WASHINGTON, Jan 21: President Donald Trump wasted no time launching the most radical agenda of any president in living memory, vowing to build a nuclear missile defence system to counter attacks from North Korea and Iran, and announcing a plan to eviscerate his predecessor’s actions on climate change.
Within minutes of his inauguration Mr Trump’s team posted a statement on the White House website announcing the “state-of-the-art” nuclear defence plan although no further details of cost, or whether it differed from technology already in development, were given.
There was also an announcement from the White House on Mr Trump’s commitment to overhaul Barack Obama’s Climate Action Plan, and Environmental Protection Agency regulations aimed at enforcing clean water.
Mr Trump said his predecessor’s plan, which involved cutting carbon emissions from coal-fired power stations, was “harmful and unnecessary” and he was committed to “maximising the use of American resources”.
He said revenue from energy production would be used to pay for rebuilding roads, bridges, schools and other crumbling infrastructure, and doing so would increase wages by more than $30 billion over the next seven years.
National Day of Patriotism
Mr Trump had previously indicated that he would consider Monday “day one” of his administration.
But he appeared to have instead decided to hit the ground running, saying he was keen to “get the show going”.
Only an hour after after finishing his inaugural address he signed his first three official orders.
They were a proclamation for a “National Day of Patriotism,” a formal document that will allow General James Mattis to serve as Defence Secretary, and a paper bearing formal nominations to the Senate.
Mr Trump’s team moved in to offices in the White House the moment he was sworn in, with one of them suggesting he could “erase the Obama presidency in several hours”.
Repealing Obamacare, immigration controls, efforts to defeat Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, and strictures on lobbying in Washington, were also high on his list of priorities.
Aides said Mr Trump was still working through exactly which orders to sign but there was expected to be a frenzy of activity over the next five days.
Republican Party officials said they expected several executive orders relating to repealing Obamacare, Mr Obama’s signature healthcare policy, almost immediately.
An official at the Department of Health said they were “nervous,” adding: “I don’t know what we’re rolling out on Monday.”
Bringing back jobs
Mr Trump also began using his Twitter account to make announcements minutes after finishing his inaugural address, promising to give power “back to the people”.
He said: “We will bring back our jobs. We will bring back our borders. We will bring back our wealth, and we will bring back our dreams. We will follow two simple rules – buy American and hire American.
“This will be remembered as the day the people became the rulers of this nation again.”
The forgotten men and women of our country will be forgotten no longer.”
As part of his radical populist platform Mr Trump has promised to deliver a $1 trillion programme to rebuild infrastructure, and is considering $10.5 trillion cuts to government spending over a decade.
Immigration was central to his campaign and he has vowed to build a “beautiful” wall and “make Mexico pay for it”.
Mr Trump wants to begin building the wall within months and the first funding for it could come from Congress by April.
As part of his commitment to “draining the swamp” of Washington politics he is expected to announce hiring freeze on all government employees, reducing the workforce through attrition.
He will renegotiate the North American Free Trade agreement between the US, Canada and Mexico, and opposed the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement.
In his first televised interview after winning the election in November Mr Trump vowed to immediately deport up to three million illegal immigrants with criminal records as one of his first acts.
Through his America first foreign policy he could break from the traditional Republican commitment to free trade, imposing punitive tariffs on foreign goods.
Mr Trump has also called Nato “obsolete” and indicated he may not guarantee protection to allies who don’t “pay their way”.AGENCIES