The Trump Presidency, Three Years In: What Has Happened In The US?

“I think we have done more than anybody in 3 years,” said US President Donald Trump earlier this week in an interview with Fox News. On Martin Luther King Jr. Day, 20 January also marked 3 years of Trump’s presidency.

Trump’s battle horse is how he rebuilt the military. With $2.5 trillion spent on defense, the President has often said America has never had a military like this before. Between the end of 2019 and the beginning of 2020, Trump has ordered the killings of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the Iraqi-born leader of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, and Iran’s Quds Force commander, Qasem Soleimani. Both events increased tensions in the Middle East and had a big impact on the US Government’s relationships with Iraq and Iran.

But another constant with the President is that he usually changes his mind: “I’ll be Iran’s ‘best friend’ if it acquires no nuclear weapons,” Trump said in June 2019. Only one year before the statement, the President announced the US Government was withdrawing from the Iran nuclear agreement. It marked one of the biggest foreign policy decisions Trump has made since entering the White House. The situation between the US and Iran has worsened since Soleimani’s death: a few days after the strike, Iran announced it would no longer comply with the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), abandoning the nuclear deal.

2020 has also started with another turn of events: after almost two years of hostilities, in mid-January the US and China signed ‘phase one’ of their trade deal, which removed many trade tariffs and helped ease their relationship.

A strong economy has been a crucial factor during Trump’s presidency: the President often refers, both online and offline, to the economy as the strongest indicator of his success throughout his time in the White House, calling it “terrific” and “the greatest in the history of this country.” He has signed the biggest tax reform in 30 years and he will announce a tax cut for the middle class in the next 90 days. 

At the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, on Tuesday, Trump credited his presidency with an unprecedented “comeback” for an economy that was in “a dismal state” when he first took office: “The United States is in the midst of an economic boom, the likes of which the world has never seen before,” Trump said.

According to the Hudson Institute, the Obama administration suffered from the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression.

However, GDP grew during George W. Bush’s administration, averaging out to 2.1 percent per year. The US economy contracted by 2.5 percent in 2009, and after Obama’s presidency, Trump took office as the economy continued its recovery – and as it underwent a decade-long expansion, the longest in American history.

In this scenario, 55 percent of Americans approve of the job Trump is doing on the economy, while 40 percent disapprove. The economy seems to be at the center of how voters make up their minds, and the key to winning a second term. 

“When America is united, America is unstoppable,” reads a video shared by Trump on Twitter to celebrate his third year in office. This year he has to face an impeachment trial. Before knowing whether the House will say the President obstructed Congress’s investigation into his dealings with Ukraine, Trump continues his campaign.

To do so, Trump spoke at the March for Life in Washington DC on Friday, making him the first president to attend the anti-abortion march in person in the event’s history. “I am truly proud to stand with you,” said Trump addressing the event. He also added that the generation which attended the march is making America a pro-life nation, attacking Democrats and their proposal to defend abortion rights.