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From his inauguration in 2017 to the announcement of his defeat, Donald Trump’s tenure in the White House has been marked by many brilliant strokes. For four years, Americans have witnessed the spectacle of a president imposing on himself no constraints, breaking free from all standards. Back on the key events of his presidency.

During the four years of his presidency, Donald trump has continued to shake up established codes. During his tenure saturated with scandals, the septuagenarian has fired red balls on his opponents, attacking judges, elected officials and civil servants, and fueling racial tensions. Beyond the borders, he bullied the allies of United States, showing a disturbing fascination with authoritarian leaders, from Vladimir Putin to Kim Jong-un, and putting a brutal brake on the mobilization on the climate. France 24 invites you to come back to the highlights of this presidency.

  • January 20, 2017: a stormy investiture
President Donald Trump is sworn in in Washington, January 20, 2017.
President Donald Trump is sworn in in Washington, January 20, 2017. AFP – JIM BOURG

During his first speech as president, Donald Trump promises that the “historic day” of his inauguration marks “the beginning of the transfer of power from Washington to the people”, echoing the anti-elite rhetoric that made him successful during countryside. The day is marked by monster demonstrations, sometimes interspersed with violence. Around 100 people are arrested during anti-Trump rallies.

  • January 25, 2017: Project to build an anti-immigration wall on the border between the United States and Mexico launched
President Donald Trump signing the executive order to launch the proposed wall along the US-Mexico border January 25, 2017 in Washington.
President Donald Trump signing the executive order to launch the proposed wall along the US-Mexico border January 25, 2017 in Washington. AFP – NICHOLAS KAMM

The 45e President of the United States signs a decree authorizing the launch of the construction of a wall between his country and Mexico, one of the main promises of his campaign to better control illegal immigration from Mexico and fight drug trafficking. The realization of this physical separation between the two countries had become the rallying cry par excellence of the pro-Trump. Critics of this project, on the other hand, considered it unrealistic and called the proposal populist. The results are very mixed. Donald Trump has been blocked on several occasions by Congress and the courts for obtaining necessary funding and authorizations. In total, his administration boasts of having built nearly 600 km of wall. In fact, only 70 km are really new, the rest being mainly the replacement of barriers put in place under Bill Clinton and George W. Bush.

  • May 17, 2017: Robert Mueller appointed to investigate suspicion of collusion with Russia
Former FBI Director Robert Mueller during a meeting with Senators June 21, 2017 in Washington.
Former FBI Director Robert Mueller during a meeting with Senators June 21, 2017 in Washington. AFP – CHIP SOMODEVILLA

Robert Mueller, former FBI boss, is appointed special prosecutor in the investigation into suspicions of collusion between Donald Trump’s campaign team and Russia. The affair becomes the first “ball” of the president, who denounces a “witch hunt”. Two years later, on April 18, 2019, the publication of the Mueller report does not reveal collusion, without however exonerating Donald Trump. His relatives had many contacts with Russian intermediaries and Moscow intervened in the campaign to favor the Republican candidate.

  • 1er June 2017: announcement of the United States’ exit from the Paris Climate Agreement
President Donald Trump announces the United States' exit from the climate agreement on June 1, 2017.
President Donald Trump announces the United States’ exit from the climate agreement on June 1, 2017. AFP – BRYAN R. SMITH

In the name of the defense of American jobs, Donald Trump announces the withdrawal of the United States from the Paris Climate Agreement, which aims to limit the rise in global average temperature. By taking this decision, he isolated his country on the international scene and aroused immense disappointment among the 194 other countries that signed this historic text.

  • August 12, 2017: Charlottesville attack
The scene of the Charlottesville attack, August 12, 2017.
The scene of the Charlottesville attack, August 12, 2017. AFP – PAUL J. RICHARDS

At a far-right rally in Charlottesville, Va., A neo-Nazi sympathizer throws his car at a group of anti-racist counter-protesters, killing one. Donald trump attracts an avalanche of criticism by not wishing to comment on the responsibility of one or the other of the camps present and by saying that there were “good people on both sides”.

  • May 8, 2018: announcement of the withdrawal of the United States from the Iran nuclear deal
Iranians set an American flag on fire during a demonstration in Tehran on May 11, 2018.
Iranians set an American flag on fire during a demonstration in Tehran on May 11, 2018. AFP – STRINGER

Donald trump unilaterally denounces the international Iranian nuclear agreement concluded in Vienna in 2015 and engages in a policy of “maximum pressure” against Iran with sanctions that plunge the Iranian economy into a severe recession. In response, Tehran frees itself from May 2019 from most of its key commitments made in Vienna.

  • June 30, 2019: Donald Trump takes to North Korean soil
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un shakes hands with US President Donald Trump in the Demilitarized Zone of the two Koreas on June 30, 2019.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un shakes hands with US President Donald Trump in the Demilitarized Zone of the two Koreas on June 30, 2019. Brendan Smialowski AFP / File

Donald Trump crosses with Kim Jong-un the boundary that marks the separation between the two Koreas in the village of Panmunjom, where the 1953 armistice was signed. No American president before him had set foot on North Korean soil. The tenant of the White House succeeds his bet, the North Korean number one having accepted, at the last minute, his impromptu invitation to meet him in the demilitarized zone (DMZ), the “no man’s land” which separates the two Koreas since over 60 years old.

  • December 18, 2019: indictment in the Ukrainian case
Representative David Cicilline, member of the Democratic Party, holds up a copy of the United States Constitution and the parliamentary inquiry report, which, according to the Democratic opposition, contains
Representative David Cicilline, member of the Democratic Party, holds up a copy of the United States Constitution and the parliamentary inquiry report, which the Democratic opposition says contains “overwhelming evidence” of the tenant’s “inappropriate conduct” of the White House in the Ukraine case, December 12, 2019. AFP – JONATHAN NEWTON

The Republican billionaire, who denounces a new “witch hunt”, is indicted by the House of Representatives for abuse of power and obstructing the work of Congress. He is accused of having done pressure on Ukraine in July for Kiev to launch an investigation for corruption against Joe Biden, then its potential adversary in the race for the White House in 2020. Its impeachment trial opens in January 2020 in the Senate, but Donald Trump was finally acquitted on February 5 in a vote that followed partisan lines.

  • May 25, 2020: death of George Floyd
Protesters react to the death of George Floyd on May 31, 2020 in Boston.
Protesters react to the death of George Floyd on May 31, 2020 in Boston. AFP – JOSEPH PREZIOSO

George Floyd, a 46-year-old black man, dies in Minneapolis of suffocation under the knee of a white police officer. A movement of anger never seen since the 1960s, against racism and police brutality, is spreading across the United States and around the world. Donald Trump denounces rioters who want to “destroy” America. He calls for the repression of the demonstrators and indicates the extreme left as being behind the excesses. For his detractors, he blows on the embers in these times of discord instead of appeasing the country.

  • June 20, 2020: the start of the campaign under the sign of Covid-19
The US president during a campaign rally in Tulsa on June 20, 2020.
The US president during a campaign rally in Tulsa on June 20, 2020. AFP – WIN MCNAMEE

As the United States becomes the country most affected by Covid-19 in the world in mid-April, Donald Trump keeps minimizing the seriousness of the health crisis and advocate for a rapid recovery of the US economy. Anxious to reassure the business community, it appears without a mask in public, as during the big meeting in Tulsa, Oklahoma, to launch his campaign for the presidential election. In front of a half-empty room, the American billionaire defends vigorously its decisions in the face of Covid-19, which he again calls a “Chinese virus”.

  • October 2, 2020: Donald Trump hospitalized after a positive Covid-19 test
U.S. President Donald Trump arrives at Walter Reed Military Hospital in suburban Washington on October 2, 2020.
U.S. President Donald Trump arrives at Walter Reed Military Hospital in suburban Washington on October 2, 2020. AFP – BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI

Tested positive for Covid-19Donald Trump is admitted to a military hospital for three nights, before returning to the White House where he remains a few days before resuming his campaign meetings. No longer showing “any symptoms”, according to his doctor, Donald Trump minimizes the threat of Covid-19 on Facebook and Twitter. Social networks then take punitive measures against his comments.

  • November 6, 2020: the outgoing president cries out fraud
President Donald Trump during a speech at the White House, November 5, 2020.
President Donald Trump during a speech at the White House, November 5, 2020. AFP – CHIP SOMODEVILLA

During his first speech since the night of the presidential election, Donald Trump assures us that he will win and accuses the Democrats of using “illegal votes” to “steal” the victory, without providing any evidence. The speech is interrupted by several major American television channels, who believe the president is making disinformation. Throughout his tenure, tensions were high between the media and the tenant of the White House, who for his part continued to describe their practices as “Fake News”.



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