2017: A wild year in US politics, part 1

Posted: Updated:

From protests to campaign promises to an investigation into foreign meddling in the presidential election, there was no shortage of political headlines in 2017.

The year comes to a close with the nation's political landscape dramatically different than it seemed on Jan. 20, Inauguration Day.

"We are transferring power from Washington and giving it back to you, the people," President Donald Trump said as he took office.

A day later, millions of people joined Women's Marches around the United States and the globe. Marchers said reproductive rights, equal pay for women and other female issues were under threat. More widespread protests followed just days later, condemning the president's travel ban, which targeted people from a half dozen majority-Muslim countries.

MORE: 2017: A wild year in US politics, part 2

Then, after a year in which the Senate refused to vote on former President Barack Obama's Supreme Court nominee, Republicans approved Trump nominee Neil Gorsuch, reaffirming the Republican majority in the nation's highest court.

President Trump proceeded to follow through on some of his campaign promises, pulling the United States out of the Paris Climate Accord and officially recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. The latter sparked violent protests and rebukes from several foreign leaders.

And the whole time, an investigation into whether the Trump campaign colluded with Russia during the 2016 election hung over the administration.

Michael Flynn, the president's former national security adviser, resigned in February after admitting he misled the White House about his Russian contacts. In May, the president fired former FBI Director James Comey, who was investigating Flynn. Comey later testified that the president pressed him to drop the Flynn case.

So the Justice Department appointed Robert Mueller as a special counsel to lead the Russia probe -- resulting in charges against three former Trump campaign officials. For his part, Flynn pleaded guilty in the fall to lying to the FBI about conversations he'd had with the Russian ambassador.

And an international crisis over North Korea took center stage. Heated rhetoric between the authoritarian country and the U.S. heated up as Kim Jong-un's regime tested more than 20 missiles. 

President Trump belittled the North Korean leader as "Rocket Man" and told the United Nations Kim was "on a suicide mission for himself and for his regime."

It was a tumultuous year for Congress, too.

Gunshots rang out at a Virginia baseball field as Republican lawmakers and their aides practiced for a charity ballgame. Four people were injured, including Louisiana Rep. Steve Scalise.

In July, Arizona Sen. John McCain was diagnosed with brain cancer. And as sexual assault and harassment allegations spread throughout the country, Democratic Sen. Al Franken resigned from office while denying any wrongdoing. So did Rep. John Conyers, a Michigan Democrat.

Meanwhile, Republican Roy Moore ran for an Alabama Senate seat, with the president's support, despite allegations that he sexually assaulted teenaged girls. He also denied the allegations, but lost to Democrat Doug Jones in a shocking red-state election.

The Republican Party, which controls both houses of Congress, made three attempts to repeal and replace President Barack Obama's signature health care law. They all failed.

But the party rallied support for a major tax bill, which it passed.

sorry to interrupt
your first 20 are free
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please enjoy 20 complimentary views of articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.
you have reached your 20 view limit
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please login or create an account to continue enjoying News12.
Our sign-up page is undergoing maintenance and is not currently available. However, you will be given direct access to news12.com while we complete our upgrade.
When we are back up and running you will be prompted at that time to complete your sign in. Until then, enjoy the local news, weather, traffic and more that's "as local as local news gets."