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The Campaign Promises Trump Has Already Broken Show He Might Be All Talk

President-elect Donald Trump was full of expansive promises during his 2016 presidential election campaign. Of course, there was his arbitrary promise to "Make America Great Again," which meant different things every day; it could mean building a wall between the United States and Mexico. Or it could be his promise to subject former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton to a criminal investigation (I can hear the dulcet cries of Trump supporters screaming "Lock Her Up" now). He promised so many things, but which campaign promises has Trump already broken? Despite the fact that he hasn't even made it to the White House yet, it looks like Trump has been backing down on a number of issues already.

Romper reached out to President-elect Trump for comment and did not immediately hear back.

Since Trump's shocking victory against Clinton on Nov. 8, he has mostly been holed up in Trump Tower in New York City, working ferociously to assemble his transition team in time for his January 2017 inauguration. He may be busy, but not so busy that he hasn't had enough time to break a whole pile of campaign promises. Trump ran a campaign based on being an outsider, a maverick who was in the business of "truth-telling." With less than a month under his belt as president-elect, how is he faring?

"Lock Her Up"

Right or wrong, disturbing or not, one of Trump's most popular campaign promises was to investigate Hillary Clinton. During the presidential debate, Trump promised to have a special prosecutor investigate the Clinton Foundation and his supporters loved it. They screamed "Lock her up!" and called her "Crooked Hillary." Since he was elected, however, he told The New York Times that bringing criminal charges against Clinton was "not something I feel very strongly about" and said he did not want to "hurt the Clintons."


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President-elect Trump referred to the Affordable Care Act (or Obamacare) as "disastrous" and promised to repeal it. While this campaign promise seemed to strike a chord with his supporters, a recent poll found that 8 out of 10 Americans actually like most aspects of Obamacare. After meeting with President Obama at the White House, Trump has eased up on his totalitarian view of Obamacare. While he continues to plan significant changes to Obamacare, he said he plans to keep the "most popular" aspects.

Paris Climate Agreement

Trump also said that he planned to back out of the 2015 Paris Climate Change Agreement, a multi-national effort signed by President Obama to take drastic steps to combat global warming. While his incoming Chief of Staff Reince Priebus said “most of it is a bunch of bunk,” Trump has reportedly decided to keep an "open mind" about exiting the agreement, according to The Guardian.


Trump enthusiastically supported the idea of using forms of torture, including waterboarding during his run for president. That was before having a chat with possible incoming Secretary of Defense, retired Marine Gen. James "Mad Dog" Mattis. Trump told The New York Times;

I met with him at length and I asked him that question. I said, what do you think of waterboarding? He said—I was surprised—he said, ‘I’ve never found it to be useful.’ He said, ‘I’ve always found, give me a pack of cigarettes and a couple of beers and I do better with that than I do with torture.’ And I was very impressed by that answer.

While Trump hasn't officially taken waterboarding off the table, he has said that he will consider Mattis' standpoint.


Trump said during his campaign that he planned to deport a total of 11 million unregistered immigrants. Since becoming president-elect, Trump has eased up a little; he told 60 Minutes that he would now consider deporting about three million immigrants with criminal backgrounds.

What we are going to do is get the people that are criminal and have criminal records, gang members, drug dealers, where a lot of these people, probably two million, it could be even three million, we are getting them out of our country or we are going to incarcerate. But we’re getting them out of our country.

I have to say, I'm down with Trump softening up on these promises.