White House website makeover: climate change out, law enforcement in

WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 20: Former U.S. President Barack Obama (R) congratulates U.S. President Donald Trump after he took the oath of office on the West Front of the U.S. Capitol on January 20, 2017 in Washington, DC. Drew Angerer/Getty Images

A new U.S. president means a new website for the White House. Following the swearing in of President Donald Trump, the presidential website has been changed to reflect the new administration and new priorities.

And apparently climate change is not one of them.

Climate change received fairly high billing on the Obama edition website, but is not listed among the top issues for the Trump White House and the old page has been deleted. In its place are outlines of Trump’s major policy priorities:

  • America First Energy Plan
  • America First Foreign Policy
  • Bringing Back Jobs And Growth
  • Making Our Military Strong Again
  • Standing Up For Our Law Enforcement Community
  • Trade Deals Working For All Americans

The environment receives a short mention in the energy policy outlined on the website, in which Trump pledges to refocus the Environmental Protection Agency on clean air and water. The energy policy discusses reducing American dependence on foreign oil by supporting the shale gas and coal industry.

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In the law enforcement section, Trump promises to uphold Americans’ Second Amendment rights – the right to bear arms – at all levels of government, to build a border wall “to stop the gangs and the violence, and to stop the drugs from pouring into [American] communities.”

The website also repeats the claim that “In 2015, homicides increased by 17% in America’s fifty largest cities,” the largest increase in 25 years — a claim that the website Politifact suggests is correct, but is cherry-picking crime statistics, which overall have shown a decrease over the last few years.

The website also says that killings have risen by 50 per cent in Washington, D.C.. This is true if you compare 2015 to 2014, according to NBC, but statistics from the local police department show that homicides actually fell in 2016 compared to 2015. Over the past 20 years, the number of homicides is down by more than 50 per cent (from 301 in 1997 to 135 in 2016).

In the section on trade deals, Trump reaffirms his belief that current trade deals have put the interests of insiders and Washington elites over ordinary Americans. As he promised during the election campaign, he says that he commits to renegotiating NAFTA and backing out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

The “Top Issues” listed on the Obama website, just before Trump’s inauguration, were: the economy, education, energy and the environment, immigration and health care.

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Archived content on Obama’s website also shows many mentions of the term “LGBT” and discussions of LGBT rights issues, and Trump’s website currently has none.

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