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Declaration of a Peaceful Revolution

Which Campaign Promises Did Trump Uphold?

On the campaign trail in 2016, President Donald Trump made numerous promises about what he would do when he reached the White House.

Stacker compiled data from PolitiFact’s Trump-o-Meter, which continually tracks the promises President Donald Trump made in his 2016 campaign for president. For four years, PolitiFact’s reporters kept track of the promises and researched whether each promise was kept, broken, compromised on, stalled, or in the works. Each slide provides a description of the promise, the status of the promise, a link to more information from PolitiFact’s researchers on the promise, and our own research into the promise.

Pete Marovich / Getty Images

Among Trump’s campaign promises was a pledge to roll back regulations implemented by his predecessor, President Barack Obama, and renegotiate the Iran nuclear deal, which Trump roundly criticized. Trump also pledged to withdraw the United States immediately from the Paris climate accord and redo NAFTA.

Some promises he was able to keep, while others have landed in court, among them many efforts to end environmental protections, or were dropped after he won the election, such as changing libel law to make it easier to sue media outlets.

Many of Trump’s promises involved trying to deport undocumented immigrants or limiting immigrants or the entry of refugees. Others focused on bolstering American businesses or manufacturers. And some were entirely personal, such as when he threatened to sue the women who accused him of sexual misconduct, or refused to release his tax returns. While many of his pledges involved the functioning of government, some were expressions of his view of the country’s cultural battles, such as the so-called “war on Christmas.”

Keep reading to see which campaign promises President Trump upheld, and details about each.

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Trump pivots away from Asia
LUDOVIC MARIN / Getty Images

Trump pivots away from Asia

– Campaign promise: Stop TPP
– Status: Promise kept
Link to more information

The Trans-Pacific Partnership, an enormous free trade deal that the Council on Foreign Relations described as covering 40 percent of the world’s economy, was part of what was known as President Barack Obama’s pivot to Asia. President Trump withdrew from the agreement on his first day in office. President-elect Biden does not support rejoining it in its current form but could try to renegotiate environmental and labor aspects of it with its 11 other countries.

Trump nominates Gorsuch for Supreme Court
Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

Trump nominates Gorsuch for Supreme Court

– Campaign promise: Nominate someone from Trump’s list of justices to replace Antonin Scalia
– Status: Promise kept
Link to more information

President Trump nominated now-Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch to replace Justice Scalia. Like Justice Scalia, Justice Gorsuch is a constitutional originalist. Justice Gorsuch was confirmed by the U.S. Senate by a 54-45 vote largely along party lines, although the Senate Republicans had to change the rules to approve him. President Trump has since had two other justices confirmed, Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett.

Trump dismantles Obama’s regulations
Wlad74 / Shutterstock

Trump dismantles Obama’s regulations

– Campaign promise: Slash federal regulations
– Status: Promise kept
Link to more information

President Trump has rolled back regulations across government, including ones affecting immigration, health, transportation, and labor, according to a tracker maintained by the Brookings Institution. More than 80 of those regulations concern the environment, with another 20 or so in progress, ones that were meant to provide for clean air and water and curb pollution from power plants and cars and trucks. President-elect Biden is expected to try to reverse much of Trump’s deregulation.

Prices, cost-sharing information to be public
Photoroyalty / Shutterstock

Prices, cost-sharing information to be public

– Campaign promise: Require price transparency from health care providers
– Status: Promise stalled
Link to more information

The Trump administration implemented a rule requiring most private health plans to disclose prices and cost-sharing information. Beginning in 2023, 200 million Americans will know how much their health care will cost them before going in for treatment, according to the administration. In June, a federal judge ruled against a challenge to the policy requiring hospitals and health insurers to publish negotiated prices for services.

Trump’s sexual misconduct accusers sue him
Win McNamee / Getty Images

Trump’s sexual misconduct accusers sue him

– Campaign promise: Sue those who accused Trump of sexual misconduct
– Status: Promise broken
Link to more information

Twenty-six women have accused President Trump of sexual misconduct, including groping and rape, charges he denies. He promised to sue “all of these liars” but has not. Instead, two of the women have sued him, among them E. Jean Carroll, who accused him of raping her in a department store in the 1990s and who is seeking a DNA sample from him.

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Trump turns back Obama gun regulation
Allen.G / Shutterstock

Trump turns back Obama gun regulation

– Campaign promise: Reverse Obama’s 2016 gun executive order
– Status: Promise kept
Link to more information

One of President Trump’s first actions was to turn back an executive order that would have prevented people with mental illness from buying a gun. Liberals and conservatives disliked the order; liberals claimed it stigmatized those with mental illness, while conservatives argued it infringed on their Second Amendment rights.

Another of President Obama’s executive orders tightened the so-called “gun show” loophole, making it harder for sellers who called themselves hobbyists to sell guns without a federal license and background checks.

Trump refuses to release tax returns
Eastside Cindy / Shutterstock

Trump refuses to release tax returns

– Campaign promise: To release his tax returns after an audit is completed
– Status: Promise broken
Link to more information

President Trump never released his tax returns, and he appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court as he fought attempts by Congress and New York officials to obtain those returns. The Supreme Court ruled that he could not block their release to the state officials. The New York Times independently obtained two decades of President Trump’s federal tax returns, which showed he avoided paying taxes because of business losses and had hundreds of millions in debt coming due. The Times confirmed Trump is under audit; however, this does not prevent him from disclosing the paperwork to the American public.

Trump withdraws US from Paris Climate Accord
SAUL LOEB / Getty Images

Trump withdraws US from Paris Climate Accord

– Campaign promise: Withdraw from Paris Climate Accord
– Status: Promise kept
Link to more information

President Trump announced on June 1, 2017, that he was ceasing implementation of the Paris climate accord, claiming that it placed “draconian financial and economic burdens” on the United States and that its “Green Climate Fund” was costing the country “a vast fortune.” President-elect Biden said he will rejoin the agreement. Only China emits more greenhouse producing gases than the United States.

Trump fails to eliminate alternative minimum tax
fizkes / Shutterstock

Trump fails to eliminate alternative minimum tax

– Campaign promise: Repeal the alternative minimum tax
– Status: Promise broken
Link to more information

President Trump did not eliminate the alternative minimum tax for individuals in the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. The tax is intended to make sure that wealthier households that take many deductions pay some tax, and President Trump paid it in at least seven years. The Tax Foundation, a think tank that examines tax policies, notes that President-elect Biden has proposed a tax on corporations that is structured like an alternative minimum tax.

Wealthy investment managers benefit from Carried Interest Loophole
Stuart Monk / Shutterstock

Wealthy investment managers benefit from Carried Interest Loophole

– Campaign promise: Eliminate the carried interest loophole
– Status: Promise broken
Link to more information

When President Trump signed the Republican tax bill at the end of 2017, the carried interest loophole that works to the advantage of hedge fund managers and private equity partners had not been eliminated. The New York Times credited lobbyists and lawmakers for ensuring it remained.

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Number of tax brackets remains at 7
WAYHOME studio / Shutterstock

Number of tax brackets remains at 7

– Campaign promise: Cut the number of tax brackets
– Status: Promise broken
Link to more information

Trump’s promise to cut the number of tax brackets came to nothing. The 2017 Republican tax bill kept the seven brackets, the same number that federal income tax began with. But by 1920, there were 50, according to the Tax Policy Center. The number fell to two with the 1986 Tax Reform Act but rose again.

Business tax rate crops to 21%
Zhukova Valentyna / Shutterstock

Business tax rate crops to 21 percent

– Campaign promise: Lower the business tax rate
– Status: Promise compromised
Link to more information

President Trump promised to lower the business tax rate to 15 percent from 35 percent, but in the final Republican tax bill, the new rate was 21 percent. In October, before President Trump lost reelection, he again talked of lowering the rate, though to 20 percent. By contrast, President-elect Biden wants to raise it to 28 percent.

Estate tax remains
Adwo / Shutterstock

Estate tax remains

– Campaign promise: Eliminate the estate tax
– Status: Promise compromised
Link to more information

President Trump promised to eliminate the estate tax but instead, the 2017 tax bill doubled the amount exempted from the tax. For 2020, those figures are $11.58 million for individuals and $23.16 million for couples. The tax reverts to the earlier exemptions in 2026. The Washington Post noted that it brought in less than 1 percent of 2018 U.S. tax revenue.

US firms repatriate billions of dollars
Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

US firms repatriate billions of dollars

– Campaign promise: Create a 10 percent repatriation tax
– Status: Promise kept
Link to more information

To encourage U.S. companies to bring money kept overseas back to the United States, President Trump proposed taxing that money one time at 10 percent. The 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act substituted 8 percent and 15.5 percent for liquid assets. The Wall Street Journal reported in 2019 that in five quarters since the changes went into effect, $876.76 billion had been repatriated.

Trump fails to create child care tax credits
Oksana Kuzmina / Shutterstock

Trump fails to create child care tax credits

– Campaign promise: Create targeted child care tax credits
– Status: promise was broken
Link to more information

The 2017 tax bill did not create child care tax credits, but what it did do was to double the tax credit for each child under 17 from $1,000 to $2,000, and extended it to families making up $400,000 a year. Critics say 35 percent of children do not qualify for the entire $2,000 credit because their parents make too little.

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Taxes decrease for some
thansak253700 / Shutterstock

Taxes decrease for some

– Campaign promise: Cut taxes for everyone
– Status: Promise compromised
Link to more information

Many Americans did see their taxes cut as a result of the 2017 tax bill, but not everyone. According to the Joint Committee on Taxation, by 2027, every income group below $75,000 will face a tax increase instead. Under the tax bill, individual income and estate tax changes sunset at the end of 2025.

Marriage penalty remains for wealthy
Rawpixel.com / Shutterstock

Marriage penalty remains for wealthy

– Campaign promise: Eliminate the marriage penalty
– Status: Promise compromised
Link to more information

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act eliminated the marriage penalty for many couples, with the exception of some wealthy ones, who could still pay more in taxes married than they would if each was single. Now the marriage penalty applies to couples with a combined income of at least $600,000, which is when they hit the 37 percent tax bracket. For singles, the benchmark comes at $500,000.

Foreign lobbyists raise money for Trump
Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

Foreign lobbyists raise money for Trump

– Campaign promise: Place lifetime ban on foreign lobbyists raising money for American elections
– Status: Promise broken
Link to more information

President Trump pledged during the 2016 presidential campaign to ban U.S. citizens registered as foreign lobbyists from raising money for American elections. Once he took office, however, he did not institute such a prohibition. The Daily Beast reported in October that foreign lobbyists had bundled nearly $2 million for Trump’s reelection campaign.

Guantanamo Bay prison stays open
John Moore / Getty Images

Guantanamo Bay prison stays open

– Campaign promise: Keep Guantanamo Bay Detention Center open
– Status: Promise kept
Link to more information

President Trump has kept the Guantanamo Bay military prison in Cuba, open, with 14 prisoners who were initially confined in black site prisons overseas by the CIA. President Obama had promised to close the prison but was unable to; President-elect Biden has not yet said what he will do.

US Embassy opens in Jerusalem
MENAHEM KAHANA / Getty Images

US Embassy opens in Jerusalem

– Campaign promise: Move U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv to Jerusalem
– Status: Promise kept
Link to more information

President Trump opened the United States’ new embassy in Jerusalem in 2018, keeping a campaign promise but, according to many Middle East observers, making peace in the area that much more difficult. The move was celebrated by Israelis, but angered Palestinians who believe the fate of Jerusalem should be negotiated. The president later presented a peace plan that favored Israel, which was rejected by Palestinians.

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Trump restricts travel from terror-prone locations
Mark Wilson / Getty Images

Trump restricts travel from terror-prone locations

– Campaign promise: Suspend immigration from terror-prone places
– Status: Promise kept
Link to more information

What began as President Trump’s promise of a Muslim ban became strict restrictions on travelers from 13 countries, some mostly Muslim and many of which had been at war or were plagued by terrorism. The restrictions were challenged by opponents who argued they betrayed America’s values but were upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court. President-elect Biden said he will immediately eliminate the restrictions.

Trump vacations at Bedminster, Mar-a-Lago clubs
Joe Raedle / Getty Images

Trump vacations at Bedminster, Mar-a-Lago clubs

– Campaign promise: No vacations
– Status: Promise stalled
Link to more information

President Trump claimed he would not take vacations. But while he did not travel to Hawaii as his predecessor did, Trump did spend ex for stretches at his Bedminster, New Jersey, club, and at his Mar-a-Lago club in Florida. Trump argued the stays were not vacations because he was working. Beyond that, Trump played golf frequently, something he had criticized President Obama for. By The Washington Post‘s count, he had on the golf course at least 247 times as of Nov. 7, three-quarters of President Obama’s total in half the time.

Trump administration sets up veterans hotline
Pamela Au / Shutterstock

Trump administration sets up veterans hotline

– Campaign promise: Create private White House veterans hotline
– Status: Promise kept
Link to more information

President Trump kept his promise to establish what he described as a 24-hour White House hotline for veterans to lodge complaints about the Veterans Administration (VA), part of his plan to reform the agency. Stars and Stripes, the military newspaper, wrote that some veterans were under the impression the hotline was inside the White House. Pro Publica looked at the administration’s record with veterans and noted charges that the VA secretary had tried to discredit a woman who said she was sexually assaulted in a VA hospital.

Trump keeps refugees out
BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI / Getty Images

Trump keeps refugees out

– Campaign promise: Limit legal immigration
– Status: Promise kept
Link to more information

President Trump set the number of refugees entering the United States in the fiscal year 2019 at 30,000, the lowest since 1980. In October 2020, the administration announced that because of job losses from the coronavirus pandemic, it would limit visas for skilled workers from overseas. The move fits Trump’s goals to cut immigration.

Syrian refugees remain in U.S.
FREDERIC J. BROWN / Getty Images

Syrian refugees remain in U.S.

– Campaign promise: Remove existing Syrian refugees
– Status: Promise broken
Link to more information

While campaigning in 2015, at a time when 250,000 people had been killed in a civil war in Syria and the U.S. had pledged to take in 10,000 Syrian refugees the following year, President Trump said they would go back if he won. In the end, Trump did not try to remove the refugees but did include Syrians in his initial Muslim ban, a version of which was approved by the U.S. Supreme Court.

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Trump bans travel from Muslim-majority countries
SAUL LOEB / Getty Images

Trump bans travel from Muslim-majority countries

– Campaign promise: Establish a ban on Muslims entering the U.S.
– Status: Promise broken
Link to more information

During the 2016 campaign, President Trump promised to ban Muslims from coming into the United States. His first attempts at restricting travel from seven Muslim-majority countries were blocked by courts after charges that they violated religious liberty. The Trump administration responded that they were motivated by national security concerns. The third version, which included some non-Muslim countries, was upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court.

A very, very Merry Christmas
JIM WATSON / Getty Images

A very, very Merry Christmas

– Campaign promise: Won’t say ‘Happy Holidays’
– Status: Promise kept
Link to more information

President Trump kept this promise, sending out a White House greeting card that said “Merry Christmas,” and wishing attendees at the national Christmas tree lighting ceremony a “very, very Merry Christmas.” The Guardian newspaper noted in 2018 that at Trump businesses, the word “holiday” prevailed.

Budget deficit soars under Trump
rblfmr / Shutterstock

Budget deficit soars under Trump

– Campaign promise: Balance the federal budget ‘fairly quickly’
– Status: Promise broken
Link to more information

Far from balancing the federal budget, President Trump backed policies that added $3.9 trillion to the federal deficit through 2026, according to an estimate from the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget.The figure did not include what the coronavirus will cost the United States.

Mount Denali escapes a name change
valiant.skies / Shutterstock

Mount Denali escapes a name change

– Campaign promise: Change the name of Mount Denali back to Mount McKinley
– Status: Promise broken
Link to more information

President Trump asked Alaska’s two Republican senators, Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan, if they wanted him to reverse President Obama’s decision to change the mountain’s name. They told him “no,” Sullivan told a convention of the Alaska Federation of Natives as reported by the Anchorage Daily News. Denali is the name given by the Athabascan people more than 10,000 years ago.

No term limits for Congress
Samuel Corum / Getty Images

No term limits for Congress

– Campaign promise: Enact term limits
– Status: Promise broken
Link to more information

President Trump wanted to enact term limits for Congress and met with members who later proposed limiting senators to two terms and House members to six terms. The proposal went nowhere. One significant opponent, the Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, said, “I would say we have term limits now. They’re called elections.” McConnell won his seventh term in 2020 and is Kentucky’s longest-serving senator.

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Waterboarding remains illegal
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Waterboarding remains illegal

– Campaign promise: Bring back waterboarding
– Status: Promise broken
Link to more information

Waterboarding is still illegal in the United States. To resume its use, the Congress would have to pass a new law and President Trump would have to reverse President Obama’s executive order forbidding it. In 2017, President Trump said he believed waterboarding worked but would defer to his defense secretary and CIA chief.

Trump offers states option of block grants
Drew Angerer / Getty Images

Trump offers states option of block grants

– Campaign promise: Administer Medicaid through block grants
– Status: Promise broken
Link to more information

President Trump in January 2020 did offer states the choice of a fixed annual payment in exchange for more control over the Medicaid program. They would be able to cap spending, just as Medicaid has been expanded. States currently receive more funding if health care costs rise or enrollments go up. Democrats say the optional block grants would undermine health care for poor people.

No change to tax status of premiums
EM Karuna / Shutterstock

No change to tax status of premiums

– Campaign promise: Allow individuals to deduct health care insurance premiums from taxes
– Status: Promise broken
Link to more information

Trump’s promise to allow people to deduct their health care insurance premiums from their taxes could have been included in the 2017 Republican tax bill or the Republican health care act of that year. It was not included in either. Employer health benefits are tax-free for employees.

NATO countries increase spending
BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI / Getty Images

NATO countries increase spending

– Campaign promise: Ask countries we protect to pay more for joint defense
– Status: Promise kept
Link to more information

President Trump was particularly insistent that NATO members pay their shares of the joint defense agreement. When he took office, only five countries were spending the agreed-upon 2 percent of their GDP. By October, that number had doubled to 10 countries, according to a NATO report. Observers say other factors, including Russian aggression, contributed to the increase.

DACA survives efforts to end it
MANDEL NGAN / Getty Images

DACA survives efforts to end it

– Campaign promise: terminate Barack Obama’s immigration executive orders ‘immediately’
– Status: Promise compromised
Link to more information

President Trump tried to end two of President Obama’s immigration programs, DACA and DAPA. He failed with DACA, or Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, that allowed undocumented immigrants who entered the United States as children to work or study. A federal judge in December 2020 ruled that the Trump administration must restore DACA fully. He was successful with DAPA, or Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents.

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Trump is now open to Medicare cuts
Joyseulay / Shutterstock

Trump is now open to Medicare cuts

– Campaign promise: Make no cuts to Medicare
– Status: Promise compromised
Link to more information

President Trump indicated in January 2020 that he would be open to cutting Medicare to help balance the federal budget deficit. His 2021 budget includes $500 billion in decreases in Medicare spending over 10 years, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. Most would be a result of cutting payments to health care providers.

Federal debt grows under Trump
Win McNamee / Getty Images

Federal debt grows under Trump

– Campaign promise: Eliminate the federal debt in eight years
– Status: Promise broken
Link to more information

President Trump promised to eliminate the federal debt in eight years, but it rose instead. As of Sept. 30, 2020, the federal debt had reached $26.9 trillion, an increase of $4.2 trillion over last year, mostly because of the government’s response to COVID-19, according to the U.S. Government Accountability Office. Under President Obama, the debt also rose, from $10.6 trillion to $19.9 trillion.

Trump fails to boot China From WTO
NICOLAS ASFOURI / Getty Images

Trump fails to boot China From WTO

– Campaign promise: Reverse China’s entry into the World Trade Organization
– Status: Promise broken
Link to more information

China became a member of the World Trade Organization in 2001 and remains one. Experts say President Trump was unable to expel China from the organization on his own, and so he instead worked to weaken the WTO and launched a trade war against China. The Brookings Institution found that the trade war hurt the U.S. more than China.

Common Core results disappointed
Lisa F. Young / Shutterstock

Common Core results disappointed

– Campaign promise: Eliminate Common Core
– Status: Promise broken
Link to more information

Although Education Secretary Betsy DeVos has attacked the standards known as Common Core, the Trump administration has not eliminated them because it has little control over whether states adopt the standards. Common Core was developed by governors and education officials under President Obama, and are still in effect in some states or have been replaced by something similar. Common Core was meant to serve as a set of college or career-ready standards, but results were disappointing.

Trump fails to triple ICE enforcement
Smith Collection/Gado / Getty Images

Trump fails to triple ICE enfo