President Donald Trump spent his third year in office under siege from Democrats who by the end of the year moved to impeach the president, but there were moments when he had key victories and his supporters felt particularly vindicated about their decision to vote for him.
15. President Trump declares a National Emergency on the Border.
As the government shutdown over a dispute about wall funding on the Southern border dragged on into the New Year, President Trump deployed his exit strategy to declare a national emergency on the border and assert executive privilege to fund the wall.
14. Declaring China a Currency Manipulator
President Trump finally declared China a currency manipulator in August, something he repeatedly promised on the campaign trail.
The Chinese yuan dropped to the lowest level in a decade after Trump announced a ten percent tariff on an additional $300 billion in Chinese imports.
“In recent days, China has taken concrete steps to devalue its currency, while maintaining substantial foreign exchange reserves despite active use of such tools in the past,” the Treasury Department announced in an unprecedented statement.
13. President Trump Issues the ‘Public Charge Rule’
In August, President Donald Trump announced a new rule preventing immigrants from abusing the welfare system in the United States.
The public charge rule required immigrants to the United States to prove they were financially self-sufficient before they were allowed to enter the United States.
It was a major step forward in fulfilling his campaign promise to keep new immigrants and green card holders from growing dependent on welfare.
President Donald Trump celebrated the 70th anniversary of NATO in November at the summit in London but also celebrated the fulfillment of a campaign promise to make allies pay more of their share of the financial burden.
United Nations Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg announced in November that the United States would pay less of NATO’s budget and Germany would pay more. Eight of the other NATO nations met their commitment to spend two percent of their GDP on defense in 2019, up from only five in 2017.
Trump focused his speech on the American men who won the war.
He also focused on the faith in God that the men of World War II relied on in the historic conflict:
They were sustained by the confidence that America can do anything because we are a noble nation, with a virtuous people, praying to a righteous God. The exceptional might came from a truly exceptional spirit. The abundance of courage came from an abundance of faith.
The speech even earned positive reviews from some of Trump’s biggest critics, as he paid tribute to the greatest generation who fought to preserve the American way of life.
10: Signing the Wall
In September, President Trump traveled to the newly constructed wall on the San Diego border to demonstrate that he was completing his campaign promise.
No longer just an idea or a prototype, Trump showed off the immense 30-foot high structure to reporters with a group of border enforcement officials — 24 miles of primary and secondary wall on the border.
At the urging of one worker, Trump signed the steel barrier, cementing his campaign promise to build a wall on the Southern border despite historically fierce opposition from Democrats.
9. President Trump Delivers “Salute to America” on July 4
President Donald Trump finally achieved an unprecedented salute to the American military, after pursuing the idea of a military parade in honor of the troops throughout his presidency.
Despite multiple roadblocks to his parade plans, the president settled on the Salute to America on July 4th, boosting the existing Independence Day celebration in the nation’s capital.
The event featured Military aircraft flyovers, tanks stationed on the National Mall, military drills, performances from military bands as well as the biggest fireworks display ever in Washington, DC.
Trump’s speech was not political but rather focused on the greatness of America’s historic accomplishments.
“As long as we stay true to our course, as long as we remember our great history, as long as we never, ever stop fighting for a better future, then there will be nothing that America cannot do,” he said.
8. Trump Creates Deals with Central American Countries to Close Immigration Loopholes
The president reached an agreement with the three countries allowing the federal government to send migrants from either of the three countries back home if they failed to first claim asylum in either of the three countries.
As a result of these agreements, the flow of migrants crossing the Southern Border dropped significantly in 2019.
7. Congress Passes USMCA Trade Deal
In December, President Donald Trump’s monumental trade deal replacing NAFTA finally passed in Congress after a year-long delay as a result of the Democrat-led House of Representatives.
Replacing NAFTA was a lifetime goal of President Trump, and it earned huge bipartisan support and was even endorsed by prominent labor unions.
In December, the Department of Labor announced that the United States economy added 266,000 jobs in November and the unemployment rate fell to 3.5 percent, matching the lowest level in 50 years.
But that was not all.
Hourly wages also rose three percent from the previous year, including big gains for low-income workers.
The news sparked a surge of economic optimism ahead of the Christmas season, effectively boosting the stock markets to new highs and quieting recession fears raised in August due to the Field Curve inversion.
5. Donald Trump releases transcript of his phone call with Zelensky
As Democrats fueled speculation about what President Trump actually talked to Ukrainian President Volodymyr about former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter, the White House released the transcript of the call in a bold transparent move.
The release of the transcript allowed Americans to decide for themselves whether Trump committed a criminal act in the phone call, before Democrats could finish weaving their damaging political narrative to the president.
Congressional Democrats and the media were forced to move the goalposts of the inquiry as the transcript showed no “quid pro quo” attempt to leverage military aid and damaged the credibility of the so-called “whistleblower” that kicked off the impeachment process.
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff tried to creatively dramatize the transcript to justify his inquiry, a stunt that President Trump repeatedly mocked as the Democrat-led movement to impeach the president continued.
The investigation never fully recovered it’s political momentum, as the president repeatedly asked Americans to “read the transcript” to realize that a crime was not committed.
President Trump participated in the swearing-in of Attorney General William Barr in February, a major step forward in the ongoing battle with Democrats trying to ensnare the president in the Russia investigation led by Special Counsel Robert Muller.
In March, Barr controlled the release of Mueller’s conclusions of the investigation, noting in a four page summary that it found no evidence that the president and his campaign colluded with Russia and did not charge President Trump with a crime of obstructing justice.
Barr skillfully defended the president in several Congressional hearings, repeatedly warning about the Democrats’ tactics to use the legal system and the investigative powers of federal law enforcement to smear the president.
“In waging a scorched earth, no-holds-barred war of Resistance against this administration, it is the left that is engaged in a systematic shredding of norms and undermining the rule of law,” Barr said in a speech to lawyers at the Federalist Society’s convention in Washington, DC, in November.
Trump supporters were delighted with Barr’s stalwart legal defense of the Trump administration in 2019, when Democrats believed they had the president on the ropes.
3. President Trump creates the United States Space Force
President Donald Trump signed a defense bill in December, officially creating “Space Force” – a branch of the United States military dedicated to the defense of America in space.
“Space is the world’s newest warfighting domain,” Trump said. “American superiority in space is absolutely vital.”
The new brand of the United States military will reside inside the Air Force, the first new military brance since 1947.
Trump first coined the name “Space Force” in March 2018.
“My new national strategy for space recognizes that space is a war-fighting domain, just like the land, air, and sea,” Trump told a group of Marines in 2018. “We may even have a Space Force — develop another one; Space Force. We have the Air Force; we’ll have the Space Force.”
Less than two years later, Trump signed a bill doing exactly that.
In March, President Trump deployed a policy requiring migrants claiming asylum to remain in Mexico while awaiting their asylum court hearings.
The policy helped slow the flood of migrants claiming asylum and ultimately being set free into the United States while awaiting their court dates.
1. President Trump Announces Death of Islamic State founder Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi
President Donald Trump celebrated one of the most important achievements of his presidency in October, announcing the death of Islamic State founder Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi after American special forces raided a compound in Syria.
“He died like a dog, he died like a coward,” Trump told the world in a major address after the raid. “The world is now a much safer place.”
Trump’s announcement cemented his legacy against ISIS, as he repeatedly promised in the 2016 presidential campaign to destroy the radical Muslim terrorists without mercy.