US President Donald Trump has made a speech marking his first 100 days in office. Thousands of people meanwhile joined marches in the US capital and elsewhere, protesting Trump's environmental policies.
As marches were held across the US in protest against his policies, Donald Trump seemingly remained unfazed by the momentum against him. The US president made a speech in which he praised positive relations with several countries, including Germany, the UK, Japan and China, while he stressed that he remained committed to putting America first.
Trump said that he was in the midst of renegotiating the rules of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) with the US' neighbors, commenting that those talks were shaping up in his desired direction.
While Trump celebrated his first 100 days at the White House as a success thousands of protesters disagreed
"We will renegotiate NAFTA and if we don't reach a fair deal for our country (…) we will terminate," Trump said.
Holding his speech in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, Trump repeatedly emphasized how America's traditional Rust Belt and other impoverished communities would eventually benefit the most from his policies, highlighting the issue of job creation while never touching upon the environmental concerns associated with Trump's expansion of fossil fuel industries. Among other accomplishments he listed for his first 100 days, Trump boasted that the construction of the controversial Keystone XL pipeline was a milestone.
Protests for the environment
In Washington, DC, protesters marched from the US Capitol to the White House along the National Mall, demonstrating in support of strengthening climate science. The "Peoples Climate March" even managed to attract a number of celebrities to join including Leonardo DiCaprio, who carried a sign, saying "Climate change is real."
As the capital city reached record April temperatures of more than 30 degrees Celsius (85 Fahrenheit) protesters highlighted Trump's rollbacks of environmental protections. These include plans to increase oil and coal production, the construction of a controversial pipeline, and the prospect of the United States pulling out of the 2015 Paris agreement on climate change.
Trump has said in the past that climate change was a "hoax," tweeting in November 2016 that "the concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make US manufacturing non-competitive."
100 days of Trump
As the climate march coincided with the 100th day of Trump in office some of the protesters used the opportunity to make references to the billionaire president's track record to date.
Some carried signs with a twist on Trump's famous campaign slogan "Make America Great Again," changing it to slogans like "Make America Cool Again" or "Make America Smart Again."
Others carried an effigy of Trump that read "Putin's puppet" in reference to investigations into ties between the Trump campaign and Russia, while some went on to highlight the environmental impact of Trump's frequent weekend trips to Florida, which are spent at his Mar-a-Lago golf estate.
Trump maintains that his first 100 days in office have been among the "most successful in our country's history" and is certain that his administration is on the way to accomplishing great things for the American public. Trump's statements, however, are in stark contrast to the fact that he hasn't managed to make the quick progress he promised on many of his campaign pledges.
Return to pledges
Speaking in Harrisburg, however, Trump pledged to still make good on a number of those promises. In addition to guaranteeing the repeal of the Affordable Healthcare Act (known as Obamacare) - a process that failed on his administration's first attempt - he also told hundreds of his followers that he would still have the infamous border wall between Mexico and the US built.
"Don't worry, we're going to have the wall. Don't worry about it. (...) We need the wall," Trump said. The US president also repeatedly referred to the Central American crime gang MS13, likening the cartel to the al Qaeda terror organization, and saying that he would most effectively combat the group's impact on the US by building the wall.
Marches against the divisive US president took place across the country. This picture was taken in Washington, DC.
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More than 300 marches took place around the US, all calling for action to combat climate change as well as greater government support for science in general.
More generic anti-Trump marches also took place outside the US, with one in London attracting a particularly strong following.
Some demonstrators there dressed up as the statue of liberty, protesting what they saw as growing attacks on personal freedom under Trump's leadership.
Trump in the meantime, true to form, did not welcome any of the criticism directed at him on the occasion of his 100 days in office, dismissing disparaging comments as "fake" news spread by mainstream media.
ss/se (AP, AFP)