For much of the country, the situation at the border posed a moral crisis. But for the Trump campaign, the quandary was political. Immigration was not only a Trumpian rhetorical staple—Build the Wall! Mexico Will Pay For It!—but mostly a winning issue for the G.O.P. Now, the news that the United States government had forcibly separated as many as 2,000 children from their families, a number of them with little hope of ever being re-united, was a bridge Republicans weren’t willing to cross with Trump. Michael Hayden, C.I.A. director under George W. Bush, compared the detention camps to Auschwitz. Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell privately told Trump he would “go down big on the issue,” a Republican briefed on the conversations told me. And so, Trump, who prides himself on an umbilical connection to his base, did the most un-Trumpian of things: he blinked. As the furor over child separations intensified, and with the midterms looming and Robert Mueller circling ever closer, the stakes were existential. “He felt trapped,” recalled a Republican who spoke with the president during the deliberations. Walk the policy back, and he risked angering his hard-line anti-immigration base; dig in and it would further galvanize Democrats and independents to vote against Republicans in November, likely tilting the House, and possibly even the Senate, in their favor, and facilitating the possibility of an impeachment trial. “This election is very simple,” Steve Bannon told me recently. “It’s an up-or-down vote on impeachment.”
Kaitlin joined CRP as a fall reporting intern in August 2018. She is in her senior year at the Missouri School of Journalism where she studies investigative journalism. For over two years, she's worked at Investigative Reporters and Editors. This summer, Kaitlin was the watchdog intern for The Oregonian, a newspaper in Portland, Ore. Previously, she covered state government in Missouri for the Columbia Missourian. She can be reached by email: [email protected] or Twitter: @kwashy12
One problem for Democrats going into 2020 is that Trump makes it almost impossible not to respond to his daily outrages. “He’s sucked all the oxygen out of the room,” Bannon says. “They’re in a Kafka-esque nightmare right now. There’s no exit. I just love it.” Democrats have yet to develop a cohesive message and a consensus about whether the best way to defeat Trump is from the left or the middle. Doug Jones and Conor Lamb ran as moderates in deep red Alabama and Pennsylvania. But Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s upset win in New York over Speaker-in-waiting Joe Crowley gives progressives an argument that the Bernie Sanders wing of the party is ascendant. Dan Pfeiffer told me the problem for Democrats is how to balance the need to drive the base while trying to win back working-class voters Trump peeled off in places like Michigan and Wisconsin. “We’re going to have to figure out how to get the Obama coalition that did not turn out, plus win back midwestern states while improving performance in rural states,” he said.
In 2017, Matt Braynard, a key member of Trump's 2016 campaign staff, established the organization Look Ahead America.[260] The organization has taken steps to target inactive voters in places such as New Hampshire.[260] Trump came close to winning New Hampshire in the 2016 election.[260] Look Ahead America has claimed that it will not be coordinating their efforts with the president.[260]
She says the buyers are located in both China and abroad and she doesn’t know if they are affiliated with Trump’s official campaign or the Republican Party. Her factory has been making Trump banners since the time his tag line as a candidate was “Make America Great Again”, highlighting an irony of his hardline on trade with China. “Sales have been great ever since 2015,” she said.
If Trump departs, another circus is waiting to come to town. Already, celebrities have been quietly positioning themselves. Mark Cuban has met with strategists, a source told me. And Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson has reportedly considered a run. “If Trump doesn’t run for re-election in 2020—which he will—then either Mark Cuban or `The Rock’ will be the G.O.P. nominee, and either one will win,” Nunberg said.
After New Jersey legalized casino gambling in 1977, Trump traveled to Atlantic City to explore new business opportunities. Seven years later, he opened Harrah's at Trump Plaza hotel and casino; the project was built by Trump with financing from the Holiday Corporation, who also managed its operation.[151] It was renamed "Trump Plaza" soon after it opened.[152] The casino's poor financial results exacerbated disagreements between Trump and Holiday Corp., which led to Trump's paying $70 million in May 1986 to buy out their interest in the property.[153][154] Trump also acquired a partially completed building in Atlantic City from the Hilton Corporation for $320 million; when completed in 1985, that hotel and casino became Trump Castle, and Trump's wife Ivana managed that property until 1988.[155][156]
The foundation's tax returns show that it has given to health care and sports-related charities, as well as conservative groups.[222] In 2009, for example, the foundation gave $926,750 to about 40 groups, with the biggest donations going to the Arnold Palmer Medical Center Foundation ($100,000), the New York–Presbyterian Hospital ($125,000), the Police Athletic League ($156,000), and the Clinton Foundation ($100,000).[223][224] From 2004 to 2014, the top donors to the foundation were Vince and Linda McMahon of WWE, who donated $5 million to the foundation after Trump appeared at WrestleMania in 2007.[221] Trump later named Linda McMahon as Administrator of the Small Business Administration.[225]
Jump up ^ "Second Amendment Rights". Donald J. Trump for President. Archived from the original on January 7, 2016. Retrieved May 22, 2017. There has been a national background check system in place since 1998 ... Too many states are failing to put criminal and mental health records into the system ... What we need to do is fix the system we have and make it work as intended.
The paradox of the Trump campaign is that its biggest asset, Trump, is also at times its most intractable—a weapon that threatens, at any moment, to blow up in its face. He’s a constant critic of his own operation. “Trump trusts absolutely nobody,” a former top West Wing official told me. That includes Stepien and DeStefano. In recent months, Trump has complained to aides that he’s not being well served by the White House political operation, according to multiple Republicans who’ve spoken with Trump. Trump has told people he questions DeStefano’s loyalty after DeStefano developed a close relationship with the president’s long-suffering chief of staff and nemesis, John Kelly. “Trump openly questions Johnny,” a former official told me. “He asks people, ‘Is he to be trusted?’” A source said Trump has also complained that Stepien is too cautious because Stepien was among advisers who told Trump not to take sides in Republican primary elections.
The dustup strained relations between Trump and Pence advisers. “Nick really fucked up,” a Republican close to the White House told me. “He got way out over his skis,” said a former West Wing official. Seeking to mend fences, Pence invited Corey Lewandowski to join his PAC, knowing that Trump sees Lewandowski as supremely loyal. “Corey was sent there to keep eyes on Pence,” the former official said. “Pence is politically adept. But at the end of the day, he’s still not good at faking sincerity,” former Trump aide Sam Nunberg said. “Trump’s not an idiot. He knows it.”
^ Jump up to: a b Flitter, Emily; Oliphant, James (August 28, 2015). "Best president ever! How Trump's love of hyperbole could backfire". Reuters. Trump's penchant for exaggeration could backfire – he risks promising voters more than he can deliver ... Optimistic exaggeration ... is a hallmark of the cutthroat New York real estate world where many developers, accustomed to ramming their way into deals, puff up their portfolios. 'A little hyperbole never hurts,' he wrote ... For Trump, exaggerating has always been a frequent impulse, especially when the value of his Trump brand is disputed.
Trump is a Presbyterian.[55][56][57] His ancestors were Lutheran on his paternal grandfather's side in Germany[58] and Presbyterian on his mother's side in Scotland.[59] His parents married in a Manhattan Presbyterian church in 1936.[60] As a child, he attended the First Presbyterian Church in Jamaica, Queens, where he had his confirmation.[40] In the 1970s, his parents joined the Marble Collegiate Church in Manhattan,[61] part of the Reformed Church.[62] The pastor at Marble, Norman Vincent Peale, ministered to Trump's family and mentored him until Peale's death in 1993.[63][61] Trump has cited Peale and his works during interviews when asked about the role of religion in his personal life.[61] In August 2015 Trump told reporters, "I am Presbyterian Protestant. I go to Marble Collegiate Church," adding that he attends many different churches because he travels a lot.[64] The Marble Collegiate Church then issued a statement noting that Trump and his family have a "longstanding history" with the church, but that he "is not an active member".[62]
The Trump administration has been characterized by high turnover, particularly among White House staff. By the end of Trump's first year in office, 34 percent of his original staff had resigned, been fired, or been reassigned.[679] As of early July 2018, 61 percent of Trump's senior aides had left[680] and 141 staffers had left in the past year.[681] Both figures set a record for recent presidents—more change in the first 13 months than his four immediate predecessors saw in their first two years.[682] Notable early departures included National Security Advisor Mike Flynn (after just 25 days in office), Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, replaced by retired Marine General John F. Kelly on July 28, 2017,[683] and Press Secretary Sean Spicer.[682] Close personal aides to Trump such as Steve Bannon, Hope Hicks, John McEntee and Keith Schiller, have quit or been forced out.[684]
On June 12, 2018, after several rounds of preliminary staff-level meetings, Trump and Kim held a bilateral summit in Singapore.[663] In a joint declaration, both countries vowed to "join their efforts to build a lasting and stable peace regime on the Korean Peninsula", while North Korea repeated its April 2018 promise to "work towards the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula."[664][665]
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Trump is a Presbyterian.[55][56][57] His ancestors were Lutheran on his paternal grandfather's side in Germany[58] and Presbyterian on his mother's side in Scotland.[59] His parents married in a Manhattan Presbyterian church in 1936.[60] As a child, he attended the First Presbyterian Church in Jamaica, Queens, where he had his confirmation.[40] In the 1970s, his parents joined the Marble Collegiate Church in Manhattan,[61] part of the Reformed Church.[62] The pastor at Marble, Norman Vincent Peale, ministered to Trump's family and mentored him until Peale's death in 1993.[63][61] Trump has cited Peale and his works during interviews when asked about the role of religion in his personal life.[61] In August 2015 Trump told reporters, "I am Presbyterian Protestant. I go to Marble Collegiate Church," adding that he attends many different churches because he travels a lot.[64] The Marble Collegiate Church then issued a statement noting that Trump and his family have a "longstanding history" with the church, but that he "is not an active member".[62]
I have long been critical of Republicans who abandoned principles to stand with Trump and I am as critical of Republicans who abandon principles to oppose Trump. Principle should stay because people go. The Kavanaugh nomination has been clarifying in this regard. Seeing some conservatives willing to aid and abet character assassins because Trump nominated Kavanaugh is disgusting.
In January 2018, The Washington Post reported that Mueller wants to interview Trump about the removal of Michael Flynn and James Comey.[733] Trump has expressed a willingness to do the interview; according to The New York Times, some of his lawyers have warned against doing so. Mueller can subpoena Trump to testify if Trump refuses.[734] As of March 2018, Trump is reportedly a "subject" of the investigation, meaning his conduct is being looked at, but not a "target" which would indicate the likelihood of criminal charges.[735]

An economic downturn would send Trump’s electoral prospects into a tailspin. Just as incumbent presidents like Bill Clinton and Ronald Reagan have benefited from strong economies in the past, incumbent presidents like Jimmy Carter and George H. W. Bush have seen their re-election bids derailed by weak economies, whether from the stagflation of the 1970s or the rising unemployment of the early 1990s. And given that Trump's approval rating has been quite low despite a booming economy, it might take a historic dive if things turn south.


At two years into his term the base of support he grew to support his candidacy stands almost unmoved from his inauguration at 87%. The only President in the modern era that bests him was George W. Bush in the immediate aftermath of 9/11. His support is largely based upon promises kept in numbers of areas but his particularly aggressive appointments of judges in the appellate system, as well as the Supreme Court of The United States have already secured pro-life, and pro-religious liberties wins. If he does not have the chance to place another appointment to the Supreme Court before the 2018 mid-terms, this becomes an especially effective campaign focus for 2020. The difference then will be that he has a record of delivering on this promise to demonstrate—whereas in 2016 never-Trumpers never believed he’d fulfill this promise. But proving people wrong has been one of President Trump’s most endearing features since gaining office.
In 2013, Trump was a featured CPAC speaker.[369] In a sparsely-attended speech, he railed against illegal immigration while seeming to encourage immigration from Europe, bemoaned Obama's "unprecedented media protection", advised against harming Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security, and suggested that the government "take" Iraq's oil and use the proceeds to pay a million dollars each to families of dead soldiers.[370][371] He spent over $1 million that year to research a possible 2016 candidacy.[372]
But an equally significant problem is that the act itself is a little shopworn. The lines can feel rehearsed. The speech I attended in Duluth shaded more toward a reunion than a rally, heavy on nostalgia for the glory days of past triumphs. The jumbotron played Fox News clips from Election Night 2016 as the anchors called each state for Trump. “That was an amazing evening,” Trump told the crowd a bit wistfully, as if he were reliving prom night. He led the audience in chants of “Lock her up!” and “Build the wall!” and “CNN sucks!” It all felt ritualized, scripted—no teleprompter necessary.
Donald John Trump was born on June 14, 1946 at the Jamaica Hospital Medical Center in the Queens borough of New York City. He is the son of Mary Trump (née Macleod) and Fred Trump, a real estate millionaire. His mother was a Scottish immigrant who initially worked as a maid. His father was born in New York, to German parents. From kindergarten ... See full bio »

In 1988 Trump acquired the Plaza Hotel in Manhattan for $407 million and appointed his wife Ivana to manage its operation.[130] Trump invested $50 million to restore the building, which he called "the Mona Lisa".[131] According to hotel expert Thomas McConnell, the Trumps boosted it from a three-star to a four-star ranking. They sold it in 1995, by which time Ivana was no longer involved in the hotel's day-to-day operations.[132]


Shortly after taking office, Trump put Iran 'on notice' following their ballistic missile tests on January 29, 2017.[640] In February 2018, the Trump administration imposed sanctions on Iran's 25 individuals and entities, which it said were but "initial steps", with Trump's National Security Advisor Michael T. Flynn adding that "the days of turning a blind eye to Iran's hostile and belligerent actions toward the United States and the world community are over."[641][642][643]
The 2016 Republican presidential candidates and their surrogates sang the same tune. When Fox News pundit Sean Hannity asked Jeb Bush for his thoughts on exceptionalism, Bush replied, “I do believe in American exceptionalism,” unlike Obama, who “is disrespecting our history and the extraordinary nature of our country.” Rudy Giuliani was more explicit. “I do not believe that the president loves America,” he asserted, suggesting Obama did not think “we’re the most exceptional country in the world.” During a speech a month later in Selma, Alabama, the president pointed out that the ongoing fight for civil rights is a cornerstone of what makes America exceptional.
Starting in 2011, Trump was a major proponent of "birther" conspiracy theories alleging that Barack Obama was born in Kenya, and questioned his eligibility to serve as president.[288][289] Trump later took credit for pushing the White House to release the "long-form" birth certificate from Hawaii,[290][291][292] and he stated during his presidential campaign that his stance had made him "very popular".[293] In September 2016, he publicly acknowledged that Obama was born in the United States,[294] and falsely claimed that the rumors had been started by Hillary Clinton during her 2008 campaign.[295]
The Trump administration has been characterized by high turnover, particularly among White House staff. By the end of Trump's first year in office, 34 percent of his original staff had resigned, been fired, or been reassigned.[679] As of early July 2018, 61 percent of Trump's senior aides had left[680] and 141 staffers had left in the past year.[681] Both figures set a record for recent presidents—more change in the first 13 months than his four immediate predecessors saw in their first two years.[682] Notable early departures included National Security Advisor Mike Flynn (after just 25 days in office), Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, replaced by retired Marine General John F. Kelly on July 28, 2017,[683] and Press Secretary Sean Spicer.[682] Close personal aides to Trump such as Steve Bannon, Hope Hicks, John McEntee and Keith Schiller, have quit or been forced out.[684]
Trump held his seventh campaign rally at the Big Sandy Superstore Arena in Huntington, West Virginia on August 3.[26][158] During the rally, Trump attacked Democrats and criticized the ongoing investigations into Russian interference in the 2016 elections.[26][158] At the rally, West Virginia's Governor Jim Justice made the surprise announcement that he was changing his party affiliation from Democrat to Republican.[26]
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