Donald Trump

Trump's Busy Year On Energy And Environment

Dec 22, 2017

President Trump campaigned on a platform to make American energy great again.

"We're loaded," he said, at a 2016 campaign appearance in North Dakota, referring to fossil fuel reserves. By unleashing those reserves and slashing regulations, Trump promised, he would usher in an era of "energy independence" and, ultimately, American energy dominance.

A federal district judge has dismissed a lawsuit alleging that President Trump is violating two anti-corruption provisions of the Constitution.

Judge George Daniels, in Manhattan, said the plaintiffs lack the necessary legal standing to sue. And he said the heart of the plaintiffs' case — the Constitution's Foreign Emoluments Clause — was something they couldn't even sue over.

The Foreign Emoluments Clause bars federal officials from taking gifts or rewards from foreign governments, unless Congress consents.

Vice President Pence made a surprise visit to Afghanistan on Thursday. It is the first visit to the country by the president or vice president under the Trump administration, and comes four months after Trump unveiled his strategy for the United States' role in the country.

"I bring greetings from your commander in chief," Pence told troops at the Bagram Airfield, north of Kabul. "Before I left the Oval Office yesterday, I asked the president if he had a message for the troops.

"He said, 'Tell them I love them,' " Pence said.

With a generous helping of exclamation points, ALL CAPS and spelling errors, 2017 was the first year of the first Twitter presidency. And in a way, President Trump's most popular tweets of the year tell the story of his presidency. These statements on Twitter gave Americans and the world an unprecedented real-time view of what Trump was thinking, stewing over and watching on cable.

This week Trump judicial nominee Matthew Petersen withdrew his name, amid controversy. It was the third such withdrawal in 10 days. Even so, President Trump's record on filling judicial vacancies has far outdistanced his predecessors.

Trump, aided by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., has won confirmation of 12 appeals court nominees. That's more than any president in his first year, and indeed, more than Presidents Obama and George W. Bush combined.

A new president in real life means a new president at Magic Kingdom, too.

Specifically, a new animatronic figure in the Hall of Presidents at Walt Disney World, where every former leader of the republic is depicted in an "audio-animatronics show."

The exhibit is currently closed for updates and maintenance, but Disney has released a sneak peak of the new addition.

Although candidate Donald Trump had little good to say about China, by the time President Trump visited Beijing as part of his Asian tour last month, he was touting the "great chemistry" enjoyed with Chinese leader Xi Jinping.

A Senate election in Alabama. A Republican tax bill moving through Congress. Violent protests in the Middle East following U.S. recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

What could these widely disparate matters have in common, besides heavy news coverage? It turns out that they all have enabled President Trump to send a message to one distinct and crucial category of his supporters.

Updated at 3:43 p.m. ET

President Trump outlined his goals for military modernization and economic advancement Monday, as he unveiled his national security strategy in a speech in Washington.

The strategy document — which every president is required by law to produce — offers a blueprint for Trump's military and foreign policy. It could help to guide future decisions on defense spending, trade negotiations and international cooperation.

Despite some last-minute challenges, Republicans appear to have the votes to give President Trump his first legislative victory.

Final passage of the bill that will reshape the tax system and touch nearly every American is expected early this week, possibly Tuesday or Wednesday.

It will be Trump's first significant legislative accomplishment, not a bad Christmas gift for a president, who often boasts of lesser successes.