The Slatest

A Running List of Donald Trump’s First Official Actions as President

President Donald Trump is joined by congressional leadership and his family as he signs his Cabinet nominations into law in the President’s Room of the Senate on Friday.

J. Scott Applewhite/AP Photo-Pool

Donald Trump was sworn in as the 45th president of the United States at noon Friday, after which he delivered a short and sour inauguration speech. Then after seeing Barack and Michelle Obama off in an Air Force helicopter, it was on to an ornate room in the U.S. Capitol, where he posed for photos and took his first official actions as commander in chief. Below is an updating list of those actions and others that Trump takes on Day 1 of his administration.

Cabinet Nominations

Surrounded by family members, Vice President Mike Pence, and congressional leaders from both parties, Trump signed documents making his previously announced Cabinet nominations official. Many of his picks face fierce opposition from Senate Democrats, but Republicans have the votes to force through even the most controversial of picks with a party-line vote.

Mattis Waiver

Trump also signed a bill passed by Congress last week allowing retired Gen. James Mattis to serve as his secretary of defense. Existing federal law—crafted to preserve civilian control of the nation’s military—prevents former U.S. service members who have been out of uniform for less than seven years from holding the top Pentagon job. Congress, however, voted to grant Mattis a one-time exception so he can take the job assuming the Senate gives its final stamp of approval. (Mathis retired from the Marine Corps in 2013.)

A National Day of Patriotism

According to the (new) White House press secretary, Trump also signed a proclamation calling for a National Day of Patriotism. It was unclear when that day would be or what, exactly, it would entail. The president can declare a one-time federal holiday any time he likes by issuing an executive order to that effect. Congress, however, needs to sign off on the creation of any annual federal holidays.


Trump’s team also took several actions on his behalf behind the scenes. The Department of Housing and Urban Development announced that it would indefinitely suspend an Obama-planned rate cut for mortgage insurance required for FHA-backed home loans., meanwhile, got a face-lift to reflect the transfer of power. Obama’s version listed top issues such as  “Civil Rights” and “Climate Change.” Trump’s site went in a more Trumpian direction on the Issues menu with ones like “America First Foreign Policy” and “Making Our Military Strong Again.” As my colleague Leon Neyfakh notes, the
“Standing Up For Our Law Enforcement Community” page puts Black Lives Matter on notice.

It is likely that more executive actions are in the works, though we’ll have to wait to see what those might entail. On Thursday, Trump promised supporters that on his first day in office he would “be signing some papers that will be very meaningful” and that would “get the show going.” His spokesman was similarly vague, saying that Trump is “still working through which ones he wants to deal with [Friday] versus Monday or Tuesday.”

This page has been updated.