The foundation's tax returns show that it has given to health care and sports-related charities, as well as conservative groups. In 2009, for example, the foundation gave $926,750 to about 40 groups, with the biggest donations going to the Arnold Palmer Medical Center Foundation ($100,000), the New York–Presbyterian Hospital ($125,000), the Police Athletic League ($156,000), and the Clinton Foundation ($100,000). From 2004 to 2014, the top donors to the foundation were Vince and Linda McMahon of WWE, who donated $5 million to the foundation after Trump appeared at WrestleMania in 2007. Trump later named Linda McMahon as Administrator of the Small Business Administration.
Two days before the second presidential debate, a 2005 recording surfaced in which Trump was heard bragging about forcibly kissing and groping women. The hot mic recording was captured on a studio bus in which Trump and Billy Bush were preparing to film an episode of Access Hollywood. In the tape, Trump said: "I just start kissing them ... I don't even wait. And when you're a star, they let you do it, you can do anything ... grab 'em by the pussy." During the recording, Trump also spoke of his efforts to seduce a married woman, saying he "moved on her very heavily".
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Think of this as part of a post-Vietnam Reagan reboot, a time when the United States in Rambo-esque fashion was quite literally muscling up and over-arming in a major way. Reagan presided over “the biggest peacetime defense build-up in history” against what, referencing Star Wars, he called an “evil empire”—the Soviet Union. In those years, he also worked to rid the country of what was then termed “the Vietnam Syndrome” in part by rebranding that war a “noble cause.” In a time when loss and decline were much on the American brain, he dismissed them both, even as he set the country on a path toward the present moment of 1 percent dysfunction in a country that no longer invests fully in its own infrastructure, whose wages are stagnant, whose poor are a growth industry, whose wealth now flows eternally upward in a political environment awash in the money of the ultra-wealthy, and whose over-armed military continues to pursue a path of endless failure in the Greater Middle East.
On May 18, Trump hosted chairmen of the Colorado, Iowa, Michigan, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio and Pennsylvania state parties at the White House. Each of their states are considered to be presidential swing states. On May 25, Trump's sons Donald Jr. and Eric along with Eric's wife Lara held a series of meetings at the Republican National Committee's (RNC) Washington, D.C. offices to outline campaign strategy.
On May 1 the campaign announced that they were spending $1.5 million on national advertisements touting Trump's accomplishments in the first hundred days." The ad buy, which included advertisements targeted at voters who supported specific agenda items of Trump's presidency, came approximately 42 months before election day 2020, or any other major party's candidate declarations. FactCheck.org found several inaccuracies in the advertisement, and Eric Zorn of the Chicago Tribune described the 30-second advertisement as being, "stuffed with Trump's signature misleading puffery". Additionally, original versions of the ad showed Trump shaking hands with H. R. McMaster, an active-duty military member who was barred from participating in any political advocacy while in uniform. Subsequent airings of the advertisement substituted this clip.
But the most aggressive of the candidates-in-waiting by far has been Vice President Mike Pence. He has so far survived in Trumpworld by making sure that he is the first among equals in a West Wing full of suck-ups. (At a Cabinet meeting in December 2017, Pence praised Trump 14 times in three minutes.) “Pence wants to inherit the Trump base, so that’s why you see him saying these obsequious things. It’s so pathetic,” a prominent Republican said. In January 2017, Pence started a PAC, America First Policies. “Pence has a better political operation than the White House has. I’ve never seen that before,” Ed Rollins said. Pence has tight relationships with powerful donors, including the Koch brothers and billionaire Todd Ricketts. “Republican members of Congress like Pence. They’d much rather have Pence than Trump,” a top Republican strategist said.
Trump favored changing the 2016 Republican platform to affirm women's right to abortion in the three exceptional cases of rape, incest, and circumstances endangering the health of the mother. He has said that he is committed to appointing pro-life justices. He personally supports "traditional marriage" but considers the nationwide legality of same-sex marriage a "settled" issue.
On September 26, Trump also attended a campaign fundraising dinner hosted by the Republican National Committee (RNC) in New York City. The event was reported to have raised nearly $5 million, with major donors spending up to $250,000 to dine with President Trump. Since Trump scheduled for a quick meeting with Nikki Haley and other U.N. officials immediately prior the fundraiser, he was able to file the travel expenses related to that visit to New York as "government business", thus making them the expense of the American taxpayer, and not his campaign. Trump's pattern of mixing travel for fundraising activities with travel for government business has drawn criticism from government watchdog organizations.
But a closer look at conservative rhetoric in recent years reveals that “Make America Great Again” was not Trump’s invention. It evolved from a phrase that became central to the Republican establishment during the Obama years: “American exceptionalism.” People often equate the expression with the notion that God made America “a city upon a hill,” in the words of the Puritan colonist John Winthrop. However, as University of California-Berkeley sociology professor Jerome Karabel noted in a 2011 article, this usage only came into vogue after Barack Obama became president. Previously it was mainly used by academics to mean that America is an exception compared with other Western democracies, for better or worse, as illustrated by its top-notch universities or its bare-bones gun control.
In 1999, Trump filed an exploratory committee to seek the nomination of the Reform Party for the 2000 presidential election. A July 1999 poll matching him against likely Republican nominee George W. Bush and likely Democratic nominee Al Gore showed Trump with seven percent support. Trump eventually dropped out of the race, but still went on to win the Reform Party primaries in California and Michigan. After his run, Trump left the party due to the involvement of David Duke, Pat Buchanan, and Lenora Fulani. Trump also considered running for president in 2004. In 2005, Trump said that he voted for George W. Bush. In 2008, he endorsed Republican John McCain for president.
The alt-right movement coalesced around Trump's candidacy, due in part to its opposition to multiculturalism and immigration. Members of the alt-right enthusiastically supported Trump's campaign. In August 2016, he appointed Steve Bannon—the executive chairman of Breitbart News—as his campaign CEO; Bannon described Breitbart News as "the platform for the alt-right." Trump personally condemned the alt-right in an interview after the election.
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.
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Some TV executives say the only way for the Trump show to get canceled is for ratings to fall off — forcing the president to fade into obscurity or an awkward fox trot in a “Dancing With the Stars” spray tan. But TV history shows that the most successful series — “American Idol,” “Lost,” “The West Wing” and, yes, “The Apprentice” — don’t see sharp declines in viewership or talk of cancellation until around Season 6.
Donald Trump vows to "Make America Great Again," and on Tuesday, a good chunk of the Republican electorate implored him to do just that by handing him victories in Illinois, Florida, and North Carolina. If elected, Trump promises, he will restore America to its former glory and make life good again for Americans whose lives, Trump's campaign slogan implies, are no longer particularly good. For Trump's base of white, working-class men without college degrees, this message resonates: This used to be a great country for them, and now they are hurting. But for most Americans, the good old days weren't actually that good, and the "greatness" Trump talks about was delivered on the backs of large swaths of the American public. When Trump promises to "Make America Great Again," we should ask: Great for whom?
In 2013, Trump was a featured CPAC speaker. In a sparsely-attended speech, he railed against illegal immigration while seeming to encourage immigration from Europe, bemoaned Obama's "unprecedented media protection", advised against harming Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security, and suggested that the government "take" Iraq's oil and use the proceeds to pay a million dollars each to families of dead soldiers. He spent over $1 million that year to research a possible 2016 candidacy.
Both the Reuters and Agence France-Presse (AFP) news agencies reported on a fourth factory, this one in China’s Anhui province, which had been pumping out Trump 2020 flags and banners at a higher rate than usual, with Reuters quoting a factory manager as stating that her “buyers are located in both China and abroad” and that “she doesn’t know if they are affiliated with Trump’s official campaign or the Republican Party”:
In 1977, Trump married Czech model Ivana Zelníčková at the Marble Collegiate Church in Manhattan, in a ceremony performed by the Reverend Norman Vincent Peale. They had three children: Donald Jr. (born 1977), Ivanka (born 1981), and Eric (born 1984). Ivana became a naturalized United States citizen in 1988. The couple divorced in 1992, following Trump's affair with actress Marla Maples.
The disproportionately large amounts of time that presidents have spent visiting key electoral states (and comparatively small amount of they have spent visiting states that pose little electoral importance to them) has been pointed to as evidence of ulterior electoral motives influencing presidential governance, emblematic of the blurred lines between campaigning and governance in the White House. For instance, George W. Bush embarked on 416 domestic trips during his first three years in office. This was 114 more than his predecessor Bill Clinton made in his first three years. In his first year, 36% of Bush's domestic trips were to the 16 states that were considered swing states after having been decided the closest margins during the 2000 election. In his second year, 45% of his domestic travel was to these states, and his third year 39% of his domestic travel was to these states.