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]

Jump up ^ McAfee, Tierney (October 8, 2015). "Donald Trump Opens Up About His Brother's Death from Alcoholism: It Had a "Profound Impact on My Life"". People. [T]here are a few hard and fast principles that he himself lives by: no drugs, no cigarettes and no alcohol. Trump's abstinence from alcohol was largely shaped by the death of his brother, Fred Jr., from alcoholism in 1981.
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.
For much of the country, the situation at the border posed a moral crisis. But for the Trump campaign, the quandary was political. Immigration was not only a Trumpian rhetorical staple—Build the Wall! Mexico Will Pay For It!—but mostly a winning issue for the G.O.P. Now, the news that the United States government had forcibly separated as many as 2,000 children from their families, a number of them with little hope of ever being re-united, was a bridge Republicans weren’t willing to cross with Trump. Michael Hayden, C.I.A. director under George W. Bush, compared the detention camps to Auschwitz. Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell privately told Trump he would “go down big on the issue,” a Republican briefed on the conversations told me. And so, Trump, who prides himself on an umbilical connection to his base, did the most un-Trumpian of things: he blinked. As the furor over child separations intensified, and with the midterms looming and Robert Mueller circling ever closer, the stakes were existential. “He felt trapped,” recalled a Republican who spoke with the president during the deliberations. Walk the policy back, and he risked angering his hard-line anti-immigration base; dig in and it would further galvanize Democrats and independents to vote against Republicans in November, likely tilting the House, and possibly even the Senate, in their favor, and facilitating the possibility of an impeachment trial. “This election is very simple,” Steve Bannon told me recently. “It’s an up-or-down vote on impeachment.”
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]

In Trump’s parlance, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), who challenged Hillary Clinton in the 2016 Democratic primaries, is “Crazy Bernie.” Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) is “Pocahontas,” a reference to a decades-old claim she made to partial Native-American heritage. And “One percent Biden” refers to former Vice President Joe Biden’s ill-fated bid for the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination.
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.
On January 27, 2017, Trump signed Executive Order 13769, which suspended admission of refugees for 120 days and denied entry to citizens of Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen for 90 days, citing security concerns. The order was imposed without warning and took effect immediately.[579] Confusion and protests caused chaos at airports.[580][581] The administration then clarified that visitors with a green card were exempt from the ban.[582][583]
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.
On May 9, 2017, Trump dismissed FBI Director James Comey. He first attributed this action to recommendations from Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein,[709] which criticized Comey's conduct in the investigation about Hillary Clinton's emails.[710] On May 11, Trump stated that he was concerned with the ongoing "Russia thing"[711] and that he had intended to fire Comey earlier, regardless of DoJ advice.[712]
On June 12, 2018, after several rounds of preliminary staff-level meetings, Trump and Kim held a bilateral summit in Singapore.[663] In a joint declaration, both countries vowed to "join their efforts to build a lasting and stable peace regime on the Korean Peninsula", while North Korea repeated its April 2018 promise to "work towards the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula."[664][665]

David Axelrod, Mr. Obama’s political guru, likes to say that voters usually seek “the remedy, not the replica” of the incumbent. When you consider how much political logic has been turned on its head, perhaps Democrats will nominate a Trumpian figure of their own. Enter the Rock, who inspired the formation of a political action committee to support his presidential aspirations after he announced his intention to run for the White House (albeit in a skit on “Saturday Night Live”).
Trump has been described as a protectionist[502][503][504] because he criticized NAFTA,[505][506] cancelled negotiations towards the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP),[507] imposed tariffs on steel and aluminum,[508][509] and proposed to significantly raise tariffs on Chinese and Mexican exports to the United States.[510][511] He has also been critical of the World Trade Organization, threatening to leave unless his proposed tariffs are accepted.[512][513]

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.

As a candidate Trump questioned whether he, as president, would automatically extend security guarantees to NATO members,[654] and suggested that he might leave NATO unless changes are made to the alliance.[655] As president, he reaffirmed the U.S. commitment to NATO in March 2017.[656] However, he has repeatedly accused fellow NATO members of paying less than their fair share of the expenses of the alliance.[657]
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.

Trump's political party affiliation has changed numerous times over the years. He registered as a Republican in Manhattan in 1987,[348] switched to Independent in 1999, Democrat in 2001, and back to Republican in 2009.[348] He made donations to both the Democratic and the Republican party, party committees, and candidates until 2010 when he stopped donating to Democrats and increased his donations to Republicans considerably.[349]


And yet in recent years it has become a commonplace of Republicans and Democrats alike. In other words, as the country has become politically shakier, the rhetoric about its greatness has only escalated in an American version of “the lady doth protest too much.” Such descriptors have become the political equivalent of litmus tests: You couldn’t be president or much of anything else without eternally testifying to your unwavering belief in American greatness.
But what about the revolt of suburban white voters, especially women? Suburban moms, always a vulnerability for Trump, are especially likely to be swayed by the family-separation policy. Stepien, however, minimized the challenge. “Good policy is good politics. I’ve seen good policy come out of this White House,” he said. “Bottom line is Americans want security. They want to feel safe in the realm of national security and they want to feel economically secure. And on each front he’s delivered.” The White House sees Trump as an asset to mobilize the base. According to Stepien, Trump intends to spend more than 20 days on the campaign trail during the fall election, around the same number that George W. Bush spent in 2002 at the height of his post-9/11 popularity.

Starting in the 1990s, Trump was a guest about 24 times on the nationally syndicated Howard Stern Show on talk radio.[258] Trump also had his own short-form talk radio program called Trumped! (one to two minutes on weekdays) from 2004 to 2008.[259][260][261] In 2011, Trump was given a weekly unpaid guest commentator spot on Fox & Friends that continued until he started his Presidential candidacy in 2015.[262][263][264][265]
Of course, maybe that won’t change no matter what happens in 2018. Maybe he’s a true prisoner of the conservative movement. Maybe he’s always harbored Heritage Foundation sympathies and they are just now blooming. But I think a reasonable person should have some humility about his ability to foresee the future and admit that this bipartisan, populist Trump is at least a possibility.

"We are losing our influence because this is the type of man who calls a woman a 'horseface.' By the way, a woman he chose to have sex with. I don't know where that begins and ends and I wouldn't want to pick that apart," Brzezinski said on Morning Joe Tuesday. "If you look at how he is speaking on the international stage about the murder of a Washington Post reporter [Jamal Khashoggi], that itself should be deeply disturbing to anybody who works inside the White House...At some point, you are working for a president who is not fit to lead, who is going to do something crazy in five minutes, one hour, tonight or tomorrow. What more do you need to hear from him to start thinking 25th Amendment or something else?"

An economic downturn would send Trump’s electoral prospects into a tailspin. Just as incumbent presidents like Bill Clinton and Ronald Reagan have benefited from strong economies in the past, incumbent presidents like Jimmy Carter and George H. W. Bush have seen their re-election bids derailed by weak economies, whether from the stagflation of the 1970s or the rising unemployment of the early 1990s. And given that Trump's approval rating has been quite low despite a booming economy, it might take a historic dive if things turn south.
Jump up ^ Kranish, Michael; O'Harrow, Robert Jr. (January 23, 2016). "Inside the government's racial bias case against Donald Trump's company, and how he fought it". The Washington Post. Civil rights groups in the city viewed the Trump company as just one example of a nationwide problem of housing discrimination. But targeting the Trumps provided a chance to have an impact, said Eleanor Holmes Norton, who was then chairwoman of the city's human rights commission. 'They were big names.'

Kennedy could even fall back on a certain modesty in describing the US role in the world (that, in those years, from Guatemala to Iran to Cuba, all too often did not carry over into actual policy), saying in one speech, “we must face the fact that the United States is neither omnipotent or omniscient—that we are only six percent of the world’s population—that we cannot impose our will upon the other 94 percent of mankind—that we cannot right every wrong or reverse each adversity—and that therefore there cannot be an American solution to every world problem.” In that same speech, he typically spoke of America as “a great power”—but not “the greatest power.”
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!”
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.
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 Trump administration has been characterized by high turnover, particularly among White House staff. By the end of Trump's first year in office, 34 percent of his original staff had resigned, been fired, or been reassigned.[679] As of early July 2018, 61 percent of Trump's senior aides had left[680] and 141 staffers had left in the past year.[681] Both figures set a record for recent presidents—more change in the first 13 months than his four immediate predecessors saw in their first two years.[682] Notable early departures included National Security Advisor Mike Flynn (after just 25 days in office), Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, replaced by retired Marine General John F. Kelly on July 28, 2017,[683] and Press Secretary Sean Spicer.[682] Close personal aides to Trump such as Steve Bannon, Hope Hicks, John McEntee and Keith Schiller, have quit or been forced out.[684]
“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?
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.
Normally, a sitting vice president would be considered a party’s front-runner. But in the case of Pence, that may not be so. Prior to Trump putting him on the ticket, Pence was headed toward oblivion. Unpopular in his home state of Indiana, Pence appeared likely to lose his re-election bid in 2016. He owes everything to Trump, which sharpens his predicament. “Pence is walking a fine line. With the slightest hint of Donald’s blood on the knife, I have a candidate standing by who will trounce his ass,” Roger Stone told me. There’s also the problem of Pence’s vanilla personality at a moment when voters, especially the Republican base, want red meat.

Trump’s electoral base wouldn’t mind a handful of ideological betrayals since rank-and-file Republicans are really here for the culture war stuff and not for the concrete policy anyway. So Trump would enter the 2020 campaign with his base intact but also with the brand as a freethinking moderate who’s at odds with the right wing of congressional Republicans. Democrats would end up nominating someone with a relatively extreme rejectionist profile, and Trump would be in a good position to improve his approval ratings and get reelected.
Jump up ^ Penzenstadler, Nick; Page, Susan (June 2, 2016). "Exclusive: Trump's 3,500 lawsuits unprecedented for a presidential nominee". USA Today. Retrieved June 2, 2016. About 100 additional disputes centered on other issues at the casinos. Trump and his enterprises have been named in almost 700 personal-injury claims and about 165 court disputes with government agencies ... Due to his branding value, Trump is determined to defend his name and reputation.
Bannon was also pleased that his group had Trump’s ear. A rivalry had developed between Trump’s outside advisers and the White House political shop, and Bannon’s group was winning. “The war room should be done by the White House, but there’s no one there competent enough or hardworking enough to do it,” he told me. “You got the ‘hardcores’ on the outside who understand Trump’s message, understand Trump, understand the base and what got him here and what takes him to the next level.” In June, Trump ignored the advice of Stepien and DeStefano and gleefully plunged into G.O.P. primaries. Trump even tweeted that he was defying their counsel. “My political representatives didn’t want me to get involved in the Mark Sanford primary, thinking that Sanford would easily win,” he wrote on June 13. “Sanford was so bad, I had to give it a shot.” In late June, according to a source, Trump flew to South Carolina against Stepien and DeStefano’s wishes to campaign for South Carolina governor Henry McMaster, who was fending off a tough primary challenge. McMaster won.
On September 16, groups supporting Trump organized a rally on the National Mall named the Mother of All Rallies.[209][210][211][212] Organizers were originally hoping to draw one million attendees. However, in planning for security, the Metropolitan Police Department of the District of Columbia expected that only 1,800 people would attend and, ultimately, only about one thousand people attended.[212][211] A nearby Juggalo rally drew greater crowds than the pro-Trump rally did.[211][213]
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