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President-Elect Donald J. Trump's Campaign Promises ... Can He Keep Them? (updated 8-12-2019)

Updated on August 12, 2019
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ME has spent most of his retirement from service to the United States studying, thinking, and writing about the country he served.


11/22/16: At a on-again, off-again, on-again meeting with the New York Times, Donald Trump admitted that 1) Climate Change is Real and 2) there Might be some human element to it happening. This is a reversal of his position during the campaign.

President-elect Donald Trump


Keeping Your Campaign Promises

THE POLITIFACT ORGANIZATION COUNTED OVER 500 PROMISES during his 2008 and 2012 campaigns. To-date he kept either in full or through compromise 71%. He failed (most of them because he was blocked by the GOP) 22%. In the works, which probably can't be kept, is 5%. 1% are stalled. Will Donald Trump be able to do better even an Opposition Party that HASN'T PROMISED to make you fail?

It would seem that Trump should get close to 95% of promises kept given he will have a Congress and Supreme Court their to do his bidding. (Remember, he said that ONLY HE can make America Great again. We will see shortly whether he can do it alone or will need the help of others, like Congress. I think this is first broken promise.)

It will be a tough start even though he will have a Congress and Supreme Court on his side. In opposition should be the current military leaders of the Army, Navy, and Air Force (he gets to pick the civilian leaders), the National Security apparatus, the entire civil service that he doesn't appoint. Why? Because he made each of those large groups of bureaucrats targets of his vitriol, insults, and disparagement. A determined unified bureaucracy can bring down any appointed leader, especially if he or she is incompetent or outright political.

(To offer full-disclosure, I am a liberal Republican by orientation (yes, we still exist), but registered Democrat so I can vote in primaries. I have voted for Nixon, Ford, Reagan, H. W. Bush, Bill Clinton, Gore, Kerry, Obama, and now Hillary Clinton. My bias is to sensible fiscal conservationism and social liberalism. This translates to a believe that the gov't has a roll in helping its citizens but shouldn't break the bank doing it. While I do not personally like Donald Trump nor most of his policies, I will take a wait-and-see attitude toward his performance as President.)

So, What Are Trumps Promises from the Campaign Trail?

Here is the starter list, we will discuss these in more detail later:


Promise 1: To round up undocumented immigrants and deport them en masse, (Aug 2019 update - Not Kept)

Promise 2: To create a deportation force to do it. (Aug 2019 update - Not Kept)

Promise 3: To have police racially profile Arab Americans to deter terrorism (Aug 2019 update - Not Kept)

Promise 4: To build a solid "great" wall along the 2000 mile along the US-Mexico will build a "great wall" on the US-Mexico border to prevent illegal immigration (Aug 2019 update - Not Kept)

Promise 5: To make Mexico pay for.the wall (Aug 2019 update - Not Kept)

Promise 6: To "Temporarily" ban Muslims from America. Does this include current citizens (Aug 2019 update - Partially Kept)

Promise 7: To stop all Syrian refugees from coming into America and kick out those already here (Aug 2019 update - Not Kept)

Promise 8: To surveil Muslim Mosques (Aug 2019 update - Not Kept)

Promise 9: To create of database of Syrian refugees (Aug 2019 update - Not Kept)

Promise 10: To block federal funding to "Sanctuary Cities" within his first 100 days. The cities have vowed to fight Trump and to accept the consequences. He said in August 2016, I will "Block funding for sanctuary cities. We block the funding. No more funding," (Aug 2019 update - He tried, but blocked by courts)


Promise 1: To have the United States will "bomb the s--- out of ISIS.". I count this one as Kept, so long as he keeps up what President Obama is doing. (Aug 2019 update - Not Kept)

Promise 2: To target and kill the relatives of terrorist (Aug 2019 update - Not Kept - thank God)

Promise 3: To shut down parts of the Internet so that Islamic State terrorists cannot use it to recruit American children. (Aug 2019 update - Not Kept)

Promise 4: To Bring back waterboarding (Aug 2019 update - Not Kept)


Promise 1: To direct the US attorney general to indict Hilary Clinton - BROKEN: On 11/20/2016 Trump, through his campaign manager, said he won't pursue new legal action against Hillary Clinton and her personal email server.

Promise 2: To drop that "dirty, rotten traitor" Bowe Bergdahl out of an airplane into desolate Afghanistan without a parachute.- already BROKEN

Repeal and Replace Obamacare

Promise 1: Sign the bill from Congress to "immediately repeal and replace" Obamacare (Aug 2019 update - Not Kept)

Promise 2: To reinstate ability of Health Insurance companies to sell across state lines that was canceled as a result of the repealed (Aug 2019 update - Partially Kept)Obamacare


Promise:1 To renegotiate TPP (Aug 2019 update - Not Kept - he pulled out instead)

Promise 2: To renegotiate NAFTA (Aug 2019 update - Kept)

Promise 3: To Impose tariffs on Mexico and China (Aug 2019 update - Kept along with the rest of our allies like Canada and Europe)


Promise 1: To bring manufacturing jobs back (Aug 2019 update - Sort of Kept)

Promise 2: To rebuild the nations infrastructure at 1/3 the current cost (Aug 2019 update - Not Kept)

Economy and Finance

Promise 1: To kill the Dodd-Frank law which is designed to protect America from another Great Recession (Aug 2019 update - Not Kept, but put people in charge so as to not enforce regulations)

Promise 2: To reinstate the Glass-Steagal Act which puts a firewall between commercial banks and investment banks back in place. (The Gingrich-Clinton repeal of this Depression-era Act in 1999 was the harbinger of the Great 2008 Recession) (Aug 2019 update - Not Kept)

Promise 3: To break-up big banks (Aug 2019 update - Not Kept)

Promise 4: To audit the Federal Reserve (Aug 2019 update - Not Kept)

Foreign Policy

Promise 1: To renegotiate Iran Nuclear Deal (Aug 2019 update - Not Kept, he broke America's promise but no renegotiation)

Promise 2: To find an "out" clause in the Iran deal (Aug 2019 update - Not Kept, he simple broke America's promise)

Promise 3: To seize Iraqi oil fields, using ground troops if needed, and take the oil as repayment for our help (which makes the US military mercenaries, doesn't it) (Aug 2019 update - Not Kept)

Promise 4: To refuse to call Iran's leader by his preferred title. (?)

Promise 5: Allow Russia to deal with the Islamic State in Syria and/or work with Russian President Vladimir Putin to wipe out shared enemies. (Aug 2019 update - Kept, Russia is allowed to do whatever it wants)

Promise 6: To leave a lot of troops in Afghanistan (Aug 2019 update - Kept)

Promise 7: To reverse President Obama's Cuba initiatives. (Aug 2019 update - Kept)

Social Benefits

Promise 1: To leave Social Security alone and leave benefits and retirement age as is. (Aug 2019 update - Kept)

Promise 2: To save Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security without reducing benefits (Aug 2019 update - He has done nothing)

Promise 3: To defund Planned Parenthood (Aug 2019 update - Not Kept, although he tried)

Promise 4: To invest more heavily in programs that help military veterans transition back to civilian life (Aug 2019 update - Parially Kept)

Promise 5: To have the government continue to provide health coverage to the poor, e.g. Medicaid, (Aug 2019 update - Kept, I guess)


Promise 1: To cut taxes for all (Aug 2019 update - Kept)


Promise 1: To kill Common Core. (Aug 2019 update - Not Kept)

Promise 2: To kill the Department of Education (Aug 2019 update - Not Kept)

Promise 3: To let local governments control local schools (not a promise since they already do)


Promise 1: To kill the EPA (Aug 2019 update - Not Kept)

Promise 2: To kill President Obama's Clean Power Plan which is designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 32% by 2030 (Aug 2019 update - Kept)

Promise 3: To "cancel" the Paris Agreement on Climate Change And stop all US payments to UN programs aimed at fighting climate (Aug 2019 update - Kept)

Promise 4: To stop all US payments to UN programs aimed at fighting climate change (Aug 2019 update - Kept)

(Aug 2019 update - US Carbon Footprint is now increasing after falling for years)


Promise 1: To create a much larger military (Aug 2019 update - Kept, sort of. More funding, but not larger)

Promise 2: To find great generals (implies our current generals are poor) and do not allow them to go onto television news shows to explain their military strategy: "I don't want my generals being interviewed, I want my generals kicking a--." Trump likes generals who are rough, foul-mouthed and beloved by their troops (Aug 2019 update - Not Kept)


Promise 1: Be unpredictable. "No one is going to touch us, because I'm so unpredictable." (Aug 2019 update - Kept, but China and North Korea are touching us)


Promise 1: To fire "the corrupt and incompetent" leaders of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (Aug 2019 update - Kept)
Promise 2: To dramatically reform the VA (Aug 2019 update - Not Kept, some reform but not close to "dramatically")
Promise 3: To allow veterans to take their military identification card to any medical facility that accepts Medicaid patients to receive care. (This is already policy)
Promise 4: To embed satellite VA clinics in rural hospitals and underserved areas, and ensure than every VA hospital is permanently staffed with OBGYN doctors. (Aug 2019 update - Not Kept)
Promise 5: To cancel the Space program until pot holes are fixed (until infrastructure is properly funded) (Aug 2019 update - Not Kept)


Promise 1: To ensure that Iowa is the first in the Union for primaries. - BROKEN; he has no authority to do that, it belongs to the Parties and the States.

Promise 2: To turn regulation of Pot over to the States and remove Federal restrictions (Aug 2019 update - Not Kept)

Promise 3: To oppose the killing of journalists (Aug 2019 update - Not Kept)


Politically Speaking: Where do you place yourself on the Political Spectrum?

See results

Donald Trump Lays Out His First 100-Day Plan

First 100 Days In Office

PRESIDENT-ELECT DONALD TRUMP HAS LAID OUT in a the broad strokes of what he intends to do in his first 100 days in office. They are, in no particular order:

  • Withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) (Aug 2019 update - Kept)
  • Cancel restrictions on the production of American energy, including shale energy and clean coal; which means kill President Obama's Clean Power Plan which is designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 32% by 2030 (Aug 2019 update - Kept, but not in first 100 days)
  • In order to reduce regulations on business he wants to eliminate two regulations for every one created (Aug 2019 update - Kept)
  • Direct the Department of Defense to develop a comprehensive plan to protect vital American infrastructure from cyber and all other attacks (Aug 2019 update - Not Kept)
  • Begin investigating all abuses of the American visa system (Aug 2019 update - Not Kept)
  • Prohibit Executive branch officials from becoming lobbyists for five years after they leave so that they can't enrich themselves from government service (Aug 2019 update - Not Kept)


Do you think Donald Trump Will Be an Effective President

See results


What Type of Job Do You Think Donald Trump Will Do As President

See results

Opinion #3

What Percent of His Promises Do You Think He Will Substantially Keep?

See results

© 2016 Scott Belford


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