President Donald Trump sent several tweets Tuesday on his second business day in the Oval Office, meeting with automobile industry executives and announcing four more executive orders to clear the way for the construction of two controversial pipelines.
He tweeted early Tuesday morning that he planned to meet with automobile executives to encourage American manufacturing and sales, and sent a followup tweet several hours later showing himself surrounded by several of the executives who met with him that day.
Trump had used Twitter to opine repeatedly about declining manufacturing in the United States and spent months on the campaign trail threatening to penalize companies that moved those operations to other countries instead. In the meeting, which included the CEOs of General Motors, Ford and Fiat Chrysler, Trump said he would relax regulations and encourage growing American manufacturing jobs.
After Trump’s electoral victory, both Ford and General Motors had announced they would retain some jobs in the United States, though each denied dealing directly with Trump or his incoming administration.
Trump also signed four executive orders Tuesday morning, including actions to proceed with the building of the Dakota Access and Keystone XL pipelines.
The pipelines were strongly opposed by environmental groups, which have criticized the projects as damaging to the environment. Former President Barack Obama had halted the proposal to build the Keystone XL pipeline in 2015, citing similar concerns.
The official presidential account tweeted a photo of Trump meeting with Senate leaders at the White House Tuesday afternoon.
In another tweet shortly before noon, Trump also showed off a picture of his inauguration crowd, adding that it would be displayed in the press hall.
But social media users quickly picked up on an error in the framed photo. Though the date of Trump’s inauguration was Jan. 20, the photo had the following day’s date instead — the date of the Women’s March on Washington, which drew nearly 500,000 demonstrators to the capital city protesting Trump’s inauguration.
The size of Trump’s inauguration crowd also became an early flashpoint between his new administration and the White House press corps over the weekend, when press secretary Sean Spicer falsely claimed Saturday that Trump’s inauguration had been the most attended in history. Aerial photos showing a significantly smaller crowd and ridership statistics from the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority disproved that claim, and Spicer obliquely acknowledged that the ridership information he provided two days before was inaccurate. When pressed again to describe the attendance Monday, Spicer reiterated that the crowd was the largest “to ever witness an inauguration, period, both in person and around the globe.”
Trump made no comment about how the placement of the inauguration photo in the press hall had been decided.
The perceived slight over crowd size also led Trump to threaten Tuesday night to that the federal government would take over Chicago if the city’s murder epidemic did not stop. In 2016, there were 762 homicides in Chicago, the highest murder rate in 20 years.
That threat came the day after Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, once chief of staff to former President Barack Obama, criticized Trump over his fixation with attendees at his inauguration.
“This is unsolicited advice: You didn't get elected to debate the crowd size at your inaugural,” Emanuel said. “He got elected to make sure that people have a job, the economy continues to grow, people have security as it relates to their kids' education, etc. And it wasn't about your crowd size. It was about their lives and their jobs.”
Trump also praised Fox News Tuesday, congratulating it for the highest inauguration ratings of any cable network. He knocked CNN, which finished fifth behind NBC, ABC and CBS, respectively, as being “fake news.”
Trump has taken to calling news outlets that report news he does not like as being “fake news.” At his first post-election press conference, he publicly accused a CNN reporter of being “fake news” because it ran a story reporting national security officials had briefed Trump and then President Obama on allegations that Russia had collected embarrassing information on Trump.
The president concluded his Tuesday evening Twitterstorm by reiterating one of his most popular campaign promises — that he would build a wall on the border between the U.S. and Mexico.
Trump said during the campaign that Mexico would pay for the wall, an assertion the country has repeatedly denied. Following the election, Trump’s team said Americans will finance the wall and Mexico will reimburse them.
McClatchy will be compiling and providing links to fact checks of Trump’s tweets on merit throughout his presidency.