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Seeking other counsel, Trump has increasingly turned to a shadow political operation, composed of a few very familiar faces. The outside group was put together by, of all people, Trump’s former campaign chairman Steve Bannon. Members include 2016-campaign veterans like Lewandowski, Bossie, and communications director Jason Miller; former national-security aide Sebastian Gorka; Breitbart Washington editor Matthew Boyle; and former Trump aide Sam Nunberg. Throughout the day, Bannon checks in by phone with his allies to hash out talking points that Trump surrogates can deploy in the media. For much of the past year, John Kelly banned Bossie and Lewandowski from the West Wing. But after Trump sidelined Kelly this spring, the pair have been welcomed back. In mid-June, Bossie and Lewandowski flew with Trump aboard Air Force One to a fund-raiser in Las Vegas.
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.'
On June 28, the president hosted a fundraiser at his company's hotel in Washington, D.C. benefitting the Trump Victory Committee, a joint fundraising committee that raises funds for both his reelection campaign and the RNC. The fundraiser was the first event that Trump hosted for the Trump Victory Committee since becoming president, as well as the first presidential campaign fundraiser. The event was co-organized by RNC chairwoman Ronna Romney McDaniel and RNC National Finance Chairman Steve Wynn. The fundraiser was attended by about 300 guests and was reportedly expected to gross $10 million. Trump was joined at the event by First Lady Melania Trump and top White House advisors. Among those reported to have been in attendance at the fundraiser were Mica Mosbacher, Dean Heller and Katrina Pierson. Additionally, Harold Hamm and a number of high-profile figures were spotted in the hotel's lobby during the event. Press were barred from the event, a break of precedent since reporters were permitted to the first fundraisers held by both of Trump's two predecessors. Additionally Trump's decision to host the event at a venue from which he personally profits garnered criticism.
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.
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.
Trump's racially insensitive statements have been condemned by many observers in the U.S. and around the world, but accepted by his supporters either as a rejection of political correctness or because they harbor similar racial sentiments. Several studies and surveys have stated that racist attitudes and racial resentment have fueled Trump's political ascendance, and have become more significant than economic factors in determining party allegiance of voters. According to an October 2017 Politico/Morning Consult poll, 45 percent of American voters viewed Trump as racist and 40 percent did not. In a June 2018 Quinnipiac University poll, 49 percent of respondents believed that Trump is racist while 47 percent believed he is not. Additionally, 55 percent said he "has emboldened people who hold racist beliefs to express those beliefs publicly."
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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 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. Trump's former White House Deputy Chief of Staff Katie Walsh has also joined the organization. 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.
Along with Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama, if Trump is reelected, it would be the first time in American history that there have been four consecutive presidents who were elected to two terms. If Trump completed his second term on January 20, 2025, he would be 78 years old and would have become the oldest person to serve as president, surpassing Ronald Reagan (who was 77 when he left office in 1989).[a]