by Mick O'Leary
Every new presidential administration is accompanied by close media examination. To no surprise, the media has generated a set of “Trump Tracker” websites, which closely follow this administration’s words and deeds. (And whitehouse.gov has its own official Trump Trackers, with a daily log, news, a list of executive orders, etc.)
The president’s political phenomenon, including the birther movement and the daily actions of the administration, has been closely scrutinized by media of all forms and persuasions. The Trump Trackers are a subset of these sources that conduct detailed, systematic scrutiny of some particular aspect of the administration. They include a mix of originally produced content and references to authoritative external sources, and they are conscientiously maintained and updated. (There are numerous other Trump Tracker projects that are not being covered in this column because they are neglected, editorially unsound, or focus on a specific subject.)
I have arranged the Trump Trackers into categories, depending on their focus: The First 100 Days, Daily Activities, Presidential Promises, Executive Actions, and Ethics Issues, as well as Tracking Tweets. (Author’s note: The editor and I have monitored the content of this review up to the last possible moment before production. Nevertheless, because of the nature of the subject, it’s possible that changes may have occurred since early May.)
The First 100 Days
The first 100 days is a touchstone for any new administration. This president, with his many calls for immediate, drastic action, was under particularly close observation. The following trackers provide daily logs and commentary from January 20 to April 29:
- The First 100 Days—This tracker is produced by a small independent team, led by Sam Altman, an entrepreneur and investor. It has a concise but complete record of daily events and numerous links to government documents, announcements, etc., as well as to external news sources. (The First 100 Days also tracks the president’s record for accomplishing his promises. This is covered later in the Presidential Promises section.)
- Fox News’ President Trump’s First 100 Days in Office—Fox provides a succinct list of daily public events, some of which are linked to Fox News articles. Selected tweets are embedded. The site is largely free of editorial content, but there are a few short sections describing promises kept or promises broken.
- USA TODAY ’s The First 100 Days of the Trump Presidency—This site has a concise record for each day, with top events, photos, and links to related USA TODAY articles.
- TheWashington Post’s 100 Days of Trump Claims—TheWashington Post’s oft-cited Fact Checker has a separate section for claims made by the president during the first 100 days. It lists 492 claims; each includes the source, repeats, and a fact-checker analysis.
- The Guardian ’s The First 100 Days of Trump—The Guardian does not cover every daily activity, but instead concentrates on a single prominent event each day. There is a 1,500-word report that analyzes the event, with supporting context and links to related Guardian stories. For example, the Day 88 report covers the vice president’s remarks about North Korea’s atomic weapons program, with background on recent U.S.-North Korea relations.
Daily trackers monitor the ongoing daily activities of the president and the administration outside of the first 100 days. They include the following:
- Donald Trump: News, Analysis and Opinion from POLITICO—This long-standing tracker has numerous president- and administration-related POLITICO articles dating from 2009.
- CNN’s 45: Donald J. Trump—This site has links to CNN stories on the president, his administration, and his family.
- CNN’s Trumpmerica—The latest on healthcare, immigration, business, and economics. It’s difficult to distinguish this tracker from CNN’s other one, but it does have a greater policy emphasis, with links to numerous CNN articles.
Throughout his candidacy, the president made numerous promises of actions that he would take if elected. His campaign compiled many of these into his Contract With the American Voter, which is described as a “100-day action plan” (assets .donaldjtrump.com/_landings/contract/O-TRU-102316-Con tractv02.pdf). The following trackers show how well he kept his promises:
- The First 100 Days—As mentioned previously, this tracker also records the status of the promises in the “contract.” The promises are arranged into eight broad categories. Each promise has an individual meter that indicates status and links to related news stories.
- The Washington Post ’s Trump Promise Tracker—This also works from the “contract,” with a list of 60 promises, along with status, summaries, and links to Post stories.
- CNN’s Trump’s Promises—This tracker looks at 21 promises drawn from its own analysis. There is a record for each promise, with its latest status, key points in the progress of the issue, and links to CNN stories.
- PolitiFact’s The Trump-O-Meter: Tracking 102 Promises Made by Donald Trump—PolitiFact has compiled a list of promises, drawn from his speeches, interviews, etc. The record for each promise has the original statement and its source, a progress meter, and an analysis of its fulfillment pathway.
- The New York Times’ Tracking Trump’s Agenda, Step by Step—The New York Times has chosen to track nine major administration agenda items, including “Nominate a Supreme Court justice,” “Repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act,” “Cut taxes,” etc. For each item, there is a list of likely steps toward completion, with a progress indicator for those already accomplished.
The executive branch has been busy writing executive orders and actions . Track its output using the following:
- POLITICO’s All of Trump’s Executive Actions So Far—Facing the prospect of protracted negotiations with Congress on major issues, the president has moved to make a quick mark by issuing numerous executive actions, including 30-plus executive orders. POLITICO lists them, plus presidential memoranda, and other documents with a short summary of each, accompanied by a link to the action and to related POLITICO stories.
Ethics watchers scrutinize numerous ethical and corruption concerns for the president and his administration, including with the following:
- NPR’s Trump Ethics Monitor: Has the President Kept His Promises?—NPR has developed a list of 10 ethics and conflict-of-interest concerns. The majority deal with his business and financial affairs. Each item has an analysis of the issue, a status indicator, and progress updates.
- American Oversight—This is a small, recently formed ethics watchdog of the president, with a mission to hold “the Trump administration accountable—because Congress won’t.” Its strategy is to use Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests and other legal maneuvers, aimed primarily at executive branch agencies, to reveal incidents of misconduct. The site lists more than 100 FOIA requests, with the text of the request and its status.
The president, of course, maintains his own tracker, in the form of his tweets. There is also an independent tracker that provides organization and context to his tweets:
- Trump Twitter Archive—This project is an independent archive of tweets maintained by Brendan Brown, a Boston-based programmer. It has harvested almost all of the president’s tweets and their replies since 2009 (there is a small gap) and is updated with each new tweet, for a total of more than 30,000. The collection can be searched by full text and by tweet status, date, time, and device (using Boolean operators). There are also curated subcollections organized by subject.