Finally, there is the president’s own policies, which could help trigger an economic crisis. Getting into an all-out trade war with China, the second largest economy in the world, is a risky move that could help blow up the global economy, economists say. The Trump administration has also deregulated the financial sector and passed a tax bill that “overwhelmingly benefited the wealthy and worsened inequality,” according to a United Nations report from June. These tax cuts did help juice the economy, but the stimulating effects will run out by 2020, which could then result in a recession (not particularly good timing for the man who signed the bill).
During his presidency, Trump ordered a travel ban on citizens from several Muslim-majority countries, citing security concerns; after legal challenges, the Supreme Court upheld the policy's third revision. He signed tax cut legislation which also rescinded the individual insurance mandate provision of the Affordable Care Act and opened the Arctic Refuge for oil drilling. He enacted a partial repeal of the Dodd-Frank Act that had imposed stricter constraints on banks in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis. He pursued his America First agenda in foreign policy, withdrawing the U.S. from the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade negotiations, the Paris Agreement on climate change, and the Iran nuclear deal. He recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, and imposed import tariffs on various goods, triggering a trade war with China.
Once upon a time, in a distant America, the words “greatest,” “exceptional,” and “indispensable” weren’t even part of the political vocabulary. American presidents didn’t bother to claim any of them for this country, largely because American wealth and global preeminence were so indisputable. We’re talking about the 1950s and early 1960s, the post-World War II and pre-Vietnam “golden” years of American power. Despite a certain hysteria about the supposed dangers of domestic communists, few Americans then doubted the singularly unchallengeable power and greatness of the country. It was such a given, in fact, that it was simply too self-evident for presidents to cite, hail, or praise.
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
Not everyone is on board with this program. With eyes on 2020, Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner are pushing Trump to adopt more moderate positions. Kushner aggressively lobbied his father-in-law to embrace prison reform, organizing a White House visit with Kim Kardashian West and consulting with CNN host Van Jones. Jones told me Trump liked the positive media coverage that followed his commuting the sentence in early June of low-level drug offender Alice Marie Johnson at the urging of Kardashian and Kushner. “Trump was pleasantly surprised,” Jones said. According to a former White House official, Kushner and Ivanka have also been polling more inclusive language on transgender rights. “The 2020 campaign is about the rehabilitation of Jared and Ivanka,” the source said. In late June, one outside Trump adviser explained to Kushner that the population of white voters shrinks by one million every year. Kushner expressed alarm at the speed of the changing demographics, a source familiar with his thinking told me. (A Trump official denied that Jared and Ivanka are playing any role in polling, campaign activities, or decision making.)
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]
During the campaign, Trump often used the slogan, especially by wearing hats emblazoned with the phrase in white letters, which soon became popular among his supporters.[18] The slogan was so important to the campaign that it spent more on making the hats – sold for $25 each on its website – than on polling, consultants, or television commercials; the candidate claimed that "millions" were sold.[15] Following Trump's election, the website of his presidential transition was established at greatagain.gov.[19] President Trump stated in January 2017 that the slogan of his 2020 reelection campaign would be "Keep America Great" and immediately ordered a lawyer to trademark it.[15] Trump tweeted “MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!” on September 1, 2018,[20] apparently in response to Meghan McCain telling about 3,000 mourners at John McCain’s memorial service “The America of John McCain has no need to be made great again because America was always great.” [21]

Despite these trips, by the end of June Trump still lagged severely behind the number of states that his immediate two predecessors had visited during the first six months of their presidencies.[113] Both Obama and George W. Bush visited every time zone in the continental United States,[113] but Trump had visited only the Eastern and Central time zones.[113] Obama and Bush took both overnight and multiple-day trips throughout the country.[113] In contrast, Trump's domestic travels had largely been limited to a two-hour flight radius of Washington, D.C., and his only overnight stays were at Camp David, Mar-a-Lago and Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster.[113] One of the benefits that Trump is speculated to obtain from such trips is more favorable coverage from local news outlets in the areas visited.[112] Most of Trump's trips to Wisconsin were focused on the Milwaukee area in the southeast part of the state, which Trump won in 2016 by a significantly smaller margin than Mitt Romney had in 2012.[112]
When he filed mandatory financial disclosure forms with the Federal Elections Commission (FEC) in July 2015, Trump claimed a net worth of about $10 billion;[99] however FEC figures cannot corroborate this estimate because they only show each of his largest buildings as being worth "over $50 million", yielding total assets worth more than $1.4 billion and debt over $265 million.[100] Trump reported a yearly income of $362 million for 2014[99] and $611 million from January 2015 to May 2016.[101]
But for most people in the United States, life is better than it has ever been. We have more rights, fewer obstacles, and greater opportunity than generations past. For the most part, we live longer, healthier lives. Fewer of our children die; fewer go hungry; more are literate and thriving. Equality is also not a zero-sum game, and gains by women and minority groups have not come at a proportionate negative cost to white men.
On June 16, 2015, Trump announced his candidacy for President of the United States at Trump Tower in Manhattan. In the speech, Trump discussed illegal immigration, offshoring of American jobs, the U.S. national debt, and Islamic terrorism, which all remained large priorities during the campaign. He also announced his campaign slogan: "Make America Great Again".[297][296] Trump said his wealth would make him immune to pressure from campaign donors.[376] He declared that he was funding his own campaign,[377] but according to The Atlantic, "Trump's claims of self-funding have always been dubious at best and actively misleading at worst."[378]

Nell Scovell, a veteran comedy writer and author of “Just the Funny Parts: … And a Few Hard Truths About Sneaking Into the Hollywood Boys’ Club,” has another theory. She remembers a cab ride in Boston before the 2016 election. The driver told her he would be voting for Mr. Trump. Why? she asked. “He said, ‘Because he makes me laugh,’” Ms. Scovell told me. “There is entertainment value in the chaos.”
In July, the United States and China imposed tariffs on $34 billion of each other's goods,[517][518] expanded to $50 billion in August.[519] In September the U.S. introduced a 10% tariff on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods, poised to increase to 25% by the end of the year, and threatened further tariffs on an additional $267 billion if China retaliates.[520] China countered the move with a 10% tariff on $60 billion of US imports,[521] which combined with the previous round of tariffs, covers almost all $110 billion of U.S. imports to China.[520]
In October 2013, New York Republicans circulated a memo suggesting Trump should run for governor of the state in 2014 against Andrew Cuomo. Trump responded that while New York had problems and its taxes were too high, he was not interested in the governorship.[373] A February 2014 Quinnipiac poll had shown Trump losing to the more popular Cuomo by 37 points in a hypothetical election.[374] In February 2015, Trump told NBC that he was not prepared to sign on for another season of The Apprentice, as he mulled his political future.[375]
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.
In his book Time to Get Tough: Making America #1 Again, Trump, too, framed his agenda as a defense of “American exceptionalism.” “Maybe my biggest beef with Obama is his view that there’s nothing special or exceptional about America—that we’re no different than any other country.” Trump later adopted a catchier slogan, “Make America Great Again,” but it retained the nativist overtones and racial dog whistles of the first. Paired with Trump’s open conspiracy-mongering about Obama’s forged birth certificate and supposed Muslim faith, it amplified and dramatized the Republican establishment’s slyer assertions about Obama’s un-American values.
On September 26, 2016, Trump and Clinton faced off in their first presidential debate, which was held at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York, and moderated by NBC News anchor Lester Holt.[393] The TV broadcast was the most watched presidential debate in United States history.[394] The second presidential debate was held at Washington University in Saint Louis, Missouri. The beginning of that debate was dominated by references to a recently leaked tape of Trump making sexually explicit comments, which Trump countered by referring to alleged sexual misconduct on the part of Bill Clinton. Prior to the debate, Trump had invited four women who had accused Clinton of impropriety to a press conference. The final presidential debate was held on October 19 at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Trump's refusal to say whether he would accept the result of the election, regardless of the outcome, drew particular attention, with some saying it undermined democracy.[395][396]
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.

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]
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 is the beneficiary of several trust funds set up by his father and paternal grandmother beginning in 1949.[82] In 1976, Fred Trump set up trust funds of $1 million for each of his five children and three grandchildren ($4.3 million in 2017 dollars). Donald Trump received annual payments from his trust fund, for example, $90,000 in 1980 and $214,605 in 1981.[82] By 1993, when Trump took two loans totaling $30 million from his siblings, their anticipated shares of Fred's estate amounted to $35 million each.[83][82] Upon Fred Trump's death in 1999, his will divided $20 million after taxes among his surviving children.[82][84][85]
During his presidency, Trump ordered a travel ban on citizens from several Muslim-majority countries, citing security concerns; after legal challenges, the Supreme Court upheld the policy's third revision. He signed tax cut legislation which also rescinded the individual insurance mandate provision of the Affordable Care Act and opened the Arctic Refuge for oil drilling. He enacted a partial repeal of the Dodd-Frank Act that had imposed stricter constraints on banks in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis. He pursued his America First agenda in foreign policy, withdrawing the U.S. from the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade negotiations, the Paris Agreement on climate change, and the Iran nuclear deal. He recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, and imposed import tariffs on various goods, triggering a trade war with China.
In 1980, repairs began on Central Park's Wollman Rink, with an anticipated two-and-a-half year construction time frame. Because of flaws in the design and numerous problems during construction, the project remained unfinished by May 1986 and was estimated to require another 18 months and $2 million to $3 million to complete.[122][123] Trump was awarded a contract as the general contractor in June 1986 to finish the repairs by December 15 with a cost ceiling of $3 million, with the actual costs to be reimbursed by the city.[123] Trump hired an architect, a construction company, and a Canadian ice-rink manufacturer and completed the work in four months, $775,000 under budget.[123] He operated the rink for a year and gave some of the profits to charity and public works projects[124] in exchange for the rink's concession rights.[125][123] Trump managed the rink from 1987 to 1995. He received another contract in 2001 which was extended until 2021.[126][127] According to journalist Joyce Purnick, Trump's "Wollman success was also the stuff of a carefully crafted, self-promotional legend."[126] While the work was in progress, Trump called numerous press conferences, for example for the completion of the laying of the pipes and the pouring of the cement.[128] In 1987, he also unsuccessfully tried to get the city to rename the landmark after him; the Trump logo is prominently displayed on the railing encircling the rink, on the Zamboni,[126] on the rental skates,[127] and on the rink's website.[127][129]

Jump up ^ Penzenstadler, Nick; Page, Susan (June 2, 2016). "Exclusive: Trump's 3,500 lawsuits unprecedented for a presidential nominee". USA Today. Retrieved June 2, 2016. About 100 additional disputes centered on other issues at the casinos. Trump and his enterprises have been named in almost 700 personal-injury claims and about 165 court disputes with government agencies ... Due to his branding value, Trump is determined to defend his name and reputation.

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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