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Trump struggled to keep promises in his first 100 days — and it may not get easier

President Donald Trump declared last week that "no administration has accomplished more" in its first 90 days than his.

But Trump has a lot more work to do in just a few days if he wants to meet the goals he set out for his first 100 days in office. Day 100 is Saturday.

Trump stormed into office promising a quick overhaul of the American government: repealing and replacing Obamacare, reforming the tax system, refreshing U.S. infrastructure, cracking down on illegal immigration and ridding Washington of corruption. He promised to eradicate bad trade deals, roll back regulations and hit back at China for its lopsided trade policies.

Trump on Friday tweeted that the 100-days standard "ridiculous," saying he has accomplished "a lot" during his short time as president. But the president himself set goals for that exact timeline before he took office.

Trump set out a "contract with the American voter" that included a "100-day action plan." Scroll through the graphic below to see how Trump has performed.

Voters who wish to hold Trump to the contract would do well to read the fine print. Rather than achieving his promises, the contract calls for his administration "to immediately pursue" three, multipoint action items intended to "clean up corruption," protect American workers and "restore security."

The White House has proven effective in selling Trump's executive orders — which are often largely symbolic or only direct agencies to review policies — as policy victories, said John Hudak, senior fellow in governance studies at the Brookings Institution. But he believes Trump will ultimately get judged on the "big-ticket" pledges that require congressional action — namely tax reform, health-care changes and infrastructure funding. The president promised those policies would help to boost economic growth and improve Americans' well-being.

"What people are focused on are jobs — beyond the executive orders — health care, the broader economy, taxes," Hudak said. "He can sell as many orders as he wants, but it's still going to come back to these big, flashy policy failures. It's hard to hang a presidential legacy on executive orders."

Here's a summary of how Trump has fared on some of his biggest campaign pledges:

  • Repeal and replace Obamacare: The first Republican attempt to replace President Barack Obama's landmark health-care law failed in dramatic fashion last month, as the House GOP struggled to balance the wishes of its conservative and moderate members. However, Trump is now pushing for another vote on a revised bill this week. That may prove difficult if Congress wants to take action to avoid a government shutdown when the current resolution funding the government expires on Friday.

  • Tax reform: Since February, the White House has set, and missed, more than one deadline for releasing its tax reform plan. Republicans appear set on addressing tax reform after they pass health-care legislation. The health-care setback led Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to say recently that passing tax reform by his original August goal could be difficult.

  • Stimulating job growth: The White House says that its broader initiatives, particularly tax reform and slashing regulations, will unlock economic and job growth. It is too early to say whether the administration has improved GDP or job growth significantly. While the Trump administration has claimed credit for many corporate announcements of hiring or investment in the U.S., many of those decisions came before Trump won the election.

  • Building a wall ... and getting Mexico to pay for it: Trump has signed executive orders to empower border enforcement and start the process of building a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border, part of his promise to crack down on illegal immigration. The White House now plans to request funding for the wall from Congress — after Trump repeatedly insisted that Mexico would pay for it. Democrats say they will not authorize funding for the wall, which creates a potential sticking point in avoiding a government shutdown.

  • Secret plan to destroy ISIS: Trump promised he would have U.S. generals draft a plan to eradicate the Islamic State terror group within 30 days of taking office. So far, though, his strategy does not appear different from that of the Obama administration.

  • "Extreme vetting" of immigrants: During the campaign, Trump called for a potentially unconstitutional ban against Muslims entering the United States, citing terrorism concerns. That proposal eventually changed to what Trump called "extreme vetting," and he signed an executive order temporarily restricting travel from seven Muslim-majority countries. That measure — and a revised version — have both gotten hung up in court, partly due to previous statements by Trump and his advisors about restricting Muslims.

  • Renegotiating NAFTA: Trump announced his intent to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement, the deal among the United States, Canada and Mexico. He has repeatedly slammed Mexico, and recently even attacked Canada, for what he calls trade abuses that hurt American workers. The White House has promised to formally trigger a renegotiation process soon.

White House 'pleased with' executive orders

The White House has repeatedly trumpeted its progress, and on Wednesday, press secretary Sean Spicer outlined what he called the Trump administration's early achievements. The spokesman said the president is "pleased with" many executive orders, including those aimed at slashing regulations on businesses or cracking down on trade abuses.

The administration has repeatedly highlighted the confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch as a signature achievement. The day Gorsuch got confirmed earlier this month after a bitter partisan fight, Trump joked that "I got it done in the first 100 days."

Still, that achievement may be attributable more to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell than to Trump, said Steven Billet, director of the masters program in legislative affairs at George Washington University's Graduate School of Political Management.

"We really haven't seen anything substantial that's gotten done that's a presidential initiative that he has had the lead on. ... We saw Gorsuch get confirmed but McConnell did the heavy lifting," Billet said.

The White House did not respond to a CNBC request for comment.

Fall short now, all further later?

Early, high-profile setbacks could have an effect on Trump's ability to keep his promises in the future, experts said. Trump's approval rating among voters, which is affected by his ability to follow through on campaign pledges, can also change how willing members of Congress are to work with him, Billet said.

Trump's approval rating inched higher to 43 percent as of Wednesday, according to Gallup, but it remains lower than any of the last 11 presidents going back to Dwight Eisenhower at this point in their first terms, according to data compiled by NBC News and The Wall Street Journal.

"I don't think he will do well with Congress unless he starts to do better with the American public and his basic approval rating," Billet said.

"Presidents who are popular have an easier time pushing members of Congress in the direction they want to go. He [Trump] doesn't have that political capital in Congress." -John Hudak, senior fellow, Brookings Institution

Doubts about Trump's ability to keep to his pledges have already started to show in public opinion. Only 45 percent of people think Trump keeps his promises, down from 62 percent in February, according to a Gallup survey, which polled people from April 5 to 9.

The shift occurred not only among Democrats — only 16 percent of whom said Trump kept his promises, down from 37 percent previously. Only 43 percent of independents said he kept his promises, lower than 59 percent in February, while Republicans saying he held to his pledges dropped from 92 percent to 81 percent.

Trump already had a tough time navigating Congress in the health-care debate, Brookings' Hudak said. If he continues to struggle in the public-opinion sphere, swaying members of Congress as he takes on tax and infrastructure policy could prove daunting, he added.

Said Hudak: "Presidents who are popular have an easier time pushing members of Congress in the direction they want to go. He [Trump] doesn't have that political capital in Congress."