Trump is on Pace to Break a Very Controversial Record Despite Campaign Rhetoric.
On Thursday, President Donald Trump signed an executive order aimed at allowing people to band together to seek more affordable health insurance, a move some consider an attempt to cripple the Affordable Care Act.
It was the 49th executive order that Trump has signed since coming into office on January 20. The last president to sign that many executive orders through October 13 of his first year in office? Lyndon Johnson.
This chart tells that story.
Why does it matter? Because Trump was a vociferous critic of then-President Barack Obama's use of executive orders -- casting them as a purposeful end-run of the legislative branch.
"Obama goes around signing executive orders," Trump said in February 2016. "He can't even get along with the Democrats. He goes around signing all these executive orders. It's a basic disaster. You can't do it."
Trump said that same sort of thing regularly on the 2016 campaign trail. It was a perfect way to make the case that Obama was an out-of-control executive, trying to push his liberal agenda on the country via fiat.
Which makes the fact that Obama had signed roughly half of the executive orders at this point in 2009 as Trump has signed so far in 2017 rich with irony.
Trump allies will note that the bulk of Obama's executive orders came late in his second term, making these sorts of early-on comparisons inaccurate.