WASHINGTON - U.S. President Donald Trump acclaimed his 500th day in office Monday, declaring that "many believe" he has accomplished more than any other American president.
Trump cited tax cuts enacted last year, advances for the U.S. military, lower crime and illegal immigration, stronger borders and a growing economy as among his successes.
This is my 500th. Day in Office and we have accomplished a lot - many believe more than any President in his first 500 days. Massive Tax & Regulation Cuts, Military & Vets, Lower Crime & Illegal Immigration, Stronger Borders, Judgeships, Best Economy & Jobs EVER, and much more...— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 4, 2018
Now in his 17th month in the White House, Trump remains a divisive figure in the U.S., with a composite of national polls showing voters disapprove of his performance by a 52.8 to 44.4 percent margin. He is facing the continuing year-long probe by special counsel Robert Mueller into links between his 2016 campaign and Russia and whether he obstructed justice to thwart the investigation, with Trump often and vocally rejecting accusations of collusion with Moscow and obstruction.
In one new Twitter comment, he said, "As has been stated by numerous legal scholars, I have the absolute right to PARDON myself, but why would I do that when I have done nothing wrong?"
As has been stated by numerous legal scholars, I have the absolute right to PARDON myself, but why would I do that when I have done nothing wrong? In the meantime, the never ending Witch Hunt, led by 13 very Angry and Conflicted Democrats (& others) continues into the mid-terms!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 4, 2018
The real-estate mogul turned Republican politician retains wide popularity among Republican voters who made him the country's 45th president. Independent voters, and especially Democrats, are continuing to voice opposition to his presidency, polling shows.
After a protracted legislative battle in the Republican-controlled Congress, Trump won tax cut legislation without a single Democratic vote. He narrowly failed, however, to upend national health care policies championed by his predecessor, former President Barack Obama, but has chiseled away at the health insurance law through administrative actions.
In his assessment of his first 500 days, Trump said he nearly repealed the health law "except for one person," an allusion to the vote against the overhaul by a frequent Trump critic, Republican Senator John McCain.
Trump noted the mandate to buy insurance has been repealed, claimed that "drug prices are coming down" and that he has signed legislation to give terminally ill patients the "right to try" experimental drugs that have yet to win regulatory approval.
....We had Repeal & Replace done (and the saving to our country of one trillion dollars) except for one person, but it is getting done anyway. Individual Mandate is gone and great, less expensive plans will be announced this month. Drug prices coming down & Right to Try!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 4, 2018
Trump won Senate confirmation for his lifetime Supreme Court appointment of conservative jurist Neil Gorsuch and also approval of other conservative judges to sit on lower courts, nominations that could affect legal rulings for decades, long after Trump is out of office. He has already declared he intends to seek another four-year term in the 2020 election.
His administration has also adopted wide changes, or won congressional approval, to ease government regulation of banks, energy companies, for-profit schools, and other corporate interests.