Democrats might get started on honing an economic message that will resonate. That means exposing the weaknesses of the Trump economy now and highlighting the fact that corporations and those in the top 1 percent have been its main beneficiaries, not average workers. In other words, Democrats have to adopt the full-throated progressive critiques of the economy expressed by Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, whether or not either ends up as the party's standard bearer in 2020, and reject the whimpering compromises of Chuck Schumer.
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.

Jump up ^ Lawler, David; Henderson, Barney; Allen, Nick; Sherlock, Ruth (October 13, 2016). "US presidential debate recap: Polls split on whether Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton won poisonous argument". The Daily Telegraph. ... it was a matter of minutes before the lewd tape, in which Mr Trump brags about 'grabbing p----' and forcibly kissing women, was brought up.
On Super Tuesday, Trump won the plurality of the vote, and he remained the front-runner throughout the remainder of the primaries. By March 2016, Trump became poised to win the Republican nomination.[381] After a landslide win in Indiana on May 3, 2016—which prompted the remaining candidates Cruz and John Kasich to suspend their presidential campaigns—RNC Chairman Reince Priebus declared Trump the presumptive Republican nominee.[382]
In 1999, Trump filed an exploratory committee to seek the nomination of the Reform Party for the 2000 presidential election.[354][355] A July 1999 poll matching him against likely Republican nominee George W. Bush and likely Democratic nominee Al Gore showed Trump with seven percent support.[356] Trump eventually dropped out of the race, but still went on to win the Reform Party primaries in California and Michigan.[357][358] After his run, Trump left the party due to the involvement of David Duke, Pat Buchanan, and Lenora Fulani.[354] Trump also considered running for president in 2004.[359] In 2005, Trump said that he voted for George W. Bush.[360] In 2008, he endorsed Republican John McCain for president.[361]
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’s electoral base wouldn’t mind a handful of ideological betrayals since rank-and-file Republicans are really here for the culture war stuff and not for the concrete policy anyway. So Trump would enter the 2020 campaign with his base intact but also with the brand as a freethinking moderate who’s at odds with the right wing of congressional Republicans. Democrats would end up nominating someone with a relatively extreme rejectionist profile, and Trump would be in a good position to improve his approval ratings and get reelected.


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 spin from the White House is that it is cooperating fully with Mueller to wrap up the inquiry quickly. The aim of that claim is to give the White House a pretext to attack the special counsel for prolonging a probe. It won't work. This investigation is thoroughly professional. It is diving deeply into any evidence of collusion between Trump operatives and the Russians in the 2016 campaign; into any possible obstruction of justice of the investigation by the president this year, as well as into financial dealings that may date back years.


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.”
Trump rejects the scientific consensus on climate change[528][529] and his former Environmental Protection Agency chief, Scott Pruitt, does not believe that carbon emissions are the main cause of global warming. While admitting that the climate is warming, Pruitt believes that warming is not necessarily harmful and could be beneficial.[530] Based on numerous studies, climate experts disagree with his position.[531] On June 1, 2017, Trump announced the withdrawal of the United States from the Paris Agreement, making the U.S. the only nation in the world to not ratify the agreement.[532][533][534]
In Trump’s parlance, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), who challenged Hillary Clinton in the 2016 Democratic primaries, is “Crazy Bernie.” Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) is “Pocahontas,” a reference to a decades-old claim she made to partial Native-American heritage. And “One percent Biden” refers to former Vice President Joe Biden’s ill-fated bid for the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination.
His political positions have been described as populist,[398][399][400] and some of his views cross party lines. For example, his economic campaign plan calls for large reductions in income taxes and deregulation,[401] consistent with Republican Party policies, along with significant infrastructure investment,[402] usually considered a Democratic Party policy.[403][404] According to political writer Jack Shafer, Trump may be a "fairly conventional American populist when it comes to his policy views", but he attracts free media attention, sometimes by making outrageous comments.[405][406]
But instead of blaming the political forces that cut holes in the social safety net (if such a safety net was even built in the first place) and that prioritized the desires of the wealthiest segments of American society while the working class withered — those "political forces" would be the Republican Party — Trump supporters blame the long-oppressed groups who have finally gotten a toehold on the American dream. Trump promises his supporters that if he's elected, he will put them back on top. The problem is that "back on top" means stepping over those who don't share their race and gender.
George W. Bush attempted to put Harriet Miers on the Supreme Court and pushed comprehensive immigration reform, “No Child Left Behind,” the General Motors Bailout, etc. I opposed all those, but never doubted President Bush’s integrity, character, or faith. Frankly, Trump does not have the character or strong Christian faith I prefer in a President. But he is positively angelic compared to his political opponents and the press. Between Trump and his opposition, I would rather vote for him, despite his flaws, than his opponents who want a flawless progressive utopia. Trump is neither an ambassador for my values nor the articulate champion of my principles I would prefer. But he is a safe harbor in a progressive storm that seeks to both destroy my values and upend our constitutional republic.
In 1996, Trump acquired the Bank of Manhattan Trust Building, which was a vacant seventy-one story skyscraper on Wall Street. After an extensive renovation, the high-rise was renamed the Trump Building at 40 Wall Street.[136] In 1997, he began construction on Riverside South, which he dubbed Trump Place, a multi-building development along the Hudson River. He and the other investors in the project ultimately sold their interest for $1.8 billion in 2005 in what was then the biggest residential sale in the history of New York City.[137] From 1994 to 2002, Trump owned a 50 percent share of the Empire State Building. He intended to rename it "Trump Empire State Building Tower Apartments" if he had been able to boost his share.[138][139] In 2001, Trump completed Trump World Tower.[140] In 2002, Trump acquired the former Hotel Delmonico, which was renovated and reopened in 2004 as the Trump Park Avenue; the building consisted of 35 stories of luxury condominiums.[141]

With that “again,” Donald Trump crossed a line in American politics that, until his escalator moment, represented a kind of psychological taboo for politicians of any stripe, of either party, including presidents and potential candidates for that position. He is the first American leader or potential leader of recent times not to feel the need or obligation to insist that the United States, the “sole” superpower of Planet Earth, is an “exceptional” nation, an “indispensable” country, or even in an unqualified sense a “great” one. His claim is the opposite. That, at present, America is anything but exceptional, indispensable, or great, though he alone could make it “great again.” In that claim lies a curiosity that, in a court of law, might be considered an admission of guilt. Yes, it says, if one man is allowed to enter the White House in January 2017, this could be a different country, but—and in this lies the originality of the slogan—it is not great now, and in that admission-that-hasn’t-been-seen-as-an-admission lies something new on the American landscape.
On March 14, 2017, the first two pages of Trump's 2005 federal income tax returns were leaked to Rachel Maddow and shown on MSNBC. The document states that Trump had a gross adjusted income of $150 million and paid $38 million in federal taxes. The White House confirmed the authenticity of these documents and stated: "Despite this substantial income figure and tax paid, it is totally illegal to steal and publish tax returns."[454][455]

One immediate consequence of this would be that it would give guys like Ben Sasse and Mike Lee, who sometimes like to position themselves as more high-minded than Trump, the opportunity to actually vote against the president sometimes. Any Trump-Pelosi deal could easily weather a dozen or so defections from the right that would allow that crew to own the brand of “true conservatives” without needing to do anything to check Trump’s corruption or authoritarianism.
For the draft resolutions, see: Sherman, Brad (June 12, 2017), Impeaching Donald John Trump, President of the United States, for high crimes and misdemeanors (PDF), United States House of Representatives, retrieved June 12, 2017 and Green, Al (May 17, 2017), "Calling for Impeachment of the President" (PDF), Congressional Record, United States House of Representatives, 63 (85), pp. H4227–H4228, retrieved May 17, 2017 (video at YouTube Archived June 9, 2017, at the Wayback Machine.)
Perhaps, Trump believes, America was great during the World War I era. In the early 20th century, women died from childbirth in huge numbers. Children, too, perished at astounding rates. Married women typically couldn't open their own bank accounts or have independent access to their money. Birth control — even talking about the benefits of birth control — was largely illegal. Jim Crow laws were in full effect, with the Supreme Court holding a few years earlier that keeping the races "separate but equal" was just fine and dandy (although of course in reality, separate meant vastly unequal). The Ku Klux Klan continued to gain in popularity. For years, Congress wasn't even able to outlaw lynching: Southern Democrats, then the party that represented conservatives whites in the South, repeatedly defeated anti-lynching bills. 
Two days before the second presidential debate, a 2005 recording surfaced in which Trump was heard bragging about forcibly kissing and groping women.[460][461][462] The hot mic recording was captured on a studio bus in which Trump and Billy Bush were preparing to film an episode of Access Hollywood. In the tape, Trump said: "I just start kissing them ... I don't even wait. And when you're a star, they let you do it, you can do anything ... grab 'em by the pussy."[463] During the recording, Trump also spoke of his efforts to seduce a married woman, saying he "moved on her very heavily".[463]
From 1996 to 2015, Trump owned part or all of the Miss Universe pageants.[198][199] The pageants include Miss USA and Miss Teen USA. His management of this business involved his family members—daughter Ivanka once hosted Miss Teen USA.[200] He became dissatisfied with how CBS scheduled the pageants, and took both Miss Universe and Miss USA to NBC in 2002.[201][202] In 2007, Trump received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for his work as producer of Miss Universe.[203]

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.

During the rally, Trump spent approximately fifteen minutes commenting on the events in Charlottesville and criticizing the media for supposedly mischaracterizing his words, while omitting previous statements about the rally's "many sides" of culpability (a move that was later criticized as misleading).[173][177][178][179] Trump also issued repeated attacks towards the media, accusing them of being "liars" and "sick people" responsible for creating "division" in the country.[180][181] He accused activists seeking the removal of Confederate monuments of “trying to take away our history"[179] and hinted at pardoning Joe Arpaio.[173][177] Trump also made verbal attacks on both of Arizona's US Senators, Jeff Flake and John McCain.[173][177][182] Additionally, Trump threatened to shutdown the U.S. Federal Government if he was unable to secure funding to construct a border wall,[183][179][184][185] mentioned tensions with North Korea,[186] accused Democrats of being "obstructionists",[183] described his own restraint as being "very presidential",[187] and declared that "at some point” the United States would "end up probably terminating the North American Free Trade Agreement.[187]


Jump up ^ Johnson, Jenna. "Trump now says Muslim ban only applies to those from terrorism-heavy countries", Chicago Tribune (June 25, 2016): "[A] reporter asked Trump if [he] would be OK with a Muslim from Scotland coming into the United States and he said it 'wouldn't bother me.' Afterward, [spokeswoman] Hicks said in an email that Trump's ban would now just apply to Muslims in terror states ..."

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]


Presidential approval ratings have shown Trump to be the least popular President in the history of modern opinion polling as of the start of his second year in office.[11][12][13][14] Early polls have shown Trump trailing by a margin of 10–18 percent against several hypothetical Democratic candidates, including Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, Cory Booker, Elizabeth Warren, and Kirsten Gillibrand.[15] International observers point out that Presidential job approval is highly partisan: "The Republican Party is Donald Trump's party. ... [Recent] polling - which shows the president with near record levels of backing from Republican voters - confirms the fact." [42] Gallup polling data shows that job approval for Donald Trump is 80 to 90 percent among Republicans versus only 5 to 10 percent among Democrats.[43] The reverse was the case for Barack Obama[44]
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