Trump is running for reelection after a surprising 2016 victory and a tumultuous first term that has been dominated by the Russia investigation and impeachment proceedings. The President’s approval rating is low but a strong economy could boost his chances at reelection.
University of Pennsylvania, B.S., 1968
June 14, 1946
Melania Trump; divorced from Ivana Trump and Marla Maples
Donald Jr. (son of Ivana), Ivanka (daughter of Ivana), Eric (son of Ivana), Tiffany (daughter of Marla) and Barron (son of Melania)
The 28 most outrageous lines from Donald Trump's Mount Rushmore speech
Updated 3:10 PM ET, Sat Jul 4, 2020
President Donald Trump jetted to South Dakota on Friday to deliver a paean to what he believes to be is a forgotten America, in the shadow of Mount Rushmore. The speech laid out Trump's consistently grim vision for an America in which he is not its President as he engaged in his usual amount of fact-bending and breaking to serve his rhetorical and political purposes. I went through the transcript -- and pulled out the lines you need to see. 1. "Let us also send our deepest thanks to our wonderful veterans, law enforcement, first responders and the doctors, nurses and scientists working tirelessly to kill the virus." This is the only time Trump mentions the coronavirus pandemic, which hit a record number of cases nationwide on Friday, during the entire speech. And away we go! 2. "I am here as your President to proclaim, before the country and before the world, this monument will never be desecrated." Uh, was there some sort of movement to tear down Mount Rushmore I was unaware of or....? 3. "And yet, as we meet here tonight, there is a growing danger that threatens every blessing our ancestors fought so hard for, struggled, they bled to secure." The nation under threat from the liberal horde is the theme of this speech -- and Trump hits it HARD. Repeatedly. Also: There is nothing so motivating as fear in terms of driving people to the polls. Or so Trump hopes. 4. "Our nation is witnessing a merciless campaign to wipe out our history, defame our heroes, erase our values, and indoctrinate our children." Like I said... 5. "Angry mobs are trying to tear down statues of our founders, deface our most sacred memorials, and unleash a wave of violent crime in our cities." This speech, tonally, is very, very similar to Trump's inauguration address in which he cast a dark vision of America and promised "this American carnage stops right here and stops right now." 6. "Many of these people have no idea why they are doing this, but some know exactly what they are doing." In Trump's mind, there are only two kinds of protesters: dupes who have no idea what they are even protesting and professional rabble-rousers like Antifa. That, of course, totally dismisses the idea that the protesters -- or some large chunk of them -- are committed believers that the police need to be reformed and that racial inequity remains a real and pressing problem in America. 7. "This attack on our liberty, our magnificent liberty, must be stopped, and it will be stopped very quickly." "Our magnificent liberty." 8. "We will expose this dangerous movement, protect our nation's children, end this radical assault, and preserve our beloved American way of life." Again, Trump leans heavily on fear. The left is going to ruin your children -- if you let it! 9. "In our schools, our newsrooms, even our corporate boardrooms, there is a new far left fascism that demands absolute allegiance." I looked up the definition of "fascism." It's this: "A political philosophy, movement, or regime (such as that of the Fascisti) that exalts nation and often race above the individual and that stands for a centralized autocratic government headed by a dictatorial leader, severe economic and social regimentation, and forcible suppression of opposition." Which, well, uh... 10. "This left-wing cultural revolution is designed to overthrow the American Revolution." This feels a little -- maybe slightly -- overdone? 11. "The violent mayhem we have seen in the streets and cities that are run by liberal Democrats in every case is the predictable result of years of extreme indoctrination and bias in education, journalism, and other cultural institutions." Make no mistake: This is the language of a full-out culture war. And Trump is stoking it because he believes doing so gives him the best chance to win a second term. 12. "Our children are taught in school to hate their own country and to believe that the men and women who built it were not heroes, but that were villains." I took a peek at the my kids' curriculum just to double check this so I can now officially say there is nothing in there about hating America. 13. "The radical view of American history is a web of lies." Speaking of lies.... 14. "General Washington did not claim power, but simply returned to Mount Vernon as a private citizen." "If he was smart, he would've put his name on it. You've got to put your name on stuff or no one remembers you." -- Trump on Washington and Mount Vernon. 15. "[Jefferson] was an architect, an inventor, a diplomat, a scholar, a founder of one of the world's great universities, and an ardent defender of liberty." "Someone came along to resist him/Pissed him off until we had a two-party system/You haven't met him yet, you haven't had the chance/'cause he's been kickin' a** as the ambassador to France." 16. "Lincoln won the Civil War. He issued the Emancipation Proclamation. He led the passage of the 13th Amendment abolishing slavery for all time." "I've always said I can be more presidential than any president in history except for Honest Abe Lincoln, when he's wearing the hat. That's tough, that's tough. That was tough to beat." -- Donald Trump, September 2019 17. "They want to silence us, but we will not be silenced." Trump has been leaning much more heavily into the "Silent Majority" idea first introduced into American political rhetoric by President Richard Nixon. "THE SILENT MAJORITY IS STRONGER THAN EVER!!!," he tweeted earlier this month. 18. "We will state the truth in full without apology." Ahem. 19. "And we are building the wall." "Trump campaigns on border wall progress. There's not much of it." -- Los Angeles Times, June 23, 2020 20. "We believe in equal opportunity, equal justice, and equal treatment for citizens of every race, background, religion and creed." "Why do we want all these people from 'sh*thole countries' coming here?" -- Donald Trump, 2018 21. "We want free and open debate, not speech codes and cancel culture." "Republicans feel that Social Media Platforms totally silence conservatives voices. We will strongly regulate, or close them down, before we can ever allow this to happen." -- Donald Trump, May 27, 2020 22. "Their goal is not a better America. Their goal is to end America." Under this construct, anyone who stands against Trump's is trying to bring about the "end' of the country. OK. 23. "For the sake of our honor, for the sake of our children, for the sake of our union, we must protect and preserve our history, our heritage, and our great heroes." "Our heritage." 24. "We are the people who dreamed a spectacular dream -- it was called Las Vegas in the Nevada desert -- who built up Miami from the Florida marsh, and who carved our heroes into the face of Mount Rushmore." As our Founding Fathers always said: "What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas." 25. "We settled the Wild West, won two World Wars, landed American astronauts on the moon, and, one day very soon, we will plant our flag on Mars." Space Force! 26. "Nobody has ever done it like we have done it." "Ain't no Half-Steppin'" -- Big Daddy Kane 27. "Centuries from now, our legacy will be the cities we built, the champions we forged, the good that we did, and the monuments we created to inspire us all." Wait, wait. We have a champion forge? How did I not know about this before? 28. "I love your state. I love this country." "I love lamp." -- Brick Tamblin. Yeah, this feels like a good place to end.
Trump’s decision to withdraw the United States from the Paris climate accord — a landmark 2015 deal on global warming targets — was a major blow to the global response to the climate crisis. The decision sent a message to the rest of the world that the US – which can legally leave the agreement as early as 2020 – would not be leading the global fight against climate change. Trump’s EPA chief has said that while he believes in climate change, it is not a top priority. The administration shrunk two of Utah’s national monuments. It has also pushed to open Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil and gas exploration, as well as waters along the East and Pacific coasts. Under the Trump administration, the EPA announced it would no longer require oil and gas companies to install monitors to detect methane leaks from new wells, tanks and pipelines.
Trump’s major economic policy achievement in office was the 2017 tax cut, which drastically reduced rates for individuals and businesses – but led to a rise in the federal budget deficit to nearly $1 trillion in fiscal year 2019, undermining a campaign promise to not just shrink deficits but eliminate the national debt altogether by the end of a second term. The tax cuts also contributed to a record-breaking rise in the stock market, one of Trump’s favorite economic indicators, as corporate executives plowed tax savings into stock buybacks that buoyed share prices, rewarding investors. Trump has presided over a strong labor market, with unemployment hovering at a 50-year low. While the economic outlook in the US remains stable, Trump has contributed to a global slowdown through a series of unpredictable moves on trade, including the imposition of tariffs against allies like the European Union. Trump has also engaged in a two-year trade war with China, imposing an escalating series of retaliatory tariffs that have hit American farmers, importers and manufacturers. He announced plans to withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership Negotiations and Agreement, an Obama-era trade deal among a number of countries, soon after taking office in 2017. Preferring bilateral deals, he signed a new trade pact with Japan in 2019 – but it was no better for American ranchers and farmers than the Trans-Pacific Partnership would have been. His administration also renegotiated the North American Free Trade Agreement, the trade pact with Canada and Mexico. The countries have since agreed to the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, but it is pending ratification by the US Congress.
Trump, as President, has vowed to fix student loan debt. As directed by an executive order, the Department of Education published new data in November 2019 about graduates’ income and debt levels aimed at helping students make more informed borrowing decisions before choosing colleges. The White House has also made loan forgiveness automatic for veterans with disabilities and urged Congress to include place a cap on student loan borrowing. By contrast, it has repeatedly proposed ending a student loan forgiveness program for public workers, but Congress has rejected those efforts. The administration has pushed for a school choice tax credit known as “Education Freedom Scholarships,” which students could use to attend public or private schools, including charters, outside of their districts. It has rescinded a number of Obama-era policies, including those that promoted racial diversity in schools and protections for transgender students in public schools that let them use bathrooms and other facilities corresponding to their gender identities. It has also rolled back two rules that were intended to hold for-profit colleges accountable.
In the wake of mass shootings throughout his presidency, Trump has vowed action on gun violence, including expanding background checks. But he has been vague on the details, and has repeatedly pointed to mental health and hate as the underlying issues. After the 2017 Las Vegas shooting, Trump order the Department of Justice to ban bump stocks, attachments that effectively make semi-automatic rifles fire continuously. The ban became effective in March 2019. The President has backed “red flag” gun laws on the state level, which enable those who have seen warning signs to seek court orders to intervene and prevent someone who is in crisis from temporarily having access to firearms.
Trump campaigned against the Affordable Care Act on the runup to his presidency. While the Republican-controlled Congress failed to repeal the law, Trump has taken a number of executive actions to undermine it, including making it easier for Americans to access alternative policies that have fewer protections and benefits. The administration is also seeking to invalidate the landmark health care law through the courts. It has opted not to defend the law, instead siding with a coalition of Republican attorneys general who are arguing that the Affordable Care Act is unconstitutional because Congress effectively repealed the individual coverage mandate. The case is now being considered by a panel of appellate judges, after a district judge ruled in favor of the Republican coalition in December 2018. In a historic move, the administration is allowing states to impose work requirements on certain Medicaid recipients, though a district judge has blocked several states from doing so and others have suspended their efforts while the matter works its way through the legal system. Trump has promised to reduce drug prices and unveiled a blueprint to do so in 2018. Bucking long-standing Republican beliefs, the President is pushing to allow drug importation, particularly from Canada, and to tie the price of drugs in the US to their cost in other developed nations. However, several of his efforts have been stymied, including requiring drug makers to include their list prices in TV ads, which was nixed by a federal judge in summer 20199. In an effort to lower health care costs overall, the administration also issued a rule requiring hospitals to post the rates they negotiate privately with health insurers, starting in 2021. A coalition of major hospital groups took legal action to block the requirement.
During his 2016 campaign, Trump proposed the construction of a wall along the US-Mexico border, and has made it a tenet of his immigration policy as President. After taking office, he issued an executive order suspending the entry of people from a number of Muslim-majority countries for 90 days; the order went through several iterations in court before it was upheld. The administration’s “zero tolerance” policy in 2018 – criminal prosecutions of adults who illegally crossed the border – resulted in thousands of family separations at the border as parents were detained. Under a court order, the government must identify and reunify certain separated children. The President has proposed a merit-based immigration system, establishing a points-based system for green card holders and restricting sponsorship to spouses and minor children. Trump also officially ended Obama-era protections for undocumented immigrants who were brought into the country as children, a decision that has now been taken to the Supreme Court.
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Neil Young 'NOT ok' with Trump playing his music at Mount Rushmore event
Updated 12:59 PM ET, Sat Jul 4, 2020
Musician Neil Young is upset again with President Donald Trump for playing his music on Friday during the White House's Mount Rushmore event celebrating Independence Day. "This is NOT ok with me," Young wrote on Twitter Friday, responding to a video of "Rockin' In The Free World" heard blaring at Trump's event. In another video of the event with "Like a Hurricane" playing, Young wrote, "I stand in solidarity with the Lakota Sioux" and reiterated, "this is NOT ok with me." CNN has reached out to the White House for comment. Young previously objected to Trump's use of "Rockin' In The Free World" in 2015 when the song was played during Trump's presidential announcement. "Donald Trump was not authorized to use 'Rockin' In The Free World' in his presidential candidacy announcement," Young's management company said then, noting that the singer was a supporter of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders' 2016 campaign. Trump's campaign manager at the time, Corey Lewandowski, told Rolling Stone that the campaign had licensed the song, but would respect Young's wish and not use it again, adding that "Trump is a big fan and likes Neil very much." In February, Young, who became a US citizen this year, penned an open letter to Trump calling him "a disgrace to my country" and that "'Rockin' In The Free World' is not a song you can trot out at one of your rallies." The Canadian native said he began his path to US citizenship because he wanted to vote against Trump in the 2020 election. Young is among a number of other iconic rockers who have an issue with Trump's use of their music. The Rolling Stones last week threatened legal action against Trump's campaign for playing their songs at his campaign rallies, which was first reported by Deadline. Tom Petty's family also issued a cease-and-desist notice to the Trump campaign after "I Won't Back Down" was played at the President's rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, last month. Instead of striking a unifying tone, Trump on Friday in South Dakota railed against what he called a "merciless campaign" by his political foes to erase history by removing monuments some say are symbols of racial oppression. The President's backdrop of Mount Rushmore, which features the faces of four American presidents, is carved into the Black Hills of South Dakota, a sacred place of spiritual and cultural significance to the native peoples of the area. The 1868 Fort Laramie Treaty established the Black Hills as part of the Great Sioux Reservation, according to the National Archives, but the lands were systematically taken by the US government after gold was discovered in the area in the 1870s. On Friday, protesters, many holding signs demanding the land be returned to native people, blocked the entrance to Mount Rushmore prior to Trump's event.