Trump attributed his victory to social media when he said "I won the 2016 election with interviews, speeches, and social media." According to RiteTag, the estimated hourly statistics for #maga on Twitter alone include: 1304 unique tweets, 5,820,000 hashtag exposure, and 3424 retweets with 14% of #maga tweets including images, 55% including links, and 51% including mentions.
Although Democrats are united in their opposition to President Trump, the fundamental party cleavage runs between populists and centrists. The Democratic presidential nominee in 2020 will be the person who either finds a way to appeal to both wings or, just as likely, divines which wings represent the greater number of primary voters. Following is a guide to some of the potential candidates — and the political bets they’ll be making.
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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.”
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.
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.
On June 12, 2018, after several rounds of preliminary staff-level meetings, Trump and Kim held a bilateral summit in Singapore. 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."
Trump, who filed the paperwork for “Make America Great Again” just days after Mitt Romney lost the 2012 election, announced his already-arrived-upon 2020 slogan in a just-published interview with The Washington Post's Karen Tumulty. The reveal comes in the middle of a must-read interview in which Trump seems to decide, on the spot, to nail down the new slogan and share it with the world.
Trump is the beneficiary of several trust funds set up by his father and paternal grandmother beginning in 1949. 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. 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. Upon Fred Trump's death in 1999, his will divided $20 million after taxes among his surviving children.
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. 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. Trump hired an architect, a construction company, and a Canadian ice-rink manufacturer and completed the work in four months, $775,000 under budget. He operated the rink for a year and gave some of the profits to charity and public works projects in exchange for the rink's concession rights. Trump managed the rink from 1987 to 1995. He received another contract in 2001 which was extended until 2021. According to journalist Joyce Purnick, Trump's "Wollman success was also the stuff of a carefully crafted, self-promotional legend." 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. 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, on the rental skates, and on the rink's website.
If you will allow me. . . Once, while standing with everyone else to sing in church; there was a lady 'singing' in the row, directly behind me. I'm being polite to say that I would have much prefered long nails on a chalk board! It was - what I categorized as - screeching! It was painful! I was, mentally, complaining (I sometimes forget that God can hear that too), griping and grumbling, actually! Then, I hear this voice (no, not an audible voice, but it couldn't have been more distinct, if it had been) saying, "She's not singing to YOU! She's singing to ME, and I think it's beautiful!"
“Part of what he’s doing that makes it feel like a reality show is that he is feeding you something every night,” said Brent Montgomery, chief executive of Wheelhouse Entertainment and the creator of “Pawn Stars,” about the Trump show’s rotating cast and daily plot twists (picking a fight with the N.F.L., praising Kim Jong-un). “You can’t afford to miss one episode or you’re left behind.”
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". Trump said his wealth would make him immune to pressure from campaign donors. He declared that he was funding his own campaign, but according to The Atlantic, "Trump's claims of self-funding have always been dubious at best and actively misleading at worst."
Jump up ^ "Donald J. Trump – Biography". The Trump Organization. Archived from the original on August 28, 2016. Retrieved August 27, 2016. In 2011, after failed attempts by both Senator McCain and Hillary Clinton, Mr. Trump single handedly forced President Obama to release his birth certificate, which was lauded by large segments of the political community.
Trump launched his 2016 presidential campaign with a speech in which he stated: "When Mexico sends its people, they're not sending their best. ... They're bringing drugs, they're bringing crime, they're rapists, and some, I assume, are good people." Later, his attacks on a Mexican-American judge were criticized as racist. His comments following a 2017 far-right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, were seen as implying a moral equivalence between white supremacist marchers and those who protested them. In a January 2018 Oval Office meeting to discuss immigration legislation with Congressional leaders, Trump reportedly referred to El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras, and African countries as "shitholes". His remarks were condemned as racist worldwide, as well as by many members of Congress. Trump has denied accusations of racism multiple times, saying he is the "least racist person".
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.”
The day after his speech in Phoenix, Trump made his first presidential visit to Nevada (a swing state) for an American Legion event in Reno. Unlike during the previous night's rally, Trump did not attack Governor Brian Sandoval and Senator Dean Heller, two Republican politicians in attendance who have stood in opposition to some of the healthcare proposals championed by the president.
Trump favored changing the 2016 Republican platform to affirm women's right to abortion in the three exceptional cases of rape, incest, and circumstances endangering the health of the mother. He has said that he is committed to appointing pro-life justices. He personally supports "traditional marriage" but considers the nationwide legality of same-sex marriage a "settled" issue.
A 2016 analysis of Trump's business career in The Economist concluded that his performance since 1985 had been "mediocre compared with the stock market and property in New York." A subsequent analysis in The Washington Post similarly noted that Trump's estimated net worth of $100 million in 1978 would have increased to $6 billion by 2016 if he had invested it in a typical retirement fund, and concluded that "Trump is a mix of braggadocio, business failures, and real success."
Even Trump’s liberated advisers were causing him problems. The night before Trump rallied in Duluth, Lewandowski appeared on Fox News and responded “womp womp” to a story of a 10-year-old migrant girl with Down syndrome separated from her mother. The comment evoked the casual cruelty of Trump’s immigration policy and promptly went viral. Two sources said Trump was furious that Lewandowski became the story. “He was pissed,” one Republican briefed on his thinking told me. A few days later, Fox News suspended David Bossie after he told an African-American panelist that he was “out of [his] cotton-picking mind” during a segment on Fox & Friends.
This, of course, is the line that Trump crossed in a curiously unnoticed fashion in this election campaign. He did so by initially upping the rhetorical ante, adding that exclamation point (which even Reagan avoided). Yet in the process of being more patriotically correct than thou, he somehow also waded straight into American decline so bluntly that his own audience could hardly miss it (even if his critics did).
Trump signaled his intention to run for a second term by filing with the FEC within hours of assuming the presidency. This transformed his 2016 election committee into a 2020 reelection one. Trump marked the official start of the campaign with a rally in Melbourne, Florida, on February 18, 2017, less than a month after taking office. By January 2018, Trump's reelection committee had $22 million in hand and it had raised a total amount exceeding $50 million towards the 2020 campaign as of July 2018.
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.
As of now, there are no signs of viewer fatigue. Since 2014, prime-time ratings have more than doubled to 1.05 million at CNN and nearly tripled to 1.6 million at MSNBC. Fox News has an average of 2.4 million prime-time viewers, up from 1.7 million four years ago, according to Nielsen, and MSNBC’s “The Rachel Maddow Show” has topped cable ratings with as many as 3.5 million viewers on major news nights.
When his father became chairman of the board in 1971, Trump was promoted to president of the company and renamed it The Trump Organization. In 1973, he and his father drew wider attention when the Justice Department contended in a lawsuit that their company systematically discriminated against African Americans who wished to rent apartments. The Department alleged that the Trump Organization had screened out people based on race and not low income as the Trumps had stated. Under an agreement reached in 1975, the Trumps made no admission of wrongdoing and made the Urban League an intermediary for qualified minority applicants. Trump's attorney at the time was Roy Cohn, who valued both positive and negative publicity, and responded to attacks with forceful counterattacks; Trump later emulated Cohn's style.
Two days before the second presidential debate, a 2005 recording surfaced in which Trump was heard bragging about forcibly kissing and groping women. 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." During the recording, Trump also spoke of his efforts to seduce a married woman, saying he "moved on her very heavily".
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). Trump also issued repeated attacks towards the media, accusing them of being "liars" and "sick people" responsible for creating "division" in the country. He accused activists seeking the removal of Confederate monuments of “trying to take away our history" and hinted at pardoning Joe Arpaio. Trump also made verbal attacks on both of Arizona's US Senators, Jeff Flake and John McCain. Additionally, Trump threatened to shutdown the U.S. Federal Government if he was unable to secure funding to construct a border wall, mentioned tensions with North Korea, accused Democrats of being "obstructionists", described his own restraint as being "very presidential", and declared that "at some point” the United States would "end up probably terminating the North American Free Trade Agreement.