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Donald Trump

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Donald Trump
Trump at lectern before backdrop with elements of logo "TRUMP"
Trump in August 2015
Born Donald John Trump
(1946-06-14) June 14, 1946 (age 70)
Queens, New York City, U.S.
Residence Manhattan, New York City
Alma mater
  • Businessman
  • television producer
  • politician
Net worth US$3.7 billion (2016)[1][2]
Political party
Relatives See Trump family

Donald John Trump (born June 14, 1946) is an American businessman, television producer and politician, who is the Republican Party nominee for President of the United States in the 2016 election. He is the chairman and president of The Trump Organization, which is the principal holding company for his real estate ventures and other business interests. During his career, Trump has built office towers, hotels, casinos, golf courses, an urban development project in Manhattan, and other branded facilities worldwide.

Born and raised in the borough of Queens in New York City, Trump received a bachelor's degree in economics from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania in 1968. While attending college, he worked in his father Fred Trump's real estate and construction firm. He was given control of the business in 1971 and later renamed it The Trump Organization. Trump has appeared at the Miss USA pageants, which he owned from 1996 to 2015, and has made cameo appearances in films and television series. He sought the Reform Party presidential nomination in 2000, but withdrew before voting began. He hosted and co-produced The Apprentice, a reality television series on NBC, from 2004 to 2015. Trump and his businesses, as well as his personal life and political views, have for decades received considerable media exposure. As of 2016, he was listed by Forbes as the 324th wealthiest person in the world, and 156th in the United States.

In June 2015, Trump announced his candidacy for president as a Republican and quickly emerged as the front-runner for his party's nomination. In May 2016, his remaining Republican rivals suspended their campaigns, and in July he was formally nominated for president at the 2016 Republican National Convention. Trump's campaign has received extensive media coverage and international attention. Many of his statements in interviews, on Twitter, and at campaign rallies have been controversial or false. Several rallies during the primaries were accompanied by protests or riots.

On October 7, a 2005 audio recording surfaced in which Trump bragged about forcibly kissing and groping women, and at least eleven women accused him of sexual assault shortly thereafter. Two sexual assault claims, made against him prior to the campaign, also received increased media attention. He apologized for the 2005 comments and denied the allegations.

Trump's platform includes renegotiation of U.S.–China trade deals, opposition to particular trade agreements such as NAFTA and the Trans-Pacific Partnership, stronger enforcement of immigration laws together with building a wall along the U.S.–Mexico border, reform of veterans' care, repeal and replacement of the Affordable Care Act, and tax cuts. Following the November 2015 Paris attacks, Trump called for a temporary ban on all Muslims entering the United States, later stating that the ban would focus instead on countries with a proven history of terrorism, until the level of vetting can be raised to screen out potential terrorists.

Early life, ancestry, education and military status

Trump was born on June 14, 1946, in Jamaica Estates, Queens, a neighborhood in New York City.[3] He was the second youngest child of Mary and Fred Trump's five children. Of his four siblings, three are living: Maryanne, Elizabeth, and Robert. Trump's older brother Fred Jr. died in 1981 from alcoholism, which Trump says led him to avoid trying alcohol or cigarettes.[4]

Trump is of German ancestry on his father's side and Scottish ancestry on his mother's side; all four of his grandparents were born outside of the United States. His father Fred (1905–1999) was born in New York and became one of the biggest real estate developers in New York City.[5][6] His mother, Mary Trump (née MacLeod, 1912–2000), was born in Scotland.[7] Fred and Mary met in New York and married in 1936, settling together in Queens.[7][8] 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, helped design X-ray machines that provided additional years of life to cancer patients, and in 1943, the F.B.I. requested him to examine Nikola Tesla's papers and equipment when Tesla died in his room at the New Yorker Hotel.[9] Trump frequently invokes his uncle as proof of his family's smart genes.[10]

Drumpf, the family's ancestral name, was changed to Trump during Germany's Thirty Years' War in the seventeenth century.[11] Trump has said that he is proud of his German heritage; he served as grand marshal of the 1999 German-American Steuben Parade in New York City.[12][nb 1]

A black-and-white photograph of Donald Trump as a teenager, smiling and wearing a dark uniform with various badges and a light-colored stripe crossing his right shoulder. This image was taken while Trump was in the New York Military Academy in 1964.
Trump as a teenager at New York Military Academy, 1964

The family had a two-story Tudor Revival home on Wareham Place in Jamaica Estates, where Trump lived while attending the Kew-Forest School.[15] At Kew-Forest, Fred Trump served as a member of the Board of Trustees. Due to behavior problems, Trump left the school at age 13 and was enrolled in the New York Military Academy (NYMA),[16] where he finished eighth grade and high school. In 1983, Fred told an interviewer that Donald "was a pretty rough fellow when he was small",[17] and at least two people who resided nearby or attended his elementary school recall him as a bully, though others including Trump himself recall him as rambunctious.[18] During his senior year, Trump participated in marching drills, wore a uniform, and attained the rank of captain.[19] In 2015, he told a biographer that NYMA gave him "more training militarily than a lot of the guys that go into the military".[20]

Trump attended Fordham University in the Bronx for two years, beginning in August 1964. He then transferred to the Wharton School of Finance and Commerce at the University of Pennsylvania, which offered one of the few real estate studies departments in United States academia.[21][22] While there, he worked at the family's company, Elizabeth Trump & Son, named for his paternal grandmother.[23] Trump graduated from Wharton in May 1968 with a Bachelor of Science in Economics.[22][24][25]

Trump was not drafted during the Vietnam War.[26] While in college from 1964 to 1968, he obtained four student deferments.[27] 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.[28] In an interview for a 2015 biography, Trump attributed his medical deferment to heel spurs.[20] In December 1969 Trump received a high number in the draft lottery, which would also have exempted him from service.[28][29][30]

Business career

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 magazine 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."[31] A subsequent analysis by The Washington Post, whose reporters were denied press credentials by the Trump presidential campaign, concluded that "Trump is a mix of braggadocio, business failures, and real success."[32]

Real estate

Early career

Prior to graduating from college, Trump began his real estate career at his father's company,[33] Elizabeth Trump and Son,[34] which focused on middle-class rental housing in the New York City boroughs of Brooklyn, Queens, and Staten Island. During his undergraduate study, one of Trump's first projects was the revitalization of the foreclosed Swifton Village apartment complex in Cincinnati, Ohio, which his father had purchased for $5.7 million in 1962.[35] 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% to 100%. Trump has said that when he graduated from college in 1968, he was worth about $200,000 (equivalent to $1,020,000 in 2015).[36] In 1972, the Trump Organization sold Swifton Village for $6.75 million.[37][38] 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![39]

He was given control of the company in 1971 and, in one of his first acts, renamed the company to The Trump Organization.[40][41] In that year, he also moved to Manhattan, where he took part in larger construction projects and used attractive architectural design to win public recognition. He and his father drew wider attention in 1973 when the Justice Department alleged that they were discriminating against blacks who wanted to rent apartments, rather than merely screening out people based on low income as the Trumps stated. Ultimately the Trumps' company and federal officials signed an agreement under which the Trumps made no admission of wrongdoing, and under which qualified minority applicants would be presented by the Urban League.[42][43]

By 1973, Trump was president of the Trump Organization, and oversaw the company's 14,000 apartments across Brooklyn, Queens, and Staten Island. In 1978, the city selected his site on the West Side of Manhattan as the location for its Jacob Javits Convention Center, after finding that he was the only bidder who had a site ready for the project.[42] He received a broker's fee on the property sale.

Trump's first big deal in Manhattan[44] was the building of the Grand Hyatt Hotel in 1978 near Grand Central Station. The Grand Hyatt would replace the aging Commodore Hotel, owned by the Penn Central Transportation Company, which was in bankruptcy, and help bring Trump to public prominence.[45] Part of this deal was a $1 million loan Fred Trump's Village Construction Corp. made to help repay draws on a Chase Manhattan credit line Fred had arranged for Donald as he built the hotel, as well as a $70 million construction loan jointly guaranteed by Fred and the Hyatt hotel chain. Fred was a silent partner in the initiative, due to his reputation having been damaged in New York real estate circles, after investigations into windfall profits and other abuses in his real estate projects, making Donald 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.[44] Donald negotiated a 40-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.[46]

In 1981, Trump purchased and renovated a building that would become the Trump Plaza, on Third Avenue in New York City.[47] Trump made this into an apartment cooperative, in which tenants partly owned the building.[47]

Trump Tower

In 1983, Trump completed development of Trump Tower, a 58-story skyscraper in Midtown Manhattan. The project involved complicated negotiations with different parties for the Bonwit Teller building, the land, and the airspace above a neighboring 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."[48]

Trump Tower occupies the former site of the architecturally significant Bonwit Teller flagship store, demolished in 1980.[49][50] There was controversy when valuable Art Deco bas-relief sculptures on its facade, which had been promised to the Metropolitan Museum of Art by Trump, were destroyed on the orders of the Trump Organization during the demolition process.[49][50] In addition, the demolition of the Bonwit Teller store was criticized for a contractor's use of some 200 undocumented Polish immigrant workers, who, during the rushed demolition process, were reportedly paid 4–5 dollars per hour for work in 12-hour shifts.[51][52] Trump testified in 1990 that he rarely visited the site and was unaware of the illegal workers, some 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 labor unions.[53] However, on appeal, parts of that ruling were overturned,[54] and the record became sealed when the long-running labor lawsuit was settled in 1999, after 16 years in court.[51][52]

Trump Tower was developed by Trump and the Equitable Life Assurance Company, and was designed by architect Der Scutt of Swanke Hayden Connell.[55] Trump Tower houses both the primary penthouse condominium residence of Donald Trump and the headquarters of the Trump Organization.[56] 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.[57] Trump Tower was the setting of the NBC television show The Apprentice including a fully functional television studio set.[58] When the building was completed, its condominiums sold quickly and the tower became a tourist attraction.[59]


Harrah's at Trump Plaza opened in Atlantic City in 1984. The hotel/casino was built by Trump with financing by Holiday Corp.[60] and operated by the Harrah's gambling unit of Holiday Corp. The casino's poor results exacerbated disagreements between Trump and Holiday Corp.[61] Trump also acquired a partially completed building in Atlantic City from the Hilton Corporation for $320 million. When completed in 1985, the hotel/casino became Trump Castle. Trump's wife, Ivana, managed the property.[62]

Trump acquired the Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Florida, in 1985 for $5 million, plus $3 million for the home's furnishings. In addition to using the home as a winter retreat, Trump also turned it into a private club with membership fees of $150,000. At about the same time, he acquired a condominium complex in Palm Beach with Lee Iacocca that became Trump Plaza of the Palm Beaches.[63]

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 were not completed by 1986. Trump took over the project, completed it in three months for $1.95 million, which was $750,000 less than the initial budget, and then operated the rink for one year with all profits going to charity in exchange for the rink's concession rights.[64][65]

Trump acquired the Plaza Hotel in Manhattan in 1988. He paid $400 million for the property and once again tapped Ivana to manage its operation and renovation.[66]

Later in 1988, Trump acquired the Taj Mahal Casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey, in a transaction with Merv Griffin and Resorts International.[67] The casino was opened in April 1990, and was built at a total cost of $1.1 billion, which at the time made it the most expensive casino ever built.[68][69] Financed with $675 million in junk bonds[70] at a 14% interest rate, the project entered Chapter 11 bankruptcy the following year.[71] 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.[72] He also sold his financially challenged Trump Shuttle airline and his 282-foot (86 m) megayacht, the Trump Princess.[70][73][74] The property was repurchased in 1996 and consolidated into Trump Hotels & Casino Resorts, which filed for bankruptcy in 2004 with $1.8 billion in debt, filing again for bankruptcy five years later with $50 million in assets and $500 million in debt. The restructuring ultimately left Trump with 10% ownership in the Trump Taj Mahal and other Trump casino properties.[74] 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.[75]

Business bankruptcies

Although Trump has never filed for personal bankruptcy, hotel and casino businesses of his have been declared bankrupt six [76] times between 1991 and 2009 due to its inability to meet required payments and to re-negotiate debt with banks, owners of stock and bonds and various small businesses (unsecured creditors).[77][78] Because the businesses used Chapter 11 bankruptcy, they were allowed to operate while negotiations proceeded. Trump was quoted by Newsweek in 2011 saying, "I do play with the bankruptcy laws—they're very good for me."[79][80]

The six bankruptcies were the result of over-leveraged hotel and casino businesses in Atlantic City and New York: Trump Taj Mahal (1991), Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino (1992), Plaza Hotel (1992), Trump Castle Hotel and Casino (1992), Trump Hotels and Casino Resorts (2004), and Trump Entertainment Resorts (2009).[76][81][82] 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."[71]

Inheritance and further acquisitions

Trump acquired an old, vacant office building on Wall Street in Manhattan in 1996. After a complete renovation, it became the seventy-story Trump Building at 40 Wall Street.[83] After his father died in 1999, Trump and his siblings received equal portions of his father's estate valued at $250–300 million.[84]

In 2001, Trump completed Trump World Tower, a 72-story residential tower across from the United Nations Headquarters.[85] Trump also began construction on Trump Place, a multi-building development along the Hudson River. He continued to own commercial space in Trump International Hotel and Tower, a 44-story mixed-use (hotel and condominium) tower on Columbus Circle which he acquired in 1996,[86] and also continued to own millions of square feet of other prime Manhattan real estate.[87]

Trump acquired the former Hotel Delmonico in Manhattan in 2002. It was re-opened with 35 stories of luxury condominiums in 2004 as the Trump Park Avenue.[88]

Trump has licensed his name and image for the development of a number of real estate projects including two Trump-branded real estate projects in Florida that have gone into foreclosure.[89] 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.[90]

Trump also licensed his name to son-in-law Jared Kushner's fifty story Trump Bay Street, a Jersey City luxury development that has raised $50 million of its $200 million capitalization largely from wealthy Chinese nationals who, after making an initial down payment of $500,000 in concert with the government's expedited EB-5 visa program, can usually obtain United States permanent residency for themselves and their families after two years.[91] Trump is a partner with Kushner Properties only in name licensing and not in the building's financing.[91]

Golf courses

A wide, sprawling golf course. In the background is the Turnberry Hotel, a two-story hotel with white facade and a red roof. This picture was taken in Ayrshire, Scotland.
A view of the Turnberry Hotel, in Ayrshire, Scotland

The Trump Organization operates many golf courses and resorts in the United States and around the world. The number of golf courses that Trump owns or manages is about 18, according to Golfweek.[92] Trump's personal financial disclosure with the Federal Elections Commission stated that his golf and resort revenue for the year 2015 was roughly $382 million.[93][94]

In 2006, Trump bought the Menie Estate in Balmedie, Aberdeenshire, Scotland, creating a golf resort against the wishes of local residents [95] on an area designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest.[96][97] 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.[98] Despite Trump's promises of 6,000 jobs, in 2016, by his own admission, the golf course has created only 200 jobs.[99]

In April 2014, Trump purchased the Turnberry hotel and golf resort in Ayrshire, Scotland, which is a regular fixture in the Open Championship rota.[100][101] In June 2015, Trump's appeal objecting to an offshore windfarm (Aberdeen Bay Wind Farm) within sight of the golf links was denied.[102] 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.[103]

Sports events

Trump at a baseball game in 2009. He is wearing a baseball cap and sitting amid a large crowd, behind a protective net.
Trump at a baseball game in 2009

In 1983, Trump's New Jersey Generals became a charter member of the new United States Football League (USFL). Before the inaugural season began in 1983, Trump sold the franchise to Oklahoma oil magnate J. Walter Duncan, and bought it back after the season. He then attempted to hire longtime Miami Dolphins coach Don Shula, but the deal fell apart because he was unwilling to meet Shula's demand for an apartment in Trump Tower. Trump ended up hiring former New York Jets coach Walt Michaels.[104][105][106] The USFL played its first three seasons during the spring and summer, but Trump convinced the majority of the owners of other 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, which would supposedly increase their investment significantly.[107]

Before the 1985 season, Trump signed Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Doug Flutie to a $7 million 5-year personal-services contract. That made Flutie the highest-paid pro football player at the time, as well as the highest-paid rookie in any professional sport.[108] After the season, the Generals merged with the Houston Gamblers. Trump owned 50% of the newly merged team, which would stay in New Jersey and retain the Generals nickname. At the time, Trump boasted "it's probably the best team in football." (New Jersey and Houston both had good but not great seasons in 1985: they each made the playoffs but lost first-round games.)

The Generals never played another game.[109] The 1986 season was cancelled after the USFL won a pyrrhic victory in an antitrust lawsuit against the NFL: the NFL technically lost the suit, but the USFL was awarded just $3.00 in cash damages. The USFL, which was down to just 7 active franchises from a high of 18, folded soon afterward.[104]

Trump attempted to buy the NFL's Buffalo Bills in 2014 but was unsuccessful. During his 2016 presidential run, he has been critical of the NFL's updated concussion rules, complaining on the campaign trail that the game has been made "soft" and "weak," saying a concussion is just "a ding on the head." He accused referees of throwing penalty flags needlessly just to be seen on television "so their wives see them at home."[110]

Trump remained involved with other sports after the Generals folded, operating golf courses in several countries.[104] He also 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.[104][111][112]

In 1989 and 1990, Trump lent his name to the Tour de Trump cycling stage race which was an attempt to create an American equivalent of European races such as the Tour de France or the Giro d'Italia. The name was suggested by his business partner, basketball commentator Billy Packer, who originally planned to call the race the Tour de Jersey. The first stage of the inaugural race ended in the college town of New Paltz, New York where picketers greeted the riders with anti-Trump signs. The second stage began in New York City, and Mayor Ed Koch, who had denounced Trump as "one of the great hucksters," boycotted the event. The last stage of the 10-stage 837-mile race was even more controversial. Going into the last stage, Belgian rider Eric Vanderaerden was favored to win the tour championship, but lost at least 1 minute 20 seconds when he took a wrong turn on a poorly marked course in Atlantic City, riding a quarter-mile or more out of his way. He ended up finishing third overall, behind tour winner Dag-Otto Lauritzen (a Norwegian rider with the American-owned 7-Eleven team) and runner-up Henk Lubberding, who also took a wrong turn during the last stage. Trump withdrew his sponsorship after the second Tour de Trump in 1990, because his other business ventures were experiencing financial woes. The race continued for several more years as the Tour DuPont.[113][114]

In February 1992, Mike Tyson was convicted in Indiana for raping an 18-year-old beauty pageant contestant. Before he was sentenced, Trump stated that the trial was a "travesty" and that he had seen many women groping Tyson. Trump suggested that Tyson should be released from prison and allowed to continue fighting, and offered to promote one or more bouts, the proceeds of which ($15 to $30 million, according to Trump) would go to Tyson's accuser and to victims of rape and abuse. Tyson was sentenced to a six-year term, and continued his boxing career only after he was paroled in 1995. Trump did not promote any of Tyson's post-prison fights, but the two men continued to be friends. In 2016, Tyson endorsed Trump's presidential candidacy. In an Indiana stump speech, Trump said: "Mike Tyson endorsed me. I love it. He sent out a tweet. Mike. Iron Mike. You know, all the tough guys endorse me. I like that, okay?"[115][116]

Beauty pageants

Further information: Miss USA, Miss Universe, and Miss Teen USA

From 1996 until 2015, when he sold his interests,[117] Trump owned part or all of the Miss Universe, Miss USA, and Miss Teen USA beauty pageants. Among the most recognized beauty pageants in the world, the Miss Universe pageant was founded in 1952 by the California clothing company Pacific Mills.[118]

Trump was dissatisfied with how CBS scheduled his pageants, and took both Miss Universe and Miss USA to NBC in 2002.[119][120] 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.[121] That decision by Trump was criticized by Rosie O'Donnell, which led to a very blunt and personal rebuttal by Trump criticizing O'Donnell.[122] In 2012, Trump won a $5 million arbitration award against a contestant who claimed the show was rigged.[123]

In 2015, NBC and Univision both ended their business relationships with the Miss Universe Organization after Trump's controversial 2015 presidential campaign remarks about Mexican illegal immigrants.[124][125] Trump subsequently filed a $500 million lawsuit against Univision, alleging a breach of contract and defamation.[126][127]

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,[128] though it was unclear whether Trump had yet filed lawsuits against NBC.[129] He sold his own interests in the pageant shortly afterwards, to WME/IMG.[117] The $500 million lawsuit against Univision was settled in February 2016, but terms of the settlement were not disclosed.[130]

Trump University

Main articles: Trump University and Cohen v. Trump

Trump University LLC[131] was an American for-profit education company that ran a real estate training program 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.[132] The company offered courses in real estate, asset management, entrepreneurship, and wealth creation, charging between $1,500 and $35,000 per course.[133] In 2005 the operation was notified by New York State authorities that its use of the word "university" violated state law. After a second such notification in 2010, the name of the operation was changed to the "Trump Entrepreneurial Institute".[134] Trump was also found personally liable for failing to obtain a business license for the operation.[135] In 2013 the state of New York filed a $40 million civil suit claiming that Trump University made false claims and defrauded consumers; the lawsuit is ongoing as of 2016.[134][136] In addition, two class-action civil lawsuits are pending in federal court relating to Trump University; they name Donald Trump personally as well as his companies.[137] One of the cases, Low v. Trump, is set for trial on November 28, 2016.[138]

Trump repeatedly criticized a judge, Gonzalo P. Curiel, who is overseeing two of the Trump University cases. During campaign speeches and interviews up until June 2016, Trump called Curiel a "hater of Donald Trump", saying his rulings have been unfair, and that Curiel "happens to be, we believe, Mexican, which is great. I think that's fine",[139] while suggesting that the judge's ethnicity posed a conflict of interest in light of Trump's proposal to build a wall on the United States–Mexican border.[138][140][141][142] Many legal experts were critical of Trump's attacks on Curiel, often viewing them as racially charged, unfounded, and an affront to the concept of an independent judiciary.[143][144][145] On June 7, 2016, Trump issued a lengthy statement saying that his criticism of the judge had been "misconstrued" and that his concerns about Curiel's impartiality were not based upon ethnicity alone, but also upon rulings in the case.[146][147]

Branding and licensing

a bottle of water with Trump's portrait and the words "Trump Ice" on a blue label
Trump Ice bottled water

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.[148][149][nb 2] In 2011, Forbes' financial experts estimated the value of the Trump brand at $200 million. Trump disputed this valuation, saying his brand was worth about $3 billion.[168]

Many developers pay Trump to market their properties and to be the public face for their projects.[169] For that reason, Trump does not own many of the buildings that display his name.[169] 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 licensing projects under development including seven "condo hotels" (the seven Trump International Hotel and Tower developments). In June 2015, Forbes pegged the Trump brand at $125 million[170] as retailers like Macy's Inc. and Serta Mattresses began dropping Trump-branded products.[171][172]

Taxes and income

Trump has released some financial information,[93] but has declined to publicly release any of his full tax returns,[173] saying that he will do so before the 2016 election if what his attorneys described as an ongoing audit by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is completed covering tax returns for the years 2009 through 2016.[174][175] According to a July 2015 press release from his campaign manager, Trump's "income" for the year 2014 was $362 million ("which does not include dividends, interest, capital gains, rents and royalties").[176] His disclosure filings for the year 2015 stated that his total gross revenue was in excess of $611 million.[93]

Fortune magazine has reported that the $362 million figure as stated on his Federal Election Commission (FEC) filings is not "income" but gross revenue before salaries, interest payments on outstanding debt, and other business-related expenses; Trump's net income was "most likely" about one-third of that.[177][178] According to public records, Trump received a $302 New York tax rebate in 2013 (and in two other recent years) given to couples earning less than $500,000 per year, who submit as proof their federal tax returns.[178] Trump's campaign manager has suggested that Trump's tax rebate was an error.[178]

In October 2016, it was revealed that Trump had claimed a loss of $916 million on his 1995 tax returns. As tax losses from one year can be applied to offset income from future years, the $916 million loss allowed him to reduce or eliminate his taxable income (and consequently his US federal income taxes) during the eighteen year carry forward period.[179] Trump acknowledged he used the loss but declined to provide details such as the specific years the loss was applied.[180]

Net worth

A Boeing 757 with blue, red, and white livery, idling on a runway. This plane belongs to Trump, who nicknamed it "Trump Force One" during Trump's 2016 presidential campaign.
Trump's Boeing 757, nicknamed "Trump Force One" during Trump's 2016 presidential campaign[181][182]

In 2016, Forbes estimated Trump's net worth at $3.7 billion, and Bloomberg $3 billion.[2][183] These estimates would make him one of the richest politicians in American history. He has often given much higher estimates, sometimes over $10 billion, with the discrepancy due in part to the uncertainty of appraised property values, as well as his own assessment of the value of his personal brand.[2][184] As of 2016, Forbes ranked him the 156th wealthiest person in the U.S.[183] and the 324th wealthiest in the world.[185]

On June 16, 2015, just prior to announcing his candidacy for president of the United States, Trump released a one-page financial statement "from a big accounting firm—one of the most respected"[186] stating a net worth of $8,737,540,000.[187] "I'm really rich", Trump said.[186] Forbes believed his claim of $9 billion was "a whopper," figuring it was actually $4.1 billion.[188] 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."[189] 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.[190] According to Bloomberg, for the purposes of Trump's FEC filings Trump "only reported revenue for [his] golf properties in his campaign filings even though the disclosure form asks for income", noting independent filings showing all three of his major European golf properties were unprofitable.[2]

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 4% to 7.125%.[191] Mortgages on those three properties were separately reported as $100 million, $160 million, and $125 million in 2013.[192] Trump is a leaseholder, not owner, of the land beneath 40 Wall Street.[193] Other outstanding Trump mortgages and debts are pegged to current market interest rates.[191] A 2012 report from Trump's accounting firm estimated $451.7 million in debt and other collateral obligations.[192] Filings in 2015 disclosed debt of $504 million, according to Fortune magazine.[177] Bloomberg documented debt of at least $605 million in 2016.[2] Trump's outstanding debt was at least $650 million in August 2016, in addition to an outstanding loan of $950 million to the Bank of China and Deutsche Bank (among other creditors) on 1290 Avenue of the Americas, in which Trump is a minority owner.[193]

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.[194] After several years on the list, Trump's financial losses in the 1980s caused him to be dropped from 1990 to 1995, and reportedly obliged him to borrow from his siblings' trusts in 1993;[194] in 2005, The New York Times referred to Trump's "verbal billions" in a skeptical article about Trump's self-reported wealth.[194] 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.[194] 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 despite his assertion they supported his case.[195] In a sworn deposition, Trump testified that he once borrowed $9.6 million from his father, calling it "a very small amount of money", but could not recall when he did so;[196] Trump has since told campaign audiences he began his career with "a small loan of one million dollars" from his father,[196] which he paid back with interest: "it has not been easy for me", Trump told one New Hampshire crowd.[197]

A tall rectangular-shaped tower in Las Vegas with exterior windows shimmering with 24-carat gold. It is a sunny day and the building is higher than many of the surrounding buildings, which are also towers. There are mountains in the background. This tower is called the Trump Hotel Las Vegas.
Trump Hotel Las Vegas whose exterior windows are gilded with 24-carat gold[198]

In April 2011, amid speculation whether Trump would run as a candidate in the United States 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 very little debt."[199] Although Trump did not 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.[200]

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"[191] and that his "net worth is in excess of TEN BILLION DOLLARS [sic]".[201] However, 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."[202] On the same day, Trump's own stated estimates of his net worth have varied by as much as $3.3 billion.[194] Trump has also acknowledged that past exaggerated estimates of his wealth have been "good for financing".[203] 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."[188] 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.[204] An internal Young & Rubicam study of Trump's brand among high-income consumers showed "plummeting" ratings for traits such as "prestigious", "upper class", and "glamorous" at the end of 2015, suggesting that Trump's various businesses could face market difficulties and financing challenges in the future.[205]

The value of the Trump brand may have fallen due to his presidential campaign. Some consumers say they are avoiding purchasing Trump-branded products and services as a protest against Trump and his campaign.[206] Bookings and foot traffic at Trump-branded hotels and casinos fell off sharply in 2016, primarily driven by a decrease in visits to the properties by women.[207][208] Following the release of the Access Hollywood tape recordings in October 2016, the value of the Trump brand was reported to have taken a further hit, with estimates of the reduction in the brand's added value of up to 13 percentage points.[209][210]

Entertainment and 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.[211] He has also 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.[212][213] He has been the subject of comedians, flash cartoon artists, and online caricature artists. Trump also had his own daily talk radio program called Trumped![214][215][216]

The Apprentice

Donald Trump posing with basketball personality Dennis Rodman in a room with paintings adorning the walls. Trump is wearing a suit with a light-colored tie and dress shirt, while Rodman is wearing a brown t-shirt with a design on it, blue jeans, and a baseball cap that also has a design on it.
Trump posing with guest basketball personality Dennis Rodman, during Rodman's 2009 participation on Celebrity 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."[1][2][3]

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.[217] 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,[176] although the network did not verify the claim.[218] In 2007, Trump received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for his contribution to television (The Apprentice).[149][219]

Along with British TV producer Mark Burnett, Trump was hired as host of The Celebrity Apprentice, in which celebrities 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 15th season.[220] On February 27, Trump stated that he was "not ready" to sign on for another season because of the possibility of a presidential run.[221] Despite this, on March 18, NBC announced they were going ahead with production.[222] 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.[223]


Title Year Notes Role
The Jeffersons[224] 1985 Episode titled "You'll Never Get Rich" Himself
Ghosts Can't Do It[224] 1989 Movie Himself
On Our Own by Bobby Brown[225] 1989 Music Video Himself
Home Alone 2: Lost in New York[224] 1992 Movie Himself
The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air[224] 1994 Episode titled "For Sale by Owner" Himself
Across the Sea of Time[224] 1995 Movie Himself
The Little Rascals[224] 1995 Movie Waldo's Dad (an oil tycoon)
The Nanny[224] 1996 Episode titled "The Rosie Show" Himself
Eddie[224] 1996 Movie Himself
The Associate[224] 1996 Movie Himself
Suddenly Susan[226] 1997 Episode titled "I'll See That and Raise You Susan" Himself
The Drew Carey Show[226] 1997 Episode titled "New York and Queens" Himself
Night Man[227] 1997 Episode titled "Face to Face" Himself
Spin City[224] 1998 Episode titled "The Paul Lassiter Story" Himself
Celebrity[224] 1998 Movie Himself
Sex and the City[224] 1999 Episode titled "The Man, the Myth, the Viagra" Himself
Playboy Video Centerfold: Playmate 2000 Bernaola Twins[228] 2000 Adult film Himself
Zoolander[224] 2001 Movie Himself
The Job[226] 2001 Episode titled "Elizabeth" Himself
Two Weeks Notice[226] 2002 Movie Himself
Days of Our Lives[229] 2005 Guest star[229] Himself
58th Primetime Emmy Awards[230] 2006 minimusical Oliver Wendell Douglas
Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps[231] 2010 Trump's scene was cut from the cinema version but is included on the DVD. Himself
Saturday Night Live[232] 2015 Trump hosted the November 7, 2015 episode of SNL Himself, Tax Guy in Hotline Bling skit

Trump Model Management

In 1999, Trump founded a modeling company, Trump Model Management, which operates in the SoHo neighborhood of Lower Manhattan.[233] Together with another Trump company, Trump Management Group LLC, Trump Model Management has brought nearly 250 foreign fashion models into the United States to work in the fashion industry since 2000.[234] In 2014, president of Trump Model Management Corrine Nicolas, other 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.[235] The case was dismissed from U.S. federal court in March 2016.[236]

Professional wrestling

Trump is a WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment) fan, and a 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.[237] 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 also appeared in WrestleMania VII. He was interviewed by Jesse Ventura ringside at WrestleMania XX.[238]

Trump appeared at WrestleMania 23 in a match called "The Battle of the Billionaires."[237] 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.[237] The deal was that either Trump or McMahon would have their head shaved if their competitor lost.[237] Lashley won the match, and so McMahon got the haircut.[237]

On June 15, 2009, as part of a storyline, McMahon announced on Monday Night Raw that he had "sold" the show to Trump.[237] 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.[237] McMahon "bought back" Raw the following week for twice the price.[237]

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.[239]


Trump has described his political leanings and positions in various ways over time.[240][241][242] Politico has described his positions as "eclectic, improvisational and often contradictory".[242] He has listed several different party affiliations over the years,[242][243] and has also run as a Reform Party candidate.[243] The positions that he has revised or reversed include stances on progressive taxation, abortion, and government involvement in health care.[242]

Trump's candidacy has been described as something around which the alt-right movement has coalesced,[244] together with its opposition to multiculturalism and immigration.[245][246]

Political affiliations

Trump shaking hands with President Ronald Reagan in 1987. Both are standing and facing each other.
With President Ronald Reagan at White House reception in 1987

Trump's party affiliation has changed over the years. Although his party affiliation prior to 1987 is unclear, Trump was an early supporter of Republican Ronald Reagan for United States President in the late 1970s.[247] By 1987, he identified as a Republican.[248] 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.[249]

From 2001 to 2008 he was a Democrat. In 2008, he endorsed Republican John McCain for President and officially changed his party registration to Republican in 2009.[250] In December 2011, Trump became an Independent for five months before returning to the Republican Party, where he has pledged to stay.[251][252]

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.[253] After 2011, his campaign contributions were more favorable to Republicans than to Democrats.[254] In February 2012, Trump endorsed Republican Mitt Romney for President.[255] When asked in 2015 which recent President he prefers, Trump picked Democrat Bill Clinton over the Republican Bushes.[256][257]

Involvement in politics, 1988–2015

a full-page newspaper advertisement in which Trump placed full-page ads critiquing U.S. defense policy
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.[258][259]

Trump floated 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.[260][261] 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.[262]

In 1999, Trump filed an exploratory committee to seek the presidential nomination of the Reform Party in 2000.[249][263] 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.[264] Trump eventually dropped out of the race due to party infighting, but still won the party's California and Michigan primaries after doing so.[265][266][267][268]

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".[269]

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.[270] 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.[271] 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.[272][273] His moves were interpreted by some media as possible promotional tools for his reality show The Apprentice.[274][275][276]

Donald Trump, dressed in a black suit with white shirt, blue tie, and black pants. He is facing toward the viewer, putting his left hand up in a "peace" symbol with his index and middle fingers raised. This is just after he spoke at the Conservative Political Action Conference in February 2011.
Trump after speaking at Conservative Political Action Conference in February 2011

Beginning in March 2011, Trump publicly questioned Barack Obama's citizenship and eligibility to serve as President, amplifying some longstanding "birther" conspiracy theories.[277][278][279] Although Obama had released his birth certificate in 2008,[280] Trump echoed demands that Obama disclose a long-form certificate as well.[277][281] Trump said that he had sent investigators to Hawaii to research the question, but he did not follow up with any findings.[277] He also repeated a debunked allegation that Obama's grandmother said she had witnessed his birth in Kenya.[282][283] When the White House later released Obama's long-form birth certificate,[280] Trump took credit for obtaining the document, saying "I hope it checks out."[284] His official biography mentions his purported role in forcing Obama's hand,[285] 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."[286] When asked in 2015 whether Obama was born in the United States, Trump said he did not want to discuss it further.[287][288] Earlier, Trump had also called for Obama to release his student records, questioning whether his grades warranted entry into an Ivy League school.[289] In September 2016, Trump publicly acknowledged that Obama was born in the U.S., and claimed that rumors to the contrary had been started by Hillary Clinton during her 2008 presidential campaign.[278]

In the 2012 Republican primaries, he generally had polled at or below 17 percent among the crowded field of possible candidates.[290] On May 16, 2011, Trump announced he would not run for president in the 2012 election, while also saying he would have won.[274]

In 2013, Trump was a featured speaker at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC).[291] During 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.[292][293]

Also in 2013, he spent over $1 million to research a possible run for president of the United States.[294] 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.[295] He also made statements denying climate change that were discordant with the opinion of the scientific community.[296] 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.[297]

Presidential campaign, 2016

Trump standing behind a brown wood podium with a sign bearing the words "TRUMP PENCE" on a blue sign. There are two American flags behind his position.
Trump campaigning in Phoenix, Arizona, in August 2016

On June 16, 2015, Trump announced his candidacy for President of the United States at Trump Tower in New York City. He drew attention to domestic issues such as illegal immigration, offshoring of American jobs, the U.S. national debt, crime, and Islamic terrorism. He also announced his campaign slogan, "Make America Great Again."[298] Trump runs as a self-described conservative, particularly in fiscal and religious matters. His campaign emphasizes American patriotism, with a disdain for what he refers to as political correctness.[299] [300] 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.[301][302][303]

Trump is the second major-party presidential nominee in American history whose experience comes principally from running a business (Wendell Willkie was the first).[304] If elected, Trump would become the first United States President without prior government or military experience, and the first without prior political experience since Dwight D. Eisenhower. Trump would also be the oldest first-term president; Ronald Reagan was older when he took office for a second term.[305] 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.[306][307]

Trump's run for president has received an unprecedented amount of free media attention.[308] Many of the statements Trump has made during his presidential campaign have been controversial. Others have been described by Politico as "mischaracterizations, exaggerations, or simply false".[309] Fact checking organizations such as and have singled him out as having made a record number of false statements during his campaign compared to other candidates, based on the statements they have analyzed.[310][311][312] At least four major publications - Politico, The Washington Post, The New York Times, and the Los Angeles Times - described Trump statements as lies, whoppers, or falsehoods.[313] According to journalists James Oliphant and Emily Flitter, Trump's penchant for exaggerating to voters has roots in the world of New York real estate where he made his fortune, and where hyperbole is a way of life; Trump refers to this as "truthful hyperbole".[314][315] 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, and Graves adds that fact-checkers "have to be really careful when you pick claims to check to pick things that can be factually investigated and that reflect what the speaker was clearly trying to communicate."[316]

Trump has stated that the media has intentionally misinterpreted his words.[317][318] 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 says that the Trump campaign is not normal.[319]


Trump entered a large field of candidates consisting of 16 other Republican candidates campaigning for the nomination, the largest presidential field in American history.[320] Trump participated in eleven of the twelve Republican debates, skipping only the seventh debate on January 28 (that was the last debate before primary voting began on February 1). The debates received historically high viewership, increasing the visibility of Trump's campaign.[321]

By early 2016, the race had mostly centered on Donald Trump and U.S. Senator Ted Cruz.[322] On Super Tuesday, Trump won the majority of the vote and remained the front-runner throughout the primaries. By March 2016, Trump reached over 50% in national support from Republican primary voters and became poised to win the Republican nomination.[323] After a landslide win in Indiana on May 3, 2016, which prompted the remaining candidates Ted Cruz and John Kasich to suspend their presidential campaigns, RNC Chairman Reince Priebus declared Trump the presumptive Republican nominee.[324] With nearly 14 million votes, Trump broke the all-time record for winning the most primary votes in the history of the Republican Party.[325]

General election campaign

After becoming the presumptive Republican nominee, Trump's focus shifted to the general election, urging remaining primary voters to "save [their] vote for the general election."[326] Trump began targeting Hillary Clinton, who became the presumptive Democratic nominee on June 6, 2016, and continued to campaign across the country. One month before the Republican National Convention, Secret Service agents thwarted an assassination attempt on Trump by a 20-year-old British man illegally residing in the U.S. during one of his rallies in Las Vegas.[327]

Trump standing behind a wooden, inverted-pyramid-shaped lectern with black paneling. He is speaking into a microphone, with an American flag hanging on a pole behind him. He is accepting the Republican nomination at the 2016 Republican National Convention in July 2016.
Trump accepting the Republican nomination at the RNC, July 2016

Clinton had established a significant lead in national polls over Trump throughout most of 2016. In early July, Clinton's lead narrowed in national polling averages following the FBI's conclusion of its investigation into her ongoing email controversy.[328][329][330] FBI Director James Comey concluded Clinton had been "extremely careless" in her handling of classified government material.[331]

On July 15, 2016, Trump announced Indiana Governor Mike Pence as his running mate.[332] Trump and Pence were officially nominated by the Republican Party on July 19, 2016, at the Republican National Convention.[333] The list of convention speakers and attendees included former presidential nominee Bob Dole but the other prior nominees did not attend, though John McCain endorsed Trump prior to the convention.[334][335]

Two days later, Trump officially accepted the nomination in a 76-minute speech inspired by Richard Nixon's 1968 acceptance speech.[336] The historically long speech was watched by nearly 35 million people and received mixed reviews, with net negative viewer reactions according to CNN and Gallup polls.[337][338][339]

In late July, Trump came close to Clinton in national polls following a 3 to 4 percentage point convention bounce, in line with the average bounce in conventions since 2004, although it was toward the small side by historical standards.[340] Following Clinton's 7 percent convention bounce, she extended her lead significantly in national polls at the start of August.[341][342]

Trump has declined to publicly release any of his full tax returns,[343] which led to speculation about whether he is hiding something.[344][345][346][347] Trump says that he is unable to release his tax returns because they are being audited and his lawyers advise against release.[348][349][350] He also declines to release records for audited years that he has already "passed" because such records "mesh" and "interrelate" with current disputed IRS filings. 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.[348][351][352] Trump has told the news media that his tax rate was "none of your business," but added, "I fight very hard to pay as little tax as possible".[352][353][354] If he does not release his tax returns before the November 2016 election, he would be the first major party candidate since Gerald Ford in 1976 not to do so.[355] Although no law prohibits release of tax returns during an audit, tax attorneys differ about whether such a release is wise legal strategy.[356][357]

General election debates

On September 26, 2016, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton faced off in the first presidential debate at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York. Lester Holt, Anchor, NBC News was the moderator.[358] This was the most watched presidential debate in United States history.[359] The second presidential debate was held at Washington University in Saint Louis, Missouri. Much of the narrative of that debate was dominated by a leaked tape of Trump making lewd comments (see below), and counter-accusations by Trump of sexual misconduct by Bill Clinton. Trump had invited four women who had accused Clinton of impropriety to a press conference prior to the debate.

Trump–Bush recording controversy

Two days before the second presidential debate, a 2005 recording surfaced, made on a studio bus while preparing to film an episode of Access Hollywood. On the tape Trump is heard discussing women with the show's then-cohost Billy Bush. His remarks included, "I just start kissing them.... I don't even wait. And when you're a star, they let you do it, you can do anything ... grab them by the pussy."[360]

Trump 's language was described by the media as "vulgar" and "sexist". He spoke of his efforts to seduce a married woman, saying he "moved on her very heavily."[361] The incident prompted Trump to make his first public apology during the campaign,[362][363] and caused outrage across the political spectrum,[364][365] with many Republicans withdrawing their endorsements of his candidacy and some urging him to quit the race.[366]

Sexual misconduct allegations

Following the release of the 2005 recording, at least 15 women[367] came forward with new accounts of sexual misconduct including unwanted kissing and groping, resulting in widespread national media coverage.[368][369]

Two previous sexual harassment allegations made prior to the campaign also resurfaced. In 1989, Donald's first wife Ivana Trump stated in a deposition that he had ripped out some of her hair after a plastic scalp surgery. A 1993 book described the alleged attack as a "violent assault," and says that Ivana later confided to some friends that he had raped her. The accusation, which Donald said was "obviously false", was withdrawn as part of a settlement agreement. In a July 2016 campaign endorsement, Ivana said her statements were "without merit" and made in a time of "high tension."[370][371]

In 1997, Jill Harth filed a lawsuit alleging Trump groped her and engaged in "relentless" sexual harassment and assault.[372] It was later withdrawn along with a "parallel suit" and settled with an undisclosed sum of money.[373] Trump calls her story "false, malicious & libelous" and he "strongly denies the claims."[374] Harth has stood by her charges.[373]

Trump and his campaign have denied all of these charges, and threatened that they have begun drafting a lawsuit against The New York Times for alleged libel.[375][376] He has called them "false smears" and alleged "a conspiracy against [...] the American people".[377]

Trump has also walked backstage on contestants in his beauty pageants while they were changing.[378][379] He told Howard Stern during an interview in 2005 that he could "sort of get away with things like that" because he owned the pageants and was allowed to inspect them.[380]

Political positions

Donald Trump and his running mate for vice president, Mike Pence, at the Republican National Convention in July 2016. They appear to be standing in front of a huge screen with the colors of the American flag displayed on it. Trump is at left, facing toward the viewer and making "thumbs-up" gestures with both hands. Pence is at right, facing toward Trump and clapping.
Trump and his running mate, Indiana Governor Mike Pence, July 2016

Trump's political positions are widely described by the media as "populist".[381][382] He has described his political positions in various and often contradictory ways over time.[240][383] Trump himself says "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."[384] 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".[385] counted at least 17 times when Trump said something and then denied having said it.[386]

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.[387] The Susan B. Anthony List, an anti-abortion group, praised Trump's list of potential Supreme Court nominees as "exceptionally strong," while the abortion-rights group NARAL Pro-Choice America called the candidates on the list "a woman's worst nightmare."[388] Trump has stated that he supports "traditional marriage".[389] He opposes the 2015 Obergefell v. Hodges Supreme Court ruling that legalized same-sex marriage nationwide,[389][390][391] and believes the decision should be left to individual states.[390] If elected, he would "strongly consider" appointing Supreme Court justices that would overturn the ruling.[392]

Trump supports a broad interpretation of the Second Amendment and says he is opposed to gun control in general,[393] although his views have shifted over time.[394] He supports fixing the federal background check system so that criminal and mental health records are always put into the system.[395] Trump opposes legalizing recreational marijuana but supports legalizing medical marijuana.[396] Trump favors capital punishment.[397][398]

Economic issues

Trump's campaign's tax plan calls for reducing the corporate tax rate to 15%, concurrent with the elimination of various business loopholes and deductions.[399] 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 $10.90 million per married couple).[400] 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.[401][402]

Trump's comments about the minimum wage have been inconsistent:[403][404][405] he has said that a low minimum wage is good;[406] that the minimum wage should not be raised;[407][408][409] that the minimum wage should be raised;[410][411] that he would like an increase, but the states should do the increasing;[412][413] that he is against any federal minimum wage floor;[414] and that he is in favor of a $10 federal minimum wage, but "let the states make the deal".[415]

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".[416][417][418] He has often been referred to as "protectionist".[419][420][421][422][423] He says NAFTA has been the "worst trade deal in history", and would as president either renegotiate or break the NAFTA agreement.[424][425] He opposes the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).[426] 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.[427][428] Trump has called the World Trade Organization (WTO) a "disaster",[429] and favors renegotiating or leaving the WTO unless it allows his proposed tariff increases.[430]

Healthcare, education and environment

Trump favors repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act ("Obamacare") with a different free-market plan that would allow health insurance to be sold across state lines, enable individuals to deduct health insurance premiums, expand health savings accounts, and give more control of Medicaid to the states.[431] He has voiced support for a single-payer healthcare system in the past, but distanced himself from the idea during his 2016 campaign.[432] Trump favors getting rid of backlogs and waitlists that are the focus of the Veterans Health Administration scandal, and believes that Veterans Affairs facilities need to be upgraded.[433]

Trump has stated his support for school choice and local control for primary and secondary schools.[434] He opposes the Common Core State Standards Initiative for primary and secondary schools,[435] and has called Common Core "a disaster" that must be ended.[436] He has stated he would abolish all or part of the Department of Education.[437]

Trump rejects the scientific consensus on climate change,[438][439] repeatedly contending that global warming is a "hoax."[389][440] Trump has said that the EPA is a "disgrace" and has promised to cut its budget.[441] He has pledged to "cancel the Paris Climate Agreement", which calls for reductions in carbon emissions in more than 170 countries, claiming it treats the United States unfairly and gives favorable treatment to countries like China.[442]

Foreign policy

Trump has been described as non-interventionalist[443][444] and nationalist.[445] Trump has repeatedly stated that he supports "America First" foriegn policy, though he is not linked to the historical America First Party (1944) or the America First Party (2002).[446] He supports increasing United States military defense spending,[445] but favors decreasing United States spending on NATO and in the Pacific region.[447] He says America should look inward, stop "nation building", and re-orient its resources toward domestic needs.[444] He questions whether he, as president, would automatically extend security guarantees to NATO members,[448] and suggests that he might leave NATO unless changes are made to the alliance.[449] 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.[426][450]

Donald Trump with former Alaska governor Sarah Palin in January 2016. Palin is standing on the left side of the image, behind a podium with a sign that has the word "TRUMP" in white-on-blue text. Trump is standing on the right side of the image. There are American flags hanging on poles behind them and the outlines of an audience in front of them.
Trump and former governor of Alaska, Sarah Palin, January 2016

In terms of confronting ISIS, Trump called for sending 20,000 to 30,000 U.S. troops to the region,[240][451][452] a position he retracted.[453] He has since argued that regional allies of the U.S., such as Saudi Arabia should provide troops in the fight.[454] He also believes that oil fields in ISIS-controlled areas should be bombed.[454] He supports the use of waterboarding, a form of torture, and has said he'd "bring back a hell of a lot worse".[455][456] Trump would as president dismantle the international nuclear agreement with Iran.[457] Regarding the Israeli–Palestinian conflict, Trump has stated the importance of being a neutral party during potential negotiations, while also having stated that he is "a big fan of Israel."[458] He supports Israeli settlement construction in the West Bank.[459]

In 2002, when asked whether he supported invading Iraq, Trump responded, "Yeah, I guess so", and added "I wish the first time it was done correctly" in reference to the Gulf War of 1990–1991.[460][461][462] Trump discussed the matter further during an interview with Neil Cavuto, two months prior to the March 2003 invasion.[462][463][464]

Trump publicly referred to the war as a "mess" within a week after it began, and by 2004 he said he was opposed to it.[461] Since 2004, he has repeatedly criticized the war, especially during his 2016 presidential campaign.[465][466][467][468] During his 2016 Presidential campaign, Trump has repeatedly and falsely claimed that he opposed the Iraq War even before it was launched.[460][462][469]

Trump has at times during his presidential campaign stated that the Afghanistan War was a mistake, and at other times stated that it was necessary.[470] He supports keeping a limited number of United States troops there.[470] Trump was a strong supporter of the 2011 military intervention in Libya at the time.[471][472] He has since then reversed his position several times, saying finally in June 2016 that he would have supported "surgical" bombing against Gaddafi.[471][472][473]

Trump would consider recognizing Crimea as Russian territory and lifting sanctions on Russia.[474][475] He added that Russia could help the United States in fighting ISIS militants.[476] In the same interview, Trump stated that he hoped Russia would unearth Hillary Clinton's missing emails from her time as Secretary of State, saying: "Russia, if you're listening, I hope you're able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing."[477][478][479][480] The next day, Trump stated that his comment was sarcastic.[481]

Immigration policies

Trump's immigration policies have been among his most highly discussed policies during the campaign. Some of his proposals have come under scrutiny by several experts on immigration who question the effectiveness and affordability of his plans.[482][483] Trump vows to build a substantial wall on the Mexico–United States border to keep out illegal immigrants, a wall which Trump promises Mexico will pay for.[484][485] Trump would also create a "deportation force" to deport around 11 million people illegally residing in the U.S., stating "Day 1 of my presidency, [illegal immigrants] are getting out and getting out fast."[486] Trump opposes birthright citizenship.[487]

In late August 2016, Trump hinted he might soften his position calling for the deportation of all undocumented immigrants.[488][489] On August 31, 2016, he made a visit to Mexico and met with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto, saying he wanted to build relations with the country.[490] However, in a major speech later that night, Trump laid out a 10-point plan reaffirming his hardline positions, including building a wall along the Mexican border to be paid for by Mexico, potentially deporting "anyone who has entered the United States illegally," denying legal status to such people unless they leave the country and apply for re-entry, and creating a deportation task force.[491] He said the focus of the task force would be criminals, those who have overstayed their visas, and other "security threats".[492]

One of Trump's most controversial proposals was his original proposal in 2015 for a "total and complete" temporary ban on foreign Muslims entering the United States.[493][494][495] Trump later changed his position in 2016 by stating that the temporary ban would apply only to people originating from countries with a "proven history of terrorism against the United States or its allies", or countries "compromised by terrorism".[496][497][498][499][500] Trump characterized this as an expansion, not rollback, of his original proposal.[501]

Comments about fringe theories

According to political writer Steve Benen, unlike past political leaders, Trump has not kept fringe theories and their supporters at arm's length.[502] Political writer Jack Shafer says that Trump may be a "fairly conventional American populist when it comes to his policy views", but he has a revolutionary ability to attract free media attention, sometimes by making outrageous comments.[503][504]

For many years, beginning in at least 2011, Trump publicly questioned President Obama's citizenship status;[505] in 2016, during his presidential campaign, Trump stated that Obama was born in the U.S.[506][507] In the past, he has also alluded to the conspiracy theory that President Obama is secretly a Muslim.[508][509]

Trump has discussed the unfounded notion that vaccine doses cause autism if administered too quickly in succession,[510][511] and the conspiracy theory that former Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia might not have died of natural causes but was murdered.[512] He repeated a National Enquirer allegation that Rafael Cruz, father of Ted Cruz, may have been involved in the assassination of John F. Kennedy.[513]

Personal life


The Trump family at a 2016 campaign event. From left to right are son-in-law Jared, eldest daughter Ivanka, Donald himself, wife Melania, daughter-in-law Lara, and second-eldest son Eric. They are all standing behind a podium with the word "TRUMP" printed in white-on-blue text. Behind them are some American flags hanging on poles, as well as a blue curtain. In the foreground are audience members taking the Trumps' pictures.
At a 2016 campaign event, from left: son-in-law Jared, eldest daughter Ivanka, Trump, wife Melania, daughter-in-law Lara, and second-eldest son Eric

Trump has had five children by three marriages, and has eight grandchildren.[514][515] His first two marriages ended in divorces that were publicized in the tabloid media.[516]

Trump married his first wife, Czech model Ivana Zelníčková, on April 7, 1977, at the Marble Collegiate Church in Manhattan [517] in a ceremony performed by one of America’s most famous ministers, the Reverend Norman Vincent Peale.[518] 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.[519] Trump has been criticized for repeatedly joking about how he would love to date Ivanka if she was not his daughter.[520] Ivana became a naturalized United States citizen in 1988.[521]

Trump has been nicknamed "The Donald" since Ivana referred to him as such in a 1989 Spy magazine cover story.[522][523] By early 1990, Trump's troubled marriage to Ivana and affair with actress Marla Maples had been reported in the tabloid press.[524][525][526] 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".[527][528] In 1992, he successfully sued Ivana for violating a gag clause in their divorce agreement by disclosing facts about him in her book.[529][530][531] In 2015, Ivana said that she and Donald "are the best of friends".[532]

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.[533] She was raised by her mother in Calabasas, California, where she lived until her graduation from Viewpoint School.[534] They married two months later on December 20, 1993.[535] The couple formally separated in May 1997,[536] with their divorce finalized in June 1999.[537][538]

Donald and Melania Trump standing behind a blond-wood podium with the words "TRUMP", "TEXT 'TRUMP' TO 88022", "MANCHESTER, New Hampshire", and "MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN" printed in white-on-blue text from top to bottom. Donald is to the left, behind the actual podium. Melania is about three feet to his left.
With wife Melania at a 2016 campaign event

In 1998, Trump began a relationship with Slovenian-born model Melania Knauss, who became his third wife.[539][540] They were engaged in April 2004[541] 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.[542][543][544] In 2006, Melania became a naturalized United States citizen.[540] In March 2006, she gave birth to their son, whom they named Barron William Trump.[545][546] (Trump had previously used the pseudonym "John Baron" or "Barron" in some business deals and for other purposes.[51][547][548]) Having heard the language since his birth, Barron is fluent in Slovenian.[549] 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.[550]

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).[551] 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.[552][553]

Religious views

Trump is a Presbyterian.[554] He has said that he began going to church at the First Presbyterian Church in the Jamaica neighborhood in Queens as a child.[555] Trump attended Sunday school and had his confirmation at that church.[555] 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."[556][557] 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.[555][nb 3] 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."[558]

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."[559][560] Declining to name his favorite Bible verse, Trump said "I don't like giving that out to people that you hardly know."[555] 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.[561]

Trump maintains relationships with several prominent national Evangelical Protestant and other Christian leaders, including Tony Perkins and Ralph E. Reed Jr.[562] During his 2016 presidential campaign, he received a blessing from Greek Orthodox priest Emmanuel Lemelson.[563] Trump has ties to the Jewish-American community.[564] 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."[565]

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.[566]

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."[567][568] 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.[568]

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 isn't Christian.[569][570] After the clarification by Lombardi, Trump downplayed his differences with the Pope, saying "I don't think this is a fight."[571]

Donald J. Trump Foundation

The Donald J. Trump Foundation is a U.S.-based private foundation[572] established in 1988 for the initial purpose of giving away proceeds from the book Trump: The Art of the Deal by Trump and Tony Schwartz.[573][574] The foundation's funds mostly come from donors other than Trump,[575] who has not given personally to the charity since 2008.[575] The top donors to the foundation from 2004 to 2014 were Vince and Linda McMahon of World Wrestling Entertainment, who donated $5 million to the foundation after Trump appeared at WrestleMania in 2007.[575]

The foundation's tax returns show that it has given to healthcare and sports-related charities, as well as conservative groups.[576] In 2009, for example, the foundation gave $926,750 to about 40 groups, with the biggest donations going to the Arnold Palmer Medical Center Foundation ($100,000), the New York Presbyterian Hospital ($125,000), the Police Athletic League ($156,000), and the Clinton Foundation ($100,000).[577][578]

Starting in 2016 The Washington Post began reporting on how the foundation raised and granted money. The Post uncovered several potential legal and ethical violations, such as alleged self-dealing and possible tax evasion.[579] The New York State Attorney General is investigating the foundation "to make sure it is complying with the laws governing charities in New York."[580][581] A Trump spokesman called the investigation a "partisan hit job".[580] On October 3, 2016, the New York Attorney General's office notified the Trump Foundation that it was allegedly in violation of New York laws regarding charities, and ordered it to immediately cease its fundraising activities "in New York".[582]


A medical report by his doctor, Harold Borstein M.D., showed that Trump's blood pressure, liver and thyroid function were in normal range.[583][584] Trump says that he has never smoked cigarettes or marijuana, or consumed other drugs.[585] He does not drink alcohol.[586][587][588] He also has germaphobic tendencies, and prefers not to shake hands.[589] In September 2016, Trump discussed his health on The Dr. Oz Show.[590]

Other relationships

Trump allegedly dated models such as Carla Bruni[591][592] and Kara Young at various points in the 1990s.[593]

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".[594][595] Trump said he felt "like a great and very brave soldier", but added, "This is better than Vietnam".[594][596]

Appearances in popular culture

Even before Trump's very highly publicized presidential campaign that began in 2015, he appeared many times in popular culture. Since 1986, he has been depicted in the Doonesbury comic strip by Garry Trudeau[597][598] prompting an unfavorable response from Trump.[599] Since 1988, Trump and members of his family have been parodied on Saturday Night Live, and he hosted the show twice, in April 2004 and November 2015.[600][601] He played himself as the Plaza Hotel owner in a cameo appearance in the 1992 movie Home Alone 2: Lost in New York.[602]

You've Been Trumped (2011), a documentary film by Anthony Baxter, follows Trump's efforts to develop a Scottish golf resort.[603][604][605] When it was announced that the documentary was to premiere on BBC Two television in the UK, on October 21, 2012,[606] Trump's lawyers contacted the BBC to demand that the film should not 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.[607] When in 2011, the rapper Mac Miller released his song titled, "Donald Trump", about becoming as rich as its namesake, Trump requested royalties from the song for using his name, starting a feud between himself and Miller.[608]

In February 2016, Funny or Die released a parody film called Donald Trump's The Art of the Deal: The Movie.[609] On The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Colbert frequently featured a caricature of Trump, called "Cartoon Donald Trump".[610] On Jimmy Kimmel Live!, Kimmel featured his two Dr. Seuss-like books: Winners Aren't Losers and its sequel Winners Still Aren't Losers, when Trump was the guest star. On both occasions, Kimmel read the books out loud to Trump, and had Trump read the last word.[611] On the HBO series Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, John Oliver referred to Donald Trump as "Donald Drumpf" in an episode that aired February 28, 2016.[612][613] In June 2016, Andrew Shaffer wrote The Day of the Donald, a satirical book that imagines Trump winning the election and becoming the 45th president and discusses his second year as president.[614]


Main article: Donald Trump's hair
Side view, 2015

Trump's iconic comb-over hair style has been mentioned frequently by the media. In 2004, the Chicago Tribune wrote that Trump is "known for his gaudy casinos and unusual mane of copper hair."[615] During a 2011 interview with the Rolling Stone, he said, "I get a lot of credit for comb-overs. But it's not really a comb-over. It's sort of a little bit forward and back. I've combed it the same way for years. Same thing, every time."[616] In various late-night talk shows and interviews, Trump's hair has humorously been suggested to be a wig, so he has let the interviewers touch his hair to verify its authenticity.[617][618]

The caterpillar of the flannel moth Megalopyge opercularis became nicknamed the "Trump caterpillar" after scientists published photos of a yellow colored variant.[619]

In a June 2015 speech for his 2016 presidential campaign he said that he would change his hair style if he gets elected.[620]

Legal matters

Further information: Legal affairs of Donald Trump

An analysis by USA Today, published in June 2016, found that over the previous three decades, Trump and his businesses had been involved in 3,500 legal cases in U.S. federal courts and state courts, an unprecedented number for a U.S. presidential candidate.[621] Of the 3,500 suits, mostly in the casino industry, Trump or one of his companies was the plaintiff in 1,900; defendant in 1,450; and third party, filer of bankruptcy, or other in 150.[621] Trump was named in at least 169 suits in federal court.[622] Although litigation over contract disputes and other matters is common in the real estate industry,[623] USA Today's 2016 analysis found that Trump had been involved in legal disputes more than Edward J. DeBartolo Jr., Donald Bren, Stephen M. Ross, Sam Zell, and Larry Silverstein combined. In about 500 cases, judges dismissed plaintiffs' claims against Trump. In hundreds more, cases ended with the available public record unclear about the resolution.[621] Where there was a clear resolution, he has won 451 times, and lost 38, but in many cases "the public records available were unclear about the resolution".[624]

Trump as plaintiff or defendant


In 1985, Trump was sued for allegedly trying to force out tenants to enable demolition.[625] The matter was settled and the demolition canceled.[626] In 1988, Trump paid $750,000 to settle the civil penalties in an antitrust lawsuit stemming from stock purchases.[627]


In 1991, a business analyst predicted that the Trump 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.[628] After a helicopter crashed, killing three executives of his New Jersey hotel casino business, Trump sued the manufacturers,[629] and that case was dismissed.[630] 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 was not evidently investigated, nor held personally liable, and said he would not even recognize that gambler.[631] In 1991, 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 was not penalized.[632]

In 1993, Trump sued his business partner Jay Pritzker for allegedly collecting excessive fees, and the matter was settled.[633][634][635] Boarding house owner Vera Coking sued for damage during construction of an adjacent casino, and later dropped the suit against Trump while settling with his contractor; she also prevailed against Trump and other developers in an eminent domain case.[636][637][638]

In 1997, Donald Trump and rival Atlantic City casino owner Stephen Wynn engaged in an extended legal conflict during the planning phase of new casinos Wynn had proposed to build, and the cases were settled.[639][640][641]


In 2000, 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.[642][643] The charges related to a proposed Native American-run casino in the Catskills, New York, which would have competed with three of Trump's casinos in Atlantic City.[644]

When the Securities and Exchange Commission charged one of his companies with poor financial reporting, Trump's attorney said the culprit had been dismissed, and that Trump had personally been unaware of the matter.[645][646][647] Following litigation with Leona Helmsley that started in the 1990s regarding control of the Empire State Building,[648][649] Trump in 2002 sold his share in that building to rivals of Helmsley's.[650][651]

In 2004 Trump sued former business partner Richard Fields for allegedly saying he still consulted for Trump. Fields counter-sued,[652][653][654][655] and the lawsuit was dismissed.[656]

The town of Palm Beach, Florida, 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 him to donate $100,000 to veterans' charities, while the town agreed to let him enroll out-of-towners in his social club and permitted a 10-foot shorter flagpole elsewhere on his lawn.[657]

When the California city of Rancho Palos Verdes thwarted luxury home development on a landslide-prone area owned by Trump, he sued,[658] and the city agreed to permit extensions for some 20 more proposed luxury homes.[659][660]

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,[80] after which the firm halved the fees, and the court ruled that the links were allowable.[661]

In 2009, Trump was sued by investors in the canceled Trump Ocean Resort Baja Mexico;[662] Trump said he had merely been a spokesperson,[662][663] and he settled the lawsuit for an undisclosed amount.[664]

the Trump International Hotel and Tower, a tall steel Chicago skyscraper with aquamarine windows, as seen on a sunny day
Trump International Hotel and Tower in Chicago

In 2004, the Trump Organization licensed the Trump brand to a hotel and condo project in Fort Lauderdale scheduled to open in 2007,[148] but delays in construction and the bursting of the U.S. real estate bubble led Trump to withdraw his name from the deal in 2009,[148] after which the project defaulted, investors sued,[665] and Trump was caught in the ongoing lawsuits because he had participated in advertising.[148][666]

Trump personally guaranteed $40 million to secure a $640 million loan for Trump International Hotel and Tower in Chicago. When Deutsche Bank tried to collect it, Trump sued the bank for harming the project and his reputation,[667] and the bank then agreed to extend the loan term by five years.[668]


In 2015, Trump's claim that the Scottish Government improperly approved a wind-farm project near his golf course and planned hotel was rejected by the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom, following a lengthy legal battle.[669]

In July 2015, Trump sued the former Miss Pennsylvania, Sheena Monnin, after she alleged that the Miss USA 2012 pageant was rigged.[670] A federal judge upheld the settlement, obliging her to pay Trump $5 million.[670][671][672]

Trump sued Palm Beach County, alleging that the county had pressured the FAA to direct air traffic over Trump's Mar-a-Lago club and estate.[673] He also sued chefs Geoffrey Zakarian and José Andrés; the latter said there was no merit in Trump's allegation that the chef backed out of a deal at the Old Post Office Pavilion.[674][675][676][677]

Trump sued the town of Ossining, New York, over the property tax valuation on his golf course there,[678][679] after separately being sued for modifying a drainage system that allegedly damaged a library, public pool, and park facilities.[679]

In connection 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.[680][681]

Deborah Garcia, a restaurant worker at Trump SoHo in New York City, filed a lawsuit in 2015 claiming that Trump, his daughter Ivanka, and his son Donald Trump Jr. illegally withheld tips from employees. The Trump Hotel said in a statement that Garcia never worked for it but rather for a third-party contractor.[682][needs update]

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.[683][684] 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.[683][685]

Awards and accolades

A ceremony in which Trump receiving the 2015 Marine Corps–Law Enforcement Foundation's annual Commandent's Leadership Award. Four men are standing, all wearing black suits; Trump is second from the right. The two center men (Trump and another man) are holding the award.
Trump receiving the 2015 Marine Corps–Law Enforcement Foundation's annual Commandent's Leadership Award in recognition of his contributions to American military education programs.
A red five-pointed star surrounded by a brass bezel set in black sidewalk. The words "DONALD TRUMP", and the symbol of a television with antennae, are set into the star in bronze.
Trump's star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame

See also


  1. ^ In his 1987 book, The Art of the Deal, Donald Trump incorrectly said that his father Frederick Trump was of Swedish origin.[13] Both of Trump's paternal grandparents were born in Germany, but Trump's father told friends and acquaintances for decades after World War II that the family was of Swedish origin. According to a relative, John Walter, Trump's father "had a lot of Jewish tenants and it wasn't a good thing to be German in those days."[14]
  2. ^ 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), Trump Restaurants (located in Trump Tower and consisting of Trump Buffet, Trump Catering, Trump Ice Cream Parlor, and Trump Bar), GoTrump (an online travel search engine[150][151][152]), Select By Trump (a line of coffee drinks),[153] Trump Drinks (an energy drink for the Israeli and Palestinian markets)[154][155][156][157] 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,[158] Trump Golf, Trump Chocolate, Trump Home (home furnishings),[159] Trump Productions (a television production company), Trump Institute, Trump: The Game (1989 board game with a 2005 re-release version tied to The Apprentice),[151] 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),[160][161] Trump Vodka,[159][162][163] Trump Steakhouse[150][164] and Trump Steaks.[151] In addition, Trump reportedly received $1.5 million for each one-hour presentation he did for The Learning Annex.[165] Trump also 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.[166] He earned a total $1.35 million for three speeches given for the company, amounting to $450,000 per speech.[167]
  3. ^ The Marble Collegiate Church is a part of the Reformed Church in America, which is Mainline Reformed and not necessarily Presbyterian. Though Trump is not a member of this particular denomination, the congregation welcomes everybody. He was confirmed at the First Presbyterian Church, which belongs to the Presbyterian Church (USA). Since he travels a lot, Trump has attended various Reformed churches, regardless of their denomination.


  1. ^ Peterson-Withorn, Chase; Wang, Jennifer (September 28, 2016). "Donald Trump's Fortune Falls $800 Million to $3.7 Billion". Forbes. Sometimes he’s up, sometimes he down—and for much of the 1990s he was out of the three-comma club... A softening of New York City’s real estate market, particularly in retail and office ... has diminished his estimated net worth. 
  2. ^ a b c d e Melby, Caleb (July 19, 2016). "Trump Is Richer in Property and Deeper in Debt in New Valuation". Bloomberg Politics. In the year that Donald Trump was transformed ... into the presumptive Republican nominee, the value of his golf courses and his namesake Manhattan tower soared... His net worth rose to $3 billion on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index... 
  3. ^ Jamaica Hospital (June 14, 1946). "Certificate of Birth: Donald John Trump" (PDF). Fox News Channel. Archived (PDF) from the original on April 9, 2011. Retrieved May 31, 2016. 
  4. ^ Horowitz, Jason (January 2, 2016). "For Donald Trump, Lessons From a Brother's Suffering". The New York Times. Retrieved July 24, 2016. 
  5. ^ Blair, Gwenda (August 24, 2015). "The Man Who Made Trump Who He Is". Politico. Retrieved July 24, 2016. 
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Preceded by
Mitt Romney
Republican nominee for President of the United States
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Preceded by
Fred Trump
Chair and President of The Trump Organization