What will Donald Trump do in his first 100 days as President?

Like it or not, Donald Trump will be President this next weekend. But beyond the salacious allegations and endless entertainment on Twitter, what will he actually do once he becomes the most powerful leader on earth?

While some people are burning their credibility breathlessly predicting the end of the world, or at least the collapse of the US, the truth is that Donald Trump has a lot of very specific things planned for the first 100 days.

Here are some predictions about what you can expect.

1. HE'LL START BUILDING THAT WALL. FOR REALS.

If opponents of Trump are worried about this, spare a thought for his most avid supporters. The wheels of government move a lot slower than an episode of The Apprentice. A huge risk for Trump is that he'll disappoint his core base, simply because he was so good at raising their expectations during the election.

This is why the ideas that seem a little unhinged from an outside perspective will find themselves fast-tracked by Trump.

For example, Donald Trump will be aiming to turn "first soil" on the border wall with Mexico within his first 100 days in office. While that seems like a crazy-fast schedule for an engineering feat that will take years to plan, let alone build, let's be clear: The gesture will be purely symbolic. It will allow Donald Trump to talk up his ability to cut through the red-tape of the Federal Government.

2. HE'LL REPEAL A LOT OF EXECUTIVE ORDERS. A LOT.

Donald Trump has promised to "cancel every unconstitutional executive action, memorandum and order issued by President Obama". Of course, the word "unconstitutional" give Trump some wiggle room to pick and choose which ones he wants to ditch, but the list is likely to be huge.

Obama has issued 260 executive orders as President. Many of these were about protecting the environment and workers rights. Others enabled universal health care to be fully implemented in the face of a hostile Congress. One extended the definition of discrimination to transgender people, to ensure that they had access to affordable housing.

You can be pretty sure these will all be repealed, and probably on the first day.

To understand why this is such a big thing, you have to understand the difference between the American and the Australian political systems. In Australia, the Prime Minister naturally has a majority in parliament, because it's the parliament (rather than voters) that choose the Prime Minister.

In America, the voters choose the President, and the politicians they elect to Congress (their equivalent of the parliament) are often from the other side of politics.

That's what made President Obama's job so hard. Even though he was generally popular, President Obama (a Democrat) faced a hostile Congress that had a majority of Republicans. As a result, the Congress spent much of the past six years that repeatedly blocked anything Obama wanted. And so Obama ended up ruling by executive fiat.

He used his position as the head of government to make orders and regulations, and set policies that didn't require Congress's approval. Thus much of Obama's legacy is on pretty shaky ground.

In addition to executive orders, Obama also created environmental "roadblocks" to stop large fossil fuel projects from proceeding.

Since Trump doesn't believe in climate change, you can be sure that these will also be wound back in the first few weeks, unleashing the building of major oil pipelines, and locking America into a high-carbon future.

3. HE'LL MAKE A BIG DEAL OUT OF THE REPEALS

You can be sure that Trump will make a huge deal out of unwinding Obama's legacy. Trump's sense of theatre is only likely to grow in his new role.

Expect rolling coverage, direct from the Oval Office, as he proudly removes protections for the environment, workers, immigrants, gay and transgender people, all while with a broad grin on his face.

No doubt this will include him "signing" the repeal of Obama's universal healthcare system, which Congress set in motion on Friday. The funny thing about that, is that what Congress passed was simply a procedural directive, and doesn't actually require Trump's signature. But Trump will want his name on it somewhere.

4. US RELATIONS WITH CHINA WILL DETERIORATE ... FAST

Donald Trump has already signalled that he's going to be driving to a harder bargain from his biggest trading partners - Mexico and China. And you can guess that China will be first in the firing line.

First, he'll label China a currency manipulator under section 3004 of the Omnibus Trade and Competitiveness Act of 1988.

What does that even mean? Basically Trump will be officially accusing China of keeping its currency artificially low in order to make its exports cheaper (and making it cheaper for companies to move their factories there).

This would probably happen at a meeting of US Treasury officials in April. If this happens, it would give China a year to make its currency rise against the US dollar. Otherwise, China's exports would be slapped with huge tariffs.

At the same time, Trump is likely to try to provoke China on other fronts. If he really wants to annoy the Chinese Government, he might even announce a trip to Taiwan as President. China's position is that Taiwan is actually part of China, and that it should not be recognised at a diplomatic level.

And he's likely to order the US Navy to increase its presence in the South China Sea, where China has sneakily been building new islands in the middle of the sea in order to extend its sovereign rights deep into the crucial maritime trade route.

All this will not impress the Chinese government. But Trump won't be doing this for no reason. He's repeatedly said he wants to negotiate a "better deal" for the US with the Chinese. By provoking the Chinese on multiple fronts, he is hoping to put Beijing on the back foot before they even arrive at the negotiating table.

Trump is hoping that China will be so concerned about the South China Sea and Taiwan that they'll offer costly trade concessions for Trump's (cost free) diplomatic recognition of China's sovereign claims.

Trump has made an entire career out of using these negotiating tactics on subcontractors in Nevada. Now it's China's turn to get some of the Donald Magic.

5. CHINA WILL RETALIATE. BIG TIME.

Of course, negotiating with China is not as simple as negotiating with a two-bit subcontractor from Nevada. You can expect China to retaliate ahead of any talks.

And they have an obvious card up their sleeve. One particularly funny response (though admittedly unlikely) would be for China to sell out of US Treasury bonds, and plunge the US currency into free fall, and then accuse it of currency manipulation.

6. AUSTRALIA WILL BE PUT IN A DIFFICULT POSITION

While it's never good for the world for relations between superpowers to deteriorate, there is a silver lining for Australia. If Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Foreign Minister Julie Bishop play their cards right and manage to sit on the fence with enough panache, Australia may find itself in the middle of bidding war between its two major trade partners.

But make no mistake: the US will be placing heavy pressure on Australia in the coming to help out with naval right of passage exercises in the South China Sea. which would put huge pressure on relations between Australia and China.

7. UNDOCUMENTED IMMIGRANTS WILL SUFFER

Under Obama, the 11 million or so undocumented immigrants who were otherwise law-abiding, taxpaying members of society enjoyed an unofficial amnesty. They and their families were largely able to go about their lives without the fear of being hauled away by immigration agents at a moment's notice (although it should be noted that those immigrants who run afoul of the authorities have been deported in record numbers under Obama).

This will change. Trump has said he will start by immediately deporting the "two million ... criminal immigrants". Unfortunately for Trump, there actually aren't two million undocumented immigrants in America that have criminal convictions. And undocumented immigrants who find themselves on the wrong side of the law were already subject to deportation under President Obama.

And, so, Trump will find himself having to unwind some of the other protections that Obama put in place for law-abiding undocumented immigrants, simply to meet the target of two million.

8. HIS SUPPORTERS WILL START SUING BUZZFEED

Last year, it was revealed that billionaire Peter Thiel, Silicon Valley entrepreneur (who happens to be on the board of Facebook), had bankrolled a series of lawsuits against a media company he disliked called Gawker, ultimately sending it bankrupt.

Peter Thiel is now a member of Trump's transition team.

At the time it collapsed, Gawker was worth a cool $140 million. It was by no means a minnow, yet it could not defend itself against Thiel's even deeper pockets.

Already, the right-wing blogging community in the US have started claiming that Trump has a clear case of defamation against Buzzfeed for releasing the unverified dossier against him.

While it's unlikely that Trump himself would sue Buzzfeed directly, what could happen is that his supporters help financing other suits, on unrelated matters against Buzzfeed. This was the exact tactic that Thiel used against Gawker with stunning efficacy.

Trump has already said he believes in strengthening libel law to allow public figures to sue media companies.

Don't believe it could happen in the land of the free? Watch this space.

9. HE'LL CONTINUE SAYING THINGS THAT ARE PROVABLY UNTRUE

One of the techniques that Donald Trump uses is "gaslighting". This is literally the process of questioning someone's version of events, even when what they're saying is true.

In a fragmented media environment, where people tend to stick to sources of information that reinforce their own beliefs it is stunningly effective.

Most recently, Trump claimed that he would never mock a disabled reporter, even though there is footage of him doing it.

Trump is a master of gaslighting. It's one of his greatest talents. And he'll continue doing it for the next four years (or at least until he's impeached).

10. HE'LL CONTINUE TO BE UTTERLY CAPTIVATING

A recent poll showed that a clear majority of Americans believe that Trump should delete his Twitter account ahead of his inauguration. This is a component of the belief - still held by many Republicans - that Trump should become more "Presidential" once he takes office.

But if you're hoping that a more dour Trump will emerge, you're likely to be disappointed. He will continue to be just as captivating as he was during the campaign.

That's the wonderful thing about narcissists like Trump. They're great at drawing attention towards themselves.

Trump will never give up Twitter for the same reason. Every time Donald Trump tweets something tens of thousands of people affirm his existence. And isn't that what this whole President thing is about for Trump, anyway?

The Chaser's Charles Firth was in the US for the recent election. You can catch all his antics at www.chaser.news or follow him on Twitter @charlesfirth.

- news.com.au

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