Trump to issue a flurry of executive orders his first days in office

Immediately after Donald Trump takes the oath of office at noon today, he will begin issuing a veritable blizzard of executive orders on a wide variety of issues.

Some of the orders will begin overturning many of President Obama's last-minute regulations.  Others will deal with illegal immigration.  In the coming days, more orders will deal with climate change, health care, and energy.

The new president will seek to place his imprint on the office and set the tone for the coming months as he looks to get a fast start to fulfilling his campaign promise to change the way things are done in Washington.


"He is committed to not just Day 1, but Day 2, Day 3 of enacting an agenda of real change, and I think that you're going to see that in the days and weeks to come," Trump spokesman Sean Spicer said on Thursday, telling reporters to expect activity on Friday, during the weekend and early next week.

Trump plans on Saturday to visit the headquarters of the CIA in Langley, Virginia. He has harshly criticized the agency and its outgoing chief, first questioning the CIA's conclusion that Russia was involved in cyber hacking during the U.S. election campaign, before later accepting the verdict. Trump also likened U.S. intelligence agencies to Nazi Germany.

Trump's advisers vetted more than 200 potential executive orders for him to consider signing on healthcare, climate policy, immigration, energy and numerous other issues, but it was not clear how many orders he would initially approve, according to a member of the Trump transition team who was not authorized to talk to the press.

Signing off on orders puts Trump, who has presided over a sprawling business empire but has never before held public office, in a familiar place similar to the CEO role that made him famous, and will give him some early victories before he has to turn to the lumbering process of getting Congress to pass bills.

The strategy has been used by other presidents, including Obama, in their first few weeks in office.

"He wants to show he will take action and not be stifled by Washington gridlock," said Princeton University presidential historian Julian Zelizer.

Trump is expected to impose a federal hiring freeze and take steps to delay a Labor Department rule due to take effect in April that would require brokers who give retirement advice to put their clients' best interests first.

He also will give official notice he plans to withdraw from the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal and renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement with Canada and Mexico, Spicer said. "I think you will see those happen very shortly," Spicer said.

Obama, ending eight years as president, made frequent use of his executive powers during his second term in office, when the Republican-controlled Congress stymied his efforts to overhaul immigration and environmental laws. Many of those actions are now ripe targets for Trump to reverse.

The howls of protest over Trump's trade policies will resound from Tokyo to Timbuktu.  And pro-illegal immigration groups are already planning a "weep-in" crying tears of anguish for all those illegal aliens who will lose their protections under Trump.  (Note that Reuters refers to illegal aliens as "asylum seekers.")

These are just the opening salvos in Trump's war against business as usual.  But he will need Congress for most of the way.  Barack Obama was blocked by the courts in trying to impose his will through executive orders on issues like carbon emissions, immigration, and labor law.  He will need all of his communication and negotiating skills to get most of the GOP House and Senate to go along with his plans.