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Trump's White House: Five takeaways from Friday

3 min

Washington (AFP)

The first two weeks of his presidency behind him, Donald Trump arrived Friday at his luxury Mar-a-Lago Florida estate, dubbed the "Winter White House," where he will spend the weekend.

Before departing Washington, the US president's busy day included slapping new sanctions on Iran and to take an ax to a landmark financial reform bill.

Here are five takeaways from Friday's events in Washington:

- Iran sanctions slap -

With tensions mounting the US president slapped fresh sanctions on Iran's weapons procurement network, provoking an angry response from Tehran in what is an increasingly tense stand-off.

"Iran is playing with fire -- they don't appreciate how 'kind' President Obama was to them. Not me!" Trump tweeted.

The fresh US measures were in response to Iran's latest ballistic missile test and its support for Shiite Huthi rebels in Yemen who in the past week targeted a Saudi warship, US officials said.

- Dodd-Frank goes under knife -

The landmark Dodd-Frank financial reforms adopted in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis were aimed at curbing risky excesses by Wall Street investors that led to the "Great Recession."

On Friday, Trump -- who frequently vowed on the campaign trail that he would get rid of Dodd-Frank -- ordered a review of the law, telling business leaders: "We expect to cut a lot out of Dodd-Frank."

"I have friends who can't start businesses because the banks wouldn't let them borrow because of rules and regulations and Dodd-Frank."

Critics claim that the legislation created red tape that stifles the finance industry.

- Visa numbers out -

The United States has revoked up to 60,000 travel visas since Trump ordered a ban on visitors from seven mainly-Muslim countries, the State Department said.

"We recognize that those individuals are temporarily inconvenienced while we conduct our review under the Executive Order," Will Cocks, spokesman for the department's bureau of consular affairs said.

A week ago, Trump issued an executive order halting arrivals for at least 90 days for the citizens of Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.

All refugee arrivals from around the world were also halted, in this case for 120 days.

- Bannon brigade -

Fifty Democratic congress members wrote a letter to Trump demanding he explain his placement of controversial chief strategist Steve Bannon on the National Security Council despite lacking formal foreign policy experience.

Trump caused an uproar last weekend when he issued a memorandum that reorganized the NSC to elevate Bannon onto the Principals Committee and to relegate the Joint Chiefs chairman and DNI to roles where they only attend when "issues pertaining to their responsibilities and expertise" are discussed.

- Art swap -

New York's famous Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) replaced Western works with pieces by artists from the seven countries affected by Trump's travel ban.

The museum overnight switched the artworks in its fifth-floor galleries, which ordinarily are devoted to Western modernism before 1945.

Visitors to the museum on Friday found that Western works -- including art pieces by Picasso and Matisse -- were swapped out for those of Sudanese painter Ibrahim el-Salahi, Iraqi-born architect Zaha Hadid and five artists with Iranian backgrounds.

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