A Honduran migrant girl kneels in front of a police checkpoint at the Agua Caliente border crossing in Ocotepeque, Honduras on Oct. 19, 2018. Honduran authorities intensified immigration control measures at the Agua Caliente point, bordering Guatemala, to prevent hundreds of Hondurans seeking to reach the USA from crossing into the neighboring country. Gustavo Amador, EPA-EFE
Trump was born and raised in the New York City borough of Queens. He received an economics degree from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and was appointed president of his family's real estate business in 1971, renamed it The Trump Organization, and expanded it from Queens and Brooklyn into Manhattan. The company built or renovated skyscrapers, hotels, casinos, and golf courses. Trump later started various side ventures, including licensing his name for real estate and consumer products. He managed the company until his 2017 inauguration. He co-authored several books, including The Art of the Deal. He owned the Miss Universe and Miss USA beauty pageants from 1996 to 2015, and he produced and hosted the reality television show The Apprentice from 2003 to 2015. Forbes estimates his net worth to be $3.1 billion.
Trump rejects the scientific consensus on climate change 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. Based on numerous studies, climate experts disagree with his position. 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.
Some experts have also expressed concerns about his cognitive health, as described in a lengthy investigation by Stat, a respected health and science site, earlier this year. Under the 25th Amendment, the vice president and a majority of the Cabinet can act to remove an incapacitated president. Given the current cast, this isn't going to happen, especially since Trump would contest it.
Presidential approval polls taken during the first ten months of Trump's term have shown him to be the least popular U.S. president in the history of modern opinion polls. A Pew Research Center global poll conducted in July 2017, found "a median of just 22 percent has confidence in Trump to do the right thing when it comes to international affairs". This compares to a median of 64 percent rate of confidence for his predecessor Barack Obama. Trump received a higher rating in only two countries: Russia and Israel. An August 2017 POLITICO/Morning consult poll found on some measures "that majorities of voters have low opinions of his character and competence". Trump is the only elected president who did not place first on Gallup's poll of men Americans most admired in his first year in office, coming in second behind Barack Obama.
Trump has often said that he began his career with "a small loan of one million dollars" from his father, and that he had to pay it back with interest. In October 2018, The New York Times published an exposé drawing on more than 100,000 pages of tax returns and financial records from Fred Trump's businesses, and interviews with former advisers and employees. The Times concluded that Donald Trump "was a millionaire by age 8", and that he had received at least $413 million (adjusted for inflation) from his father's business empire over his lifetime. According to the Times, Trump borrowed at least $60 million from his father, and largely failed to reimburse him. The paper also described a number of purportedly fraudulent tax schemes, for example when Fred Trump sold shares in Trump Palace condos to his son well below their purchase price, thus masking what could be considered a hidden donation, and benefiting from a tax write-off. A lawyer for Trump said the "allegations of fraud and tax evasion are 100 percent false, and highly defamatory". A spokesman for the New York State tax department said the agency was "vigorously pursuing all appropriate areas of investigation". New York City officials also indicated they are examining the matter.
On September 16, groups supporting Trump organized a rally on the National Mall named the Mother of All Rallies. Organizers were originally hoping to draw one million attendees. However, in planning for security, the Metropolitan Police Department of the District of Columbia expected that only 1,800 people would attend and, ultimately, only about one thousand people attended. A nearby Juggalo rally drew greater crowds than the pro-Trump rally did.
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.
Stoking Trump’s interest is the gathering momentum on the Democratic side. Warren told a town hall this weekend that she plans to “take a hard look” at running for president after the midterm elections, Biden has conspicuously raised his public profile of late, and Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey is making high-profile appearances in key primary states, along with using his Senate Judiciary Committee post to jab at Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.
Trump's campaign platform emphasized renegotiating U.S.–China relations and free trade agreements such as NAFTA and the Trans-Pacific Partnership, strongly enforcing immigration laws, and building a new wall along the U.S.–Mexico border. His other campaign positions included pursuing energy independence while opposing climate change regulations such as the Clean Power Plan and the Paris Agreement, modernizing and expediting services for veterans, repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act, abolishing Common Core education standards, investing in infrastructure, simplifying the tax code while reducing taxes for all economic classes, and imposing tariffs on imports by companies that offshore jobs. During the campaign, he also advocated a largely non-interventionist approach to foreign policy while increasing military spending, extreme vetting or banning immigrants from Muslim-majority countries to pre-empt domestic Islamic terrorism, and aggressive military action against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.
Trump's supporters have some legitimate grievances. Wages for low-skilled work are depressed, and no longer can a man with a high school education or less expect to work in a factory his entire life and still support his family and retire with dignity. While much of the country is living longer, working-class white men without college degrees are now dying sooner than they used to. The promise of upward mobility is shrinking.
Trump is a Presbyterian. His ancestors were Lutheran on his paternal grandfather's side in Germany and Presbyterian on his mother's side in Scotland. His parents married in a Manhattan Presbyterian church in 1936. As a child, he attended the First Presbyterian Church in Jamaica, Queens, where he had his confirmation. In the 1970s, his parents joined the Marble Collegiate Church in Manhattan, part of the Reformed Church. The pastor at Marble, Norman Vincent Peale, ministered to Trump's family and mentored him until Peale's death in 1993. Trump has cited Peale and his works during interviews when asked about the role of religion in his personal life. 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. 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".
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. The fundraiser was the first event that Trump hosted for the Trump Victory Committee since becoming president, as well as the first presidential campaign fundraiser. The event was co-organized by RNC chairwoman Ronna Romney McDaniel and RNC National Finance Chairman Steve Wynn. The fundraiser was attended by about 300 guests and was reportedly expected to gross $10 million. Trump was joined at the event by First Lady Melania Trump and top White House advisors. Among those reported to have been in attendance at the fundraiser were Mica Mosbacher, Dean Heller and Katrina Pierson. Additionally, Harold Hamm and a number of high-profile figures were spotted in the hotel's lobby during the event. 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. Additionally Trump's decision to host the event at a venue from which he personally profits garnered criticism.
On May 9, 2017, Trump dismissed FBI Director James Comey. He first attributed this action to recommendations from Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein, which criticized Comey's conduct in the investigation about Hillary Clinton's emails. On May 11, Trump stated that he was concerned with the ongoing "Russia thing" and that he had intended to fire Comey earlier, regardless of DoJ advice.
A few days after my visit to the White House, I went to see Bannon, who was holed up in his suite at the Regency in New York, the same hotel where Michael Cohen was ensconced just a few floors away. Bannon was giddy. He was fresh from Rome, where populist political parties he’d supported had just formed an anti-immigration, anti-European Union government. “Populist nationalism is on the move everywhere in the world,” Bannon boasted. Events seemed to be breaking his way in Washington too. “It’s like my white board’s there and Trump is checking shit off,” Bannon said. He marveled at Trump’s border crackdown and decision to launch a global trade war. “Trump is on the full MAGA agenda,” he said. Bannon admitted that he and Trump still don’t speak, but he gets his ideas to Trump through other channels, mainly Lewandowski and Freedom Caucus chair Mark Meadows.
Trump has never filed for personal bankruptcy, although in 1990 he came within one missed bank loan payment of doing so, agreeing to a deal that temporarily ceded management control of his company to his banks and put him on a spending allowance. Trump claimed to have initiated this deal with his banks as he saw the downturn in the real estate market, but bankers involved in the matter stated they initiated the negotiations before Trump had realized there was a problem. His hotel and casino businesses have been declared bankrupt six times between 1991 and 2009 in order to re-negotiate debt with banks and owners of stock and bonds. Because the businesses used Chapter 11 bankruptcy, they were allowed to operate while negotiations proceeded. Trump was quoted by Newsweek in 2011 saying, "I do play with the bankruptcy laws – they're very good for me" as a tool for trimming debt. The six bankruptcies were the result of over-leveraged hotel and casino businesses in Atlantic City and New York: Trump Taj Mahal (1991), Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino (1992), Plaza Hotel (1992), Trump Castle Hotel and Casino (1992), Trump Hotels and Casino Resorts (2004), and Trump Entertainment Resorts (2009).
Two of Trump's 15 original cabinet members were gone within 15 months: Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price was forced to resign in September 2017 due to excessive use of private charter jets and military aircraft, and Trump replaced Secretary of State Rex Tillerson with Mike Pompeo in March 2018 over disagreements on foreign policy. EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt resigned in July 2018 amidst multiple investigations into his conduct.
Before being inaugurated as president, Trump moved his businesses into a revocable trust run by his eldest sons and a business associate. According to ethics experts, as long as Trump continues to profit from his businesses, the measures taken by Trump do not help to avoid conflicts of interest. Because Trump would have knowledge of how his administration's policies would affect his businesses, ethics experts recommend that Trump sell off his businesses. Multiple lawsuits have been filed alleging that Trump is violating the emoluments clause of the United States Constitution due to his business interests; they argue that these interests allow foreign governments to influence him. Previous presidents in the modern era have either divested their holdings or put them in blind trusts, and he is the first president to be sued over the emoluments clause.
In April 2018, Trump enacted a "zero tolerance" immigration policy that took adults irregularly entering the U.S. into custody for criminal prosecution and forcibly separated children from parents, eliminating the policy of previous administrations that made exceptions for families with children. By mid-June, more than 2,300 children had been placed in shelters, including "tender age" shelters for babies and toddlers, culminating in demands from Democrats, Republicans, Trump allies, and religious groups that the policy be rescinded. Trump falsely asserted that his administration was merely following the law. On June 20, Trump signed an executive order to end family separations at the U.S. border. On June 26 a federal judge in San Diego issued a preliminary injunction requiring the Trump administration to stop detaining immigrants parents separately from their minor children, and to reunite family groups that had been separated at the border.
Trump is the wealthiest president in U.S. history, even after adjusting for inflation. He is also the first president without prior government or military service. Of the 43[nb 4] previous presidents, 38 had held prior elective office, two had not held elective office but had served in the Cabinet, and three had never held public office but had been commanding generals.
Trump began his campaign unusually early for an incumbent President of the United States. He began spending for his reelection effort within weeks of his election, and officially filed his campaign with the Federal Elections Commission on the day of his inauguration. Since February 2017, Trump has held several rallies and a fundraiser for this campaign. He has visited key electoral states. The campaign has raised funds and run two nationwide advertising campaigns. The campaign has announced, and Trump has confirmed in several stump speeches, that the slogan for the 2020 race will be changed from "Make America Great Again" to "Keep America Great", once a sufficient level of greatness is reached. As of the fall of 2018, Trump continues to use the old slogan.