Donald Trump


Wikimedia Commons, Gage Skidmore

Donald Trump

Born in 1946 in USA 

Citizenship: USA; residence: New York

Net worth: US$ 3.7B, self-made, industry: television and real estate

Education: BA (economics) from University of Pennsylvania 

Current employment: President of the United States

Twitter: @realDonaldTrump


Political compass: Republican 

In his own words: N.A.

Electioneering:

Donald Trump’s political donation history from Ballotpedia

– Federal Contributions: $718,300 (Republicans), $328,600 (Democrats), $1,046,900 (Total)
– State Contributions: $432,240 (Republicans) $366,150 (Democrats), $798,390 (Total)
– Total Federal and State Contributions: $1,150,540 (Republicans) $694,750 (Democrats), $1,845,290 (Total)
– Federal Contributions, 1989-2010: $294,000 (Republicans), $328,600 (Democrats), $622,600 (Total)
– Federal Contributions, 2011-Present: $424,300 (Republicans), $0 (Democrats), $424,300 (Total)
– State Contributions, 1989-2010: $226,390 (Republicans), $367,650 (Democrats), $594,040 (Total)
– State Contributions, 2011-Present: $205,850 (Republicans), $8,500 (Democrats), $214350 (Total)

Trump also invested $66.1 million of his personal wealth in funding his presidential campaign.

Trump considered the idea of running for president in 1988 and in every presidential election between 2004 and 2012, but he did not end up entering those races. He did, however, seek the presidential nomination of the Reform Party in 2000, but he dropped out due to party infighting. Trump eventually declared his intention to run for presidency in June 2015, winning the race in 2016.

In January 2013, Trump publicly endorsed Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during the Israeli elections.
Trump was a featured speaker during the 2011 and 2013 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC).
Trump has spoken up against Barack Obama and his policies numerous times. For instance, when Craig Spencer, a doctor in New York, was diagnosed with Ebola after returning from treating patients in Africa, Trump blamed Obama, tweeting that he was a “TOTAL incompetent” for not having stopped flights from West Africa (USA Today).

Lobbying/Advocacy:

On CNN’s State of the Union Trump declared that “PACs are a horrible thing” and that he would pursue campaign finance reform. Since May 2016, however, Trump has been embracing super PACs and fundraising for his own campaign (Time).
Regarding education, Trump said that “Common Core [an educational initiative seeking to establish consistent educational standards across the USA] is a total disaster. We can’t let it continue.” (Washington Post) Instead, he is advocating for private schooling and taking “the federal bureaucracy out of education.” (Washington Post)
In February 2000, Trump secretly funded the New York Institute for Law and Society to run adverts as part of an advocacy campaign to stop a casino from being built in New York’s Catskill region because of his own interests in the area. The adverts were highly racist toward the St. Regis Mohawks, a group of Native Americans (New York Times).
In 1993, during his testimony in front of the House Natural Resources subcommittee on Native American affairs, Trump spoke up against Indian reservations, claiming that “Organized crime is rampant” on reservations and “if it continues it will be the biggest scandal ever.” (Washington Post)
“NAFTA is the worst deal, one of the worst deals our country’s ever made from an economic standpoint.” (CNN)
Trump advocates for upgrading veterans’ care and he opposes the current G.I. Bill as it is, claiming that veterans are not treated well enough (CNN). He hosted a rally to raise money for veterans in January 2016, however, in April 2016 these funds had yet to be fully distributed (WSJ).
Regarding environmental issues, Trump has repeatedly called global warming a “total hoax” and declared that “We are fools” for believing in it (Washington Post and The Hill).
During an interview at CBS’ 60 Minutes, Trump said he was “fine” with same-sex marriage and that he would do “everything… to protect our LGBT citizens”, even though his earlier comments showed opposition to the gay rights movement (Huffington Post).
Trump has openly opposed Obamacare, saying that he wants “to repeal Obamacare and replace it with (a) free-market system” that would provide everyone with access to healthcare; however, his exact intentions as to how he would do this remain unclear (Politifact).

Since elected president, Trump said he wanted to reform the tax system; however, it seems that “the president has significant conflicts of interest” especially with matters relating to the real estate industry and the elimination of the estate tax. Many argue that until the president agrees to release his tax returns, tax reform will not progress because “lawmakers do not want to pass an overhaul of the tax code that unwittingly enriches the commander in chief and his progeny.” (New York Times)

Despite Trump’s declaration of handing over control of his business to his sons and putting his assets in a trust, it seems that he failed to sufficiently distance himself from his holdings. A lawsuit filed against the president accuses him of violating the Constitution due to his continued ownership of his companies- this brings one to question whether he abuses his position as president to profit from his businesses. One of the plaintiffs of the lawsuit mentions just this- an alleged “preliminary approval of a $32 million tax credit to the Trump International Hotel.” To find out more, read the New York Times.

Opinion shaping:

Trump built an empire in the entertainment industry. Between 1996 and 2015 he was an owner in the Miss Universe, Miss USA, and Miss Teen USA beauty pageants.
In 2003, Trump became joint partners with the National Broadcasting Company (NBC).
In 2004, he founded Trump Productions LLC.
In 2009 he bought the WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment Inc.) RAW show.
His appearance in media helped him gain popularity in politics. (The Famous People)

Trump has had a large social media presence even before his presidency. As BBC phrases it, “Long before he was a contender for the US presidency, Donald Trump was America’s most famous and colourful billionaire.”

After 2008, Donald Trump publicly expressed his scepticism about the legitimacy of Barack Obama’s birth certificate, claiming that he was born in Kenya and not Hawaii, thus he did not qualify to be president. During the 2016 presidential elections, Trump brought up the topic of the so called birther movement again, taking the focus of his own campaign away from issues of immigration, trade and economy. For more about Trump’s connection to the birther movement, go to the Huffington Post.

Philanthropy:

Trump allegedly donated 1.1 million of his own personal money to Marine Corps- Law Enforcement Foundation. He also donated around 4.5 million for numerous veteran groups. Through 2014, his tax filings show that he donated 5.4 million to his own foundation. Despite his contributions, many criticize him for donating so little compared to his net worth (New York Times).
As he refuses to release his tax returns, his deductions for charitable giving remain unknown. Lately, however, he is reported to have stopped donating his own money to charity and instead found a way to give away somebody else’s money and claim the credit for himself. For more information, read the Washington Post.

Donald J. Trump philanthropic organisation has been around since 1987, however according to available data, the foundation has only been giving away in modest sums. The causes supported seem to be diffused in focus: Trump has been supporting national health organisations as well as various human services outlets. His donations are often contradictory; for example, he supported both the Gay Men’s Health Crisis and the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (which has spoken up against the “gay lobby”). To read more, go to Inside Philanthropy.

Trump has made donations in the following areas:
– health donations concerning cancer, diabetes, lupus, autism and implant analysis.
– human services-related donations including the provision of meals, decreasing violence, supporting the police, maintaining parks and stress-relieving for veterans and their families.

Further reading: