Memo: Two Years of Trump, One Failed Presidency


TO: Interested Parties

FROM: DNC Trump War Room

DATE: January 20, 2019

RE: Two Years of Trump, One Failed Presidency


Today, we are officially halfway through Trump’s presidency, and things are only getting worse. Any way you look at it, Trump’s first two years have been marked by failure:


The government is currently going through its longest shutdown in history, with no end in sight. And Trump’s to blame. He said it himself, “I will be the one to shut it down.”


Trump’s only significant legislative accomplishment gave massive tax breaks to rich and big corporations, while doing nothing to benefit workers.


Trump vowed to protect Medicare and Social Security, but has proposed drastic cuts to both programs. He repeatedly promised that he would lower the costs of prescription drugs within weeks, but that hasn’t happened.


Trump’s ongoing campaign to sabotage the Affordable Care Act has made health care less accessible and less affordable for millions of Americans.


Trump has demonized and attacked immigrants while doing nothing to actually solve the issue of illegal immigration. He separated families, attacked asylum rights, and played politics with the lives of Dreamers.


Trump has faced serious investigations throughout his presidency that are examining his campaign’s relationship with Russia, whether he committed obstruction of justice and whether he, himself – the President of the United States – has acted as a Russian agent.


After two years, it’s already clear that Trump won’t deliver on his campaign promises, he has completely abandoned workers and families, and his presidency is a failure.


Trump Shutdown: Abandoned Workers And Failed Leadership

Trump is responsible for the longest government shutdown in U.S. history. He said it himself, “I will be the one to shut it down.” Trump has abandoned hundreds of thousands of workers who do not know when their next paycheck will come.


  • The Trump Shutdown is the longest in our history, and the third of Trump’s presidency. Before Trump, no shutdown had occurred when one party controlled the House, Senate and White House since the 1970s.


  • Americans increasingly blame Trump for the government shutdown, and his approval rating has slid dramatically since the shutdown began.


  • The Trump Shutdown is pushing the economy closer to a recession. It has eroded Americans optimism in the economy and support for Trump’s economic policies.


  • Hundreds of thousands of workers missed their paychecks. The Trump Shutdown has so far cost workers more than $5,ooo in wages on average.


  • Nearly one million government contractors are out of work because of the shutdown.


  • Coast Guard members missed their paychecks. This is the first time in our history active-duty service members have not been paid during a lapse in government funding.


Trump’s Failed Economic Policies

Trump repeatedly touts the economy as one of his biggest accomplishments, but under Trump’s watch wages remained largely stagnant, the stock market Trump once touted has plummeted, and the economic outlook of our country has worsened. While his administration has given wealthy corporations a short-term boost, they’ve rolled back crucial protections for consumers, student borrowers, retirees, and working Americans across the country.


  • The gap between the richest Americans and everyone else has grown under Trump’s watch.


  • The economic indicators Trump has frequently pointed to as evidence of his policies’ success have all begun to falter:


  • Americans are more pessimistic about the future of the economy than they’ve been in nearly two decades.


  • The Trump administration has systematically rolled back crucial protections for workers and consumers to benefit corporate interests and donors.


The Trump Tax Law Did Not Benefit Workers

Trump promised workers that his massive tax cuts for the rich and big corporations would benefit workers, create economic growth, and pay for itself. None of that happened.


  • Corporate profit growth hit a 6-year high, and corporations used their massive tax breaks for a record-high $1 trillion of stock buybacks.


  • Workers did not benefit. 60 percent of voters said they had not seen an increase in their paychecks as a result of the Trump tax law.


  • The Trump tax law has not created jobs. In fact, the 1,000 largest public companies actually eliminated nearly 140,000 jobs since the tax law was passed.


  • The federal deficit swelled by more than 40 percent compared to a year ago largely because of a sharp decline in corporate tax revenues, and the CBO said the Trump tax law would add $1.9 trillion to the debt over the next decade.


  • While workers were left behind, Trump and his family benefit greatly from the Trump tax law.

    • Ivanka and Jared stand to benefit from a tax break they pushed, which offers massive tax breaks to real estate developers.

    • Kushner’s family business bought $13 million in additional properties after they were designated part of an “opportunity zone” by Trump’s tax law.

    • Trump and his family benefit substantially from massive tax cuts given to the richest Americans, and from tax breaks given to “pass-through” entities like the Trump Organization.


Trump Did Nothing To Lower Prescription Drug Costs

Trump promised to bring down prescriptions drug costs. Instead, he gave massive tax breaks to pharmaceutical companies and did nothing to actually lower costs, which continue to skyrocket.


  • Despite Trump’s promises, pharmaceutical companies have already raised prices on more than one thousand drugs so far this year, including increases of nearly 10%.


  • The biggest drug companies announced more than $50 billion in stock buybacks after the Trump tax law, but made no plans to lower drug prices.



  • House Democrats have already gotten to work to lower costs and launched an investigation into pharmaceutical companies raising prescription drug prices.

Trump Made Health Care Less Accessible And Less Affordable
Voters made their voices heard in the midterm elections: They overwhelmingly oppose Trump’s sabotage. While the Trump administration has not learned its lesson, Democrats will never stop fighting to ensure that health care is a right for all.


  • Trump’s health care sabotage is forcing premium increases as high as double-digits  on millions of Americans this year, and millions more are priced out of the market and unable to afford coverage at all.


  • For two years running, the open enrollment period saw a decline in health insurance sign-ups. 2019 saw a 4% drop in health insurance sign ups compared to last year because of Trump’s sabotage.


  • Trump immediately celebrated a court ruling in favor of a lawsuit he backed to overturn the ACA. Here’s what Trump was really celebrating:

    • Potentially taking health care coverage away from around 20 million Americans.

    • Putting as many as 130 million Americans with pre-existing conditions at risk of losing key protections.

    • Confusing tens of thousands of Americans who typically enroll in health care on the final days of open enrollment, making it harder for them to get the care they need.


  • Trump broke his promise to address the opioid crisis. He failed to take the advice of his presidential commission to declare the opioid epidemic a national emergency, and tried to cut Medicaid and ACA benefits — both of which have played a key role in expanding access to substance abuse treatment.


Though Trump fortunately failed to push through repeal legislation, he has continued his endless campaign to sabotage the Affordable Care Act. Here are just a few examples:


  • New rules proposed by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services would increase out-of-pocket costs, drive up premiums, and put health care out of reach for many Americans.


  • The Trump administration issued new guidance encouraging states to skirt the ACA’s current income and coverage standards for federal health insurance subsidies.


  • One day after the midterm elections, Trump finalized a new rule — which now faces a legal challenge — to roll back the ACA’s requirement that employers provide birth control coverage.


  • Trump’s administration repeatedly slashed funds for enrollment assistance and advertising programs intended to get Americans covered.


Trump Broke His Promises To Protect Social Security And Medicare

Trump vowed to protect Social Security and Medicare, but that was a lie. Trump tried to cut billions from these vital programs that millions of families and seniors rely on, and would have cut even more to pay for his massive tax cuts for the rich and big corporations.




  • Trump sought a $72.5 billion cut to Social Security disability insurance and supplemental security income.


Trump Has Abandoned Our Nation’s Veterans

Trump constantly lies about his accomplishments and has repeatedly shown disrespect to veterans and military service members. Despite saying he supports our troops, Trump has not done enough to help our nation’s veterans.



  • Trump’s VA is planning to betray millions of veterans by rerouting billions of dollars from veterans’ hospitals into the private sector.


  • Trump’s VA set aside $6.2 million last year alone to advertise its crisis hotline to reach vulnerable veterans and prevent suicides, but it spent less than 1% of that budget.


  • Trump’s VA is being steered by three of his Mar-a-Lago cronies with no relevant experience.


  • Veterans have not been able to get the GI Bill payments they need and earned because of failures at Trump’s VA.


  • Trump’s CFPB made it harder for the the Military Lending Act to protect service members and their families from deceitful lending practices.


Trump’s Fearmongering And Anti-Immigrant Policies

Trump started his campaign by attacking immigrant communities, and that would come to define his presidency. Trump has continued to fearmonger and push his anti-immigrant agenda, tearing thousands of children from their families, attacking immigrants rights, and diminishing the U.S. as a beacon for the world.


  • The Trump administration separated thousands more children from their families than previously believed.


  • Multiple immigrant children have died while in the Trump administration’s custody.


  • The Trump administration fired tear gas at children and their families seeking asylum at the border.


  • The Trump administration sought to rescind the right to asylum from victims of domestic violence and gang violence.






  • Trump has tried to end temporary protected status for immigrants from Haiti, El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Sudan.


Trump Has Made Us Less Safe

Trump has repeatedly embarrassed us on the global stage, and his leadership has made us less safe and caused the world to lose respect for the United States. Time and again, Trump has praised dictators, while alienating our allies, and chose to side with the likes of Vladimir Putin over our U.S. intelligence agencies.


  • Despite Trump’s summit and claims that he neutralized North Korea’s nuclear threat, North Korea secretly continued to build new missile bases.




  • Trump withdrew the U.S.  from the U.N. human rights council.


  • Donald Trump praised dictators like North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un and he  extended a warm invitation to Filipino President Rodrigo Duterte, who has openly defended the murder of journalists and extrajudicial killings.



  • Trump stood on the global stage and sided with Vladimir Putin over U.S. intelligence agencies.


  • Trump revealed highly classified information to Russian officials in the Oval Office.

Trump’s Swamp

After campaigning on a populist pledge to “drain the swamp,” Trump has only further transformed Washington to enrich himself and his wealthy  friends. Trump stocked his administration with donors and former lobbyists, and let special interest groups and corporations draft their own policy. His Cabinet secretaries have used their positions for their personal gain, while wasting taxpayer dollars.


  • Trump broke one of his central campaign promises to “drain the swamp” by enacting reforms to reduce lobbying and influence peddling.




Trump’s Dishonest Presidency

Trump has repeatedly and blatantly lied to the American people over and over again. While he has failed to deliver on his promises or meaningfully improve the well-being of middle-class families, Trump has attempted to mislead Americans about basic facts and has tried to invent false statistics to push his unpopular policies.



  • The majority of Americans say they trust Trump less than previous presidents, and fewer than 3 in 10 Americans believe the president’s most common lies.



Investigations Continue To Turn Up More Trump And Russia Ties

Less than four months into his presidency, Trump fired FBI Director Comey because of “this Russia thing with Trump,” leading to the appointment of Special Counsel Robert Mueller. As the special counsel’s investigation continues to get to the bottom of links between the Trump campaign and Russia — and hold Trump’s cronies responsible for their crimes — it is essential the investigation be protected from Trump’s interference.


  • Trump asked then-FBI Director James Comey to drop a federal investigation into Trump’s former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.


  • Trump fired FBI Director Comey, admitting shortly afterward that he did so because of the Russia investigation.

  • Mueller’s investigation has resulted in more than 100 criminal counts, 33 people and three companies charged, and guilty pleas from five Trump associates — so far.

    • Trump’s longtime personal lawyer and fixer, Michael Cohen, pleaded guilty to lying to Congress about the timeline of the Trump Tower Moscow project in order to protect Trump.

    • Trump’s former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI and agreed to cooperate with the special counsel’s investigation.

    • Trump’s former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, was convicted at trial on eight counts related to money laundering. The next month, he pleaded guilty to two more counts in a separate trial and agreed to cooperate with the special counsel’s investigation (Mueller’s office subsequently revoked the plea deal because Manafort wouldn’t stop lying).

    • Trump’s former deputy campaign chairman and Manafort’s longtime business partner, Rick Gates, pleaded guilty to two charges and agreed to cooperate with the special counsel’s investigation.

    • Trump campaign foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about his interactions with Russians.

  • Trump publicly emerged at the center of Mueller’s investigation after being labeled “Individual 1” in criminal filings, suggesting  that Trump continues to be a major subject of interest in the probe.

  • Despite Trump’s frequent denials during the 2016 presidential campaign that he had any business deals in Russia, negotiations for Trump Tower Moscow continued until June 2016, well into the campaign.

    • Trump discussed the project on multiple occasions with Michael Cohen, and Trump family members received briefings.

    • Michael Cohen spoke with the Kremlin about the project, and the Trump Organization even planned to give Vladimir Putin a penthouse apartment in the finished tower.


Nearly Everything Trump Has Ever Run Is Under Investigation

Trump has a decades-long history of acting as if he were above the law. In addition to the special counsel’s investigation, Trump and organizations he has run have been the subjects of fraud and corruption investigations by federal and state prosecutors, as well as party to lawsuits alleging that Trump is violating the Constitution by accepting bribe money from foreign nations.


  • Trump was personally implicated in a hush-money scheme during the 2016 election to silence two women that alleged they had affairs with him.

    • Trump Organization CFO Allen Weisselberg was granted immunity by federal prosecutors to testify about Michael Cohen before a grand jury, giving prosecutors access to his unparalleled knowledge of Trump’s finances.


  • Federal prosecutors were probing whether Trump’s inauguration misspent funds or accepted contributions in exchange for favors that run afoul of federal corruption laws.


  • New York State authorities opened a probe into Trump’s company following a bombshell report detailing decades of tax fraud.


  • Civil lawsuits alleging Trump is violating the Constitution’s emoluments clause put the Trump Organization’s financial records under fire.


  • The Trump Foundation was forced to dissolve as part of an ongoing investigation by the New York Attorney General’s office into Trump’s years-long use of the foundation for his own benefit.