Ronald Schneckenberg, a sales manager for Trump University, said in a testimony that he was reprimanded for not trying harder to sell a $35,000 real estate class to a couple who could not afford it.[211] Schneckenberg said that he believed "Trump University was a fraudulent scheme" which "preyed upon the elderly and uneducated to separate them from their money."[211]
In February 2015, Trump stated that he was "not ready" to sign on for another season of the show because of the possibility of a presidential run.[247] Despite this, NBC announced they were going ahead with production of a 15th season.[248] In June, after widespread negative reaction stemming from Trump's campaign announcement speech, NBC released a statement saying, "Due to the recent derogatory statements by Donald Trump regarding immigrants, NBCUniversal is ending its business relationship with Mr. Trump."[249]

Once upon a time, in a distant America, the words “greatest,” “exceptional,” and “indispensable” weren’t even part of the political vocabulary. American presidents didn’t bother to claim any of them for this country, largely because American wealth and global preeminence were so indisputable. We’re talking about the 1950s and early 1960s, the post-World War II and pre-Vietnam “golden” years of American power. Despite a certain hysteria about the supposed dangers of domestic communists, few Americans then doubted the singularly unchallengeable power and greatness of the country. It was such a given, in fact, that it was simply too self-evident for presidents to cite, hail, or praise.
“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?
Trump held his fifth official campaign rally in Cedar Rapids in eastern Iowa.[119][120] The area, home to a large population of working class whites, was seen as a strong region for Trump to find a base of political support.[112] The date for the rally, having been changed several times, was ultimately held on June 21,[121] marking the first time in his presidency that Trump traveled west of the Mississippi River.[113] At the rally, Iowa GOP state chairman Jeff Kaufmann verbally attacked Nebraskan Senator Ben Sasse, who has been speculated by some as a potential challenger to Trump in the 2020 Republican primaries.[122][123][124]

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.
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]
Finally, there is the president’s own policies, which could help trigger an economic crisis. Getting into an all-out trade war with China, the second largest economy in the world, is a risky move that could help blow up the global economy, economists say. The Trump administration has also deregulated the financial sector and passed a tax bill that “overwhelmingly benefited the wealthy and worsened inequality,” according to a United Nations report from June. These tax cuts did help juice the economy, but the stimulating effects will run out by 2020, which could then result in a recession (not particularly good timing for the man who signed the bill).
His political positions have been described as populist,[398][399][400] and some of his views cross party lines. For example, his economic campaign plan calls for large reductions in income taxes and deregulation,[401] consistent with Republican Party policies, along with significant infrastructure investment,[402] usually considered a Democratic Party policy.[403][404] According to political writer Jack Shafer, Trump may be a "fairly conventional American populist when it comes to his policy views", but he attracts free media attention, sometimes by making outrageous comments.[405][406]
On January 18, Trump revealed, in an interview with The Washington Post, that he had decided Keep America Great would be his 2020 reelection campaign slogan.[5][46] Two days later, on the day of his inauguration, President Trump filed a form with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) declaring that he qualified as a candidate for the 2020 presidential election.[19][21][22]
Trump appeared on the initial Forbes 400 list of richest Americans in 1982 with an estimated $200 million fortune shared with his father.[91] 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.[92][93] Trump made the Forbes World's Billionaires list for the first time in 1989,[94] but he was dropped from the Forbes 400 from 1990 to 1995 following business losses.[91] 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.[94] 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.)[97] 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.[98]
After the rally, fact-checkers found numerous false statements in Trump's remarks.[188][189][190][191] Trump's speech was described as “angry”,[178] "incendiary",[179] “downright scary and disturbing”,[182][186][192] "continu[ing] to divide this country",[193] and "a total eclipse of the facts" (a reference to the previous day's solar eclipse).[194][195] A mostly well-behaved group of protesters gathered outside the rally,[173][196] but after Trump's speech, the police unleashed CS gas on and fired pepper-spray projectiles and rubber bullets at the protesters,[196][197] reportedly in response to a few protesters throwing rocks and bottles at police.[196][197] Saturday Night Live Weekend Update Summer Edition parodied the rally,[198][199][200] and the following week, Bloomberg News reported that Trump punished George Gigicos for the rally's small attendance.[201]
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.”
Narrator: The red MAGA hat retails for $25. Every purchase of a MAGA hat, along with any other item for sale on the Trump campaign's official website, counts as a campaign contribution. About 100 employees work in the factory, and, according to an interview Brian Kennedy did with the Los Angeles Times in 2015, about 80% of the workforce is Latino. According to the Trump campaign, all employees are verified US citizens. We didn't speak with any employees during our shoot. But in 2015, MSNBC visited the factory and reporter Jacob Soboroff spoke with some of the workers.
On May 8, shortly after reporter Cecilia Vega asked White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer about statements that Trump's 2016 campaign had issued in regards to temporarily banning Muslims from entering the United States, Trump's campaign website purged itself of all campaign statements from the 2016 campaign.[90][91][92] Campaign chairman Michael Glassner later announced that the website was being redesigned. The redesign of Trump's campaign website was seen by media sources as laying the groundwork for a full-bodied reelection campaign.[93][94][95] After the deletion of press releases, the URL http://www.donald.trump.com/myplantofuckthepoor (my plan to fuck the poor) was redirected to a page about Trump's healthcare plan,[96][97] and it was pointed out that the campaign's redesigned homepage originally featured a typo.[98][94] The Washington Examiner's David Druckert pointed out on Twitter that the redesigned website featured an image of Trump with a uniformed military officer on its 'Donate' page, which violated the Department of Defense's regulation that prevented uniformed military officers from engaging in any political activity.[99]

We searched Federal Election Commission records on spending by three Trump-related political committees since 2017 and found no evidence of flags, banners, or other campaign merchandise being ordered from entities based in China. If such orders had been placed, it is possible that they may have been recorded as disbursements to third parties or subcontractors, but we found no evidence that this had taken place.


For Democrats, the saying is, it could happen again. In between appeasing Putin and castigating NATO and tweeting out his unhappiness with the Mueller probe, Trump is doing what he loves most: running for president. His re-election effort is typically Trumpian: sprawling, disjointed, and bursting with confidence. In February, Trump announced that Brad Parscale, the digital guru with the Billy Gibbons beard who led his 2016 online strategy, would be his 2020 campaign manager. Meanwhile, Trump has been crisscrossing the country holding fund-raisers, building up a war chest of $88 million in his first 18 months. Many cast members from the original campaign are expected to reprise their starring roles, including Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump, as well as Corey Lewandowski, David Bossie, and Kellyanne Conway. Even Bannon is starting to find his way back into Trump’s orbit after a bitter falling-out. This fall, Trump plans to deliver slashing stump speeches that stoke his base while defining his likely Democratic challengers long before they launch campaigns of their own. He’s already rolled out his campaign slogan: “Keep America Great.”

Christopher Murphy, a 44-year-old Connecticut senator, is casting his message at a different segment of millennials — those who live on Twitter, where he offers running political commentary, or listen to podcasts like “Pod Save America,” where he’s made several appearances. His and Mr. Ryan’s campaign slogans write themselves: “You’re Only as Old as You Feel.”


On June 16, 2015, Trump announced his candidacy for President of the United States at Trump Tower in Manhattan. In the speech, Trump discussed illegal immigration, offshoring of American jobs, the U.S. national debt, and Islamic terrorism, which all remained large priorities during the campaign. He also announced his campaign slogan: "Make America Great Again".[297][296] Trump said his wealth would make him immune to pressure from campaign donors.[376] He declared that he was funding his own campaign,[377] but according to The Atlantic, "Trump's claims of self-funding have always been dubious at best and actively misleading at worst."[378]
On September 26, 2016, Trump and Clinton faced off in their first presidential debate, which was held at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York, and moderated by NBC News anchor Lester Holt.[393] The TV broadcast was the most watched presidential debate in United States history.[394] The second presidential debate was held at Washington University in Saint Louis, Missouri. The beginning of that debate was dominated by references to a recently leaked tape of Trump making sexually explicit comments, which Trump countered by referring to alleged sexual misconduct on the part of Bill Clinton. Prior to the debate, Trump had invited four women who had accused Clinton of impropriety to a press conference. The final presidential debate was held on October 19 at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Trump's refusal to say whether he would accept the result of the election, regardless of the outcome, drew particular attention, with some saying it undermined democracy.[395][396]

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.
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.[755][756] Other people and groups have asserted that Trump has engaged in impeachable activity during his presidency.[757][758] Talk of impeachment began before Trump took office.[759][760]

In New York City and around the world, the Trump signature is synonymous with the most prestigious of addresses. Among them are the world-renowned Fifth Avenue skyscraper, Trump Tower, and the luxury residential buildings, Trump Parc, Trump Palace, Trump Plaza, 610 Park Avenue, The Trump World Tower (the tallest building on the East Side of Manhattan), and Trump Park Avenue. Mr. Trump was also responsible for the designation and construction of the Jacob Javits Convention Center on land controlled by him, known as the West 34th Street Railroad Yards, and the total exterior restoration of the Grand Central Terminal as part of his conversion of the neighboring Commodore Hotel into the Grand Hyatt Hotel. The development is considered one of the most successful restorations in the City and earned Mr. Trump an award from Manhattan’s Community Board Five for the “tasteful and creative recycling of a distinguished hotel.” Over the years, Mr. Trump has owned and sold many great buildings in New York including the Plaza Hotel (which he renovated and brought back to its original grandeur, as heralded by the New York Times Magazine), the St. Moritz Hotel (three times…and now called the Ritz Carlton on Central Park South) and until 2002, the land under the Empire State Building (which allowed the land and lease to be merged together for the first time in over 50 years). Additionally, the NikeTown store is owned by Mr. Trump, on East 57th Street and adjacent to Tiffany’s. In early 2008, Gucci opened their largest store in the world in Trump Tower.
Hillary Clinton tried — and failed — to run for Barack Obama’s third term. Deval Patrick, the former Massachusetts governor, might have better luck. He’d have the unambivalent backing of much of the Obama political machine, including, it is said, Mr. Obama himself. He’s one of the few Democrats out there with Mr. Obama’s rhetorical skills and a life story to match — rising from a Chicago housing project to Harvard and Harvard Law. To be sure, Mr. Patrick’s post-office employer, Bain Capital, would dog him. But if any Democrat is capable of rebuilding the formidable Obama coalition, it’s him.
In January 2017, American intelligence agencies—the CIA, the FBI, and the NSA, represented by the Director of National Intelligence—jointly stated with "high confidence" that the Russian government interfered in the 2016 presidential election to favor the election of Trump.[697][698] In March 2017, FBI Director James Comey told Congress that "the FBI, as part of our counterintelligence mission, is investigating the Russian government's efforts to interfere in the 2016 presidential election. That includes investigating the nature of any links between individuals associated with the Trump campaign and the Russian government, and whether there was any coordination between the campaign and Russia's efforts."[699] Later, in testimony to the Senate Intelligence Committee on June 8, he affirmed he has "no doubt" that Russia interfered in the 2016 election, adding "they did it with purpose and sophistication".[700]
Trump has been described as a non-interventionist[612][613] and as an American Nationalist.[614] He has repeatedly stated that he supports an "America First" foreign policy.[615] He supports increasing United States military defense spending,[614] but favors decreasing United States spending on NATO and in the Pacific region.[616] He says America should look inward, stop "nation building", and re-orient its resources toward domestic needs.[613]

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]
On July 15, 2016, Trump announced his selection of Indiana Governor Mike Pence as his running mate.[386] Four days later on July 19, Trump and Pence were officially nominated by the Republican Party at the Republican National Convention.[387] The list of convention speakers and attendees included former presidential nominee Bob Dole, but the other prior nominees did not attend.[388][389]
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.
Prior to 2008, “American exceptionalism” appeared in news articles a handful of times a year, but after Obama was elected the references skyrocketed, largely because of a drumbeat from Republicans. Once the tea party wave made John Boehner speaker of the House in 2010, for example, he summarized the growing consensus among Republicans: Obama had turned his back on the Founding Fathers to the point where he “refused to talk about American exceptionalism.” (In fact, in 2009 the president had stated, “I believe in American exceptionalism.”) The phrase’s popularity in GOP talking points—often in attacks on Obama’s “socialist” policies—paralleled the spread of conspiracy theories about his citizenship and supposed jihadi sympathies.
You know what pi$$e$ me off? The complete lack of polling the last two weeks by CNN, MSNBC, ABC, The Washington Post, The New York Times, and other liberal news polling outfits. They know the American people are outraged because of theirs, and Democrats, despicable behavior during the Kavanaugh confirmation. And I guess they're purposely not measuring it, because it doesn't fit their narrative.
None of the Chinese factory owners and managers quoted in the July 2018 news reports either affirmed or denied that the Trump campaign itself had been responsible for the significant increase in orders in recent months, and none of them identified anyone else as being a major customer, so we do not know who was behind orders for the many thousands of “Trump 2020” flags produced in China in the first half of 2018.
^ Jump up to: a b c d Scott, Eugene (April 17, 2017). "Trump campaign raking in money for 2020, disclosures show". www.cnn.com. CNN. Retrieved April 27, 2017. Trump's campaign committee has spent about $6.3 million during the first quarter of 2017. That includes giving more than $70,000 to the campaign committee's manager, Michael Glassner, who was Trump's deputy campaign manager, and more than $40,000 to John Pence, Vince [sic] President Mike Pence's nephew, who serves as the committee's deputy director.
For Democrats, the saying is, it could happen again. In between appeasing Putin and castigating NATO and tweeting out his unhappiness with the Mueller probe, Trump is doing what he loves most: running for president. His re-election effort is typically Trumpian: sprawling, disjointed, and bursting with confidence. In February, Trump announced that Brad Parscale, the digital guru with the Billy Gibbons beard who led his 2016 online strategy, would be his 2020 campaign manager. Meanwhile, Trump has been crisscrossing the country holding fund-raisers, building up a war chest of $88 million in his first 18 months. Many cast members from the original campaign are expected to reprise their starring roles, including Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump, as well as Corey Lewandowski, David Bossie, and Kellyanne Conway. Even Bannon is starting to find his way back into Trump’s orbit after a bitter falling-out. This fall, Trump plans to deliver slashing stump speeches that stoke his base while defining his likely Democratic challengers long before they launch campaigns of their own. He’s already rolled out his campaign slogan: “Keep America Great.”
Perhaps, Trump believes, America was great during the World War I era. In the early 20th century, women died from childbirth in huge numbers. Children, too, perished at astounding rates. Married women typically couldn't open their own bank accounts or have independent access to their money. Birth control — even talking about the benefits of birth control — was largely illegal. Jim Crow laws were in full effect, with the Supreme Court holding a few years earlier that keeping the races "separate but equal" was just fine and dandy (although of course in reality, separate meant vastly unequal). The Ku Klux Klan continued to gain in popularity. For years, Congress wasn't even able to outlaw lynching: Southern Democrats, then the party that represented conservatives whites in the South, repeatedly defeated anti-lynching bills. 
It turns out that about 90,000 “Keep America Great” flags for President Trump’s campaign are manufactured not in the U.S.A., but in China. According to China Labor Watch, at one Trump factory in China, workers are forced to work 12-hour shifts, at least 6 days a week, at a monthly salary of just $365, with some workers making less than a dollar an hour. Given the choice between hiring American workers at a living wage or hiring much less expensive workers from China that he can exploit, Trump opts for the low-cost overseas labor day in and day out.
A 2016 analysis of Trump's business career in The Economist concluded that his performance since 1985 had been "mediocre compared with the stock market and property in New York."[102] A subsequent analysis in The Washington Post similarly noted that Trump's estimated net worth of $100 million in 1978 would have increased to $6 billion by 2016 if he had invested it in a typical retirement fund, and concluded that "Trump is a mix of braggadocio, business failures, and real success."[103]

Starting in 2011, Trump was a major proponent of "birther" conspiracy theories alleging that Barack Obama was born in Kenya, and questioned his eligibility to serve as president.[288][289] Trump later took credit for pushing the White House to release the "long-form" birth certificate from Hawaii,[290][291][292] and he stated during his presidential campaign that his stance had made him "very popular".[293] In September 2016, he publicly acknowledged that Obama was born in the United States,[294] and falsely claimed that the rumors had been started by Hillary Clinton during her 2008 campaign.[295]
On January 10, 2017, Politico reported that Trump would be keeping his campaign offices in Trump Tower open in order to lay the groundwork for a re-election campaign.[17] By that time his campaign offices at Trump Tower already included a staff of about ten people led by Republican strategist Michael Glassner.[17][1] Glassner's deputy is John Pence, nephew of Vice President Mike Pence.[1] The campaign staff was focused on data-building and fundraising for a 2020 reelection campaign.[17][45]
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