President Donald Trump was ridiculed Friday after commanding American companies to cut ties with China, tweeting that the U.S. firms “are hereby ordered to immediately start looking for an alternative.”
But the online mockery had as much to do with the unenforceable nature of Trump’s demand as it did with his peculiar phraseology — specifically, the president’s use of the word “hereby.”
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Trump has previously deployed the rather archaic adverb to lend a sense of credence and a hint of gravitas to his pronouncements on social media, invoking the term at least five other times in tweets or retweets since assuming office in January 2017.
We hereby offer you a roundup of those episodes:
March 3, 2017: “I hereby demand a second investigation, after Schumer, of Pelosi for her close ties to Russia, and lying about it,” Trump tweeted.
The message accompanied a POLITICO report on a file photo showing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) at a 2010 group meeting that included Russian President Dmitriy Medvedev, as well as former Russian ambassador to the U.S. Sergey Kislyak. Pelosi previously told POLITICO she had never met with Kislyak.
May 20, 2018: “I hereby demand, and will do so officially tomorrow, that the Department of Justice look into whether or not the FBI/DOJ infiltrated or surveilled the Trump Campaign for Political Purposes – and if any such demands or requests were made by people within the Obama Administration!” Trump tweeted.
The message came two days after The New York Times published a report stating that FBI agents in 2016 sent an informant to talk with Trump campaign foreign policy advisers Carter Page and George Papadopoulos — but only after the bureau received evidence of the aides’ contacts linked to Russia.
April 13, 2019: “Just out: The USA has the absolute legal right to have apprehended illegal immigrants transferred to Sanctuary Cities. We hereby demand that they be taken care of at the highest level, especially by the State of California, which is well known or its poor management & high taxes!” Trump tweeted.
The message came two days after The Washington Post published a report revealing that administration officials sought to retaliate against Trump’s political rivals by releasing detained migrants in so-called sanctuary cities and Democratic strongholds including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s congressional district in San Francisco.
June 7, 2019: “I am pleased to inform you that The United States of America has reached a signed agreement with Mexico. The Tariffs scheduled to be implemented by the U.S. on Monday, against Mexico, are hereby indefinitely suspended. Mexico, in turn, has agreed to take strong measures to … stem the tide of Migration through Mexico, and to our Southern Border. This is being done to greatly reduce, or eliminate, Illegal Immigration coming from Mexico and into the United States. Details of the agreement will be released shortly by the State Department. Thank you!” Trump tweeted.
The message followed a deal struck between Trump administration officials and representatives of Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s administration. Trump backed off his threat to impose a 5 percent tariff on approximately $350 billion of Mexican imports and then raise the duty by 5 percentage points each month until it reached 25 percent on Oct. 1. In exchange, Mexico announced it would send 6,000 National Guard troops to the country’s southern border with Guatemala in an attempt to curb the flow of Central American migrants seeking to cross into the U.S.
July 11, 2019: “RT @WhiteHouse: “I’m hereby ordering every department and agency in the Federal Government, to provide the Department of Commerce with all…” the White House’s official Twitter account posted.
Trump retweeted the message, which included a clip of a Rose Garden news conference at which he announced he would issue an executive order directing government agencies to obtain citizenship data. The move marked the end of the president’s protracted legal battle to tack a controversial citizenship question onto the 2020 census.