On Saturday, Donald Trump will end his first 100 days as the least popular modern U.S. president at that early mark.
Just 42.4 per cent of Americans approve of his presidency, according to the Real Clear Politics average of polls. (By the same measure, Barack Obama boasted 61.6 per cent job approval on his 100th day.)
So, what’s happened to get Trump into this predicament?
Here’s a timeline:
Day 1: Trump becomes president
“This American carnage stops right here,” Trump says in a dark, 16-minute inaugural address, immediately after he is sworn in as the 45th president of the United States.
Trump vows to rule under the mantra of “America first,” a slogan once used by isolationists opposed to U.S. involvement in the Second World War.
Trump’s net approval rating: 0 per cent
Day 2: The women’s march against Trump; Spicer gaffes
“This was the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration — period,” White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer says at a news conference in which he presents photographic evidence to the contrary.
Trump tweets: “Why didn’t these people vote?”
Day 7: Bannon attacks the media
“The media here is the opposition party,” chief White House strategist Stephen Bannon says in an interview with the New York Times, jokingly referring to himself as “Darth Vader.”
Trump’s net approval rating: -3 per cent
Day 8: Trump signs the first travel ban …
With minimal warning, Trump signs an order to indefinitely ban Syrian refugees and block all entries from seven Muslim-majority nations.
Trump’s net approval rating: 0.1 per cent
Day 9: … and the world reacts
The world reacts in shock to scenes of chaos and protest at U.S. airports. Later that day, a federal judge in New York halts all deportations under the travel ban, the first in a series of judicial defeats for the White House.
At the White House, Bannon is named a principal member of the National Security Council — an extremely unusual post for a political strategist.
Trump’s net approval rating: -0.7 per cent
Day 10: Trump’s first military action ends in tragedy
A navy SEAL and at least 30 civilians, including a U.S. citizen — the 8-year-old daughter of extremist Anwar al Awlaki — are killed in a counterterror raid gone wrong in Yemen. The raid is the first authorized by Trump.
Trump’s net approval rating: -0.9 per cent
Day 11: The White House defends the travel ban; Spicer gaffes
“It’s a terrible reminder of why we must remain vigilant,” Spicer says, citing the deaths of six Muslims in an attack on a Quebec City mosqueas an example of why Trump’s anti-immigration policies are needed.
On why the ban was imposed without notice, Trump tweets:
Day 13: Trump says “bad hombres”
In a phone call with Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto, Trump threatens to send U.S. troops to Mexico to stop “bad hombres down there.”
The White House later says this remark was a joke.
Trump’s net approval rating: -1.7 per cent
Day 14: Time calls Bannon “the second most powerful man in the world”
Time Magazine puts Bannon on its cover, labelling him “The Great Manipulator,” and referring to him as “the second most powerful man in the world.”
This makes Trump angry, later reports say.
Trump’s net approval rating: -2.0 per cent
Day 15: A judge blocks the travel ban
A federal judge in Seattle imposes a nationwide hold on Trump’s travel ban.
Meanwhile, Trump travels to Mar-a-Lago, his Palm Beach, Fla., resort, where he will spend parts of at least 25 of his first 100 days.
Trump’s net approval rating: -2.7 per cent
Day 16: “Spicey” debuts on SNL
Comedian Melissa McCarthy debuts her Saturday Night Live caricature of Spicer.
“I know that myself and the press have gotten off to a rocky start,” she says. “And when I say rocky, I mean Rocky the movie because I came out here to punch you. In the face. And also I don’t talk so good.”
Trump’s net approval rating: -2.3 per cent
Day 17: Trump blames the judge
Trump tells Americans to blame a federal judge in the event of a terrorist attack, tweeting:
Day 21: The first travel ban fails
A federal appeals court upholds the lower court’s decision to block Trump’s travel ban.
Trump later tweets: “SEE YOU IN COURT”
Trump’s net approval rating: -4.0 per cent
Day 22: The Star wonders what’s happening at the border
Star reporter Allan Woods travels to the wintry Quebec border town of Saint-Bernard-de-Lacolle to watch for refugees fleeing Trump for Canada. A family of five walks up.
Illegal border crossings continue to rise through Trump’s first 100 days.
Trump’s net approval rating: -5.1 per cent
Day 25: Mr. Trudeau goes to Washington; Flynn is fired
At just 24 days, Flynn’s is by far the shortest tenure of any national security adviser.
Trump’s net approval rating: -5.5 per cent
Day 27: Trump rants and raves
Trump delivers one of the wildest news conferences in recent memory: Saying, among other things, that a new travel ban is being tailored to the decision we got down from the court”; that “it’s really a sad thing” that Flynn, whom Trump fired, “was treated so badly” by the “fake news” media; and that the greatest thing for his ratings would be to “shoot that (Russian ship) that’s 30 miles off shore.”
“Tomorrow, they will say, ‘Donald Trump rants and raves at the press,’” Trump says, accurately.
Trump’s net approval rating: -4.9 per cent
Day 30: Trump points to something that didn’t happened in Sweden.
Trump, at a campaign rally in Florida, appears to reference a terror attack that did not happen, saying: “You look at what’s happening last night in Sweden. Sweden, who would believe this?”
He later tweets he was referring to a Fox News segment on Swedish immigration:
Day 32: Something happens in Sweden
Riots break out in a predominantly immigrant suburb of Stockholm.
Trump’s net approval rating: -5.0 per cent
Day 39: “Nobody knew health care could be so complicated.”
“Nobody knew health care could be so complicated,” Trump says at a meeting of U.S. governors, adding: “We have a plan that I think is going to be fantastic … I think you’re going to like what you hear.”
The plan later fails to reach a vote in the Republican House.
Trump’s net approval rating: -6.5 per cent
Day 40: Trump addresses Congress; “becomes president”
“The time for trivial fights is behind us,” Trump says in his first address to a joint session of Congress. He gets largely positive reviews after leading a prolonged standing ovation for the widow of the Navy SEAL killed in the Yemen raid.
“He became president of the United States in that moment,” says CNN pundit Van Jones.
Fifty-two days later, Trump will tell the Associated Press: “Some people said it was the single best speech ever made in that chamber.”
Trump’s net approval rating: -6.7 per cent
Day 44: Trump tweets something incredibly provocative, offers no evidence
In a series of tweets, Trump accuses his predecessor of secretly wiretapping Trump Tower:
Trump will repeat this claim several times over the coming weeks, but never offer evidence.
Trump’s net approval rating: -5.8 per cent
Day 46: Trump’s second travel ban
The White House introduces a revised travel ban with language designed to get around the court-imposed block, saying it will take effect with 10-days notice.
Despite high-level diplomatic assurances to the contrary, Canadian permanent residents are affected under the revised language.
Trump’s net approval rating: -5.0 per cent
Day 52: The Girl Guides of Canada say no to U.S. travel
The Girl Guides of Canada announces it is cancelling any future U.S. travel, citing concerns that members could be turned away at the border.
Trump’s net approval rating: -4.5 per cent
Day 55: The second travel ban fails
A federal judge in Hawaii blocks Trump’s revised travel ban, one day before it was to go into effect.
Trudeau invites Ivanka Trump, the president’s daughter, to see Come from Away, a Canadian Broadway musical about welcoming foreigners.
Trump’s net approval rating: -6.4 per cent
Day 60: The FBI contradicts the president’s tweets
“We do not have any information that supports those tweets,” FBI director James Comey says, testifying under oath before the House Intelligence committee.
Comey also confirms, for the first time, that the FBI is investigating Russian efforts to interfere in the 2016 election, a controversy that will dog Trump’s administration throughout his first 100 days.
Trump’s net approval rating: -6.9 per cent
Day 62: Trump says a lot of ironic false things
By the Star’s count, Trump says 14 false things in a Time magazine interview about how he says a lot of false things.
By the end of his 100 days, Trump will have said more than 200 false things as president of the United States.
Trump’s net approval rating: -8.8 per cent
Day 63: The TDSB says no to U.S. travel
The Toronto District School Board says it will not approve any new student trips to the United States in the wake of Trump’s travel restrictions.
Trump’s net approval rating: -8.8 per cent
Day 64: Obamacare survives Trumpcare
Trump’s signature health care bill fails spectacularly as House Republicans pull the long-promised repeal-and-replace plan at the last second rather than put it to a vote they would surely lose.
Millions of Americans get to keep their health care.
Trump’s net approval rating: -9.2 per cent
Day 73: Trump says he’s ready to go it alone on North Korea
“If China is not going to solve North Korea, we will,” Trump says in an interview with the Financial Times.
In the coming weeks, the world will be on edge as tensions rise between Washington and Pyongyang.
Trump’s net approval rating: -11.6 per cent
Day 75: Dozens of children die in a chemical weapons attack in Syria
More than 80 civilians, including dozens of children, are killed in a chemical weapons attack in Syria.
Trump’s net approval rating: -13.5 per cent
Day 76: Bannon loses influence
Trump — still annoyed by his chief strategist’s Time magazine cover, the New York Times reports — removes Bannon from that controversial National Security Council post.
Trump’s net approval rating: -12.4 per cent
Day 77: The U.S. attacks Syria …
The U.S. launches 59 Tomahawk missiles at a Syrian airbase, punishing the government of Syrian President Bashar Assad for the chemical attack.
Trump later tells Fox News he gave the go ahead at dinner with Chinese President Xi Jinping at Mar-a-Lago, over “the most beautiful piece of chocolate cake that you’ve ever seen.”
Day 78: … and Trump “becomes president” again
“I think Donald Trump became president of the United States” last night, says CNN pundit Fareed Zakaria.
Trump’s net approval rating: -13.0 per cent
Day 79: Trump gets his Supreme Court nominee
Senate Republicans ‘go nuclear,’ lowering the number of votes needed to approve Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch, who is promptly confirmed with a simple majority.
Trump’s net approval rating: -13.0 per cent
Day 83: Trump flip-flops; says North Korea is “not so easy”
In one interview with the Wall Street Journal Trump says China isn’t a currency manipulator, NATO is “no longer obsolete,” the Export-Import Bank is “a very good thing,” that he does “like a low-interest rate policy” and that he won’t eliminate the national debt — five major policy flip-flops.
“After listening for 10 minutes, I realized it’s not so easy,” Trump also says, in that same interview, recounting a Mar-a-Lago conversation with Chinese President Xi Jinping about the North Korean nuclear crisis.
Later that day, Trump, who was 16-years-old during the Cuban Missile Crisis, says U.S.-Russia relations “may be at an all-time low.”
Trump’s net approval rating: -10.2 per cent
Day 84: The U.S. drops an exceedingly large bomb; Spicer gaffes
“(Adolf Hitler) didn’t even sink to using chemical weapons,” Spicer says in a White House news conference, favourably comparing the Nazi leader to Assad.
Spicer quickly clarifies, saying: “I think when you come to sarin gas, there was no, he was not using the gas on his own people the same way that Assad is doing. I mean there was clearly — I understand your point — thank you, I appreciate that — there was not, in the, he brought them into the Holocaust centre, I understand that. But I was saying in the way that Assad used them where he went into towns, dropped them down to innocent into the middle of towns, it was brought, so the use of it. I appreciate the clarification; that was not the intent.”
Cable news anchors refer to the device — the largest non-nuclear weapon in the U.S. arsenal — by its catchy nickname: “The mother of all bombs.”
Trump’s net approval rating: -10.1 per cent
Day 86: North Korea shows off its muscle
North Korea holds a massive military parade to mark the anniversary of its founder’s birth, surprising experts with a wide array of apparently new missile technologies.
The aircraft carrier Carl Vinson, which one week earlier the White House had said was “on her way up” to the Korean Peninsula to act as a deterrent, is photographed sailing in the opposite direction more than 4,800 kilometres to the southwest.
Trump’s net approval rating: -10.4 per cent
Day 91: Trump turns his sights on Canada
In his harshest-yet words on America’s northern neighbour, Trump says what Canada has “done to our dairy farmers is a disgrace,” adding that the North American Free Trade Agreement, “whether it’s Mexico or Canada — is a disaster for our country.”
Trump’s net approval rating: -8.2 per cent
Day 92: Trump objects to the 100-days test
Trump says judging a president by his first 100 days is a “ridiculous standard.”
He later sits down for a surreal Oval Office interview with the Associated Press, among other things bragging that he helped a cable news show get its highest ratings since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
Trump’s net approval rating: -8.3 per cent
Day 94: Trump threatens to slap a tariff on Canadian wood
Trump threatens to impose a 20 per cent tariff on Canadian softwood lumber, reviving a decades-old trade dispute.
Trump’s net approval rating: -9.5 per cent
Day 95: The White House says Trump aced the 100-days test
“Trump has accomplished more in his 100 days than any other president since Franklin Roosevelt,” the White House says, falsely.
Trump’s net approval rating: -9.1 per cent
Day 97: Trump plans to pull out of NAFTA, and then Trudeau calls
The White House sends shock waves across the continent, leaking a draft executive order showing that Trump plans to withdraw the U.S. from NAFTA.
Hours later he changes his mind.
“I was going to terminate NAFTA as of two or three days from now,” Trump says, explaining his change of heart. “The president of Mexico, who I have a very, very good relationship, called me. And also the prime minister of Canada, who I have a very good relationship, and I like both of these gentlemen very much, they called me … And they said, ‘Rather than terminating NAFTA could you please negotiate.’ I like them very much, I respect their countries very much, the relationship is very special. And I said I will hold on the termination.”
Trump’s net approval rating: -9.8 per cent
Source: Real Clear Politics poll average, Gallup