2017 was a doozy of a year in terms of politics. Under Donald Trump’s presidency, the White House has been caught in too many controversial moments to keep track of. While some scandals were as minor as Melania Trump’s footwear, others made us think, “This is the moment that will get Trump impeached.”
The Trump administration may have made it through the year, but it was defined by some outrageous behavior. Here are 15 White House scandals we’ll never forget from 2017.
1. Sean Spicer’s lie about Trump’s inauguration crowd
Despite photographic proof, Sean Spicer insisted that Trump’s inauguration crowd was much larger than it seemed. In fact, he claimed, “This was the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration, period.”
The former White House press secretary said photos were “intentionally framed” to make Trump’s crowd seem smaller. However, a comparison of the exact same aerial angle proved Barack Obama’s crowd was definitely larger — not that Obama felt the need to brag about it.
Next: She wasn’t exactly rushing to the White House.
2. Melania Trump’s late White House arrival
Following her husband’s inauguration, Melania Trump seemed less than eager to relocate to the White House. She stayed behind in New York City for five whole months, which she claimed was to let their son, Barron, finish out his school year.
Not only did this spark suspicion that Melania has no interest in being the first lady, but it cost New York City a ton of money. According to Daily Mail, the cost for the New York Police Department to protect Melania and Barron in their Trump Tower apartment came to approximately $1 million per day.
Next: She got a little too comfortable in the Oval Office.
3. Kellyanne Conway made herself feel at home in the Oval Office
Nobody let Kellyanne Conway’s bad White House etiquette go unnoticed. The AFP news agency posted a photo of Conway sitting on the Oval Office couch with her knees up, shoes off, and looking at her phone.
Although she’s since insisted that she was only trying to get the right angle for a photo of Trump with his guests, it came across as her kicking her feet up and making herself at home in the highly respected office.
Next: He kept his lips sealed … about Russian communication.
4. Jared Kushner sitting on important information
Jared Kushner has a reputation for keeping his lips sealed, so it wasn’t particularly shocking to discover he was sitting on some vital information regarding communication with Russia. Keeping in mind that Kushner is part of the crowd that insists Hillary Clinton had something to hide in her 33,000 deleted emails, he has some explaining to do for his own email scandal.
According to the Senate Judiciary Committee, Kushner’s emails revealed knowledge of Russian officials attempting to reach Trump’s presidential campaign. Kushner has even claimed that he didn’t recall any form of communication between the campaign and WikiLeaks, but his emails revealed that he very clearly knew of Donald Trump Jr.’s contact with the radical transparency organization. Considering WikiLeaks is to blame for releasing stolen emails from the Democratic National Committee, this is some pretty big information for Kushner not to disclose.
On top of all this, Kushner “couldn’t remember” his communication with over 100 foreign officials while applying for national security clearance. His excuse? “A busy schedule and email overload,” according to Vox.
Next: It seems like no one can keep a job in the White House.
5. The constant revolving door
Whether they’ve resigned or been fired, it seems that Trump just can’t keep a steady administration. This particular scandal began with the firing of Sally Yates, Obama’s appointee for attorney general — only ten days after Trump’s inauguration. Fourteen more names have joined the list, such as Sean Spicer, Steve Bannon, and, most recently, Omarosa Manigault. We definitely don’t see this trend slowing down anytime soon.
Next: She wasn’t interested in holding her husband’s hand.
6. Melania’s hand slap
It’s hard not to compare how lovingly the Obamas interacted as the first couple when the Trumps seemingly want nothing to do with each other. In one of the many displays of potential animosity, the president went to hold his wife’s hand when she swatted his hand away. She probably thought no one would notice, but as soon as the moment ended up on Twitter, it went completely viral.
Next: He just can’t stay off of social media.
7. Trump’s Twitter habits
Trump relied heavily on Twitter during the presidential campaign, but once he actually became the president, we wondered if he’d take a step back from social media. Unsurprisingly, he didn’t — and continues to berate anyone he doesn’t agree with on Twitter. That ranges from Hillary Clinton to the media to Kim Jong Un, and everyone in between.
On top of being a Twitter bully, Trump has shared some concerning content with his followers. He retweeted violent anti-Muslim videos, which were originally posted by far-right leader Jayda Fransen of Britain First. British Prime Minister Theresa May condemned Trump as “wrong” for sharing the videos and felt compelled to assure that Britain First does not represent the majority of the British people.
Next: Trump ignored this one rule.
8. Staring directly at the eclipse
During the solar eclipse on Aug. 21, 2017, we were given one rule: Don’t look directly at the sun. And what did Trump do? Look directly at the sun, without any kind of protective eyewear. The president may think he’s the most powerful man in the world, but that doesn’t make him resilient to the potentially blinding eclipse.
CNN’s Ashley Strickland explained, “Any amount of looking at it is too long. Even the smallest amount of exposure can cause blurry vision or temporary blindness. The problem is, you won’t know whether it’s temporary.”
Next: This wasn’t a great way to gain trust.
9. The Trump University lawsuit
Trump may not have outright admitted to defrauding students of Trump University, but the settlement he agreed to says enough. A federal judge approved of the $25 million lawsuit, which includes “payouts to more than 6,000 Trump U students who paid thousands of dollars for courses they describe as worthless,” according to NPR.
The Trump administration is definitely setting records, but not in the way Trump constantly brags about. In August 2017, the president had already been the subject of over 135 lawsuits since taking office, which isn’t exactly the best way to gain the trust of the American people.
Next: Her outfit wasn’t disaster-zone appropriate.
10. Melania’s hurricane-relief stilettos
Following the wave of hurricanes in 2017, everyone wondered when (or if) the Trumps would step in to help. Once the first couple finally boarded a plane to Texas after Hurricane Harvey, we honestly weren’t sure if Melania knew where she was heading to.
Granted, she was looking fabulous in her sky-high stilettos and aviator shades. However, the outfit was far from appropriate while heading to a disaster zone.
Next: Paper towels may not have been the best solution.
11. Trump’s paper towel toss
The Trumps’ questionable hurricane relief efforts didn’t stop there. When Trump visited victims of Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico, he likely offended more than he helped. First, the POTUS completely denounced the disaster, claiming Maria wasn’t “a real catastrophe like Katrina.”
He then went on to literally toss rolls of paper towels into the crowd like he was shooting t-shirts out of a cannon. Paper towels likely weren’t at the top of the priority list for victims, but at the very least, Trump could have personally handed the rolls out instead of tossing them over their heads.
Next: Trump’s actions completely contradict his previous criticism.
12. Trump’s golfing adventures
Before Trump was president, he was Obama’s No. 1 critic for the amount of time he spent on the golf course. He obviously took to Twitter to announce his frustrations, writing in 2014, “Can you believe that, with all of the problems and difficulties facing the U.S., President Obama spent the day playing golf.”
Over Obama’s eight years as president, he played golf a total of 333 times, according to CBS White House correspondent Mark Knoller. Trump, on the other hand, played 92 times during his presidency in 2017, and is “on track to spend 772 days on his courses while in office over eight years, assuming he wins re-election and completes both terms.” We’ll let those numbers speak for themselves.
Next: Trump can’t stop tweeting about Obama.
13. Accusing Obama of wiretapping
Without offering any form of evidence, Trump went on a Twitter tirade over his belief that Obama wiretapped his phones. One of his many tweets read, “How low has President Obama gone to tapp [sic] my phones during the very sacred election process. This is Nixon/Watergate. Bad (or sick) guy!”
Politico explained that his accusations “appear to be based on commentary rising in conservative media circles — and, above all, the president’s own agitation over the metastasizing Russia controversy.”
Whatever the case, a spokesman for Obama made a statement in response:
A cardinal rule of the Obama Administration was that no White House official ever interfered with any independent investigation led by the Department of Justice. As part of that practice, neither President Obama nor any White House official ever ordered surveillance on any U.S. citizen. Any suggestion otherwise is simply false.
Next: His lies to the FBI have caused major damage.
14. Michael Flynn’s false statements
Michael Flynn may have only served as Trump’s national security adviser for less than one month, but he stirred up some major controversy. On Dec. 1, 2017, the U.S. Special Counsel’s Office announced that Flynn pleaded guilty to making false statements to the FBI. Though he previously denied conversations with Sergey Kislyak, the Russian ambassador to the U.S., Flynn has now admitted to them in a plea agreement.
One of the conversations involved Flynn contacting the Russian government, requesting the delay or defeat of a U.N. Security Council resolution. He claimed to have been instructed by an unidentified “very senior member of the Presidential Transition Team.”
Flynn has also admitted to a previously denied conversation with Kislyak, in which they discussed the Obama administration’s announcement of sanctions against Russia. According to Flynn’s plea agreement, he’d “requested that Russia not escalate the situation and only respond to the U.S. Sanctions in a reciprocal manner,” which Russia agreed to.
Next: He has yet to meet the consequences he deserves.
15. Lack of consequence for Trump’s sexual misconduct allegations
In 2017, a number of famous and powerful men finally met the consequences of being accused of sexual misconduct. Many victims have felt empowered to voice their experiences, considering they may no longer feel too alone or frightened to speak up against their offenders.
One man who still has yet to face any consequences of allegations made against him? Trump. According to CNN, at least 15 women have made a range of sexual misconduct allegations against the president.
Rachel Crooks, one of Trump’s accusers, explained that “This was serial misconduct and perversion on the part of Mr. Trump.” She continued, “Unfortunately, this behavior isn’t rare in our society, and people of all backgrounds can be victims. The only reason I am here today is that this offender is now the president of our country.”
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