Al Franken put his vaunted sense of humor in the deep freeze his first eight years in the Senate to establish himself as a “serious” person. But now he’s letting it back out — “I like Ted Cruz more than most of my other colleagues like Ted Cruz,” Mr. Franken writes in his new book, “and I hate Ted Cruz” — and not a moment too soon for his fellow Democrats. Although he’s a thoughtful wonk, it’s his wit that has some Democrats salivating at the prospect of his appearing on a debate stage opposite Mr. Trump.
In every move President Trump has made in terms of foreign policy, wildly, he has kept consistent on two levels. He has kept his campaign promises. He has also delivered an America First policy without apology. I use the word apology purposefully. The previous administration apologized for America endlessly. The lack of appreciation for the country that gave Barack Obama everything he ever deemed of value in his life took a psychological toll on our people. But decades of policies allowing trade, security, and immigration imbalances took tolls on our welfare. From NATO to the G7, Saudi Arabia, to Israel, North Korea to Iran, from Russia to China, Trump’s unapologetic stance of advocating for his nation’s best standing is reversing that psychological effect. And he now lives rent free in the minds of all who believed America was weak.
Kennedy could even fall back on a certain modesty in describing the US role in the world (that, in those years, from Guatemala to Iran to Cuba, all too often did not carry over into actual policy), saying in one speech, “we must face the fact that the United States is neither omnipotent or omniscient—that we are only six percent of the world’s population—that we cannot impose our will upon the other 94 percent of mankind—that we cannot right every wrong or reverse each adversity—and that therefore there cannot be an American solution to every world problem.” In that same speech, he typically spoke of America as “a great power”—but not “the greatest power.”
At the Jiahao Flag Co Ltd in Anhui province, women operate sewing machines to hem the edges of “Trump 2020” flags the size of beach towels, while others fold and bundle them for delivery.  The factory has turned out about 90,000 banners since March, said manager Yao Yuanyuan, an unusually large number for what is normally the low season, and Yao believed the China-U.S. trade war was the reason.

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.
Honduran migrants, who were taking part in a caravan heading to the US, board a bus to return to Honduras, in Ciudad Tecun Uman, Guatemala, on Oct. 20, 2018. Some 220 Honduran migrants were returning to their country and some 130 were waiting at a shelter Saturday, according to a police source, while thousands who forced their way through Guatemala's northwestern border and flooded onto a bridge leading to Mexico, were waiting at the border in the hope of continuing their journey. Johan Ordonez, AFP/Getty Images
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]
That note of defensiveness first crept into the American political lexicon with the unlikeliest of politicians: Ronald Reagan, the man who seemed like the least defensive, most genial guy on the planet. On this subject at least, think of him as Trumpian before the advent of The Donald, or at least as the man who (thanks to his ad writers) invented the political use of the word “again.” It was, after all, employed in 1984 in the seminal ad of his political run for a second term in office. While that bucolic-looking TV commercial was entitled “Prouder, Stronger, Better,” its first line ever so memorably went, “It’s morning again in America.” (“Why would we ever want to return to where we were less than four short years ago?”)
On August 13, Trump's campaign released an advertisement entitled, Let President Trump Do His Job.[163] The ad attacks those that Trump alleges to be his "enemies", and was released one day prior to violent far-right protests in Charlottesville, Virginia.[164] The advertisement portrays Trump's enemies as being Democrats, the media and career politicians. The ad includes clips of various journalists, including several that work at CNN.[165] CNN refused to play the ad,[166] and campaign chairman Michael Glassner derided CNN's decision as “censorship".[165][167] In retaliation to CNN, the President retweeted a far-right activist's post featuring an image of a "Trump Train" running over CNN. The tweet, which was later deleted, received criticism after a vehicular attack in Charlottesville that injured and killed counter-protesters.[168][169]
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]
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]
It is widely assumed among Trump advisers that Kushner, who was instrumental in the hiring of Parscale, will depart the White House at some point after the midterms to oversee the 2020 campaign. “The entire reason Brad got the job is because he was acceptable to the Trump kids,” a former White House official said. “Eric loves the guy, and Don does, too.” Since February, Parscale has been working from an office in the Republican National Committee’s headquarters in Washington, D.C. “He’s been cleaning up data, gearing up for post-2018,” said a Trump adviser. Trump advisers I spoke with view Parscale as an extension of Kushner. After the 2016 election, Trump was annoyed that Kushner received so much credit for the win, even appearing on the cover of Forbes with an ear-to-ear grin above the headline THIS GUY GOT TRUMP ELECTED. The reality is that no matter what campaign structure takes shape, Trump views himself as his own campaign manager. “I’m the strategist,” Trump told me back in 2016.
Mr. Trump started his business career in an office he shared with his father in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn, New York. He worked with his father for five years, where they were busy making deals together. Mr. Trump has been quoted as saying, “My father was my mentor, and I learned a tremendous amount about every aspect of the construction industry from him.” Likewise, Fred C. Trump often stated that “some of my best deals were made by my son, Donald...everything he touches seems to turn to gold.” Mr. Trump then entered the very different world of Manhattan real estate.
On August 13, Trump's campaign released an advertisement entitled, Let President Trump Do His Job.[163] The ad attacks those that Trump alleges to be his "enemies", and was released one day prior to violent far-right protests in Charlottesville, Virginia.[164] The advertisement portrays Trump's enemies as being Democrats, the media and career politicians. The ad includes clips of various journalists, including several that work at CNN.[165] CNN refused to play the ad,[166] and campaign chairman Michael Glassner derided CNN's decision as “censorship".[165][167] In retaliation to CNN, the President retweeted a far-right activist's post featuring an image of a "Trump Train" running over CNN. The tweet, which was later deleted, received criticism after a vehicular attack in Charlottesville that injured and killed counter-protesters.[168][169]
Trump's paternal grandfather, Frederick Trump, first immigrated to the United States in 1885 at the age of 16 and became a citizen in 1892.[20] He amassed a fortune operating boomtown restaurants and boarding houses in the Seattle area and the Klondike region of Canada during its gold rush.[20] On a visit to Kallstadt, he met Elisabeth Christ and married her in 1902. The couple permanently settled in New York in 1905.[21] Frederick died from influenza during the 1918 pandemic.[22]
While running for president, Trump said that he intended to repeal the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) on "day one" of his presidency. The program, introduced in 2012, allowed people who had either entered or remained in the United States illegally as minors to receive a renewable two-year period of deferred action from deportation and be eligible for a work permit.[597]

The Trump Organization expanded its business into branding and management by licensing the Trump name for a large number of building projects that are owned and operated by other people and companies. In the late 2000s and early 2010s, The Trump Organization expanded its footprint beyond New York with the branding and management of various developers' hotel towers around the world. These included projects in Chicago, Las Vegas, Washington D.C., Panama City, Toronto, and Vancouver. There are also Trump-branded buildings in Dubai, Honolulu, Istanbul, Manila, Mumbai, and Indonesia.[177]


“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.”
Trump publicly speculated about running for president in the 2012 election, and made his first speaking appearance at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in February 2011. The speech is credited for helping kick-start his political career within the Republican Party.[362] On May 16, 2011, Trump announced he would not run for president in the 2012 election.[363] In February 2012, Trump endorsed Mitt Romney for president.[364]
In 1987 Trump spent almost $100,000 (equivalent to $215,407 in 2017) to place full-page advertisements in three major newspapers, proclaiming that "America should stop paying to defend countries that can afford to defend themselves."[350] The advertisements also advocated for "reducing the budget deficit, working for peace in Central America, and speeding up nuclear disarmament negotiations with the Soviet Union."[351] After rumors of a presidential run, Trump was invited by Democratic senator John Kerry of Massachusetts, House Speaker Jim Wright of Texas, and Arkansas congressman Beryl Anthony Jr., to host a fundraising dinner for Democratic Congressional candidates and to switch parties. Anthony told The New York Times that "the message Trump has been preaching is a Democratic message." Asked whether the rumors were true, Trump denied being a candidate, but said, "I believe that if I did run for President, I'd win."[351] According to a Gallup poll in December 1988, Trump was the tenth most admired man in America.[352][353]
But the most aggressive of the candidates-in-waiting by far has been Vice President Mike Pence. He has so far survived in Trumpworld by making sure that he is the first among equals in a West Wing full of suck-ups. (At a Cabinet meeting in December 2017, Pence praised Trump 14 times in three minutes.) “Pence wants to inherit the Trump base, so that’s why you see him saying these obsequious things. It’s so pathetic,” a prominent Republican said. In January 2017, Pence started a PAC, America First Policies. “Pence has a better political operation than the White House has. I’ve never seen that before,” Ed Rollins said. Pence has tight relationships with powerful donors, including the Koch brothers and billionaire Todd Ricketts. “Republican members of Congress like Pence. They’d much rather have Pence than Trump,” a top Republican strategist said.
In January 2018, The New York Times reported that Trump had ordered Mueller to be fired in June, after learning that Mueller was investigating possible obstruction of justice, but backed down after White House Counsel Don McGahn said he would quit;[728] Trump called the report "fake news".[729][730] The New York Times reported in April 2018 that Trump had again wanted the investigation shut down in early December 2017, but stopped after learning the news reports he based his decision on were incorrect.[731] In April 2018, following an FBI raid on the office and home of Trump's private attorney Michael Cohen, Trump mused aloud about firing Mueller.[732]

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.
Bannon compared this point in the midterm re-election to August 2016, when Trump trailed Hillary Clinton by double digits and everyone expected him to be trounced. Except this time he’s effectively running against Nancy Pelosi, the former (and perhaps future) House Speaker, who would lead a hypothetical impeachment crusade. “She’s the Hillary,” Bannon said. “She’s got some of the same tendencies!” That’s where the specter of impeachment comes into place. “You want her program? Impeach Trump and you got her,” Bannon explained. “When you focus on impeachment, it’s a game changer. It’s an emotional issue that raises the stakes.” To hold on to the House and Senate in November, Bannon said, Trump needs to follow the same strategy he employed in the home stretch of 2016: drive hard toward his base. “This is a ‘deplorable-plus electorate.’ What I mean is, it’s deplorables plus Reagan Democrats and guys who voted for Trump who vote never. You bring them out in an off year.” I asked Bannon about the risk of losing suburban women. He shrugged off the voting bloc as immaterial, a thing of the past. “The Republican college-educated woman is done,” he said. “They’re gone. They were going anyway at some point in time. Trump triggers them. This is now the Trump movement.” Bannon said that Trump’s nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court will help win back some suburban Republicans. “Republicans will come home. Dude, you got Gorsuch and Kavanaugh back to back,” he told me. At a minimum, Kavanaugh’s nomination will “ensure they don’t vote for Democrats.”

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

The president is running his re-election campaign precisely the way he governs—playing three opposing power centers off each other, and listening mainly to his own instincts. It’s going to get ugly, and soon. “We’re going to call them out,” says Steve Bannon. “Kirsten Gillibrand, show us what you got. Elizabeth Warren? Kamala Harris? Howard Schultz? He’s going to cut through these guys like a scythe through grass.”
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.

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.)

“I felt that jobs were hurting,” he said. “I looked at the many types of illness our country had, and whether it’s at the border, whether it’s security, whether it’s law and order or lack of law and order. Then, of course, you get to trade, and I said to myself, ‘What would be good?’ I was sitting at my desk, where I am right now, and I said, ‘Make America Great Again.’ ”

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.
In every move President Trump has made in terms of foreign policy, wildly, he has kept consistent on two levels. He has kept his campaign promises. He has also delivered an America First policy without apology. I use the word apology purposefully. The previous administration apologized for America endlessly. The lack of appreciation for the country that gave Barack Obama everything he ever deemed of value in his life took a psychological toll on our people. But decades of policies allowing trade, security, and immigration imbalances took tolls on our welfare. From NATO to the G7, Saudi Arabia, to Israel, North Korea to Iran, from Russia to China, Trump’s unapologetic stance of advocating for his nation’s best standing is reversing that psychological effect. And he now lives rent free in the minds of all who believed America was weak.
During his 2016 presidential campaign, Trump accused the press of intentionally misinterpreting his words and of being biased,[322][323] although he benefited from a record amount of free media coverage, elevating his standing in the Republican primaries.[324] After winning the election, Trump told journalist Lesley Stahl that he intentionally demeaned and discredited the media "so when you write negative stories about me no one will believe you".[325] Into his presidency, much of the press coverage of Trump and his administration was negative.[326][327]
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.
Timothy Naftali, a presidential historian and former director of the Richard Nixon Library, said there is no precedent for a sitting president to wade so early into his next campaign while publicly handicapping the other party's primary race. Yet Trump was swept into office believing in the power of branding, and his time in the White House has only reinforced the feeling.
The political press has behaved as co-conspirators with the Democrats in the Kavanaugh matter. They have clearly been fully co-opted. Reporters are planting their flags with the so-called Resistance and donning pink hats instead of defending truth and reporting facts. There is much in this present political age about which I am uncertain. But there is one thing about which I am absolutely certain. President Trump is not my enemy and too many progressives view me as theirs.
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.[86] 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",[87] and that he had received at least $413 million (adjusted for inflation) from his father's business empire over his lifetime.[88] According to the Times, Trump borrowed at least $60 million from his father, and largely failed to reimburse him.[87] 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.[88] 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".[89] New York City officials also indicated they are examining the matter.[90]
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

Trump may have criticized Kavanaugh’s accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, in a way I found inappropriate for a President to do, but his opponents have thrown out the millennia-old principle that a man is to be presumed innocent. The President may have enacted tariffs I find harmful to the economy, but his opponents are willfully destroying a good, innocent man so they can keep destroying children.
Mr. Trump won, in part, because he campaigned in places Republicans have had difficulty winning—Flint, Michigan, charter schools in inner-city Cleveland, and Hispanic churches in Florida.  He went there because he wanted to bring his message of economic empowerment to all Americans. Millions of new Republicans trusted Mr. Trump with their vote because of his commitment to delivering prosperity through a reformed tax code, an improved regulatory environment, and better trade deals. President Trump’s victory has brought Americans of all backgrounds together, and he is committed to delivering results for the Nation every day he serves in office.
Some of the party’s top potential 2020 candidates are testing a barrage of early — and unusually explicit — race-related appeals in the run-up to the next presidential campaign. Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) pledged not to be “shut up” by critics of “identity politics.” Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), has drawn attention to the disproportionate number of nonwhite people incarcerated in a system he said has “criminalized poverty.”
Jennifer Rubin, who the Washington Post fraudulently claims is a conservative, has become the most predictable mouthpiece for the insanity that has affected a certain brand of Republican. They view Trump as anathema to their values, so they have abandoned their values. Rubin was once favored moving our embassy in Israel to Jerusalem. She now opposes it because of Trump. She once supported withdrawal from the Paris Accord, but now opposes it because of Trump.
But we also saw something incredibly powerful: that truth-tellers don't quit, and that speaking up is contagious. I hope you'll read why, even now, we believe the truth will prevail—and why we aren't giving up on our goal of raising $30,000 in new monthly donations this fall, even though there's a long way to go to get there. Please help close the gap with a tax-deductible donation today.
Formal efforts to start the process of impeachment against Trump, who took office in January 2017, have been initiated by Representatives Al Green and Brad Sherman, both Democrats.[755][756] Other people and groups have asserted that Trump has engaged in impeachable activity during his presidency.[757][758] Talk of impeachment began before Trump took office.[759][760]
Of course, don’t furl the flag or shut down those offshore accounts or start writing the complete history of American decline quite yet. After all, the United States still looms “lone” on an ever more chaotic planet. Its wealth remains stunning, its economic clout something to behold, its tycoons the envy of the Earth, and its military beyond compare when it comes to how much and how destructively, even if not how successfully. Still, make no mistake about it, Donald Trump is a harbinger, however bizarre, of a new American century in which this country will indeed no longer be (with a bow to Muhammad Ali) “the Greatest” or, for all but a shrinking crew, exceptional.
Many of the migrants cited poverty, corruption and gang violence in Honduras for their flight. Mexico had been trying to slowly process asylum requests in small groups, in some cases providing 45-day visitor permits. But thousands of the migrants grew impatient, circumventing the bureaucracy and crossing over on makeshift rafts or just swimming into Mexico undeterred by border authorities. 
Stepien, a 40-year-old New Jersey operative, is an Establishment Republican out of central casting: trim, well dressed, and with impeccable hair. He was recruited to join the Trump campaign in August 2016, after befriending Kushner, and his current job is to effectively reverse-engineer a method to Trump’s madness. Despite the gloomy outlook for Republicans—a recent Real Clear Politics poll average showed Democrats with a six-point advantage—Stepien did his best to spin the White House’s message that Republicans could limit the damage in the midterms. “This is not an easy time to run and win as a Republican,” Stepien conceded. “[Trump] is trying to get all the people who voted for him in 2016 back out to the polls in 2018. The goal is to make those people who are presidential-year voters into midterm-election voters.”
But a closer look at conservative rhetoric in recent years reveals that “Make America Great Again” was not Trump’s invention. It evolved from a phrase that became central to the Republican establishment during the Obama years: “American exceptionalism.” People often equate the expression with the notion that God made America “a city upon a hill,” in the words of the Puritan colonist John Winthrop. However, as University of California-Berkeley sociology professor Jerome Karabel noted in a 2011 article, this usage only came into vogue after Barack Obama became president. Previously it was mainly used by academics to mean that America is an exception compared with other Western democracies, for better or worse, as illustrated by its top-notch universities or its bare-bones gun control.
An August 21 Politico report written by Alex Isenstadt entitled Trump ramping up for 2020 reelection offered new several revelations about the campaign effort.[171] The report discussed plans for an autumn campaign fundraising tour anticipated to rake-in tens of millions of dollars.[171] Pollster John McLaughlin, an advisor for Trump's 2016 campaign, was also appointed to advise Trump's 2020 efforts.[171] The Trump campaign supposedly discussed monitoring individuals listed as being potential 2020 Democratic candidates and Republican challengers,[171][203][204] and reportedly devised a plan to have White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon propose the idea of regulating Facebook as a public utility, a move meant to intimidate Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg into dropping rumored plans to run.[171] The report also said that the campaign and Trump's family members had been meeting monthly with the RNC to coordinate their election efforts, especially in North Carolina,[171] which Trump won by less than 4 percentage points in the 2016 election.[205] Finally, it was mentioned that a large part of the campaign's efforts thus far have involved an expansion of its data program being overseen by Brad Parscale.[171]
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