by Katherine Opiela ’20
On January 20, 2017, Donald Trump was sworn in as the 45th President of the United States. After the ceremony, he took to Twitter via @realDonaldTrump to highlight some of his promises as President. Pledging to bring back things such as secure borders and well-paying jobs, Trump stuck to his campaign slogan, promising to “Make America Great Again.”
I believe Trump’s narrow-minded view of our world is going to result in much conflict with foreign countries throughout his presidency. With that kind of view of the world, it seems nearly impossible for this celebrity to follow through on his promises and incite the kind of positive changes he says he wants to see for our country.
I worry that our nation will be governed by Trump the divisive campaigner. Last Saturday, day one of the new administration, President Trump visited CIA headquarters where he loudly lashed out at his detractors, blatantly exaggerated the size of his inauguration crowd, slammed the press as “among the most dishonest human beings on earth,” and bragged about seeing himself on magazine covers.
His unpresidential behavior incurred the wrath of former CIA Director John Brennan. According to former CIA Deputy Chief of Staff Nick Shapiro, Brennan believes that Trump, “should be ashamed of himself.” In one tweet, Shapiro said, “Former CIA director Brennan is deeply saddened and angered at Trump’s despicable display of self-aggrandizement in front of CIA’s Memorial Wall of Agency heroes.”
Oddly, President Trump didn’t seem to understand what he had done wrong. He tweeted about the “long standing ovations” he received at CIA headquarters and described his visit as a “Win.”
Later in the day, in his first White House press briefing, Press Secretary Sean Spicer rattled off information that wasn’t true. In particular, following up on Trump’s complaints that the press under-reported the size of the crowds for his inauguration, Spicer said, “This was the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration, period.” Of course, plenty of photos show that this is not true.
It is shocking that Trump’s press secretary would lie when it’s so easy for anyone to uncover the facts. When asked about the discrepancy over the crowds on Sunday, Trump’s advisor Kellyanne Conway said they had based their comments on“alternative facts”—whatever that means.
It’s also upsetting that Trump seems okay with breaking campaign promises. We already know the wall might actually be just a fence. Also, during the campaign, Trump said he wasn’t releasing his tax returns because he was under an IRS audit. Trump claimed that the IRS does not let anyone under audit release their tax returns, but that’s not the case. However, he pledged to release his tax returns once the audit was complete. Now, the White House says Trump will never release his tax returns, even when the audit is complete—what a surprise.
Many Trump supporters claim Americans don’t care about Trump’s taxes, but a CNN poll found that 74 percent of Americans actually do think Trump should release his tax returns.
It appears as if the Trump administration wants us to believe whatever they say, even though the facts often stand in stark contrast to their messages and they often don’t follow through and do what they say they will do.