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  The US under Trump

  55 Debates

The US Democrats have taken the first steps towards impeaching Donald Trump. The background is a telephone call in which Trump reportedly asked Ukrainian President Voldymyr Zelensky to pursue an investigation against the son of presidential hopeful Joe Biden, who is a member of the board of a Ukrainian gas company. Commentators discuss who stands to gain more from the proceedings.

Donald Trump is saying that Special Counsel Robert Mueller's report has exonerated him. It came to the conclusion that there was no criminal collusion between Trump or his election campaign team and Russian agencies. But the report is less clear on the question of whether the president obstructed justice. Journalists examine the consequences for the US election campaign and politics in Moscow.

Although government business remains practically at a standstill due to the shutdown, both chambers of the US Congress convened today, Thursday, for the first time in their new configuration. The Democrats now control the House of Representatives while Trump's Republicans still hold a majority in the Senate. Commentators explain their theories about how the Democrats should wield their newly acquired power.

Shortly before the midterm elections, US President Donald Trump has announced that he will place up to 15,000 soldiers on the country's southern border in a bid to deter thousands of migrants who are heading towards the US via Mexico. Sealing off the country will not make it more secure, say some observers. Others counter that Trump is right to defend the borders.

Individuals born in the US automatically receive US citizenship. Just days before the midterm elections, President Trump has announced that he wants to abolish the so-called natural-born-citizens clause. But to do so he'll require a two-thirds majority in Congress, which seems unlikely. For that reason commentators don't believe that Trump will be able to execute his plan.

President Trump is once again under pressure after new revelations from the White House. Legendary reporter Bob Woodward reports in a book that Trump's co-workers disobey instructions in order to prevent political fallout. And an anonymous White House official has published serious accusations against his boss in an op-ed for the New York Times. But this resistance against Trump from within his own camp is contentious among journalists.

Donald Trump's lawyer Michael Cohen has incriminated the president while under oath, admitting that hush money was paid to two women who wanted to make their affairs with Trump public during the election campaign in 2016 - in violation of campaign financing laws. In a separate hearing, Trump's ex-campaign chief Paul Manafort was found guilty on various counts of fraud. Will Trump manage to stay in the White House?

The Trump administration is under fire for its harsh immigration policy: UN Secretary-General António Guterres has condemned the practice of separating children from parents caught crossing the border illegally and holding them in provisional camps while their parents are put in prison. The Democrats and certain sections of the Republican party as well as First Lady Melania Trump have also criticised the practice. Commentators join the chorus of complaints.

Roughly five weeks after the shooting spree in a school in Florida, anti-gun marches of historical dimensions are taking place in the US. Across the country hundreds of thousands of predominantly young protesters took to the streets in the "March for Our Lives", chanting "Never again". A new generation is offering hope for the future, commentators write.

The US government has announced that the EU and six other countries will be exempt from tariffs on steel and aluminium imports until the start of May. Beijing, however, won't be given a reprieve and has announced plans to introduce tariffs to the tune of three billion dollars against Washington. Europe has no reason to be relieved, commentators warn.

The meeting of the G20 finance ministers in Argentina also ended without any steps against the US tariffs on steel and aluminium, which will go into effect on Friday. The EU and China may now soon respond with counter-measures. But isn't people's faith in the advantages of free trade a myth anyway?

US President Donald Trump has dismissed Secretary of State Rex Tillerson over differences of opinion regarding the nuclear agreement with Iran and other issues. Former CIA chief Mike Pompeo is to succeed Tillerson. What does this mean for US foreign policy?

In addition to the tariffs on steel and aluminium US President Donald Trump has now announced concrete trade policy measures against China, including import tariffs and investment restrictions. The plans are aimed at reducing the US trade deficit with China. Commentators, however, don't believe he's doing the US economy any favours with this strategy.

Saviour of the US and grand reformer for some, hell-raiser and unpredictable provocateur for others: Donald Trump's presidency has divided opinion in his own country and abroad. January 20 marks the end of his first year in office. Time for the press to take stock.

US President Trump's major tax reform which passed through Congress on Wednesday has been widely criticised by the press on the grounds that it mainly works in the favour of wealthy entrepreneurs. Journalists disagree as to whether other sections of society will also benefit.

Donald Trump presented his administration's security strategy for the first time on Monday. Russia and China are classified as rivals and "revisionist powers" with which the US may, however, cooperate when it suits its interests. Europe's commentators are highly sceptical about the paper.

In the affair over possible Russian interference in the US elections, members of Trump's inner circle have for the first time been indicted by Special Counsel Robert Mueller. Trump advisor Papadopoulos has now admitted he was aware of the campaign team's ties to the Kremlin and said he would cooperate with the authorities. How dangerous is the affair for Trump?

US President Trump on Tuesday ordered an end to the DACA programme introduced by the Obama administration which protects the children of illegal immigrants from deportation. In line with his slogan America first, Trump justified the move by saying that American workers must come first. Europe's commentators are appalled.

President Trump has paved the way for increased US troops in Afghanistan. His military advisors have convinced him that withdrawing US forces from the country would leave a dangerous power vacuum. Trump stressed, however, that the goal was not nation-building but killing terrorists. Is this the right strategy?

Following Trump's remarks on the right-wing extremist riots in Charlottesville more and more public figures are standing up against him. Prominent Republicans have harshly criticised his actions, business leaders have resigned from advisory boards and representatives of the military have distanced themselves from Trump's stance and condemned the neo-Nazis. The media discuss whether Trump can still count on broad-based support.

US President Donald Trump has once again played down the significance of the racist violence in Charlottesville. This prompted several leading businessmen to leave one of his advisory committees and drew criticism from Democrats and Republicans alike. Leading members of the far right, by contrast, have praised his stance. The president is relentlessly dividing US society and poisoning the climate there, commentators observe.

Two days after racist riots erupted in Charlottesville, under growing pressure from the public, US President Donald Trump has finally condemned the racism of the Ku Klux Klan and the so-called white supremacist movement, calling it 'repugnant'. European commentators discuss the ties between the president and far-right voters and media bias on the issue.

Former general John Kelly has been appointed the new White House chief of staff. With a reputation as a man who appreciates clear structures and doesn't mince his words, even with the powerful, Kelly has the potential to bring stability to the White House, Washington watchers note. While some commentators believe he could get things in Washington off to a new start, others have their doubts.

Donald Trump Jr. has published email correspondence from June 2016 documenting how he hoped to obtain incriminating information about then presidential candidate Hillary Clinton at a meeting with a Russian lawyer. The chaos in Washington is getting worse and worse, commentators fear.

Did Moscow attempt to influence the US elections, and was Trump's campaign team involved? Robert Mueller, the special counsel overseeing the Russian investigation, is now looking into whether the president himself obstructed justice. Trump has set his own trap, commentators write, and voice concern for the US political system.

Former FBI director James Comey has severely damaged the US president's credibility. Testifying before the Senate Intelligence Committee he said that Trump repeatedly voiced the hope that the FBI would drop the investigation into his former national security advisor Flynn, who was dismissed over ties to Russia. Will Comey's statements seal Trump's fate?

Just a few days after US President Trump announced the US's withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement the first UN Ocean Conference has begun in New York. Europe's press looks at what the conference can achieve, but also at the shortcomings of the Paris agreement.

During his visit to Israel and the Palestinian Territories at the end of his Middle East trip US President Donald Trump announced that the US is committed to reaching a peace agreement between the conflicting parties. Europe's commentators criticise the lack of concrete proposals and his avoidance of the more controversial issues.

Pressure on US President Donald Trump is mounting in the scandal over alleged ties between Russia and Trump's campaign team. The Department of Justice has placed the investigations into the affair in the hands of former FBI chief Robert Mueller, who is considered to be non-partisan. This shows that the institutions' checks and balances are still functioning, some commentators conclude. For others, the last thing the US needs is Trump's impeachment.

This Saturday will mark the 100th day of Donald Trump's presidency. Whereas he had previously stressed all the things he planned to accomplish before this deadline, he has now described it as "ridiculous" and an "artificial barrier". How does the press see the president's first 100 days?

The US army's attack on a Syrian airbase continues to fuel debate. After a poison gas attack presumed to have been carried out by the Assad regime in the province of Idlib, the US fired around 60 missiles at the Syrian target. Commentators speculate about whether this was an impulsive act by Trump or if there is a strategy behind the surprise strike.

After the presumed poison gas attack in the Syrian province of Idlib, US President Trump has indicated that there could be a radical change in the US's Syria policy. Just a few days ago Washington had announced that it was no longer prioritising Assad's removal from power. Now he has said his attitude to Syria and Assad has changed. Commentators take a sceptical view of the statement and look back at the US's Syria policy under Obama.

US President Donald Trump and Chinese head of state Xi Jinping have met for the first time at Trump's estate in Florida. The most important topic during the two-day meeting is almost certainly how to deal with North Korea's nuclear programme. The press discusses how relations between the US and China will develop over time.

Donald Trump has signed an order aimed at reversing the US's climate policy. He wants to gradually dismantle the 2015 Clean Power Plan with which Obama wanted to cut the CO2 emissions of coal-fired power plants. How disastrous will the impact of this departure from international climate protection targets be?

The Republicans withdrew the health bill they had drafted to replace Obamacare shortly before it was put to vote in the House of Representatives. The party's right-wing refused to give its backing, leaving the GOP unable to honour its key campaign pledge. Commentators are not surprised by this crushing defeat.

The speculation over alleged close ties between the Kremlin and Trump's team has gained new momentum: it has emerged that Attorney General Jeff Sessions also failed to inform Congress that he had engaged in discussions with the Russian ambassador during the election campaign. Journalists see growing evidence that Moscow's arm reaches all the way to Washington and point out that the affair also has a European dimension.

US President Donald Trump wants to increase his country's military spending by 54 billion dollars - or 10 percent. According to his plan cuts in the areas of environmental protection and foreign aid programmes will free up the necessary extra cash. Observers doubt whether Trump will be able to finance his plan and explain the origins of the close ties between politics and the military in the US.

The row between Donald Trump and critical media reached a new highpoint on Friday when the US administration banned reporters from CNN, the New York Times and other media from a press briefing. Prior to that Trump had described journalists as enemies of the people and called the principle of source protection into question. How should journalists react?

Washington's latest plans could lead to millions of deportations. A directive from President Trump affects all undocumented migrants who have committed a criminal offence or been classified as potentially dangerous in the US. Trump is taking revenge for his foiled plans, commentators write, and criticise him for using the weakest members of society as scapegoats.

One decree after another, attacks on the media, contradictory behaviour and foreign policy statements and a resignation in his team: that's the tally after Donald Trump's first month as US President. Europe's press tries to assess what these first weeks say about the US under Trump.

The scandal over alleged connections between Trump and Russia is growing. Former national security advisor Michael Flynn has had to resign for reportedly talking with the Russian ambassador about lifting the sanctions against Russia before taking office and then lying about the discussions. And according to media reports Trump's campaign team was in regular contact with Russian intelligence agencies. What do these accusations mean for Trump's presidency?

Three weeks after Trump's inauguration Herman Van Rompuy, former president of the European Council, has warned against "ideological collaboration" with Trump. In an interview with the Belgian magazine Knack he explained that those who play down the danger Trump represents are causing harm. A look at Europe's commentary columns shows how politicians and society are struggling to find an adequate response to Trump.

After Mexico and China, the new US administration now has Germany in its sights: Trump's chief economist Peter Navarro told the Financial Times on Tuesday that Germany was using the undervalued euro to gain trading advantages over the US and its Eurozone partners. The euro is nothing more than an "implicit Deutsche Mark", Navarro said. Does the accusation hold water?

US President Donald Trump has nominated Neil Gorsuch to fill the vacancy on the Supreme Court left by Antonin Scalia, who passed away last year. The seat had remained vacant for eleven months because the Republicans blocked the Democratic Party's candidate in the Senate. The Democrats won't take this lying down, the press predicts, even though many view Gorsuch as a decent choice.

EU Council President Donald Tusk has called on the EU states to unite against what he sees as the threat represented by the Trump administration. In a letter to the EU heads of state and government, Tusk cited the US as a factor of uncertainty alongside Russia, the Middle East and China. Commentators doubt that the EU will be able to rise to the occasion.

A number of US technology companies are backing the lawsuit opposing Trump's travel ban. The US president signed a decree last Saturday banning citizens from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen from entering the US for 90 days. Why these states in particular? the press asks.

At their meeting in Washington US President Donald Trump and British Prime Minister Theresa May stressed the common ground between their countries. Trump announced that the Brexit will be "fantastic", while May emphasised the importance of a bilateral trade agreement. Commentators warn that the British PM's visit should sound alarm bells for the EU.

US President Donald Trump is on a confrontation course with Mexico. On Wednesday he issued a decree for the fortification of the border between the two countries. In reaction to a tweet by Trump, Mexican President Peña Nieto then cancelled a meeting that was to take place between the two. Trump responded by threatening to impose a 20 percent tax on Mexican imports to the US. How should the world respond to such an aggressive policy?

President Trump stressed in his inauguration speech that he wants to protect the US from foreign economic interests. One of his first acts as president was to sign an executive order on exiting the transpacific free trade agreement TPP. Protectionism didn't work during the Great Depression either, journalists point out, and lament the end of the era of global trading.

Donald Trump and his PR team have harshly criticised press reporting of the presidential inauguration. Trump has accused the media of lying about the number of people who attended the ceremony, while a presidential advisor has called the White House's figures "alternative facts". For many observers the conflict between Trump and the media has reached a new highpoint.

One day after Donald Trump's investiture hundreds of thousands of people demonstrated across the globe against his presidency and for women's rights, tolerance and peaceful coexistence. The protests were among the largest in US history, with up to half a million people gathering in Washington. What can this opposition accomplish?

In his first week in office Trump has withdrawn the US from the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement and begun the process of dismantling the "Obamacare" healthcare reform. In his inaugural address the new US president called for a new sense of national pride. Some journalists praise Trump for making good on his campaign pledges. Others criticise his apparent lack of commitment to democracy and human rights.