Trump in August 2015
|Born||Donald John Trump
June 14, 1946
Queens, New York City, U.S.
|Residence||Trump Tower, Manhattan, New York City, U.S.|
New York Military Academy
|Alma mater||Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania|
|Occupation||Chairman & President, The Trump Organization; former host, The Apprentice; 2016 Republican Nominee|
|Net worth||US$4.5 billion (May 2016)|
|Political party||Republican (1987–99; 2009–11; 2012–present)
Democratic (until 1987; 2001–09)
|Spouse(s)||Ivana Zelníčková (m. 1977–91)
Marla Maples (m. 1993–99)
Melania Knauss (m. 2005)
Donald Trump, Jr.
Mary Anne MacLeod
The Trump Organization
Donald John Trump (born June 14, 1946) is an American businessman, television personality, author, politician, and the Republican Party nominee for President of the United States in the 2016 election. He is chairman of The Trump Organization, which is the principal holding company for his real estate ventures and other business interests.
Born and raised in New York City, Trump is a graduate of the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania with a Bachelor of Science in economics. While attending college, Trump worked in his father Fred Trump's real estate and construction firm. He assumed control of the business in 1973, later renaming it The Trump Organization. During his career, Trump has built skyscrapers, hotels, casinos, golf courses, and numerous other developments, many of which bear his name, including Trump Place in Manhattan. He briefly sought the Reform Party's nomination in the 2000 presidential election, withdrawing prior to any primary contests. Listed by Forbes among the wealthiest 400 of The World's Billionaires, Trump and his businesses, as well as his personal life, have for decades received prominent media exposure. He hosted The Apprentice, a popular reality television show on NBC, from 2004 to 2015.
In June 2015, Trump announced his candidacy for president as a Republican, and quickly emerged as the front-runner for his party's nomination. His platform includes opposition to trade agreements that he regards as unfair such as NAFTA and TPP, renegotiation of NAFTA and U.S.–China trade deals, immigration enforcement including the building of a wall along the U.S.–Mexico border, reform of veterans' care, replacement of the Affordable Care Act, and tax cuts. Trump is a strong proponent of law and order. He has suggested a temporary suspension of immigration to the United States from nations having a "proven history" of terrorism against the U.S. until more precise vetting techniques can be put in place to screen out potential terrorists; he also believes that the quick defeat of ISIS is mandatory. Trump's presidential campaign has received extensive media coverage and international attention. His statements in interviews and at campaign rallies have often been controversial, with the rallies sometimes accompanied by protests or riots.
Trump received a plurality of the votes in the primary elections and placed first in a majority of states, culminating with a victory in Indiana in May 2016, whereupon his remaining Republican rivals suspended their campaigns and Republican chairman Reince Priebus declared him to be the party's presumptive nominee. Three weeks later, Trump had secured the 1,237 delegates needed to secure the nomination, and in July he was formally nominated at the 2016 Republican National Convention.
- 1 Ancestry
- 2 Childhood and education
- 3 Business career
- 4 Entertainment media
- 5 Politics
- 5.1 Political affiliations
- 5.2 Involvement in politics, 1988–2015
- 5.3 Presidential campaign, 2016
- 5.4 Political positions
- 6 Personal life
- 7 Appearances in popular culture
- 8 Further legal matters
- 9 Distinctions
- 10 Books authored
- 11 See also
- 12 Notes
- 13 References
- 14 Further reading
- 15 External links
Trump is of half German and half Scottish descent, with all four of Trump's grandparents having been born outside of the United States, as was his mother. In 1885, Trump's grandfather Friedrich Trump emigrated from Kallstadt, Germany to the United States at age 16. He anglicized his name to Frederick in 1892 when he became a U.S. citizen. During the Alaska Gold Rush, he amassed a fortune by opening restaurants and hotels for gold seekers on their way to the region. After his death, his fortune was passed on to his wife, Elizabeth Christ Trump, and his son Fred, who used it to start Elizabeth Trump & Son, now The Trump Organization. Fred Trump (1905–1999), born in New York, eventually became one of the biggest real estate developers in New York City, and was the father of Donald Trump.
Trump's mother, Mary Trump (née MacLeod, 1912–2000), was born in Tong, a small village near Stornoway, in the Western Isles of Scotland. At age 17, she emigrated to the United States and started working as a maid in New York. Fred and Mary met in New York and married in 1936, settling together in Queens. Mary became a U.S. citizen in 1942. Donald Trump has said that he "feels Scottish" and that he is "proud" of his German heritage, having served as grand marshal of the 1999 German-American Steuben Parade in New York City.
Childhood and education
Trump was born on June 14, 1946, in Jamaica Estates, Queens, a neighborhood in New York City. Trump was the second youngest child of Mary and Fred Trump's five children. Trump has four siblings—three of them living: Maryanne, Elizabeth, and Robert. Trump's older brother Fred Jr. died in 1981 from alcoholism, which Trump has said has led him to avoid ever trying alcohol or cigarettes.
The family had a two-story Tudor Revival home on Wareham Place in Jamaica Estates, where Trump lived while attending The Kew-Forest School. At Kew-Forest, Fred Trump served as a member of the Board of Trustees. Due to behavior problems, Trump left the school at age 13 and was enrolled in the New York Military Academy (NYMA). In 1983, Fred told an interviewer that Donald "was a pretty rough fellow when he was small". Trump finished eighth grade and high school at NYMA. During his senior year, Trump participated in marching drills and wore a uniform, attaining the rank of captain. In 2015, he told a biographer that NYMA gave him "more training militarily than a lot of the guys that go into the military".
Trump attended Fordham University in the Bronx for two years. He entered the Wharton School of Finance and Commerce at the University of Pennsylvania, as Wharton then offered one of the few real estate studies departments in U.S. academia. While there, he worked at the family's company, Elizabeth Trump & Son, named for his paternal grandmother. Trump graduated from Wharton in 1968 with a bachelor's degree in economics.
Trump was not drafted into the Vietnam War, for several reasons: student deferments, a medical deferment, and then a high number in the draft lottery. While in college, he obtained four student deferments. He was deemed fit for service based upon a military medical examination in 1966, and was briefly classified as fit by a local draft board in 1968, but was then medically disqualified later in 1968. Trump has attributed his medical deferment to "heel spurs" in both feet according to a 2015 biography. Selective Service records from the National Archives confirm that Trump received the medical deferment and eventually received a high selective service lottery number in 1969.[nb 1] Trump explained: "I actually got lucky because I had a very high draft number."
Prior to graduating from college, Trump began his real estate career at his father's company, Elizabeth Trump and Son, which focused on middle-class rental housing in the New York City boroughs of Brooklyn, Queens, and Staten Island. During his undergraduate study, one of Trump's first projects had been the revitalization of the foreclosed Swifton Village apartment complex in Cincinnati, Ohio, which his father had purchased for $5.7 million in 1962. Fred and Donald Trump became involved in the project and, with a $500,000 investment, turned the 1,200-unit complex's occupancy rate from 34% 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). In 1972, The Trump Organization sold Swifton Village for $6.75 million. 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!.
In 1971, Trump moved to Manhattan, where he took part in larger construction projects, and used attractive architectural design that gained public recognition. He and his father drew wider attention in 1973 when the Justice Department (DOJ) charged they were violating the Fair Housing Act by allegedly discriminating against blacks who wanted to rent apartments in 39 residential buildings, rather than merely screening out unqualified welfare recipients as the Trumps claimed. 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.
- 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 Midtown Manhattan site 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. He received a broker's fee on the property sale.
Trump's first big deal in Manhattan 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. Part of this deal was a $1 million loan that Donald's father Fred's Village Construction Corp. made to help repay draws on a Chase Manhattan credit line that Fred had arranged for Trump as he built the hotel, as well as a $70 million construction loan which was jointly guaranteed by Fred and the Hyatt hotel chain. Fred Trump was a 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 Trump the front man in the deal. According to journalist Wayne Barrett, Fred's two-decade friendship with a top Equitable officer, Ben Holloway, helped convince them to agree to the project. Donald negotiated a forty-year tax abatement for the hotel with the city in exchange for a share of the venture's profits. The deal helped reduce the risk of the project and provided an incentive for investors to participate.
In 1981, Trump purchased and renovated a building that would become the Trump Plaza. The Plaza later became the home of Dick Clark and Martina Navratilova.
In 1983, Trump completed development of the Trump Tower. The project involved complicated negotiations with different parties for the Bonwit Teller building itself, the land, and the airspace above a 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." Favorable reviews of the building's design helped convince the city to approve the project. Trump hired Barbara Res to manage the building's construction, and she became the first woman to manage the construction of a skyscraper in New York City.
Trump Tower occupies the former site of the architecturally significant Bonwit Teller flagship store, demolished in 1980. There was controversy when valuable Art Deco bas-relief sculptures on its facade, which were supposed to go to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, were destroyed during the demolition process. 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. 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. However, on appeal, parts of that ruling were overturned, and the record became sealed when the long-running labor lawsuit was settled in 1999, after 16 years in court.
Trump Tower, a 58-story, mixed-use skyscraper on Fifth Avenue in Midtown Manhattan, was developed by Trump and the Equitable Life Assurance Company, and was designed by architect Der Scutt of Swanke Hayden Connell. Trump Tower houses both the primary penthouse condominium residence of Donald Trump and the headquarters of The Trump Organization. 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. Trump Tower was the setting of the NBC television show The Apprentice including a fully functional television studio set. When the building was completed, its condominiums sold quickly and the tower became a tourist attraction.
Harrah's at Trump Plaza opened in Atlantic City in 1984. The hotel/casino was built by Trump with financing by Holiday Inn. Trump 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 successfully.
Trump acquired the Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Florida in 1985 for $5 million, plus $3 million for the home's furnishings. In addition to using the home as a winter retreat, Trump 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 which became Trump Plaza of the Palm Beaches.
Repairs on the Wollman Rink in Central Park, built in 1955, were started in 1980 by a general contractor unconnected to Trump, with an expected 2 1⁄2-year construction schedule, but were not completed by 1986. Trump took over the project, completed it in three months for $1.95 million, which was $750,000 less than the initial budget, and then operated the rink for one year with all profits going to charity.
Trump acquired the Plaza Hotel on New York City's Central Park South in Manhattan in 1988. He paid $400 million for the property and once again tapped Ivana to manage its operation and renovation. Later in 1988, Trump acquired the Taj Mahal Casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey, in a transaction with Merv Griffin and Resorts International. The casino was opened by then-owner Donald Trump in April 1990, and was built at a total cost of nearly one billion dollars.
Financed with $675 million in junk bonds at a 14% interest rate, the project entered Chapter 11 bankruptcy the following year. Banks and bondholders, facing potential losses of hundreds of millions of dollars, opted to restructure the debt. The Taj Mahal emerged from bankruptcy on October 5, 1991, with Trump ceding 50 percent ownership in the casino to the bondholders in exchange for lowered interest rates and more time to pay off the debt. He also sold his financially challenged Trump Shuttle airline and his 282-foot (86 m) megayacht, the Trump Princess. The property was repurchased in 1996 and consolidated into Trump Hotels & Casino Resorts, which filed for bankruptcy in 2004 with $1.8 billion in debt, filing again for bankruptcy five years later with $50 million in assets and $500 million in debt. The restructuring ultimately left Trump with 10% ownership in the Trump Taj Mahal and other Trump casino properties. Trump served as chairman of the organization, which was renamed Trump Entertainment Resorts, from mid-1995 until early 2009, and served as CEO from mid-2000 to mid-2005.
Its sister property, Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino, closed in September 2014. In November 2014, the Trump Taj Mahal threatened to close and cease casino and hotel operations by the end of the year if the union would not drop its appeal of the casino's bankruptcy ruling, rebuffing their demand for continued health insurance and pension coverage. On December 18, 2014 the Trump Taj Mahal reached an agreement with its union and kept the casino open, but did not restore the contested benefits. In February 2016, the Trump Taj Mahal and Trump Entertainment Resorts were purchased by billionaire Carl Icahn and exited Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
The late 1990s saw a resurgence in Trump's financial situation. The will of Trump's father, who died in 1999, divided an estate estimated at $250–300 million equally among his four surviving children.
Trump acquired an old, vacant office building on Wall Street in Manhattan in 1996. After a complete renovation, it became the seventy story Trump Building at 40 Wall Street.
In 2001, Trump completed Trump World Tower, a 72-story residential tower across from the United Nations Headquarters. Also, he began construction on Trump Place, a multi-building development along the Hudson River. Trump continued to own commercial space in Trump International Hotel and Tower, a 44-story mixed-use (hotel and condominium) tower on Columbus Circle which he acquired in 1996, and also continued to own millions of square feet of other prime Manhattan real estate.
Trump acquired the former Hotel Delmonico in Manhattan in 2002. It was re-opened with 35 stories of luxury condominiums in 2004 as the Trump Park Avenue.
By 2014, Trump retained 10% ownership of Trump Entertainment Resorts, which owns the Trump Taj Mahal and Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino, both in Atlantic City. In that year, Trump Entertainment Resorts entered Chapter 11 bankruptcy and closed Trump Plaza in Atlantic City indefinitely. Billionaire Carl Icahn purchased the company in 2016, acquiring Trump Taj Mahal; Icahn kept Trump's name on the building even though Trump no longer had any ownership.
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"). His disclosure filings for the year 2015 revealed that his total gross revenue was in excess of $611 million. According to Fortune magazine, the $362 million figure as stated on his 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. 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. Trump's campaign manager has suggested that Trump's tax rebate was an error. Trump has not publicly released his federal tax returns, saying he would not do so because of ongoing IRS audits.
Trump has licensed his name and image for the development of a number of real estate projects. Trump-branded properties, which are not owned by Trump, include two Trump-branded real estate projects in Florida that have gone into foreclosure. The Turkish owner of Trump Towers Istanbul, who pays Trump for the use of his name, was reported in December 2015 to be exploring legal means to dissociate the property after the candidate's call to temporarily ban Muslims from entering the United States.
Trump has 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 be expected to obtain U.S. permanent residency for themselves and their families after two years. A spokesperson clarified that Trump is a partner with Kushner Properties only in name licensing and not in the building's financing.
An analysis of Trump's business career by The Economist in 2016, concludes that his "...performance [from 1985 to 2016] has been mediocre compared with the stock market and property in New York", noting both his successes and bankruptcies. Any such analysis is difficult because, as the newspaper observed, "Information about Mr Trump’s business is sketchy. He doesn't run a publicly listed firm..." Trump's early successes were partly commingled with those of his father so they omit them claiming, "The best long-term starting point is 1985, when Mr Trump first appeared in the rankings without his father." A subsequent analysis by The Washington Post concluded that "Trump is a mix of braggadocio, business failures, and real success."
The Trump Organization operates many golf courses and resorts in the U.S. and around the world. The number of golf courses that Trump owns or manages is about 18, according to Golfweek. Trump's personal financial disclosure with the Federal Elections Commission revealed that his golf and resort revenue for the year 2015 was roughly $382 million.
In 2006, Trump bought the Menie Estate in Balmedie, Aberdeenshire, Scotland, creating a highly controversial golf resort, against the wishes of local residents, on an area designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest. A 2011 independent documentary, You've Been Trumped, by British filmmaker Anthony Baxter, chronicled the golf resort's construction and the subsequent struggles between the locals and Donald Trump. Despite Trump's promises of 6,000 jobs, a decade later, by his own admission, the golf course has created only 200 jobs.
In April 2014, Trump purchased the Turnberry hotel and golf resort in Ayrshire, Scotland, which is a regular fixture in the Open Championship rota. In June 2015, Trump's appeal objecting to an offshore windfarm (Aberdeen Bay Wind Farm) within sight of the golf links was denied. 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.
Football and boxing
In 1983, Trump purchased the New Jersey Generals for the inaugural season of the United States Football League (USFL). Trump and the Generals hired former New York Jets head coach Walt Michaels to replace Chuck Fairbanks. Before the inaugural season began, Trump sold the franchise to Oklahoma oil magnate J. Walter Duncan. Then, prior to the 1984 season, Duncan sold the team back to Trump.
The USFL played its first 1983, 1984, and 1985 seasons during the summer. 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; owners of any USFL teams included in a merger would see their investment increase significantly.
In 1985, the Houston Gamblers merged into the Generals, adding such stars as quarterback Jim Kelly and wide receiver Ricky Sanders. Trump retained a 50 percent interest in the merged team. Michaels was fired, replaced with former Gamblers coach Jack Pardee, who planned to bring the Gamblers' high-powered run and shoot offense with him. However, the USFL's "Dream Team" never took the field. The 1986 season was cancelled after the USFL won a minimal verdict (of less than four dollars) in an antitrust lawsuit against the NFL; the USFL folded soon afterward.
Following the USFL experience, Trump remained involved with sports, operating golf courses in several countries, and almost buying the Buffalo Bills football team. 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.
Business bankruptcies, 1991–2009
Trump has never filed for personal bankruptcy, but hotel and casino businesses of his have been declared bankrupt four times between 1991 and 2009 to re-negotiate debt with banks and owners of stock and bonds. Because the businesses used Chapter 11 bankruptcy, they were allowed to operate while negotiations proceeded. Trump was quoted by Newsweek in 2011 saying, "I do play with the bankruptcy laws—they're very good for me" as a tool for trimming debt.
According to a report by Forbes in 2011, the four bankruptcies were the result of over-leveraged hotel and casino businesses in Atlantic City: Trump Taj Mahal (1991), Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino (1992), Trump Hotels and Casino Resorts (2004), and Trump Entertainment Resorts (2009). 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." He indicated that many "great entrepreneurs" do the same.
From 1996 until 2015, when he sold his interests, 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.
In 2002, Trump was dissatisfied with how CBS scheduled his pageants, and took both Miss Universe and Miss USA to NBC, where the shows thrived. In 2006, Miss USA winner Tara Conner tested positive for cocaine, but Trump let her keep the crown, for the sake of giving her a second chance. That decision by Trump was criticized by Rosie O'Donnell, which led to a very blunt and personal rebuttal by Trump criticizing O'Donnell. In 2012, Trump won a $5 million court award against a contestant who claimed the show was rigged.
In 2015, NBC and Univision both ended their business relationships with the Miss Universe Organization after Trump's presidential campaign kickoff speech on June 16, in which he said about Mexico: "They're sending people that have a lot of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They're bringing drugs. They're bringing crime. They're rapists. And some, I assume, are good people."
Trump subsequently filed a $500 million lawsuit against Univision, alleging a breach of contract and defamation. In his statement about the lawsuit against Univision, Trump said, "Nothing that I stated was different from what I have been saying for many years. I want strong borders, and I do not support or condone illegal immigration. There is a high level of crime occurring in this country due to unchecked illegal immigration. This is a major security issue for the United States...."
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, though it was unclear whether Trump had yet filed lawsuits against NBC. He sold his own interests in the pageant shortly afterwards, to WME/IMG. As for the $500 million lawsuit against the Hispanic network Univision, that lawsuit was settled in February 2016, but terms of the settlement were not disclosed.
Trump University LLC (formerly the Trump Wealth Institute; later named Trump Entrepreneur Initiative LLC) 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, in 2004. The company offered courses in real estate, asset management, entrepreneurship, and wealth creation, charging fees ranging from $1,500 to $35,000 per course. 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". Trump was also found personally liable for failing to obtain a business license for the operation. In 2013 the state of New York filed a $40 million civil suit claiming that the Trump University operation made false claims and defrauded consumers; the lawsuit is ongoing as of 2016. 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. One of the cases, Low v. Trump, is scheduled to go to trial in San Diego on November 28, 2016.
Branding and licensing
Trump has marketed his name on a large number of building projects as well as commercial products and services, achieving mixed success doing so for himself, his partners, and investors in the projects. 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), Select By Trump (a line of coffee drinks), Trump Drinks (an energy drink for the Israeli and Palestinian markets) 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, Trump Golf, Trump Chocolate, Trump Home (home furnishings), Trump Productions (a television production company), Trump Institute, Trump: The Game (1989 board game with a 2005 re-release version tied to The Apprentice), 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), Trump Vodka, Trump Steakhouse and Trump Steaks. In addition, Trump reportedly received $1.5 million for each one-hour presentation he did for The Learning Annex. 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. He earned a total $1.35 million for three speeches given for the company, amounting to $450,000 per speech.
In 2011, Forbes' financial experts estimated the value of the Trump brand at $200 million. Trump disputes this valuation, saying that his brand is worth about $3 billion. Many developers pay Trump to market their properties and to be the public face for their projects. For that reason, Trump does not own many of the buildings that display his name. 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 USD$125 million as retailers like Macy's Inc. and Serta Mattresses began dropping Trump branded products, with Macy's saying they are "disappointed and distressed by recent remarks about immigrants from Mexico."
According to a July 2015 press release by Trump's campaign, a portion of Trump's fortune is held in assets outside his holdings in The Trump Organization, many of which were concentrated in financial markets. In 2011, Trump made a rare foray into the stock market after being disappointed with the depressed American real estate market and facing poor returns on bank deposits. He stated that he was not a stock market person, but he also stated that prime real estate at good prices is hard to get. Among the stocks Trump purchased, he stated he bought stock in Bank of America, Citigroup, Caterpillar Inc., Intel, Johnson & Johnson and Procter & Gamble. In December 2012, Trump revealed that he also added shares of Facebook to his stock portfolio. Trump also has US$9 million invested in hedge funds. He earned US$6.7 million from selling shares in Bank of America and an additional US$3.9 million from selling Facebook in 2014.
Trump has released financial information, but has not released his tax returns, saying that he will do so before the 2016 election if an ongoing audit by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is completed covering tax returns for the years 2009 through 2016. Former Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney is among those who have questioned Trump's purported wealth and his unwillingness to release his tax returns, suggesting Trump might be wary of revealing a potential electoral "bombshell". Trump responded by disclosing the existence of the ongoing audit. Trump later said that the government has audited him too many times, and he speculated about possible reasons for auditing him again now, saying that perhaps it was because he is a "strong Christian", though he added "I don't think it applies". Trump says he will not yet release records for audited years that he had "passed" because such records "mesh" and "interrelate" with current disputed IRS filings. Tax attorneys are generally sympathetic to wanting tax returns kept private until an audit is completed. High income individuals are audited more frequently than the average taxpayer, but it is unusual for an individual to be audited for several consecutive years. When asked by journalist George Stephanopoulos if he would reveal his tax rate, Trump replied: "It's none of your business, you'll see it when I release. But I fight very hard to pay as little tax as possible". If he does not release his tax returns before the November 2016 election, he would be the first major party candidate since 1976 not to do so.
Trump has claimed that his net worth is over ten billion dollars, whereas in 2015 Forbes estimated his net worth at 4.5 billion, and Bloomberg estimated it at 2.9 billion, with the discrepancies due in part to the uncertainty of appraised property values. These estimates would make Trump one of the richest politicians in American history. As of March 2016, Forbes had him listed at #336 on its list of the world's most wealthy.
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. 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; in 2005, The New York Times referred to Trump's "verbal billions" in a skeptical article about Trump's self-reported wealth. 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. 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. 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; Trump has since told campaign audiences he began his career with "a small loan of one million dollars" from his father, which he paid back with interest: "it has not been easy for me", Trump told one New Hampshire crowd.
In April 2011, amid speculation whether Trump would run as a candidate in the U.S. presidential election of 2012, Politico quoted unnamed sources close to him stating that, if Trump should decide to run for president, he would file "financial disclosure statements that [would] show his net worth [was] in excess of $7 billion with more than $250 million of cash, and very little debt." 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.
Estimates of Trump's net worth have fluctuated along with real estate valuations: in 2015, Forbes pegged it as $4 billion, while the Bloomberg Billionaires Index (which scrutinized Trump's FEC filings) estimated a net worth of $2.9 billion. On June 16, 2015, just prior to announcing his candidacy for president of the United States, Trump released to the media a one-page prepared financial disclosure statement "from a big accounting firm—one of the most respected" stating a net worth of $8,737,540,000. "I'm really rich", Trump said. Forbes called the nearly $9 billion figure a "100%" exaggeration. In June 2015, Business Insider published Trump's June 2014 financial statement, noting that $3.3 billion of that total is represented by "Real Estate Licensing Deals, Brand and Branded Developments", described by Business Insider as "basically [implying] that Trump values his character at $3.3 billion." 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. 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%. (Mortgages on those three properties were separately reported as $100 million, $160 million, and $125 million in 2013.) Other outstanding Trump mortgages and debts are pegged to current market interest rates. A 2012 report from Trump's accounting firm estimated $451.7 million in debt and other collateral obligations. Filings in 2015 revealed debt of $504 million, according to Fortune magazine.
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" and that his "net worth is in excess of TEN BILLION DOLLARS [sic]". 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." On the same day, Trump's own stated estimates of his net worth have varied by as much as $3.3 billion. Trump has also acknowledged that past exaggerated estimates of his wealth have been "good for financing". Forbes has said that although Trump "shares a lot of information with us that helps us get to the figures we publish," he "consistently pushes for a higher net worth—especially when it comes to the value of his personal brand." Forbes reduced its estimate of Trump's net worth by $125 million following Trump's controversial 2015 remarks about Mexican illegal immigrants, which ended Trump's business contracts with NBCUniversal, Univision, Macy's, Serta, PVH Corporation, and Perfumania. 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.
Trump has twice been nominated for an Emmy Award and has made appearances as a caricatured version of himself in television series and films. 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. 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!.
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."
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. 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, although the network did not verify the claim. In 2007, Trump received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for his contribution to television (The Apprentice).
Along with British TV producer Mark Burnett, Trump was hired as host of The Celebrity Apprentice, in which well-known stars compete to win money for their charities. While Trump and Burnett co-produced the show, Trump stayed in the forefront, deciding winners and "firing" losers.
On February 16, 2015, NBC announced that they would be renewing The Apprentice for a 15th season. Eleven days later, Trump stated that he was "not ready" to sign on for another season because of the possibility of a presidential run. Despite this, on March 18, NBC announced they were going ahead with production. 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.
|The Jeffersons||1985||Episode titled "You’ll Never Get Rich"||Himself|
|Ghosts Can’t Do It||1989||Movie|
|Home Alone 2: Lost in New York||1992||Movie|
|The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air||1994||Episode titled “For Sale by Owner”|
|Across the Sea of Time||1995||Movie|
|The Little Rascals||1995||Movie||Waldo's Dad (an oil tycoon)|
|The Nanny||1996||Episode titled "The Rosie Show"||Himself|
|Suddenly Susan||1997||Episode titled "I'll See That and Raise You Susan"|
|The Drew Carey Show||1997||Episode titled "New York and Queens"|
|Night Man||1997||Episode titled "Face to Face"|
|Spin City||1998||Episode titled "The Paul Lassiter Story"|
|Sex and the City||1999||Episode titled “The Man, the Myth, the Viagra”|
|The Job||2001||Episode titled "Elizabeth"|
|Two Weeks Notice||2002||Movie|
|Days of Our Lives||2005||Guest star on daytime television soap opera.|
|58th Primetime Emmy Awards||2006||minimusical||Oliver Wendell Douglas|
|Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps||2010||Trump's scene in this movie was cut from the final version but is available on the DVD.||Himself|
|Saturday Night Live||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. Together with another Trump company, Trump Management Group LLC, Trump Model Management has brought nearly 250 foreign fashion models into the U.S. to work in the fashion industry since 2000. 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. The case was dismissed from U.S. federal court in March 2016.
Trump is a WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment) fan, and friend of WWE owner Vince McMahon. He has hosted two WrestleMania events in the Trump Plaza and has been an active participant in several of the shows. 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.
Trump appeared at WrestleMania 23 in a match called "The Battle of the Billionaires." 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. The deal was that either Trump or McMahon would have their head shaved if their competitor lost. Lashley won the match, and so McMahon got the haircut.
On June 15, 2009, as part of a storyline, McMahon announced on Monday Night Raw that he had "sold" the show to Trump. 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. McMahon "bought back" Raw the following week for twice the price.
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.
Trump has described his political leanings and positions in various ways over time. Politico has described his positions as "eclectic, improvisational and often contradictory". He has listed several different party affiliations over the years, and has also run as a Reform Party candidate. The positions that he has revised or reversed include stances on progressive taxation, abortion, and government involvement in health care.
Trump's party affiliation has changed over the years. Although his party affiliation prior to 1987 is unclear, Trump was an early supporter of Republican Ronald Reagan for U.S. President in the late 70s. In 1987 he registered as a Republican until 1999. He then switched to the Reform Party for three years and ran a presidential exploratory campaign for its nomination. After his run, Trump left the party in 2001 due to the involvement of David Duke, Pat Buchanan and Lenora Fulani within the party. From 2001 to 2009 he was a Democrat and then switched back to the Republican Party in 2009 after endorsing Republican John McCain for President. In December 2011, Trump became an Independent for five months, before returning to the Republican Party, where he has pledged to stay.
Trump has made contributions to campaigns of both Republican Party and Democratic Party candidates, with the top ten recipients of his political contributions being six Democrats and four Republicans. After 2011, his campaign contributions were more favorable to Republicans than to Democrats. In February 2012, Trump endorsed Republican Mitt Romney for President. When asked in 2015 which recent President he prefers, Trump picked Democrat Bill Clinton over the Republican Bushes.
Involvement in politics, 1988–2015
Trump floated the idea of running for president in 1988, 2004, and 2012, and for Governor of New York in 2006 and 2014, but did not enter those races. He was considered as a potential running mate for George H. W. Bush on the Republican Party's 1988 presidential ticket but lost out to future Vice President Dan Quayle. There is dispute over whether Trump or the Bush camp made the initial pitch.
In 1999, Trump filed an exploratory committee to seek the presidential nomination of the Reform Party in 2000. A July 1999 poll matching him against likely Republican nominee George W. Bush and likely Democratic nominee Al Gore showed Trump with seven percent support. Trump eventually dropped out of the race due to party infighting, but still won the party's California and Michigan primaries after doing so.
In February 2009, Trump appeared on The Late Show with David Letterman, and spoke about the automotive industry crisis of 2008–10. He said that "instead of asking for money", General Motors "should go into bankruptcy and work that stuff out in a deal".
As Trump publicly speculated about seeking the 2012 Republican presidential nomination, a Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll released in March 2011 found Trump leading among potential contenders, one point ahead of former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney. A Newsweek poll conducted in February 2011 showed Trump within a few points of Barack Obama, with many voters undecided in the November 2012 general election for president of the United States. A poll released in April 2011 by Public Policy Polling showed Trump having a nine-point lead in a potential contest for the Republican nomination for president while he was still actively considering a run. His moves were interpreted by some media as possible promotional tools for his reality show The Apprentice.
In April 2011, Trump waded into the controversy about President Barack Obama's proof of eligibility as a natural born citizen: "His grandmother in Kenya said he was born in Kenya and she was there and witnessed the birth, okay?" Trump's claim was based upon an incomplete transcript filed years earlier in a court case. Trump also questioned whether Obama's grades alone warranted entry to his Ivy League schools, and called for release of school records, plus release of a long form birth certificate. Two days later, the White House sought to put the longstanding matter to rest with release of the long form. Trump said he hoped it "checks out", and expressed pride about his role. When asked years later where Obama was born, Trump said: "I really don't know. I mean, I don't know why he wouldn't release his records. But you know, honestly, I don't want to get into it".
Trump’s strengths as a potential candidate in the 2012 presidential election included being a businessman, not being a politician, not talking like a politician, and not thinking like a politician. He generally had polled at or below 17 percent among the crowded field of possible Republican candidates. On May 16, 2011, Trump announced he would not run for president in the 2012 election, while also saying he would have won.
In 2013, Trump was a featured speaker at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC). During the lightly-attended early-morning speech, Trump said that President Obama gets "unprecedented media protection", he spoke against illegal immigration, and advised against harming Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security.
Also in 2013, he spent over $1 million to research a possible run for president of the United States. In October 2013, New York Republicans circulated a memo suggesting Trump should run for governor of the state in 2014, against Andrew Cuomo; Trump said in response that while New York had problems and taxes were too high, running for governor was not of great interest to him. He also made statements denying climate change that were discordant with the opinion of the scientific community. In February 2015, Trump opted not to renew his television contract for The Apprentice, generating speculation that he might run for president in 2016.
Presidential campaign, 2016
On June 16, 2015, Trump announced his candidacy for President of the United States at Trump Tower in New York City. Trump drew attention to domestic issues such as illegal immigration, offshoring of American jobs, the U.S. national debt, and Islamic terrorism, and announced his campaign slogan, "Make America Great Again." Trump runs as a self-described conservative, particularly in fiscal and religious matters. His campaign emphasises American patriotism, with a disdain for political correctness.
Trump is the second major-party presidential nominee in American history whose experience comes principally from running a business (Wendell Willkie was the first). If elected, Trump would become the first U.S. President without prior government or military experience. In part due to Trump's lack of political experience, Republican leaders such as House Speaker Paul Ryan were hesitant to support him early on, doubting his chances of winning the general election and fearing he could harm to the image of the Republican Party. However, Trump's candidacy succeeded with Republican primary voters, partly because of widespread media coverage, his status as a political outsider, his defiance of political correctness, and his experience in business.
Trump's extensive platform has frequently changed throughout his campaign trail. In his RNC acceptance speech, Trump promised to combat illegal immigration by building a wall along the U.S.–Mexico border, reform healthcare by repealing and replacing Obamacare, rebuild the U.S. military while improving veterans' care, veto trade agreements that are unfavorable to American workers, and tackle Islamic terrorism by defeating ISIS and suspending immigration from countries that have been compromised by terrorism until the government has perfected its ability to screen out potential terrorists.
Trump entered a large field of candidates consisting of 16 other Republican candidates campaigning for the nomination, the largest presidential field in American history. By early 2016, the race had mostly centered on Donald Trump and U.S. Senator Ted Cruz. On Super Tuesday, Trump won the majority of the vote and remained the front-runner throughout the primaries. By March 2016, Trump reached over 50% in national support from Republican primary voters and became poised to win the Republican nomination. After a landslide win in Indiana on May 3, 2016, which prompted the remaining candidates Ted Cruz and John Kasich to suspend their presidential campaigns, RNC Chairman Reince Priebus declared Trump the presumptive Republican nominee. With nearly 14 million votes, Trump broke the all-time record for winning the most primary votes in the history of the Republican Party.
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." Trump began targeting Hillary Clinton, who became the presumptive Democratic nominee on June 6, 2016, and continued to campaign across the country under police protection. One month before the Republican National Convention, Secret Service agents thwarted an assassination attempt on Trump by a 20-year-old man illegally residing in the U.S. during one of his rallies in Las Vegas.
Clinton had established a significant lead in national polls over Trump throughout most of 2016. In early July, Trump and Clinton became tied in major polls after Clinton's lead collapsed following the FBI's conclusion of its investigation into her ongoing email controversy. FBI Director James Comey concluded Clinton had been "extremely careless" in her handling of classified government material and dishonest about aspects of the controversy on multiple occasions.
On July 15, 2016, Trump announced U.S. Governor Mike Pence as his running mate. Trump and Pence were officially nominated by the Republican Party on July 19, 2016, at the Republican National Convention. Two days later, Trump officially accepted the nomination in a speech inspired by Richard Nixon's 1968 acceptance speech. The historically long speech was watched by nearly 35 million people and was generally well-received, with 75% of American viewers saying they had a "positive" reaction to it. In late July, Trump gained his first lead over Clinton in major polls following a significant convention bounce that hadn't been seen in American politics since the 2000 election.
Trump's political positions are widely described by the media as "populist". He has described his political positions in various and often contradictory ways over time. Trump 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." PolitiFact wrote that it is difficult to determine Trump's stance on issues, given his frequent changes in position and "his penchant for using confusing, vague and even contradictory language". Politifact counted at least 17 times when Trump said something and then denied having said it.
Trump describes himself as pro-life and would ban late-term abortions except in cases of rape, incest, or health. He is in favor of cutting federal funding for Planned Parenthood. Trump supports the Second Amendment and is opposed to gun control in general. He supports fixing the federal background check system so that criminal and mental health records are always put into the system. Trump opposes legalizing recreational marijuana but supports legalizing medical marijuana.
Trump has stated that he supports "traditional marriage". He has described himself as a "friend" of the LGBT community and has not committed to reversing the June 2015 Obergefell v. Hodges Supreme Court ruling that legalized same-sex marriage nationwide. Regarding the ruling, he said: "I would have preferred states, you know, making the decision and I let that be known. But they made the decision. [...] So, at a certain point you have to be realistic about it." Trump has demonstrated his support of capital punishment both through his campaign speeches about killings of police officers, and through full-page ads he purchased favoring capital punishment in New York during the 1989 Central Park jogger case.
His campaign's tax plan calls for reducing the corporate tax rate to 15%, concurrent with the elimination of various business loopholes and deductions. Personal income taxes would also be reduced; the top rate would be reduced from 39.6% to 25%, a large "zero bracket" would be created, and the alternative minimum tax would be eliminated, as would the estate tax.
During the Republican Party Primary, Trump said that the minimum wage should not be raised because increasing it would hurt America's economic competitiveness. However, since becoming the presumptive nominee for Republican candidate for President he has stated that he is open to raising the minimum wage, saying: "I haven't decided in terms of numbers. But I think people have to get more."
Healthcare and education
Trump favors repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act (commonly referred to as "Obamacare") with a different free-market plan that would allow health insurance to be sold across state lines, enable individuals to deduct health insurance premiums, expand health savings accounts, and give more control of Medicaid to the states. He has voiced support for a single-payer healthcare system in the past, but distanced himself from the idea during his 2016 campaign. Trump favors getting rid of backlogs and waitlists which are the focus of the Veterans Health Administration scandal. In a statement, he said he believes that Veterans Affairs facilities need to be upgraded with recent technology, hire more veterans to treat other veterans, increase support of female veterans, and create satellite clinics within hospitals in rural areas.
Trump has stated his support for school choice and local control for primary and secondary schools. He opposes the Common Core State Standards Initiative for primary and secondary schools, and has called Common Core "a disaster" that must be ended. He has stated that he would abolish all or part of the Department of Education.
Trump identifies as a "free trader", but says that trade must be "reasonably fair". He is often referred to as "protectionist". He says NAFTA has been "a disaster" and states that as president he would either renegotiate or break the NAFTA agreement. He also strongly opposes the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). Trump proposes to raise tariffs on Chinese exports to the United States by 45%, and has raised the idea of placing 35% tariffs on Mexican exports to the United States.
Trump has been described as non-interventionalist and nationalist. He supports increasing U.S. military defense spending, but favors decreasing U.S. spending on NATO and in the Pacific region. He says America should look inward, stop "nation building", and re-orient its resources toward domestic needs. Trump has at various times said he favored and opposed sending US ground forces to defeat the Islamic State. He supports expanded use of aggressive interrogation techniques, including waterboarding "and a hell of a lot worse", with terrorists.
Trump tentatively endorsed ("Yeah, I guess so. I wish the first time it was done correctly.") a future invasion of Iraq in 2002. There is no public record of him opposing the war until 2003, after it was well under way. By 2004 he was public in his criticism of the war. In 2008, Trump said that George W. Bush should have been impeached for the invasion of Iraq. In 2013, he repeatedly referred to the war as a "mess" and in December 2013 also said that "People are questioning invading Iraq in the first place". On February 13 during Republican Presidential debates, Trump called the war "a big, fat mistake" and alleged that "They lied. They said there were weapons of mass destruction – there were none. And they knew there were none."  He criticized the impact of the war on the region: "[W]e should have never been in Iraq, we have destabilized the Middle East." On February 18, 2016, he said that by the time the invasion occurred, he had become an opponent.
Trump has at times during his presidential campaign stated that the Afghanistan War was a mistake, and at other times stated that it was necessary. He supports keeping a limited number of U.S. troops there. Trump was a strong supporter of the 2011 military intervention in Libya at the time. He has since then reversed his position several times, saying finally in June 2016 that he would have supported "surgical" bombing against Gaddafi.
In terms of confronting ISIS, Trump called for sending 20,000 to 30,000 US troops to the region, a position he retracted. He has since argued that regional allies of the US, such as Saudi Arabia should provide troops in the fight. He also believes that oil fields in ISIS-controlled areas should be bombed.
Regarding the Israeli–Palestinian conflict, Trump has stated the importance of being a neutral party during potential negotiations, while also having stated that he is "a big fan of Israel." He supports Israeli settlement construction in the West Bank. Trump has been critical of Pakistan, comparing it to North Korea, describing it as "probably the most dangerous country" in the world, and saying that Pakistan's nuclear weapons posed a "serious problem." He has advocated improving relations with India as a "check" to Pakistan.
Trump has said that the EPA is a "disgrace" and has promised to cut its budget. He has promised to renegotiate the Paris 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.
Trump rejects the scientific consensus on climate change, repeatedly contending that global warming is a "hoax." He has stated "I'm a huge believer in clean air, I’m not a huge believer in the global warming phenomenon", comparing it to the scientific concern about global cooling in the 1920s which was later disproven. Despite his scepticism, Trump has taken action against global warming in the past. In 2009, Trump signed an open letter to Congress calling for meaningful and effective measures to control climate change.
Trump's immigration policies have been among his most highly discussed policies during the campaign. While many of Trump's policies appeal to working-class voters, some have come under scrutiny by several experts on immigration who question the effectiveness and affordability of his plans.
Trump has emphasized U.S. border security, but says that his specific proposals during the campaign are flexible suggestions. Trump vows to strengthen the Mexico–United States border by building a substantial wall in order to keep out illegal immigrants, a wall which Trump promises Mexico will pay for. 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." During Trump's campaign, U.S. naturalization applications spiked by 14 percent, creating speculation illegal immigrants are rushing to become U.S. citizens out of fear of being deported if Trump becomes President. Trump also opposes birthright citizenship, arguing people born in the United States shouldn't automatically be granted U.S. citizenship.
One of Trump's most controversial proposals was a temporary ban on foreign Muslims entering the United States. This proposal by Trump came in response to a wave of radical Islamic terrorist attacks in Europe, with Trump stating that Belgium and France had been blighted by the failure of Muslims in these countries to integrate, and that living in Brussels was like living in a "hellhole" because of its dire state in Muslim assimilation. The proposal came under heavy scrutiny, with critics saying such a ban would go against American values, or against the Constitution. Trump later modified his position by stating that the temporary ban would apply to people originating from countries with a "proven history of terrorism against the United States or its allies", or countries "compromised by terrorism".  Trump has said that the ban would be lifted once the government has perfected its ability to screen out potential terrorists. Trump insisted that the new proposal was not a "rollback" of his initial proposal to ban all Muslim immigrants. He said, "In fact, you could say it's an expansion. I'm looking now at territory." When asked if the proposal could apply to countries compromised by terrorism, such as France, Germany and Spain, Trump answered, "It's their own fault, because they've allowed people over years to come into their territory."
Comments about fringe theories
According to political writer Steve Benen, unlike past political leaders, Trump has not kept fringe theories and their supporters at arm's length. Political writer Jack Shafer says that Trump may be a "fairly conventional American populist when it comes to his policy views", but he has a revolutionary ability to attract free media attention, sometimes by making outrageous comments.
Although Trump has refused to discuss his past comments on Obama's proof of citizenship during the campaign, he has not shied away from other topics that attract fringe theorists. Among others, Trump has alluded to the theory that President Obama is secretly a Muslim, the unfounded notion that vaccine doses cause autism if administered too quickly in succession, and the conspiracy theory that former Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia might not have died of natural causes but was murdered.
Trump has had three marriages, the first two ending in divorce, which have been publicized in the tabloid media. His personal life has also gained extensive coverage in the mainstream media.
Trump married his first wife, Czech model Ivana Zelníčková, on April 7, 1977 at the Marble Collegiate Church in Manhattan. 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., Eric, and Ivanka now serve as executive vice presidents of The Trump Organization.
Ivana became a naturalized U.S. citizen in 1988, with Trump at her side. Trump is popularly known as "The Donald", a nickname perpetuated by the media after Ivana referred to him as such in a 1989 Spy magazine cover story. By early 1990, Trump's troubled marriage to Ivana and long-running affair with actress Marla Maples had become fodder for the tabloid press. The couple divorced in 1991. In 1992, he sued Ivana for not honoring a gag clause in their divorce agreement by disclosing facts about him in her best-selling book, and Trump won a gag order. In 2015, Ivana said that she and Donald "are the best of friends".
Maples gave birth to their daughter Tiffany on October 13, 1993. They married two months later on December 20, 1993. The couple formally separated in May 1997, with their divorce finalized in June 1999.
In 1998, Trump began a relationship with Slovenian-born fashion model Melania Knauss. They became engaged in April 2004 and were married on January 22, 2005 at Bethesda-by-the-Sea Episcopal Church, on the island of Palm Beach, Florida, followed by a reception at Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate. In 2006, Melania became a naturalized U.S. citizen. In March 2006, she gave birth to their son whom they named Barron William Trump. (Trump had previously used the pseudonym "John Baron" or "Barron" in some business deals and for other purposes.) Having heard the language since his birth, Barron is fluent in Slovenian. 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.
His brother Fred Jr. predeceased his father Fred, and, shortly after the latter died in 1999, Fred III's wife gave birth to a son with serious medical problems. Trump and his family offered to pay the medical bills through Fred Sr.'s company (Fred Sr. freely provided medical coverage to his family through his company for decades). 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.
|Ancestors of Donald Trump|
Trump is a Presbyterian. Trump said he began going to church at the First Presbyterian Church in the Jamaica neighborhood in Queens, when he was younger.[clarification needed] Trump attended Sunday school and had his confirmation at that church. In an April 2011 interview on the 700 Club, he commented: "I'm a Protestant, I'm a Presbyterian. And you know I've had a good relationship with the church over the years. I think religion is a wonderful thing. I think my religion is a wonderful religion." Trump told a 2015 South Carolina campaign audience he attends Marble Collegiate Church, where he married his first wife Ivana in 1977. Marble has said that, though Trump has a longstanding history with the church, he is a Presbyterian and not an active member of Marble. Trump has said that although he participates in Holy Communion, he has not asked God for forgiveness for his sins. He stated, "I think if I do something wrong, I think, I just try and make it right. I don't bring God into that picture."
In 1983, the Reverend Norman Vincent Peale, described in a New York Times profile as Trump's "pastor" and "family minister", said that Trump was "kindly and courteous in certain business negotiations and has a profound streak of honest humility." Trump calls his own book The Art of the Deal (1987) "my second favorite book of all time," and has told campaign audiences: "Do you know what my first is? The Bible! Nothing beats the Bible." Declining to name his favorite Bible verse, Trump said "I don't like giving that out to people that you hardly know."
Trump maintains relationships with several prominent national Evangelical Protestant and other Christian leaders, including Tony Perkins and Ralph Reed. During his 2016 presidential campaign, he received a blessing from Greek Orthodox priest Emmanuel Lemelson. Trump has ties to the Jewish-American community. At an Algemeiner Journal awards ceremony honoring him with the Algemeiner Liberty Award, he was asked about having Jewish grandchildren. In reference to daughter Ivanka, who converted to Judaism before her marriage to Jared Kushner, Trump said: "Not only do I have Jewish grandchildren, I have a Jewish daughter; and I am very honored by that ... it wasn't in the plan but I am very glad it happened."
Controversy involving the Pope
A person who thinks only about building walls—wherever they may be—and not building bridges, is not Christian. ...I'd just say that this man [Trump] is not Christian if he said it this way. ...We must see if he said things in that way and in this I give the benefit of the doubt.
Trump responded that it was "disgraceful" for the Pope to question his faith, and suggested that the Mexican government was "using the Pope as a pawn" for political purposes, "because they want to continue to rip off the United States." Trump said that "if and when" the Islamic State (ISIL) attacks the Vatican, the Pope would have "wished and prayed" Trump were President because under Trump's leadership, such an attack would not happen.
Shortly thereafter, Director of the Holy See Press Office Federico Lombardi insisted that the Pope was "in no way" launching an attack on Donald Trump nor was he trying to sway voters by declaring someone who advocates building walls isn't Christian. The spokesman said that "the Pope has made it clear that he would not enter into the [presidential] election campaign in the United States", and indeed the headlines in the United States had gone considerably beyond what the Pope had actually said. After the clarification by Lombardi, Trump retracted his criticism of the Pope: "I don't think this is a fight," said Trump. "I think he said something much softer than was originally reported by the media."
Other personal information
Trump has never done drugs, or smoked cigarettes, and has always heeded a warning from his older brother (an alcoholic) to not drink alcohol. He also has germaphobic tendencies, and therefore prefers not to shake hands.
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". Trump said he felt "like a great and very brave soldier", but added, "This is better than Vietnam".
Trump has hinted about "experiences" with married women. He was rumored to have dated models such as Carla Bruni in the early 1990s and Kara Young in the mid to late 1990s—although Bruni denied the rumors, stating that she had met Trump only once. He allegedly "bombarded" Princess Diana with expensive flowers after her 1996 divorce from Prince Charles, and has said that he would have liked to have courted that "genuine princess". He sometimes gave the impression that Diana and/or Charles had an interest in his properties, which they apparently did not.
In an interview with director Errol Morris in 2002, Trump told him that Citizen Kane was his favorite movie. In his personal analysis of the film, Trump believes that the message of the film is that "wealth isn't everything...because [Kane] had the wealth, but he didn't have happiness." Furthermore, Trump explained his meaning of the dinner table scene: "The table [keeps] getting larger and larger and larger, with [Kane] and his wife getting further and further apart as he got wealthier and wealthier....perhaps, I can understand that."
Appearances in popular culture
Prior to 2015
Even before Trump's very highly publicized presidential campaign that began in 2015, he often appeared in popular culture. Several prominent examples are listed below.
Since 1988, Trump and members of his family have been parodied on Saturday Night Live, and he has hosted the show twice, in April 2004 and November 2015. The 2015 episode had the highest ratings of a Saturday Night Live episode since December 21, 2013.
You've Been Trumped (2011), a documentary film by Anthony Baxter, follows Trump's efforts to develop a Scottish golf resort. When it was announced that the documentary was to première on BBC Two television in the UK, on October 21, 2012, 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.
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.
During and after 2015
On The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Stephen Colbert frequently featured a caricature of Trump, called "Cartoon Donald Trump". Colbert's rationale: he felt Trump had resorted to "almost cartoonish tactics". Meanwhile, on Jimmy Kimmel Live!, Jimmy 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.
Further legal matters
An analysis by USA Today, published in June 2016, found that over the previous three decades, Trump and his businesses have been involved in 3,500 legal cases in U.S. federal courts and state court, an unprecedented number for a U.S. presidential candidate. Of the 3,500 suits, mostly in the casino industry, Trump or one of his companies was the plaintif in 1,900; defendant in 1,450; and third party, filer of bankruptcy, or other in 150. Trump was named in at least 169 suits in federal court. Although litigation over contract disputes and other matters is common in the real estate industry, 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. Where there was a clear resolution, he has won 451 times and lost only 38.
Trump as plaintiff or defendant
In the 1980s, Trump was sued for allegedly trying to force out tenants to enable demolition, but the matter was settled and the demolition cancelled. In 1988, Trump paid $750,000 to settle the civil penalties in an antitrust lawsuit stemming from stock purchases.
In the 1990s, 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. After a helicopter crashed, killing three executives of his New Jersey hotel casino business, Trump sued the manufacturers, and that case was dismissed. 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. 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.
In 1993, Trump sued his business partner Jay Pritzker for allegedly collecting excessive fees, and the matter was settled. 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.
In the late 1990s, 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 ultimately settled.
In the 2000s, Trump was charged with lobbying for government rejection of proposed casinos that would compete with his casinos, and he paid $250,000 to settle resulting fines. 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.
When one of his companies was charged by the SEC with poor financial reporting, Trump's attorney said the culprit had been dismissed, and that Trump had personally been unaware of the matter. Following litigation with Leona Helmsley that started in the 1990s regarding control of the Empire State Building, Trump in 2002 sold his share in that building to rivals of Helmsley's.
Also in the 2000s, Trump sued former business partner Richard Fields for allegedly saying he still consulted for Trump. Fields counter-sued, and the lawsuit was ultimately dismissed.
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 Trump to donate $100,000 to veterans' charities, while the town agreed to let Trump enroll out-of-towners in his social club and permitted a 10-foot shorter flagpole elsewhere on his lawn.
When the California city of Rancho Palos Verdes, California thwarted luxury home development on a landslide-prone area owned by Trump, he sued, and the city agreed to permit extensions for some 20 more proposed luxury homes.
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, after which the firm halved the fees, and the court ruled that the links were allowable.
In the late 2000s, Trump was sued by investors in the canceled Trump Ocean Resort Baja Mexico; Trump said he had merely been a spokesperson, and he settled the lawsuit for an undisclosed amount.
In the 2010s, the Trump Organization licensed a hotel and condo project in Fort Lauderdale, but the bursting of the U.S. real estate bubble led Trump to dissolve the deal, after which the project defaulted, investors sued, and Trump was caught in the ongoing lawsuits because he had participated in advertising.
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, and the bank then agreed to extend the loan term by five years.
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 Supreme Court of the United Kingdom, following a lengthy legal battle.
Also in the 2010s, Trump sued the former Miss Pennsylvania Sheena Monnin, after she alleged that the Miss USA 2012 pageant was rigged. A federal judge upheld the settlement, obliging her to pay Trump $5 million.
Trump sued Palm Beach County for pressuring the FAA to direct air traffic over his home. 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.
Trump sued the town of Ossining, New York over the property tax valuation on his golf course there, after separately being sued for modifying a drainage system that allegedly damaged a library, public pool, and park facilities.
Deborah Garcia, a restaurant worker at Trump SoHo, claims that Trump illegally withheld tips from employees, while the Trump Organization advised her to instead sue their alleged employer, a third-party contractor.
Journalists David Cay Johnston and Wayne Barrett, the latter of whom wrote an unauthorized 1992 Trump biography, have claimed that Trump and his companies did business with New York and Philadelphia families linked to the Italian-American Mafia. A reporter for The Washington Post wrote, Trump "was never accused of illegality, and observers of the time say that working with the mob-related figures and politicos came with the territory."
According to a New York state report, Trump circumvented corporate and personal campaign donation limits in the 1980s—although no laws were broken—by donating money to candidates from 18 different business subsidiaries, rather than donating primarily in his own name. Trump told investigators he did so on the advice of his lawyers. He also said the contributions were not to curry favor with business-friendly candidates, but simply to satisfy requests from friends.
- In 1983, Israel's Tree of Life award for outstanding contributions to Israel-United States relations.
- 1990 Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Supporting Actor for his role in Ghosts Can't Do It.
- Gaming Hall of Fame (class of 1995)
- 2007 Muhammad Ali Entrepreneur Award
- NY Ride of Fame (class of 2010)
- Trump was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Business Administration (Hon. D.B.A.), in 2010 by Robert Gordon University. However, this degree was revoked on December 9, 2015 because Trump had made "a number of statements that are wholly incompatible with the ethos and values of the university."
- Honorary Doctor of Business (Hon. D.B.), 2012, Liberty University
- WWE Hall of Fame (class of 2013)
- Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame
- The Algemeiner Liberty Award (2015) for contributions to US–Israel relations.
- Key to the City of Doral, Florida, 2015
- Marine Corps–Law Enforcement Foundation Commandant's Leadership Award (2015)
- New Jersey Boxing Hall of Fame (inducted November 12, 2015)
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- Trump 101: The Way to Success (2007), ISBN 978-0-470-04710-1
- Trump Never Give Up: How I Turned My Biggest Challenges into Success (2008), ISBN 978-0-470-19084-5
- Think Like a Champion: An Informal Education in Business and Life (2009), ISBN 978-0-7624-3856-3
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- Crippled America: How to Make America Great Again (2015), ISBN 978-1-5011-3796-9
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- 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.
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Donald Trump received our Commandant's Leadership Award.
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- Donald J. Trump for President campaign website
- Bio of Trump at the Trump Organization
- Financial information (federal office) at the Federal Election Commission
- Profile at Project Vote Smart
- Donald Trump at the Internet Movie Database
- Donald Trump collected news and commentary at The Wall Street Journal
- Donald Trump collected news and commentary at The Guardian
- Appearances on C-SPAN
- Donald Trump at DMOZ
|Chair and President of The Trump Organization
|Party political offices|
|Republican nominee for President of the United States