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Trump Administration in 2019

Welcome to Year 3

Photo credit to Washington Post.

Photo credit to Washington Post.

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Just under two years ago, on January 20, 2017, Donald Trump was sworn in as the 45th President of the United States. And let’s just say that a lot has happened in these two years. A lot. What will happen in the Trump administration in 2019?

Honestly, Trump is so unpredictable that no one really knows what 2019 will have in store. And as I’m no political expert, I’m just going to take a shot in the dark and do my best to guess what Trump will do this year.

Russia Investigation: 

Robert Mueller (left) and Donald Trump (right). Photo credit to CNN.

December was not a good month for Trump. We saw his administration completely unravel. There were a number of resignations of key officials (Jim Mattis, Brett McGurk, John Kelly). There were also new developments in the Mueller Investigation. Michael Cohen was sentenced to three years in prison for numerous crimes involving Trump’s campaign and hush payments. Despite saying in the past that he would “take a bullet” for Trump, Cohen completely turned on him during his trial and said that all the crimes he committed were ordered by Trump. This shift, along with Cohen’s lighter sentence, is reason to believe that Cohen gave Mueller a lot of dirt on Trump.

In 2019, Michael Flynn and Paul Manafort will be sentenced for their involvement with the Russians. Also, with Democrats now controlling the House, you can expect them to crack down on protecting the Special Counsel as Trump threatens to end the investigation. They also have said that they might call Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker to testify before Congress. Whitaker, unlike former AG Jeff Sessions, has yet to recuse himself from the investigation. He is notably against the Special Counsel and has said before that “Mueller has come to a red line in the Russia 2016 election-meddling investigation that he is dangerously close to crossing.” For everyone, this should be concerning. The Mueller Investigation must be protected. If there was collusion in Trump’s campaign, we have the right to know. All in all, we can assume that the Russia Investigation will develop in 2019.

Economy: 

December 2018 saw the stock market take a hit. Photo credit to CNBC.

For most of 2018, the economy was very strong. The third quarter saw the highest GDP growth in years (4.2 percent). This changed in December when the stock market collapsed. Although December saw 312,000 new jobs created and an unemployment rate of only 3.9 percent (Forbes), it also saw the first negative stock index since 2016. Many people have been worried that because of December’s poor performance, 2019 will be a terrible economic year. After all, we haven’t had a recession in 10 years and the economic expansion is “currently the second-longest on record” (New York Times), so following the business cycle, we are pretty much due for one. But economic experts and advisors aren’t necessarily worried. Alejandro Chafuen, an economic contributor to Forbes, recently wrote that “decreased consumer optimism, uncertainties about the future of the U.S. political and economic scene, and low rates of growth in the economies of our trading partners will make it almost impossible to continue the current positive upward trend in U.S. GDP growth.” However he also said, “I expect a slowdown of the economy in 2019, but nothing drastic – perhaps just above 2 percent real GDP growth, which is still higher than the average of the Obama years.” So although the 2019 economy probably won’t be as strong as it was in 2018, it also probably won’t be terrible.

Government Shutdown: 

Impact of the government shutdown. Photo credit to CBS News.

The government has been shutdown since midnight on December 22, and there are no signs of it reopening anytime soon. Trump is at a standstill with the Democrats, who won’t give him the $5 billion he wants for the border wall (sorry, I mean “steel slats”). Trump has been blaming Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi for the shutdown, despite saying on December 11 that he’d be “proud to shut down the government.” As neither side wants to compromise, expect this shutdown to last for a while. Until the government is reopened, the country will continue to feel its effects. Federal workers are not receiving their paychecks, airport lines are extremely long, and national parks are littered and damaged. So, with all of this going on, I have one final question: what happened to Mexico paying for the wall?

2019 will surely be another crazy year, so make sure you stay educated and aware!

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Trump Administration in 2019