During the campaign and the early months of his presidency, Trump said he hoped that China would help to rein in North Korea's nuclear ambitions and missile tests. However, North Korea accelerated their missile and nuclear tests leading to increased tension. In July, the country tested two long-range missiles identified by Western observers as intercontinental ballistic missiles, potentially capable of reaching Alaska, Hawaii, and the U.S. mainland. In August, Trump dramatically escalated his rhetoric against North Korea, warning that further provocation against the U.S. would be met with "fire and fury like the world has never seen." North Korean leader Kim Jong-un then threatened to direct the country's next missile test toward Guam.
The first is that he can barely contain his affection for — and apparent desire to return to — political campaigning. This is a guy who is just days away from being sworn in as the 45th president, and he's already talking gleefully about the next campaign. (And if you don't think he's gleeful, read Tumulty's whole interview; it's really something.)
On September 16, groups supporting Trump organized a rally on the National Mall named the Mother of All Rallies. 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. A nearby Juggalo rally drew greater crowds than the pro-Trump rally did.
Trump and Kim Jong Un are not the leaders anyone would wish to have for a potential face-off. But more informed and responsible top administration figures see increasing odds of a military response to the North Korean nuclear threat. The desired scenario: minimal deaths and a non-nuclear North Korea dominated by China. More probable would be massive casualties, chaos on the Korean peninsula, and a possible conflict with China.
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.
Trump has praised China's President Xi Jinping, Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, King Salman of Saudi Arabia and Italy's Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte. On April 7, 2017, Trump ordered a missile strike against a Syrian airfield in retaliation for the Khan Shaykhun chemical attack. On April 13, 2018, he announced missile strikes against the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, following a suspected chemical attack near Damascus. According to investigative journalist Bob Woodward, Trump had ordered his Defense Secretary James Mattis to assassinate Assad, but Mattis declined.
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.
The idea gaining currency on the right is that Trump can be Bill Clinton, not Richard Nixon. It depends on a delicate political calculation — that a Republican-held Senate would never follow a Democratic House and vote to remove Trump, and that voters tired of the long-running Russia scandal will, as they did in the late 1990s with Clinton’s Monica Lewinsky scandal, want to move on.
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. On May 16, 2011, Trump announced he would not run for president in the 2012 election. In February 2012, Trump endorsed Mitt Romney for president.
If you want a pop cultural equivalent for this, consider America’s movie heroes of that time, actors like John Wayne and Gary Cooper, whose Westerns and, in the case of Wayne, war movies, were iconic. What’s striking when you look back at them from the present moment is this: while neither of those actors was anything but an imposing figure, they were also remarkably ordinary looking. They were in no way over-muscled, nor were they over-armed in the modern fashion. It was only in the years after the Vietnam War, when the country had absorbed what felt like a grim defeat, been wracked by oppositional movements, riots, and assassinations, when a general sense of loss had swept over the polity, that the over-muscled hero, the exceptional killing machine, made the scene. (Think Rambo.)
“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.”
On March 17, 2017 the campaign saw what was its highest single-day contribution total, with the campaign and its joint-fundraising-committee raising a combined total of $314,000. By the end of May the RNC had raised more than $62 million in 2017. The RNC had already received more online donations than they had in the entire year of 2016.
On August 13, Trump's campaign released an advertisement entitled, Let President Trump Do His Job. The ad attacks those that Trump alleges to be his "enemies", and was released one day prior to violent far-right protests in Charlottesville, Virginia. The advertisement portrays Trump's enemies as being Democrats, the media and career politicians. The ad includes clips of various journalists, including several that work at CNN. CNN refused to play the ad, and campaign chairman Michael Glassner derided CNN's decision as “censorship". In retaliation to CNN, the President retweeted a far-right activist's post featuring an image of a "Trump Train" running over CNN. The tweet, which was later deleted, received criticism after a vehicular attack in Charlottesville that injured and killed counter-protesters.
Although Democrats are united in their opposition to President Trump, the fundamental party cleavage runs between populists and centrists. The Democratic presidential nominee in 2020 will be the person who either finds a way to appeal to both wings or, just as likely, divines which wings represent the greater number of primary voters. Following is a guide to some of the potential candidates — and the political bets they’ll be making.
Formal efforts to start the process of impeachment against Trump, who took office in January 2017, have been initiated by Representatives Al Green and Brad Sherman, both Democrats. Other people and groups have asserted that Trump has engaged in impeachable activity during his presidency. Talk of impeachment began before Trump took office.
Donald J Trump for President, the president’s campaign committee, has raised over $60 million since January 2017. His two joint committees, Trump Make America Great Again Committee and Trump Victory, collectively raised over $80 million. The funds from these joint fundraising committees overlap with the campaign committee, and raise money for both Trump and the Republican National Committee.
Trump's supporters have some legitimate grievances. Wages for low-skilled work are depressed, and no longer can a man with a high school education or less expect to work in a factory his entire life and still support his family and retire with dignity. While much of the country is living longer, working-class white men without college degrees are now dying sooner than they used to. The promise of upward mobility is shrinking.
Two of Trump's 15 original cabinet members were gone within 15 months: Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price was forced to resign in September 2017 due to excessive use of private charter jets and military aircraft, and Trump replaced Secretary of State Rex Tillerson with Mike Pompeo in March 2018 over disagreements on foreign policy. EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt resigned in July 2018 amidst multiple investigations into his conduct.
Serious proposals to impeach Trump for obstruction of justice were made in May 2017, after Trump fired FBI Director James Comey and allegations surfaced that Trump had asked Comey to drop the investigation against Michael Flynn. A December 2017 resolution of impeachment failed in the House by a 58–364 margin. Since the Republicans control both the House and the Senate, the likelihood of impeachment during the 2017–2019 115th Congress is considered remote.
During the campaign, Trump often used the slogan, especially by wearing hats emblazoned with the phrase in white letters, which soon became popular among his supporters. The slogan was so important to the campaign that it spent more on making the hats – sold for $25 each on its website – than on polling, consultants, or television commercials; the candidate claimed that "millions" were sold. Following Trump's election, the website of his presidential transition was established at greatagain.gov. President Trump stated in January 2017 that the slogan of his 2020 reelection campaign would be "Keep America Great" and immediately ordered a lawyer to trademark it. Trump tweeted “MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!” on September 1, 2018, apparently in response to Meghan McCain telling about 3,000 mourners at John McCain’s memorial service “The America of John McCain has no need to be made great again because America was always great.” 
Al Franken put his vaunted sense of humor in the deep freeze his first eight years in the Senate to establish himself as a “serious” person. But now he’s letting it back out — “I like Ted Cruz more than most of my other colleagues like Ted Cruz,” Mr. Franken writes in his new book, “and I hate Ted Cruz” — and not a moment too soon for his fellow Democrats. Although he’s a thoughtful wonk, it’s his wit that has some Democrats salivating at the prospect of his appearing on a debate stage opposite Mr. Trump.
The logic underpinning a second Trump victory isn’t only a paranoid Democratic fantasy. “Democrats should be very, very worried,” Dan Pfeiffer, Barack Obama’s former communications director, told me recently. “We have more voters than they do, but we can only win if we get them out. Complacency hurt Democrats last time because we assumed Trump would lose.”
A Honduran migrant mother and child cower in fear as they are surrounded by Mexican Federal Police in riot gear, at the border crossing in Ciudad Hidalgo, Mexico, Friday, Oct. 19, 2018. Central Americans traveling in a mass caravan broke through a Guatemalan border fence and streamed by the thousands toward Mexican territory, defying Mexican authorities' entreaties for an orderly migration and U.S. President Donald Trump's threats of retaliation. Moises Castillo, AP
The dustup strained relations between Trump and Pence advisers. “Nick really fucked up,” a Republican close to the White House told me. “He got way out over his skis,” said a former West Wing official. Seeking to mend fences, Pence invited Corey Lewandowski to join his PAC, knowing that Trump sees Lewandowski as supremely loyal. “Corey was sent there to keep eyes on Pence,” the former official said. “Pence is politically adept. But at the end of the day, he’s still not good at faking sincerity,” former Trump aide Sam Nunberg said. “Trump’s not an idiot. He knows it.”
Unrelenting in his belief that a strong America makes a safer world, President Trump has also for the most part kept his campaign promises to not send America’s best into theaters of combat that don’t serve our purpose. He has a budget that is bulking up our fighting hardware. He has deployed missiles. He’s coordinated with our allies. He’s responded to the actions of state sponsored terrorists. He has ISIS all but obliterated. Almost none of it requiring more human boots on the ground. Meanwhile rogue nuclear powers are having their bluffs called, phony agreements torn up, and their futures reconsidered—because America is dealing from strength, not desperation.
Before being inaugurated as president, Trump moved his businesses into a revocable trust run by his eldest sons and a business associate. According to ethics experts, as long as Trump continues to profit from his businesses, the measures taken by Trump do not help to avoid conflicts of interest. Because Trump would have knowledge of how his administration's policies would affect his businesses, ethics experts recommend that Trump sell off his businesses. Multiple lawsuits have been filed alleging that Trump is violating the emoluments clause of the United States Constitution due to his business interests; they argue that these interests allow foreign governments to influence him. Previous presidents in the modern era have either divested their holdings or put them in blind trusts, and he is the first president to be sued over the emoluments clause.
With that “again,” Donald Trump crossed a line in American politics that, until his escalator moment, represented a kind of psychological taboo for politicians of any stripe, of either party, including presidents and potential candidates for that position. He is the first American leader or potential leader of recent times not to feel the need or obligation to insist that the United States, the “sole” superpower of Planet Earth, is an “exceptional” nation, an “indispensable” country, or even in an unqualified sense a “great” one. His claim is the opposite. That, at present, America is anything but exceptional, indispensable, or great, though he alone could make it “great again.” In that claim lies a curiosity that, in a court of law, might be considered an admission of guilt. Yes, it says, if one man is allowed to enter the White House in January 2017, this could be a different country, but—and in this lies the originality of the slogan—it is not great now, and in that admission-that-hasn’t-been-seen-as-an-admission lies something new on the American landscape.
Vice President Mike Pence strongly denied charges lodged by an August 5 New York Times report, which speculated that the Vice President was orchestrating a "shadow campaign" for the presidency in the 2020 election. Pence called the accusations "disgraceful and offensive" and Counselor to the President Kellyanne Conway called the story a "complete fiction, complete fabrication".