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. Despite this, NBC announced they were going ahead with production of a 15th season. 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."
There will surely be many more controversies. Trump has only one speed, and the danger is the audience gets bored. From his years as a reality-show star, Trump must know he needs to freshen the script. The challenge will be, How? This, more than anything, may be what defeats Trump. The audience, after all, has seen this show before. This article has been updated.
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 foundation's tax returns show that it has given to health care and sports-related charities, as well as conservative groups. In 2009, for example, the foundation gave $926,750 to about 40 groups, with the biggest donations going to the Arnold Palmer Medical Center Foundation ($100,000), the New York–Presbyterian Hospital ($125,000), the Police Athletic League ($156,000), and the Clinton Foundation ($100,000). From 2004 to 2014, the top donors to the foundation were Vince and Linda McMahon of WWE, who donated $5 million to the foundation after Trump appeared at WrestleMania in 2007. Trump later named Linda McMahon as Administrator of the Small Business Administration.
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.”
In his book Time to Get Tough: Making America #1 Again, Trump, too, framed his agenda as a defense of “American exceptionalism.” “Maybe my biggest beef with Obama is his view that there’s nothing special or exceptional about America—that we’re no different than any other country.” Trump later adopted a catchier slogan, “Make America Great Again,” but it retained the nativist overtones and racial dog whistles of the first. Paired with Trump’s open conspiracy-mongering about Obama’s forged birth certificate and supposed Muslim faith, it amplified and dramatized the Republican establishment’s slyer assertions about Obama’s un-American values.
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.
On May 17, 2017, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein appointed Robert Mueller, a former Director of the FBI, to serve as special counsel for the United States Department of Justice (DOJ). In this capacity, Mueller oversees the investigation into "any links and/or coordination between Russian government and individuals associated with the campaign of President Donald Trump, and any matters that arose or may arise directly from the investigation". Trump has repeatedly denied any collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russian government. Mueller is also investigating the Trump campaign's possible ties to Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Turkey, Qatar, Israel, and China.
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 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. 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", and that he had received at least $413 million (adjusted for inflation) from his father's business empire over his lifetime. According to the Times, Trump borrowed at least $60 million from his father, and largely failed to reimburse him. 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. 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". New York City officials also indicated they are examining the matter.
In 1995, Trump founded Trump Hotels & Casino Resorts (THCR), which assumed ownership of Trump Plaza, Trump Castle, and the Trump Casino in Gary, Indiana. 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. Trump remained chairman of THCR until 2009.
Mr. Trump concludes each episode with a cliffhanger. After a week of teasing a constitutional crisis right after the commercial break, Mr. Trump didn’t end up firing (or even meeting with) Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, leaving us hanging with a potential meeting set for next week. On a recent afternoon, Mr. Trump used his go-to “We’ll see what happens” 11 times, according to a Politico tally.
Trump has never filed for personal bankruptcy, although in 1990 he came within one missed bank loan payment of doing so, agreeing to a deal that temporarily ceded management control of his company to his banks and put him on a spending allowance. Trump claimed to have initiated this deal with his banks as he saw the downturn in the real estate market, but bankers involved in the matter stated they initiated the negotiations before Trump had realized there was a problem. His hotel and casino businesses have been declared bankrupt six times between 1991 and 2009 in order to re-negotiate debt with banks and owners of stock and bonds. Because the businesses used Chapter 11 bankruptcy, they were allowed to operate while negotiations proceeded. Trump was quoted by Newsweek in 2011 saying, "I do play with the bankruptcy laws – they're very good for me" as a tool for trimming debt. The six bankruptcies were the result of over-leveraged hotel and casino businesses in Atlantic City and New York: Trump Taj Mahal (1991), Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino (1992), Plaza Hotel (1992), Trump Castle Hotel and Casino (1992), Trump Hotels and Casino Resorts (2004), and Trump Entertainment Resorts (2009).
While running for president, Trump said that he intended to repeal the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) on "day one" of his presidency. The program, introduced in 2012, allowed people who had either entered or remained in the United States illegally as minors to receive a renewable two-year period of deferred action from deportation and be eligible for a work permit.
Bannon compared this point in the midterm re-election to August 2016, when Trump trailed Hillary Clinton by double digits and everyone expected him to be trounced. Except this time he’s effectively running against Nancy Pelosi, the former (and perhaps future) House Speaker, who would lead a hypothetical impeachment crusade. “She’s the Hillary,” Bannon said. “She’s got some of the same tendencies!” That’s where the specter of impeachment comes into place. “You want her program? Impeach Trump and you got her,” Bannon explained. “When you focus on impeachment, it’s a game changer. It’s an emotional issue that raises the stakes.” To hold on to the House and Senate in November, Bannon said, Trump needs to follow the same strategy he employed in the home stretch of 2016: drive hard toward his base. “This is a ‘deplorable-plus electorate.’ What I mean is, it’s deplorables plus Reagan Democrats and guys who voted for Trump who vote never. You bring them out in an off year.” I asked Bannon about the risk of losing suburban women. He shrugged off the voting bloc as immaterial, a thing of the past. “The Republican college-educated woman is done,” he said. “They’re gone. They were going anyway at some point in time. Trump triggers them. This is now the Trump movement.” Bannon said that Trump’s nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court will help win back some suburban Republicans. “Republicans will come home. Dude, you got Gorsuch and Kavanaugh back to back,” he told me. At a minimum, Kavanaugh’s nomination will “ensure they don’t vote for Democrats.”
Ms. Klobuchar, a Minnesota senator, claimed national attention as a sort of thinking man’s Sarah Palin. A Yale and University of Chicago Law grad, she is quick with a “Fargo”-accented quip. She’s burnished her liberal bona fides by becoming a reliably lefty voice, just last week teaming up with Mr. Sanders to debate health care on prime-time CNN against the most recent Republican senators trying to repeal Obamacare, Lindsey Graham and Bill Cassidy. But not that lefty. She hasn’t signed on to Medicare for All and, on CNN, spoke in favor of a bipartisan approach. What’s more, her voting record from 10 years in the Senate — including, most recently her thumbs up to a handful of Mr. Trump’s cabinet nominees — will cling to her like barnacles.
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. By that time his campaign offices at Trump Tower already included a staff of about ten people led by Republican strategist Michael Glassner. Glassner's deputy is John Pence, nephew of Vice President Mike Pence. The campaign staff was focused on data-building and fundraising for a 2020 reelection campaign.