On January 10, 2017, Politico reported that Trump would be keeping his campaign offices in Trump Tower open in order to lay the groundwork for a re-election campaign.[17] By that time his campaign offices at Trump Tower already included a staff of about ten people led by Republican strategist Michael Glassner.[17][1] Glassner's deputy is John Pence, nephew of Vice President Mike Pence.[1] The campaign staff was focused on data-building and fundraising for a 2020 reelection campaign.[17][45]
Trump entered the 2016 presidential race as a Republican and defeated sixteen opponents in the primaries. Commentators described his political positions as populist, protectionist, and nationalist. His campaign received extensive free media coverage; many of his public statements were controversial or false. Trump was elected president in a surprise victory over Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton. He became the oldest and wealthiest person ever to assume the presidency, the first without prior military or government service, and the fifth to have won the election while losing the popular vote. His election and policies have sparked numerous protests. Many of his comments and actions have been perceived as racially charged or racist.
Following Trump's controversial statements about illegal Mexican immigrants during his 2015 presidential campaign kickoff speech, NBC ended its business relationship with him, stating that it would no longer air the Miss Universe or Miss USA pageants on its networks.[204] In September 2015, Trump bought NBC's share of the Miss Universe Organization and then sold the entire company to the WME/IMG talent agency.[205]
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.
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 was born and raised in the New York City borough of Queens. He received an economics degree from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and was appointed president of his family's real estate business in 1971, renamed it The Trump Organization, and expanded it from Queens and Brooklyn into Manhattan. The company built or renovated skyscrapers, hotels, casinos, and golf courses. Trump later started various side ventures, including licensing his name for real estate and consumer products. He managed the company until his 2017 inauguration. He co-authored several books, including The Art of the Deal. He owned the Miss Universe and Miss USA beauty pageants from 1996 to 2015, and he produced and hosted the reality television show The Apprentice from 2003 to 2015. Forbes estimates his net worth to be $3.1 billion.
Terry McAuliffe, who’ll finish his term as Virginia governor early next year, is an unapologetic friend and backer of both Clintons. He’s a famously fabulous fund-raiser and he has put together a solidly (and surprisingly) progressive record in the commonwealth — tightening gun control laws and reinstituting voting rights for more than 150,000 felons. His national stature grew during the Charlottesville protests, when he provided the sort of moral leadership so sorely lacking from the White House. “Governor Macker,” as he’s known, was once considered a punch line, so laugh at the notion of a President Macker at your own risk.
On Super Tuesday, Trump won the plurality of the vote, and he remained the front-runner throughout the remainder of the primaries. By March 2016, Trump became poised to win the Republican nomination.[381] After a landslide win in Indiana on May 3, 2016—which prompted the remaining candidates Cruz and John Kasich to suspend their presidential campaigns—RNC Chairman Reince Priebus declared Trump the presumptive Republican nominee.[382]
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.
I have long been critical of Republicans who abandoned principles to stand with Trump and I am as critical of Republicans who abandon principles to oppose Trump. Principle should stay because people go. The Kavanaugh nomination has been clarifying in this regard. Seeing some conservatives willing to aid and abet character assassins because Trump nominated Kavanaugh is disgusting.
By the time Donald Trump stepped onstage during Lee Greenwood’s rendition of “God Bless the U.S.A.” at the Make America Great Again rally in Duluth, Minnesota, on the evening of June 20, he was confronting the first crisis of his re-election campaign. Wrenching reports of federal agents ripping infants from their parents’ arms—the result of Trump’s “zero tolerance” immigration crackdown at the southern border—had been playing in a constant loop on cable news. Chaos had engulfed the West Wing, too, as officials offered shifting and conflicting explanations for the policy: Trump blamed Democrats; Attorney General Jeff Sessions called it a “deterrent”; Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said it wasn’t. Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders refused to appear on-camera to defend the separations, according to two sources close to her. Melania Trump issued a rare statement critiquing her husband’s policy without first clearing it with White House officials, a source said; she even asked her press secretary to call a Trump surrogate and thank him after he derided the policy on CNN.
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]
Trump has been the subject of comedians, flash cartoon artists, and online caricature artists. He has been parodied regularly on Saturday Night Live by Phil Hartman, Darrell Hammond, and Alec Baldwin, and in South Park as Mr. Garrison. The Simpsons episode "Bart to the Future", written during his 2000 campaign for the Reform party, anticipated a future Trump presidency. A dedicated parody series called The President Show debuted in April 2017 on Comedy Central, while another one called Our Cartoon President debuted on Showtime in February 2018.[333]
George W. Bush attempted to put Harriet Miers on the Supreme Court and pushed comprehensive immigration reform, “No Child Left Behind,” the General Motors Bailout, etc. I opposed all those, but never doubted President Bush’s integrity, character, or faith. Frankly, Trump does not have the character or strong Christian faith I prefer in a President. But he is positively angelic compared to his political opponents and the press. Between Trump and his opposition, I would rather vote for him, despite his flaws, than his opponents who want a flawless progressive utopia. Trump is neither an ambassador for my values nor the articulate champion of my principles I would prefer. But he is a safe harbor in a progressive storm that seeks to both destroy my values and upend our constitutional republic.

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]
The United States remains a vastly unequal country, with significant gaps between what men and women earn (gaps that grow wider for women of color); with revolting numbers of black men imprisoned, often for nonviolent crimes and often locked away in for-profit prisons where their incarceration monetarily benefits wealthy shareholders; with wholly inadequate or totally nonexistent social services that are the norm among our economic peer countries: paid parental leave, housing for the poor, affordable high-quality health care. The gulf between the richest and the poorest people in this country is getting larger.

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]
A national organization had originally been planning to hold "We Support Trump" rallies across the nation on September 9, however subsequently reneged on those plans.[214] However, an independent rally in support of Trump was subsequently announced to be held on that date in Georgetown, Delaware, in a county where Trump got a majority of the vote in 2016.[214] The Georgetown rally was sponsored by the Sussex County Republican Committee and attended by 100 people.[215][216]

O'Halleran faces a tight race in Arizona's 1st Congressional District against Republican Wendy Rogers, who was not included at the Mesa rally. Trump won that district by 1 percentage point in 2016 and O'Halleran has supported Trump 54 percent of the time where the administration's legislative preference is known, according to figures tracked by the website FiveThirtyEight.
U.S. troop numbers in Afghanistan increased from 8,500 to 14,000, as of January 2017.[633] reversing Trump's pre-election position critical of further involvement in Afghanistan.[634] 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.[635]
I find myself in an odd position where, for the first time, I see myself, one of the original so-called “Never Trump conservatives,” voting for President Trump in 2020. I have inevitably concluded at times that Trump would do something to push me away from him. He has not disappointed on that front from tariffs to character issues. But now I do not see how anyone else can offer a more compelling alternative to the President. Each time the President does something I do not like, his opponents play a game of “hold my beer.”
The 2016 Republican presidential candidates and their surrogates sang the same tune. When Fox News pundit Sean Hannity asked Jeb Bush for his thoughts on exceptionalism, Bush replied, “I do believe in American exceptionalism,” unlike Obama, who “is disrespecting our history and the extraordinary nature of our country.” Rudy Giuliani was more explicit. “I do not believe that the president loves America,” he asserted, suggesting Obama did not think “we’re the most exceptional country in the world.” During a speech a month later in Selma, Alabama, the president pointed out that the ongoing fight for civil rights is a cornerstone of what makes America exceptional.
The Center for Public Integrity published an analysis of 2017 first-quarter federal campaign spending records which revealed that two Super PACs supporting Trump, Great America PAC and Committee to Defend the President, had spent a combined $1.32 million on the 2020 election campaign.[2] Ted Harvey serves as the chairman of the Committee to Defend the President. Eric L. Beach and Ed Rollins serve as co-chairmen of Great America PAC.[2] Both PACs have previously been accused by the FEC of poorly maintaining financial records, and had been threatened with penalties.[2] The Center for Public Integrity also found that several other pro-Trump PACs had already been founded in 2017, but most of them had yet to be very active. One such PAC was America First Action, which was founded by the CEO of a political consulting firm for which Trump's 2020 campaign treasurer is the senior vice president.[2]
Trump's proposed immigration policies were a topic of bitter and contentious debate during the campaign. He promised to build a more substantial wall on the Mexico–United States border to keep out illegal immigrants and vowed that Mexico would pay for it.[569] He pledged to massively deport illegal immigrants residing in the United States,[570] and criticized birthright citizenship for creating "anchor babies".[571] He said that deportation would focus on criminals, visa overstays, and security threats.[572]
In late January 2017 several members of Trump's 2016 campaign staff formed America First Policies, a pro-Trump political nonprofit. Those involved included former deputy campaign chairs Rick Gates and David Bossie. Brad Parscale[258] and Katrina Pierson were also involved. Additionally involved were Nick Ayers and Marty Obst, both of whom served as advisors to Mike Pence during the 2016 campaign.[259] Trump's former White House Deputy Chief of Staff Katie Walsh has also joined the organization.[101] Near the end of May, members of the organization (including Walsh) participated in meetings at the RNC's D.C. offices with members Trump's family to discuss campaign strategy.[101][102][103]

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.
Maybe Trump is talking about the period just after the Civil War, when the country was officially reunited after a painful Southern secession. Still, in 1873, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that states could bar women from certain jobs, holding that Illinois didn't have to grant a married woman a license to practice law. "[C]ivil law, as well as nature herself, has always recognized a wide difference in the respective spheres and destinies of man and woman," wrote Supreme Court Justice Joseph P. Bradley in his concurrence. "Man is, or should be, woman's protector and defender. The natural and proper timidity and delicacy which belongs to the female sex evidently unfits it for many of the occupations of civil life." African-Americans were freed from slavery, but disease, neglect, and poverty meant that hundreds of thousands died in the immediate aftermath of emancipation. Those who survived saw their opportunities quickly narrow, as conservative, mostly Southern states passed a series of laws restricting the rights of black citizens. Black men could vote, but not black women; even for many black men, the promise of a vote was a mirage, as states set up nearly impossible-to-surmount barriers to African-American voting. Those barriers were wildly successful, and by the turn of the century, virtually no Southern blacks were able to cast a ballot and participate in the political process. The Ku Klux Klan was a powerful social and political force, effectively restoring white supremacy; African-Americans were terrorized, assaulted, lynched, and murdered, the murderers and assailants rarely prosecuted.
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]
When he filed mandatory financial disclosure forms with the Federal Elections Commission (FEC) in July 2015, Trump claimed a net worth of about $10 billion;[99] however FEC figures cannot corroborate this estimate because they only show each of his largest buildings as being worth "over $50 million", yielding total assets worth more than $1.4 billion and debt over $265 million.[100] Trump reported a yearly income of $362 million for 2014[99] and $611 million from January 2015 to May 2016.[101]
Trump has been slow to appoint second-tier officials in the executive branch, saying that many of the positions are unnecessary. As of October 2017, there were hundreds of sub-cabinet positions vacant.[685] At the end of his first year in office, CBS News reported that "of the roughly 600 key executive branch positions, just 241 have been filled, 135 nominated candidates await confirmation while 244 slots have no nominee at all."[686][needs update]
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.
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.
The Center for Public Integrity published an analysis of 2017 first-quarter federal campaign spending records which revealed that two Super PACs supporting Trump, Great America PAC and Committee to Defend the President, had spent a combined $1.32 million on the 2020 election campaign.[2] Ted Harvey serves as the chairman of the Committee to Defend the President. Eric L. Beach and Ed Rollins serve as co-chairmen of Great America PAC.[2] Both PACs have previously been accused by the FEC of poorly maintaining financial records, and had been threatened with penalties.[2] The Center for Public Integrity also found that several other pro-Trump PACs had already been founded in 2017, but most of them had yet to be very active. One such PAC was America First Action, which was founded by the CEO of a political consulting firm for which Trump's 2020 campaign treasurer is the senior vice president.[2]
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.
Jump up ^ Dunlap, David (July 30, 2015). "1973: Meet Donald Trump". The New York Times. Trump Management ... was also to allow the league to present qualified applicants for every fifth vacancy ... Trump himself said he was satisfied that the agreement did not 'compel the Trump Organization to accept persons on welfare as tenants unless as qualified as any other tenant.'
Despite these trips, by the end of June Trump still lagged severely behind the number of states that his immediate two predecessors had visited during the first six months of their presidencies.[113] Both Obama and George W. Bush visited every time zone in the continental United States,[113] but Trump had visited only the Eastern and Central time zones.[113] Obama and Bush took both overnight and multiple-day trips throughout the country.[113] In contrast, Trump's domestic travels had largely been limited to a two-hour flight radius of Washington, D.C., and his only overnight stays were at Camp David, Mar-a-Lago and Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster.[113] One of the benefits that Trump is speculated to obtain from such trips is more favorable coverage from local news outlets in the areas visited.[112] Most of Trump's trips to Wisconsin were focused on the Milwaukee area in the southeast part of the state, which Trump won in 2016 by a significantly smaller margin than Mitt Romney had in 2012.[112]
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