- The Washington Times - Thursday, January 19, 2017

President-elect Donald Trump made a lot of promises about what would happen on Day One of his administration. But what President Trump will actually do remains very murky.

The Keystone XL pipeline, which was one of his first-day promises, appears to be slipping down the priority list, while canceling trade deals remains high. Calling for plans to fight the Islamic State and issuing new guidelines for Obamacare are also still top priorities, but a number of his immigration enforcement promises seem to have slipped.

“It is a work in progress. There’s a lot to be done,” Sean Spicer, Mr. Trump’s press secretary, told reporters Thursday.

Part of the difficulty is that Mr. Trump made many different, and often competing, lists of promises about what he would do on his first day in office.

In his October 2016 “contract” with voters, he laid out an extensive list of things he would do “on the first day.” They included canceling every “unconstitutional executive action, memorandum and order,” ending federal funding for sanctuary cities and suspending immigration from “terror-prone regions.”

He also said he would begin to withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal negotiated by President Obama, to announce his intent to renegotiate or withdraw from the North American Free Trade Agreement, to lift the roadblocks to Keystone and to cancel payments to a U.N. global warming fund.

Mr. Spicer, however, said they’re operating under a slimmed-down list Mr. Trump delivered to the country in a November video, two weeks after Election Day.

Withdrawing from the TPP trade deal was still at the top of that list, but gone was any mention of Keystone, sanctuary cities or deportations for illegal immigrants.

Instead, the president-elect made a more general vow to cancel “job-killing restrictions” on shale oil or clean coal. And his immigration plans had turned into a directive not to Homeland Security, but rather to the Labor Department, “to investigate all abuses of visa programs that undercut the American worker.”

Even among those promises it’s unclear whether any substantive measures will still be done on Day One, according to those familiar with the transition’s planning.

“There’s like nothing on the list now,” said one source.

Mr. Spicer said they’re trying to figure out sequencing, with Mr. Trump working through which ones he wants to deal with — and when.

“Staff is continuing to meet with him about that,” the spokesman said. “I think you’ll see some activity on both tomorrow, over the weekend and then Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday. So it’s gonna be a robust not just Day One, but I think first week, first month and probably first term.”

Among the Trump faithful, expectations are high.

“I am waiting with little tingles going up and down my back wondering what is going to happen toward the end of the day on Jan. 20,” said Morton Blackwell, a Republican National Committee member from Virginia who has spent decades fighting for conservative values.

He said President Obama used executive action to push the lines in so many areas, figuring it would be tough for conservatives to fight on all of those fronts. Now, though, he said Mr. Trump can return the favor, and Democrats will be scrambling to find the time, talent and money to stop the Trump agenda.

On the other side are immigrant rights activists who are consumed with fear Mr. Trump will make good on his promise to revoke Mr. Obama’s 2012 deportation amnesty, which is protecting more than 750,000 illegal immigrant “Dreamers” from deportation.

Throughout the campaign Mr. Trump had promised to cancel that program as part of the slate of “illegal” Obama actions he nullified on his first day, but has since sent mixed signals.

The advocates said Thursday they aren’t sure what to expect.

“The one thing that’s been consistent, really, is incredible inconsistency,” Tom Jawetz, vice president of immigration at the Center for American Progress, told reporters in a briefing Thursday.

He said for immigration advocates, “it’s important for us to prepare for the worst.”

Seth McLaughlin contributed to this article.

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