Donald John Trump ( born June 14, 1946) is an American businessman, television producer, and the President-elect of the United States. Since 1971, he has chaired The Trump Organization, the principal holding company for his real estate ventures and other business interests. During his business career, Trump has built office towers, hotels, casinos, golf courses, and other branded facilities worldwide. He was elected as the 45th U.S. president in the 2016 election on the Republican ticket, defeating Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, and is scheduled to take office on January 20, 2017.
Trump was born and raised in New York City and received a bachelor’s degree in economics from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania in 1968. In 1971, he took control of his father Fred Trump’s real estate and construction firm. Trump has appeared at the Miss USA pageants, which he owned from 1996 to 2015, and has made cameo appearances in films and television series. He sought the Reform Party presidential nomination in 2000, but withdrew before voting began. He hosted and co-produced The Apprentice, a reality television series on NBC, from 2004 to 2015. As of 2016, he was listed by Forbes as the 324th wealthiest person in the world, and 113th in the United States, with a net worth of $4.5 billion.
In June 2015, Trump announced his candidacy for president as a Republican and quickly emerged as the front-runner for his party’s nomination. In May 2016, his remaining Republican rivals suspended their campaigns, and in July he was formally nominated for president at the 2016 Republican National Convention. Trump’s campaign received unprecedented media coverage and international attention. Many of his statements in interviews, on Twitter, and at campaign rallies have been controversial or false. Several rallies during the primaries were accompanied by protests. Following Trump’s victory in the general election, he began transitioning to his administration. At 70 years old, he will be the oldest person to assume the presidency.
Trump’s platform includes renegotiation of U.S.China trade deals, opposition to particular trade agreements such as NAFTA and the Trans-Pacific Partnership, support for energy independence using all energy sources while opposing the Paris Agreement on climate change, stronger enforcement of immigration laws together with building a wall along the Mexico–U.S. border, reform of veterans’ care, repeal and replacement of the Affordable Care Act, abolition of Common Core education standards, investments in the country’s infrastructure and a simplified tax code with lower rates. Following the November 2015 Paris attacks, Trump called for a temporary ban on Muslim immigration, which he later changed to a policy of “extreme vetting” from certain areas of the world.
Trump was born on June 14, 1946, in Jamaica, Queens, a neighborhood in New York City.He was the second youngest of five children. Of his four siblings, three are living: Maryanne, Elizabeth, and Robert. Trump’s older brother Fred Jr. died in 1981 from alcoholism, which Trump says led him to never drink alcohol or smoke cigarettes.
Trump is of German ancestry on his father’s side and Scottish ancestry on his mother’s side; all four of his grandparents were born in Europe. His father, Fred Trump (1905–1999), was born in Queens to parents from Kallstadt, Germany, and became one of the biggest real estate developers in New York City. His mother, Mary Trump (née MacLeod, 1912–2000), was born in Tong, Lewis, Scotland. Fred and Mary met in New York and married in 1936, establishing their household in Queens. His uncle John G. Trump, a professor at Massachusetts Institute of Technology from 1936 to 1973, was involved in radar research for the Allies in the Second World War, and helped design X-ray machines that provided additional years of life to cancer patients. In 1943, the Federal Bureau of Investigation requested John Trump to examine Nikola Tesla’s papers and equipment when Tesla died in his room at the New Yorker Hotel.Donald Trump’s grandfather was Frederick Trump who amassed a fortune operating boom-town restaurants and boarding houses in the region of Seattle and Klondike, Canada.
The Trump family were originally Lutherans, but Trump’s parents belonged to the Reformed Church in America. The family name was formerly spelled Drumpf or Drumpft, and later evolved to Trump during the Thirty Years’ War in the 17th century. Trump has said that he is proud of his German heritage; he served as grand marshal of the 1999 German-American Steuben Parade in New York City.
A black-and-white photograph of Donald Trump as a teenager, smiling and wearing a dark uniform with various badges and a light-colored stripe crossing his right shoulder. This image was taken while Trump was in the New York Military Academy in 1964.
Trump at age 18 at the New York Military Academy, June 30, 1964
The family had a two-story Tudor Revival home on Midland Parkway in Jamaica Estates, where Trump lived while attending The Kew-Forest School.
Trump left the school at age 13 and was enrolled in the New York Military Academy (NYMA), in Cornwall, New York, where he finished eighth grade and high school. In 1983, Fred Trump told an interviewer that Donald “was a pretty rough fellow when he was small.” Trump participated in marching drills, wore a uniform, and during his senior year attained the rank of captain. He was transferred from a student command position after the alleged hazing of a new freshman in his barracks by one of Trump’s subordinates; Trump describes the transfer as “a promotion”. In 2015, he told a biographer that NYMA gave him “more training militarily than a lot of the guys that go into the military”.
Trump attended Fordham University in the Bronx for two years, beginning in August 1964. He then transferred to the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, which offered one of the few real estate studies departments in United States academia at the time. While there, he worked at the fa
mily’s company, Elizabeth Trump & Son, named for his paternal grandmother. Trump graduated from Wharton in May 1968 with a Bachelor of Science degree in economics.
Trump was not drafted during the Vietnam War. While in college from 1964 to 1968, he obtained four student deferments. In 1966, he was deemed fit for service based upon a military medical examination, and in 1968 was briefly classified as fit by a local draft board, but was given a 1-Y medical deferment in October 1968. In an interview for a 2015 biography, Trump attributed his medical deferment to heel spurs.In December 1969 Trump received a high number in the draft lottery, which would also have exempted him from service.
Prior to graduating from college, Trump began his real estate career at his father, Fred Trump’s company, Elizabeth Trump and Son, which focused on middle-class rental housing in the New York City boroughs of Brooklyn, Queens, and Staten Island. During his undergraduate study, Fred and Donald Trump used a $500,000 investment to successfully reopen the foreclosed Swifton Village apartment complex in Cincinnati, Ohio.
He was given control of the company in 1971 and, in one of his first acts, renamed it to The Trump Organization. He became the president of the organization in 1973. That year, he and his father drew wider attention when the Justice Department alleged that they were discriminating against blacks who wanted to rent apartments, rather than merely screening out people based on low income as the Trumps stated. An agreement was later signed in which the Trumps made no admission of wrongdoing, and under which qualified minority applicants would be presented by the Urban League.
Trump’s first big deal in Manhattan was the remodeling of the Grand Hyatt Hotel in 1978 next to Grand Central Terminal from an older Commodore Hotel, which was largely funded by a $70 million construction loan jointly guaranteed by Fred Trump and the Hyatt hotel chain.
Trump has five children by three marriages, and has eight grandchildren.His first two marriages ended in divorces that were publicized in the tabloid media.Trump married his first wife, Czech model Ivana Zelníčková, on April 7, 1977, at the Marble Collegiate Church in Manhattan in a ceremony performed by one of America’s most famous ministers, the Reverend Norman Vincent Peale. They had three children: son Donald Jr. (born December 31, 1977), daughter Ivanka (born October 30, 1981), and son Eric (born January 6, 1984). Donald Jr., Ivanka, and Eric now serve as executive vice presidents of the Trump Organization.Ivana became a naturalized United States citizen in 1988.
Trump has been nicknamed “The Donald” since Ivana referred to him as such in a 1989 Spy magazine cover story. By early 1990, Trump’s troubled marriage to Ivana and affair with actress Marla Maples had been reported in the tabloid press.Ivana Trump was granted an uncontested divorce in 1990, on the grounds that Trump’s treatment of her, such as his affair with Maples, had been “cruel and inhuman”. In 1992, he successfully sued Ivana for violating a gag clause in their divorce agreement by disclosing facts about him in her book. In 2015, Ivana said that she and Donald “are the best of friends”.
Maples gave birth to their daughter Tiffany, named after Tiffany & Company (Trump’s purchase of the air rights above the store in the 1980s allowed him to build Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue), on October 13, 1993.They married two months later on December 20, 1993. The couple formally separated in May 1997,with their divorce finalized in June 1999.Tiffany was raised by her mother in Calabasas, California, where she lived until her graduation from Viewpoint School.In 1998, Trump began a relationship with Slovene model Melania Knauss, who became his third wife.They were engaged in April 2004 and were married on January 22, 2005, at Bethesda-by-the-Sea Episcopal Church, on the island of Palm Beach, Florida, followed by a reception at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate.In 2006, Melania became a naturalized United States citizen. On March 20, 2006, she gave birth to their son, whom they named Barron Trump. (Trump had previously used the pseudonym “John Baron” or “Barron” in some business deals and for other purposes. Having heard the language since his birth, Barron is fluent in Slovene. In a February 2009 interview on ABC’s news program Nightline, Trump commented that his love for his business had made it difficult for his first two wives to compete with his affection for work.
Trump’s brother, Fred Jr., predeceased their father Fred. Shortly after the latter died in 1999, the wife of Fred Jr.’s son gave birth to a son with serious medical problems. Trump and his family offered to pay the medical bills through Fred Sr.’s company (Fred Sr. freely provided medical coverage to his family through his company for decades). Fred III then sued the family for allegedly having used “undue influence” on a dementia-stricken Fred Sr. to get Fred III and his sister Mary a reduced share from their grandfather’s will, but Trump attributed the reduced share to his father’s dislike of Fred III’s mother, and Trump stopped the aid for Fred III’s son. The aid was resumed by court order pending outcome of the lawsuit, which was then settled.
Trump is a Presbyterian.He has said that he began going to church at the First Presbyterian Church in the Jamaica neighborhood in Queens as a child. Trump attended Sunday school and had his confirmation at that church. In an April 2011 interview on The 700 Club, he commented: “I’m a Protestant, I’m a Presbyterian. And you know I’ve had a good relationship with the church over the years. I think religion is a wonderful thing. I think my religion is a wonderful religion.” Trump told a 2015 South Carolina campaign audience he attends Marble Collegiate Church, where he married his first wife Ivana in 1977. Marble has said that, though Trump has a longstanding history with the church, he is not an active member of Marble. Trump has said that although he participates in Holy Communion, he has not asked God for forgiveness for his sins. He stated, “I think if I do something wrong, I think, I just try and make it right. I don’t bring God into that picture.
Trump calls his own book The Art of the Deal (1987) “my second favorite book of all time,” and has told campaign audiences: “Do you know what my first is? The Bible! Nothing beats the Bible.” Declining to name his favorite Bible verse, Trump said “I don’t like giving that out to people that you hardly know.” However, his religious knowledge was questioned after a speech he gave to Liberty University, in which he referred to Second Corinthians as “Two Corinthians,” eliciting chuckles from some in the audience.
Trump maintains relationships with several prominent national Evangelical Protestant and other Christian leaders, including Tony Perkins and Ralph E. Reed Jr.During his 2016 presidential campaign, he received a blessing from Greek Orthodox priest Emmanuel Lemelson. Trump has ties to the Jewish-American community. At an Algemeiner Journal awards ceremony honoring him with the Algemeiner Liberty Award, he was asked about having Jewish grandchildren. In reference to daughter Ivanka, who converted to Judaism before her marriage to Jared Kushner, Trump said: “Not only do I have Jewish grandchildren, I have a Jewish daughter; and I am very honored by that … it wasn’t in the plan but I am very glad it happened.”
Controversy involving the Pope
In February 2016, while on his way home following a visit to Mexico, Pope Francis said the following when asked about Trump:
A person who thinks only about building walls—wherever they may be—and not building bridges, is not Christian … I’d just say that this man is not Christian if he said it this way … We must see if he said things in that way and in this I give the benefit of the doubt.
Trump responded that it was “disgraceful” for the Pope to question his faith, suggesting that the Mexican government was “using the Pope as a pawn” for political purposes, “because they want to continue to rip off the United States.” Trump added that “if and when” Islamic State attacks the Vatican, the Pope would have “wished and prayed” Trump were President because under his leadership such an attack would not happen.
The following day, Director of the Holy See Press Office Federico Lombardi insisted that the Pope was not launching an attack on Trump nor trying to sway voters by declaring that someone who advocates building walls is not Christian.After the clarification by Lombardi, Trump downplayed his differences with the Pope, saying “I don’t think this is a fight.”
A medical report by his doctor, Harold Borstein M.D., showed that Trump’s blood pressure, liver and thyroid function were in normal range. Trump says that he has never smoked cigarettes or marijuana, or consumed other drugs. He does not drink alcohol. He also has germaphobic tendencies, and prefers not to shake hands.
In September 2016, Trump discussed his health in more detail on The Dr. Oz Show, providing actual results from recent physical examinations.
An analysis of Trump’s business career by The Economist in 2016, concludes that his “… performance has been mediocre compared with the stock market and property in New York”, noting both his successes and bankruptcies. A subsequent analysis by The Washington Post, whose reporters were denied press credentials by the Trump presidential campaign, concluded that “Trump is a mix of braggadocio, business failures, and real success.
n 1978, Trump finished negotiations to develop Trump Tower, a 58-story, 202-metre (663-foot) skyscraper in Midtown Manhattan, for which The New York Times attributed his “persistence” and “skills as a negotiator”. The building was completed in 1983, and houses both the primary penthouse condominium residence of Donald Trump and the headquarters of the Trump Organization. Trump Tower was the setting of the NBC television show The Apprentice, including a fully functional television studio set.
The building occupies the former site of the architecturally significant Bonwit Teller flagship store. Its demolition in 1980 was controversial due to the destruction of valuable Art Deco bas-relief sculptures on its facade,as well as a contractor’s use of some 200 undocumented Polish immigrant workers, who were reportedly paid 4–5 dollars per hour for work in 12-hour shifts. Trump testified in 1990 that he rarely visited the site and was unaware of the illegal workers.
An outdoor skating rink with many people on the rink. There are skyscrapers in the background. This is the Wollman Rink in Central Park.
Wollman Rink in Central Park
Harrah’s at Trump Plaza opened in Atlantic City in 1984. The hotel/casino was built by Trump with financing by Holiday Corp. and operated by the Harrah’s gambling unit of Holiday Corp. The casino’s poor results exacerbated disagreements between Trump and Holiday Corp. Trump also acquired a partially completed building in Atlantic City from the Hilton Corporation for $320 million. When completed in 1985, the hotel/casino became Trump Castle. Trump’s wife, Ivana, managed the property.
Trump acquired the Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Florida, in 1985 for $5 million, plus $3 million for the home’s furnishings. In addition to using the home as a winter retreat, Trump also turned it into a private club with membership fees of $150,000. At about the same time, he acquired a condominium complex in Palm Beach with Lee Iacocca that became Trump Plaza of the Palm Beaches.
Repairs on the Wollman Rink in Central Park, built in 1955, were started in 1980 by a general contractor unconnected to Trump, with an expected 2 1⁄2-year construction schedule, but were not completed by 1986. Trump took over the project, completed it in three months for $1.95 million, which was $750,000 less than the initial budget, and then operated the rink for one year with all profits going to charity in exchange for the rink’s concession rights.
Trump acquired the Plaza Hotel in Manhattan in 1988. He paid $400 million for the property and once again tapped Ivana to manage its operation and renovation.Later in 1988, Trump acquired the Taj Mahal Casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey, in a transaction with Merv Griffin and Resorts International.The casino was opened in April 1990, and was built at a total cost of $1.1 billion, which at the time made it the most expensive casino ever built. Financed with $675 million in junk bonds at a 14% interest rate, the project entered Chapter 11 bankruptcy the following year. Banks and bondholders, facing potential losses of hundreds of millions of dollars, opted to restructure the debt.
The Taj Mahal emerged from bankruptcy on October 5, 1991, with Trump ceding 50 percent ownership in the casino to the bondholders in exchange for lowered interest rates and more time to pay off the debt.He also sold his financially challenged Trump Shuttle airline and his 282-foot (86 m) megayacht, the Trump Princess. The property was repurchased in 1996 and consolidated into Trump Hotels & Casino Resorts, which filed for bankruptcy in 2004 with $1.8 billion in debt, filing again for bankruptcy five years later with $50 million in assets and $500 million in debt. The restructuring ultimately left Trump with 10% ownership in the Trump Taj Mahal and other Trump casino properties. Trump served as chairman of the organization, which was renamed Trump Entertainment Resorts, from mid-1995 until early 2009, and served as CEO from mid-2000 to mid-2005.
Trump has never filed for personal bankruptcy, but hotel and casino businesses of his have been declared bankrupt six times between 1991 and 2009 to re-negotiate debt with banks and owners of stock and bonds. Because the businesses used Chapter 11 bankruptcy, they were allowed to operate while negotiations proceeded. Trump was quoted by Newsweek in 2011 saying, “I do play with the bankruptcy laws – they’re very good for me” as a tool for trimming debt.
The six bankruptcies were the result of over-leveraged hotel and casino businesses in Atlantic City and New York: Trump Taj Mahal (1991), Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino (1992), Plaza Hotel (1992), Trump Castle Hotel and Casino (1992), Trump Hotels and Casino Resorts (2004), and Trump Entertainment Resorts (2009).Trump said, “I’ve used the laws of this country to pare debt … We’ll have the company. We’ll throw it into a chapter. We’ll negotiate with the banks. We’ll make a fantastic deal. You know, it’s like on The Apprentice. It’s not personal. It’s just business.
Inheritance and further acquisitions
Trump acquired an old, vacant office building on Wall Street in Manhattan in 1996. After a complete renovation, it became the seventy-story Trump Building at 40 Wall Street.After his father died in 1999, Trump and his siblings received equal portions of his father’s estate valued at $250–300 million.
In 2001, Trump completed Trump World Tower, a 72-story residential tower across from the United Nations Headquarters.Trump also began construction on Trump Place, a multi-building development along the Hudson River. He continued to own commercial space in Trump International Hotel and Tower, a 44-story mixed-use (hotel and condominium) tower on Columbus Circle which he acquired in 1996,and also continued to own millions of square feet of other prime Manhattan real estate.
Trump acquired the former Hotel Delmonico in Manhattan in 2002. It was re-opened with 35 stories of luxury condominiums in 2004 as the Trump Park Avenue.
Trump has licensed his name and image for the development of a number of real estate projects including two Trump-branded real estate projects in Florida that have gone into foreclosure. The Turkish owner of Trump Towers Istanbul, who pays Trump for the use of his name, was reported in December 2015 to be exploring legal means to dissociate the property after the candidate’s call to temporarily ban Muslims from entering the United States.
Trump also licensed his name to son-in-law Jared Kushner’s fifty story Trump Bay Street, a Jersey City luxury development that has raised $50 million of its $200 million capitalization largely from wealthy Chinese nationals who, after making an initial down payment of $500,000 in concert with the government’s expedited EB-5 visa program, can usually obtain United States permanent residency for themselves and their families after two years. Trump is a partner with Kushner Properties only in name licensing and not in the building’s financing.Golf courses
A wide, sprawling golf course. In the background is the Turnberry Hotel, a two-story hotel with white facade and a red roof. This picture was taken in Ayrshire, Scotland.
A view of the Turnberry Hotel, in Ayrshire, Scotland
The Trump Organization operates many golf courses and resorts in the United States and around the world. The number of golf courses that Trump owns or manages is about 18, according to Golfweek. Trump’s personal financial disclosure with the Federal Elections Commission stated that his golf and resort revenue for the year 2015 was roughly $382 million.
In 2006, Trump bought the Menie Estate in Balmedie, Aberdeenshire, Scotland, creating a golf resort against the wishes of local residents on an area designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest. A 2011 independent documentary, You’ve Been Trumped, by British filmmaker Anthony Baxter, chronicled the golf resort’s construction and the subsequent struggles between the locals and Donald Trump. Despite Trump’s promises of 6,000 jobs, in 2016, by his own admission, the golf course has created only 200 jobs. In June 2015, Trump made an appeal objecting to an offshore windfarm being built within sight of the golf course, which was dismissed by five justices at the UK Supreme Court in December 2015.
In April 2014, Trump purchased the Turnberry hotel and golf resort in Ayrshire, Scotland, which is a regular fixture in the Open Championship rota. After extensive renovations and a remodeling of the course by golf architect Martin Ebert, Turnberry was re-opened on June 24, 2016.Political positions
Donald Trump and his running mate for vice president, Mike Pence, at the Republican National Convention in July 2016. They appear to be standing in front of a huge screen with the colors of the American flag displayed on it. Trump is at left, facing toward the viewer and making “thumbs-up” gestures with both hands. Pence is at right, facing toward Trump and clapping.
Trump and his running mate, Indiana Governor Mike Pence, July 2016
Main article: Political positions of Donald Trump
Trump’s political positions are widely described by the media as “populist”.He has described his political positions in various and often contradictory ways over time. Trump stated, “I have evolved on many issues. There are some issues that are very much the same, I’ve been constant on many issues. But I have evolved on certain issues.” PolitiFact.com wrote that it is difficult to determine Trump’s stance on issues, given his frequent changes in position and “his penchant for using confusing, vague and even contradictory language. PolitiFact.com counted at least 17 times when Trump said something and then denied having said it.
Trump describes himself as “pro-life” and generally opposes abortion with some exceptions: rape, incest, and circumstances endangering the health of the mother. The Susan B. Anthony List, an anti-abortion political advocacy group, praised Trump’s list of potential Supreme Court nominees as “exceptionally strong”, while NARAL Pro-Choice America called the candidates on the list “a woman’s worst nightmare”. Trump has stated that he supports “traditional marriage”.He opposes the 2015 Obergefell v. Hodges Supreme Court ruling that legalized same-sex marriage nationwide and believes the decision should be left to individual states.Trump had stated that if he were elected, he would “strongly consider” appointing Supreme Court justices that would overturn the ruling. 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.He supports fixing the federal background check system so that criminal and mental health records are always put into the system.Trump opposes legalizing recreational marijuana but supports legalizing medical marijuana. Trump favors capital punishment.
Trump’s campaign’s tax plan calls for reducing the corporate tax rate to 15%, concurrent with the elimination of various business loopholes and deductions.Personal income taxes would also be reduced; the top rate would be reduced from 39.6% to 25%, a large “zero bracket” would be created, and the alternative minimum tax would be eliminated, as would the estate tax (which currently applies to individual estates over $5.45 million or $10.9 million per married couple).Under Trump’s economic plan, families with head-of-household filing status making between $20,000 and $200,000, including many single parents, would pay more in taxes than under current tax law, due to Trump’s elimination of some deductions and exemptions. Several reports assess that the economy would be “diminished” by heavy job losses and recession under Trump’s economic policies, with a large number of economists, including 19 of 32 living Nobel laureates, warning against his economic policies. Two analyses find that Trump’s economic plan will have mixed results; one analysis finds that Trump’s plan would create short-term economic gains but major long-term economic losses in terms of jobs,and another analysis finds that the plan will create 2.2 million jobs, a major increase in capital stock and some wage growth, but by increasing federal debt by between $2.6 trillion and $3.9 trillion.
Trump’s comments about the minimum wage have been inconsisten the has said that a low minimum wage is good that the minimum wage should not be raised;that the minimum wage should be raised; that he would like an increase, but the states should do the increasing that he is against any federal minimum wage floor; and that he is in favor of a $10 federal minimum wage, but “let the states make the deal”.
Trump identifies as a “free trader”, but says that trade must be “reasonably fair”, and has described supporters of international trade deals that are good for other countries but not good for the United States as “blood suckers”. He has often been referred to as “protectionist”. He says NAFTA has been the “worst trade deal in history”, and would as president either renegotiate or break the NAFTA agreement. He opposes the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). Trump proposes to raise tariffs on Chinese exports to the United States by 45%, and has raised the idea of placing 35% tariffs on Mexican exports to the United States.Trump has called the World Trade Organization (WTO) a “disaster”, and favors renegotiating or leaving the WTO unless it allows his proposed tariff increases.
Trump favors repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”) with a different free-market plan that would allow health insurance to be sold across state lines, enable individuals to deduct health insurance premiums, expand health savings accounts, and give more control of Medicaid to the states.He has voiced support for a single-payer healthcare system in the past, but distanced himself from the idea during his 2016 campaign. In October 2016 he falsely said that he had said the ACA was a “disaster” since before it was passed by Congress.He said in June 2009 that he loved the idea, but questioned whether the country could afford it. Trump favors getting rid of backlogs and waitlists that are the focus of the Veterans Health Administration scandal, and believes that Veterans Affairs facilities need to be upgraded.
Trump has stated his support for school choice and local control for primary and secondary schools.He opposes the Common Core State Standards Initiative for primary and secondary schools, and has called Common Core “a disaster” that must be ended. He has stated he would abolish all or part of the Department of Education.
Climate change denial
Trump rejects the scientific consensus on climate change, repeatedly contending that global warming is a “hoax.” Trump has said that the EPA is a “disgrace” and has promised to cut its budget. He has pledged to “cancel the Paris Climate Agreement”, which calls for reductions in carbon emissions in more than 170 countries, claiming it treats the United States unfairly and gives favorable treatment to countries like China.With Myron Ebell, Trump has nominated an outspoken climate change denier as head of the future EPA transition team.
Trump has been described as non-interventionalistand nationalist. Trump has repeatedly stated that he supports “America First” foreign policy, though he is not linked to the historical isolationist America First Party (1944) or the defunct paleoconservative America First Party (2002).He supports increasing United States military defense spending, but favors decreasing United States spending on NATO and in the Pacific region. He says America should look inward, stop “nation building”, and re-orient its resources toward domestic needs.He questions whether he, as president, would automatically extend security guarantees to NATO members,and suggests that he might leave NATO unless changes are made to the alliance.Trump has called for Japan to pay for the costs of American troops stationed there and that it might need to develop nuclear weapons in order to protect itself from North Korea.In order to confront ISIS, Trump in 2015 called for seizing the oil in ISIS occupied areas, using U.S. air power and ground troops. In 2016, Trump advocated sending 20,000 to 30,000 U.S. troops to the region, a position he retracted. He has since argued that regional allies of the U.S., such as Saudi Arabia should provide troops in the fight He also believes that oil fields in ISIS-controlled areas should be bombed.He supports the use of waterboarding, a form of torture, and has said he would “bring back a hell of a lot worse”.Trump would as president dismantle the international nuclear agreement with Iran. Regarding the Israeli–Palestinian conflict, Trump has stated the importance of being a neutral party during potential negotiations, while also having stated that he is “a big fan of Israel.” He supports Israeli settlement construction in the West Bank.
During his 2016 Presidential campaign, Trump repeatedly claimed that he opposed the Iraq War even before it was launched, although his public position had been unclear at the time.In 2002, when asked whether he supported invading Iraq, Trump responded, “Yeah, I guess so” and added “I wish the first time it was done correctly” in reference to the Gulf War of 1990–1991.[ Shortly before the 2003 invasion, he said: “Well, either got to do something—or not do something, perhaps. And perhaps we should be waiting for the United Nations.”Trump publicly referred to the war as a “mess” within a week after it began, and by 2004 he said he was opposed to it. Since 2004, he has repeatedly criticized the war, especially during the primary debates with Jeb Bush.
Trump has at times during his presidential campaign stated that the Afghanistan War was a mistake, and at other times stated that it was necessary. He supports keeping a limited number of United States troops there.Trump was a strong supporter of the 2011 military intervention in Libya at the time.He has since then reversed his position several times, saying finally in June 2016 that he would have supported “surgical” bombing against Gaddafi.
Trump would consider recognizing Crimea as Russian territory and lifting sanctions on Russia.He added that Russia could help the United States in fighting ISIS militants. In the same interview, Trump sarcastically stated that he hoped Russia would unearth Hillary Clinton’s missing emails from her time as Secretary of State.
Trump’s immigration policies have been among his most highly discussed policies during the campaign. Some of his proposals have come under scrutiny by several experts on immigration who question the effectiveness and affordability of his plans.Trump vows to build a substantial wall on the Mexico–United States border to keep out illegal immigrants, a wall which Trump promises Mexico will pay for. Trump would also create a “deportation force” to deport around 11 million people illegally residing in the U.S., stating “Day 1 of my presidency, are getting out and getting out fast.”Trump opposes birthright citizenship.
In late August 2016, Trump hinted he might soften his position calling for the deportation of all undocumented immigrants.On August 31, 2016, he made a visit to Mexico and met with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto, saying he wanted to build relations with the country.However, in a major speech later that night, Trump laid out a 10-point plan reaffirming his hardline positions, including building a wall along the Mexican border to be paid for by Mexico, potentially deporting “anyone who has entered the United States illegally,” denying legal status to such people unless they leave the country and apply for re-entry, and creating a deportation task force. He said the focus of the task force would be criminals, those who have overstayed their visas, and other “security threats”.
One of Trump’s most controversial proposals was his original proposal in 2015 for a “total and complete” temporary ban on foreign Muslims entering the United States.Trump later changed his position in 2016 by stating that the temporary ban would apply only to people originating from countries with a “proven history of terrorism against the United States or its allies”, or countries “compromised by terrorism”. Trump characterized this as an expansion, not rollback, of his original proposal.
Comments about fringe theories
According to political writer Steve Benen, unlike past political leaders, Trump has not kept fringe theories and their supporters at arm’s length. Political writer Jack Shafer says that Trump may be a “fairly conventional American populist when it comes to his policy views”, but he has a revolutionary ability to attract free media attention, sometimes by making outrageous comments.
For many years, beginning in at least 2011, Trump publicly questioned President Obama’s citizenship status; in 2016, during his presidential campaign, Trump stated that Obama was born in the U.S.In the past, he has also alluded to the conspiracy theory that President Obama is secretly a Muslim.
Trump has discussed the unfounded notion that vaccine doses cause autism if administered too quickly in successionand the conspiracy theory that former Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia might not have died of natural causes but was murdered. He repeated a National Enquirer allegation that Rafael Cruz, father of Ted Cruz, may have been involved in the assassination of John F. Kennedy.
Trump shaking hands with President Ronald Reagan in 1987. Both are standing and facing each other.
With President Ronald Reagan at White House reception in 1987
Trump’s party affiliation has changed over the years. Although his party affiliation prior to 1987 is unclear, Trump was an early supporter of Republican Ronald Reagan for United States President in the late 1970s. By 1987, he identified as a Republican. In 1999, Trump switched to the Reform Party for three years and ran a presidential exploratory campaign for its nomination. After his run, Trump left the party in 2001 due to the involvement of David Duke, Pat Buchanan, and Lenora Fulani within the party.
From 2001 to 2008, he was a Democrat; but, in 2008, he endorsed Republican John McCain for President and officially changed his party registration to Republican in 2009. In December 2011, Trump became an Independent for five months before returning to the Republican Party, where he has pledged to stay.
Trump has made contributions to campaigns of both Republican Party and Democratic Party candidates, with the top ten recipients of his political contributions being six Democrats and four Republicans.After 2011, his campaign contributions were more favorable to Republicans than to Democrats. In February 2012, Trump endorsed Republican Mitt Romney for President. When asked in 2015 which recent President he prefers, Trump picked Democrat Bill Clinton over the Republican Bushes.
According to a New York state report, Trump circumvented corporate and personal campaign donation limits in the 1980s—although no laws were broken—by donating money to candidates from 18 different business subsidiaries, rather than donating primarily in his own name.Trump told investigators he did so on the advice of his lawyers. He also said the contributions were not to curry favor with business-friendly candidates, but simply to satisfy requests from friends.
Presidential campaign, 2016
Main article: Donald Trump presidential campaign, 2016
Trump standing behind a brown wood podium with a sign bearing the words “TRUMP PENCE” on a blue sign. There are two American flags behind his position.
Trump campaigning in Phoenix, Arizona, in August 2016
On June 16, 2015, Trump announced his candidacy for President of the United States at Trump Tower in New York City. In the speech, Trump drew attention to domestic issues such as illegal immigration, offshoring of American jobs, the U.S. national debt, and Islamic terrorism, which all remained large themes during the campaign. He also announced his campaign slogan, “Make America Great Again.
Trump ran as a self-described conservative, particularly in social and religious matters. His campaign emphasized American patriotism, with a disdain for notions such as political correctness and media bias.In part due to his fame, Trump’s run for president received an unprecedented amount of media attention.
Republican leaders such as House Speaker Paul Ryan were hesitant to support him early on. They doubted his chances of winning the general election and feared he could harm the image of the Republican Party.
The alt-right movement coalesced around Trump’s candidacy,due in part to its opposition to multiculturalism and immigration.Trump was accused of pandering to white nationalists. Some rallies during the primary season were accompanied by protests or violence, including attacks on protesters inside the rallies, and clashes between protesters and Trump supporters outside the venues.
Fact checking organizations have denounced Trump for making a record number of false statements compared to other candidates.At least four major publications – Politico, The Washington Post, The New York Times, and the Los Angeles Times – pointed out lies or falsehoods in his campaign statements. Trump’s penchant for exaggerating may have roots in the world of New York real estate where he made his fortune, and where hyperbole is a way of life; Trump calls it “truthful hyperbole”. Lucas Graves, a professor at the University of Wisconsin–Madison School of Journalism & Mass Communication, says that Trump often speaks in a suggestive way that makes it unclear what exactly he meant, so that fact-checkers “have to be really careful when you pick claims to check.”
Trump has stated that the media has intentionally misinterpreted his words.The New York Times reported in August 2016 that journalistic standards normally prevent mainstream, non-opinion journalists from becoming oppositional against a particular candidate, but opined that the Trump campaign was “not normal”
A Boeing 757 with blue, red, and white livery, idling on a runway. This plane belongs to Trump, who nicknamed it “Trump Force One” during Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign.
Trump’s Boeing 757, nicknamed “Trump Force One” during Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign
Main article: Republican Party presidential primaries, 2016
Further information: Republican Party presidential candidates, 2016
Trump entered a large field of candidates against 16 other Republicans campaigning for the nomination, the largest presidential field in American history. Trump participated in eleven of the twelve Republican debates, skipping only the seventh debate on January 28 (that was the last debate before primary voting began on February 1). The debates received historically high viewership, increasing the visibility of Trump’s campaign.
By early 2016, the race had mostly centered on Donald Trump and U.S. Senator Ted Cruz. On Super Tuesday, Trump won the majority of the vote and remained the front-runner throughout the primaries. By March 2016, Trump reached over 50% in national support from Republican primary voters and became poised to win the Republican nomination. After a landslide win in Indiana on May 3, 2016, which prompted the remaining candidates Ted Cruz and John Kasich to suspend their presidential campaigns, RNC Chairman Reince Priebus declared Trump the presumptive Republican nominee. With nearly 14 million votes, Trump broke the all-time record for winning the most primary votes in the history of the Republican Party.
General election campaign
Main article: United States presidential election, 2016
After becoming the presumptive Republican nominee, Trump’s focus shifted to the general election, urging remaining primary voters to “save vote for the general election.” Trump began targeting Hillary Clinton, who became the presumptive Democratic nominee on June 6, 2016, and continued to campaign across the country. One month before the Republican National Convention, Secret Service agents thwarted an assassination attempt on Trump by a 20-year-old British man illegally residing in the U.S. during one of his rallies in Las Vegas.
Trump standing behind a wooden, inverted-pyramid-shaped lectern with black paneling. He is speaking into a microphone, with an American flag hanging on a pole behind him. He is accepting the Republican nomination at the 2016 Republican National Convention in July 2016.
Trump accepting the Republican nomination at the RNC, July 2016
Clinton had established a significant lead in national polls over Trump throughout most of 2016. In early July, Clinton’s lead narrowed in national polling averages following the FBI’s conclusion of its investigation into her ongoing email controversy. FBI Director James Comey concluded Clinton had been “extremely careless” in her handling of classified government material.
On July 15, 2016, Trump announced Indiana Governor Mike Pence as his running mate.Trump and Pence were officially nominated by the Republican Party on July 19, 2016, at the Republican National Convention. The list of convention speakers and attendees included former presidential nominee Bob Dole but the other prior nominees did not attend, though John McCain endorsed Trump prior to the convention.
Two days later, Trump officially accepted the nomination in a 76-minute speech inspired by Richard Nixon’s 1968 acceptance speech. The historically long speech was watched by nearly 35 million people and received mixed reviews, with net negative viewer reactions according to CNN and Gallup polls.
In late July, Trump came close to Clinton in national polls following a 3 to 4 percentage point convention bounce, in line with the average bounce in conventions since 2004, although it was toward the small side by historical standards.Following Clinton’s 7 percent convention bounce, she extended her lead significantly in national polls at the start of August.
Trump has declined to publicly release any of his full tax returns, which led to speculation about whether he was hiding something. Trump said that his tax returns are being audited and his lawyers advise against release. High-income individuals are audited more frequently than the average taxpayer, but it is unusual for an individual to be audited for several consecutive years.Trump has told the news media that his tax rate was “none of your business,” but added, “I fight very hard to pay as little tax as possible”. Every candidate since Gerald Ford in 1976 released their taxes before the election. Although no law prohibits release of tax returns during an audit, tax attorneys differ about whether such a release is wise legal strategy.
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