Trump and Kim Jong Un are not the leaders anyone would wish to have for a potential face-off. But more informed and responsible top administration figures see increasing odds of a military response to the North Korean nuclear threat. The desired scenario: minimal deaths and a non-nuclear North Korea dominated by China. More probable would be massive casualties, chaos on the Korean peninsula, and a possible conflict with China.
On January 23, 2017, Trump ordered a temporary government-wide hiring freeze, except for those working in certain areas.[538][539] The Comptroller General of the Government Accountability Office told a House committee that hiring freezes have not proven to be effective in reducing costs.[540] Unlike some past freezes, the current freeze bars agencies from adding contractors to make up for employees leaving.[540] A week later Trump signed Executive Order 13771, which directed administrative agencies to repeal two existing regulations for every new regulation they issue.[541][542] Agency defenders expressed opposition to Trump's criticisms, saying that the bureaucracy exists to protect people against well-organized, well-funded interest groups.[543]
It's unpatriotic to suggest that America was ever not great. But for the majority of Americans, American greatness doesn't exist at a calcified point in history. The greatness comes in the striving, in the fact that over and over in the course of the American project, a handful of citizens of an immensely imperfect nation have demanded, "do better," until eventually history bends and we do indeed do better. Greatness isn't something we find "again"; greatness is in the progress, in the moving forward. Donald Trump's promise he'll make us great again is an insult to that legacy of self-examination and of betterment. And when you peel back the rhetoric and face the reality, what he pledges to return us to wasn't actually so great at all. 

Jump up ^ Lawler, David; Henderson, Barney; Allen, Nick; Sherlock, Ruth (October 13, 2016). "US presidential debate recap: Polls split on whether Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton won poisonous argument". The Daily Telegraph. ... it was a matter of minutes before the lewd tape, in which Mr Trump brags about 'grabbing p----' and forcibly kissing women, was brought up.
After Trump dismissed FBI Director James Comey, the Justice Department appointed Robert Mueller as Special Counsel to investigate "any links and/or coordination" between the Trump campaign and the Russian government in its election interference. Trump has repeatedly denied accusations of collusion and obstruction of justice, calling the investigation a politically motivated "witch hunt".
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.
But the most aggressive of the candidates-in-waiting by far has been Vice President Mike Pence. He has so far survived in Trumpworld by making sure that he is the first among equals in a West Wing full of suck-ups. (At a Cabinet meeting in December 2017, Pence praised Trump 14 times in three minutes.) “Pence wants to inherit the Trump base, so that’s why you see him saying these obsequious things. It’s so pathetic,” a prominent Republican said. In January 2017, Pence started a PAC, America First Policies. “Pence has a better political operation than the White House has. I’ve never seen that before,” Ed Rollins said. Pence has tight relationships with powerful donors, including the Koch brothers and billionaire Todd Ricketts. “Republican members of Congress like Pence. They’d much rather have Pence than Trump,” a top Republican strategist said.
Pence’s political brain is a 36-year-old operative named Nick Ayers. During his meteoric rise to the top echelon of Republican strategists, Ayers developed a reputation as something of a Georgia-born Sammy Glick that left him with powerful enemies, including his colleagues in the West Wing. “Everybody knows Nick is not loyal to the president,” an administration official told me. “Trump thinks Nick is a backstabber. He does not trust him at all.” In August 2017, the Times reported that Ayers and Pence adviser Marty Obst were privately courting G.O.P. donors for a possible Pence run in 2020. Trump became furious this past April when he learned that Ayers had persuaded Pence to recruit a pollster named Jon Lerner to join the V.P.’s staff. According to a source briefed on the conversations, Kellyanne Conway told Trump that Lerner was a Never Trumper who’d once worked for Paul Singer, the G.O.P. mega-donor who funded the conservative politics website Free Beacon, which commissioned the oppo research firm that later produced the infamous Christopher Steele dossier. “Why would Mike do that?” Trump reportedly asked advisers. Lerner backed out of the job.
Sherrod Brown, an Ohio senator, hails from a crucial swing state and has strong labor backing. He’s never seemed interested in a presidential run — until now. A finalist in the 2016 Democratic veepstakes, he would be formidable in Rust Belt states. His politics match the mood, and while he might not have the raw talent of Senator Warren, he’d be a strong Plan B.
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]
When people used to not have the dignity of work, they will be exceedingly hesitant to turn to options that will adversely affect that reality. With the economy growing 4-6% annually (which is possible by 2020,) and unemployment bouncing below 4%, along with the greatest number of workforce participants in two decades, people simply vote their pocketbook. Over the course of our history people’s economic realities have continued to be some of the most reliable indicators of electoral success. That he continues to push records and new thresholds of success for people vis-a-vie wages, vertical job opportunities, and exploding entrepreneurial environments there will be great hesitation to change horses midstream.
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]
Trump reportedly lobbied "dozens" of European officials against doing business with Iran during the May 2017 Brussels summit; this likely violated the terms of the JCPOA, under which the U.S. may not pursue "any policy specifically intended to directly and adversely affect the normalization of trade and economic relations with Iran." The Trump administration certified in July 2017 that Iran had upheld its end of the agreement.[644] On May 18, 2018, Trump announced the United States' unilateral departure from the JCPOA.[645]
Most Republican strategists I spoke to agreed that Trump will face a primary challenge from the Never Trump wing of the party, which has been clipped since the 2016 election. Possible primary candidates include Senators Jeff Flake, Bob Corker, and Ben Sasse; and Ohio governor John Kasich. “My sense is someone is going to challenge Trump,” said Ed Rollins, Ronald Reagan’s ‘84 campaign manager who now advises the pro-Trump Great America PAC. “I don’t think it’ll be a viable candidate. Someone like Flake or Kasich, they’re just more of a nuisance. Trump has the base.” (A Gallup poll in June showed that Trump’s 87 percent popularity among his party is the second highest in modern presidential history, behind Bush 43 post-9/11.) If there’s one historical data point that should worry Trump advisers, it’s that incumbent presidents in the modern era who faced primary challenges failed to win the general election.
Bannon said he wants Trump to use the 2018 midterms to bludgeon Trump’s likely challengers. “All of those Democrats need 2019 like a guy in the desert needs water. We’re going to take that away from them,” he said. “We’re going to call them out. Kirsten Gillibrand, show us what you got. Elizabeth Warren? Kamala Harris? Howard Schultz? He’s going to cut through these guys like a scythe through grass. He’s going to mock and ridicule them. He’s going to crush them. He’s going to fieldstrip these guys. They need 2019 to get ready. We won’t give it to them.” Indeed, Trump seemed to be doing just that. A couple of weeks later at a rally in Montana, Trump gleefully reprised his “Pocahontas” attack on Elizabeth Warren, offering to make a $1 million donation to a charity of her choice if she took a DNA test to prove her Native American ancestry.
It's unpatriotic to suggest that America was ever not great. But for the majority of Americans, American greatness doesn't exist at a calcified point in history. The greatness comes in the striving, in the fact that over and over in the course of the American project, a handful of citizens of an immensely imperfect nation have demanded, "do better," until eventually history bends and we do indeed do better. Greatness isn't something we find "again"; greatness is in the progress, in the moving forward. Donald Trump's promise he'll make us great again is an insult to that legacy of self-examination and of betterment. And when you peel back the rhetoric and face the reality, what he pledges to return us to wasn't actually so great at all. 
Sherrod Brown, an Ohio senator, hails from a crucial swing state and has strong labor backing. He’s never seemed interested in a presidential run — until now. A finalist in the 2016 Democratic veepstakes, he would be formidable in Rust Belt states. His politics match the mood, and while he might not have the raw talent of Senator Warren, he’d be a strong Plan B.

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.[226] 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.[227][228][229] A Trump spokesman called the Attorney General's investigation a "partisan hit job".[227] 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."[230] 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,[231] and in June 2018 they filed a civil suit against the foundation for $2.8 million in restitution and additional penalties.[232] The suit names Trump himself as well as his adult children Donald Jr., Eric, and Ivanka.[233]

Among all voters, 25% prefer Biden, while 12% say Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont. Nine percent (9%) choose Clinton. Senators Cory Booker of New Jersey, Kamala Harris of California and Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts are each the choice of four percent (4%) of voters. Two percent (2%) like former Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe. But 25% support someone else, and 17% are undecided.
We searched Federal Election Commission records on spending by three Trump-related political committees since 2017 and found no evidence of flags, banners, or other campaign merchandise being ordered from entities based in China. If such orders had been placed, it is possible that they may have been recorded as disbursements to third parties or subcontractors, but we found no evidence that this had taken place.
Starting in 2011, Trump was a major proponent of "birther" conspiracy theories alleging that Barack Obama was born in Kenya, and questioned his eligibility to serve as president.[288][289] Trump later took credit for pushing the White House to release the "long-form" birth certificate from Hawaii,[290][291][292] and he stated during his presidential campaign that his stance had made him "very popular".[293] In September 2016, he publicly acknowledged that Obama was born in the United States,[294] and falsely claimed that the rumors had been started by Hillary Clinton during her 2008 campaign.[295]
A few days after my visit to the White House, I went to see Bannon, who was holed up in his suite at the Regency in New York, the same hotel where Michael Cohen was ensconced just a few floors away. Bannon was giddy. He was fresh from Rome, where populist political parties he’d supported had just formed an anti-immigration, anti-European Union government. “Populist nationalism is on the move everywhere in the world,” Bannon boasted. Events seemed to be breaking his way in Washington too. “It’s like my white board’s there and Trump is checking shit off,” Bannon said. He marveled at Trump’s border crackdown and decision to launch a global trade war. “Trump is on the full MAGA agenda,” he said. Bannon admitted that he and Trump still don’t speak, but he gets his ideas to Trump through other channels, mainly Lewandowski and Freedom Caucus chair Mark Meadows.
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.”
^ Jump up to: a b c d Scott, Eugene (April 17, 2017). "Trump campaign raking in money for 2020, disclosures show". www.cnn.com. CNN. Retrieved April 27, 2017. Trump's campaign committee has spent about $6.3 million during the first quarter of 2017. That includes giving more than $70,000 to the campaign committee's manager, Michael Glassner, who was Trump's deputy campaign manager, and more than $40,000 to John Pence, Vince [sic] President Mike Pence's nephew, who serves as the committee's deputy director.
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 has published numerous books. His first published book in 1987 was Trump: The Art of the Deal, in which Trump is credited as co-author with Tony Schwartz, who has stated that he did all the writing for the book.[238][239][240] It reached the top of the New York Times Best Seller list, stayed there for 13 weeks, and altogether held a position on the list for 48 weeks.[239] According to The New Yorker, "The book expanded Trump's renown far beyond New York City, promoting an image of himself as a successful dealmaker and tycoon."[239] Trump's published writings shifted post-2000 from stylized memoirs to financial tips and political opinion.[241]
On May 18, Trump hosted chairmen of the Colorado, Iowa, Michigan, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio and Pennsylvania state parties at the White House. Each of their states are considered to be presidential swing states.[100] On May 25, Trump's sons Donald Jr. and Eric along with Eric's wife Lara held a series of meetings at the Republican National Committee's (RNC) Washington, D.C. offices to outline campaign strategy.[101][102][103]
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