The Trump name has also been licensed for various consumer products and services, including foodstuffs, apparel, adult learning courses, and home furnishings. In 2011, Forbes' financial experts estimated the value of the Trump brand at $200 million. Trump disputed this valuation, saying his brand was worth about $3 billion.[178] According to an analysis by The Washington Post, there are more than 50 licensing or management deals involving Trump's name, which have generated at least $59 million in yearly revenue for his companies.[179]

Vice President Mike Pence strongly denied charges lodged by an August 5 New York Times report, which speculated that the Vice President was orchestrating a "shadow campaign" for the presidency in the 2020 election.[159][160] Pence called the accusations "disgraceful and offensive" and Counselor to the President Kellyanne Conway called the story a "complete fiction, complete fabrication".[160][161][162][148]

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.

In 2013, New York State filed a $40 million civil suit against Trump University; the suit alleged that the company made false statements and defrauded consumers.[209][212] In addition, two class-action civil lawsuits were filed in federal court relating to Trump University; they named Trump personally as well as his companies.[213] During the presidential campaign, Trump criticized presiding Judge Gonzalo P. Curiel, alleging bias in his rulings because of his Mexican heritage.[214][215] Shortly after Trump won the presidency, the parties agreed to a settlement of all three pending cases, whereby Trump paid a total of $25 million and denied any wrongdoing.[216][217]

Trump's father Fred was born in 1905 in the Bronx. Fred started working with his mother in real estate when he was 15, shortly after his father's death. Their company, "E. Trump & Son",[nb 2] founded in 1923,[27] was primarily active in the New York boroughs of Queens and Brooklyn. Fred eventually built and sold thousands of houses, barracks, and apartments.[22][28] In 1971, Donald Trump was made president of the company, which was later renamed the Trump Organization.[29]


The Center for Public Integrity published an analysis of 2017 first-quarter federal campaign spending records which revealed that two Super PACs supporting Trump, Great America PAC and Committee to Defend the President, had spent a combined $1.32 million on the 2020 election campaign.[2] Ted Harvey serves as the chairman of the Committee to Defend the President. Eric L. Beach and Ed Rollins serve as co-chairmen of Great America PAC.[2] Both PACs have previously been accused by the FEC of poorly maintaining financial records, and had been threatened with penalties.[2] The Center for Public Integrity also found that several other pro-Trump PACs had already been founded in 2017, but most of them had yet to be very active. One such PAC was America First Action, which was founded by the CEO of a political consulting firm for which Trump's 2020 campaign treasurer is the senior vice president.[2]
Trump has published numerous books. His first published book in 1987 was Trump: The Art of the Deal, in which Trump is credited as co-author with Tony Schwartz, who has stated that he did all the writing for the book.[238][239][240] It reached the top of the New York Times Best Seller list, stayed there for 13 weeks, and altogether held a position on the list for 48 weeks.[239] According to The New Yorker, "The book expanded Trump's renown far beyond New York City, promoting an image of himself as a successful dealmaker and tycoon."[239] Trump's published writings shifted post-2000 from stylized memoirs to financial tips and political opinion.[241]
In 2016, The Washington Post reported that the charity had committed several potential legal and ethical violations, including alleged self-dealing and possible tax evasion.[226] Also in 2016, the New York State Attorney General's office notified the Trump Foundation that the foundation appeared to be in violation of New York laws regarding charities, ordering it to immediately cease its fundraising activities in New York.[227][228][229] A Trump spokesman called the Attorney General's investigation a "partisan hit job".[227] In response to mounting complaints, Trump's team announced in late December 2016 that the Trump Foundation would be dissolved to remove "even the appearance of any conflict with [his] role as President."[230] According to an IRS filing in November 2017, the foundation intended to shut down and distribute its assets (about $970,000) to other charities. However, the New York Attorney General's office had to complete their ongoing investigation before the foundation could legally shut down,[231] and in June 2018 they filed a civil suit against the foundation for $2.8 million in restitution and additional penalties.[232] The suit names Trump himself as well as his adult children Donald Jr., Eric, and Ivanka.[233]

Trump would eventually abandon dog whistles in favor of blunter race-baiting. What remains to be seen is whether he and the Republican establishment will continue flashing the “exceptionalism” signal in the post-Obama years—to paint new opponents as un-American—or whether that language was uniquely deployed to delegitimize the nation’s first black president. At the very least, it provided fertile ground for Trumpism.
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

These three factions all face one existential issue: What if Trump doesn’t run for re-election, either because he’s impeached, decides he’s had enough, or is so damaged by what Mueller unearths as to be rendered unelectable? Much of the Republican establishment, and even many Trump allies, have been contemplating a Plan B for months. “He could just decide, ‘I’ve made America great again. I’ve kept all my promises. Now I’m gonna play golf,’” said Roger Stone.
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]
Jump up ^ Kranish, Michael; O'Harrow, Robert Jr. (January 23, 2016). "Inside the government's racial bias case against Donald Trump's company, and how he fought it". The Washington Post. Civil rights groups in the city viewed the Trump company as just one example of a nationwide problem of housing discrimination. But targeting the Trumps provided a chance to have an impact, said Eleanor Holmes Norton, who was then chairwoman of the city's human rights commission. 'They were big names.'
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]

If you want a pop cultural equivalent for this, consider America’s movie heroes of that time, actors like John Wayne and Gary Cooper, whose Westerns and, in the case of Wayne, war movies, were iconic. What’s striking when you look back at them from the present moment is this: while neither of those actors was anything but an imposing figure, they were also remarkably ordinary looking. They were in no way over-muscled, nor were they over-armed in the modern fashion. It was only in the years after the Vietnam War, when the country had absorbed what felt like a grim defeat, been wracked by oppositional movements, riots, and assassinations, when a general sense of loss had swept over the polity, that the over-muscled hero, the exceptional killing machine, made the scene. (Think Rambo.)
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In September 2017, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced that the DACA program would be repealed after six months.[598] Trump argued that "top legal experts" believed that DACA was unconstitutional, and called on Congress to use the six-month delay to pass legislation solving the "Dreamers" issue permanently.[599] As of March 2018, when the delay expired, no legislation had been agreed on DACA.[600] Several states immediately challenged the DACA rescission in court.[601] Two injunctions in January and February 2018 allowed renewals of applications and stopped the rolling back of DACA, and in April 2018 a federal judge ordered the acceptance of new applications; this would go into effect in 90 days.[602]
The relationship between Trump, the media, and fake news has been studied. One study found that between October 7 and November 14, 2016, while one in four Americans visited a fake news website, "Trump supporters visited the most fake news websites, which were overwhelmingly pro-Trump" and "almost 6 in 10 visits to fake news websites came from the 10 percent of people with the most conservative online information diets".[330][331] Brendan Nyhan, one of the authors of the study by researchers from Princeton University, Dartmouth College, and the University of Exeter, stated in an interview on NBC News: "People got vastly more misinformation from Donald Trump than they did from fake news websites".[332]
On January 18, Trump revealed, in an interview with The Washington Post, that he had decided Keep America Great would be his 2020 reelection campaign slogan.[5][46] Two days later, on the day of his inauguration, President Trump filed a form with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) declaring that he qualified as a candidate for the 2020 presidential election.[19][21][22]
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