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.
In response to these wanton guesstimates, Trump instinctually fired back at the guesstimators. “Forbes is a bankrupt magazine, doesn’t know what they’re talking about.” “Fortune has no idea what my assets are” and “has totally lost its way.” But the real sulfuric acid was reserved for the lowballers over at Bloomberg. As usual, Trump made it personal, even suggesting his “friend,” the former New York City mayor, might be jealous. “Maybe Michael told them to do it,” Trump speculated in the Daily Mail, “because he always wanted to do what I’m doing.” Perhaps wisely, The New Yorker—even with its legendary phalanx of persnickety fact-checkers—wouldn’t venture any closer than “just a back-of-the-envelope calculation” of $2.56 billion, “which shouldn’t be taken too seriously.”
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.[183] 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.[184] 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.[185][186] 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.[187][188] 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).[189][190]
Presidential approval polls taken during the first ten months of Trump's term have shown him to be the least popular U.S. president in the history of modern opinion polls.[266][267][268] A Pew Research Center global poll conducted in July 2017, found "a median of just 22 percent has confidence in Trump to do the right thing when it comes to international affairs". This compares to a median of 64 percent rate of confidence for his predecessor Barack Obama. Trump received a higher rating in only two countries: Russia and Israel.[269] An August 2017 POLITICO/Morning consult poll found on some measures "that majorities of voters have low opinions of his character and competence".[270] Trump is the only elected president who did not place first on Gallup's poll of men Americans most admired in his first year in office, coming in second behind Barack Obama.[271][272]
The political press has behaved as co-conspirators with the Democrats in the Kavanaugh matter. They have clearly been fully co-opted. Reporters are planting their flags with the so-called Resistance and donning pink hats instead of defending truth and reporting facts. There is much in this present political age about which I am uncertain. But there is one thing about which I am absolutely certain. President Trump is not my enemy and too many progressives view me as theirs.
Trump has praised China's President Xi Jinping,[620] Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte,[621] Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi,[622] Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan,[623] King Salman of Saudi Arabia[624] and Italy's Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte.[625] On April 7, 2017, Trump ordered a missile strike against a Syrian airfield in retaliation for the Khan Shaykhun chemical attack.[626] On April 13, 2018, he announced missile strikes against the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, following a suspected chemical attack near Damascus.[627] According to investigative journalist Bob Woodward, Trump had ordered his Defense Secretary James Mattis to assassinate Assad, but Mattis declined.[628]
Trump officially filed his reelection campaign with the FEC on January 20, 2017, the day of his inauguration.[19][20][21][22] Trump launched his reelection campaign earlier in his presidency than his predecessors did. Barack Obama, George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George H. W. Bush and Ronald Reagan all declared their candidacies for reelection in the third year of their presidencies.[23][24] Trump filed the papers for his reelection campaign approximately 47 months prior to the date of the election.[23] In contrast, both Reagan and George H. W. Bush filed approximately twelve months, George W. Bush filed approximately eighteen, and both Clinton and Obama filed approximately nineteen months prior to the date of the election.[23]
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