Progressives believe Trump is an authoritarian tyranny barely constrained by the rule of law. With a straight face, these same progressives argue the accusations against Kavanaugh are proof of his guilt, he should not be presumed innocent, a lack of witnesses is confirmation he did what they claim, all women must be believed except the ones who defend Kavanaugh, and any dissent is just white male privilege. Progressives may claim President Trump is Caesar at the edge of the Rubicon, but they have embraced the bastard love child of Joseph Stalin and Franz Kafka and enlisted the American political press to smear, defame, and attack anyone who stands in their way.
U.S. troop numbers in Afghanistan increased from 8,500 to 14,000, as of January 2017. reversing Trump's pre-election position critical of further involvement in Afghanistan. U.S. officials said then that they aimed to "force the Taliban to negotiate a political settlement"; in January 2018, however, Trump spoke against talks with the Taliban.
Trump did not release his tax returns during his presidential campaign or afterward, contrary to usual practice by every candidate since Gerald Ford in 1976 and to his promise in 2014 to do so if he ran for office. Trump's refusal led to speculation that he was hiding something. He said that his tax returns were being audited, and his lawyers had advised him against releasing them. Trump has told the press that his tax rate was none of their business, and that he tries to pay "as little tax as possible".
The dustup strained relations between Trump and Pence advisers. “Nick really fucked up,” a Republican close to the White House told me. “He got way out over his skis,” said a former West Wing official. Seeking to mend fences, Pence invited Corey Lewandowski to join his PAC, knowing that Trump sees Lewandowski as supremely loyal. “Corey was sent there to keep eyes on Pence,” the former official said. “Pence is politically adept. But at the end of the day, he’s still not good at faking sincerity,” former Trump aide Sam Nunberg said. “Trump’s not an idiot. He knows it.”
Vice President Mike Pence attended Joni Ernst's 3rd Annual Roast and Ride fundraiser, held on June 3 at the Central Iowa Expo near Boone, Iowa. The previous editions of this event have included presidential campaign appearances. Trump himself had previously attended Ernst's fundraiser in 2016 while campaigning in Iowa, and seven Republican presidential contenders attended the event in 2015.
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. 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. A Trump spokesman called the Attorney General's investigation a "partisan hit job". 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." 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, and in June 2018 they filed a civil suit against the foundation for $2.8 million in restitution and additional penalties. The suit names Trump himself as well as his adult children Donald Jr., Eric, and Ivanka.
Bannon was also pleased that his group had Trump’s ear. A rivalry had developed between Trump’s outside advisers and the White House political shop, and Bannon’s group was winning. “The war room should be done by the White House, but there’s no one there competent enough or hardworking enough to do it,” he told me. “You got the ‘hardcores’ on the outside who understand Trump’s message, understand Trump, understand the base and what got him here and what takes him to the next level.” In June, Trump ignored the advice of Stepien and DeStefano and gleefully plunged into G.O.P. primaries. Trump even tweeted that he was defying their counsel. “My political representatives didn’t want me to get involved in the Mark Sanford primary, thinking that Sanford would easily win,” he wrote on June 13. “Sanford was so bad, I had to give it a shot.” In late June, according to a source, Trump flew to South Carolina against Stepien and DeStefano’s wishes to campaign for South Carolina governor Henry McMaster, who was fending off a tough primary challenge. McMaster won.
^ Jump up to: a b Flitter, Emily; Oliphant, James (August 28, 2015). "Best president ever! How Trump's love of hyperbole could backfire". Reuters. Trump's penchant for exaggeration could backfire – he risks promising voters more than he can deliver ... Optimistic exaggeration ... is a hallmark of the cutthroat New York real estate world where many developers, accustomed to ramming their way into deals, puff up their portfolios. 'A little hyperbole never hurts,' he wrote ... For Trump, exaggerating has always been a frequent impulse, especially when the value of his Trump brand is disputed.
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.