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Donald Trump

45th and current president of the United States

Top 10 Donald Trump related articles

Donald Trump
45th President of the United States
Assumed office
January 20, 2017
Vice PresidentMike Pence
Preceded byBarack Obama
Personal details
Born
Donald John Trump

(1946-06-14) June 14, 1946 (age 74)
Queens, New York City
Political partyRepublican (1987–1999, 2009–2011, 2012–present)
Other political
affiliations
Spouse(s)
Children
ParentsFred Trump
Mary Anne MacLeod
RelativesFamily of Donald Trump
Residence
Alma materThe Wharton School (BS in Econ.)
Net worthUS$2.1 billion (April 2020)[a]
AwardsList of honors and awards
Signature
Website

Donald John Trump (born June 14, 1946) is the 45th and current president of the United States. Before entering politics, he was a businessman and television personality.

Trump was born and raised in Queens, a borough of New York City, and received a bachelor's degree in economics from the Wharton School. He took charge of his family's real-estate business in 1971, renamed it The Trump Organization, and expanded its operations from Queens and Brooklyn into Manhattan. The company built or renovated skyscrapers, hotels, casinos, and golf courses. Trump later started various side ventures, mostly by licensing his name. He bought the Miss Universe brand of beauty pageants in 1996, and sold it in 2015. He produced and hosted The Apprentice, a reality television series, from 2003 to 2015. As of 2020, Forbes estimated his net worth to be $2.1 billion.[a]

Trump's political positions have been described as populist, protectionist, and nationalist. He entered the 2016 presidential race as a Republican and was elected in a surprise victory over Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, although he lost the popular vote.[b] He became the oldest first-term U.S. president,[c] and the first without prior military or government service. His election and policies have sparked numerous protests. Trump has made many false or misleading statements during his campaign and presidency. The statements have been documented by fact-checkers, and the media have widely described the phenomenon as unprecedented in American politics. Many of his comments and actions have been characterized as racially charged or racist.

During his presidency, Trump ordered a travel ban on citizens from several Muslim-majority countries, citing security concerns; after legal challenges, the Supreme Court upheld the policy's third revision. He enacted a tax-cut package for individuals and businesses, rescinding the individual health insurance mandate penalty. He appointed Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. In foreign policy, Trump has pursued an America First agenda, withdrawing the U.S. from the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade negotiations, the Paris Agreement on climate change, the Iran nuclear deal, and the World Health Organization (WHO). He imposed import tariffs which triggered a trade war with China, recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, and withdrew U.S. troops from northern Syria. Trump met three times with North Korea's leader Kim Jong-un, but talks on denuclearization broke down in 2019.

A special counsel investigation led by Robert Mueller found that Trump and his campaign welcomed and encouraged Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election under the belief that it would be politically advantageous, but did not find sufficient evidence to press charges of criminal conspiracy or coordination with Russia.[d] Mueller also investigated Trump for obstruction of justice, and his report neither indicted nor exonerated Trump on that offense. After Trump solicited the investigation of a political rival by Ukraine, the House of Representatives impeached him in December 2019 for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. The Senate acquitted him of both charges in February 2020.

Donald Trump Intro articles: 49

Personal life

Early life

1964 New York Military Academy yearbook photo

Donald John Trump was born on June 14, 1946, at the Jamaica Hospital in the borough of Queens, New York City.[1] His father was Frederick Christ Trump, a Bronx-born real estate developer whose parents were German immigrants. His mother was Scottish-born housewife Mary Anne MacLeod Trump. Trump grew up in the Jamaica Estates neighborhood of Queens and attended the Kew-Forest School from kindergarten through seventh grade.[2][3] At age 13, he was enrolled in the New York Military Academy, a private boarding school.[4] In 1964, Trump enrolled at Fordham University. Two years later he transferred to the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.[5] While at Wharton, he worked at the family business, Elizabeth Trump & Son.[6] He graduated in May 1968 with a B.S. in economics.[5][7] Profiles of Trump published in The New York Times in 1973 and 1976 erroneously reported that he had graduated first in his class at Wharton, but he had never made the school's honor roll.[8] In 2015, Trump's lawyer Michael Cohen threatened Fordham University and the New York Military Academy with legal action if they released Trump's academic records.[9]

Military deferment

While in college, Trump obtained four student draft deferments.[10] In 1966, he was deemed fit for military service based upon a medical examination, and in July 1968 a local draft board classified him as eligible to serve.[11] In October 1968, he was medically deferred and classified 1-Y (unqualified for duty except in the case of a national emergency).[12] In 1972, he was reclassified 4-F due to bone spurs, which permanently disqualified him from service.[13][14] Trump said in 2015 the deferment was for a bone spur in his foot, though he could not remember which foot had been afflicted.[12]

Family

Trump is sworn in as president by Chief Justice John Roberts on January 20, 2017: Trump, wife Melania, and his children Donald Jr., Barron, Ivanka, Eric, and Tiffany.

Parents and siblings

Fred Trump started working in real estate with his mother Elizabeth when he was 15, after his father Friedrich had died in the 1918 flu pandemic.[15] Their company, "E. Trump & Son", founded in 1923,[16] was active in the New York boroughs of Queens and Brooklyn, building and selling thousands of houses, barracks, and apartments.[17] Fred claimed to be Swedish amid the anti-German sentiment sparked by World War II;[18] Donald Trump also claimed Swedish heritage until 1990.[19] Trump's mother Mary Anne MacLeod was born in Scotland.[20] Fred and Mary were married in 1936 and raised their family in Queens.[21] Trump grew up with three elder siblings – Maryanne, Fred Jr., and Elizabeth – and younger brother Robert.[22]

Wives and children

In 1977, Trump married Czech model Ivana Zelníčková.[23] They have three children, Donald Jr. (born 1977), Ivanka (born 1981), and Eric (born 1984), and ten grandchildren.[24] Ivana became a naturalized United States citizen in 1988.[25] The couple divorced in 1992, following Trump's affair with actress Marla Maples.[26] Maples and Trump married in 1993[27] and had one daughter, Tiffany (born 1993).[28] They were divorced in 1999,[29] and Tiffany was raised by Marla in California.[30] In 2005, Trump married Slovenian model Melania Knauss.[31] They have one son, Barron (born 2006).[32] Melania gained U.S. citizenship in 2006.[33]

Religion

Trump identifies as Presbyterian. He went to Sunday school and was confirmed in 1959 at the First Presbyterian Church in Jamaica, Queens.[34][35] In the 1970s, his parents joined the Marble Collegiate Church in Manhattan, which belongs to the Reformed Church.[34][36] The pastor at Marble, Norman Vincent Peale,[34] ministered to Trump's family until Peale's death in 1993.[36] Trump has described Peale as a mentor.[37] In 2015, after Trump said he attends Marble, the church publicly stated he "is not an active member" of the church.[35]

While campaigning, Trump said, "Nothing beats the Bible."[38] In November 2019, Trump appointed his personal pastor, televangelist Paula White, to the White House Office of Public Liaison.[39]

Health and lifestyle

Trump abstains from alcohol, a reaction to his older brother Fred Trump Jr.'s alcoholism and early death.[40] He says that he has never smoked cigarettes or cannabis.[41] He likes fast food and French cuisine.[42][43] He has said he prefers three to four hours of sleep per night.[44] He has called golfing his "primary form of exercise", although he usually does not walk the course.[45] He considers exercise a waste of energy, because he believes the body is "like a battery, with a finite amount of energy" which is depleted by exercise.[46]

In December 2015, Harold Bornstein, who had been Trump's personal physician since 1980, wrote in a letter that he would "be the healthiest individual ever elected to the presidency".[47] In May 2018, Bornstein said Trump had dictated the contents of the letter,[48] and that three Trump agents had removed his medical records in February 2017 without due authorization.[49]

In January 2018, White House physician Ronny Jackson said Trump was in excellent health and that his cardiac assessment revealed no issues.[50] Several outside cardiologists commented that Trump's 2018 LDL cholesterol level of 143 did not indicate excellent health.[51] In February 2019, after a new examination, White House physician Sean Conley said Trump was in "very good health overall", although he was clinically obese.[52] His 2019 coronary CT calcium scan score indicates he suffers from a form of coronary artery disease common for white men of his age.[53]

In June 2020, Conley issued a memorandum on Trump's 2020 physical exam saying "the data indicates that the President remains healthy".[54] The memorandum said Trump's two-week course of hydroxychloroquine to prevent contracting COVID-19 was completed "safely and without side effects".[55]

Wealth

Trump and wife Ivana in receiving line of state dinner for King Fahd of Saudi Arabia in 1985,[56] with U.S. president Ronald Reagan and First Lady Nancy Reagan

In 1982, Trump was listed on the initial Forbes list of wealthy individuals as having a share of his family's estimated $200 million net worth. His financial losses in the 1980s caused him to be dropped from the list between 1990 and 1995.[57] In its 2020 billionaires ranking, Forbes estimated Trump's net worth at $2.1 billion[a] (1,001st in the world, 275th in the U.S.)[60] making him one of the richest politicians in American history and the first billionaire American president.[60] During the three years since Trump announced his presidential run in 2015, Forbes estimated his net worth declined 31% and his ranking fell 138 spots.[61] When he filed mandatory financial disclosure forms with the Federal Elections Commission (FEC) in July 2015, Trump claimed a net worth of about $10 billion;[62] however, FEC figures cannot corroborate this estimate because they only show each of his largest buildings as being worth over $50 million, yielding total assets worth more than $1.4 billion and debt over $265 million.[63] Trump said in a 2007 deposition, "My net worth fluctuates, and it goes up and down with markets and with attitudes and with feelings, even my own feelings."[64]

Journalist Jonathan Greenberg reported in April 2018 that Trump, using the pseudonym "John Barron" and claiming to be a Trump Organization official, called him in 1984 to falsely assert that he owned "in excess of ninety percent" of the Trump family's business, in an effort to secure a higher ranking on the Forbes 400 list of wealthy Americans. Greenberg also wrote that Forbes had vastly overestimated Trump's wealth and wrongly included him on the Forbes 400 rankings of 1982, 1983, and 1984.[65]

Trump has often said he began his career with "a small loan of one million dollars" from his father, and that he had to pay it back with interest.[66] In October 2018, The New York Times reported that Trump "was a millionaire by age 8", borrowed at least $60 million from his father, largely failed to reimburse him, and had received $413 million (adjusted for inflation) from his father's business empire over his lifetime.[67][68] According to the report, Trump and his family committed tax fraud, which a lawyer for Trump denied. The tax department of New York says it is "vigorously pursuing all appropriate avenues of investigation" into it.[69][70] Analyses by The Economist and The Washington Post have concluded that Trump's investments underperformed the stock market.[71][72] Forbes estimated in October 2018 that the value of Trump's personal brand licensing business had declined by 88% since 2015, to $3 million.[73]

Trump's tax returns from 1985 to 1994 show net losses totaling $1.17 billion over the ten-year period, in contrast to his claims about his financial health and business abilities. The New York Times reported that "year after year, Mr. Trump appears to have lost more money than nearly any other individual American taxpayer", and Trump's "core business losses in 1990 and 1991 – more than $250 million each year – were more than double those of the nearest taxpayers in the I.R.S. information for those years". In 1995 his reported losses were $915.7 million.[74][75]

Donald Trump Personal life articles: 67

Business career

Real estate

Distinctive façade of Trump Tower, headquarters of the Trump Organization in Midtown Manhattan

Trump began his career in 1968 at his father Fred's real estate development company, E. Trump & Son, which owned middle-class rental housing in New York City's outer boroughs.[76][77] In 1971, he became president of the company and renamed it The Trump Organization.[78]

Manhattan developments

Trump attracted public attention in 1978 with the launch of his family's first Manhattan venture, the renovation of the derelict Commodore Hotel, adjacent to Grand Central Terminal. The financing was facilitated by a $400 million city property tax abatement arranged by Fred Trump,[79] who also joined Hyatt in guaranteeing $70 million in bank construction financing.[80][81] The hotel reopened in 1980 as the Grand Hyatt Hotel,[82] and that same year, Trump obtained rights to develop Trump Tower, a mixed-use skyscraper in Midtown Manhattan.[83] The building houses the headquarters of the Trump Organization and was Trump's primary residence until 2019.[84][85]

In 1988, Trump acquired the Plaza Hotel in Manhattan with a loan of $425 million from a consortium of banks. Two years later, the hotel filed for bankruptcy protection, and a reorganization plan was approved in 1992.[86] In 1995, Trump lost the hotel to Citibank and investors from Singapore and Saudi Arabia, who assumed $300 million of the debt.[87][88]

In 1996, Trump acquired a vacant 71-story skyscraper at 40 Wall Street. After an extensive renovation, the high-rise was renamed the Trump Building.[89] In the early 1990s, Trump won the right to develop a 70-acre (28 ha) tract in the Lincoln Square neighborhood near the Hudson River. Struggling with debt from other ventures in 1994, Trump sold most of his interest in the project to Asian investors who were able to finance completion of the project, Riverside South.[90]

Palm Beach estate

Mar-a-Lago in 2009

In 1985, Trump acquired the Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Florida.[91] Trump used a wing of the estate as a home, while converting the remainder into a private club with an initiation fee and annual dues.[92] The initiation fee was $100,000 until 2016; it was doubled to $200,000 in January 2017.[93] On September 27, 2019, Trump declared Mar-a-Lago his primary residence.[85]

Atlantic City casinos

In 1984, Trump opened Harrah's at Trump Plaza hotel and casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey with financing from the Holiday Corporation, who also managed the operation. Gambling had been legalized there in 1977 in an effort to revitalize the once-popular seaside destination.[94] Soon after it opened the casino was renamed "Trump Plaza", but the property's poor financial results worsened tensions between Holiday and Trump, who paid Holiday $70 million in May 1986 to take sole control of the property.[95] Earlier, Trump had also acquired a partially completed building in Atlantic City from the Hilton Corporation for $320 million. Upon its completion in 1985, that hotel and casino was called Trump Castle. Trump's then-wife Ivana managed it until 1988.[96][97]

Entrance of the Trump Taj Mahal in Atlantic City

Trump acquired a third casino in Atlantic City, the Taj Mahal, in 1988 in a highly leveraged transaction.[98] It was financed with $675 million in junk bonds and completed at a cost of $1.1 billion, opening in April 1990.[99][100][101] The project went bankrupt the following year,[100] and the reorganization left Trump with only half his initial ownership stake and required him to pledge personal guarantees of future performance.[102] Facing "enormous debt", he gave up control of his money-losing airline, Trump Shuttle, and sold his 282-foot (86 m) mega yacht, the Trump Princess, which had been indefinitely docked in Atlantic City while leased to his casinos for use by wealthy gamblers.[103][104]

In 1995, Trump founded Trump Hotels & Casino Resorts (THCR), which assumed ownership of Trump Plaza, Trump Castle, and the Trump Casino in Gary, Indiana.[105] THCR purchased the Taj Mahal in 1996 and underwent successive bankruptcies in 2004, 2009, and 2014, leaving Trump with only ten percent ownership.[106] He remained chairman of THCR until 2009.[107]

Golf courses

Turnberry Hotel and golf course in Ayrshire, Scotland

The Trump Organization began acquiring and constructing golf courses in 1999.[108] It owned 16 golf courses and resorts worldwide and operated another two as of December 2016. According to Trump's FEC personal financial disclosure, his 2015 golf and resort revenue amounted to $382 million.[109]

From his inauguration until the end of 2019, Trump spent around one out of every five days at one of his golf clubs.[110]

Branding and licensing

After the Trump Organization's financial losses in the early 1990s, it refocused its business on branding and licensing the Trump name for projects owned and operated by other people and companies.[111] In the late 2000s and early 2010s, it expanded this branding and management business to hotel towers located around the world, including Chicago; Las Vegas; Washington, D.C.; Panama City; Toronto; and Vancouver. There were also Trump-branded buildings in Dubai, Honolulu, Istanbul, Manila, Mumbai, and Indonesia.[112]

The Trump name has also been licensed for various consumer products and services, including foodstuffs, apparel, adult learning courses, and home furnishings.[113][114] According to an analysis by The Washington Post, there are more than fifty licensing or management deals involving Trump's name, which have generated at least $59 million in yearly revenue for his companies.[115] By 2018 only two consumer goods companies continued to license his name.[114]

Legal affairs and bankruptcies

Fixer Roy Cohn served as Trump's lawyer and mentor in the 1970s and 1980s, with a 13-year relationship.[116][117] According to Trump, they were so close that Cohn sometimes waived fees due to their friendship.[77] In 1973, Cohn helped Trump counter-sue the United States government for $100 million over its charges that Trump's properties had racial discriminatory practices; in 1975 an agreement was struck for Trump's properties to change their practices.[118] It was Cohn who introduced political consultant Roger Stone to Trump, who enlisted Stone's services to deal with the federal government.[119]

As of April 2018, Trump and his businesses had been involved in more than 4,000 state and federal legal actions, according to a running tally by USA Today.[120] As of 2016, he or one of his companies had been the plaintiff in 1,900 cases and the defendant in 1,450.[121]

While Trump has not filed for personal bankruptcy, his over-leveraged hotel and casino businesses in Atlantic City and New York filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection six times between 1991 and 2009.[122][123] They continued to operate while the banks restructured debt and reduced Trump's shares in the properties.[122][123]

During the 1980s, more than 70 banks had lent Trump $4 billion,[124] but in the aftermath of his corporate bankruptcies of the early 1990s, most major banks declined to lend to him, with only Deutsche Bank still willing to lend money.[125]

In April 2019, the House Oversight Committee issued subpoenas seeking financial details from Trump's banks, Deutsche Bank and Capital One, and his accounting firm, Mazars USA. In response, Trump sued the banks, Mazars, and committee chairman Elijah Cummings to prevent the disclosures.[126][127] In May, DC District Court judge Amit Mehta ruled that Mazars must comply with the subpoena,[128] and judge Edgardo Ramos of the Southern District Court of New York ruled that the banks must also comply.[129][130] Trump's attorneys appealed the rulings,[131] arguing that Congress was attempting to usurp the "exercise of law-enforcement authority that the Constitution reserves to the executive branch".[132][133]

Side ventures

After taking over control of the Trump Organization in 1971, Trump expanded its real estate operations and ventured into other business activities. The company eventually became the umbrella organization for several hundred individual business ventures and partnerships.[134]

In September 1983, Trump purchased the New Jersey Generals, a team in the United States Football League. After the 1985 season, the league folded largely due to Trump's strategy of moving games to a fall schedule where they competed with the NFL for audience, and trying to force a merger with the NFL by bringing an antitrust lawsuit against the organization.[135][136]

Trump's businesses have hosted several boxing matches at the Atlantic City Convention Hall adjacent to and promoted as taking place at the Trump Plaza in Atlantic City, including Mike Tyson's 1988 heavyweight championship fight against Michael Spinks.[137][138] 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.[139]

In the late 1980s, Trump mimicked the actions of Wall Street's so-called corporate raiders, whose tactics had attracted wide public attention. Trump began to purchase significant blocks of shares in various public companies, leading some observers to think he was engaged in the practice called greenmail, or feigning the intent to acquire the companies and then pressuring management to repurchase the buyer's stake at a premium. The New York Times found that Trump initially made millions of dollars in such stock transactions, but later "lost most, if not all, of those gains after investors stopped taking his takeover talk seriously."[140][141][142]

Trump's star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame

In 1988, Trump purchased the defunct Eastern Air Lines shuttle, with 21 planes and landing rights in New York City, Boston, and Washington, D.C. He financed the purchase with $380 million from 22 banks, rebranded the operation the Trump Shuttle, and operated it until 1992. Trump failed to earn a profit with the airline and sold it to USAir.[143]

From 1996 to 2015, Trump owned all or part of the Miss Universe pageants, including Miss USA and Miss Teen USA.[144][145] Due to disagreements with CBS about scheduling, he took both pageants to NBC in 2002.[146][147] In 2007, Trump received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for his work as producer of Miss Universe.[148] After NBC and Univision dropped the pageants from their broadcasting lineups in June 2015,[149] Trump bought NBC's share of the Miss Universe Organization and sold the entire company to the William Morris talent agency.[150]

Trump University

In 2004, Trump co-founded a company called Trump University which sold real estate training courses priced from $1,500 to $35,000.[151][152] After New York State authorities notified the company that its use of the word "university" violated state law, its name was changed to Trump Entrepreneur Initiative in 2010.[153]

In 2013, the State of New York filed a $40 million civil suit against Trump University; the suit alleged that the company made false statements and defrauded consumers.[154][155] In addition, two class-action lawsuits were filed in federal court; they named Trump personally as well as his companies. Internal documents revealed that employees were instructed to use a hard-sell approach, and former employees said in depositions that Trump University had defrauded or lied to its students.[156][157][158][159][160] Shortly after he won the presidency, Trump agreed to pay a total of $25 million to settle the three cases.[161]

Foundation

The Donald J. Trump Foundation was a U.S.-based private foundation established in 1988 for the initial purpose of giving away proceeds from the book Trump: The Art of the Deal.[162][163] In the foundation's final years its funds mostly came from donors other than Trump, who did not donate any personal funds to the charity from 2009 until 2014.[164] The foundation gave to health care and sports-related charities, as well as conservative groups.[165]

In 2016, The Washington Post reported that the charity had committed several potential legal and ethical violations, including alleged self-dealing and possible tax evasion.[166] Also in 2016, the New York State Attorney General's office said the foundation appeared to be in violation of New York laws regarding charities and ordered it to immediately cease its fundraising activities in New York.[167][168] Trump's team announced in late December 2016 that the Foundation would be dissolved to remove "even the appearance of any conflict with [his] role as President".[169]

In June 2018 the New York attorney general's office filed a civil suit against the foundation, Trump himself, and his adult children, asking for $2.8 million in restitution and additional penalties.[170][171] In December 2018, the foundation ceased operation and disbursed all its assets to other charities.[172] The following November, a New York state judge ordered Trump to pay $2 million to a group of charities for misusing the foundation's funds, in part to finance his presidential campaign.[173][174]

Conflicts of interest

Tayyip Erdoğan, then the prime minister of Turkey, attended the opening of Trump Towers Istanbul AVM in 2012.

Before being inaugurated as president, Trump moved his businesses into a revocable trust run by his eldest sons and a business associate.[175][176] According to ethics experts, measures taken by Trump do not help avoid conflicts of interest as long as he continues to profit from his businesses.[177] Because Trump would have knowledge of how his administration's policies affect his businesses, ethics experts recommend selling the businesses.[176] Though Trump said he would eschew "new foreign deals", the Trump Organization has since pursued expansions of its operations in Dubai, Scotland, and the Dominican Republic.[177]

Multiple lawsuits have been filed alleging that Trump is violating the Emoluments Clause of the United States Constitution, which forbids presidents from taking money from foreign governments, due to his business interests; they argue that these interests allow foreign governments to influence him.[177][178] Previous presidents in the modern era have either divested their holdings or put them in blind trusts,[175] and he is the first president to be sued over the emoluments clause.[178] According to The Guardian, "NBC News recently calculated that representatives of at least 22 foreign governments – including some facing charges of corruption or human rights abuses such as Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, Turkey and the Philippines – seem to have spent funds at Trump properties while he has been president."[179] On October 21, 2019, Trump mocked the Emoluments Clause as "phony".[180]

In 2015, Trump said he "makes a lot of money with" the Saudis and that "they pay me millions and hundreds of millions."[181] And at a political rally, Trump said about Saudi Arabia: "They buy apartments from me. They spend $40 million, $50 million. Am I supposed to dislike them? I like them very much."[182]

In December 2015, Trump said in a radio interview that he had a "conflict of interest" in dealing with Turkey and Turkish president Tayyip Erdoğan because of his Trump Towers Istanbul, saying "I have a little conflict of interest because I have a major, major building in Istanbul and it's a tremendously successful job ... It's called Trump Towers – two towers instead of one ... I've gotten to know Turkey very well".[183][184]

Donald Trump Business career articles: 84