Donald Trump has been President of the United States for only a few hours, but already his administration has made several notable changes — to the White House website.
Upon taking over the job from President Barack Obama, pretty much the first thing to happen after Trump was sworn in were some major alterations to the presidency’s online presence. The Trump campaign and transition team made clear there would be many changes in policy at the start of the Trump Administration, and whitehouse.gov, the administration website, now reflects them. Some of the changes already have many people worried.
Changes also are being made to other websites as the Trump administration takes shape, such as State.gov, the Secretary of State website. The Human Rights Campaign discovered this week an apology Secretary of State John Kerry for discrimination against gay state department employees in the 1950s had disappeared from the site. Kerry made the remarks on Jan. 9. The HRC also noted that, along with Kerry’s remarks, State.gov also no longer content related to LGBT Pride Month or the State Department’s Special Envoy for the Human Rights of LGBT Persons. Kerry’s apology still appears on an archive version of State.gov.
See the complete list of major whitehouse.gov changes below.
The Missing Judicial Branch:
Under the menu titled “1600 Penn,” the header “Our Government” lists two of the three branches: the Executive Branch, led by the president, and the Legislative Branch, made up of the Senate and House of Representatives. Removed from the list since the Trump administration took office, though, is the Judicial Branch.
According to reports, the Judicial Branch section has been gone since Inauguration Day when Trump’s team took over the site. The administration also has said that it’s in the process of updating the site, so this is likely an oversight. Still, its discovery came at a pointed time. It follows a stay issued by a federal judge to block the enforcement of a Trump executive order issued on Jan. 28, which blocked the people from seven Middle Eastern countries entering the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol agents reportedly were still detaining travelers, even those with green cards and visas, despite the judge’s ruling.
No Spanish language version of the website:
As of right now, Donald Trump is the first president since Bill Clinton whose version of the White House website does not include a version translated in Spanish. The portion of the site that previously offered the Spanish translation, whitehouse.gov/espanol, currently reads, “Thank you for your interest in this subject. Stay tuned as we continue to update WhiteHouse.gov.”
Press Secretary Sean Spicer said the Spanish version of whitehouse.gov would be updated “soon,” the Washington Post reported.
No mention of ‘civil rights':
While the first item under the “Issues” header on the Obama whitehouse.gov was “Civil Rights,” there’s no such item on Trump’s page under the same header. There also is no mention of anything related to LGBT community issues. The only thing that might be considered adjacent to civil rights issues is the page “Standing Up For Our Law Enforcement Community.” By comparison, Obama’s page was divided into several sections: “Fighting Discrimination,” “The Justice System,” “Voting Rights” and “Empowerment Through Diversity.”
“Standing Up For Our Law Enforcement Community” states, “Our country needs more law enforcement, more community engagement, and more effective policing.” While those elements have been discussed in relation to the Black Lives Matter movement, the Trump plan doesn’t offer anything in the way of law enforcement reforms. Instead, it states, “Our job is not to make life more comfortable for the rioter, the looter, or the violent disrupter.” The page also mentions protection of Second Amendment rights, and the wall Trump promised to build on the Mexico border.
No mention of ‘climate change':
Trump has been a climate change skeptic throughout his campaign, and at one point even said climate change was a hoax perpetrated by China to weaken the U.S. as a business competitor. Type “climate change” into whitehouse.gov’s search feature and you won’t find any results. Obama’s page on climate outlined his clean energy plan, still available here. The Trump Administration replaces it with a page title “America First Energy Plan.” It details Trump’s plans to eliminate energy industry regulations and increase drilling to end America’s dependence on foreign oil.
No mention of ‘health care':
Health care reform was Obama’s signature issue, and a centerpiece of the Trump campaign has been the pledge to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, also referred to as “Obamacare.” Surprisingly, however, Trump’s whitehouse.gov page offers no information on the administration’s health care plans. That’s in contrast to the detailed page on Obama’s site.
No mention of ‘immigration':
Despite being a central part of his campaign, there’s no section on Trump’s whitehouse.gov specifically devoted to immigration. That’s in contrast to Obama, who included a lengthy page on immigration reform dubbed “Immigration Action.” The only real mention of immigration on the Trump page comes under “Standing Up For Our Law Enforcement Community.” That section mentions building a wall on the Mexico border to keep out illegal immigrants and criminals.
A focus on promises:
The Obama whitehouse.gov was built up over eight years, and its “Issues” header included some 25 different pages. It also included a balance of accomplishments and goals from Obama’s presidency. Having just been sworn in, it makes sense that Trump’s page is somewhat sparser. The six items it includes all focus heavily on promises he made during his campaign, such as targeting ISIS, renegotiating trade deals and pressuring businesses to keep jobs in the U.S.