning to Washington late that night.

A packed agenda awaits. In addition to Trump's promised statement on trade – the White House has suggested the president may designate North Korea a state sponsor of terrorism – Republicans are racing to enact a tax overhaul before the end of the year. The House is pushing toward a vote on its bill this week, and a Senate committee began considering its own version of the legislation on Monday. 

This post contains reporting from Times staff writer Noah Bierman and the Associated Press.

AccoladesForeign policyHis schedule

Trump arrives in the Philippines

President Trump arrived in the Philippines ahead of another controversial moment in his five-nation Asia tour — a scheduled meeting with Rodrigo Duterte, the Philippines president, who has a history of human rights abuses.

Trump had an initial encounter with Duterte in Manila on Sunday, exchanging handshakes and toasts with him at a gala dinner opening an international conference.

The two leaders will hold talks at the Assn. of Southeast Asian Nations summit on Monday, marking the last leg of Trump’s tour, which has also included stops in Japan, South Korea, China and Vietnam

Trump and Duterte will discuss "trade and investment, innovation, addressing cybercrime, countering radicalization, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, protection and promotion of rights for migrant workers,” Robespierre Bolivar, spokesman for the Philippine foreign ministry, said on Friday.

Philippine police, at Duterte's direction, have killed thousands of people accused of drug crimes without trials, incurring condemnations from human rights groups, the United Nations, the U.S. Congress and the European Union.

There are no signs that Trump will press Duterte on the killings — the White House, in advance of the trip, said Trump enjoys a “warm rapport” with the Philippine leader.

Duterte was in Vietnam on Friday along with Trump and other regional leaders for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit, where Duterte made news after saying he killed someone when he was as young as 16. He had previously bragged about killing suspected criminals in Davao, where he had served as mayor.

Trump's time in Vietnam was largely overshadowed by his comments defending Russian President Vladimir Putin, who also attended the summit, from charges that the Russian government meddled in last year’s U.S. elections.

Trump's reluctance to publicly accept intelligence assessments that Russia sought to sway the 2016 vote in his favor drew strong condemnation from lawmakers and national security officials back in the United States.

Also while in Vietnam, Trump taunted North Korean leader Kim Jong Un with a tweet mocking his physical appearance.

Trump was apparently insulted that the Kim regime had called him "an old lunatic" in a statement responding to Trump's condemnation of the North during a speech he delivered in South Korea on Tuesday.

This post contains reporting from Times staff writers Noah Bierman, Jonathan Kaiman and Laura King.

Foreign policyInsultsNorth Korea

Trump taunts Kim Jong Un on Twitter: 'I would NEVER call him "short and fat"'

President Trump is exchanging schoolyard taunts with North Korea's Kim Jong Un.

Trump tweeted from Vietnam: 

Trump has been working to rally global pressure against North Korea's nuclear weapons program during a five-nation trip to Asia. That included a stern speech delivered in South Korea during which Trump called Kim a “tyrant,” and contrasted North Korea with what he called an economic “miracle” in South Korea.

Kim's government responded to that speech by calling Trump an "old lunatic."

On Saturday, a spokesman for North Korea's Foreign Ministry published a lengthy and incendiary commentary, condemning Trump for a "warmonger's visit" with the goal of ending the nation's effort to create a "self-defensive" nuclear weapons program.

"Reckless remarks by an old lunatic like Trump will never scare us or stop our advance," the statement said.

When asked at a news conference later Sunday if he could become friends with the North Korean leader, Trump replied that it "might be a strange thing to happen but it's certainly a possibility."

Trump said he doesn't know if that friendship will develop, but added it would be "very, very nice if it did."

This post contains reporting from Times special correspondent Matt Stiles.

9:27 p.m.: This post was updated with Trump's comments on a possible friendship with Kim Jong Un.

This post was originally published at 4:55 p.m.

Foreign policyHis scheduleInsultsNorth KoreaObamaOn the mediaPolitics and pollsRussiaThe Clintons

Trump lashes out at 'haters and fools' over criticism of his meeting with Putin

President Trump lashed out at critics of his meeting Saturday with Russian President Vladimir Putin, during which Trump again declined to press concerns about Russian interference in the election last year.

In a pair of tweets sent Saturday evening, Trump wrote that Russia "can greatly help" U.S. efforts to deal with a number of diplomatic crises, including North Korea's nuclear weapons program.

He also took aim at "the haters and fools out there" who have questioned his efforts to maintain "a good relationship with Russia."

"[They are] always playing politics - bad for our country," he wrote.

In a third tweet, Trump brought last year's campaign rival, Democrat Hillary Clinton, into the discussion. He appeared to refer to a 2009 meeting in Geneva between Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Clinton, who was then secretary of State. 

According to a Times report published that March, Clinton gave Lavrov an oversized red button labeled "reset" in Russian as a means of illustrating the United States' interest in ending the Bush administration's acrimonious relations with Moscow. But Lavrov needled Clinton by pointing out that because of a translation error by the American staff, the button was labeled not "reset" but "overcharge."

Referencing the "misspelled reset button," Trump suggested that his relationship with Russia merely illustrates how he has succeeded where previous administrations have failed.

After meeting with Putin at a summit in Vietnam on Saturday, Trump defended the former KGB agent against charges that the Russian government meddled in last year’s U.S. elections.

"Every time he sees me, he says, 'I didn't do that,' " Trump told reporters aboard Air Force One, while traveling between Da Nang and Hanoi during his Asian trip. "And I believe, I really believe that when he tells me that. He means it."

Trump instead lashed out at former U.S. national security officials who sounded the alarm about Russian interference, including former CIA Director John Brennan, former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and former FBI Director James Comey, whom Trump fired earlier this year.

"They're political hacks," the president said. "Comey is proven now to be a liar, and he's proven to be a leaker. So you look at that. And you have President Putin very strongly, vehemently says he had nothing to do with that."

Trump’s comments came after days of equivocation from the White House over whether Trump would meet with Putin. Both men were in Da Nang to attend the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit. Trump said he had “two or three very short conversations” with Putin over the last two days to discuss Syria. They issued a joint statement Saturday promising further cooperation in seeking a political solution to the country’s civil war.

U.S. intelligence agencies already have concluded that Russia engaged in a campaign to influence the election, hacking into Democratic emails that later were leaked and using a variety of online tools to spread fake news and other propaganda.

5:22 p.m.: This post was updated with a third tweet from Trump.

This post was originally published at 4:29 p.m.

Foreign policyHis scheduleNorth Korea

Trump tweets that 'progress is being made' on North Korea

President Trump tweeted Saturday that "progress is being made" when it comes to the denuclearization of North Korea.

Trump also wrote that Chinese President Xi Jinping plans to toughen sanctions against Pyongyang, though no official announcement had yet been made in that regard.

Trump spent two nights in Beijing this week on the third leg of a five-country Asia tour. While there, he pressed Xi to do more to squeeze the North Korean economy and cut off exports into North Korea, the vast majority of which come from China.

In a joint statement to the media, the two leaders said they agreed to cooperate on North Korea, among other issues, but did not provide specifics. They didn't take questions from reporters, breaking with a precedent from the Obama administration in which the United States insisted on allowing questions.

Trump tweeted from Hanoi, Vietnam, where he planned to conduct a brief state visit before holding a joint news conference with President Tran Dai Quang. 

Trump was to depart for the Philippines later Sunday for a pair of summits that will close out his trip to Asia.

This post contains reporting from Times staff writers Brian Bennett, Noah Bierman and Alex Wigglesworth

AccoladesHis schedule

Trump salutes veterans of Vietnam War

President Trump has signed a proclamation saluting the veterans of the Vietnam War.

From Da Nang, Vietnam, the site of an American air base that was used during the Vietnam War, Trump tweeted:

The president on Friday stood with seven veterans and praised their service. Some of the veterans spoke and praised Trump's support of the military. One began to cry as he talked about fallen veterans and Trump hugged him.

Trump also thanked war veterans during his weekly address. He shared a video of his remarks on Twitter:

Trump is in the midst of a lengthy Asia trip and was in Da Nang to attend an international summit.

Accolades

Trump bids happy birthday to the Marines

President Trump wished a happy birthday to the U.S. Marine Corps on Friday in a tweet.

The Marine Corps was established by the Second Continental Congress on Nov. 10, 1775, according to the Marine Corps website.

Foreign policyHis scheduleThe economy

Trump pushes 'America first' trade message at APEC summit in Vietnam

President Trump on Friday delivered a stern message to a group of Pacific Rim nations eager for signs of the United States’ continued engagement and economic leadership in the region: America first.

“We are not going to let the United States be taken advantage of anymore,” Trump told an audience of business leaders assembled in Vietnam for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit, which annually gathers leaders from across the region and around the world to discuss trade and development.

“I am always going to put America first the same way that I expect all of you in this room to put your countries first.”

Though the president began with fulsome praise, citing individual countries by name for their economic and social progress, he soon segued to the kind of speech he often delivers to rowdy American arenas full of supporters — railing against unfair trade practices, closed factories and Chinese economic aggression.

Unlike at those rallies, at this seaside conference where business and government leaders are trying to salvage a Pacific nations trade deal that Trump derailed, the American president received scattered applause, even as many in the crowd stood to snap pictures at the start of the half-hour speech.

At a couple of points, Trump paused to express his disappointment at the restrained reactions. “Not too many people here are from Thailand,” he said when his warm words about the country were met with silence.

After he complained that “while we lowered market barriers, other countries didn’t open their markets to us” — something the now-scuttled Trans-Pacific Partnership would have done much to change for the U.S. — the president responded to an apparent heckler in the crowd.

“Funny. They must have been one of the beneficiaries,” he said, gazing into the audience. “What country do you come from, sir?”

After days of conciliatory talk during his visit to Beijing, Trump offered harsher criticism of China, mostly not by name, than he had publicly in that country. He spoke against countries that use “government-run industrial planning and state-owned enterprises” and engage in “product dumping, subsidized goods, currency manipulation and predatory industrial policies,” echoing critiques from his campaign speeches.

“They ignored the rules to gain advantage over those who followed the rules, causing enormous distortions in commerce and threatening the foundations of international trade itself,” he added.

The tough critique contrasted with Trump’s rhetoric in China leading up to Friday’s speech, when he muted his criticism of the country as he sought to build a warmer personal bond with President Xi Jinping.

Foreign policyHis schedule

Trump heads to Vietnam

President Trump has departed China and is headed to Vietnam.

Trump tweeted that First Lady Melania Trump would remain in China to do some sightseeing before visiting Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson in Alaska, then returning to Washington.

Trump was to continue his five-nation Asia tour with his stop in Vietnam, where he was slated to attend the annual conference of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation group.

AccoladesForeign policyHis schedule

Trump hails U.S.-China relations in tweets

After days of basking in the flattery of other world leaders, President Trump dished out some of his own Thursday, bestowing kind words and gestures on an unlikely counterpart, China’s Xi Jinping, a communist leader who just tightened his grip on power in a country Trump accused during the campaign of “raping” U.S. workers.

Trump called Xi "a very special man" with whom he has "great chemistry." He congratulated Xi on the recent Communist Party Congress, which gave new authority to the Chinese leader. And although he challenged Xi on the economy and the "menace" of North Korea, he cast more blame on his American predecessors than on Xi for the trade imbalance.

"I don't blame China," Trump said at a ceremony involving U.S. and Chinese business leaders. "Who can blame a country for being able to take advantage of another country for the benefit of its citizens? I give China great credit."

Xi was more detached in his comments than Trump, who spoke in personal terms about what he called a terrific initial meeting Wednesday night and a dinner that went longer than expected because the men were having such a great time.

Later, Trump blamed prior U.S. administrations for creating a trade imbalance, saying, "It's too bad that past administrations allowed it to get so far out of kilter."

Trump's language, putting the United States and China on near-equal footing, could play to Xi's favor. The Chinese president is eager to assert China as a dominant world power rivaling America.

Xi spoke in far different terms, celebrating a Chinese economy that is entering a new phase, from "high-speed growth" to "high-quality growth."
 

AccoladesForeign policyHis schedule

Trump thanks Xi for warm welcome in China

President Trump began his first full day in China on Thursday with an elaborate welcome ceremony ahead of a series of talks with Chinese leader Xi Jinping.

Trump began his day at the Great Hall of the People, an imposing government building that sits by Tiananmen Square. Normally brisk Beijing traffic was halted as the American president's motorcade made its way from the St. Regis Hotel for the short journey. The tourists that normally pack the square were also missing.

When Trump and First Lady Melania Trump arrived, they were greeted by Xi, his wife, Peng Liyuan, an honor guard and a Chinese military band that played the U.S. and Chinese national anthems. Cannons fired 21 shots from Tiananmen Square.

Schoolchildren waved flags of both countries as the leaders chatted.

The Trumps then joined Xi and his wife for tea, a tour of the ancient Forbidden City, an opera performance and dinner.

The Chinese, much like the Japanese and South Koreans on the first two stops of Trump's five-nation Asia tour, believe the gilded treatment is the best way to play to Trump's ego and disarm him, and thereby blunt his demands that China open up its economy and take a harder tack against North Korea, according to experts and former government officials.

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