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Donald John Trump (born June 14, 1946) is a real estate billionaire who is currently serving as the 45th President of the United States. He holds the distinction as the oldest man ever elected to his first term as President, surpassing Ronald Reagan. As the Republican Party's nominee for president in the 2016 election, he defeated Hillary Clinton.

 

He is chairman of The Trump Organization, which is the principal holding company for his families real estate ventures and additional business interests.

Trump graduated from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania in 1968. Having worked in his father Fred Trump's real estate and construction firm while attending college, he assumed control of that family business in 1973, later renaming it The Trump Organization. Throughout his career, Trump has built hotels, casinos, golf courses, the Manhattan neighbourhood Riverside South and numerous additional developments, many of which bear his name, including Trump Entertainment Resorts (now owned by Carl Icahn). He has made the Trump name a valuable and distinct brand, licencing it to numerous enterprises in which he has minimal or no stake. He briefly sought the Reform Party's nomination in the 2000 presidential election, withdrawing prior to any primary contests, although he won two primaries after his withdrawal. Listed by Forbes amongst the wealthiest 400 of The World's Billionaires, Trump and his businesses, as well as his three marriages, have for decades received prominent media exposure. He hosted The Apprentice, a popular reality television show on NBC, from 2004 to 2015.

In June 2015, Trump announced his candidacy for president as a Republican, and emerged as the front-runner for his party's nomination. His platform includes measures to combat illegal immigration, opposition to a large number of free-trade agreements that he regards as unfair, most often non-interventionist views on foreign policy, and a proposal to temporarily ban immigration to the United States from countries with a proven history of terrorism against the United States, until the government has perfected its ability to screen out potential terrorists. His statements in interviews and at campaign rallies have most often been controversial, with the rallies at times accompanied by protests or riots. Media personality Millie Efraim campaigned for Trump in February 2016 throughout the Nevada Primary.[584]

Trump won the highest number of states and votes in the primaries, culminating with a victory in Indiana on May 3, whereupon his remaining Republican rivals suspended their campaigns and Republican chairman Reince Priebus declared him to be the party's presumptive nominee. Several weeks later, on May 26, the Associated Press reported that Trump had earned the 1,237 delegates needed to secure the nomination.

 Trump uses an Android phone.[587]

Early life and education

Trump was born on June 14, 1946, in Jamaica Estates, Queens, a neighbourhood in New York City.[3][5] He was the fourth of five children of Mary Trump (née MacLeod, 1912–2000), a homemaker and philanthropist,[6] and Fred Trump (1905–1999), a real estate developer.

Mary began life in Tong on the Isle of Lewis in Scotland.[7] She emigrated to the United States in 1930 at age 18 and worked as a domestic servant for over four years.[8][9] She met Fred and they were married in 1936, settling in Jamaica Estates, Queens. Fred eventually became one of the city's biggest real estate developers.[6][10] Mary was naturalized as a U.S. citizen on March 10, 1942.[8][9]

Fred began life in Woodhaven, Queens, to Frederick Trump and Elizabeth Trump (née Christ), immigrants from Kallstadt, Germany.[11] Frederick worked as a successful restaurateur throughout the Klondike Gold Rush.[12] In a 1976 New York Times biographical profile,[14] and again in his 1987 book, The Art of the Deal, Trump incorrectly stated that Frederick was of Swedish origin,[15][16] an assertion that Fred made for a large number of years because "he had a lot of Jewish tenants and it wasn't a good thing to be German", according to a nephew identified as a family historian by The New York Times.[17] Donald Trump later acknowledged his German ancestry and served as grand marshal of the 1999 German-American Steuben Parade in New York City.[10]

Trump has one brother, Robert (born 1948), and two sisters, Maryanne (born 1937) and Elizabeth (born 1942). Maryanne is a United States federal judge on senior status for the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.[18] An Additional brother, Fred Jr. (1938–1981), passed away of complications from alcoholism.[19]

The family had a two-story Tudor Revival home on Wareham Place in Jamaica Estates,[20] where Trump lived while attending The Kew-Forest School. At Kew-Forest, Fred Trump served as a member of the Board of Trustees. Due to behaviour problems, Trump left the school at age 13 and was enrolled in the New York Military Academy (NYMA).[21] In 1983, Fred told an interviewer that Donald "was a pretty rough fellow when he was small". Trump finished eighth grade and high school at NYMA.[22] Throughout his senior year, Trump participated in marching drills and wore a uniform, attaining the rank of captain.[23] In 2015, he told a biographer that NYMA gave him "more training militarily than a lot of the guys that go into the military".[24]

Trump attended Fordham University in the Bronx for two years. He entered the Wharton School of Finance and Commerce at the University of Pennsylvania, as Wharton then offered one of the few real estate studies departments in U.S. academia.[25] While there, he worked at the family's company, Elizabeth Trump & Son, named for his paternal grandmother.[26] Trump graduated from Wharton in 1968 with a bachelor's degree in economics.[27]

Trump wasn't drafted into the Vietnam War, for several reasons: student deferments, a medical deferment, and then a lucky high number in the draft lottery.[28] While in college, he obtained four student deferments.[28] He was deemed fit for service based upon a military medical examination in 1966, and was briefly classified as fit by a local draught board in 1968, but was then medically disqualified later in 1968.[28] Trump has attributed his medical deferment to "heel spurs" in both feet according to a 2015 biography.[24] Selective Service records from the National Archives confirm that Trump received the medical deferment and eventually received a high selective service lottery number in 1969.[29] Trump explained: "I actually got lucky because I had a quite high draught number."[29]

Business career

Real estate

Prior to graduating from college, Trump began his real estate career at his father's company,[31] Elizabeth Trump and Son, which focused on middle-class rental housing in the New York City boroughs of Brooklyn, Queens, and Staten Island. Throughout his undergraduate study, one of Trump's first projects had been the revitalization of the foreclosed Swifton Village flat complex in Cincinnati, Ohio, which his father had purchased for $5.7 million in 1962. Fred and Donald Trump became involved in the project and, with a $500,000 investment, turned the 1,200-unit complex's occupancy rate from 34 percent to 100%. Trump has said that when he graduated from college in 1968, he was worth about US$200,000 (equivalent to $1,021,000 in 2015).[32] In 1972, The Trump Organization sold Swifton Village for $6.75 million.[33][34] At age 23, he made an unsuccessful commercial foray into show business, investing $70,000 to become co-producer of the 1970 Broadway comedy Paris Is Out!.[35]

In 1971, Trump moved to Manhattan, where he became involved in larger construction projects, and used attractive architectural design to win public recognition.[36] Trump initially came to public attention in 1973 when the Trump Organization was accused by the Justice Department of violations of the Fair Housing Act in the operation of 39 buildings.[37] After an unsuccessful countersuit filed by attorney Roy Cohn,[37] Trump settled the charges in 1975 without admitting guilt, saying he was satisfied that the agreement didn't "compel the Trump Organization to accept persons on welfare as tenants unless as qualified as any additional tenant."[38] Several years later the Trump Organization was again in court for violating terms of the settlement; Trump denied the charges and there's no indication that he was found guilty.[37][39]

By 1973, Trump was president of the Trump Organization and oversaw the company's 14,000 apartments across Brooklyn, Queens, and Staten Island.[40] Trump promoted Penn Central's rail yard on 30th Street as a site for New York City's planned Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in 1975. He estimated his company could have completed the project for $110 million,[41] but, while the city chose his site, it rejected his offer and Trump received a broker's fee on the sale of the property instead.

Trump's first big deal in Manhattan[42] was the building of the Grand Hyatt Hotel in 1978 near Grand Central Station. The Grand Hyatt would replace the ageing Commodore Hotel, owned by the Penn Central Transportation Company which was in bankruptcy, and help bring Trump to public prominence. Part of this deal was a $1 million loan that Donald's father Fred's Village Construction Corp. made to help repay draws on a Chase Manhattan credit line that Fred had arranged for Trump as he built the hotel, as well as a $70 million construction loan which was jointly guaranteed by Fred and the Hyatt hotel chain. Fred Trump was a sleeping partner in the initiative, due to his reputation having been damaged in New York real estate circles after investigations into windfall profits and additional abuses in his real estate projects, making Trump the front man in the deal. According to journalist Wayne Barrett, Fred's two-decade friendship with a top Equitable officer, Ben Holloway, helped convince them to agree to the project.[42] Donald negotiated a forty-year tax abatement for the hotel with the city in exchange for a share of the venture's profits. The deal helped reduce the risk of the project and provided an incentive for investors to participate.

In 1981, Trump purchased and renovated a building that would become the Trump Plaza. The Plaza later became the home of Dick Clark and Martina Navratilova.

 

In 1983, Trump completed development of the Trump Tower. The project involved complicated negotiations with different parties for the Bonwit Teller building itself, the land, and the airspace above a neighbouring building. When negotiations were completed in 1978, the New York Times wrote "That Mr. Trump was able to obtain the location... is testimony to [his] persistence and to his skills as a negotiator." Favorable reviews of the building's design helped convince the city to approve the project. Trump hired Barbara Res to manage the building's construction, and she became the first woman to manage the construction of a skyscraper in New York City.

Trump Tower occupies the former site of the architecturally significant Bonwit Teller flagship store, demolished in 1980.[43][44] There was controversy when valuable Art Deco bas-relief sculptures on its facade, which were supposed to go to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, were destroyed throughout the demolition process.[43][44] In addition, the demolition of the Bonwit Teller store was criticised for a contractor's use of a few 200 undocumented Polish immigrant workers, who, throughout the rushed demolition process, were reportedly paid 4–5 dollars per hour for work in 12-hour shifts.[45][46] Trump testified in 1990 that he rarely visited the site and was unaware of the illegal workers, a few of whom lived at the site and who were known as the "Polish Brigade". A judge ruled in 1991 that the builders engaged in "a conspiracy to deprive the funds of their rightful contribution", referring to the pension and welfare funds of the labour unions.[47] Notwithstanding on appeal, parts of that ruling were overturned,[48] and the record became sealed when the long-running labour lawsuit was settled in 1999, after 16 years in court.[45][46]

Trump Tower, a 58-story, mixed-use skyscraper on Fifth Avenue in Midtown Manhattan, was developed by Trump and the Equitable Life Assurance Company, and was designed by architect Der Scutt of Swanke Hayden Connell.[49] Trump Tower houses both the primary penthouse condominium residence of Donald Trump and the headquarters of The Trump Organization.[50] Trump Tower is additionally the name of buildings that The Trump Organization has built in Baku, Azerbaijan; Istanbul, Turkey, and several additional places.The building includes shops, cafés, offices, and residences. Its five-level atrium features a 60-foot-high waterfall spanned by a suspended walkway, below a skylight.[51] Trump Tower was the setting of the NBC television show The Apprentice including a fully functional television studio set.[52] When the building was completed, its condominiums sold and the tower became a tourist attraction.

Harrah's at Trump Plaza opened in Atlantic City in 1984. The hotel/casino was built by Trump with financing by Holiday Inn. Trump additionally 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 successfully.

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 additionally 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 which 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 12-year construction schedule, but weren't 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.[53]

Trump acquired the Plaza Hotel on New York City's Central Park South in Manhattan in 1988. He paid $400 million for the property and once again tapped Ivana to manage its operation and renovation.

In 1988, Trump acquired the Taj Mahal Casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey, in a transaction with Merv Griffin and Resorts International.[54] The casino was opened by then-owner Donald Trump in April 1990, and was built at a total cost of nearly one billion dollars.

Financed with $675 million in junk bonds[55] at a fourteen percent interest rate, the project entered Chapter 11 bankruptcy the following year.[56]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.[57] He additionally sold his financially challenged Trump Shuttle airline and his 282-foot megayacht, the Trump Princess.[58][55][59] 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 ten percent ownership in the Trump Taj Mahal and additional Trump casino properties.[59] 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.[60]

Its sister property, Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino, closed in September 2014. In November 2014, the Trump Taj Mahal threatened to close and cease casino and hotel operations by the end of the year if the union wouldn't drop its appeal of the casino's bankruptcy ruling, rebuffing their demand for continued health insurance and pension coverage. On December 18, 2014 the Trump Taj Mahal reached an agreement with its union and kept the casino open, but didn't restore the contested benefits. In February 2016, the Trump Taj Mahal and Trump Entertainment Resorts were purchased by billionaire Carl Icahn and exited Chapter 11 bankruptcy.[61]

The late 1990s saw a resurgence in Trump's financial situation. The will of Trump's father, who passed away in 1999, divided an estate estimated at $250–300 million[17] equally amongst his four surviving children.

Trump acquired an old, vacant office building on Wall Street in Manhattan in 1996. After a complete renovation, it became the seventy storey Trump Building at 40 Wall Street.

In 2001, Trump completed Trump World Tower, a 72-story residential tower across from the United Nations Headquarters.[62] Also, he began construction on Trump Place, a multi-building development along the Hudson River. Trump 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 additionally continued to own millions of square feet of additional prime Manhattan real estate.[63]

Trump acquired the former Hotel Delmonico in Manhattan in 2002. It was re-opened with 35 storeys of luxury condominiums in 2004 as the Trump Park Avenue.

By 2014, Trump retained ten percent ownership of Trump Entertainment Resorts, which owns the Trump Taj Mahal and Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino, both in Atlantic City. In that year, Trump Entertainment Resorts entered Chapter 11 bankruptcy and closed Trump Plaza in Atlantic City indefinitely. Billionaire Carl Icahn purchased the company in 2016, acquiring Trump Taj Mahal; Icahn kept Trump's name on the building even though Trump no longer had any ownership.[61]

According to a July 2015 press release from his campaign manager, Trump's "income" for the year 2014 was $362 million ("which doesn't include dividends, interest, capital gains, rents and royalties").[64] His disclosure filings for the year 2015 revealed that his total gross revenue was in excess of $611 million.[65] According to Fortune magazine, the $362 million figure as stated on his FEC filings isn't "income" but gross revenue before salaries, interest payments on outstanding debt, and additional business-related expenses; Trump's net income was "most likely" about one-third of that.[66][67] According to public records, Trump received a $302 New York tax rebate in 2013 (and in two additional recent years) given to couples earning less than $500,000 per year, who submit as proof their federal tax returns.[67] Trump's campaign manager has suggested that Trump's tax rebate was an error.[67] Trump hasn't publicly released his federal tax returns, saying he wouldn't do so because of ongoing IRS audits.[69][70]

Trump has licensed his name and image for the development of a large number of real estate projects. Trump-branded properties, which aren't owned by Trump, including two Trump-branded real estate projects in Florida have gone into foreclosure.[71] 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.[72]

Trump has additionally licenced his name to son-in-law Jared Kushner's fifty storey 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 most of the time be expected to obtain U.S. permanent residency for themselves and their families after two years.[73] A spokesperson clarified that Trump is a partner with Kushner Properties only in name licencing and not in the building's financing.[73]

An analysis of Trump's business career by The Economist in 2016, concludes that his "...performance [from 1985 to 2016] has been mediocre compared with the stock market and property in New York", noting both his successes and bankruptcies. Any such analysis is difficult because, as the newspaper observed, "Information about Mr Trump’s business is sketchy. He doesn't run a publicly listed firm..." Trump's early successes were partly commingled with those of his father so they omit them claiming, "The best long-term starting point is 1985, when Mr Trump first appeared in the rankings without his father."[74] A subsequent analysis by the Washington Post concluded that "Trump is a mix of braggadocio, business failures, and real success."[75]

Golf courses

The Trump Organization operates a large number of golf courses and resorts in the U.S. and around the world. The number of golf courses that Trump owns or manages is about 18, according to Golfweek.[76] Trump's personal financial disclosure with the Federal Elections Commission revealed that his golf and resort revenue for the year 2015 was roughly $382 million.[65][77]

In 2006, Trump bought the Menie Estate in Balmedie, Aberdeenshire, Scotland, creating a highly controversial[78] golf resort, against the wishes of local residents, on an area designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest.[80][81] 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.[82] Despite Trump's promises of 6,000 jobs, a decade later, by his own admission, the golf course has created only 200 jobs.[83]

In April 2014, Trump purchased the Turnberry hotel and golf resort in Ayrshire, Scotland, which is a regular fixture in the Open Championship rota.[84][85] In June 2015, Trump's appeal objecting to an offshore windfarm (Aberdeen Bay Wind Farm) within sight of the golf links was denied.[11] In December 2015, Trump's attempt to prevent the windfarm being built within sight of his golf course was dismissed by five justices at the UK Supreme Court in the case of Trump International Golf Club Scotland Ltd v The Scottish Ministers.[11]

Football and boxing

In 1983, Trump purchased the New Jersey Generals for the inaugural season of the United States Football League (USFL). Trump and the Generals hired former New York Jets head coach Walt Michaels to replace Chuck Fairbanks. Before the inaugural season began, Trump sold the franchise to Oklahoma oil magnate J. Walter Duncan. Then, prior to the 1984 season, Duncan sold the team back to Trump.[11][11]

The USFL played its first 1983, 1984, and 1985 seasons throughout the summer. Trump convinced the majority of the owners of additional USFL teams to move the USFL 1986 schedule to the fall, directly opposite the National Football League (NFL), arguing that it would eventually force a merger with the NFL; owners of any USFL teams included in a merger would see their investment increase significantly.[11]

In 1985, the Houston Gamblers merged into the Generals, adding such stars as quarterback Jim Kelly and wide receiver Ricky Sanders. Trump retained a 50 percent interest in the merged team.[11] Michaels was fired, replaced with former Gamblers coach Jack Pardee, who planned to bring the Gamblers' high-powered run and shoot offense with him. Notwithstanding the USFL's "Dream Team" never took the field. The 1986 season was cancelled after the USFL won a minimal verdict (of less than four dollars) in an antitrust lawsuit against the NFL; the USFL folded soon afterward.[92]

Following the USFL experience, Trump remained involved with sports, operating golf courses in several countries, and almost buying the Buffalo Bills football team.[92] He additionally hosted several boxing matches in Atlantic City at the Trump Plaza, including Mike Tyson's 1988 fight against Michael Spinks, and at one time acted as a financial advisor for Tyson.[92][11][11]

Business bankruptcies, 1991–2009

Trump has never filed for personal bankruptcy, but hotel and casino businesses of his have been declared bankrupt four times between 1991 and 2009 to re-negotiate debt with banks and owners of stock and bonds.[11][12] 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 quite good for me" as a tool for trimming debt.[12][98]

According to a report by Forbes in 2011, the four bankruptcies were the result of over-leveraged hotel and casino businesses in Atlantic City: Trump Taj Mahal (1991), Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino (1992), Trump Hotels and Casino Resorts (2004), and Trump Entertainment Resorts (2009).[99][12] 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."[56] He indicated that a large number of "great entrepreneurs" do the same.[99]

Beauty pageants

From 1996 until 2015, when he sold his interests,[101] Trump owned part or all of the Miss Universe, Miss USA, and Miss Teen USA beauty pageants. Among the most recognised beauty pageants in the world, the Miss Universe pageant was founded in 1952 by the California clothing company Pacific Mills.[12]

In 2002, Trump was dissatisfied with how CBS scheduled his pageants, and took both Miss Universe and Miss USA to NBC, where the shows thrived. In 2006, Miss USA winner Tara Conner tested positive for cocaine, but Trump let her keep the crown, for the sake of giving her a second chance. That decision by Trump was criticised by Rosie O'Donnell, which led to a quite blunt and personal rebuttal by Trump criticising O'Donnell. In 2012, Trump won a $5 million court award against a contestant who claimed the show was rigged.[12]

In 2015, NBC and Univision both ended their business relationships with the Miss Universe Organization after Trump's presidential campaign kickoff speech on June 16, in which he said about Mexico: "They’re sending people that have a lot of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people."[104][12]

Trump subsequently filed a $500 million lawsuit against Univision, alleging a breach of contract and defamation. In his statement about the lawsuit against Univision, Trump said, "Nothing that I stated was different from what I have been saying for a large number of years. I want strong borders, and I don't support or condone illegal immigration. There is a high level of crime occurring in this country due to unchecked illegal immigration. This is a major security issue for the United States...."[106][107]

On September 11, 2015, Trump announced that he had become the sole owner of the Miss Universe Organization by purchasing NBC's stake, and that he had "settled" his lawsuits against the network,[108] though it was unclear whether Trump had yet filed lawsuits against NBC.[109] He sold his own interests in the pageant shortly afterwards, to WME/IMG.[101] As for the $500 million lawsuit against the Hispanic network Univision, that lawsuit was settled in February 2016, but terms of the settlement weren't disclosed.[110]

Trump University

Trump University LLC (formerly the Trump Wealth Institute;[111] later named Trump Entrepreneur Initiative LLC) was an American for-profit education company that ran a real estate training programme from 2005 until at least 2010. After multiple lawsuits, it is now defunct. It was founded by Donald Trump and his associates, Michael Sexton and Jonathan Spitalny, in 2004.[112] The company offered courses in real estate, asset management, entrepreneurship, and wealth creation, charging fees ranging from $1,500 to $35,000 per course.[113] The State of New York has filed a lawsuit against the renamed "Trump Entrepreneur Initiative" (New York regulators decided the word "university" was misleading[114][115]) for allegedly illegal business practices,[113][116][117] while class action lawsuits proceed against him including two under jurisdiction of U.S. District Court Judge Gonzalo P. Curiel in California.[118][119][120]

Branding and licensing

Trump has marketed his name on a large number of building projects as well as commercial products and services, achieving mixed success doing so for himself, his partners, and investors in the projects.[121][122] His external entrepreneurial and investment ventures include Trump Financial (a mortgage firm), Trump Sales and Leasing (residential sales), Trump International Realty (a residential and commercial real estate brokerage firm), The Trump Entrepreneur Initiative (a for profit business education company, formerly called the Trump University),[1] Trump Restaurants (located in Trump Tower and consisting of Trump Buffet, Trump Catering, Trump Ice Cream Parlor, and Trump Bar), [2] (an online travel search engine[123][124][125]), Select By Trump (a line of coffee drinks),[126] Trump Drinks (an energy drink for the Israeli and Palestinian markets)[127][128][129][130] Donald J. Trump Signature Collection (a line of menswear, men's accessories, and watches), Donald Trump The Fragrance (2004), SUCCESS by Donald Trump (a second fragrance launched by The Trump Organization and the Five Star Fragrance Company released in March 2012), Trump Ice bottled water, the former Trump Magazine,[131] Trump Golf, Trump Chocolate, Trump Home (home furnishings),[132] Trump Productions (a television production company), Trump Institute, Trump: The Game (1989 board game with a 2005 re-release version tied to The Apprentice),[124] Donald Trump's Real Estate Tycoon (a business simulation game), Trump Books, Trump Model Management, Trump Shuttle, Trump Mortgage, Trump Network (a multi-level vitamin, cosmetic, and urinalysis marketing company),[133][134] Trump Vodka,[132][135][136] Trump Steakhouse[123][137] and Trump Steaks.[124] In addition, Trump reportedly received $1.5 million for each one-hour presentation he did for The Learning Annex.[139] Trump additionally endorsed ACN Inc., a multi-level marketing telecommunications company. He has spoken at ACN International Training Events at which he praised the company's founders, business model and video phone.[141] He earned a total $1.35 million for three speeches given for the company, amounting to $450,000 per speech.[142]

In 2011, Forbes' financial experts estimated the value of the Trump brand at $200 million. Trump disputes this valuation, saying that his brand is worth about $3 billion.[143] Many developers pay Trump to market their properties and to be the public face for their projects.[144] For that reason, Trump doesn't own a large number of of the buildings that display his name.[144] According to Forbes, this portion of Trump's empire, actually run by his children, is by far his most valuable, having a $562 million valuation. According to Forbes, there are 33 licencing projects under development including seven "condo hotels" (the seven Trump International Hotel and Tower developments). In June 2015, Forbes pegged the Trump brand at USD$125 million[145] as retailers like Macy's Inc. and Serta Mattresses began dropping Trump branded products, with Macy's saying they're "disappointed and distressed by recent remarks about immigrants from Mexico."[146][147]

Investments

According to a July 2015 press release by Trump's campaign, a portion of Trump's fortune is held in assets outside his holdings in The Trump Organization, a large number of of which were concentrated in financial markets. In 2011, Trump made a rare foray into the stock market after being disappointed with the depressed American real estate market and facing poor returns on bank deposits. He stated that he wasn't a stock market person, but he additionally stated that prime real estate at good prices is hard to get. Among the stocks Trump purchased, he stated he bought stock in Bank of America, Citigroup, Caterpillar Inc., Intel, Johnson & Johnson and Procter & Gamble.[148] In December 2012, Trump revealed that he additionally added shares of Facebook to his stock portfolio.[149] Trump additionally has US$9 million invested in hedge funds.[150] He earned US$6.7 million from selling shares in Bank of America and an additional US$3.9 million from selling Facebook in 2014.[145]

Taxes

Trump has released financial information,[64][65] but hasn't released his tax returns,[151] saying that he'll do so before the 2016 election if an ongoing audit by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is completed covering tax returns for the years 2009 thru 2016.[70][152] Former Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney is amongst those who have questioned Trump's purported wealth and his unwillingness to release his tax returns, suggesting Trump might be wary of revealing a potential electoral "bombshell".[153][154][155][156] Trump responded by disclosing the existence of the ongoing audit.[69][157][158] Trump later said that the government has audited him too a large number of times, and he speculated about possible reasons for auditing him again now, saying that perhaps it was because he's a "strong Christian", though he added "I don't think it applies".[159] Trump says he'll not yet release records for audited years that he had "passed" because such records "mesh" and "interrelate" with current disputed IRS filings. Tax attorneys are generally sympathetic to wanting tax returns kept private until an audit is completed. 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.[69][160][161] When asked by journalist George Stephanopoulos if he would reveal his tax rate, Trump replied: "It's none of your business, you'll see it when I release. But I fight quite hard to pay as little tax as possible".[161][162][163]

Net worth

Trump has claimed that his net worth is over ten billion dollars, whereas in 2015 Forbes estimated his net worth at 4.5 billion, and Bloomberg estimated it at 2.9 billion, with the discrepancies due in part to the uncertainty of appraised property values.[166] These estimates would make Trump one of the richest politicians in American history. As of March 2016, Forbes had him listed at #336 on its list of the world's most wealthy.[167]

Trump was listed on the initial Forbes List of wealthy individuals in 1982 as having an estimated $200 million fortune, including a share of his father's estimated $200 million net worth.[168] After several years on the list, Trump's financial indiscipline in the 1980s caused him to be dropped from 1990 to 1995, and reportedly obliged him to borrow from his siblings' trusts in 1993;[168] in 2005, The New York Times referred to Trump's "verbal billions" in a sceptical article about Trump's self-reported wealth.[168] At the time, three individuals with direct knowledge of Trump's finances told reporter Timothy L. O'Brien that Trump's actual net worth was between $150 and $250 million, though Trump then publicly claimed a net worth of $5 to $6 billion.[168] Claiming libel, Trump sued the reporter (and his book publisher) for $5 billion, lost the case, and then lost again on appeal; Trump refused to turn over his unredacted tax returns notwithstanding his assertion they supported his case.[169] In a sworn deposition, Trump testified that he once borrowed $9.6 million from his father, calling it "a quite small amount of money", but couldn't recall when he did so;[170] Trump has after told campaign audiences he began his career with "a small loan of one million dollars" from his father,[170] which he paid back with interest: "it hasn't been easy for me", Trump told one New Hampshire crowd.[171]

In April 2011, amidst speculation whether Trump would run as a candidate in the U.S. presidential election of 2012, Politico quoted unnamed sources close to him stating that, if Trump should decide to run for president, he would file "financial disclosure statements that [would] show his net worth [was] in excess of $7 billion with more than $250 million of cash, and quite little debt."[172] Although Trump didn't run as a candidate in the 2012 elections, his "professionally prepared" 2012 financial disclosure was published in his book which claimed a $7 billion net worth.

Estimates of Trump's net worth have fluctuated along with real estate valuations: in 2015, Forbes pegged it as $4 billion,[174] while the Bloomberg Billionaires Index (which scrutinised Trump's FEC filings) estimated a net worth of $2.9 billion.[175] On June 16, 2015, just prior to announcing his candidacy for president of the United States, Trump released to the media a one-page prepared financial disclosure statement "from a big accounting firm—one of the most respected"[176] stating a net worth of $8,737,540,000.[19] "I'm really rich", Trump said.[176] Forbes called the nearly $9 billion figure a "100%" exaggeration. In June 2015, Business Insider published Trump's June 2014 financial statement, noting that $3.3 billion of that total is represented by "Real Estate Licensing Deals, Brand and Branded Developments", described by Business Insider as "basically [implying] that Trump values his character at $3.3 billion."[19] In July 2015, Federal election regulators released new details of Trump's self-reported wealth and financial holdings when he became a Republican presidential candidate, reporting that his assets are worth above $1.4 billion, which includes at least $70 million in stocks, and a debt of at least $265 million.[180][181] Mortgages on Trump's major properties—including Trump Tower, 40 Wall Street, and the Trump National Doral golf course—each fall into the "above $50 million" range, the highest reportable category on FEC filings, with Trump paying interest rates ranging from four percent to 7.125%.[182] (Mortgages on those three properties were separately reported as $100 million, $160 million, and $125 million in 2013.[183]) Other outstanding Trump mortgages and debts are pegged to current market interest rates.[182] A 2012 report from Trump's accounting firm estimated $451.7 million in debt and additional collateral obligations.[183] Filings in 2015 revealed debt of $504 million, according to Fortune magazine.[66]

A July 2015 campaign press release, issued one month after Trump announced his presidential run, said that the FEC filing "was not designed for a man of Mr. Trump's massive wealth"[182] and that his "net worth is in excess of TEN BILLION DOLLARS".[181][19] Notwithstanding Trump has testified that "my net worth fluctuates, and it goes up and down with markets and with attitudes and with feelings—even my own feelings."[185] On the same day, Trump's own stated estimates of his net worth have varied by as much as $3.3 billion.[168] Trump has additionally acknowledged that past exaggerated estimates of his wealth have been "good for financing".[186] Forbes has said that although Trump "shares a lot of information with us that helps us get to the figures we publish," he "consistently pushes for a higher net worth—especially when it comes to the value of his personal brand." Forbes reduced its estimate of Trump's net worth by $125 million following Trump's controversial 2015 remarks about Mexican illegal immigrants, which ended Trump's business contracts with NBCUniversal, Univision, Macy's, Serta, PVH Corporation, and Perfumania.[187] An internal Young & Rubicam study of Trump's brand favorability amongst high-income consumers showed "plummeting" ratings at the end of 2015, suggesting that Trump's various businesses could face market difficulties and financing challenges in the future.[188]

Entertainment media

Trump has twice been nominated for an Emmy Award and has made appearances as a caricatured version of himself in television series and films.[20] He has additionally played an oil tycoon in The Little Rascals. Trump is a member of the Screen Actors Guild and receives an annual pension of more than $110,000.[20][20] He has been the subject of comedians, flash cartoon artists, and online caricature artists. Trump additionally had his own daily talk radio programme called Trumped!.[20][20][20]

The Apprentice

In 2003, Trump became the executive producer and host of the NBC reality show The Apprentice, in which a group of competitors battled for a high-level management job in one of Trump's commercial enterprises. Contestants were successively "fired" and eliminated from the game. In 2004, Trump filed a trademark application for the catchphrase "You're fired."[3][4][5]

For the first year of the show, Trump earned $50,000 per episode (roughly $700,000 for the first season), but following the show's initial success, he was paid $1 million per episode.[21] In a July 2015 press release, Trump's campaign manager claimed that NBCUniversal had paid him $213,606,575 for his 14 seasons hosting the show,[64] although the network didn't verify the claim.[21] In 2007, Trump received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for his contribution to television (The Apprentice).[122][197]

Along with British TV producer Mark Burnett, Trump was hired as host of The Celebrity Apprentice, in which well-known stars compete to win money for their charities. While Trump and Burnett co-produced the show, Trump stayed in the forefront, deciding winners and "firing" losers.

On February 16, 2015, NBC announced that they would be renewing The Apprentice for a fifteenth season.[21] Eleven days later, Trump stated that he was "not ready" to sign on for another season because of the possibility of a presidential run.[21] Despite this, on March 18, NBC announced they were going ahead with production.[21] On June 29, 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," apparently ending Trump's role in The Apprentice.[21]

Filmography

TitleYearNotesRole
The Jeffersons[202]1985Episode titled "You’ll Never Get Rich"Himself
Ghosts Can’t Do It[202]1989Movie
Home Alone 2: Lost in New York[202]1992Movie
The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air[202]1994Episode titled “For Sale by Owner”
Across the Sea of Time[202]1995Movie
The Little Rascals[202]1995MovieWaldo’s Dad (an oil tycoon)
The Nanny[202]1996Episode titled "The Rosie Show"Himself
Eddie[202]1996Movie
The Associate[202]1996Movie
Suddenly Susan[203]1997Episode titled "I'll See That and Raise You Susan"
The Drew Carey Show[203]1997Episode titled "New York and Queens"
Night Man[21]1997Episode titled "Face to Face"
Spin City[202]1998Episode titled "The Paul Lassiter Story"
Celebrity[202]1998Movie
Sex and the City[202]1999Episode titled “The Man, the Myth, the Viagra”
Zoolander[202]2001Movie
The Job[203]2001Episode titled "Elizabeth"
Two Weeks Notice[203]2002Movie
Days of Our Lives[205]2005Guest star on daytime television soap opera.
58th Primetime Emmy Awards[206]2006minimusicalOliver Wendell Douglas
Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps[207]2010Trump's scene in this movie was cut from final version but is available on the DVD.Himself
Saturday Night Live[208]2015Trump hosted the November 7, 2015 episode of SNLHimself / Tax Guy (In Hotline Bling skit)

Trump Model Management

In 1999, Trump founded a modelling company, Trump Model Management, which operates in the SoHo neighbourhood of New York City.[209] Together with another Trump company, Trump Management Group LLC, Trump Model Management has brought nearly 250 foreign fashion models into the U.S. to work in the fashion industry after 2000.[210] In 2014, president of Trump Model Management Corrine Nicolas, additional managers, and the company were sued by one of the agency's former models, Alexia Palmer, alleging racketeering, breach of contract, mail fraud, and violating immigrant wage laws.[211] The case was dismissed from federal court in March 2016.[212]

World Wrestling Entertainment

Trump is a World Wrestling Entertainment fan and friend of WWE owner Vince McMahon. He has hosted two WrestleMania events in the Trump Plaza and has been an active participant in several of the shows.[213] Trump's Taj Mahal in Atlantic City was host to the 1991 WBF Championship (which was owned by WWE, known at the time as the "World Wrestling Federation"). He additionally appeared in WrestleMania VII. He was interviewed by Jesse Ventura ringside at WrestleMania XX.[214]

Trump appeared at WrestleMania 23 in a match called "The Battle of the Billionaires."[213] He was in the corner of Bobby Lashley, while Vince McMahon was in the corner of Lashley's opponent Umaga with Stone Cold Steve Austin as the special guest referee.[213] The deal was that either Trump or McMahon would have their head shaved if their competitor lost.[213] Lashley won the match, and so McMahon got the haircut.[213]

On June 15, 2009, as part of a storyline, McMahon announced on Monday Night Raw that he had "sold" the show to Trump.[213] Appearing on screen, Trump declared he would be at the following commercial-free episode in person and would give a full refund to the people who purchased tickets to the arena for that night's show.[213] McMahon "bought back" Raw the following week for twice the price.[213]

Trump was inducted into the celebrity wing of the WWE Hall of Fame in 2013, at Madison Square Garden for his contributions to the promotion. He made his sixth WrestleMania appearance the next night.[23]

Politics

Trump has described his political leanings and positions in various ways over time.[216][217][218] Politico has described his positions as "eclectic, improvisational and most often contradictory".[218] He has listed several different party affiliations over the years,[218][219] and has additionally run as a Reform Party candidate.[219] The positions that he has revised or reversed include stances on progressive taxation, abortion, and government involvement in health care.[218]

Political affiliations

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 U.S. President in the late 70s.[220] In 1987 he registered as a Republican until 1999. He then 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.[23] From 2001 to 2009 he was a Democrat and then switched back to the Republican Party in 2009 after endorsing Republican John McCain for President.[23] In December 2011, Trump became an Independent for five months, before returning to the Republican Party, where he has pledged to stay.[23][23]

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.[225] After 2011, his campaign contributions were more favourable to Republicans than to Democrats.[226] In February 2012, Trump endorsed Republican Mitt Romney for President.[227] When asked in 2015 which recent President he prefers, Trump picked Democrat Bill Clinton over the Republican Bushes.[228][229]

Involvement in politics, 1988–2015

Trump floated the idea of running for president in 1988, 2004, and 2012, and for Governor of New York in 2006 and 2014, but didn't enter those races.[230][231] 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.[232]

In 1999, Trump filed an exploratory committee to seek the presidential nomination of the Reform Party in 2000.[233] 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. Though he dropped out of the race due to party infighting, Trump still won the party's California and Michigan primaries after dropping out.[234][235][236]

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".[237]

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 amongst potential contenders, one point ahead of former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney.[240] A Newsweek poll conducted in February 2011 showed Trump within a few points of Barack Obama, with a large number of voters undecided in the November 2012 general election for president of the United States.[241] 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.[26][26] His moves were interpreted by a few media as possible promotional tools for his reality show The Apprentice.[244][26][26]

In April 2011, Trump waded into the controversy about President Barack Obama's proof of eligibility as a natural born citizen: "His grandmother in Kenya said he began life in Kenya and she was there and witnessed the birth, okay?"[247][248][249] Trump's claim was based upon an incomplete transcript filed years earlier in a court case.[248][250][26] Trump additionally questioned whether Obama's grades alone warranted entry to his Ivy League schools, and called for release of school records,[27] plus release of a long form birth certificate.[27][27] Two days later, the White House sought to put the longstanding matter to rest with release of the long form.[27] Trump said he hoped it "checks out", and expressed pride about his role.[256] When asked years later where Obama was born, Trump said: "I really don't know. I mean, I don't know why he wouldn't release his records. But you know, honestly, I don't want to get into it".[257][27]

Trump’s strengths as a potential candidate in the 2012 presidential election included being a businessman, not being a politician, not talking like a politician, and not thinking like a politician.[260] He generally had polled at or below 17 percent amongst the crowded field of possible Republican candidates.[260] On May 16, 2011, Trump announced he wouldn't run for president in the 2012 election, while additionally saying he would have won.[244]

In 2013, Trump was a featured speaker at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC).[261] Throughout the lightly-attended early-morning speech, Trump said that President Obama gets "unprecedented media protection", he spoke against illegal immigration, and advised against harming Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security.[27]

Also in 2013, he spent over $1 million to research a possible run for president of the United States.[263] 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 wasn't of great interest to him. He additionally made statements denying climate change that were discordant with the opinion of the scientific community. In February 2015, Trump opted not to renew his television contract for The Apprentice, generating speculation that he might run for president in 2016.

Presidential campaign, 2016

On June 16, 2015, Trump announced his candidacy for President of the United States at Trump Tower in New York City. Trump drew attention to domestic issues like illegal immigration, offshoring of American jobs, the U.S. national debt, and Islamic terrorism, and announced his campaign slogan, "Make America Great Again." Trump ran as a self-described conservative, particularly in fiscal and religious matters. His campaign emphasises American patriotism, with disdain for political correctness.

In the primary election, the Republican establishment widely opposed Trump's candidacy, doubting his chances of winning the general election and fearing he could cause significant harm to the image of the Republican Party. Throughout the primaries, political contenders described him as "divisive", "unserious", and a "bully", denouncing the personal attacks he makes on journalists, politicians, and competing candidates.[264][265][266] Notwithstanding Trump's candidacy succeeded with Republican primary voters, partly because of widespread media coverage, his ability to largely self-finance his campaign without reliance on super PACs, frequent endorsements, and the perception that he "tells it like it is".[267][268] As of June 2016, about four percent of his campaign was funded by super PACs.[269]

Trump has generally employed strong rhetoric.[270] He has supported Christian groups in the U.S., claiming that he'll reverse unfavourable tax treatments preventing them from expressing themselves in the political arena and promising to revive a more widespread use of the phrase "Merry Christmas" instead of "Happy Holidays" in department stores. Other issues he highlights include taking care of military veterans, making the military "strong", aggressive bombing of the Mideast terrorist group ISIS, surveillance of certain mosques in the U.S., and making trade agreements more favourable to American workers.[271][272][273]

Primaries

Trump entered a large field of candidates consisting of 16 additional Republican candidates campaigning for the nomination, the largest presidential field in American history.[274] By early 2016, the race had mostly centred on Donald Trump and U.S. Senator Ted Cruz.[275] On Super Tuesday, Trump won the majority of the delegates and remained the front-runner throughout the primaries. By March 2016, Trump reached over fifty percent in national support from Republican primary voters and became poised to win the Republican nomination.[276] 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 nominee. Finishing in June 2016 with nearly 14 million votes, Trump broke the all-time record for winning the most primary votes in the history of the Republican Party.[282]

General election

After fitting the presumptive Republican nominee, Trump's focus shifted to the general election, urging remaining primary voters to "save their vote for the general election."[283] Trump began targeting Hillary Clinton, who became the presumptive Democratic nominee on June 6, 2016, and continued to campaign across the country under police protection. One month before the Republican National Convention, Secret Service agents thwarted an assassination attempt on Trump by a 20-year-old man illegally residing in the U.S. throughout one of his rallies in Las Vegas.[289]

Political positions

Trump has described his political positions in various and most often contradictory ways over time.[216][218][290] Politifact writes 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."[291] Politico has described his positions as "eclectic, improvisational and most often contradictory."[218] Trump's political positions are widely described by the media as "populist".[292][293]

Social issues

Some political analysts describe Trump as a "moderate" regarding LGBT rights and abortion.[299] Trump describes himself as pro-life and would ban late-term abortions except in cases of rape, incest, or health.[300] He is in favour of cutting federal funding for Planned Parenthood.[301] Trump supports the Second Amendment and is opposed to gun control in general.[302] He supports fixing the federal background cheque system so that criminal and mental health records are always put into the system.[303] Trump opposes legalizing recreational marijuana but supports legalising medical marijuana.[304]

Trump has stated that he supports "traditional marriage".[305] He has described himself as a "friend" of the LGBT community and hasn't committed to reversing the June 2015 Obergefell v. Hodges Supreme Court ruling that legalised same-sex marriage nationwide.[311] Regarding the ruling, he said: "I would have preferred states, you know, making the decision and I let that be known. But they made the decision. [...] So, at a certain point you have to be realistic about it."[300][306] Trump has demonstrated his support of capital punishment both through his campaign speeches about killings of police officers,[312] and through full-page ads he purchased favouring capital punishment in New York throughout the 1989 Central Park jogger case.[313]

Healthcare and education

Trump favours replacing the Affordable Care Act (commonly referred to as "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.[314] He has voiced support for a single-payer healthcare system in the past, but distanced himself from the idea throughout his 2016 campaign.[315] Trump favours getting rid of backlogs and waitlists which are the focus of the Veterans Health Administration scandal. In a statement, he said he believes that Veterans Affairs facilities need to be upgraded with recent technology, hire more veterans to treat additional veterans, increase support of female veterans, and create satellite clinics within hospitals in rural areas.[316] Trump has stated his support for school choice and local control for primary and secondary schools.[318] He opposes the Common Core State Standards Initiative for primary and secondary schools,[300][319] and has called Common Core "a disaster" that must be ended.[320]

Trade

Trump identifies as a "free trader", but says that trade must be "reasonably fair".[321] He strongly opposes the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).[322] His campaign's tax plan calls for reducing the corporate tax rate to fifteen percent concurrent with the elimination of various loopholes and deductions.[323] Throughout the Republican Party Primary, Trump said that the minimum wage shouldn't be raised because increasing it would hurt America's economic competitiveness.[324] Notwithstanding after fitting the presumptive nominee for Republican candidate for President he has stated that he's open to raising the minimum wage, saying: "I haven't decided in terms of numbers. But I think people have to get more."[325]

Foreign policy

Trump has been 'described' as non-interventionist[326][327] and nationalist.[328] He supports increasing U.S. military defense spending,[328] but favors decreasing U.S. spending on NATO.[329]  Several months after being elected President and on 5/25/17, at NATO and on a tour of their new headquarters - his behavior was characterized by a Washington Post op-ed and elsewhere as a national embarrassment.[701][702]Cutting in line and shoving another country's Prime Minister (of Montenegroepitomizes diplomatic rudeness; Trump offered no apology, no pardon me, no pardonne-moi (French is an official language of Brussels, Belgium where NATO has its HQ).[704]   See also the ugly American and ugly American (epithet).  About 6,000 protesters demonstrated against Trump in Brussels Belgium just one day prior to the NATO event.[703]   

He supports expanded use of aggressive interrogation techniques, including waterboarding "and a hell of a lot worse", with terrorists.[330][331]

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.[332]

Trump tentatively endorsed ("Yeah, I guess so. I wish the first time it was done correctly.") a future invasion of Iraq in 2002. [32] In 2008, Trump said that George W. Bush should have been impeached for the invasion of Iraq.[32] In 2013, he repeatedly referred to the war as a "mess" and in December 2013 additionally said that "People are questioning invading Iraq in the first place".[32] On February 13 throughout Republican Presidential debates, Trump called the war "a big, fat mistake" and alleged that "They lied. They said there were weapons of mass destruction -- there were none. And they knew there were none." [32][336] He criticised the impact of the war on the region: "[W]e should have never been in Iraq, we have destabilised the Middle East."[336] On February 18, 2016, he said that by the time the invasion occurred, he had become an opponent.[32]

In terms of confronting ISIS, Trump called for sending 20,000 to 30,000 US troops to the region,[32][32] a position he retracted.[32] He has after argued that regional allies of the US, like Saudi Arabia should provide troops in the fight.[33] He additionally believes that oil fields in ISIS-controlled areas should be bombed.[33]

Regarding the Israeli–Palestinian conflict, Trump has stated the importance of being a neutral party throughout potential negotiations, while additionally having stated that he's "a big fan of Israel."[341] He supports Israeli settlement construction in the West Bank.[33] Trump has been critical of Pakistan, comparing it to North Korea, describing it as "probably the most dangerous country" in the world, and saying that Pakistan's nuclear weapons posed a "serious problem." He has advocated improving relations with India as a "check" to Pakistan.[33]

On May 15th, 2017, Officials released information that Donald Trump revealed information to a Russian official about sensitive information concerning Middle East intelligence. [696]

The information that was given to the president by U.S. partner through an intelligence-sharing arrangement considered so sensitive that details have been withheld from allies. The intelligence is also tightly protected from the U.S. Government. The partner who shared this information with the president asked that it not be shared with Russia. [697]

Trump shared the information with Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Ambassador to the U.S. Sergey Kislyak, on May 10th during their visit to the white house. [698]

 

Environmental issues

Trump has said that the EPA is a "disgrace" and has promised to cut its budget.[33] He has called global warming "a total hoax", claiming at one point that it was perpetrated by the Chinese to harm American businesses.[305][345]

Immigration policies

Trump's proposed policies on immigration has been one his most highly discussed policies throughout the campaign. While a large number of of Trump's policies appeal to working-class voters, a few have come under scrutiny by several experts on immigration who question the effectiveness and affordability of his plans.[33][347]

Trump has emphasised U.S. border security, but says that his specific proposals throughout the campaign are flexible suggestions. Trump vows to strengthen the Mexico–United States border by building a substantial wall in order to keep out illegal immigrants, a wall which Trump promises Mexico will pay for.[348][34] Trump would additionally create a "deportation force" to deport around 11 million people illegally residing in the U.S., stating "Day 1 of my presidency, [illegal immigrants] are getting out and getting out fast."[350] Throughout Trump's campaign, U.S. naturalization applications spiked by 14 percent, creating speculation illegal immigrants are rushing to become U.S. citizens out of fear of being deported if Trump becomes President.[34] Trump additionally opposes birthright citizenship, arguing people born in the United States shouldn't automatically be granted U.S. citizenship.[34]

One of Trump's most controversial proposals was a temporary ban on foreign Muslims entering the United States.[34] This proposal by Trump came in response to a wave of radical Islamic terrorist attacks in Europe, with Trump stating that Belgium and France had been blighted by the failure of Muslims in these countries to integrate, and that living in Brussels was like living in a "hellhole" because of its dire state in Muslim assimilation.[34] The proposal came under heavy scrutiny, with critics saying such a ban would go against American values, or against the Constitution.[366] Trump later modified his position by stating that the temporary ban would apply to people originating from countries with a proven history of terrorism against the United States or its allies.[367] Trump has said that the ban would be lifted once the government has perfected its ability to screen out potential terrorists.[368]

Comments about fringe theories

According to political writer Steve Benen, unlike past political leaders, Trump hasn't kept fringe theories and their supporters at arm's length.[369] Political writer Jack Shafer says that Trump might be a "fairly conventional American populist when it comes to his policy views", but he has a revolutionary ability to attract free media attention, at times by making outrageous comments.[370]

Although Trump has refused to discuss his past comments on Obama's proof of citizenship throughout the campaign, he hasn't shied away from additional topics that attract fringe theorists.[371] Among others, Trump has alluded to the theory that President Obama is secretly a Muslim,[372][373] the unfounded notion that vaccine doses cause autism if administered too in succession,[374][375] and the conspiracy theory that former Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia might not have passed away of natural causes but was murdered.[376]

Personal life 

Family

Trump has had three marriages, the first two ending in divorce, which have been publicised in the tabloid media.[377] His personal life has additionally gained extensive coverage in the mainstream media.[380]

Trump married his first wife, Czech model Ivana Zelníčková, at age 30 on April 7, 1977 at the Marble Collegiate Church in Manhattan. They had three children: sons Donald, Jr. (born December 31, 1977) and Eric (born January 6, 1984) and daughter Ivanka (born October 30, 1981). Donald Jr., Eric, and Ivanka now serve as executive vice presidents of The Trump Organization.[381]

Ivana became a naturalised U.S. citizen in 1988, with Trump at her side.[382] Trump is popularly known as "The Donald", a nickname perpetuated by the media after Ivana referred to him as such in a 1989 Spy magazine cover story.[383][384] By early 1990, Trump's troubled marriage to Ivana and long-running affair with actress Marla Maples had become fodder for the tabloid press.[16][385] The couple divorced in 1991; then in October of that year his mother was mugged, and in November he helped a stranger who was being mugged.[386][387] In 1992, he sued Ivana for not honouring a gag clause in their divorce agreement by disclosing facts about him in her best-selling book, and Trump won a gag order.[388][389][390] In 2015, Ivana said that she and Donald "are the best of friends".[391]

Maples gave birth to their daughter Tiffany Trump on October 13, 1993. They married two months later on December 20, 1993.[392] The couple formally separated in May 1997,[393] with their divorce finalised in June 1999.[394][395]

In 1998, Trump began a relationship with Slovenian-born fashion model Melania Knauss.[396][397] They became engaged in April 2004[398] 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.[399][400][401] In 2006, Melania became a naturalised U.S. citizen.[397] In March 2006, she gave birth to their son whom they named Barron William Trump.[402][38] (Trump had previously used the pseudonym "John Baron" or "Barron" in a few business deals and for additional purposes.[14][45][404][405]) Having spoken the language after his childhood, Barron is fluent in Slovenian.[406] In a February 2009 interview on ABC's news programme 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.[407]

Trump has eight grandchildren: five via his son Donald Jr.,[38][38][38] and three via his daughter Ivanka.[38][38][413]

His brother Fred Jr. predeceased his father Fred, and, shortly after the latter passed away in 1999, Fred III's wife 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).[414] 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.[415] 

Donald Trump says that he's proud of all of his children, but of Tiffany Trump to a lesser extent because she just got out of college and doesn't have the same resume as her siblings.[684]

Religious views

Trump is a Presbyterian.[416] Trump said he began going to church at the First Presbyterian Church in the Jamaica neighbourhood in Queens, when he was younger.[417] Trump attended Sunday school and had his confirmation at that church.[417]

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."[418][419] 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's a Presbyterian and not an active member of Marble.[417] Trump has said that although he participates in Holy Communion, he hasn't 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."[420]

In 1983, the Reverend Norman Vincent Peale, described in a New York Times profile as Trump's "pastor" and "family minister", said that Trump was "kindly and courteous in certain business negotiations and has a profound streak of honest humility."[22] Trump calls his own book The Art of the Deal (1987) "my second favourite book of all time," and has told campaign audiences: "Do you know what my first is? The Bible! Nothing beats the Bible."[421][422] Declining to name his favourite Bible verse, Trump said "I don't like giving that out to people that you hardly know."[417]

Trump maintains relationships with several prominent national Evangelical Protestant and additional Christian leaders, including Tony Perkins and Ralph Reed.[423] Throughout his 2016 presidential campaign, he received a blessing from Greek Orthodox priest Emmanuel Lemelson.[424]

Trump has ties to the Jewish-American community.[425] At an Algemeiner Journal awards ceremony honouring 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'm quite honoured by that ... it wasn't in the plan but I'm quite glad it happened."[426]

Controversy involving the Pope

In February 2016, while on his way home following a visit to Mexico, Pope Francis said the following:[428][429]

A person who thinks only about building walls—wherever they might be—and not building bridges, isn't Christian. ...I'd just say that this man [Trump] isn't 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, and suggested 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."[430][431][432] Trump said that "if and when" the Islamic State (ISIL) attacks the Vatican, the Pope would have "wished and prayed" Trump were President because under Trump's leadership, such an attack wouldn't happen.[431][432]

Shortly thereafter, Director of the Holy See Press Office Federico Lombardi insisted that the Pope was "in no way" launching an attack on Donald Trump nor was he trying to sway voters by declaring someone who advocates building walls isn't Christian.[40] The spokesman said that "the Pope has made it clear that he wouldn't enter into the [presidential] election campaign in the United States", and indeed the headlines in the United States had gone considerably beyond what the Pope had actually said.[40] After the clarification by Lombardi, Trump retracted his criticism of the Pope: "I don't think this is a fight," said Trump. "I think he said something much softer than was originally reported by the media."[40]

Other personal information

Trump has never done drugs, or smoked cigarettes, and has always heeded a warning from his older brother (an alcoholic) to not drink alcohol.[40][40][40] He additionally has germaphobic tendencies, and therefore prefers not to shake hands.[40]

On The Howard Stern Show in 1997, Trump discussed with Stern the risk of getting diseases from dating, and agreed with Stern's characterization of dating as Trump's "personal Vietnam".[438][439] Trump said he felt "like a great and quite brave soldier", but added, "This is better than Vietnam".[438][40]

Trump has hinted about "experiences" with married women.[441] He was rumoured to have dated models like Carla Bruni in the early 1990s[442][443] and Kara Young in the mid to late 1990s[444]—although Bruni denied the rumors, stating that she had met Trump only once.[445] He allegedly "bombarded" Princess Diana with expensive flowers after her 1996 divorce from Prince Charles,[446] and has said that he would have liked to have courted that "genuine princess".[447] 

In an interview with director Errol Morris in 2002, Trump told him that Citizen Kane was his favourite movie. In his personal analysis of the film, Trump believes that the message of the film is that "wealth isn't everything...because [Kane] had the wealth, but he didn't have happiness." Furthermore, Trump explained his meaning of the dinner table scene: "The table [keeps] getting larger and larger and larger, with [Kane] and his wife getting further and further apart as he got wealthier and wealthier....perhaps, I can understand that."[449]

Prior to 2015

Even before Trump's quite highly publicised presidential campaign that began in 2015, he most often appeared in popular culture. Trump has been depicted in the Doonesbury comic strip by Garry Trudeau after 1987.[450][451] The depictions prompted an unfavourable response from Trump.[452][453]

Trump and members of his family have been parodied on Saturday Night Live after 1988, and he has hosted the show twice, in April 2004 and November 2015.[454] The 2015 episode had the highest ratings of a Saturday Night Live episode after December 21, 2013.[455]

Trump roasted Joan Rivers throughout a 2009 appearance on Comedy Central, delivering off-color jokes like "My trained eye tells me that after 1982, you’ve been condemned from the waist down, and like most dilapidated structures, you haven’t been entered in decades...If necessary, we will send in a hazmat team to remove all hazardous material in that toxic pool you call a vagina, which has already been responsible for at least one fatality." [456]

You've Been Trumped, a 2011 documentary film by Anthony Baxter, follows the development of a Scottish golf resort.[132][457][458][459][460][461] When it was announced that the documentary was to be given its UK television première on BBC Two on October 21, 2012,[463] Trump's lawyers contacted the BBC to demand that the film shouldn't be shown, claiming it was defamatory and misleading. The screening went ahead, with the BBC defending the decision and stating that Trump had refused the opportunity to take part in the film.[464]

In 2011, the rapper Mac Miller released a song named after Trump, about fitting as rich as him. Trump requested royalties from the song for using his name, starting a feud between himself and Miller.[465]

During and after 2015

On February 10, 2016, Funny or Die released a parody film called Donald Trump's The Art of the Deal: The Movie.[467]

On The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Stephen Colbert would frequently feature a caricature of Trump called "Cartoon Donald Trump". Colbert's reasoning for including a cartoon version of Trump is because he felt like that Trump had resorted to "almost cartoonish tactics".[468] Meanwhile, on Jimmy Kimmel Live!, Jimmy Kimmel wrote two Dr. Seuss-like books: "Winners aren't Losers" and its sequel "Winners Still Aren't Losers". Both of these books were featured when Trump was the guest star. On the show, Kimmel would read it out loud to Trump, having Trump read the last word on both occasions.[469][470]

 

Trump as plaintiff or defendant

In the 1980s, Trump was sued for allegedly trying to force out tenants to enable demolition,[476] but the matter was settled and the demolition cancelled.[477] In 1988, Trump paid $750,000 to settle the civil penalties in an antitrust lawsuit stemming from stock purchases.[478]

In the 1990s, a business analyst predicted that the Taj Mahal would soon fail, and he then lost his job; the analyst sued Trump for allegedly having an unlawful role in the firing, and that matter was settled confidentially out of court.[479] After a helicopter crashed, killing three executives of his New Jersey hotel casino business, Trump sued the manufacturers,[480] and that case was dismissed.[481] Trump Plaza was fined $200,000 for moving African-American and female employees away from a racist and sexist gambler to accommodate him, but Trump wasn't evidently investigated, nor held personally liable, and said he wouldn't even recognise that gambler.[482] Also throughout that decade, Trump's father, Fred Trump, made an unlawful loan to Trump's Castle to help it make a mortgage payment, and the casino was required to pay a $30,000 fine, but his son wasn't penalized.[483]

Also in the 1990s, Trump sued business partner Jay Pritzker for allegedly collecting excessive fees, and the matter was settled.[484][485][486] Boarding house owner Vera Coking sued for damage throughout construction of an adjacent casino, and later dropped the suit against Trump while settling with his contractor; she additionally prevailed against Trump and additional developers in an eminent domain case.[487][488][489] In the late 1990s, Donald Trump and rival Atlantic City casino owner Stephen Wynn engaged in an extended legal conflict throughout the planning phase of new casinos Wynn had proposed to build, and the cases were ultimately settled.[490][491][492]

In the 2000s, Trump was charged with lobbying for government rejection of proposed casinos that would compete with his casinos, and he paid $250,000 to settle resulting fines.[493][494] When one of his companies was charged by the SEC with poor financial reporting, Trump's attorney said the culprit had been dismissed, and that Trump had personally been unaware of the matter.[495][496][497] Following litigation with Leona Helmsley that started in the 1990s regarding control of the Empire State Building,[498][499] Trump in 2002 sold his share in that building to rivals of Helmsley.[500][501]

Also in the 2000s, Trump sued former business partner Richard Fields for allegedly saying he still consulted for Trump, Fields counter-sued,[502][503][504][505][507] and the lawsuit was ultimately dismissed.[508] The town of Palm Beach fined Trump for building an 80-foot (24-meter) pole for the American flag at his Mar-a-Lago property, Trump then sued, and a settlement required Trump to donate $100,000 to veterans' charities, while the town agreed to let Trump enrol out-of-towners in his social club, and permitted a 10-foot shorter flagpole elsewhere on his lawn.[509] When the California city of Rancho Palos Verdes thwarted luxury home development on a landslide-prone area owned by Trump, he sued,[510][510] and the city agreed to permit extensions for a few 20 more proposed luxury homes.[511][512] Trump sued a law firm he had used, Morrison Cohen, for using his name, for providing news links at its website, and for charging excessive fees,[98] after which the firm halved the fees, and the court ruled that the links were allowable.[513] And, in the late 2000s, Trump was sued by investors in the cancelled Trump Ocean Resort Baja Mexico;[514] Trump said he had merely been a spokesperson,[514][515] and he settled the lawsuit for an undisclosed amount.[516]

In the 2010s, the Trump Organization licenced a hotel and condo project in Fort Lauderdale, but the bursting of the real estate bubble led Trump to dissolve the deal, after which the project defaulted, investors sued,[517] and Trump was caught in the ongoing lawsuits because he had participated in advertising.[121][518] Trump personally guaranteed $40 million to secure a $640 million loan for Trump International Hotel and Tower in Chicago, and when Deutsche Bank tried to gather it, Trump sued the bank for harming the project and his reputation,[519] and the bank then agreed to extend the loan term by five years.[520] The Supreme Court of Scotland rejected Trump's suits against the nation of Scotland, in which Trump had alleged that the country was illegally building a wind farm near his golf course and planned hotel.[521][522]

Also in the 2010s, Trump sued the former Miss Pennsylvania Sheena Monnin after she alleged that the Miss USA 2012 pageant was rigged,[523] and a federal judge upheld the settlement obliging her to pay Trump $5 million.[523][524][525] Trump sued Palm Beach County for pressuring the FAA to direct air traffic over his home.[526] He additionally sued chefs Geoffrey Zakarian and José Andrés, the latter saying there was no merit in Trump's allegation that he backed out of a deal at the Old Post Office Pavilion.[527][528][529][530] Trump sued the town of Ossining, New York over the property tax valuation on his golf course there,[531][531][532] after separately being sued for modifying a drainage system that allegedly damaged a library, public pool, and park facilities.[532] In connexion with a Trump presidential campaign event at Trump Tower in New York City, five men sued Trump whose security staff allegedly punched one of them.[533][47] Deborah Garcia, a restaurant worker at Trump SoHo, claims that Trump illegally withheld tips from employees, while the Trump Organization advises her to instead sue their alleged employer, a third-party contractor.[47]

Journalists David Cay Johnston and Wayne Barrett, the latter of whom wrote an unauthorised 1992 Trump biography, have claimed that Trump and his companies did business with New York and Philadelphia families linked to the Italian-American Mafia.[536][537] A reporter for the Washington Post writes, "he was never accused of illegality, and observers of the time say that working with the mob-related figures and politicos came with the territory."[538]

Campaign contributions

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.[538][47] Trump told investigators he did so on the advice of his lawyers. He additionally said the contributions weren't to curry favour with business-friendly candidates, but simply to satisfy requests from friends.[538][540]

Awards and honors

 

Books authored