President Donald Trump's first weekend as the leader of the free world has arguably been more interesting than that of many of his forebearers. First up we had the global protests against him. Millions of women (and men) around the world took to the streets outraged at Trump’s campaign comments, behaviour and his view of women. According to organisers, over 5m protesters vented their anger in the US alone. Although Trump was dismissive of the marches, he did acknowledge demonstrators' right to protest, tweeting ‘Peaceful protests are a hallmark of our democracy. Even if I don't always agree, I recognize the rights of people to express their views’.
Then we have his relationship with the press. The already frosty relationship that he had whilst running for president took less than 24 hours after he was sworn in to go downhill even further. White House press secretary Sean Spicer took aim at reporters on Saturday afternoon, accusing them of ‘deliberate falsehoods’ for publishing images that the Trump administration believed minimised the crowd size at the president's inauguration compared to Barack Obama’s inauguration in 2009. ‘Yesterday at the time the nation and world was watching the peaceful transition of power, and as the president said the transition and the balance of power from Washington citizen of the United States, some members of the media were engaged in deliberately false reporting’ Spicer claimed.
Next up we had international relations and trade. In a phone call to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Trump invited him to Washington so they can begin strengthening the US-Israeli relationship. Trump has already pledged to move the US Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem; a move likely to upset the Arab world. Later this week PM Theresa May is due in Washington to begin the groundwork for a trade agreement with the US as well as discuss other issues such as NATO as she looks to reaffirm the ‘special relationship’. Also Trump plans to speak to both leaders of Canada and Mexico to begin renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement. Mexican president Enrique Pena Nieto is due to meet Trump towards the end of this month.
On top of all this we have a lawsuit (one of many), being brought by the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, a group of former White House ethics attorneys. They are accusing the president of allowing his businesses to accept payments from foreign governments, in violation of the US Constitution. In a statement released by the lawyers, they claim ‘When Trump the president sits down to negotiate trade deals with these countries, the American people will have no way of knowing whether he will also be thinking about the profits of Trump the businessman’.
So, the Trump presidency, on the basis of what has happened in his first weekend (as well as during his campaign run), is anything but boring.