Trump has a history of making racially controversial remarks and taking actions that are perceived as racially motivated. In 1975, he settled a 1973 Department of Justice lawsuit that alleged housing discrimination against black renters. He was accused of racism for insisting that a group of black and Latino teenagers were guilty of raping a white woman in the 1989 Central Park jogger attack, even after they were exonerated by DNA evidence in 2002. He continued to maintain this position as late as 2016.
Trump appeared on the initial Forbes 400 list of richest Americans in 1982 with an estimated $200 million fortune shared with his father. Former Forbes reporter Jonathan Greenberg stated in 2018 that during the 1980s Trump had deceived him about his actual net worth and his share of the family assets in order to appear on the list. Trump made the Forbes World's Billionaires list for the first time in 1989, but he was dropped from the Forbes 400 from 1990 to 1995 following business losses. In 2005, Deutsche Bank loan documents pegged Trump's net worth at $788 million, while Forbes quoted $2.6 billion and journalist Tim O'Brien gave a range of $150 million to $250 million. In its 2018 billionaires ranking, Forbes estimated Trump's net worth at $3.1 billion[nb 1] (766th in the world, 248th in the U.S.) making him one of the richest politicians in American history. During the three years since Trump announced his presidential run in 2015, Forbes estimated his net worth declined 31% and his ranking fell 138 spots.
In December 2016, Time named Trump as its "Person of the Year". In an interview on The Today Show, he said he was honored by the award, but he took issue with the magazine for referring to him as the "President of the Divided States of America." In the same month, he was named Financial Times Person of the Year. In December 2016, Forbes ranked Trump the second most powerful person in the world, after Vladimir Putin and before Angela Merkel. In 2015, Robert Gordon University revoked the honorary Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) it had granted Trump in 2010, stating that "Mr. Trump has made a number of statements that are wholly incompatible with the ethos and values of the university."
But their job is not done yet. According to a June poll from Pew Research Center, both Democrats and Republicans are more fired up about the midterms than they have been in a while. If you want a hand in shaping the future of this country, and protecting women’s rights and immigrants’ rights and human rights, you need to get out and vote in November.
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.”
An August 21 Politico report written by Alex Isenstadt entitled Trump ramping up for 2020 reelection offered new several revelations about the campaign effort. The report discussed plans for an autumn campaign fundraising tour anticipated to rake-in tens of millions of dollars. Pollster John McLaughlin, an advisor for Trump's 2016 campaign, was also appointed to advise Trump's 2020 efforts. The Trump campaign supposedly discussed monitoring individuals listed as being potential 2020 Democratic candidates and Republican challengers, and reportedly devised a plan to have White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon propose the idea of regulating Facebook as a public utility, a move meant to intimidate Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg into dropping rumored plans to run. The report also said that the campaign and Trump's family members had been meeting monthly with the RNC to coordinate their election efforts, especially in North Carolina, which Trump won by less than 4 percentage points in the 2016 election. Finally, it was mentioned that a large part of the campaign's efforts thus far have involved an expansion of its data program being overseen by Brad Parscale.
While Trump is sui generis, history offers guidance on the folly of predicting distant elections. At this moment in 1989, George H.W. Bush, having kept his promise not to raise taxes and with communism collapsing, seemed invincible. Three years later, he was defeated. In 2009, Barack Obama was in trouble, with unemployment soaring to 10 percent, up sharply from what it was two years earlier, and with his major health-care initiative seemingly stalled in the Senate. Three years later he was re-elected.
Trump supports a broad interpretation of the Second Amendment and says he is opposed to gun control in general, although his views have shifted over time. Trump opposes legalizing recreational marijuana but supports legalizing medical marijuana. He favors capital punishment, as well as the use of waterboarding and "a hell of a lot worse" methods.
Trump's political party affiliation has changed numerous times over the years. He registered as a Republican in Manhattan in 1987, switched to Independent in 1999, Democrat in 2001, and back to Republican in 2009. 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.
During the campaign Trump maintained that "Iran is now the dominant Islamic power in the Middle East and on the road to nuclear weapons." He opposed the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA or "Iran nuclear deal") that was negotiated with the United States, Iran, and five other world powers in 2015, calling it "terrible" and saying that the Obama administration negotiated the agreement "from desperation." At one point he said that despite opposing the content of the deal, he would attempt to enforce it rather than abrogate it. However, in a speech to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) in March 2016, Trump said that his "number-one priority is to dismantle the disastrous deal with Iran."
At two years into his term the base of support he grew to support his candidacy stands almost unmoved from his inauguration at 87%. The only President in the modern era that bests him was George W. Bush in the immediate aftermath of 9/11. His support is largely based upon promises kept in numbers of areas but his particularly aggressive appointments of judges in the appellate system, as well as the Supreme Court of The United States have already secured pro-life, and pro-religious liberties wins. If he does not have the chance to place another appointment to the Supreme Court before the 2018 mid-terms, this becomes an especially effective campaign focus for 2020. The difference then will be that he has a record of delivering on this promise to demonstrate—whereas in 2016 never-Trumpers never believed he’d fulfill this promise. But proving people wrong has been one of President Trump’s most endearing features since gaining office.
When his father became chairman of the board in 1971, Trump was promoted to president of the company and renamed it The Trump Organization. In 1973, he and his father drew wider attention when the Justice Department contended in a lawsuit that their company systematically discriminated against African Americans who wished to rent apartments. The Department alleged that the Trump Organization had screened out people based on race and not low income as the Trumps had stated. Under an agreement reached in 1975, the Trumps made no admission of wrongdoing and made the Urban League an intermediary for qualified minority applicants. Trump's attorney at the time was Roy Cohn, who valued both positive and negative publicity, and responded to attacks with forceful counterattacks; Trump later emulated Cohn's style.
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.
But for most people in the United States, life is better than it has ever been. We have more rights, fewer obstacles, and greater opportunity than generations past. For the most part, we live longer, healthier lives. Fewer of our children die; fewer go hungry; more are literate and thriving. Equality is also not a zero-sum game, and gains by women and minority groups have not come at a proportionate negative cost to white men.
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.”
Trump's campaign platform emphasized renegotiating U.S.–China relations and free trade agreements such as NAFTA and the Trans-Pacific Partnership, strongly enforcing immigration laws, and building a new wall along the U.S.–Mexico border. His other campaign positions included pursuing energy independence while opposing climate change regulations such as the Clean Power Plan and the Paris Agreement, modernizing and expediting services for veterans, repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act, abolishing Common Core education standards, investing in infrastructure, simplifying the tax code while reducing taxes for all economic classes, and imposing tariffs on imports by companies that offshore jobs. During the campaign, he also advocated a largely non-interventionist approach to foreign policy while increasing military spending, extreme vetting or banning immigrants from Muslim-majority countries to pre-empt domestic Islamic terrorism, and aggressive military action against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.
“This is politics 101: Define your opponents before they can define themselves,” Jason Miller, a former top aide to Trump’s 2016 campaign, said in a recent interview. “For many of these top-flight Democratic presidential contenders, voters will learn far more about them from what President Trump says than what they have to say for the next year to 18 months.”
Adult film actress Stormy Daniels has alleged that she and Trump had an affair in 2006, which Trump denied. In January 2018, it was reported that just before the 2016 presidential election Daniels was paid $130,000 by Trump's attorney Michael Cohen as part of a non-disclosure agreement (NDA); Cohen later said he paid her with his own money. In February 2018, Daniels sued Cohen's company asking to be released from the NDA and be allowed to tell her story. Cohen obtained a restraining order to keep her from discussing the case. In March, Daniels claimed in court that the NDA never came into effect because Trump did not sign it personally. In April, Trump said that he did not know about Cohen paying Daniels, why Cohen had made the payment or where Cohen got the money from. In May, Trump's annual financial disclosure revealed that he reimbursed Cohen in 2017 for payments related to Daniels. In August 2018, in a case brought by the office of the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Cohen pleaded guilty in federal court to breaking campaign finance laws, admitting to paying hush money of $130,000 to Daniels and $150,000 indirectly to Playboy model Karen McDougal, and said that he did it at the direction of Trump, with the aim of influencing the presidential election. In response, Trump said that he only knew about the payments "later on", and that he paid back Cohen personally, not out of campaign funds. Cohen also said he would cooperate fully with the Special Counsel investigation into collusion with Russia.
But the biggest liability for Trump is himself, as evidenced by his disastrous Putin press conference. “For Trump’s outside supporters, we are highly concerned the president is continually incapable of discerning between meddling and collusion,” Sam Nunberg said. “Every time he does something like that he makes our lives harder. It’s time he gets the fuck over [the election].” Even if he survives the Mueller probe and holds on to Congress, there’s the Michael Cohen time bomb. “Michael Cohen and the Trump Org? I don’t know,” Bannon said with concern when I brought it up. “That’s not my deal.” It will be difficult to rekindle the magic that propelled Trump to victory last time.
Mr. Trump won, in part, because he campaigned in places Republicans have had difficulty winning—Flint, Michigan, charter schools in inner-city Cleveland, and Hispanic churches in Florida. He went there because he wanted to bring his message of economic empowerment to all Americans. Millions of new Republicans trusted Mr. Trump with their vote because of his commitment to delivering prosperity through a reformed tax code, an improved regulatory environment, and better trade deals. President Trump’s victory has brought Americans of all backgrounds together, and he is committed to delivering results for the Nation every day he serves in office.
Certainly not for women, or Americans of color, or children, or gay men, or religious minorities. In the bygone days that Trump harkens back to, it wasn't so great to be anything but a straight white Christian male. Trump, of course, doesn't specify when, exactly, America was "great," but at no point in history was this country a better place to live as a female citizen, or a black one, or a very young one, than now. The establishment of the republic? We have "Founding Fathers" for a reason: Men (white ones) were the only ones in charge. Women couldn't vote or own property, and they lost their individual rights when they married, since they were legally absorbed into their husbands. Women couldn't enter into contracts on their own but were still automatically liable for their husbands' debts. White landowners, including many of the Founders, owned and enslaved blacks, who were not only ripped from their homes and forced into servitude, but routinely beaten, raped, and resold away from their families. There's also the small detail that American land was stolen from Native Americans, many of whom were murdered directly or killed off by new germs early on in the European settlement of the United States, and who saw their communities torn apart not just by early American wars but by centuries of colonization and land-grabs.
What he's saying: Last night in Mississippi, he even promised "we will do a landslide" in 2020, after a razor-thin electoral victory (and substantial popular vote loss) in 2016. "Who the hell’s gonna beat us? Look! Who's going to beat us?" Trump asked, after amping up his frequent riff about former Vice President Joe Biden as a lightweight he'd love to crush.
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.
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.
Starting in the 1990s, Trump was a guest about 24 times on the nationally syndicated Howard Stern Show on talk radio. Trump also had his own short-form talk radio program called Trumped! (one to two minutes on weekdays) from 2004 to 2008. In 2011, Trump was given a weekly unpaid guest commentator spot on Fox & Friends that continued until he started his Presidential candidacy in 2015.
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. 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. 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." Trump's published writings shifted post-2000 from stylized memoirs to financial tips and political opinion.
Some of the party’s top potential 2020 candidates are testing a barrage of early — and unusually explicit — race-related appeals in the run-up to the next presidential campaign. Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) pledged not to be “shut up” by critics of “identity politics.” Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), has drawn attention to the disproportionate number of nonwhite people incarcerated in a system he said has “criminalized poverty.”
Is Trump instead harkening back to World War II, when the "greatest generation" went to fight in Europe and the Pacific theater, and women entered the workforce in unprecedented numbers? Even then, women were paid at half the rate of men, and were swiftly removed from the workforce when the men came home. Very few were able to attend college. African-Americans, many of whom fought in the war, continued to live as second-class citizens under segregationist policies across the South. Japanese-Americans were locked up in internment camps.
Despite these trips, by the end of June Trump still lagged severely behind the number of states that his immediate two predecessors had visited during the first six months of their presidencies. Both Obama and George W. Bush visited every time zone in the continental United States, but Trump had visited only the Eastern and Central time zones. Obama and Bush took both overnight and multiple-day trips throughout the country. In contrast, Trump's domestic travels had largely been limited to a two-hour flight radius of Washington, D.C., and his only overnight stays were at Camp David, Mar-a-Lago and Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster. One of the benefits that Trump is speculated to obtain from such trips is more favorable coverage from local news outlets in the areas visited. Most of Trump's trips to Wisconsin were focused on the Milwaukee area in the southeast part of the state, which Trump won in 2016 by a significantly smaller margin than Mitt Romney had in 2012.