Feb 4, 2017 - Politics & Policy

Obama vs Trump

Lazaro Gamio / Axios

Trump wasted no time in starting to undo the Obama legacy. Here's a comparison of what the two presidents did at the start of their administrations, and what Trump is doing to erase his predecessor.

Trigger happy?

Obama: Set a then-record with 9 executive actions in the first 10 days of his presidency, although he ended up with fewer executive orders per year since Grover Cleveland.

Trump: Set a new record with 12 executive actions after just three days.


Obama: One of his first actions as President was to set ethical guidelines for government agencies to boost transparency, noting that, "transparency and rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency." That legacy is still up for debate.

Trump: Within the first three days of his presidency, the administration instructed the EPA not to share reports on social media or with the press. He also gave similar gag orders to the USDA and HHS. However, the gag order may only be in effect until the secretaries are confirmed, and USDA has already rescinded theirs.


Obama: On his third day he banned the CIA's torture practices and began an effort to close Guantanamo prison.

Trump: On his third day a draft of an executive order surfaced, calling for the reopening of the CIA's "black site" prisons and the use of Gitmo for "the detention and trial of newly captured" detainees. No final order yet.


Obama: On January 23, 2009, he got rid of the Mexico City policy, which prohibited Federal funding from going toward non-federal agencies that provide for abortions.

Trump: On January 23, 2017, Trump reinstated that order.


Obama: Toward the end of his presidency, he signed his DACA executive order, which protected young children brought into the country — "Dreamers" — from deportation, as well as their parents.

Trump: He hasn't decided what to do about the DACA program, but he has already signed two executive orders, which will ramp up border security (the wall) and has suspended some travel from 7 countries.


Obama: In 2010 Obama signed the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act into law, which was designed to curb the financial excesses that caused the 2008 financial crisis.

Trump: Trump signed an executive action on Friday that calls for a review of the Dodd-Frank regulations, which he promised to repeal during his campaign.

"We expect to be cutting a lot out of Dodd-Frank because frankly, I have so many people, friends of mine that had nice businesses, they can't borrow money. They just can't get any money because the banks just won't let them borrow it because of the rules and regulations in Dodd-Frank." — Donald Trump to business leaders yesterday
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