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Top 10 Crazy Things That've Happened Since Donald Trump's Election

VO: Rebecca Brayton

Script written by Sean Harris.

Many ridiculous things have happened since Trump won the election. Whether it was a spike in hate crimes, the reveal that Russia hacked the 2016 Presidential Election, Trump saying he no longer wanted to hurt the Clintons, conflicts of interest or questionable cabinet appointments, Donald Trump news keeps coming. WatchMojo counts down ten jaw-dropping things that have happened since The Donald was elected President.

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Transcript
Script written by Sean Harris.

Top 10 Crazy Things That've Happened Since Trump Was Elected


2016 was an election year full of surprises, and the shocks continued even after the votes were counted. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’re counting down our picks for the top 10 crazy things that have happened since Donald Trump’s election.

For this list, we’ve looked at unexpected or just plain crazy things that happened between Donald Trump’s election victory and his inauguration as President of the United States of America.

#10: Healthcare Reform

Much has been made of Donald Trump’s apparent U-turns on major policies since his election to the White House. One such rethink involves healthcare: on the campaign trail, Trump railed against the Affordable Care Act – aka Obamacare – and panned Hillary Clinton’s plan to grow the program, which was designed to ensure that more Americans would have healthcare insurance. However, after his election, Trump said that instead of scrapping Obamacare altogether, he’d keep some aspects of it. Perhaps more importantly, while many members of the GOP wanted Obamacare repealed ASAP, Trump went against them by revealing that he thought the program should be repealed only once an alternative was developed. What’s more, a consequence of gutting Obamacare would be damage to Medicare – which is a program the campaigning Trump had said he would protect as president. Bottom line? Expect things to continue changing.

#9: Wall or Fence?

Mr. Trump’s campaign proposals to build a wall along the US/Mexico border made controversial headlines worldwide. His insistence that he would get Mexico to build and pay for the structure further polarized American opinion. But post-election, in an interview with CBS’s “60 Minutes”, Trump said that he sees ‘certain areas’ of his wall being more like a fence. The apparent softening of his stance hadn’t yet spread to all of his hardline immigration policies however, as plans to ban or deport significant numbers of undocumented immigrants look set to still go ahead. By early January 2017, the plans changed again, as Trump’s transition team expressed their desire for Congress to pay for the wall, not Mexico – although they still might insist Mexico reimburse the cost.

#8: Taiwan and the One China Policy

Following Trump’s victory, analysts began predicting major diplomatic shifts and a so-called ‘new world order’. The changing times quickly came into focus when Trump took a call from Tsai Ing-wen, the President of Taiwan, becoming the first U.S. president (or president-elect) to speak to the Taiwanese leader in almost 40 years. The phone call sparked warnings of a diplomatic crisis, as Trump appeared to ignore the decades-old One-China agreement between America and China. The policy means that the U.S. and China effectively agree that Taiwan is part of China; despite the fact that the Taiwanese government claims it’s an independent country. Trump’s actions do mirror his campaign promises here, as his rhetoric toward China and current U.S./Chinese relations was consistently hostile.

#7: Trump Says He Doesn’t Want to Hurt the Clintons

The foundations for our next 180 were laid the very night the Republican candidate won his place in the Oval Office. The Hillary Clinton email scandal dogged the Democrat’s campaign and Trump said he’d have her ‘locked up’ because of it should he become president. However, in his victory speech Trump immediately got off Clinton’s case, thanking her for her service and insisting that America owes her a ‘major debt of gratitude’. Since then, the incoming Trump government has distanced itself from the idea of jailing Clinton, seemingly adopting a ‘water under the bridge’ attitude toward the issue. While some onlookers feel it’s fair, it may seem like a failed promise for those whose chants of ‘lock her up!’ resonated around some Republican rallies in 2016.

#6: Cabinet Appointments

Perhaps most controversial of Trump’s appointments was Steve Bannon as chief strategist and Senior Counselor, as the former Breitbart executive chair was a proponent of the far-right. Rex Tillerson as Secretary of State raised eyebrows because of reported business ties to Russia’s Vladimir Putin. The highly-decorated James ‘Mad Dog’ Mattis takes over as Secretary of Defense, having only retired from active service in 2013 (instead of the usual seven-year wait time). Homeland Security’s John F. Kelly has historical links to the running of Guantanamo Bay. Noted climate change skeptics Rick Perry and Scott Pruitt will oversee US Energy and Environmental Protection Policies. Former Apprentice contestant Omarosa also joined Trump’s White House staff. And one-time WWE CEO, Linda McMahon, is the new Administrator of the Small Business Administration, following her multi-million dollar donations to Trump’s campaign. Coincidentally, Trump’s team amounts to one of the wealthiest cabinets ever to run America.

#5: Trump Likes Obama

Trump consistently slammed the outgoing President on the campaign trail and criticized his predecessor’s eight years in charge, but following his election victory and since the pair’s notorious post-election meeting at the White House, Trump’s opinion of Obama has severely softened. The President-elect says he ‘really likes’ Obama and that though their ideas and policies differ, he acknowledges that Obama ‘wants to do right by the country’. The new approach is in stark contrast to Trump’s campaign tactics, which saw him call the Democrat’s term as president a ‘disaster’, frequently cast doubt over Obama’s heritage and even label his rival ‘the founder of ISIS’. But don’t worry: within weeks of inauguration day, the Obama/Trump relationship seemed to be getting back on track.

#4: Spike in Hate Crimes

During his campaign, Trump had united his supporters under the slogan ‘Make America Great Again’; but within days of his being elected, a large spike in racially aggravated hate crimes swept across the country. Instances of intimidation, physical violence, targeted vandalism and graffiti were all recorded by state police departments, with many of the crimes reportedly fuelled by prejudice inspired by Trump’s victory. While Mr. Trump has repeatedly asked his supporters to stop targeting minorities, the Southern Poverty Law Centre clocked almost 900 incidents in the first ten days following the election. In his victory speech, Trump said it was time to ‘bind the wounds of division’; within days of his winning the presidency, it became clear just how important that sentiment was.

#3: Refused Intelligence Briefings

Typically, official intel briefings are day-to-day work for the President, allowing him to keep up to speed with international situations and developments. However, since his election Trump has attended the briefings only sparingly, preferring to delegate the meetings to his Vice-President-elect Mike Pence instead. Though opponents have described Trump’s approach as the brash or irresponsible behavior of someone uninterested or unappreciative of his position, Trump insists his decision to sit out briefings is a straightforward one. He’s said that he’s ‘a smart person’ and doesn’t need to be told ‘the same thing in the same words every single day’, but has also highlighted that as soon as anything changes he’s available ‘on one minute’s notice’. However, when NBC News released info he hadn’t yet seen, Trump admitted this was “serious.”

#2: Conflicts of Interest

Donald Trump’s decades of experience as a global businessman may’ve garnered him support in his bid to run America, but Trump’s critics are alarmed by his apparent reluctance to step away from his corporate empire now that he has won the White House. Analysts are expecting a series of conflicts of interest arising while Trump is president, thanks to various business and property ties he holds all over the world. If he retains personal financial interests in international affairs, any foreign policy decision Trump makes will be scrutinized by those asking ‘what’s in it for him?’ In his first official press conference of 2017, Trump announced that control of his company would be shifted to his sons, Don and Eric, for the duration of his presidency. In a statement at the same presser, his attorney said that POTUS and VPOTUS don’t have to divest themselves and that neither is subject to a ban on conflicts of interest, but that Trump would be going above and beyond what was expected of him with regards to the subject.

Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions.
- Mark Zuckerberg Net Worth Drops by $3.7 Billion
- Trump Suggests He Will Honor NATO
- Stock Market Surged After Trump’s Election

#1: Russian Involvement

The Hillary Clinton email controversy played a major role in the latter weeks of the election campaign. According to a report by The Washington Post, a secret assessment by the CIA determined that Russia interfered in the 2016 Presidential election, giving Donald Trump a boost to ensure he won by seeing that thousands of hacked DNC emails were leaked to WikiLeaks. These findings were confirmed by a U.S. intelligence community report released on January 6, 2017. The following week, a separate, unverified report was made public by Buzzfeed, claiming that Russia has compromising information about Trump, as well as details about his ties to Russia. In his January 11th press conference, Trump dismissed that report as fake news and a political witch-hunt, although he did finally admit that it was Russia that had hacked the DNC during the election.

Do you agree with our list? Which Trump moment did we miss? For more presidential top 10s published every day, be sure to subscribe to WatchMojo.com.
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