WASHINGTON — Donald Trump's first year as president defied description. It was a non-stop deluge of headlines — with one eye-popping story swiftly supplanting another, the sensational often swamping out the significant. Here's what it's been like since last Jan. 20.
Inauguration. Argument over crowd size. Women's marches. Travel ban from certain Muslim-majority countries. In ensuing court fights, acting attorney general Sally Yates refuses to support ban. Yates is fired. Trump signs pro-pipeline executive orders, as Dow Jones passes 20,000-point mark. Press secretary Sean Spicer mocked on Saturday Night Live — Trump reportedly displeased. Tense phone call with Mexico's president leaked to media. Trump asks him to not embarrass him — and to not deny Mexico will pay for border wall. Mexican president cancels planned trip to Washington. In another leaked call with Australia's prime minister, Trump castigates "stupid" refugee deal between countries, ends conversation calling it his least pleasant call of the day. Appoints conservative Neil Gorsuch to Supreme Court. Invites James Comey to dinner, where the then-FBI director says he demanded loyalty.
In speech to National Prayer Breakfast, mocks TV ratings of "The Apprentice" under successor Arnold Schwarzenegger. Slams retailer Nordstrom for dropping daughter's clothing line. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau visits Washington; Trump says he expects just minor tweaks to Canadian trade. Michael Flynn forced out as national security adviser for lying about post-election contacts with Russians. Trump calls media enemy of American people, says real scandal is leaks against him. In address to Congress, announces hope of emulating Canada's skills-based immigration system. Attorney General Jeff Sessions recuses self from Russia probe given involvement in campaign — Trump furious.
Accuses Barack Obama of wiretapping Trump Tower. Reports of tension with Comey. Repeal of Obamacare health bill fails. Comey reveals Trump team's Russia ties under investigation since July 2016. Approves long-stalled Keystone XL pipeline from Canada.
White House infighting reported — strategist Steve Bannon bickering with Trump relatives. Feds warn of crackdown on sanctuary cities for migrants. U.S. launches missile strike on Syria, punishment for chemical weapons use. Skips traditional White House correspondents' dinner. Trump starts blasting Canadian trade in speech, tweet, and Oval Office appearance; calls Canadian dairy practices a disgrace. Threatens to invoke NAFTA withdrawal clause — relents after Mexico and Canada counterparts urge him to try negotiations first.
Fires Comey. Robert Mueller appointed special counsel, amid ensuing uproar. In interview about Comey firing, Trump tells NBC he thought Russia issue was a hoax. Also tells Russians in Oval Office meeting that pressure's off investigation with Comey gone. Meeting details leaked. Also tells Russians about anti-terrorism tip in Middle East, which critics say put spy asset at risk. Friends of Comey say president asked him to drop Russia-Flynn probe. Tense NATO conference — Trump tells countries to pay up, elbows past Montenegro prime minister. Creates voter fraud commission, insists illegal foreigners cost him popular vote.
Terrorist attack in London, Trump blasts mayor Sadiq Khan on Twitter. Trump announces withdrawal from Paris climate agreement. Gunman attacks Republicans at baseball practice. Trump under investigation for obstruction of justice, Washington Post reports. Kelly Craft named ambassador to Canada. Accuses Obama of collusion during 2016 election. Tweets about TV host bleeding from facelift.
Reports that Trump inner circle met Kremlin-linked lawyer; explanation for meeting shifts before Donald Trump Jr. says it was to obtain dirt on Hillary Clinton. Ivanka Trump briefly sits in for dad at G20 meeting. Trump blasts Sessions for recusing himself in Russia probe, suggesting it was mistake to appoint him. Declares personal finances a ''red line'' — off-limits to Mueller investigation. Tweets that transgender troops expelled from military, military ignores order. Attacks Obama, Clinton in speech to Boy Scouts. Hires Anthony Scaramucci as communications director. Spicer quits. Scaramucci threatens to report chief of staff Reince Priebus to FBI for leaks. Scaramucci tells reporter vulgar things about Bannon. Priebus fired. Ex-general John Kelly becomes new chief of staff. Fires Scaramucci. Obamacare repeal fails in dramatic late-night vote. Trump encourages police to rough up suspects.
White House proposes immigration bill — emulates Canada's skills-based points system, while cutting immigration by half. Trump threatens North Korea "with fire and fury like world has never seen." Jokingly thanks Vladimir Putin for expelling U.S. diplomats, saving Americans money. White supremacists rally in Charlottesville; anti-racist protester Heather Heyer killed; Trump condemns violence on both sides. Companies quit White House business council. Several Republicans distance selves from Trump. Trump condemns racism; then complains media not giving him credit; finally says some marchers were fine people. Disbands White House business council. Bannon leaves White House, returns to Breitbart. NAFTA negotiations start. Pardons Sheriff Joe Arpaio. Announces troop increase in Afghanistan. Hurricane Harvey smashes into Texas.
Ends protected status for children migrants putting 800,000 at risk of deportation, barring a legislative fix. In tit-for-tat, orders closure of some Russian diplomatic buildings. Supreme Court upholds watered-down version of travel ban. Hurricane Maria devastates Puerto Rico. Calls NFL players "sons of bitches" for anthem protests. Players from NBA champion Golden State Warriors skip White House ceremony, Trump cancels ceremony. Star Lebron James calls president a bum. ESPN suspends anchor who calls Trump racist — White House says she should be fired. In first UN speech, defends nationalism, calls North Korean leader, ''Little Rocket Man." Health secretary quits over use of private jets.
Twitter war with mayor of San Juan, complains about Puerto Rico handling of hurricane. Tweets secretary of state is wasting time on diplomacy with North Korea. Report says secretary of state called him a moron, Trump says they should compare IQs. Retiring senator Bob Corker calls White House adult daycare. Rift emerges between first and third Trump wives. Trump disavows Iran deal, but doesn't cancel. U.S. levels big demands at NAFTA negotiating round. Controversy over what Trump told widow of killed service member. Mueller probe announces first charges including: former campaign chair Paul Manafort, and ex-adviser George Papadopoulos who pleads guilty and becomes co-operating witness. Jeff Flake resigns from Senate, complaining of "outrageous, undignified" behaviour from White House.
Urges Justice Department to investigate ex-rival Hillary Clinton. ISIS ousted from last major stronghold in Syria, following three years of territory losses. Democrats win elections in several states, including Virginia. Ends protected status for Haitian migrants; many Haitians flee to Canada. Reports Trump Jr. and Wikileaks founder exchanged messages during campaign.
Michael Flynn pleads guilty to lying to FBI, becomes co-operating witness. Recognizes Jerusalem as Israel's capital. Threatens UN funding after countries condemn move. Cuts UN funding. Republicans lose long-held Alabama senate seat, after running scandal-mired candidate. NY Times runs chart suggesting Trump has already told almost six times as many lies as Obama did through eight-year presidency. Massive tax bill passes: U.S. corporate rates cut, personal rates temporarily cut for most, Arctic oil drilling allowed, Obamacare weakened. Blasts FBI, claiming probe biased. Claims opposing female senator used to "do anything" for political donations. Brags he helped re-popularize term, "Merry Christmas."
Voter fraud commission cancelled. Celebrates Dow Jones breaking 25,000 points. Unemployment is 4.1 per cent. Inquiry into Clinton Foundation reportedly reopened. Congressional allies call for arrest of ex-British spy who sounded alarm on Trump-Russia ties. Taunts Kim Jong Un, says his nuclear button is bigger. New book says Bannon called Trump inner circle treasonous, raised concerns about money-laundering. Feud erupts with Bannon: president calls him "Sloppy Steve," White House says he should be fired; Bannon is fired from Breitbart News. Same book reports staff doubt Trump's mental competence. In response, Trump tweets he's a "stable genius"; allies appear on TV to declare him sane and smart. Administration announces crackdown on marijuana-legalizing states. Contradicts own White House policy in tweet complaining about surveillance program. Ends protected status for 200,000 El Salvadoran migrants, adding them to groups facing deportation. Demands U.S. Congress pay for border wall — or there's no deal on child migrants. Reportedly asks lawmakers in meeting why he should care about migrants from "shithole" countries. Countries demand he clarify. Cancels trip to England. Reports say he paid two porn stars in non-disclosure agreements about affairs. Urges Republicans to ''take control'' of Mueller probe. Canada and U.S. co-host North Korea summit. Says NAFTA talks advancing well, new NAFTA benefits will pay for border wall. Government shutdown threatened — caused by standoff over migrants, border-wall funding.
Alexander Panetta, The Canadian Press