Donald Trump

Donald Trump

Donald John Trump (/ˈdɒnəld dʒɒn trʌmp/; born June 14, 1946) is a New York real estate developer and celebrity who won the 2016 election to be the 45th President of the United States. His presidential transition is underway towards a scheduled inauguration in Washington, D.C. on January 20, 2017.
Trump was born and raised in the Queens borough of 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 family's real estate and construction firm, Elizabeth Trump & Son, which was later renamed The Trump Organization. During his career, Trump has built, renovated or managed numerous office towers, hotels, casinos, and golf courses. Various other products and activities bear his name. He owned the Miss USA and Miss Universe pageants from 1996 to 2015, and has made cameo appearances in films and television series. From 2004 to 2015, Trump hosted and co-produced The Apprentice, a reality television series on NBC. 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 that would make him the wealthiest U.S. President.
Trump sought the Reform Party's presidential nomination in 2000, but withdrew before voting began. He later floated the idea of running as a Republican for the 2012 election, but ultimately decided against it. In June 2015, he announced his candidacy for the 2016 election. His platform includes renegotiating U.S.–China trade deals, opposing specific trade agreements such as NAFTA and the Trans-Pacific Partnership, pursuing energy independence using all energy sources while opposing climate change regulations such as the Clean Power Plan and the Paris Agreement, strongly enforcing immigration laws, building a wall along the Mexico–U.S. border, reforming veterans' affairs, repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), abolishing Common Coreeducation standards, investing in infrastructure, simplifying the tax code, and reducing taxes across the board.
Trump quickly emerged as the front-runner in the Republican primaries among 17 contenders. His final rivals suspended their campaigns in May 2016, and in July, he was formally nominated at the Republican Convention. Trump won the general election on November 8, 2016, by receiving a majority of the Electoral College, while Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton received a plurality of the nationwide popular vote. At 70 years of age, he will be the oldest person to begin a first term as president. Trump's 2016 presidential campaign received unprecedented media coverage and international attention. Many of his statements in interviews, at campaign rallies, and on Twitter, have been controversial or false. Several Trump rallies during the primaries were accompanied by protests (as was his opponent's rallies), while more nationwide protests followed his election to the presidency.

Early life

Trump was born on June 14, 1946, in Jamaica, Queens, a neighborhood in New York City, the fourth of five children. His siblings are Maryanne, Fred, Elizabeth, and Robert. Trump's older brother Fred Jr. died in 1981 from alcoholism, which Trump says led him to abstain from alcohol and cigarettes.


Trump is of German ancestry on his father's side and Scottish ancestry on his mother's side; his mother, and 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.[7][8] His mother, Mary Trump(née MacLeod, 1912–2000), emigrated to New York from her birthplace of 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, and later was changed to Trump during the Thirty Years' War in the 17th century. This was highlighted during an episode of Last Week Tonight with John Oliver. Trump has said that he is proud of his German American heritage; he served as grand marshal of the 1999 German-American Steuben Parade in New York City.


Trump's family had a two-story Tudor Revival home on Midland Parkway in Jamaica Estates, where he lived while attending The Kew-Forest School. He 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. Trump was an energetic child, his parents hoped that the discipline at the military school would allow him to channel his energy in a positive manner.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 of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, which offered one of the few real estate studies departments in United States academia at the time. While there, he worked at the family's company, Elizabeth Trump & Son, named for his paternal grandmother. He graduated from Penn in May 1968 with a Bachelor of Science degree in economics.
Trump was not drafted during the Vietnam War. While in college from 1964–68, 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, he attributed his medical deferment to heel spurs. In December 1969, he received a high number in the draft lottery, which would also have exempted him from service.

Political career

Involvement in politics, 1988–2015

Further information: Donald Trump presidential campaign, 2000

Trump first expressed interest in running for office in 1987, when he spent $100,000 to place full-page ads critiquing U.S. defense policy in several newspapers.
Trump considered the idea of running for president in 1988, 2004, and 2012, and for Governor of New York in 2006 and 2014, but did not enter those races. He was considered as a potential running mate for George H. W. Bush on the Republican Party's 1988 presidential ticket but lost out to future Vice President Dan Quayle. There is dispute over whether Trump or the Bush camp made the initial pitch.
In 1999, Trump filed an exploratory committee to seek the presidential nomination of the Reform Party in 2000. 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 due to party infighting, but still won the party's California and Michigan primaries after doing so.
In February 2009, Trump appeared on The Late Show with David Letterman, and spoke about the automotive industry crisis of 2008–10. He said that "instead of asking for money", General Motors "should go into bankruptcy and work that stuff out in a deal".
As Trump publicly speculated about seeking the 2012 Republican presidential nomination, a Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll released in March 2011 found Trump leading among potential contenders, one point ahead of former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney. A Newsweek poll conducted in February 2011 showed Trump within a few points of Barack Obama, with many voters undecided in the November 2012 general election for president of the United States. A poll released in April 2011 by Public Policy Polling showed Trump having a nine-point lead in a potential contest for the Republican nomination for president while he was still actively considering a run. His moves were interpreted by some media as possible promotional tools for his reality show The Apprentice.
Trump played a leading role in longstanding "birther" conspiracy theories. Beginning in March 2011, Trump publicly questioned Barack Obama's citizenship and eligibility to serve as President. Although Obama had released his birth certificate in 2008, Trump said that it was missing and demanded to see it. Trump said that he had sent investigators to Hawaii to research the question, but he did not follow up with any findings. He also repeated a debunked allegation that Obama's grandmother said she had witnessed his birth in Kenya. When the White House later released Obama's long-form birth certificate, Trump took credit for obtaining the document, saying "I hope it checks out." His official biography mentions his purported role in forcing Obama's hand, and he has defended his pursuit of the issue when prompted. In 2013 he said, "I don't think I went overboard. Actually, I think it made me very popular." When asked in 2015 whether Obama was born in the United States, Trump said he did not want to discuss it further. Earlier, Trump had also called for Obama to release his student records, questioning whether his grades warranted entry into an Ivy League school. In September 2016, Trump publicly acknowledged that Obama was born in the U.S., and falsely stated that rumors to the contrary had been started by Hillary Clinton during her 2008 presidential campaign.
Trump speaking at the Conservative Political Action Conference in 2011
In February 2011, Trump made his first speaking appearance at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC). His appearance at CPAC was organized by GOProud, an LGBT conservative organization, in conjunction with GOPround supporter Roger Stone, who was close with Trump. GOPround pushed for a write-in campaign for Donald Trump at CPAC's presidential straw poll. Christopher R. Barron, co-founder of GOProud who would later not only endorse Trump's 2016 presidential campaign, but also launch LGBT for Trump, said he "would love to see Mr. Trump run for president." The 2011 CPAC speech Trump gave is credited for helping kick-start his political career within the Republican Party.
In the 2012 Republican primaries, Trump generally had polled at or below 17 percent among the crowded field of possible candidates. On May 16, 2011, Trump announced he would not run for president in the 2012 election, while also saying he would have won.
In 2013, Trump was a featured speaker at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC). During the lightly attended early-morning speech, Trump said that President Obama gets "unprecedented media protection", spoke against illegal immigration, and advised against harming Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security.
Also in 2013, he spent over $1 million to research a possible run for president of the United States. In October 2013, New York Republicans circulated a memo suggesting Trump should run for governor of the state in 2014, against Andrew Cuomo; Trump said in response that while New York had problems and taxes were too high, running for governor was not of great interest to him. A February 2014 Quinnipiac poll had shown Trump losing to the popular Cuomo by 37 points in a hypothetical election. He also made statements denying climate change that were discordant with the opinion of the scientific community. In February 2015, Trump said he told NBC that he was not prepared to sign on for another season of The Apprentice at that time, as he mulled his political future.


Political affiliations

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. During the 1992 Presidential Election, there was speculation that Trump would be President George H. W. Bush's running mate and replace then-Vice-President Dan Quayle. Bush felt the proposal was “strange and unbelievable”, and ultimately Quayle was kept on the ticket.
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. In 2009, he officially changed his party registration to Republican. 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
Donald Trump campaigning in Laconia, New Hampshire on July 16, 2015
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. In August he appointed as his campaign CEO Steve Bannon, the executive chairman of Breitbart News, described by Bannon as "the platform for the alt-right".
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".

Political positions

Main article: Political positions of Donald Trump
Trump and his running mate, Indiana Governor Mike Pence, July 2016
Trump has described his political leanings and positions in various ways over time. Politico has described his positions as "eclectic, improvisational and often contradictory". He has listed several different party affiliations over the years and has also run as a Reform Party candidate. The positions that he has revised or reversed include stances on progressive taxation, abortion, and government involvement in health care.
Trump's political positions are widely described by the media as "populist". Trump 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." 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". counted at least 17 times when Trump said something and then denied having said it.


Social issues

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 Americacalled the candidates on the list "a woman's worst nightmare". Trump has stated that he supports "traditional marriage". He opposes the 2015 Obergefell v. HodgesSupreme 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.


Economic issues

Trump's campaign 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 inconsistent: he 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.

Personal life


Main article: Family of Donald Trump
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.
Family tree showing Donald Trump's children from his three marriages with Ivana Trump, Marla Maples, and Melania Trump
At a 2016 campaign event, from left: son-in-law Jared, daughter Ivanka, Trump, wife Melania, daughter-in-law Lara, and son Eric
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".
With wife Melania at a 2016 campaign event
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 2004and 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. 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.

Religious views

Trump receives blessing from Greek Orthodox priest Emmanuel Lemelson, September 30, 2015
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 is also loosely affiliated with Lakeside Presbyterian Church in West Palm Beach, Florida, which is nearby his Palm Beach estate. 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. 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 [Trump] 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."

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