Trump's cabinet nominations included U.S. Senator from Alabama Jeff Sessions as Attorney General,[687] financier Steve Mnuchin as Secretary of the Treasury,[688] retired Marine Corps General James Mattis as Secretary of Defense,[689] and ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson as Secretary of State.[690] Trump also brought on board politicians who had opposed him during the presidential campaign, such as neurosurgeon Ben Carson as Secretary of Housing and Urban Development,[691] and South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley as Ambassador to the United Nations.[692]
But the biggest liability for Trump is himself, as evidenced by his disastrous Putin press conference. “For Trump’s outside supporters, we are highly concerned the president is continually incapable of discerning between meddling and collusion,” Sam Nunberg said. “Every time he does something like that he makes our lives harder. It’s time he gets the fuck over [the election].” Even if he survives the Mueller probe and holds on to Congress, there’s the Michael Cohen time bomb. “Michael Cohen and the Trump Org? I don’t know,” Bannon said with concern when I brought it up. “That’s not my deal.” It will be difficult to rekindle the magic that propelled Trump to victory last time.

After the rally, fact-checkers found numerous false statements in Trump's remarks.[188][189][190][191] Trump's speech was described as “angry”,[178] "incendiary",[179] “downright scary and disturbing”,[182][186][192] "continu[ing] to divide this country",[193] and "a total eclipse of the facts" (a reference to the previous day's solar eclipse).[194][195] A mostly well-behaved group of protesters gathered outside the rally,[173][196] but after Trump's speech, the police unleashed CS gas on and fired pepper-spray projectiles and rubber bullets at the protesters,[196][197] reportedly in response to a few protesters throwing rocks and bottles at police.[196][197] Saturday Night Live Weekend Update Summer Edition parodied the rally,[198][199][200] and the following week, Bloomberg News reported that Trump punished George Gigicos for the rally's small attendance.[201]

According to a Comey memo of a private conversation on February 14, 2017, Trump said he "hoped" Comey would drop the investigation into Michael Flynn.[713] In March and April, Trump had told Comey that the ongoing suspicions formed a "cloud" impairing his presidency,[714] and asked him to publicly state that he was not personally under investigation.[715] He also asked intelligence chiefs Dan Coats and Michael Rogers to issue statements saying there was no evidence that his campaign colluded with Russia during the 2016 election.[716] Both refused, considering this an inappropriate request, although not illegal.[717] Comey eventually testified on June 8 that while he was director, the FBI investigations did not target Trump himself.[714][718] In a statement on Twitter Trump implied that he had "tapes" of conversations with Comey, before later stating that he did not in fact have such tapes.[719]
Trump appeared on the initial Forbes 400 list of richest Americans in 1982 with an estimated $200 million fortune shared with his father.[91] Former Forbes reporter Jonathan Greenberg stated in 2018 that during the 1980s Trump had deceived him about his actual net worth and his share of the family assets in order to appear on the list.[92][93] Trump made the Forbes World's Billionaires list for the first time in 1989,[94] but he was dropped from the Forbes 400 from 1990 to 1995 following business losses.[91] In 2005, Deutsche Bank loan documents pegged Trump's net worth at $788 million, while Forbes quoted $2.6 billion and journalist Tim O'Brien gave a range of $150 million to $250 million.[94] In its 2018 billionaires ranking, Forbes estimated Trump's net worth at $3.1 billion[nb 1] (766th in the world, 248th in the U.S.)[97] making him one of the richest politicians in American history. During the three years since Trump announced his presidential run in 2015, Forbes estimated his net worth declined 31% and his ranking fell 138 spots.[98]
In January 2017, American intelligence agencies—the CIA, the FBI, and the NSA, represented by the Director of National Intelligence—jointly stated with "high confidence" that the Russian government interfered in the 2016 presidential election to favor the election of Trump.[697][698] In March 2017, FBI Director James Comey told Congress that "the FBI, as part of our counterintelligence mission, is investigating the Russian government's efforts to interfere in the 2016 presidential election. That includes investigating the nature of any links between individuals associated with the Trump campaign and the Russian government, and whether there was any coordination between the campaign and Russia's efforts."[699] Later, in testimony to the Senate Intelligence Committee on June 8, he affirmed he has "no doubt" that Russia interfered in the 2016 election, adding "they did it with purpose and sophistication".[700]
The data tell conflicting stories. Mueller’s approval rating has indeed sunk under the weight of Trump’s withering Twitter barrage, but some analyses suggest that Stepien and DeStefano are engaged in magical thinking. An NBC News poll in late June reported that only a third of voters in the swing states of Arizona, Ohio, and Florida felt Trump deserved to be re-elected. Trump’s immigration crackdown also sent his numbers crashing, if perhaps only temporarily. A Gallup survey conducted days after the Duluth speech recorded a four-point drop in his approval rating, to 41 percent; while his disapproval numbers spiked five points. Seventy-five percent of voters said immigration was a “good thing.” Trump’s siding with Putin over America’s intelligence agencies at the Helsinki summit had the rare effect of bringing Democrats and Republicans together against him. But one lesson of 2016 is that numbers like that may not mean very much when it comes to Trump. Everyone knows unicorns aren’t real, and yet, there it was.

Prior to 2008, “American exceptionalism” appeared in news articles a handful of times a year, but after Obama was elected the references skyrocketed, largely because of a drumbeat from Republicans. Once the tea party wave made John Boehner speaker of the House in 2010, for example, he summarized the growing consensus among Republicans: Obama had turned his back on the Founding Fathers to the point where he “refused to talk about American exceptionalism.” (In fact, in 2009 the president had stated, “I believe in American exceptionalism.”) The phrase’s popularity in GOP talking points—often in attacks on Obama’s “socialist” policies—paralleled the spread of conspiracy theories about his citizenship and supposed jihadi sympathies.
Granted, every politician has at least one eye on the next campaign at all times. They are in the survival business, and that means worrying about how what you do will be perceived next week, next year or even four years from now. But Trump takes this to another level. He basically continued the campaign even after it was over, going on a “thank you tour” that at times seemed to be more about Trump keeping up the fight rather than uniting the country.

“This is politics 101: Define your opponents before they can define themselves,” Jason Miller, a former top aide to Trump’s 2016 campaign, said in a recent interview. “For many of these top-flight Democratic presidential contenders, voters will learn far more about them from what President Trump says than what they have to say for the next year to 18 months.”

^ 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.
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Vice President Mike Pence attended Joni Ernst's 3rd Annual Roast and Ride fundraiser, held on June 3 at the Central Iowa Expo near Boone, Iowa.[119][120][125][126] The previous editions of this event have included presidential campaign appearances. Trump himself had previously attended Ernst's fundraiser in 2016 while campaigning in Iowa, and seven Republican presidential contenders attended the event in 2015.[125]
Honduran migrants attempt to cross the border Goascoran River to enter illegally to El Salvador, in Goascoran, Honduras on Oct. 18, 2018.  President Donald Trump threatened to send the military to close its southern border if Mexico fails to stem the "onslaught" of migrants from Central America, in a series of tweets that blamed Democrats ahead of the midterm elections. MARVIN RECINOS, AFP/Getty Images

A result is that the Democratic presidential field in 2020 may be even bigger than the unwieldy Republican 17-member parade in 2016. Indeed, a recent informal survey of Democratic strategists produced a list of more than 30 fellow party members who are — or who, in the minds of these insiders, should be — thinking about running for president in 2020.
On July 15, 2016, Trump announced his selection of Indiana Governor Mike Pence as his running mate.[386] Four days later on July 19, Trump and Pence were officially nominated by the Republican Party at the Republican National Convention.[387] The list of convention speakers and attendees included former presidential nominee Bob Dole, but the other prior nominees did not attend.[388][389]
As of now, there are no signs of viewer fatigue. Since 2014, prime-time ratings have more than doubled to 1.05 million at CNN and nearly tripled to 1.6 million at MSNBC. Fox News has an average of 2.4 million prime-time viewers, up from 1.7 million four years ago, according to Nielsen, and MSNBC’s “The Rachel Maddow Show” has topped cable ratings with as many as 3.5 million viewers on major news nights.

What he's saying: Last night in Mississippi, he even promised "we will do a landslide" in 2020, after a razor-thin electoral victory (and substantial popular vote loss) in 2016. "Who the hell’s gonna beat us? Look! Who's going to beat us?" Trump asked, after amping up his frequent riff about former Vice President Joe Biden as a lightweight he'd love to crush.
Trump attributed his victory to social media when he said "I won the 2016 election with interviews, speeches, and social media."[24] According to RiteTag,[25] the estimated hourly statistics for #maga on Twitter alone include: 1304 unique tweets, 5,820,000 hashtag exposure, and 3424 retweets with 14% of #maga tweets including images, 55% including links, and 51% including mentions.[26]
Trump's cabinet nominations included U.S. Senator from Alabama Jeff Sessions as Attorney General,[687] financier Steve Mnuchin as Secretary of the Treasury,[688] retired Marine Corps General James Mattis as Secretary of Defense,[689] and ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson as Secretary of State.[690] Trump also brought on board politicians who had opposed him during the presidential campaign, such as neurosurgeon Ben Carson as Secretary of Housing and Urban Development,[691] and South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley as Ambassador to the United Nations.[692]

Regarding the Israeli–Palestinian conflict, Trump has stated the importance of being a neutral party during potential negotiations, while also having stated that he is "a big fan of Israel".[646] During the campaign he said he would relocate the U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem from its current location, Tel Aviv.[647] On May 22, 2017, Trump was the first U.S. president to visit the Western Wall in Jerusalem, during his first foreign trip, which included Israel, Italy, the Vatican, and Belgium.[648][649] Trump officially recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel on December 6, 2017, despite criticism and warnings from world leaders. Trump added that he would initiate the process of establishing a new U.S. embassy in Jerusalem,[650] which was later opened on May 14, 2018.[651] The United Nations General Assembly condemned the move, adopting a resolution that "calls upon all States to refrain from the establishment of diplomatic missions in the Holy City of Jerusalem" in an emergency session on December 21, 2017.[652][653]
Look, I get it. Money has become so plentiful in American politics -- every two years cash floods the system through a variety of super PACs and other newfangled entities aimed at skirting campaign finance law -- that there's a tendency, even among political junkies, to get a little glassy-eyed when it comes to talk of unprecedented amounts of money being harvested earlier and earlier in the election cycle.

Trump signaled his intention to run for a second term by filing with the FEC within hours of assuming the presidency.[772] This transformed his 2016 election committee into a 2020 reelection one.[773] Trump marked the official start of the campaign with a rally in Melbourne, Florida, on February 18, 2017, less than a month after taking office.[774] By January 2018, Trump's reelection committee had $22 million in hand[775] and it had raised a total amount exceeding $50 million towards the 2020 campaign as of July 2018.[776]


Trump's victory was considered a stunning political upset by most observers, as polls had consistently showed Hillary Clinton with a nationwide—though diminishing—lead, as well as a favorable advantage in most of the competitive states. Trump's support had been modestly underestimated throughout his campaign,[478] and many observers blamed errors in polls, partially attributed to pollsters overestimating Clinton's support among well-educated and nonwhite voters, while underestimating Trump's support among white working-class voters.[479] Actually, the polls were relatively accurate,[480] but media outlets and pundits alike showed overconfidence in a Clinton victory despite a large number of undecided voters and a favorable concentration of Trump's core constituencies in competitive states.[481]

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.
Trump's cabinet nominations included U.S. Senator from Alabama Jeff Sessions as Attorney General,[687] financier Steve Mnuchin as Secretary of the Treasury,[688] retired Marine Corps General James Mattis as Secretary of Defense,[689] and ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson as Secretary of State.[690] Trump also brought on board politicians who had opposed him during the presidential campaign, such as neurosurgeon Ben Carson as Secretary of Housing and Urban Development,[691] and South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley as Ambassador to the United Nations.[692]
There is a lot in Erick's article that I agree with. I agree with his calling out so-called conservatives who ignore their principles to be on the side of trashing Trump. Character assassination is wrong, regardless of who the target is. Unfortunately, there are a lot more conservatives who have thrown aside their principles to jump on the Trump train, especially conservative media types who are just out to make money off of Trump Kool-Aid drinkers. (Examples, Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh, Lou Dobbs, Hugh Hewitt, etc.) I vehemently disagree with Erick's conclusion that because the Democrats' actions are so awful, we should back Trump in 2020. Uh, no. I'm sorry, but character matters, integrity matters, principles matter, issues matter. Donald Trump is doing tremendous long-term damage to the GOP. He is doing more to help the Democrats succeed than any Democrat has in the last 20 years. Trump is cancer to the conservative movement. Not going to support his destroying the cause I fought for all of my life. Not going to happen. Ever.
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]
Mr. Fleiss and other TV producers have watched — equal parts entranced and horrified — as Mr. Trump has taken the gimmicks of reality TV that he picked up on “The Apprentice” and applied them to daily governance. Flip comparisons of Mr. Trump’s White House and his years on “The Apprentice” abound, but behind the “You’re fired!” jokes is a serious case study in mass viewing habits and a president who has made up for his lack of experience in governing with an uncanny grasp of must-see TV.
“This is politics 101: Define your opponents before they can define themselves,” Jason Miller, a former top aide to Trump’s 2016 campaign, said in a recent interview. “For many of these top-flight Democratic presidential contenders, voters will learn far more about them from what President Trump says than what they have to say for the next year to 18 months.”
On June 28, the president hosted a fundraiser at his company's hotel in Washington, D.C. benefitting the Trump Victory Committee, a joint fundraising committee that raises funds for both his reelection campaign and the RNC.[127][128][129][130][131][132] The fundraiser was the first event that Trump hosted for the Trump Victory Committee since becoming president,[127] as well as the first presidential campaign fundraiser.[129] The event was co-organized by RNC chairwoman Ronna Romney McDaniel and RNC National Finance Chairman Steve Wynn.[128][132] The fundraiser was attended by about 300 guests and was reportedly expected to gross $10 million.[133][134][135][136] Trump was joined at the event by First Lady Melania Trump and top White House advisors.[137] Among those reported to have been in attendance at the fundraiser were Mica Mosbacher, Dean Heller and Katrina Pierson.[137][138] Additionally, Harold Hamm and a number of high-profile figures were spotted in the hotel's lobby during the event.[136] Press were barred from the event, a break of precedent since reporters were permitted to the first fundraisers held by both of Trump's two predecessors.[139] Additionally Trump's decision to host the event at a venue from which he personally profits garnered criticism.[129][133][140][141][142]
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