While Trump is sui generis, history offers guidance on the folly of predicting distant elections. At this moment in 1989, George H.W. Bush, having kept his promise not to raise taxes and with communism collapsing, seemed invincible. Three years later, he was defeated. In 2009, Barack Obama was in trouble, with unemployment soaring to 10 percent, up sharply from what it was two years earlier, and with his major health-care initiative seemingly stalled in the Senate. Three years later he was re-elected.
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.
Colbert chimed in to explain why he didn't want Trump to pull himself out of the race, saying: "I think it's important that the voters of America have an opportunity to say 'Oops, my bad. We've made a mistake there.' ...If Donald Trump doesn't run he takes away that corrective action of history and therefore his presidency is whole and unjudged if he just doesn't run again." 
“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.’ ”
Trump is the beneficiary of several trust funds set up by his father and paternal grandmother beginning in 1949.[82] 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.[82] 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.[83][82] Upon Fred Trump's death in 1999, his will divided $20 million after taxes among his surviving children.[82][84][85]
The Trump administration has been characterized by high turnover, particularly among White House staff. By the end of Trump's first year in office, 34 percent of his original staff had resigned, been fired, or been reassigned.[679] As of early July 2018, 61 percent of Trump's senior aides had left[680] and 141 staffers had left in the past year.[681] Both figures set a record for recent presidents—more change in the first 13 months than his four immediate predecessors saw in their first two years.[682] Notable early departures included National Security Advisor Mike Flynn (after just 25 days in office), Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, replaced by retired Marine General John F. Kelly on July 28, 2017,[683] and Press Secretary Sean Spicer.[682] Close personal aides to Trump such as Steve Bannon, Hope Hicks, John McEntee and Keith Schiller, have quit or been forced out.[684]
In 1977, Trump married Czech model Ivana Zelníčková at the Marble Collegiate Church in Manhattan, in a ceremony performed by the Reverend Norman Vincent Peale.[39][40] They had three children: Donald Jr. (born 1977), Ivanka (born 1981), and Eric (born 1984). Ivana became a naturalized United States citizen in 1988.[41] The couple divorced in 1992, following Trump's affair with actress Marla Maples.[42]

Trump held his eighth campaign rally on August 22 at the Phoenix Convention Center in Phoenix, Arizona.[170][171] The rally was the campaign's first event in the Western United States.[172] Before attending the rally, Trump toured a U.S. Customs and Border Protection facility.[173] In addition to the president, Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson also spoke at the rally,[173] with Carson's appearance being criticized as possibly in violation of the Hatch Act of 1939 due to his status as current HUD secretary.[28][174][175] Phoenix's Mayor Greg Stanton had repeatedly asked that Trump postpone the event after the protests in Charlottesville.[176]
Trump considers himself the main attraction in the coming presidential contest — he has often talked about his 2016 campaign as a TV ratings smash — and believes he can wield the same verbal weapons he used to demolish rivals like Rubio and Bush against his would-be Democratic challengers, according to a half-dozen White House aides and outside advisers familiar with his thinking.
But the biggest liability for Trump is himself, as evidenced by his disastrous Putin press conference. “For Trump’s outside supporters, we are highly concerned the president is continually incapable of discerning between meddling and collusion,” Sam Nunberg said. “Every time he does something like that he makes our lives harder. It’s time he gets the fuck over [the election].” Even if he survives the Mueller probe and holds on to Congress, there’s the Michael Cohen time bomb. “Michael Cohen and the Trump Org? I don’t know,” Bannon said with concern when I brought it up. “That’s not my deal.” It will be difficult to rekindle the magic that propelled Trump to victory last time.

But some say the name-calling could turn into a plus for Democrats trying to break out in a crowded field. Jesse Ferguson, a Democratic consultant not working for any of the would-be candidates, referred to it as Trump’s “Darth Vader problem,” which leaves some he tries to strike down, including former White House aide and “Apprentice” star Omarosa Manigault Newman, “more powerful than they can imagine.”

Trump considers himself the main attraction in the coming presidential contest — he has often talked about his 2016 campaign as a TV ratings smash — and believes he can wield the same verbal weapons he used to demolish rivals like Rubio and Bush against his would-be Democratic challengers, according to a half-dozen White House aides and outside advisers familiar with his thinking.
Trump's racially insensitive statements[285] have been condemned by many observers in the U.S. and around the world,[308][309] but accepted by his supporters either as a rejection of political correctness[310][311] or because they harbor similar racial sentiments.[312][313] Several studies and surveys have stated that racist attitudes and racial resentment have fueled Trump's political ascendance, and have become more significant than economic factors in determining party allegiance of voters.[313][314] According to an October 2017 Politico/Morning Consult poll, 45 percent of American voters viewed Trump as racist and 40 percent did not.[315] In a June 2018 Quinnipiac University poll, 49 percent of respondents believed that Trump is racist while 47 percent believed he is not. Additionally, 55 percent said he "has emboldened people who hold racist beliefs to express those beliefs publicly."[316][317]
To get more of a quantitative sense of the phrase’s evolution, I analyzed the Republican Party platform. All party platforms typically emphasize faith in American greatness, but between 1856 and 2008, the GOP never used the expression “American exceptionalism” or even the adjective “exceptional” to describe the country. By contrast, the final section of the 2012 Republican platform lambasting the Obama presidency was titled “American exceptionalism.” The 2016 platform put the phrase into the first line of its preamble: “We believe in American exceptionalism.” The evolution of “American exceptionalism” into an anti-Obama rallying cry with nativist overtones evoked earlier appeals to “states’ rights” to rouse whites resenting the end of segregation.
Trump has been described as a non-interventionist[612][613] and as an American Nationalist.[614] He has repeatedly stated that he supports an "America First" foreign policy.[615] He supports increasing United States military defense spending,[614] but favors decreasing United States spending on NATO and in the Pacific region.[616] He says America should look inward, stop "nation building", and re-orient its resources toward domestic needs.[613]

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.[695][684] EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt resigned in July 2018 amidst multiple investigations into his conduct.[696]
And yet in recent years it has become a commonplace of Republicans and Democrats alike. In other words, as the country has become politically shakier, the rhetoric about its greatness has only escalated in an American version of “the lady doth protest too much.” Such descriptors have become the political equivalent of litmus tests: You couldn’t be president or much of anything else without eternally testifying to your unwavering belief in American greatness.

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.
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]
In January 2018, The Washington Post reported that Mueller wants to interview Trump about the removal of Michael Flynn and James Comey.[733] Trump has expressed a willingness to do the interview; according to The New York Times, some of his lawyers have warned against doing so. Mueller can subpoena Trump to testify if Trump refuses.[734] As of March 2018, Trump is reportedly a "subject" of the investigation, meaning his conduct is being looked at, but not a "target" which would indicate the likelihood of criminal charges.[735]
In February 2015, Trump stated that he was "not ready" to sign on for another season of the show because of the possibility of a presidential run.[247] Despite this, NBC announced they were going ahead with production of a 15th season.[248] In June, after widespread negative reaction stemming from Trump's campaign announcement speech, NBC released a statement saying, "Due to the recent derogatory statements by Donald Trump regarding immigrants, NBCUniversal is ending its business relationship with Mr. Trump."[249]
Mr. Fleiss and other TV producers have watched — equal parts entranced and horrified — as Mr. Trump has taken the gimmicks of reality TV that he picked up on “The Apprentice” and applied them to daily governance. Flip comparisons of Mr. Trump’s White House and his years on “The Apprentice” abound, but behind the “You’re fired!” jokes is a serious case study in mass viewing habits and a president who has made up for his lack of experience in governing with an uncanny grasp of must-see TV.
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]

Trump's racially insensitive statements[285] have been condemned by many observers in the U.S. and around the world,[308][309] but accepted by his supporters either as a rejection of political correctness[310][311] or because they harbor similar racial sentiments.[312][313] Several studies and surveys have stated that racist attitudes and racial resentment have fueled Trump's political ascendance, and have become more significant than economic factors in determining party allegiance of voters.[313][314] According to an October 2017 Politico/Morning Consult poll, 45 percent of American voters viewed Trump as racist and 40 percent did not.[315] In a June 2018 Quinnipiac University poll, 49 percent of respondents believed that Trump is racist while 47 percent believed he is not. Additionally, 55 percent said he "has emboldened people who hold racist beliefs to express those beliefs publicly."[316][317]

Trump has a history of making racially controversial remarks and taking actions that are perceived as racially motivated.[284] In 1975, he settled a 1973 Department of Justice lawsuit that alleged housing discrimination against black renters.[106][285][286] He was accused of racism for insisting that a group of black and Latino teenagers were guilty of raping a white woman in the 1989 Central Park jogger attack, even after they were exonerated by DNA evidence in 2002. He continued to maintain this position as late as 2016.[287]
When Mike Fleiss, the creator of “The Bachelor” and “Who Wants to Marry a Multimillionaire?” helped pioneer reality television in the early 2000s, he quickly realized that for any show to work, the audience needed to feel invested. “Whenever you’re developing one of these shows, you have to find stakes — true love or a million dollars,” Mr. Fleiss said.
"We are losing our influence because this is the type of man who calls a woman a 'horseface.' By the way, a woman he chose to have sex with. I don't know where that begins and ends and I wouldn't want to pick that apart," Brzezinski said on Morning Joe Tuesday. "If you look at how he is speaking on the international stage about the murder of a Washington Post reporter [Jamal Khashoggi], that itself should be deeply disturbing to anybody who works inside the White House...At some point, you are working for a president who is not fit to lead, who is going to do something crazy in five minutes, one hour, tonight or tomorrow. What more do you need to hear from him to start thinking 25th Amendment or something else?"
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]

In September 1983, Trump purchased the New Jersey Generals—an American football team that played in the United States Football League (USFL). After the 1985 season, the league folded largely due to Trump's strategy of moving games to a fall schedule where they competed with the NFL for audience, and trying to force a merger with the NFL by bringing an antitrust lawsuit against the organization.[193][194]
In January 2017, American intelligence agencies—the CIA, the FBI, and the NSA, represented by the Director of National Intelligence—jointly stated with "high confidence" that the Russian government interfered in the 2016 presidential election to favor the election of Trump.[697][698] In March 2017, FBI Director James Comey told Congress that "the FBI, as part of our counterintelligence mission, is investigating the Russian government's efforts to interfere in the 2016 presidential election. That includes investigating the nature of any links between individuals associated with the Trump campaign and the Russian government, and whether there was any coordination between the campaign and Russia's efforts."[699] Later, in testimony to the Senate Intelligence Committee on June 8, he affirmed he has "no doubt" that Russia interfered in the 2016 election, adding "they did it with purpose and sophistication".[700]

Did you ever wonder why Donald Trump’s “Make America Great Again” slogan took such root among the Republican base? Did it symbolize a return to an age when wages were higher and jobs more secure? Or was it coded racial language designed to signal a rollback to a time when people of color (and women) knew their place? In the soul-searching and recrimination among Democrats after Hillary Clinton’s defeat, both theories have their champions.
Some news reports contained ambiguous phrasing which created the impression (without explicitly stating such) that the Trump campaign had ordered the production of Chinese-made campaign flags. For example, the New York Post described materials being manufactured in Chinese factories as “Trump’s re-election banners,” while USA Today called them “Trump’s 2020 banners.”
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.
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.
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