Key dates from Donald Trump’s presidency

From the launch of his campaign in 2015 to his defeat to Joe Biden last November, Donald Trump’s time in the White House was a roller coaster ride.

It saw him shatter norms, shun allies, bully those who opposed him and govern with laser focus on how his policies would play with his conservative political base.

Here are some of the main dates punctuating Trump’s political career:

First moves

25 January 2017: Mr Trump signs an executive order ordering construction to begin on the wall he promised to build on the southern US border with Mexico, a key campaign promise he said Mexico would pay for.

In the end only a few hundred miles were built, paid for by the US.

27 January 2017: Mr Trump issues an executive order banning entries from seven Muslim-majority countries – Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.

Amid outrage, the Supreme Court validates the text in the summer of 2018.

1 June 2017: Mr Trump declares that the US it is pulling out of the Paris climate agreement.


20 December 2017: The Republican-run Congress passes the biggest tax cuts in 31 years.

31 May 2018: The US slaps tariffs on steel and aluminum from Mexico, Canada and the European Union.

15 June 2018: Mr Trump launches a trade war with China by slapping 25% tariffs on $50 billion of imported goods.  

September 2019: Unemployment hits its lowest level in 50 years, at 3.5%.


6 December 2017: The Trump administration recognises Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, breaking with long standing US policy and drawing international condemnation.

8 May 2018: The US withdraws from the international nuclear agreement with Iran and reestablishes US sanctions against the Islamic republic.

30 June 2019: Mr Trump becomes the first US leader to set foot in North Korea, a little more than a year after meeting the country’s leader Kim Jong Un in Singapore to discuss the denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula.

27 October 2019: Announcement that the leader of the Islamic State group, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, was killed in a US military raid in Syria. 

3 January 2020: The powerful Iranian general Qassem Soleimani is killed in a US air strike in Baghdad. 


28 July 2017: The Senate fails to overturn Obamacare, the Democratic health care plan that Mr Trump had vowed to abolish.

6 November 2018: The opposition Democrats retake control of the House of Representatives.

Republicans retain the Senate.


12 August 2017: During a rally of far-right activists in Charlottesville in Virginia, a neo-Nazi sympathiser drives his car into a group of anti-racist demonstrators, killing a woman.

The president is heavily criticised when he declares there were “fine people on both sides” of the confrontation.

14 February 2018: A 19-year-old former student opens fire in his old high school in Parkland, Florida, killing 17 people.

The massacre sparks an unprecedented mobilisation of young people calling for gun control.

Mr Trump wholeheartedly backs the rights of gun owners.

25 May 2020: George Floyd, a 46-year-old Black man, dies during an arrest, triggering nationwide protests.

Mr Trump takes a law and order approach and calls the demonstrators thugs.

Russia, Ukraine, impeachment

17 May 2017: Former FBI director Robert Mueller is appointed special counsel in charge of investigating whether the Trump campaign conspired with Russia to steal the 2016 election.

Mr Trump fumes at what he calls a “witch hunt.”

18 April 2019: The Mueller report is published without alleging a criminal conspiracy.

However it points to frequent contacts between the Trump campaign and Kremlin-linked figures, who were found to have interfered in Mr Trump’s favor.

Mr Mueller cites numerous examples of Mr Trump obstructing the investigation.

18 December 2019: Mr Trump is impeached on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress for trying to coerce Ukraine into smearing his future Democratic rival Joe Biden.

Mr Trump is acquitted in his trial in the Republican-controlled Senate on 5 February . 

Coronavirus and campaigning

31 January 2020: The US announces a ban on non-American travelers entering from China to stop the spread of the coronavirus.

The ban is extended to European countries on 14 March as the country shuts itself off from the world. 

2 October 2020: After testing positive for the virus, Mr Trump is admitted to a military hospital for treatment, emerging three days later with a claim that he is now “immune”.

3 November 2020: Americans elect Mr Biden to succeed Mr Trump, who refuses to concede defeat and spends two months spreading baseless conspiracy theories about election fraud and lying that he won by a landslide.

6 January 2021: Mr Trump tells his supporters to march on Congress and “fight like hell” as lawmakers certify Mr Biden’s victory.

An armed mob storms the US Capitol and five people die in the ensuing mayhem.

A week later, Mr Trump becomes the first US president to be impeached twice as the House charges him with inciting an insurrection.