8

I define an accomplishment as a well-defined stated goal that has been successfully met. The goal may have been stated by Trump directly, at some point in his political career, or it may be a goal commonly associated with the Republican Party.

I believe these conditions ensure that answers to the question can be largely objective, regardless of the answers own political stance. To ensure that the question isn't too broad, the answers are not required to be complete. Any list of a size >= 1, (or >= 0 if you think, and can argue, that he has no accomplishments), is an acceptable answer, even if it is not a complete list of his accomplishments.

closed as primarily opinion-based by grovkin, user2501323, Federico, CoedRhyfelwr, Jontia Sep 25 at 8:08

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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    Question seems fine to me, as long as the OP is careful to avoid any negative bias. – Time4Tea Jun 15 at 14:36
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    It's really unclear exactly what you're asking. If you're asking what he has done, that's one thing. The problem is that few people would objectively consider his actions to be accomplisments. – jamesqf Jun 15 at 16:38
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    Actually I do have an objection to the question. The OP plainly states that his motivation is to create a counter-narrative to "frantic liberal criticism" of Trump. IMO that is not the purpose of Politics SE. – BobE Jun 15 at 19:52
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    @immibis With or with out that sentence the question "does not appear to be a good-faith effort to learn more about governments, policies and political processes", but rather serves another purpose. – BobE Jun 18 at 2:16
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    The problem with a question of this sort is that it's easily exploited by a pol who promises everything, (or rather makes many promises), even completely contradictory things. Similar to how popular self-proclaimed psychics make many prophecies, but only advertise their nearest hits, which their fans carelessly regard as proof. – agc Jun 18 at 15:50
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Politifact has, over the past decade or so, been keeping track of progress made on promises made by US Presidents.

On their "Trump-o-meter", they are tracking 102 promises that Donald Trump made during the campaign. As of June 15, 2019, the state of these promises are:

  • 17 Kept
  • 11 Compromise
  • 18 Broken
  • 28 Stalled
  • 28 In The Works

Promises kept, according to Politifact include creating a private White House Veterans hotline, placing a lifetime ban on White House officials lobbying for a foreign government, moving the US Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, and creating a 10% repatriation tax.

Promises on which he compromised include ending the defense sequester (it's still there, but now moot), lowering business taxes to 15% (it was cut, but not that far), and enacting a five-year lobbying ban for White House and Congressional officials (WH yes, Congress no).

Promises broken include term limits for Congress, deducting health care premiums from taxes, declaring China as a currency manipulator, and balancing the federal budget "fairly quickly".

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    Would things that he has tried to do, but were blocked by Congress fall under 'stalled'? – Time4Tea Jun 15 at 14:37
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    If they were blocked by Congress, they would be considered Broken. Stalled would generally be things that haven't really gone anywhere yet, but could potentially do later. – Joe C Jun 15 at 14:45
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    Ok. Not that I'm used to defending Trump, but it strikes me as a little unfair to consider them to be 'broken' promises, if he tried to carry them out, but was blocked by someone else. It would be good to see another category, imo. Although, that is a criticism of the Politifact data, not your answer. – Time4Tea Jun 15 at 17:06
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    Also, for the sake of comparison, just under 1/4 of Obama's promises were classed as Broken as of the end of his second term. Many of these will also have been blocked by Congress. – Joe C Jun 15 at 17:35
  • @Time4Tea - it may or may not be unfair. One could argue if he promised it, he should have been sure he'd be able to do it first. Otherwise all sorts of promises could be made and then others blamed when they weren't kept. – colmde Jul 8 at 9:31
8

The BBC created a graphic with data from Politifact on Trumps campaign promises (as of December 24, 2018):

enter image description here

A more detailed view can be seen here. He has delivered on:

  • Tax cuts for corporations and the wealthy
  • Leave Paris climate deal
  • put two right-wing judges on the supreme court
  • bomb ISIS
  • a number of partially delivered promises, such as new trade deals/wars & tariffs/taxes on imports or banning Muslims from entering the US.

The Trump administration also has a webpage showcasing their accomplishments:

  • GDP growth >3% for four quarters (not sure where their numbers are from, I've found slightly different ones; in either case, they are not unusually high)
  • 5m jobs created (some of those were actually created under Obama, but it's close enough; in the last two years, about the same amount of jobs were created as under Obama's last two years)
  • tax cuts
  • trade deals
  • ... a lot of the points are not really accomplishments in the traditional sense, but goals or attempts at accomplishments (eg "President Trump’s Administration is working to provide Americans with affordable alternatives to Obamacare.")
  • You very briefly mention tax cuts, but that has been "a goal commonly associated with the Republican Party". Seeing how that's a pretty big thing (most other policies rely on taxes for funding), it might be the biggest accomplishment of the Trump administration. – JJ for Transparency and Monica Jun 15 at 14:31
  • @JJJ I mentioned tax cuts twice :) But I agree, it's definitely one of the bigger accomplishments (on the other hand, it added severely to the deficit, and reducing the deficit is also a goal associated with the Republican party, so it seems like a double edged sword accomplishment-wise). – tim Jun 15 at 14:35
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    Ah yes. The deficit only becomes a problem once they lose power though. I don't think you'll be able to find many Republicans talking about the deficit while they are in control of government. ;) – JJ for Transparency and Monica Jun 15 at 14:47
  • “GDP growth >3% for four quarters (not sure where their numbers are from, I've found slightly different ones; in either case, they are not unusually high)” They are only not-unusually high compared to the entire post war period. It’s unusually high for the Great Recession and afterwards, where many people claimed that we should adjust to a “new normal” of 2% or less. – Joe Jun 15 at 15:53
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    @JJJ I think Trump himself has never promised anything about deficits. It was one of the criticisms of him during the primary season that everyone promptly decided to forget about once he became the nominee. – Joe Jun 15 at 15:57
1

Trump promised that he would appoint conservative justices to the Supreme Court. This he did do.

0

Trump says he has accomplished a lot on North Korea. I would dispute that the accomplishments are anything substantial and constitute mostly symbolic victories, but as such, they're still quite objective.

Stated goal and comments in the past

Trump has mentioned North Korea in the past, long before he ran for president. For example in a Fox News interview in 1999, he said:

Well, the biggest threat to the world is nuclear is nuclear weapons and the nuclear warheads that are being built in North Korea and various other places. I mean, you know, we can talk about Social Security and we can talk about all the different things we can talk about deficits but the fact is that there is a problem out there that is going to be an unsolvable problem, literally unsolvable unless billions of people are killed, and that's nuclear weapons. And in Korea, which is very unstable to start off with, North Korean, you have a man who is just going hog wild and building them, taking nuclear reactors from us.

We're trying to bribe them. We're saying: Listen, take our reactors. We're going to build you reactors, we're going to give you free fuel, we're going to give you everything, please don't build any more.

They're building them anyway! I hate the treaties that they're talking about. But I also think that we have to go and start very hard negotiations with North Korea and other countries. You look at China, what's happening with China, they're building like crazy.

There have also been tweets on North Korea. Donald Trump expressed that something needs to be done on the issue in the years leading up to his presidency:

6 Apr 2013: Our President must be very careful with the 28 year old wack job in North Korea. At some point we may have to get very tough-blatant threats

12 Apr 2013: The only American who has met with the North Korean man child is Dennis Rodman. Isn’t that frightening and sad?

12 Apr 2013: Where is the President? It is time for him to come on TV and show strength against the repeated threats from North Korea -- and others.

13 Sep 2013: Obama is now warning North Korea on the Yongbyon nuclear reactor http://bit.ly/14MGGvK After Syria, our enemies are laughing!

17 Feb 2014: Do you think John Kerry is aware of the fact that they are building nuclear weapons in Iran and North Korea and Pakistan already has them!!

2 Jan 2017: North Korea just stated that it is in the final stages of developing a nuclear weapon capable of reaching parts of the U.S. It won't happen!

There are of course some contradictory tweets as well:

7 May 2014: Crazy Dennis Rodman is saying I wanted to go to North Korea with him. Never discussed, no interest, last place on Earth I want to go to.

7 May 2014: Dennis Rodman was either drunk or on drugs (delusional) when he said I wanted to go to North Korea with him. Glad I fired him on Apprentice!

1 Oct 2017: I told Rex Tillerson, our wonderful Secretary of State, that he is wasting his time trying to negotiate with Little Rocket Man...

In the end, one could argue he's not been consistent on how to approach North Korea, but it's certainly an issue that he's been concerned about for a long time. And that's how we get to more recent developments on the Trump-Kim relationship.

"we have a great relationship"

On February 15, 2019, Trump gave a press conference in the Rose garden. The full video can be found on YouTube.

During that press conference, Trump was asked:

I was wondering what you thought has, you know, been accomplished since the last summit. And then, are we going to be seeing anything concrete on denuclearisation?

Trump replied:

A lot has been accomplished. Okay.

Yeah. A lot has been accomplished. We're dealing with them, we're talking to them. When I came into office, I met right there, in the Oval Office, with President Obama. And I sat in those beautiful chairs and we talked. It was supposed to be 15 minutes. As you know, it ended up being many times longer than that.

And I said, "What's the biggest problem?" He said, "By far, North Korea." And I don't want to speak for him, but I believe he would have gone to war with North Korea. I think he was ready to go to war. In fact, he told me he was so close to starting a big war with North Korea. And where are we now? No missiles.

No rockets. No nuclear testing. We've learned a lot. But much more importantly than all of it -- much more important -- much, much more important than that is we have a great relationship. I have a very good relationship with Kim Jong Un. And I've done a job. In fact, I think I can say this: Prime Minister Abe of Japan gave me the most beautiful copy of a letter that he sent to the people who give out a thing called the Nobel Prize.

So most of that isn't easily verifiable, except for the, to use Trump's words:

much more importantly than all of it -- much more important -- much, much more important than that is we have a great relationship. I have a very good relationship with Kim Jong Un. And I've done a job.

Indeed, months later, at the end of June 2019, President Trump is still very fond of the relationship with Chairman Kim, quoting from Fox News:

"There's a good feeling. I won't even say developing. I just think we have a very good relationship," Trump said to a room full of South Korea's most prominent business figures in Seoul after his arrival from the Group of 20 summit in Osaka, Japan. "I don't know about beyond the two of us, but I can say the two of us."

That may not seem like much, but given the history between the US and North Korea, as well as Trump's history on the matter, there is certainly a victory there. It may be mostly symbolical, but an accompliment nonetheless.

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