Trump has engineered his own government's shutdown after rejecting a compromise deal between Democrats and Republicans in the house.
Trump has engineered his own government's shutdown after rejecting a compromise deal between Democrats and Republicans in the house. AP Photo - Evan Vucci

One year of Trump: The US Government has shut down

The US government has careened into an embarrassing shutdown after senators failed to bring forward a stopgap motion to temporarily fund operations.

The government ran out of money on Friday at midnight local time (4pm Saturday AEDT).

An eleventh-hour effort to stave off the shutdown for four weeks appeared to fall well short in the Senate, and legislators pre-emptively traded blame as the midnight deadline neared.

It's a chaotic close to President Donald Trump's first year as president. He begins the first anniversary of his inauguration on Saturday as the head of an administration that is out of funds.

EXPLAINED: What the shutdown means

He hasn't yet given his first State of the Union but he's already preparing for Trump 2020.

Just 12 months after the President stood on the inauguration stage and vowed an end to "American carnage" he has given the public "whiplash" with the cycle of tweets, scandals and staff movements.

One year into the Trump presidency, here's a look at the good, the bad and the ugly so far.


It's the economy, stupid

It might have taken until December but Trump claimed a victory with new tax laws that cut the corporate tax rate from 35 per cent to 21 per cent and slashed top personal tax rates to 37 per cent. The move has already led Apple to announce it would repatriate its huge offshore cash hoardings of $252 billion to invest in the US and helped push the stockmarket to record highs, boosting investor wealth and pension savings.

MORE: Best covers from Trump's first year

While current Wall Street "euphoria" is part of a bigger picture as the world recovers from the financial crisis, many analysts have credited it to the pro-business administration. Unemployment is down over the year, while US consumer confidence has reached a 17-year high.

'Repeal and replace' Obamacare

Success here depends on your interpretation, but after having promised to repeal Obamacare on 'day one' and many failed attempts, Republicans managed to remove a requirement for people to get health insurance or pay a fine. Trump claims that means 'job done', but much of the original law is still in place.

The end of ISIS

The Islamic State has been forced into retreat with Iraq declaring a victory over the terror group late last year. Again, it's tricky to say were credit for this really lies, but Trump supporters say his stepping up the pressure has secured a victory.

Council on Foreign Relations expert Paul Stares said despite fears Trump would prove a "human wrecking ball", his first year has seen continuity in terms of ISIS, Afghanistan and Russia while being "lucky" not to experience a "full-blown crisis."

"He could be faced with not one crisis but a collection of them simultaneously which could really stress the system [in 2018]," he said.


Mueller closes in

Special Counsel Robert Mueller's Russia investigation is a huge black cloud that dogs the administration and appears to be moving closer to the President's inner circle.

We already know Trump's son, Don Jr, Jared Kushner and then campaign manager Paul Manafort met with a Russian lawyer during the presidential race. Manafort and a business associate have been charged for conspiracy, money laundering and violations of lobbying laws over activities not directly linked to the campaign.

Former foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos has also pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI. Surprisingly, Trump himself has refrained from criticising Mueller in his wideranging tweets in a sign he may be listening to the lawyers on this one.

'You're fired'

White House staff turnover this year would make even the producers of The Apprentice blush. Michael Flynn, Reince Priebus, Sean Spicer and Anthony Scaramucci have all been and gone, with the team finally settling under chief of staff, General John Kelly.

Trump's sacking of FBI director James Comey is particularly contentious as it raised questions about whether the President pressured him to drop the Russia investigation. Other key posts have sat empty for months, including that of Ambassador to Australia, dubbed a 'diplomatic insult' by former PM Tim Fischer.

America first, world last

Trump's nationalistic foreign policy has seen the US take a look at the international order and say on many issues: Nope.

He's pulled the US out of the Paris climate agreement, Trans Pacific Partnership, is sceptical of Iran's nuclear deal, recognised Jerusalem as Israel's capital and has laid into key allies like UK PM Theresa May and Malcolm Turnbull. While there are some positives, such as forcing NATO states to boost their budget contributions, it's also damaged US standing in the eyes of the world.

A recent Gallup poll shows just 30 per cent of people approve of the US under Trump, down from 48 per cent under Obama in 2016. Washington think tank Freedom House said flouting ethical norms like refusing to release tax returns and hiring his close family have damaged US credibility on democratic standards.

Promises, promises

Some of Trump's signature campaign promises have been frustrated by Congress or the courts, including his travel ban for several Muslim majority countries that was modified before being revised and instated. Democrats are also demanding protection for "Dreamer" children of US immigrants after Trump rolled back Obama's program that granted them legal status.

Trump insists his border wall with Mexico will go ahead and has linked it to NAFTA negotiations. He claims the plan has "never changed" although "parts will be, of necessity, see through".

Nuclear tensions

The threat of a nuclear war has been dialled up following Kim Jong Un's continued missile testing and Trump's taunting tweets that have marked an alarming new trend in Twitter-based diplomacy replete with insults like "dotard" and "rocket man".

Russian relations are at lows not seen since the Cold War despite high hopes during the campaign. It comes against a backdrop of increased military aggression, build up of NATO forces in eastern Europe and draft plans to update the US nuclear arsenal.


'You are fake news'

Trump's Twitter attacks against individuals and the "fake news" media marked the arrival of an ugly new political style that has created a polarised and confused public.

It began within hours of his inauguration with a spat over the size of the crowd. He has since labelled journalists among the 'most dishonest human beings on earth', attacked a TV host as "dumb as a rock", retweeted anti-Muslim videos from far-right Britain First and referred to himself as "like, really smart."

Offline, he's disparaged "shithole countries", banned transgender people from military service and backed child sexual assault accused Roy Moore for a Senate run in Alabama. Meanwhile a number of women who have accused Trump of sexual assault claim they have been forgotten despite the #MeToo allegations taking over Hollywood.

Human Rights Watch director Kenneth Roth said Trump "has broken all the taboos against racism, against misogyny, against xenophobia." He also singled him out for encouraging a new form of authoritarianism taking hold in places like Russia, China, Turkey and the Philippines.

Fire and Fury

The explosive Michael Wolff book Trump's lawyers sought to block provided salacious details of inside the Trump presidency, dishing on everything from the state of his marriage, bedroom to diet and hairdo. It painted a picture of a chaotic and dysfunctional White House, where the President watches cable news incessantly, eats nothing but fast food and spends copious amounts of his day on "executive time".

Trump has denied the portrayals but embarrassing expose has led to a rift with Steve Bannon whom he now calls 'Sloppy Steve'. It's also raised the question of how an unauthorised biographer was able to hang around inside the White House for hours on end to gain his claimed access to Trump himself and his inner circle.

- With wires

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