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The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

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Trump’s First 100 Days: Week ten


For the Trump Administration, the past few weeks have been rife with controversy, policy change and the failure to deliver on a major campaign promise. Amidst tensions between the White House and the previous presidential administration, as well as a foreign intelligence agency, the Trump Administration continues to take action to deliver on its promises.

Updated Travel Ban

On March 6, President Trump signed Executive Order 13780—a revised version of the controversial executive order mandating a travel ban for seven Muslim-majority countries, introduced and rescinded in February.

According to The Washington Post, its main changes included added clarification that lawful permanent residents and green-card or visa holders are not affected by the ban; the removal of the exemption for religious minorities in those countries; the removal of Iraq from the list of banned nations; and the implementation of a waiver process for refugees in those nations.

Wiretapping Claims

On Monday, March 13, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer addressed President Trump’s March 3 tweets, in which he accused former President Barack Obama of wiretapping him during his presidential campaign.

According to Business Insider, Spicer said President Trump does not believe Obama “personally” wiretapped him, and that Trump’s accusations were those of general surveillance; Spicer further stated that this misunderstanding was a result of the press’ reporting. To date, President Trump has not yet issued any information confirming his claims. On March 16, Spicer accused the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), a British intelligence agency, of assisting President Obama in wiretapping Trump Tower.

GCHQ released a public statement asserting that these accusations are “utterly ridiculous and should be ignored,” Politico reports. The White House has reportedly not yet issued a formal apology for the incident.

On March 20, FBI director James Comey said the F.B.I. has “no information” to confirm the wiretapping allegations, according to The New York Times.

Possible ties to Russia

On March 1, the House Intelligence Committee began an investigation into allegations of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential campaign. The New York Times reports that on March 20, FBI director James Comey confirmed that the investigation into these possible ties is ongoing.

On Tuesday, March 28, chairman of the investigative committee Rep. Devin Nunes canceled all House Intelligence Committee meetings for the week. Jim Hines, a Democratic representative and a member of the House Intelligence Committee, accused Nunes of ceasing his duties as chairman of the committee and “running interference for the Trump White House” by cancelling the hearings in a recent interview with The New Yorker.

The Affordable Care Act

This past Friday, March 24, House Speaker Paul Ryan canceled a vote on the GOP after failing to get enough votes to repeal the Affordable Care Act, commonly referred to as Obamacare.

Despite the lack of overall support for the repeal, House Republicans are reportedly still working toward it. According to ABC News, House Speaker Paul Ryan told donors on Monday that efforts to repeal the ACA are still ongoing. “We’re not going to just all of a sudden abandon healthcare and move on to the rest. We are going to move on with rest of our agenda, keep that on track, while we work the health care problem,” Ryan said in a recording obtained by The Washington Post.

Public education shake-up

According to The Washington Post, President Trump rolled back two education regulations implemented under former President Obama.

He did so using the Congressional Review Act, which allows Congress to review and overrule regulations in an expedited process. The regulations included K-12 teacher-training requirements and rules pertaining to the Every State Succeeds Act, a federal law meant to bolster student performance in schools.

Republicans saw the regulations as executive overreach on the part of the Obama Administration, while groups such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce opposed the changes.

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About the Contributor
Ariana Ortiz, Features Editor
Ariana Ortiz is a senior majoring in journalism. She began her journey with the Torch last year, starting as a staff writer and then the Assistant News Editor. She aims to make the most of her time as features editor by not only making the Torch a primary news source for students, but also for the immediate community surrounding St. John’s. Have any questions? Email Ariana at [email protected]
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