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Donald Trump on Principles & Values

2016 Republican nominee for President; 2000 Reform Primary Challenger for President

 


OpEd: Trump is a symbol of renewed white identity

The mosque shootings in Christchurch, New Zealand, killed 50 people and injured another 50. The perpetrator was described as an alt-right-affiliated white supremacist, who recorded his beliefs in a 73-page manifesto titled "The Great Replacement", a reference to anti-immigrant white genocide conspiracy theories. The manifesto refers to President Trump:

[pp. 15-17 of the manifesto, "The Great Replacement"]:

Q: What are your views?

A: I am on Ethno-nationalist Eco-fascist.

Q: Who do you support?

A: Those that wish a future for white children, and to ensure the existence of our people.

Q: Are you an islamophobe?

A: No, I am not afraid of islam, only that, due to its high fertility rates, it will grow to replace other peoples and faiths.

Q: Are you an anti-semite?

A: No, A jew living in israel is no enemy of mine.

Q: Are you a supporter of Donald Trump?

A: As a symbol of renewed white identity and common purpose? Sure. As a policy maker and leader? Dear god no.

Source: Wikipedia.com article on Christchurch mosque shootings , Mar 15, 2019

America will never be a socialist country

Socialism is not about the environment. It's not about justice. It's not about virtue. Socialism is about only one thing. It's called "power for the ruling class." That's what it is. Look at what's happening in Venezuela and so many other places. All of us are here today because we know that the future does not belong to those who believe in socialism. The future belongs to those who believe in freedom. I have said it before and I'll say it again: America will never be a socialist country--ever.
Source: White House press release, "Remarks at CPAC 2019" , Mar 2, 2019

Common good & compromise over revenge & retribution

We must reject the politics of revenge, resistance, and retribution--and embrace the boundless potential of cooperation, compromise, and the common good.

Together, we can break decades of political stalemate. We can bridge old divisions, build new coalitions, and forge new solutions. The decision is ours to make.

We must choose between greatness or gridlock, results or resistance, vision or vengeance, incredible progress or pointless destruction. Tonight, I ask you to choose greatness.

Source: 2019 State of the Union address to United States Congress , Feb 5, 2019

America's unique destiny is to be the beacon amongst nations

This is the time to re-ignite the American imagination. This is the time to search for the tallest summit, and set our sights on the brightest star. We must keep America first in our hearts. We must keep freedom alive in our souls. And we must always keep faith in America's destiny--that one Nation, under God, must be the hope and the promise and the light and the glory among all the nations of the world!
Source: 2019 State of the Union address to United States Congress , Feb 5, 2019

OpEd: Beat the mainstream media by reframing

Bernie Sanders faces a strong obstacle in the mainstream media [MSM, who favored Hillary Clinton in 2016]. Trump beat the mainstream media smear machine through radical lies. Sanders can do likewise but through radical honesty. Trust in the US media has been declining for decades. In 2016, a record low 1 in 3 Americans expressed trust in the media. Trump understood this reality and used it to frame himself as a hero fighting the corruption of the corporate media.
Source: International Policy Digest on 2020 presidential hopefuls , Jan 23, 2019

Open-border socialism brings suffering, misery and decay

The truth is that the centrist Democratic Party is dead. The new Democrats are radical socialists who want to model America's economy after Venezuela.

Government-run health care is just the beginning. Democrats are also pushing massive government control of education, private-sector businesses and other major sectors of the US economy.

Every single citizen will be harmed by such a radical shift in American culture and life. Virtually everywhere it has been tried, socialism has brought suffering, misery and decay.

Indeed, the Democrats' commitment to government-run health care is all the more menacing when paired with some Democrats' absolute commitment to end enforcement of our immigration laws. That means millions more would cross our borders illegally and take advantage of health care paid for by American taxpayers.

Today's Democratic Party is for open-borders socialism. This radical agenda would destroy American prosperity. Under its vision, costs will spiral out of control.

Source: USA Today OpEd (press release by 2018 Trump Administration) , Oct 10, 2018

Judges should just interpret law, like religious liberty

For the last year we have sought to restore the bonds of trust between our citizens and their Government. Working with the Senate, we are appointing judges who will interpret the Constitution as written, including a great new Supreme Court Justice, and more circuit court judges than any new administration in the history of our country. We are defending our Second Amendment, and have taken historic actions to protect religious liberty.
Source: 2018 State of the Union address , Jan 30, 2018

OpEd: Replaces art of the compromise but the art of conflict

In most White Houses, policy and action flow down, with staff trying to implement what the president wants -- or, at the very least, what the chief of staff says the president wants. In the Trump White House, policy making, from the very first instance of Bannon's immigration Executive Order, flowed up. It was a process of suggesting, in throw-it-against-the-wall style, what the president might want, and hoping he might then think that he had thought of this himself (a result that was often helped along with the suggestion that he had in fact already had the thought).

[On Trump's staff,] you defined yourself by your enemy's reaction. Conflict was the media bait -- hence, now, the political chum. The new politics was not the art of the compromise but the art of conflict.

Source: Fire & Fury, by Michael Wolff, pp. 63 & 113 , Jan 5, 2018

Put American citizens first, to make America great again

In 2016, the earth shifted beneath our feet. The rebellion started as a quiet protest, spoken by families of all colors and creeds--families who just wanted a fair shot for their children, and a fair hearing for their concerns. The quiet voices became a loud chorus--as thousands of citizens now spoke out together, from cities small and large, all across our country. Finally, the chorus became an earthquake--and the people turned out by the tens of millions, and they were all united by one very simple, but crucial demand, that America must put its own citizens first ... because only then, can we truly MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN.

Dying industries will come roaring back to life. Heroic veterans will get the care they so desperately need. Our military will be given the resources its brave warriors so richly deserve. Crumbling infrastructure will be replaced. Our terrible drug epidemic will slow down & ultimately, stop. And our neglected inner cities will see a rebirth of hope, safety, and opportunity.

Source: 2017 State of the Union address to Congress , Feb 28, 2017

We are transferring power from Washington to the people

Today we are not merely transferring power from one Administration to another, or from one party to another--but we are transferring power from Washington, D.C. and giving it back to you, the American People.

For too long, a small group in our nation's Capital has reaped the rewards of government while the people have borne the cost. Washington flourished--but the people did not share in its wealth. Politicians prospered--but the jobs left, and the factories closed. The establishment protected itself, but not the citizens of our country.

That all changes--starting right here, and right now, because this moment is your moment: it belongs to you. What truly matters is not which party controls our government, but whether our government is controlled by the people.

January 20th 2017, will be remembered as the day the people became the rulers of this nation again. The forgotten men and women of our country will be forgotten no longer. Everyone is listening to you now.

Source: 2017 Trump Inaugural address at presidential Inauguration , Jan 20, 2017

OpEd: Trump's rise analogous to Hitler's in 1930s Germany

A closer look at why [Hitler rose to power in the 1930s] could help explain why conservative elites today are largely coalescing behind Trump.

First, the German establishment saw Hitler as the "lesser evil." The greater threat was the left, including the Social Democrats and especially the Communists. Trump is also rebranding himself as the "lesser evil," the only alternative to a continuation of the Obama betrayal of the US.

Second, the conservative establishment counted on parliamentary politicians to rein in Hitler. So, too, Republican congressional leaders in the US have convinced themselves that they can make deals with Trump.

Third, the Germans underestimated the anger of the public. And they also underestimated Hitler's charisma, mastery of the media and skill in speaking to the mainly rural "red state" Germans--Hitler gave voice to their humiliation about the collapse of the German nation and promised to eliminate those to blame [analogous to Trump].

Source: Truthout OpEd by Charles Derber and Yale Magrass , Jun 9, 2016

Agrees with Hillary on marijuana, campaign finance, trade

Hillary and Trump do agree on some, including:The bottom line: If you prefer a polar opposite to Hillary, Trump should not be your chosen candidate. And if you prefer someone who will dismantle forever the Bush legacy, Hillary should not be your chosen candidate. Neither is the extremist their opponents make them out to be.
Source: Donald Trump vs. Hillary Clinton On The Issues, by J. Gordon , Feb 29, 2016

Make America great again

My theme is make America great again. We don't win anymore. We don't win with trade, we don't win with the military. We can't even knock out ISIS. We don't win in any capacity with healthcare. We're going to make a great country again. We're going to start winning again.
Source: 2016 CNN-Telemundo Republican debate on eve of Texas primary , Feb 25, 2016

Our flag represents equality, hope, fairness, & courage

I own a house in Palm Beach, Florida. It's called Mar-a-Lago. It has 128 rooms. The land it sits on is reportedly the most valuable 20 acres of land in Florida. After I bought it, I wanted people to know how proud and grateful I am to be an American, so I decided to flay an American flag in front of my house, an American flag that no one would miss. So I raised an extra-large flag, 15 feet by 25 feet on an 80-foot-high flagpole.

The city of Palm Beach decided my flag was too big. They claimed it exceeded zoning regulations. When I politely informed them I had no intention of taking down my American flag, they began fining me $250 a day until I removed it. Those fines added up to $120,000 by the time we had worked out a deal with the city.

As we all know, the flag is much more than a red, white, and blue cloth rectangle. It is a symbol to me, to you, and to people around the world. It represents equality, hope, and fairness. It represents courage and sacrifice.

Source: Crippled America, by Donald Trump, p.102-3 , Nov 3, 2015

I give people what they need and don't get: The Truth

Why do you think people tune in [when I'm on TV]? The fact is I give people what they need and deserve to hear--exactly what they don't get from politicians--and that is The Truth. Our country is a mess right now and we don't have time to pretend otherwise. We don't have time to waste on being politically correct.

You listen to the politicians and it's as if they are speaking from a script titled "How Boring Can I Possibly Be?" They're so afraid of tripping on their own words, terrified that they're going to say something unscripted and go off message--that's the phrase they use, "go off message"--that they are verbally paralyzed. They'll do anything they can to avoid answering a question--and the media plays the game with them.

Source: Crippled America, by Donald Trump, p. 8 , Nov 3, 2015

I will negotiate until American is great again

Our country doesn't win anymore. We lose on trade. We lose with ISIS. CNBC, they had it [this debate] down at three, three and a half hours. We called in, we said, that's it. We're not doing it. They lost a lot of money, everybody said it couldn't be done. Everybody said it was going to be three hours, three and a half, including them, and in about two minutes I renegotiated it so we can get the hell out of here. Not bad. I'll do that with the country. We will make America great again.
Source: GOP "Your Money/Your Vote" 2015 CNBC 1st-tier debate , Oct 28, 2015

5-point plan to return America to her former greatness

    We can return America to her former greatness if we get tough and act smart.
  1. It starts with China and OPEC. The hundreds of billions of dollars they steal from us each year must end right away. That one action alone will result in a windfall to help us pay down our debt and meet our commitments.
  2. Next, we enforce a zero-tolerance policy for the kind of brainless government waste that we've all become far too accustomed to from Washington.
  3. We go after the criminals and con artists who are defrauding taxpayers of $243 billion every year in Medicare fraud and billions more in other kinds of fraud, such as the disability racket.
  4. We must save Social Security through economic success.
  5. We need to put Americans back to work and kick the community organizer out of office so we can instill some fiscal sanity in Washington.
We do those five things and we will pass along to our kids and grandkids not only a government they can afford, but also one they can be proud of.
Source: Time to Get Tough, by Donald Trump, p. 82-83 , Dec 5, 2011

USA is the greatest force for freedom world has ever known

Maybe my biggest beef with Obama is his view that there's nothing special or exceptional about America--that we're no different than any other country. Our country is the greatest force for freedom the world has ever known. We have big hearts, big brains, and big guts--and we use all three. In the past our free market capitalist system has created more wealth and prosperity than any government-controlled economy could ever dream of doing. Because of that wealth, we give more in charity than any other country, and twice as much as the second most generous nation.

We need a leader who will get tough, get smart, and get America working again. I believe America is worth fighting for, I believe America has nothing to apologize for. I believe America can get back her greatness. But we need a tough leader for tough times--someone who isn't afraid to do hard things.

Source: Time to Get Tough, by Donald Trump, p.155-156 , Dec 5, 2011

If I run & win, our country will be great again

I can tell you this, if I run and if I win, this country will be respected again.

If I decided to run, I will not be raising taxes, we'll be taking back hundreds of billions of dollars from other countries that are screwing us, we'll be creating vast numbers of productive jobs, and we'll rebuild our country so that we can be proud. Our country will be great again.

Source: Speech at 2011 Conservative Political Action Conference , Feb 10, 2011

Greatest fear? I don't have any; I only have "concerns"

An interviewer asked me what my greatest fears were. I said I didn't have any. He seemed surprised, but this is how I see it: If you label something as a fear, then it creates fear when sometimes it's not fear but a concern.

Do you fear owning a business? Translate that for yourself as asking: Are you concerned about owning a business yourself? Why specifically are those concerns?

It's much easier to break down a concern than it is a fear. Fear creates a block that will only hinder your creative thinking. Objectivity will remove that block & allow creative ideas to flow. If you can learn to deal with & solve problems, you'll have a much bigger margin for success.

Do not allow fear to settle into place in any part of your life. It is a defeating attitude. Recognize and zap it immediately. Replace it with a problem-solving attitude, faith in yourself, and hard work. Put that formula into working order for yourself and you'll be dealing from a position of power, not fear. That's winning.

Source: Think Like a Champion, by Donald Trump, p. 51-3 , Apr 27, 2010

I'm more humble than people might think

Soon after "The Apprentice" premiered and was a hit show, I became a popular choice for television commercials. One for Visa always remains in my memory. It was funny and I was allowed to display a self-deprecating attitude that I think took people by surprise. The surprising thing is that I'm more humble than people might think.

In this commercial, called "Rooftop," I am shown on the top of Trump Tower holding my Visa card when a gust of wind blows it out of my hand and down many scores of floors to the street below, which happens to be Fifth Avenue. Then I'm seeing rummaging through a Dumpster in search of my lost card, and when a well-dressed passerby on Fifth Avenue sees me emerge from the bottom of the Dumpster, she indignantly remarks, "and I thought he was doing so well!"

Here's my point: Go for having a good time because in the process of a lot of other people just might have a good time, too. My theory is: Take your work seriously, take yourself less seriously.

Source: Think Like a Champion, by Donald Trump, p.123-5 , Apr 27, 2010

Non-politicians are the wave of the future

Yes, I am considering a run for the presidency of the United States. I will run if I become convinced I can win. Two things are certain at this point, however: I believe non-politicians represent the wave of the future and if elected I would make the kind of president America needs in the new millennium.
Source: The America We Deserve, by Donald Trump, p. 15-16 , Jul 2, 2000

Prefers short, formal bows to shaking hands

[I dislike] shaking hands. The Japanese have it right. They stand slightly apart and do a quick, formal and very beautiful bow in order to acknowledge each other's presence. This is an ancient act, and was probably originated eons ago by someone like me--a germ freak. Whoever formalized this greeting was very smart, and far beyond his time. I wish we would develop a similar greeting custom in America. In fact, I've often thought of taking out a series of newspaper ads encouraging the abolishment of the handshake. At the very least, people would realize why I hate to shake hands and not take it personally. In any event, if any of you folks reading this book really like me, please approach me at any time, in a restaurant or elsewhere, and don't stick out your hand but simply bow. I will bow back and greatly appreciate the thought.
Source: The Art of the Comeback, by Donald Trump, p.175-6 , Oct 27, 1997

I'm too honest & too controversial to be a politician

When I think of the media, I often think of politics--the two go hand in hand. For example, my experience with The Village Voice has been terrible. They have so many preconceived notions about me, all of which are politically motivated. However, unlike the media, politics is a business of relevance. People have always asked me if I'll ever be involved in politics. It seems every so often there's some unfounded rumor that I'm considering seeking office--sometimes even the presidency! The problem is, I think I'm too honest, and perhaps too controversial, to be a politician. I always say it like it is, and I'm not sure that a politician can do that, although I might just be able to get away with it because people tend to like me. Honesty causes controversy, and therefore, despite all the polls that say I should run, I would probably not be a very successful politician.
Source: The Art of the Comeback, by Donald Trump, p.186 , Oct 27, 1997

People who inherit don't know how to earn back losses

People who inherit fortunes are very interesting to me. I see it down in Palm Beach all the time. I respect those who realize their limitations and don't want to take chances. They got lucky. I call them members of the lucky sperm club--they inherited wealth. I've noticed that the lucky ones are usually very cheap. They never pick up the tab, live very frugally, and are seldom the life of the party. They know that if they lose their money, they don't have the ability to make it back. The more unlucky ones are those who inherit wealth and decide that they are going to be the next great success, but they don't have the talent. Their money goes fast. It's not a pretty picture. I have seen it often, and seldom is there a sadder scene than a family that starts out with wealth and ends up fighting just to survive.

In order to come back, you need confidence. It's hard to think of yourself as a winner when you go through the family fortune in a few years and never sample even a morsel of success.

Source: The Art of the Comeback, by Donald Trump, p.222-3 , Oct 27, 1997

Toughness is equally strength, intelligence, & self-respect

I have a reputation for being tough, and I�d like to think it�s justified. Toughness, as I see it, is a quality made up of equal parts of strength, intelligence, and self-respect.

The opposite of toughness-weakness-makes me mad and sometimes turns my stomach. I�m not referring here to the kind of weakness that comes from being poor, sick, or disadvantaged. I�m talking about those people who can take a strong stand but just don�t.

Toughness is pride, drive, commitment, and the courage to follow through on things you believe in, even when they are under attack. It is solving problems instead of letting them fester. It is being who you really are, even when society wants you to be somebody else. Toughness is walking away from things you want because, for one reason or another, acquiring them doesn�t make sense. In business, toughness means playing by the rules but also putting those rules to work for you. It is looking at an adversary across the desk and saying, simply, No.

Source: Surviving at the Top, p.207-213 & 228 , Jul 2, 1990


Donald Trump on Birtherism

I did a good job getting Obama to produce birth certificate

Q: You perpetuated a false claim that the nation's first black president was not a natural-born citizen. You questioned his legitimacy. In the last couple of weeks, you acknowledged that the president was born in the United States. What took you so long?

TRUMP: [Hillary's 2008 campaign] sent a highly respected reporter at McClatchy, [a news agency], to Kenya to find out about it. She failed to get the birth certificate. When I got involved, I didn't fail. I got him to give the birth certificate. So I'm satisfied with it.

Q: The birth certificate was produced in 2011. You've continued to question the president's legitimacy as recently as January 2016. So what changed your mind?

TRUMP: Well, nobody was pressing it. I figured you'd ask the question tonight, of course. But I was the one that got him to produce the birth certificate. And I think I did a good job.

CLINTON: Donald knew he was going to be asked this question, so he tried to put the whole racist birther lie to bed.

Source: First 2016 Presidential Debate at Hofstra University , Sep 26, 2016

2011: Obama's birth certificate is hiding something

Although rabid birthers and Tea Party activists (often one and the same) represented a minority in the GOP, what they lacked in numbers they made up in zeal.

Donald Trump followed his CPAC performance with a birther blitz on Fox News, telling the audience of Bill O' Reilly's nighttime program that he had once believed that Obama had been born in Hawaii but added, "I've seen too many things" and "come to have doubts." Under tough questioning from O' Reilly, who had dismissed the birther claims, Trump allowed that perhaps the president had a US birth certificate. But he added, "Now he may have one, but there is something on that birth certificate--maybe religion, maybe he says he's a Muslim, I don't know."

Source: Never Enough, by Michael D`Antonio, p.287 , Sep 22, 2015

Birtherism: demanded that Obama produce birth certificate

Trump upped the ante on the birther issue, saying, "I have investigators in Hawaii; They cannot believe what they're finding." In the midst of the birther frenzy, as Trump and others demanded Obama make public his birth certificate, TV hosts occasionally mentioned that Obama's "certificate of live birth" had been made public in 2008 and Hawaii state officials had repeatedly affirmed that he was born there. Despite this official documentary proof, Trump talked as if facts were being withheld.
Source: Never Enough, by Michael D`Antonio, p.288 , Sep 22, 2015

Stoked Tea Party suspicions about Obama's legitimacy

The freewheeling anti-Obama paranoia expressed at the Tea Party rallies has been widely reported. Various articles have quoted Tea Party members saying that Obama is a secret Muslim, a foreigner, a Socialist, a Communist, a Nazi--or maybe all of the above! Obama the un-American is the overarching theme. Stoked by demagogues like Donald Trump, the claim about President Obama's otherness and illegitimacy reached its apogee in "Birtherist" claims that Obama was not really born in the US. In our interviews, the tone was of course more measured than in public rallies, but we heard variations of all the possible epithets for Obama.

Obama is perceived by many Tea Partiers as a foreigner, an invader pretending to be an American, a 5th columnist. Obama's past as a community organizer is taken as evidence that he works on behalf of the undeserving poor and wishes to mobilize government resources on their behalf.

Source: The Remaking of Republican Conservatism, p. 78-79 , Jan 2, 2012

One hour to produce my birth certificate; Obama should too

Trump has released the certificate the hospital where he was born gave his parents. The US Constitution stipulates three requirements for the Presidency--among them that a President be a "natural born" citizen. Trump's statement: "It took me one hour to get my birth certificate. It's inconceivable that, after four years of questioning, the president still hasn't produced his birth certificate. I'm just asking Pres. Obama to show the public his birth certificate. Why's he making an issue out of this?"
Source: DraftTrump2012.com website , Feb 28, 2011


Donald Trump on Business Principles

I play to people's fantasies to Think Big

Trump was determined to push beyond his father's realm in New York's outer boroughs and make it big in Manhattan. He had neither time nor patience for climbing the ladder rung by rung. He believed in big, bold leaps, even if that meant breaking tradition or rules.

"The key to the way I promote is bravado," he wrote in "Trump: The Art of the Deal," his best -selling book. "I play to people's fantasies. People may not always think big themselves, but they can still get very excited by those who do. That's why a little hyperbole never hurts."

Donald Trump was determined to do whatever it took to "be a killer," as his father had repeatedly insisted. While working on his first hotel project in 1976, Trump persuaded a New York Times reporter to profile him as "a major New York builder," even though he had never built a thing and had no financing.

Source: Wash. Post "Mueller", p.507-8, on "The Art of the Deal" , Apr 23, 2019

OpEd: input on options from multiple advisers

As [White House Deputy Chief of Staff for Implementation Katie] Walsh saw it, Steve Bannon was running the Steve Bannon White House, Jared Kushner was running the Michael Bloomberg White House, and Reince Priebus was running the Paul Ryan White House. It was a 1970s video game, the white ball pinging back and forth in the black triangle."

[Trump wanted all three options, and each appealed to Trump in their own way]: Bannon offered a rousing fxxx-you show of force; Priebus offered flattery from the congressional leadership; Kushner offered the approval of blue-chip businessmen.

Source: Fire & Fury, by Michael Wolff, pp.117-120 , Jan 5, 2018

A businessman, not a lifelong politician

PENCE: Hillary Clinton and Senator Kaine--God bless you for it--career public servants. That's great--Donald Trump is a businessman, not a career politician. He actually built a business. Those tax returns that came out publicly this week show that he faced some pretty tough times 20 years ago. But like virtually every other business, he used what's called net operating loss. We have a tax code that actually is designed to encourage entrepreneurship in this country.

KAINE: But why won't he release his tax returns?

PENCE: His tax returns showed he went through a very difficult time, but he used the tax code just the way it's supposed to be used. And he did it brilliantly.

KAINE: How do you know that? You haven't seen his tax returns.

PENCE: Because he's created a business that's worth billions of dollars today. This whole riff about people saying he didn't pay taxes for years--Donald Trump has created tens of thousands of jobs. And he's paid payroll taxes, sales taxes, property taxes...

Source: OnTheIssues FactCheck on 2016 Vice-Presidential Debate , Oct 4, 2016

Bought Plaza hotel for cultural value, not profit

Trump's propensity for purchases that played to his ego was evident in his acquisition of one of New York's most storied properties, the Plaza Hotel.

To trumpet his 1988 purchase, he made a startling confession about his deal for the 19-story landmark hotel he called his Mona Lisa. "I can never justify the price I paid, no matter how successful the Plaza becomes, he wrote under the title, "Why I Bought the Plaza."

The price--$407 million--was not the point, Trump suggested. The hotel was etched into American culture. Scenes in The Great Gatsby were set in the Plaza. The architect Frank Lloyd Wright lived in a 2nd-floor suite while he designed the Guggenheim Museum. The Plaza was the home of Eloise, the fictional 6-year-old who carried out escapades while living with her nanny on the "tippy-top floor."

The Plaza's financial underpinnings, never sturdy, weakened. Trump's purchase--a record price for a US hotel--was tens of millions of dollars more than the next-highest bid.

Source: Trump Revealed, by Michael Kranish & Mark Fisher, p.190 , Aug 23, 2016

OpEd: Trump empire based on Trump brand, not Trump buildings

Trump menswear made an appearance, in an episode of The Apprentice. So did Trump Ice, a new brand of water, and Trump Success, a new fragrance. Riding the popularity of the show, Trump licensed his name to clothes, ties, home furnishing, eyeglasses, wallets, even mattresses. All sold well for years.

By licensing his name without putting up money, he could often make significant profits, even when the ventures failed. The new model let Trump weather even worldwide economic collapse.

Trump's crucial insight was to turn away from building one business at a time and expand his ambition to create an empire--a series of entities that bore his name, but didn't rely on his cash. His business was the brand. It was like owning a casino--when run properly, the house wins. The gamblers would be those who paid him for the rights to his name. Trump couldn't lose.

Source: Trump Revealed, by Michael Kranish & Mark Fisher, p.224 , Aug 23, 2016

Donate to political candidates, regardless of party

Trump was no political naif. He and his father had thrived in New York City's pay-to-play culture for years, in part by cultivating local elected officials. Trump almost always answered political operatives' calls for money. His criterion was simple: he wanted a winner, someone who would be an ally once in office. Sometimes he donated to opposing candidates in the same local race. He showed no concern about a candidate's views or political party.
Source: Trump Revealed, by Michael Kranish & Mark Fisher, p.323 , Aug 23, 2016

OpEd: Leveraged government and companies against each other

Winning the right to rebuild the Commodore Hotel [into a midtown-Manhattan modernized Hyatt] gave Trump a 1900-room hotel in a blighted neighborhood. For Donald's plan to succeed, Penn Central (the local railroad) had to sell him the hotel; NYC's bureaucracy had to give him a tax break; and the bank had to front him the money to pay for the whole thing.

Trump played the city, the sellers, and the hotel chain off one another, using one to leverage a deal with the other. When a city official asked for proof of Penn Central's commitment, Trump sent what looked like an agreement with the sellers. Trump then used the city's resulting approval to push his deal with Hyatt to closure. Trump was saved by New York's first-ever tax break for a commercial property--he could buy the hotel for $1, then lease it back for 99 years--an arrangement that would save Trump's project an estimated $440 million over the next 40 years.

Source: Trump Revealed, by Michael Kranish & Marc Fisher, p. 73-5 , Aug 23, 2016

I never forgive people who deceive me

I think maybe my greatest weakness is that I trust people too much. I'm too trusting. And when they let me down, if they let me down, I never forgive. I find it very, very hard to forgive people that deceived me. So I don't know if you would call that a weakness, but my wife said let up.
Source: GOP "Your Money/Your Vote" 2015 CNBC 1st-tier debate , Oct 28, 2015

People want positive inspiration

[Trump has sued some writers, but with regards to Michael D'Antonio, the author of this unauthorized biography], Trump doubts we'll be meeting in court: "It'll probably be a bad book and I'll regret doing it. But, OK, I could sue you if it's bad, but I won't bother because the book won't sell. People want positive, inspiring. That's what you should write if you want a success."
Source: Politico.com article with Trump's "Never Enough" biographer , Sep 25, 2015

I believe in the toot-your-own-horn theory

I have a wealthy friend who called me up to see if I could get him reservations at Jean-Georges Restaurant and I had to ask myself, "What's the point of his immense success if he can't even get a reservation?" No one has ever heard about him--he's shy about using his name. He has to call other people, like me, to help him out.

That got me thinking about the toot-your-own-horn theory, which is something I believe in. This poor rich guy is a perfect example of why I believe in it. The power of a name can be incredible. It can open doors like nothing else.

Until you have a "household name" you might do well to tell people who you are and what you've done. It's a start. It's also a way of networking to find out if you might have common interests.

Having an ego and acknowledging it is a healthy choice. Think about it: If you can't say great things about yourself, who do you think will? So don't be afraid to toot your own horn when you've done something worth tooting about.

Source: Think Like a Champion, by Donald Trump, p. 77-9 , Apr 27, 2010

Build your reputation as "responsible, professional & loyal"

Most of us need letters of recommendation now and then. I write them as well as receive them, and I always look for the words "responsible, professional, and loyal." If you can build your reputation on three words, those would be three at the top to choose from. I also think of those words when it comes to the Trump brand--to be authentic when it comes to responsibility, professionalism, and loyalty--to my buyers, clients, students, readers, audiences, and so forth. I'll be the first to admit it's not always easy. I am responsible for a lot of people. But high standards are high standards, and that's what I stand for. I will not accept less from myself.
Source: Think Like a Champion, by Donald Trump, p.170-1 , Apr 27, 2010

When someone crosses you, get even!

Q: When someone intentionally harms you or your reputation, how do you react?

A: When someone crosses you, my advice is "Get even!" That is not typical advice, but it is real-life advice. If you do not get even, you are just a schmuck! When people wrong you, go after those people, because it is a good feeling and because other people will see you doing it. I love getting even. I get screwed all the time. I go after people, and you know what? People do not play around with me as much as they do with others. They know that if they do, they are in for a big fight. Always get even. Go after people that go after you. Don't let people push you around. Always fight back and always get even. It's a

Source: Think Big, by Donald Trump, p. 29 , Sep 8, 2008

Never forgive someone who is bad; always strike back

Source: Think Big, by Donald Trump, p.199 , Sep 8, 2008

The harder I work, the luckier I get

When I was presented with the opportunity to build my first golf course, I had to think over carefully. I decided to work on golf courses because I love to gold, and I wanted to create spectacular courses to play on. I did not need to do it, but I wanted to do it.
Source: Think Big, by Donald Trump, p.119-22 , Sep 8, 2008

Get used to hearing the word "no" and ignoring it

If you want to be a success, you have to get used to frequently hearing the word no and ignoring it. As a child, when your mother told you no, your father told you no, the teacher told you no, or the coach told you no, if you were a good little boy or girl, you listened to the word "no" and stopped what you were doing. That is why 98% of adults are conditioned to stop when they hear the word "no." Quitters do not get anywhere. You will not be successful if you listen to nos.
Source: Think Big, by Donald Trump, p. 27 , Sep 8, 2008

Never give up; look at the solution, not the problem

Here's the Top Ten list I give when I speak at colleges:
  1. Never give up! Do not settle for remaining in your comfort zone..
  2. Be passionate! If you love what you're doing, it will never seem like work.
  3. Be focused! Ask yourself: What should I be thinking about right now? Shut out interference.
  4. Keep your momentum! Listen, apply and move forward. Do not procrastinate.
  5. See yourself as victorious! That will focus you in the right direction.
  6. Be tenacious! Being stubborn can work wonders.
  7. Be lucky! The old saying, "The harder I work, the luckier I get" is absolutely right on.
  8. Believe in yourself! If you don't, no one else will either.
  9. Ask yourself: What am I pretending not to see? There may be some great opportunities right around you. Great adversity can turn into great victory.
  10. Look at the solution, not the problem. And never give up! Never never never give up. This thought deserves to be said (and remembered and applied) many times. It's that important.
Source: Never Give Up, by Donald Trump,p.165-166 , Jan 18, 2008

To negotiate well, prepare and know as much as possible

Negotiating is an art. There are nuances and finely honed techniques and rules to be aware of. Here are some of them:
Source: Never Give Up, by Donald Trump,p.167-168 , Jan 18, 2008

In the best negotiations, everyone wins

In summing up, I can say that negotiation is an art. All the arts require discipline, technique, and a dose of imagination to take them beyond the realm of the ordinary. Don't be an ordinary negotiator when you can be an extraordinary one. Devote time to this art and it can bring you enormous rewards.
Source: Never Give Up, by Donald Trump,p.168 , Jan 18, 2008

Failure is not permanent

I feel strongly about the importance of wholeness. It's a combination of all the components of life that makes us healthy, happy, and productive. To my mind, the opposite of wholeness is failure. If it happens, and sometimes it does, the best remedy is to move forward, to realize that failure is not PERMANENT, and to immediately focus in the right direction. Ultimately, a solution will show up.

I don't mean t sound like a faith leader, but there is something profound and yet simple about viewing failure as a lack of wholeness. I will also add, it's EFFECTIVE. Believing that a negative situation is temporary and wrong will give you the impetus to do something about it, to feel righteous and energetic about fixing it. Being unhappy and productive is simply not part of my game plan, and it shouldn't be part of yours, either.

Source: Never Give Up, by Donald Trump,p. 5-6 , Jan 18, 2008

Beauty and elegance are my signature and my brand

Everyone knows how important beauty is to me. I always try to have it in my life. I hire the best people, find the most fabulous locations, and use the finest materials to make sure that every project I undertake is truly exceptional. Being surrounded by beauty makes me feel great; it enhances every part of my life, and I deserve it.

Beauty and elegance, whether in a woman, a building, or a work of art, is not just superficial or something pretty to see. Beauty and elegance are products of personal style that come from deep within.

My style is based on trying to make whatever I do breathtakingly beautiful. People react emotionally to my style; they want more of it. It's no accident that I'm so involved with beauty; it's my signature, my brand, and I think it's best to have it in spades.

Contact with beauty exposes successful people to an excellence from which they can learn, grow, and improve their lives. Beauty rewards people for all their hard work

Source: Trump 101, by Donald Trump, p. 55-7 , Oct 20, 2006

Think on "Trump scale" and make a BIG statement

I like to reach for the stars. I'm constructing the two tallest residential towers in New Jersey that, not surprisingly, will bear the Trump name.

Although I'm the largest developer in Manhattan, I decided to go across the Hudson River to Jersey City because I saw incredible potential there. I am good at predicting trends, and I think Jersey City has a big future... or I wouldn't be there. Don't limit yourself. Think in what I call Trump Scale and make a BIG statement. Don't build a single- family house without first seeing how much more it would take to make it into a multiunit building or even a development. Explore how to make everything you tackle bigger, better, bolder, and more exciting. Although you may not be in a position to realize your dreams now, you could be laying the groundwork for terrific future projects.

Source: Trump 101, by Donald Trump, p. 11-3 , Oct 20, 2006

Change isn't an admission that you were wrong

Source: Trump 101, by Donald Trump, p.109-10 , Oct 20, 2006

Look at people non-judgmentally, without right or wrong

The clearest way to see people and events is to examine then nonjudgmentally--to see and record the facts without coloring them with a "this is right" or "that is wrong" attitude. This follows a journalistic approach in its purest sense news without a slant. A nonjudgmental approach collects and reports the facts without jumping to conclusions or interpreting their meaning. This approach may require you to do a little more thinking, which can only be a good thing.

Never presume that your way is the only way, whether you're talking about work, ethics, or politics. Be tolerant of diverse opinions, practices, and views. Be grateful for the diversity in our lives and for the benefits of being exposed to so many different backgrounds and beliefs. Take the time to try to understand other viewpoints--how and why those people feel and act as they do. Gather information, get the whole story, and don't jump to conclusions or judge. Results are what matter; the rest is style.

Source: Trump 101, by Donald Trump, p.131-2 , Oct 20, 2006

Give others a fair chance, but eliminate scoundrels

You have to learn when to quit and when to move forward. This can be tricky because a fine line frequently exists between acceptance and resignation. Since everyone makes mistakes, try to be understanding when other people fail. Don't immediately give up on them; you wouldn't want others to write you off without a fair chance. The fine line widens when you find out that someone is a scoundrel or incompetent and will never change. When that's the case, break off the relationship, cut your losses, and eliminate that person from your life.
Source: Trump 101, by Donald Trump, p.165 , Oct 20, 2006

Passion overcomes many difficult impossibilities

Q: What is it that gets you through the resistance to change?

DJT: Passion is the number one ingredient. It can overcome many difficulties and so- called impossibilities. Getting anything started requires passion. Your enthusiasm can convince others to go along and see things your way. Resistance can be good if it gets you to improve your idea. When someone can discourage you, you probably aren't determined enough. Be resolute. That's what it takes to get things done.

Source: Trump 101, by Donald Trump, p. 5 , Oct 20, 2006

Many people are afraid to fail, so they don't try

Many people are afraid to fail, so they don't try. They may dream, talk, and even plan, but they don't take that critical step of putting their money and their effort on the line. To succeed in business, you must take risks. Even if you fail, that's how you learn. There has never been, and never will be, an Olympic ice skater who didn't fall on the ice. Skaters acquire their skill and master their moves by doing and falling, not just by watching or talking.
Source: Trump 101, by Donald Trump, p. 39 , Oct 20, 2006

Tell people you�re successful or they won�t know it

How to Get Rich.That�s what I decided to call this book, because whenever I meet people, that�s usually what they want to know from me. You ask a baker how he makes bread. You ask a billionaire how he makes money.

A lot has happened to us all since 1987. That�s the year The Art of the Deal became the bestselling business book of the decade. Business Rule #1: If you don�t tell people about your success, they probably won�t know about it.

Business Rule #2: Keep it short, fast, and direct. The following pages will be straightforward and succinct, but don�t let the brevity of these passages prevent you from savoring the profundity of the advice you are about to receive.

The Mother of All Advice: �Trust in God and be true to yourself.� -Mary Trump, My Mother. When I look back, that was great advice, concise and wise at once. I didn�t really get it at first, later I realized how comprehensive this is- how to keep your bases covered while thinking about the big picture.

Source: How to Get Rich, by Donald Trump, first chapter , Mar 23, 2004

Good management requires hiring good people

If you are careful when finding employees, management becomes a lot easier. I rely on a few key people to keep me informed. They know I trust them, and they do their best to keep that trust intact.

Good people equals good management and good management equals good people. They have to work together or they won�t work together for very long. I�ve seen excellent people get stuck in the mires of bad management. The good managers will eventually leave, followed by the good workers, & you will be left with a team that gets along because they�re all mediocre. Save yourself time by getting the best people you can. Sometimes this can mean choosing attitude over experience and credentials. Use your creativity to come up with a good mix.

Creative people rarely need to be motivated-they have their own inner drive that refuses to be bored. They refuse to be complacent. They live on the edge, which is precisely what is needed to be successful and remain successful.

Source: How to Get Rich, by Donald Trump, first chapter , Mar 23, 2004

Lessons: stay focused on big picture

Keep the big picture in mind while attending to the daily details. This can seem like a balancing act, but it is absolutely necessary for success in running a company.

In the 1980s, I was riding high. I�d become a major player in Manhattan, with many top-tier properties. I had a yacht, a plane, a bestselling book. In the late eighties, I lost focus. I�d fly off to Europe to attend fashion shows, and I wasn�t looking at the clothing. My lack of attention was killing my business.

That was a low point. Of the $9.2 billion I owed, I�d personally guaranteed a billion dollars. I was a schmuck, but I was a lucky schmuck, and I wound up dealing with some understanding bankers who worked out a fair deal. After being the king of the eighties, I survived the early nineties, and by the mid-to-late nineties, I was thriving again. But I learned my lesson. I work as hard today as I did when I was a young developer in the 1970s. Don�t make the mistake I did. Stay focused.

Source: How to Get Rich, by Donald Trump, first chapter , Mar 23, 2004

Surround yourself with people you can trust

Surround yourself with people you can trust. I often say it�s good to be paranoid, but not when it comes to your home team. Ask God for a great assistant. No joke. A great one can make your life a whole lot easier-or, in my case, almost manageable.

My phones are so busy that I require two executive assistants, and they never stop. They alone handle, on the average, more than 1,250 calls a week. They are not only efficient and fast, but also very pleasant and beautiful young women. You don�t have to be beautiful to work for me-just be good at your job. I�ve been accused of admiring beautiful women. I plead guilty. But when it comes to the workplace, anyone who is beautiful had better have brains, too. You need competent people with an inherent work ethic. I�m not a complacent person and I can�t have a complacent staff. I move forward quickly and so must they.

Source: How to Get Rich, by Donald Trump, first chapter , Mar 23, 2004

In business & politics, stands for getting things done

I put people together, and when I feel I have the right team, I let them show me what they can do. When the bottom fell out of the real estate market, I survived because of the people I assembled. What saved Trump Organization was my willingness to step back and to let the people who work for me do their thing. I�ve taken the same approach in refining my political agendas. I�ve talked to people who seemed to have the right talent and ideas. I�ve read until I found authors who saw problems the way I do. I�ve based my political programs on this research. I�m also bringing a perspective to politics that most politicians don�t have. I�ve built a multi-billion empire by using my intuition. Here I�m letting my instincts tell me how we have to work together to build the America we deserve. I stand for getting things done.
Source: The America We Deserve, by Donald Trump, p. 33-35 , Jul 2, 2000

Appealing to middle Americans leery of political elite

Trump�s tax plan [a one-time tax on assets to pay off the national debt] underscores his strategy of appealing to low- and middle-class Americans. Even amid an economic boom, Trump believes his class-conscious message will resonate with the millions of voters who are leery of America�s economic and political elite. He also believes he has a rags-to-riches story that appeals to Americans who dream of following him into the gilded life.
Source: Associated Press, via The Enterprise (Brockton MA), p. A3 , Nov 9, 1999

Learned about myself, from adversity in hard times

I'm a firm believer in learning from adversity. Often the worst of times can turn to your advantage--my life is a study of that. I learned so much during the tough years. So I decided to write it all down. If you're in trouble, or you're down and out, I hope you'll be able to glean some of my hard-learned lessons in these pages.

My wish is that this book will provide inspiration. I learned a lot about myself during these hard times; I learned about handling pressure. I was able to home in, buckle down, get back to the basics, and make things work. I worked much harder, I focused, and I got myself out of a box. Don't get me wrong--there were moments of doubt, but I never thought in negative terms. I believe in positive thought and positive thinking. I learned a lot about loyalty--who was and who wasn't. There were people that I would have guaranteed would have stuck by me who didn't, and, on the other hand, people who I made who, when it came time to help me, didn't lift a finger.

Source: The Art of the Comeback, by Donald Trump, p. xii , Oct 27, 1997

Feeling cocky & invincible can be destructive

I got a little cocky and, probably, a little bit lazy. I wasn't working as hard, and I wasn't focusing on the basics. I traveled around the world to the spring fashion shows in France.

I began to socialize more, probably too much. Frankly, I was bored. I really felt I could do no wrong. Sort of like a baseball player who keeps hitting home runs or a golfer who keeps winning tournaments--you just get a feeling of invincibility. Ultimately, this invincible feeling, while positive at times, can be destructive. You let down your guard. You don't work as hard. Then things start to go in the wrong direction. And that's what happened to me--and I never thought it could. In 1990, the market was so horrendous that prices, for even the best buildings in town, were plummeting. Apartments were being bought at prices you never thought possible. It was a complete disaster.

Source: The Art of the Comeback, by Donald Trump, p. 5-6 , Oct 27, 1997

For bad investment advice, you get blame; if good, no credit

Perhaps the question I am most often asked is where, when, and how should someone invest their money. My answer is usually a very quick and terse "good luck." The reason for this is simple. If I recommend an investment and it turns out badly, it will be my fault. I will always be blamed. If on the other hand, the investment turns out to be brilliant, earning tremendous amounts of money, people are quick to forget that it was I who made the recommendation in the first place. This unfortunately, is human nature. It's how the game is played. If it's bad, you take the blame. If it's good, you get no credit. As I tell my young employees all the time, "Welcome to life."
Source: The Art of the Comeback, by Donald Trump, p.187-8 , Oct 27, 1997

Measure success in happiness, not just in dollars

The courage to make a switch, even if it seems like a ridiculous one, is also an ingredient of success. There are times when a change in life's course does seem strange, but it may well be necessary in order to create success. And success can't be measured just in dollars and cents; it has to be measured in happiness, too. I know many rich people who are extremely unhappy and really should be doing something else. Going against the tide is often a very clever thing to do. While it can involve taking risks, and while I cannot say that it's a primary factor for success, often going in the opposite direction can lead to the highest level of achievement. When I decided to keep 40 Wall Street as an office building, I was very much going against the tide. Everyone in lower Manhattan was converting their buildings to apartments--and with good reason.

I decided that rather than going the safe route, the route that everybody else was taking, I would head in the exact opposite direction.

Source: The Art of the Comeback, by Donald Trump, p.225-6 , Oct 27, 1997

You can't con people for long; you have to deliver the goods

You can't con people, at least not for long. You can create excitement, you can do wonderful promotion & get all kinds of press, and you can throw in a little hyperbole. But if you can't deliver the goods, people will eventually catch on.

I think of Jimmy Carter. As poorly qualified as he was for the job, Jimmy Carter had the nerve to ask for something extraordinary. That ability above all helped him get elected president. But then, of course, the American people caught on that Carter couldn't do the job, and he lost in a landslide when he ran for reelection.

I see the same thing in my business, which is full of people who talk a good game but don't deliver. When Trump Tower became successful, a lot of developers got the idea of imitating our atrium. But they saw that it all added up to many millions, and these people with great ambitions would decide [against it].

The dollar always talks in the end. I promoted the hell out of Trump Tower, but I also had a great product to promote.

Source: The Art of the Deal, by Donald Trump, p. 60-1 , Jul 6, 1993

Rules for surviving the perils of success

    It�s great to have good natural instincts, but even if you do, you may find that�s not enough. Over the years I�ve come up with certain rules for myself that are important for surviving the perils of success.
  1. Be disciplined. This is the first and most important rule. Long vacations, drinking, drugs-all of those things are bad for discipline because they interrupt your momentum.
  2. Be honest. Despite a brash and occasionally arrogant approach, I go by the book.
  3. Don�t think you�re so smart that you can go it alone. I surround myself with good people, and then I give myself the luxury of trusting them.
  4. Be reachable. Although you run the risk of wasting a lot of time, the vast majority of people [writing] are nice people, and they deserve a response.
  5. Stay close to home. What got you to the top is usually what will keep you there.
  6. Be flexible. I keep white space on my calendar to allow myself to come up with ideas.
Source: Surviving at the Top, p. 40-44 , Jul 2, 1990


Donald Trump on Mueller Report

Based on Mueller report, we'd indict Trump if not president

We are former federal prosecutors. Each of us believes that the conduct of President Trump described in Special Counsel Robert Mueller's report would, in the case of any other person not covered by the Office of Legal Counsel policy against indicting a sitting President, result in multiple felony charges for obstruction of justice. The Mueller report describes several acts that satisfy all of the elements for an obstruction charge: conduct that obstructed or attempted to obstruct the truth-finding process, as to which the evidence of corrupt intent and connection to pending proceedings is overwhelming. These include:
Source: Letter from 500 ex-prosecutors on Mueller Report , May 6, 2019

OpEd: Russia helped Trump so they'd control eastern Ukraine

What the Mueller Report says:The Aug. 2, 2016 meeting included the start of what would be a series of discussions between Manafort & Kilimnik about a so-called peace plan for Ukraine, which Manafort admitted to prosecutors was "a backdoor means for Russia to control eastern Ukraine."

Supplemental information and analysis:A senior prosecutor in the Special Counsel's Office said that the Aug. 2 meeting goes "very much to the heart of what the Special Counsel's Office is investigating."

Caveats:Although Kilimnik and Manafort shared the view that Trump's support for the Ukraine peace plan would help it succeed, "the investigation did not uncover evidence of Manafort's passing along information about Ukrainian peace plans to the candidate or anyone else." The Report then notes that Manafort lied to the Special Counsel Office about the peace plan & his meetings with Kilimnik. Also, Kilimnik continued "to promote the peace plan into the summer 2018."

Source: Ryan Goodman, JustSecurity.org on Mueller Report , Apr 29, 2019

OpEd: Trump met three criteria for obstruction of justice

For each of the eleven instances of potential obstruction that Muller considered, the special counsel evaluated each on the three criteria required by statute for there to have been a violation of the law. Mueller did signal in his report those that he concluded all three legal criteria were met. In particular, the president's alleged effort to shut down the Flynn inquiry was one that the special counsel considered among the strongest potentially chargeable instances.

[The three criteria are]: First, such cases need to prove that there was an "obstructive act," that the suspect had taken an action that could impede a criminal investigation. Second, the motivation of the person had "corrupt intent." The third essential element of any obstruction charge is that there needs to be a "nexus of a proceeding," meaning that a person must demonstrably have understood that whomever he was aiming to protect was under criminal investigation.

Source: NYBooks.com on Prosectors' letter on Mueller Report , Apr 26, 2019

If Congress tries to impeach, I'll go to the Supreme Court

President Donald Trump said he would turn to the Supreme Court if the House of Representatives moves to impeach him, though it is unclear what role the nation's highest court could play if the president were to seek its help in such a situation. Trump claimed in a tweet that special counsel Robert Mueller's report was written by a team biased against him with "unlimited money" for an investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election. Still, he said, the report "didn't lay a glove on me."

"I DID NOTHING WRONG," Trump said. "If the partisan Dems ever tried to Impeach, I would first head to the U.S. Supreme Court."

The Supreme Court ruled unanimously in 1993 that authority for impeachment trials resides in Congress and "nowhere else." The power of impeachment belongs to Congress and proceedings must be launched in the House, according to the U.S. Constitution. If representatives vote to impeach, the case is tried in the Senate.

Source: Politico.com on "Supreme Court if impeached, says Trump" , Apr 24, 2019

Mueller Report: Russia bought pro-Trump social media ads

The Internet Research Agency (IRA), based in St. Petersburg, Russia, received funding from Russian oligarchs with ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin, to carry out a social media campaign designed to provoke and amplify political and social discord in the United States.

To reach larger U.S. audiences, the IRA purchased advertisements from Facebook that promoted the IRA groups on the newsfeeds of U.S. audience members. According to Facebook, the IRA purchased over 3,500 advertisements, and the expenditures totaled approximately $100,000.

IRA-purchased advertisements referencing candidate Trump largely supported his campaign. The first known IRA advertisement explicitly endorsing the Trump Campaign was purchased on April 19, 2016, for its Instagram account "Tea Party News" asking US persons to upload photos with the hashtag "#KIDS4TRUMP." In subsequent months, the IRA purchased dozens of advertisements supporting the Trump Campaign, predominantly through the Facebook groups.

Source: The Mueller Report, Vol. i, pp. 4 & 24-5 , Apr 23, 2019

Russia made up voter fraud story & Trump campaign re-posted

The [Mueller] investigation identified two different forms of connections between the Russia-based Internet Research Agency (IRA) and members of the Trump Campaign. (The investigation identified no similar connections between the IRA and the Clinton Campaign.) First, on multiple occasions, members and surrogates of the Trump Campaign promoted--typically by linking or retweeting--pro-Trump or anti-Clinton social media content published by the IRA. Additionally, in a few instances, IRA employees represented themselves as U.S. persons to communicate with members of the Trump Campaign in an effort to seek assistance and coordination on IRA-organized political rallies inside the US.

Posts from the IRA-controlled Twitter account @TEN_GOP were cited or retweeted by multiple Trump Campaign officials, including Donald J. Trump Jr., Eric Trump, & Kellyanne Conway. These posts included allegations of voter fraud, as well as allegations that Secretary Clinton had mishandled classified information.

Source: The Mueller Report, Vol. i, pp. 33-4 , Apr 23, 2019

Campaign supplied Russians, without knowing it was Russia

Starting in June 2016, [the Russia-based Internet Research Agency] IRA contacted different persons affiliated with the Trump Campaign, while claiming to be US political activists working on behalf of a conservative grassroots organization. The IRA requested signs and other materials to use at IRA-organized rallies, as well as requests to promote the rallies. While certain campaign volunteers agreed to provide the requested support (for example, agreeing to set aside a number of signs), the investigation has not identified evidence that any Trump Campaign official understood the requests were coming from foreign nationals.

In sum, the [Mueller] investigation established that Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election through the social media campaign carried out by the IRA. IRA employees violated US law through these operations, principally by undermining through deceptive acts the work of federal agencies charged with regulating foreign influence in U.S. elections.

Source: The Mueller Report, Vol. i, p. 35 , Apr 23, 2019

Mueller: firing Comey is obstruction if Russia probe delayed

The act of firing Comey [on May 9, 2017] removed the individual overseeing the FBI's Russia investigation. The President knew that Comey was personally involved in the investigation based on Comey's briefing of the Gang of Eight, and the President's one-on-one conversations with Comey.

Firing Comey would qualify as an obstructive act if it had the probable effect of impeding the investigation--for example, if the termination would have the effect of delaying the investigation or providing the President with the opportunity to appoint a director who the President perceived as more protective of his personal interests.

On March 20, 2017, Comey had announced that the FBI was investigating Russia's interference in the election, including "an assessment of whether any crimes were committed." It was widely known that the FBI, as part of the Russia investigation, was investigating the hacking of the DNC's computers--a clear criminal offense.

Source: The Mueller Report, Vol. ii, pp. 74-5 , Apr 23, 2019

Trump: no Russia probe; Mueller: yes, Comey was running it

Substantial evidence indicates that the catalyst for the President's decision to fire Comey was Comey's unwillingness to publicly state that the President was not personally under investigation, despite the President's repeated requests that Comey make such an announcement. In the week leading up to Comey's May 3, 2017 Senate Judiciary Committee testimony, the President told McGahn that it would be the last straw if Comey did not set the record straight and publicly announce that the President was not under investigation. But during his May 3 testimony, Comey refused to answer questions about whether the President was being investigated. Comey's refusal angered the President, who criticized Attorney General Jeff Sessions for leaving him isolated and exposed.

At the time the President fired Comey [on May 9], a grand jury had not begun to hear evidence related to the Russia investigation and no grand jury subpoenas had been issued.

Source: The Mueller Report, Vol. ii, pp. 74-5 , Apr 23, 2019

Trump: no connection to Russia; Mueller: yes, hotel business

The President had a motive to put the FBI's Russia investigation behind him. The evidence does not establish that the termination of Comey was designed to cover up a conspiracy between the Trump Campaign and Russia. But the evidence does indicate that a thorough FBI investigation would uncover facts about the campaign and the President personally that the President could have understood to be crimes.

Although the President publicly stated during and after the election that he had no connection to Russia, the Trump Organization, through Michael Cohen's repeated briefings, was pursuing the proposed Trump Tower Moscow project through June 2016.

In addition, some witnesses said that Trump privately sought information about future WikiLeaks releases [of Russian email hacks]. More broadly, multiple witnesses described the President's preoccupation with press coverage of the Russia investigation and his persistent concern that it raised questions about the legitimacy of his election.

Source: The Mueller Report, Vol. ii, pp. 76-7 , Apr 23, 2019

Attempted to fire Special Counsel, but staff refused

On May 17, 2017, Acting Attorney General Rosenstein appointed Robert Mueller as Special Counsel to conduct the Russia investigation and matters that arose from the investigation. The President stated that the Special Counsel's appointment was the end of his presidency and that Attorney General Sessions had failed to protect him and should resign. Sessions submitted his resignation, which the President ultimately did not accept. The President told senior advisors that the Special Counsel had conflicts of interest, but they responded that those claims were "ridiculous" and posed no obstacle

That weekend, the President called McGahn and directed him to have the Special Counsel removed because of asserted conflicts of interest. McGahn did not carry out the instruction for fear of being seen as triggering another Saturday Night Massacre and instead prepared to resign. McGahn ultimately did not quit and the President did not follow up with McGahn on his request to remove the Special Counsel.

Source: The Mueller Report, Vol. ii, pp. 77-8 , Apr 23, 2019

Trump: Mueller has conflict; Mueller: no, it's obstruction

After news reports that in June 2017 the President had ordered McGahn to have the Special Counsel removed, the President publicly disputed these accounts, and privately told McGahn that he had simply wanted McGahn to bring conflicts of interest to the Department of Justice's attention.

Substantial evidence, however, supports the conclusion that the President in fact directed McGahn [on June 17] to call Rosenstein to have the Special Counsel removed.

On June 16, 2017, the President publicly acknowledged that his conduct was under investigation by a federal prosecutor, tweeting, "I am being investigated for firing the FBI Director by the man who told me to fire the FBI Director!"

Substantial evidence indicates that the President's attempts to remove the Special Counsel were linked to the Special Counsel's oversight of investigations that involved the President's conduct--most immediately, to reports that the President was being investigated for potential obstruction of justice.

Source: The Mueller Report, Vol. ii, pp. 88-9 , Apr 23, 2019

Mueller appointed to investigate Trump after Comey firing

In his first months in office, Trump had seethed over FBI director James Comey's refusal to tell the world that the president was not being scrutinized personally as part of the bureau's investigation of whether the Trump campaign had coordinated with Russia to interfere with the 2016 presidential race.

On May 9, 2017, Trump snapped; the president unceremoniously fired Comey. He conveyed the news in a terse letter, hand-delivered to FBI headquarters.

Trump's closest aides had warned him that the move could trigger a political uproar and lead to an expansion of the Russia inquiry--and it did. Lawmakers on Capitol Hill cried foul. The FBI, already deep into its investigation of election interference, now feared that the most powerful man in the country was trying to obstruct its work.

Robert Mueller was appointed to lead an independent investigation of interference in the 2016 election and other matters that might stem from the inquiry. It was a broad mandate.

Source: Mueller Report: Wash. Post Related Materials, p. 9-10 , Apr 23, 2019

Mueller results: 7 guilty pleas and 34 indictments

Mueller's work was at times stymied by the lies witnesses told and the communications that they had deleted or failed to maintain. And they said Trump himself, in resisting a sit-down interview, had provided "inadequate" written answers that stated more than thirty times that he "does not recall" information investigators asked about.

Mueller's team racked up an extraordinary record. His prosecutors charged thirty-four people, including twenty-six Russian nationals. They secured guilty pleas from seven people, including a former national security adviser and the chairman of Trump's campaign. They reconstructed day-to-day interactions of Trump's closest aides and his adult children, exploring dozens of instances of Russian contacts with the Trump campaign. They documented the Russian attack on American democracy in breathtaking detail, even tracing individual keystrokes of Russian military officers in Moscow.

Source: Mueller Report: Wash. Post Related Materials, p. 13 , Apr 23, 2019

Campaign manager convicted: conspiracy with Ukraine & Russia

Paul Manafort was charged in federal court on October 30, 2017, then convicted on eight felony counts.

Mueller's 24-page statement of offenses describes all of Paul Manafort's crimes. He agreed that he conspired against the US by illegally laundering through offshore accounts the $60 million he earned in Ukraine from 2006 to 2016. He evaded $15 million in US taxes. He failed to register as a foreign lobbyist while helping his Ukraine clients press their views in Washington.

The conduct outlined by Mueller painted a devastating portrait of Donald Trump's campaign chairman. Manafort had volunteered to work for Trump for free but was drowning in debt at the time. He appeared eager to use his campaign role to angle for money from his wealthy patrons in Ukraine and Russia, working in concert with an alleged Russian intelligence asset. His service for Trump coincided with the ramp-up of Russians intervention in the US election and a ratcheting-up of Trump's pro-Russia campaign rhetoric.

Source: Mueller Report: Wash. Post Related Materials, p.617-8 , Apr 23, 2019

Trump's lawyer convicted of lying to Congress about Russia

Michael Cohen, the president's personal lawyer, had been willing to deceive the public--and then commit a crime--to keep secret the timing of his dealings with the Kremlin. Cohen admitted that he told Congress work on the Moscow project ended in January 2016--in fact, it lasted until June 2016, after Trump had sealed up the Republican nomination for president. Cohen also conceded he had direct contact with a Kremlin official to request help with the project.

The special counsel's office would reveal that Cohen met with its investigators seven times. The motive for his lying to Congress was to "minimize links" between the Moscow project and Trump. [Cohen was imprisoned in May 2019, after the publication of the Mueller Report].

Source: Mueller Report: Wash. Post Related Materials, p.643-4 , Apr 23, 2019

Sued by Democratic Party for 2016 Russia collusion

The Democratic Party sued President Donald Trump's presidential campaign, the Russian government and the Wikileaks group, claiming a broad conspiracy to help Trump win the 2016 election.

The named defendants in the lawsuit include Trump's son Donald Trump Jr., his son-in-law Jared Kushner, former campaign chief Paul Manafort and campaign official Richard Gates, and Trump ally Roger Stone. Also named is the Russian Federation, the general staff of the Russian armed force, a Russian intelligence services hacker known as Guccifer 2.0., Wikileaks and its leader Julian Assange, and 10 unidentified people.

"No one is above the law," the suit says. "In the run-up to the 2016 election, Russia mounted a brazen attack on American Democracy. The opening salvo was an attack on the DNC, carried out on American soil."

The suit alleges claims that include conspiracy, computer fraud and abuse, misappropriation of trade secrets, trespass, and other violations of the law.

Source: CNBC's coverage of 2018 impeaching Trump , Apr 20, 2018

OpEd 2016: Putin hated Hillary and wanted to help Trump win

During the summer of 2016, we were working like crazy to understand what the Russians were up to. Evidence within the intelligence Community strongly suggested that the Russian government was trying to interfere with the election in three ways.

First, they sought to undermine confidence in the American democratic enterprise--to dirty us up so that our election process would no longer be an inspiration to the rest of the world.

Second, the Russians wanted to hurt Hillary Clinton. Putin hated her, blaming her personally for large street demonstrations against him in Moscow in December 2011. Putin took that as an unforgivable personal attack.

Third, Putin wanted to help Donald Trump win. Trump had been saying favorable things about the Russian government and Putin had shown a long-standing appreciation for business Leaders who cut deals rather than stand on principle.

Source: A Higher Loyalty, p.189, by James Comey , Apr 17, 2018

Mueller convicted three Trump aides of lying about Russia

The [Mueller] investigation established that several individuals affiliated with the Trump Campaign lied to [Mueller's] Office, & to Congress, about their interactions with Russian-affiliated individuals. Those lies materially impaired the investigation of Russian election interference. [Mueller's] Office charged some of those lies as violations of the federal false-statements statute. Former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn pleaded guilty to lying about his interactions with Russian Ambassador Kislyak during the transition period. George Papadopoulos, a foreign policy advisor during the campaign period, pleaded guilty to lying to investigators about, [among other things], the nature and timing of his interactions with Joseph Mifsud, the professor who told Papadopoulos that the Russians had dirt on candidate Clinton in the form of thousands of emails. Former Trump Organization attorney Michael Cohen pleaded guilty to making false statements Congress about Trump Moscow project.
Source: The Mueller Report, Vol. i, p. 9 ,

Trump challenged Russia to hack Hillary's email; Russia did

On July 27, 2016, [the Russian GRU's] Unit 26165 targeted email accounts connected to candidate Clinton's personal office. Earlier that day, candidate Trump made the following public statement: "Russia, if you're listening, I hope you're able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing. I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press." The "30,000 emails" were apparently a reference to emails described in media accounts as stored on a personal server that candidate Clinton had used while serving as Secretary of State.

Within 5 hours of Trump's statement, GRU officers targeted for the first time Clinton's personal office. After candidate Trump's remarks, Unit 26165 created and sent malicious links targeting 15 email accounts. The investigation did not find evidence of earlier GRU attempts to compromise accounts hosted on Clinton's email domain. It is unclear how the GRU was able to identify these email accounts, which were not public.

Source: The Mueller Report, Vol. i, p. 49 ,


Donald Trump on Past Campaigns

OpEd: Spoke to people's disenfranchisement & disempowerment

[In 2016] what I began to realize was that this election was about so much more than just politics. It was about people. It was the politics of the personal. That's one of the reasons so many people responded to Donald Trump's populist message, I think: he hit them where they lived; he spoke to their feeling of disenfranchisement, disengagement, disempowerment.

The difference between his message and mine, though, had to do with the way people responded to those feelings--indeed, with the way they were ENCOURAGED to respond to those feelings. At a Trump rally, many people were driven to anger and blame; there was name calling and finger-pointing. At a Kasich event, people were given hope and all kinds of reasons to lift each other up instead of holding each other down.

Source: Two Paths, by John Kasich, p.208-9 , Apr 25, 2017

OpEd: Make America Great Again by leader being at the helm

Donald Trump Jr. reached out to float the idea of my considering a spot on the Republican ticket, as Trump's vice president. The conversation was widely reported in the press, so I'm not violating any backroom code.

"The governor would be in charge of all domestic and foreign policy," Donald Jr. reportedly said.

My campaign strategist responded, "Well, if that's the case, then what would the president be doing?"

"Why, he'll be busy making American great again," came the reply.

Don Jr. later denied the conversation that took place. [But my campaign staff] offered that there was nothing in Don Jr.'s tone to suggest that the comment was being made ironically or with tongue in cheek. "Making America great again," we could only assume, would be Donald Trump's role; he would leave running the country to someone else and keep his focus on the smoke and mirrors aspects of the job of president, helping Americans feel that he was somehow making their lives better just by being at the helm.

Source: Two Paths, by John Kasich, p.267 , Apr 25, 2017

Get a special prosecutor for email scandal to jail Hillary

Trump: We're going to get a special prosecutor, and we're going to look into [her deleting the classified emails], because you know what? People's lives have been destroyed for doing one-fifth of what [Clinton has] done. And it's a disgrace.

Clinton: It's just awfully good that someone with the temperament of Donald Trump is not in charge of the law in our country.

Trump: Because you'd be in jail.

Source: Second 2016 Presidential Debate at WUSTL in St. Louis MO , Oct 9, 2016

1997: Bill Clinton's vocal backer during Monicagate

Trump was a vocal Clinton supporter in the late 1990s. "I think Bill Clinton is terrific," Trump said on December 27, 1997, on CNN. "I think he's done an amazing job. I think he's probably got the toughest skin I've ever seen, and I think he's a terrific guy."

One month later, reports surfaced that Clinton had had a secret sexual relationship with an intern named Monica Lewinsky. Trump was unperturbed, becoming one of Clinton's most vocal backers. "The best thing he has going is the fact that the economy's doing great," Trump said in August 1998, days after Clinton finally admitted a relationship with Lewinsky. "They talked about the eighties were good. The nineties are better." When a former Arkansas state employee, Paula Jones, sued Clinton, alleging sexual harassment, Trump called her "a loser." Trump suggested that if her were a candidate, he would face similar controversy: "Can you imagine how controversial that'd be? You think about him with women. How about me with the women?"

Source: Trump Revealed, by Michael Kranish & Mark Fisher, p.284 , Aug 23, 2016

Talked about running for president since 1985

Trump had been talking about the presidency since 1985. In 1988, he proposed himself as the running mate of the first President George Bush, a job that went to Senator Dan Quayle. I also watched Trump run in 2000 on the ticket for the Reform Party.

Trump again declared his candidacy in 2012. Trump's campaign then had a purpose other than moving to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. His real goal, we surmised, was a more lucrative contract with the NBC television network for his aging "Celebrity Apprentice" show. As such, journalists gave little regard to his announcement for the 2016 election.

But this time things were different. I'd spent decades as an investigative reporter, reporting on him, and I had kept my files. When Trump announced his bid for the Republican nomination for the 2016 election, I knew it was for real.

Source: The Making of Donald Trump, by David Cay Johnston, p. xi-xii , Aug 2, 2016

Didn't vote in any Republican primary from 1989 until 2016

[Trump's grandfather] Friedrich was the genesis of many family traditions in America, but voting was not among them. In fact, his grandson Donald would run for president after failing to vote in the 2002 general election, and, as records indicate, in any Republican primary from 1989 until he voted for himself in 2016.

[The next generation] were even less diligent in their civic duties. When Donald Trump's name appeared on the New York State primary ballot in 2016, his daughter Ivanka and son Eric, both in their thirties, could not cast ballots because they had neglected to register as Republicans. They blamed the government, saying they should have been allowed to change from independent to Republican at the last minute. But the primary voting rules, however outmoded, had been law in the Empire State for many years.

Source: The Making of Donald Trump, by David Cay Johnston, p. 4-5 , Aug 2, 2016

My old liberal political views evolved like Reagan's did

Q: Back in 1999, you were for the wealth tax. You were for single payer. You're not for it now. How can conservatives trust that you're not going to change again?

TRUMP: Ronald Reagan himself was a Democrat at one point. And I worked with him, and he liked me a lot, and I liked [him] a lot. And he was a terrific guy, but he was a liberal Democrat, and he changed. And I have evolved very strongly in the same way. I'm a conservative and I have tremendous support, but I also have a lot of support among Democrats. You know, when you look at our polls, I have support from all over the place, and people are actually shocked by it: "Mr. Trump, you're leading in every poll."

Source: ABC This Week 2015 interviews of 2016 presidential hopefuls , Aug 9, 2015


Donald Trump on Personal Background

Focus in school was "creating mischief"

Trump was raised in rare comfort. The Trumps had a family chef and chauffer, but they never considered themselves part of the country's ruling class. Theirs was immigrant stock, from Germany and Scotland, hardy entrepreneurs who tackled the new land with a blitz of new business--restaurants, hotels and, finally, real estate.

Donald Trump grew up in a 23-room manse in Queens, a faux Southern plantation house with a Cadillac limousine in the driveway. He attended private school from kindergarten on; his focus in school, Trump told The Washington Post in 2016, was "creating mischief, because, for some reason, I liked to stir things up and I liked to test people.. It wasn't malicious so much as it was aggressive."

In second grade, he said, he punched his music teacher in the face. He got into trouble often. Before eighth grade started, his father sent him to military school.

Source: Mueller Report: Wash. Post Related Materials, p.502-3 , Apr 23, 2019

Favorite movie: Citizen Kane, about risks of accumulation

When he talked about the movies he loved, Trump was asked about Citizen Kane, the Orson Welles classic about an idealistic newspaper owner who acquires great wealth and loses his soul, Trump said, "Citizen Kane was really about accumulation, and at the end of the accumulation, you see what happens, and it's not necessarily all positive. Not positive...In real life, I believe that wealth does in fact isolate you from other people. It's a protective mechanism. You have your guard up, much more so than you would if you didn't have wealth".

He fancied himself a man of the people, more interested in the praise of cabdrivers and construction workers then in accolades from the rich and the powerful.

Source: Trump Revealed, by Michael Kranish & Mark Fisher, p. 4 , Aug 23, 2016

Father arrested in 1927 KKK riot, but didn't support Klan

The Klan kept up its nativist drumbeat. On May 30, 1927, at a Memorial Day parade, Trump, a 21-year-old Protestant and now the head of the family business, joined thousands of New Yorkers who attended. The KKK dressed in their robes and hoods, carrying giant American flags, passed out handbills in Trump's neighborhood alleging that Catholic members of the police force were harassing "native-born Protestant Americans." This typical Klan tactic tried to pit Catholics against Protestants, while stirring up anti-immigrant feelings.

A thousand Klansmen assembled at the intersection of Jamaica Ave. and 85th Street, and "combatants were knocked down, Klan banners were shredded." Fred Trump wound up in the thick of the melee, and he was arrested.

The charge against Trump was "refusing to disperse from a parade when ordered," but the charge was promptly dismissed. News accounts did not say whether Trump was for or against the Klan, or whether he was at the parade merely to see the spectacle.

Source: Trump Revealed, by Michael Kranish & Mark Fisher, p. 27-8 , Aug 23, 2016

Played varsity baseball at military academy

Trump could rely on his athletic ability to win respect from his teachers and classmates. In his second year at the New York Military Academy (NIMA), Trump played on the freshman football and baseball teams. By his sophomore year, as he shed baby fat and continued to grow, Trump had made the varsity in both sports. He particularly excelled at baseball, playing first base and developing a reputation for stretching his long body to scoop up balls. Donald could also swing the bat, inspiring a caption beneath an action photo in the yearbook that read, "Trump swings... then HITS." A headline in the local paper--"Trump Wins Game for NYMA"--may have been the first to celebrate his exploits. "It felt good seeing my name in print," Trump said years later. "How many people are in print? Nobody's in print. It was the first time I was ever in the newspaper. I thought it was amazing."
Source: Trump Revealed, by Michael Kranish & Mark Fisher, p. 42 , Aug 23, 2016

After Ivana, never let wife run business again

Trump always made it clear who was boss in his marriages. He and Ivana never had "tremendous fights" because, he said, "ultimately, Ivana does exactly what I tell her to do." Trump came to regret having had her work for him, running hotels and casinos: "My big mistake with Ivana was taking her out of the role of wife. The problem was, work was all she wanted to talk about. I will never again give a wife responsibility within my business." He didn't.

As Trump's private life merged with his public identity, he came to see his marriages as something that either boosted his image and therefore his business's reputation, or as a hindrance. "My marriage, it seemed, was the only area of my life in which I was willing to accept something less than perfection," he said during divorce proceedings with Ivana.

Marla Maples would pose far less of a threat. She wasn't one to challenge him, except for continually pressing him to wed her. This time, there would be no talk of a marriage of equals.

Source: Trump Revealed, by Michael Kranish & Mark Fisher, p.157 , Aug 23, 2016

OpEd: "Apprentice" turned Trump from blowhard to candidate

As soon as Apprentice hit the top ten in its first season, Trump was in demand on talk shows as never before. The appearances were initially meant to promote the TV show, but almost immediately, Trump started talking politics. The people who made The Apprentice with Trump didn't think he would ever really run for office, but they recall his drawing a direct line from the show's success to the possibility that he'd shoot for the nation's top job.

The Apprentice turned Trump from a blowhard Richie Rich who had just gone through his most difficult decade into an unlikely symbol of straight talk, an evangelist for the American gospel of success. Above all, Apprentice sold an image of the host-boss as supremely competent and confident, dispensing his authority and getting immediate results.

The show's creator came to believe that if Trump ever ran fro president, it wouldn't be a result of The Apprentice, but without The Apprentice there could be no candidacy.

Source: Trump Revealed, by Michael Kranish & Mark Fisher, p.217-8 , Aug 23, 2016

At 58, met and married Melania, age 34, at Kit Kat Klub

At 58, after two failed marriages, Trump found a partner who fulfilled his long-standing desire for a "no-maintenance woman." Melania, who was 34 when they wed, did not generate headlines or seek to upstage him. Donald's children referred to her as "the Portrait" because she spoke so little.

Born Melanija Knavs in the former Yugoslavia. Feeling stifled under her country's socialist regime, Melania told high school friends that she wanted to escape and travel around the world. Modeling was her path. She worked as a fashion model in Milan, Paris, and New York.

One night in 1998, Melania found herself at the Kit Kat Klub because her modeling agency was hosting a party. Donald, who had recently split up with Marla Maples, was at the event with a date, a beautiful Norwegian heiress. But Trump noticed Melania and asked for her phone number. Melania resisted, aware that Trump had come to the party with another woman. But Trump was persistent and soon they began going out.

Source: Trump Revealed, by Michael Kranish & Mark Fisher, p.267 , Aug 23, 2016

OpEd: Lifelong dance of mutual manipulation with the press

Although Trump's attitude toward Obama was tinged with emotion, he was far more caustic in his remarks about the fourth estate. "There is tremendous dishonesty, tremendous dishonesty, in the press," he volunteered, naming prominent Trump critics as chief offenders. Trump's most venomous words are reserved for the editor of Vanity Fair, whom he calls "scumbag Graydon Carter." Trump will mention the man many times, always saying the phrase in a hurry as if it were a single, indivisible word: "Scumbagraydoncarter."

Considering his lifelong dance of mutual manipulation with the press, Trump's complaints are more than a little ironic. Few have profited more from the tide of celebrity news that has swamped the public discourse. His analysis is also entirely self-referential. When the writer Timothy O`Brien said Trump wasn't as wealthy as he claimed, Trump sued. He lost, but considering the costs incurred, O`Brien's publisher lost too.

Source: Politico.com article with Trump's "Never Enough" biographer , Sep 25, 2015

Sent to military academy because of childhood rebelliousness

Q: Your high school experience? "I went to New York Military Academy for five years, from the year before freshman."

Q: "So eighth grade on?"

A: "Yes."

Q: "Whose idea was this?"

A: "Well, I was very rebellious and my parents thought it would be a good idea. I was very rebellious."

Q: "How did it evidence itself?"

A: "I was a very rebellious kind of person. I don't like to talk about it, actually. But I was a very rebellious person and very set in my ways."

Q: "In eighth grade?"

A: "I loved to fight. I always loved to fight."

Q: "Physical fights?"

A: "All types of fights. Any kind of fight, I loved it, including physical, and I was always the best athlete. Something that nobody knew about me."

Source: Politico.com article with Trump's "Never Enough" biographer , Sep 25, 2015

A germophobe: constantly washes hands; dislikes handshakes

When Trump turned to the subject of fame and its effects, he wrote from a unique perspective. Fame, which was part of his business plan, had contributed substantially to his successes even as it exacted a price.

Trump: Surviving at the Top was filled with firsthand reports on the bizarre behavior of fame-addled celebrities. Trump devoted a full page to Howard Hughes. Like Donald, Hughes was linked to many beautiful women and operated a gambling business. He was also famously germophobic, a trait that Trump confessed he too possessed. "I'm constantly washing my hands, and it wouldn't bother me if I never had to shake hands with a well- meaning stranger again."

Trump's seemingly frank statements about his contamination anxiety--gave the impression of a man who was willing to reveal himself. But all he copped to were a few missteps and quirks and forgivable sins such as working too hard.

Source: Never Enough, by Michael D`Antonio, p.217-8 , Sep 22, 2015

Attended military academy & Wharton Business School

Trump grew up in Queens, New York, where his father had created a real estate business from scratch. His father sent him off to the New York Military Academy where he was a captain of the cadets and captain of the baseball team. "I learned a lot about discipline & about channeling my aggression into achievement," he wrote in his 1987 book, "The Art of the Deal." "I was a good-enough student at the academy, thought I can't say I worked very hard. I was lucky that it came relatively easy to me, because I was never all that interested in schoolwork."

He said he "flirted briefly" with attending film school at the University of Southern California but decided that real estate was his calling. He spent two years at Fordham University in the Bronx before transferring to the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School and graduating in 1968. "Perhaps the most important thing I learned at Wharton was not to be overly impressed by academic credentials," he wrote in "The Art of the Deal."

Source: Forbes Magazine "2016 Candidates Want You to Know" series , Jun 16, 2015

Separated from Ivana after long less-than-perfect marriage

Looking back [on my marriage with Ivana], I believe our breakup was inevitable. Why had I hung in there so long when things were just not what they should have been? It�s very uncharacteristic of me to act that way; I�m not one to let problems fester.

[The breakup] is by no means a snap judgment. I�ve discussed the situation with many people. I even thought, briefly, about approaching Ivana with the idea of an �open marriage.� But I realized there was something hypocritical and tawdry about such an arrangement that neither of us could live with-especially Ivana. She�s too much of a lady.

It didn�t matter that there was never a lot of yelling in the house-it was time to make the tough decisions and get on with the rest of our lives.

Source: Surviving at the Top, p. 46-50 , Jul 2, 1990


Donald Trump on Religion

I go to communion and that's asking forgiveness

Q: Briefly describe your spiritual beliefs and values.

Trump: "First Presbyterian Church in Jamaica, Queens, is where I went to church," he told Christian Broadcasting Network in 2012. "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." He goes to church "when I can. Always on Christmas. Always on Easter. Always when there's a major occasion. I'm a Sunday church person." In 2015 Trump said in response to Anderson Cooper trying to get clarification on Trump's stand on asking for forgiveness, "Why do I have to repent or ask for forgiveness, if I am not making mistakes?" asked Trump. "I work hard, I'm an honorable person." In the same interview, he also said, "I go to communion and that's asking forgiveness, you know, it's a form of asking forgiveness." He then stressed that he "likes to work where he doesn't have to ask forgiveness."

Source: 2016 AFA Action iVoterGuide on 2016 presidential hopefuls , Nov 8, 2016

Our media culture often mocks and demeans people of faith

One of the greatest privileges of my journey has been the time I've spent with the evangelical community. And the support they gave me in those primaries was absolutely incredible, I have to tell you. All across the nation. A lot of people said: "I wonder if Donald will get the evangelicals." I got the evangelicals.

There are no more decent, devoted, or selfless people than our Christians brothers and sisters here in the US. I've witnessed that incredible generosity all across this land. I saw it during my trip to Louisiana, where Christian volunteers raced to help their fellow citizens in need. It's that spirit of giving that we will need to rebuild Louisiana and to rebuild this country, which is in serious, serious trouble.

Yet, our media culture often mocks and demeans people of faith. And you understand that. All the time I hear from concerned parents how much harder it is for a Christian family to raise their children in today's media environment.

Source: 11th Annual Value Voters Summit - 2016 , Sep 9, 2016

Cherish and defend our Christian heritage

In a Trump administration, our Christian heritage will be cherished, protected, defended, like you've never seen before. Believe me. I believe it. And you believe it. And you know it. And that includes religious liberty.

I recently had a chance to visit a church in Detroit, Great Faith Ministries International. I spoke about how African American churches--and this is all across the country--for centuries have been the conscience of our nation. Their unbreakable faith and sprit overcame some of the most difficult periods in our history, leading us all to a better future. This is the power of faith. It's the power to heal. It's the power to unite. It's the power to make all of us live better lives--all of us.

Our nation today is divided. Nobody likes to say it, but we're living in a very, very divided nation. It will be our faith in God and his teachings, in each other, that will lead us back to unity.

Source: 11th Annual Value Voters Summit - 2016 , Sep 9, 2016

Repeal LBJ law: let preachers talk politics, tax-exempt

To create the American future for everybody--not just a certain group of people, but for everybody--the first thing we have to do is give our churches their voice back. It's been taken away. The Johnson amendment has blocked our pastors and ministers and others from speaking their minds from their own pulpits. If they want to talk about Christianity, if they want to preach, if they want to talk about politics, they're unable to do so. If they want to do it, they take a tremendous risk that they lose their tax-exempt status.

All religious leaders should be able to freely express their thoughts and feelings on religious matters. And I will repeal the Johnson amendment if I am elected your president, I promise. So important. When did it happen? 1954 or so. Lyndon Johnson was having problems with churches. And he put in an amendment that basically stopped our great pastors and ministers and others from talking, under the penalty of losing their tax-exempt status.

Source: 11th Annual Value Voters Summit - 2016 , Sep 9, 2016

I have a daughter and son-in-law who are Jewish

When asked about relations with Israel, Donald Trump responded, "I have tremendous love for Israel. I happen to have a son-in-law and a daughter that are Jewish, OK? And two grandchildren that are Jewish." Is that true?

We fact-checked and found that Trump's daughter Ivanka, converted to Judaism in 2009 and is raising Donald's grandchildren under Jewish tradition. According to Vogue magazine (Feb. 25, 2015), Ivanka in 2007 met her future husband Jared Kushner, who is an Orthodox Jew and a real estate developer in New York. Ivanka converted to Judaism prior to their marriage in 2009, and they keep a kosher home and, Ivanak says, "we observe the Sabbath; from Friday to Saturday we don't make phone calls. It's an amazing thing when you're so connected-- for [our daughter] Arabella to know that she has me, undivided, one day a week We don't do anything except play with each other, hang out with one another, go on walks together. Pure family.

Source: OnTheIssues FactCheck on 2016 GOP primary debate in Miami , Mar 11, 2016

Who in the world is offended by "Merry Christmas"?

What offends me is the way our religious beliefs are being treated in public. There are restrictions on what you can say and what you can't say, as well as what you can put up in a public area. The belief in the lessons of the Bible has had a lot to do with our growth and success. That's our tradition, and for more than 200 years it has worked very well. For years you'd have beautiful mangers in public spaces and nobody complained about it.

Now? Mary and the baby Jesus are seldom shown. Even the word "Christmas" has somehow become controversial. Who in the world could be offended by someone saying "Merry Christmas"?! That greeting isn't critical of any other religion, and it isn't being disrespectful to those who practice another religion. It's a wonderful tradition.

The same people who demand respect for their beliefs often don't show respect for the beliefs of others. It seems like every week there is a negative ruling on some issue having to do with Christianity. I think it's outrageous.

Source: Crippled America, by Donald Trump, p.131-2 , Nov 3, 2015

I love God, and I love having a relationship with Him

The first church I belonged to was the First Presbyterian Church in Jamaica, Queens. I went there every Sunday for Bible class. The church had a strong influence on me. Later I went to Reverend Norman Vincent Peale's Marble Collegiate Church when I was in New York, and joined Bethesda-by-the-Sea in Palm Beach, Florida. I learned a lot from Norman Vincent Peale, who wrote the classic "The Power of Positive Thinking."

I think people are shocked when they find out that I am a Christian, that I am a religious person. They see me with all the surroundings of wealth so they sometimes don't associate that with being religious. That's not accurate. I go to church, I love God, and I love having a relationship with Him.

I've said it before--I think the Bible is the most important book ever written--not even close. I've had a good relationship with the church over the years--God is in my life every day. I don't go to church every Sunday, but I do go as often as I can.

Source: Crippled America, by Donald Trump, p.130-1 , Nov 3, 2015


Donald Trump on Scandals

OpEd: 18-month investigation alleges $413M in tax fraud

Trump lashed out at The NY Times over an investigation alleging decades of fraudulent tax practices that increased the money Trump received from his parents. Trump did not specifically deny the conduct the Times described as "dubious tax schemes," including "instances of outright fraud." It said he and his siblings used these practices to boost the value of the money they got from their parents.

"The Failing New York Times did something I have never seen done before. They used the concept of 'time value of money' in doing a very old, boring and often told hit piece on me." Trump tweeted.

Trump appeared to target the newspaper's reporting that the president actually received today's equivalent of $413 million from his father's real estate holdings.

A Times spokeswoman defended the article : "This is a powerful piece of investigative journalism, the result of 18 months of inquiry and a review of over 100,000 pages of records. It is accurate and fair and we stand behind it."

Source: CNBC's Jacob Pramuk on 2018 impeaching Trump , Oct 3, 2018

Claimed father lent him $1M; actually lent him $60M

After the NY Times published its report [that that the president actually received today's equivalent of $413 million from his father's real estate holdings via "dubious tax schemes" including "instances of outright fraud"], the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance said it "is reviewing the allegations" and "vigorously pursuing all appropriate avenues of investigation."

Trump's father, Fred, loaned him at least $60.7 million, or $140 million in today's dollars, rather than the $1 million loan Trump previously described on the campaign trail as "small," according to the Times.

Trump's lawyer denied any accusations of fraud and tax evasion, saying "the facts upon which The Times bases its allegations are extremely inaccurate."

While Trump called the story "boring and often told," it went deeper into his family's tax practices and his claims about his wealth than any report previously has.

Source: CNBC's Jacob Pramuk on 2018 impeaching Trump , Oct 3, 2018

OpEd: Trump is dangerous because he isn't tethered to truth

Q: You say in your book that it's a dangerous time in our country?

COMEY: I chose that words carefully, "dangerous." At first, I thought, "Is that an overstatement?" And I don't think it is.

Q: Why not?

COMEY: I worry that the norms at the center of this country--we can fight as Americans about guns or taxes, and we always have--but what we have in common is a set of norms. Most importantly, the truth. "We hold these truths to be self-evident," right? And if we lose tethering of our leaders to that truth, what are we? The foundation of this country is in jeopardy when we stop measuring our leaders against that central value of the truth.

Q: Are we losing it?

COMEY: I think we are in part. But I think we're going to outlast it. That there will be damage to that norm. But I liken President Trump in the book to a forest fire. Going to do tremendous damage. Going to damage those important norms. But a forest fire gives healthy things a chance to grow that had no chance before that fire.

Source: ABC-TV Q&A: Jim Comey on Higher Loyalty & impeaching Trump , Apr 15, 2018

OpEd: Trump demands loyalty, like a mob boss

Q: Why the title, "A Higher Loyalty?"

COMEY: The title comes from a bizarre conversation I had with the president in January of last year, where he asked for my loyalty personally. My loyalty's supposed to be to the American people and to the institution. He said, "I expect loyalty, I need loyalty." And I did not reply.

Q: Why not say no?

COMEY: Because I was caught totally by surprise. Later, he said, again, "I need loyalty." And I said, "You will always get honesty from me." And he paused and said, "Honest loyalty," as if he was proposing some compromise. And I paused and said, "You'll get that from me."

Q: Was that a mistake?

COMEY: Maybe. I felt like he's kidding himself if he thinks I just promised that I'm "amica nostra." But in hindsight, I should've done it differently.

Q: You're comparing the president to a mob boss?

COMEY: I'm talking about that leadership culture [of mob bosses demanding loyalty] me when I think about my experience with the Trump administration.

Source: ABC-TV Q&A: Jim Comey on Higher Loyalty & impeaching Trump , Apr 15, 2018

OpEd: Incited violence at rallies starting in 2015

On March 11, Trump had to cancel an event in Chicago when there was rioting in the streets and protesters were threatening to disrupt his rally. It was an ugly scene, and my people were telling me that Trump was out there inciting this type of violence.

I asked my staff to put together a list of some of Trump's comments and maybe some footage showing examples of his inciting rhetoric. What I saw was appalling. Now I don't pretend to know what was in Donald Trump's heart. All we can do is judge a candidate by his words. What did I see and hear? Well, there was damning video evidence of hateful, rabble-rousing conduct from more than a dozen Trump rallies, going all the way back to an event in Alabama in November 2015. Taken together, I found these incendiary incidents so profoundly disturbing that I felt I had to say something. I issued a statement reading, "Tonight, the seeds of division that Donald Trump has been sowing this whole campaign finally bore fruit, and it was ugly."

Source: Two Paths, by John Kasich, p.119 , Apr 25, 2017

Debunked women fictionalized stories about sexual harassment

CLINTON: At the last debate, we heard Trump talking about what he did to women [on a "hot mic" tape]. And after that, a number of women have come forward saying that's exactly what he did to them. Now, what was his response? Well, he held a number of big rallies where he [denounced the women making claims, and] attacked the woman reporter writing the story, called her "disgusting," as he has called a number of women during this campaign.

TRUMP: Nobody has more respect for women than I do. Nobody. Those stories have been largely debunked. She mentions this, which is all fiction, all fictionalized, probably or possibly started by her and her very sleazy campaign. What isn't fictionalized are her e-mails, where she destroyed 33,000 e-mails criminally--criminally!--after getting a subpoena from Congress.

Source: Third 2016 Presidential Debate moderated by Fox News , Oct 19, 2016

I filed a 104-page disclosure form; I earned $609M last year

Q: You have not released your tax returns. Nominees have released their returns for decades so that voters will know if their potential president has any business conflicts. Don't Americans have a right to know that?

TRUMP: I'm under a routine audit. As soon as the audit's finished, it will be released. But you will learn more about Donald Trump by going down to the federal elections, where I filed a 104-page essentially financial statement. It shows income at $694 million for this past year.

Q: The IRS says you're perfectly free to release your taxes during an audit.

TRUMP: Look, I've been under audit almost for 15 years. I'm not even complaining. I don't mind it. It's almost become a way of life. I get audited by the IRS. But other people don't. I will say this: I will release my tax returns--against my lawyer's wishes--when she releases her 33,000 e-mails that have been deleted. As soon as she releases them, I will release.

Q: So it's negotiable?TRUMP: It's not negotiable, no.

Source: First 2016 Presidential Debate at Hofstra University , Sep 26, 2016

Clinton's private email server was on purpose & no "mistake"

TRUMP: Let her release the e-mails. Why did she delete 33,000?

CLINTON: You know, I made a mistake using a private e- mail.

TRUMP: That's for sure.

CLINTON: And if I had to do it over again, I would, obviously, do it differently. But I'm not going to make any excuses. It was a mistake, and I take responsibility for that.

TRUMP: That was more than a mistake. That was done purposely. OK? When you have your staff taking the Fifth Amendment, taking the Fifth so they're not prosecuted, when you have the man that set up the illegal server taking the Fifth, I think it's disgraceful. And believe me, this country thinks it's disgraceful, also. As far as my tax returns, you don't learn that much from tax returns. That I can tell you. You learn a lot from financial disclosure.

Source: First 2016 Presidential Debate at Hofstra University , Sep 26, 2016

Charitable donations of $165,000 to Wharton and U.Penn

In the years after Trump graduated, Wharton became synonymous with financial success. But although Wharton's place in Trump's biography expanded, his contributions to the school did only rarely. In the 1980s, a Penn development officer said Trump had given the school more than $10,000, but declined to elaborate. One of the only places his name appears on campus is the Class of 1968 Seminar Room plaque in Van Pelt Library, donated at his class's 35th reunion.

One sizable gift came in 1994, when he gave enough to be listed as a "founder" of the Penn Club's new location in midtown Manhattan. The minimum gift for that category was $150,000. Two autumns later, Donald Trump Jr. arrived at the leafy campus. In all, three of the four older Trump children--including Ivanka (transferring after two years at Georgetown) and Tiffany--would attend Penn, making the school almost an inheritance, a family emblem.

Source: Trump Revealed, by Michael Kranish & Mark Fisher, p. 49-50 , Aug 23, 2016

Sued in 1,900 cases; defendant in 1,450 more cases

At every stage of his career, Trump tried to punish those who questioned the image he wanted the world to see. Legal threats were as much a part of Trump's business tactics as brash talk, publicity stunts, and the renegotiation of deals. "I'll sue" became the watchwords of his business, just as "You're fired" became the mantra of his television image. Over three decades, Trump and his companies filed more than 1,900 lawsuits and were named as defendants in 1,450 others, according to a USA Today analysis. Some of his legal maneuvering was an outgrowth of complex business deals. But some of it was focused on going after those who questioned his wealth or even his taste. He once filed a $500 million defamation complaint against a Chicago Tribune critic who described Trump Tower's main hall as "a kitschy shopping atrium of blinding flamboyance." A judge dismissed the complaint.
Source: Trump Revealed, by Michael Kranish & Mark Fisher, p.299-300 , Aug 23, 2016

Anti-corruption laws ensure that Trump profits from campaign

Trump ran in 2000 on the ticket for the Reform Party. It was during that brief campaign that Trump declared he would become the first person to run for president and make a profit.

For the 2016 run as well, a large share of Trump's campaign money has been spent paying himself for the use of his Boeing 747, his smaller jet, his helicopter, his Trump Tower office space, and other services supplied by Trump businesses. By law, Trump must pay charter rates for his aircraft and market prices for services from his other businesses. This anticorruption law was designed to prevent vendors from underpricing services to win political favors--a legacy of a time when no one imagined that a man of Trump's immense wealth would buy campaign services from himself. In 2016, the law ensures that Trump makes a profit from his campaign.

Source: The Making of Donald Trump, by David Cay Johnston, p. xi-xii , Aug 2, 2016

Burned by press too often to be available any more

Reporters who�ve interviewed me know I�m from the �anything goes� school. I have nothing to hide, and no questions are off-limits as far as I�m concerned. I believed [in the past] that it was always best to give an interview, rather than making yourself unavailable, because that way you at least have some chance of getting your message across. I no longer believe this. I�ve been burned too many times by reporters who have a point to make and will make it-at my expense-no matter what I say.
Source: Surviving at the Top, p. 34-35 , Jul 2, 1990

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