“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.”


Perhaps, Trump believes, America was great during the World War I era. In the early 20th century, women died from childbirth in huge numbers. Children, too, perished at astounding rates. Married women typically couldn't open their own bank accounts or have independent access to their money. Birth control — even talking about the benefits of birth control — was largely illegal. Jim Crow laws were in full effect, with the Supreme Court holding a few years earlier that keeping the races "separate but equal" was just fine and dandy (although of course in reality, separate meant vastly unequal). The Ku Klux Klan continued to gain in popularity. For years, Congress wasn't even able to outlaw lynching: Southern Democrats, then the party that represented conservatives whites in the South, repeatedly defeated anti-lynching bills. 
Some TV executives say the only way for the Trump show to get canceled is for ratings to fall off — forcing the president to fade into obscurity or an awkward fox trot in a “Dancing With the Stars” spray tan. But TV history shows that the most successful series — “American Idol,” “Lost,” “The West Wing” and, yes, “The Apprentice” — don’t see sharp declines in viewership or talk of cancellation until around Season 6.
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.

Another sign that the economy is weaker than it first appears is the so-called yield curve, which measures the difference between interest rates on short-term U.S. government bonds and long-term government bonds. In a good economy, the rate for long-term bonds is significantly higher than short-term bonds, but recently long-term bonds have been slow to rise while short-term interest rates have been rising due to Federal Reserve policies. The yield curve has been an accurate predictor of past recessions, and it's now close to what it was shortly before the Great Recession.
Not everyone is on board with this program. With eyes on 2020, Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner are pushing Trump to adopt more moderate positions. Kushner aggressively lobbied his father-in-law to embrace prison reform, organizing a White House visit with Kim Kardashian West and consulting with CNN host Van Jones. Jones told me Trump liked the positive media coverage that followed his commuting the sentence in early June of low-level drug offender Alice Marie Johnson at the urging of Kardashian and Kushner. “Trump was pleasantly surprised,” Jones said. According to a former White House official, Kushner and Ivanka have also been polling more inclusive language on transgender rights. “The 2020 campaign is about the rehabilitation of Jared and Ivanka,” the source said. In late June, one outside Trump adviser explained to Kushner that the population of white voters shrinks by one million every year. Kushner expressed alarm at the speed of the changing demographics, a source familiar with his thinking told me. (A Trump official denied that Jared and Ivanka are playing any role in polling, campaign activities, or decision making.)
There are other economic trends that are cause for concern. The most obvious one is debt. And as my colleague Jeff Spross pointed out last month, corporate debt may be a ticking time bomb. It's already at a record high and the portion of it that's considered high risk is larger today than it was even before the financial crisis. Consumer debt has also returned to historic levels and is set to reach $4 trillion by the end of 2018.
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]
On June 28, the president hosted a fundraiser at his company's hotel in Washington, D.C. benefitting the Trump Victory Committee, a joint fundraising committee that raises funds for both his reelection campaign and the RNC.[127][128][129][130][131][132] The fundraiser was the first event that Trump hosted for the Trump Victory Committee since becoming president,[127] as well as the first presidential campaign fundraiser.[129] The event was co-organized by RNC chairwoman Ronna Romney McDaniel and RNC National Finance Chairman Steve Wynn.[128][132] The fundraiser was attended by about 300 guests and was reportedly expected to gross $10 million.[133][134][135][136] Trump was joined at the event by First Lady Melania Trump and top White House advisors.[137] Among those reported to have been in attendance at the fundraiser were Mica Mosbacher, Dean Heller and Katrina Pierson.[137][138] Additionally, Harold Hamm and a number of high-profile figures were spotted in the hotel's lobby during the event.[136] Press were barred from the event, a break of precedent since reporters were permitted to the first fundraisers held by both of Trump's two predecessors.[139] Additionally Trump's decision to host the event at a venue from which he personally profits garnered criticism.[129][133][140][141][142]
Joe Biden, a son of Scranton, Pa., appeals to the same working-class white voters who flocked to Mr. Trump in 2016. Some progressives no doubt look upon him fondly from his days as Barack Obama’s vice president. But Mr. Biden’s three-decades-long centrist Senate record, from his handling of Clarence Thomas’s confirmation hearing in 1991 to his vote for the 2005 bankruptcy bill, might make him a tough sell to today’s Democratic primary voters, not to mention the fact that he still has those centrist tendencies (he recently came out against a universal basic income). And he’ll turn 78 in November 2020.
Donald Trump, in other words, is the first person to run openly and without apology on a platform of American decline. Think about that for a moment. “Make America Great Again!” is indeed an admission in the form of a boast. As he tells his audiences repeatedly, America, the formerly great, is today a punching bag for China, Mexico… well, you know the pitch. You don’t have to agree with him on the specifics. What’s interesting is the overall vision of a country lacking in its former greatness.
On March 14, 2017, the first two pages of Trump's 2005 federal income tax returns were leaked to Rachel Maddow and shown on MSNBC. The document states that Trump had a gross adjusted income of $150 million and paid $38 million in federal taxes. The White House confirmed the authenticity of these documents and stated: "Despite this substantial income figure and tax paid, it is totally illegal to steal and publish tax returns."[454][455]
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]
I have wobbled back and forth on the idea of supporting President Trump in 2020. I opposed him in 2016 and voted third party. The candidate I supported, Evan McMullin, has, like so many others, abandoned all his values as his hatred of Trump poisons his conscience. I dare say the worst mistake in my life was not climbing a mountain only to remember I was scared of heights or playing with a scalpel that nearly cut off my finger as a kid. It was voting for McMullin.

Donald J Trump for President, the president’s campaign committee, has raised over $60 million since January 2017. His two joint committees, Trump Make America Great Again Committee and Trump Victory, collectively raised over $80 million. The funds from these joint fundraising committees overlap with the campaign committee, and raise money for both Trump and the Republican National Committee.
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.
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]
The volume of the orders (90,000 banners between March and July, at just one factory) is not inconsistent with the activities of a major U.S. presidential election campaign, and it is therefore reasonable to question the identity of the customer(s) behind such orders. However, we’ve so far found no concrete evidence documenting who is responsible for these orders: merchandisers, the Trump campaign itself, Republican partisans, foreign entities, or some combination thereof.
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.
Not everyone is on board with this program. With eyes on 2020, Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner are pushing Trump to adopt more moderate positions. Kushner aggressively lobbied his father-in-law to embrace prison reform, organizing a White House visit with Kim Kardashian West and consulting with CNN host Van Jones. Jones told me Trump liked the positive media coverage that followed his commuting the sentence in early June of low-level drug offender Alice Marie Johnson at the urging of Kardashian and Kushner. “Trump was pleasantly surprised,” Jones said. According to a former White House official, Kushner and Ivanka have also been polling more inclusive language on transgender rights. “The 2020 campaign is about the rehabilitation of Jared and Ivanka,” the source said. In late June, one outside Trump adviser explained to Kushner that the population of white voters shrinks by one million every year. Kushner expressed alarm at the speed of the changing demographics, a source familiar with his thinking told me. (A Trump official denied that Jared and Ivanka are playing any role in polling, campaign activities, or decision making.)
While in college from 1964 to 1968, Trump obtained four student deferments from serving in the military.[13][14] In 1966, he was deemed fit for service based upon a medical examination and in July 1968, after graduating from college, was briefly classified as eligible to serve by a local draft board. In October 1968, he was given a medical deferment which he later attributed to spurs in both heels, and classified as 1-Y, "unqualified for duty except in the case of a national emergency."[15] In the December 1969 draft lottery, Trump's birthday, June 14, received a high number which would have given him a low probability to be called to military service even without the 1-Y.[15][16][17] In 1972, he was reclassified as 4-F, disqualifying him for service.[16][18]
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]
After the White House this summer claimed that Sen. Kamala Harris is “supporting the animals of MS-13,” the California Democrat — widely considered a potential 2020 contender — very quickly fired back, tweeting that she actually had fought gangs and transnational criminal organizations as a prosecutor before her election to the Senate. “That's being a leader on public safety. What is not, is ripping babies from their mothers,” Harris said, using a second tweet to enlist supporters.
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.

His political positions have been described as populist,[398][399][400] and some of his views cross party lines. For example, his economic campaign plan calls for large reductions in income taxes and deregulation,[401] consistent with Republican Party policies, along with significant infrastructure investment,[402] usually considered a Democratic Party policy.[403][404] According to political writer Jack Shafer, Trump may be a "fairly conventional American populist when it comes to his policy views", but he attracts free media attention, sometimes by making outrageous comments.[405][406]
On November 8, 2016, Trump received 306 pledged electoral votes versus 232 for Clinton. The official counts were 304 and 227 respectively, after defections on both sides.[473] Trump received a smaller share of the popular vote than Clinton, which made him the fifth person to be elected president while losing the popular vote.[474][nb 3] Clinton was ahead nationwide by 2.1 percentage points, with 65,853,514 votes (48.18%) to 62,984,828 votes (46.09%); neither candidate reached a majority.[477]

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]

^ Jump up to: a b Yoder, Eric (February 16, 2017). "Hiring freeze could add to government's risk, GAO chief warns". The Washington Post. 'We've looked at hiring freezes in the past by prior administrations and they haven't proven to be effective in reducing costs and they cause some problems if they're in effect for a long period of time,' Comptroller General Gene Dodaro told a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing.


“The Most Important Election of Our Lives.” That's my new column, and you hear it every time, but this year really is the most important contest in decades (or at least since 2016). Truth and accountability are on the ballot, and since that's the driving force for all of us at MoJo, I am going to make an ask: Will you pitch in $5 a month to support our kick-ass and uncompromising journalism today?

In 1995, Trump founded Trump Hotels & Casino Resorts (THCR), which assumed ownership of Trump Plaza, Trump Castle, and the Trump Casino in Gary, Indiana.[167] THCR purchased Taj Mahal in 1996 and underwent bankruptcy restructuring in 2004 and 2009, leaving Trump with 10 percent ownership in the Trump Taj Mahal and other Trump casino properties.[168] Trump remained chairman of THCR until 2009.[169]
Trump and Putin met in a 2018 Russia–United States summit in Helsinki on July 16, 2018. Trump drew harsh bipartisan criticism in the United States for appearing to side with Putin's denial of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, rather than accepting the findings of the United States intelligence community.[675][676] His comments were strongly criticized by many congressional Republicans and most media commentators, even those who normally support him.[677][678]
On October 25, the president traveled to Texas for a fundraiser hosted by the Dallas County Republican Party for both the RNC and his reelection campaign.[218][217][220] The event was closed to the media. Mark Knoller noted, "By my count, this will be Pres Trump's 10th political fundraiser since taking office. 9 of 10 were closed to press coverage including today."[221]
On 27 July, Vermont senator and 2016 presidential candidate Bernie Sanders was more direct and explicit in accusing both the president himself and his campaign of having ordered the Chinese-made banners and flags. In a Facebook post, Sanders described the items as “flags for President Trump’s campaign” and accused the president of ‘opting for’ cheap foreign labor:
The 1950s are often held up as a beacon of conservative American morality; perhaps that is when America was great. When was teen pregnancy at its highest rate since researchers began recording teen pregnancy rates? The 1950s. The difference was that most women (or girls, as the case was) married before the baby was born, often locking themselves into less-than-ideal relationships. Girls who got pregnant and didn't marry were social outcasts, forced to quit school and often shunted off to private homes where they would give birth only to be forced or coerced into adoption. Young white women were expected to marry young and serve their husbands instead of finishing college or pursuing their own ambitions; women of color and working-class women routinely worked outside of the home for depressed wages and little respect, and were often vulnerable to sexual harassment and assault, for which there was little practical recourse. Gay men and lesbians largely lived firmly in the closet; those who stepped out could face public humiliation, loss of their jobs, involuntary psychiatric hospitalization, and near-total ostracism. Jim Crow laws didn't meet their end until the mid-1960s, and so while Trump may be enjoying Leave It to Beaver reruns, the black-and-white reality for much of the country was considerably uglier.
At a time when the big-tent TV show seems all but dead and niche shows proliferate (“Marvelous Mrs. Mais-who?” groaned many Emmy viewers), Mr. Trump has created an unscripted drama that has unified living rooms everywhere. Whether you’re rooting for the antihero or cheering for his demise, chances are Trump TV has you under steady — some would say unhealthy — hypnosis.

Or what about Oprah Winfrey? She’s dipped her toe into politics before, backing Mr. Obama during the 2008 Democratic primaries. And after the conservative columnist John Podhoretz recently called her the Democrats’ best hope in 2020 (“If you need to set a thief to catch a thief, you need a star — a grand, outsized, fearless star whom Trump can neither intimidate nor outshine — to catch a star”), Ms. Winfrey seemed open to the idea. She tweeted the article with the message to Mr. Podhoretz: “Thanks for your vote of confidence!”
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]
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
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.
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.”
Some experts have also expressed concerns about his cognitive health, as described in a lengthy investigation by Stat, a respected health and science site, earlier this year. Under the 25th Amendment, the vice president and a majority of the Cabinet can act to remove an incapacitated president. Given the current cast, this isn't going to happen, especially since Trump would contest it.
The possibility that Trump won’t run in 2020 has motivated Republicans serving in his administration to position themselves in ways that would be unthinkable in a normal White House. U.N. ambassador Nikki Haley, who is widely considered to have presidential aspirations, has staked out the Establishment lane. She’s courted Wall Street donors at private dinners in Manhattan and has socialized with former Paul Ryan adviser Dan Senor and his wife, Campbell Brown. Haley rarely mentions Trump in her public speeches. According to a Republican close to Trump, Trump has been annoyed with this omission. “He’s gotten feedback she never mentions his name at events,” the Republican close to the White House said. “Nikki is ambitious. She’s going to run. It’s just a question of when,” a former West Wing official said. “Her staff is very careful when they speak to other people. They always say 2024; one of Haley’s people told me 2024 is code for 2020.” (A Haley spokesperson said, “Ambassador Haley is not running for any office in 2020.”)
The concept of a permanent campaign also describes the focus which recent presidents have given to electoral concerns during their tenures in office, with the distinction between the time they have spent governing and the time they have spent campaigning having become blurred.[38] Political observers consider the rise in presidential fundraising as a symptom of the permanent campaign.[38]
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