President Trump

Donald John Trump (born June 14, 1946) is an American businessman, television producer and Republican politician, who is 45th President of the United States. He is the chairman and president of The Trump Organization, which is the principal holding company for his real estate ventures and other business interests.
Tracking Donald Trump's moves as the 45th president of the United States.
  • He writes Trump’s tweets and has been with Trump's campaign since day one
    USA TODAY

    He writes Trump’s tweets and has been with Trump's campaign since day one

    Have you ever wondered if tweets from @realDonaldTrump are actually from Trump?

  • Trump floats new slogan 'Keep America Great' as he launches 2020 bid
    USA TODAY

    Trump floats new slogan 'Keep America Great' as he launches 2020 bid

    President Donald Trump returned to the key battleground state of Florida on Tuesday to ask voters to give him another four years in office.

  • Kelly Craft, Trump choice for UN ambassador, to face questions on climate change, coal industry ties
    USA TODAY

    Kelly Craft, Trump choice for UN ambassador, to face questions on climate change, coal industry ties

    Senate Democrats are poised to grill Trump pick to be UN ambassador, over ties to the coal industry, her views on climate change and her work ethic.

  • USA TODAY

    Trump doesn't apologize to Central Park Five: "You have people on both sides of that"

    "You have people on both sides of that," Trump told reporters, but he did not apologize for taking out an ad calling for the teenagers' executions.

  • Trump Deportations to Start With Migrants Who Defy Court Orders
    Bloomberg

    Trump Deportations to Start With Migrants Who Defy Court Orders

    (Bloomberg) -- President Donald Trump’s plan to begin deporting “millions” of undocumented immigrants as soon as next week will start with people who have defied final deportation orders, acting Immigration, Customs and Enforcement Director Mark Morgan said Wednesday.Morgan told Fox News that the process would begin with those who have had previous access to a lawyer and a court hearing but haven’t complied with the final edict. ICE will help people who voluntarily comply execute an “ordered, dignified” exit from the U.S., he said. “We have a demographic that has had an enormous amount of due process,” Morgan said. “We’re not going to exempt any demographic.”The president’s announcement of the plan earlier this week was seen as a signal he may be opening a new front in his war on immigration ahead of his formal his re-election campaign kickoff last night. Trump said in a Monday tweet that ICE would begin removing migrants “as fast as they come in” but didn’t provide details about what the new initiative would entail. Morgan said Wednesday that the operation will focus on those who have been issued final deportation orders by federal judges but remain in the country.The president has been focusing on undocumented immigrants -- one of his signature issues -- in recent weeks as he tries to make the case that voters should re-elect him in 2020.Morgan said told CNN earlier this month that the new ICE effort could prove a disincentive for migrant families currently traveling to the U.S. who count on legal limits on the time children can be held in government custody to secure release into the country.Trump is eager to demonstrate that he’s taking a hard line on immigration as he increasingly focuses on his re-election campaign, which he’s set to launch Tuesday night in Orlando, Florida.In 2016, Trump won the White House with a populist message and promises to build a wall and stop flows of illegal immigration. But the president has struggled to secure congressional support for construction of his signature border barrier, and migration flows have surged in recent months as migrant families from Central America pour into the country from Mexico.The campaign of Kamala Harris, a senator from California seeking the Democratic nomination to oppose Trump in the general election, said Trump’s tweet is evidence he wants “to rid our country of ethnic and racial groups he doesn’t like.”“History has shown us what happens when governments begin mass roundups based on ethnic background or national origin,” Harris campaign manager Juan Rodriguez said in a statement.Earlier this month, Trump threatened to impose new tariffs on Mexico if the country didn’t stem those migrant flows. The U.S. ultimately relented after the Mexican government agreed to step up internal immigration enforcement efforts.The administration has also requested $4.5 billion in emergency funds that would help address the surge of migrants at the border but not be used for wall construction.To contact the reporters on this story: Justin Sink in WASHINGTON at jsink1@bloomberg.net;Terrence Dopp in Washington at tdopp@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Alex Wayne at awayne3@bloomberg.net, Elizabeth Wasserman, Kathleen HunterFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Trump, in 2020 campaign mode, calls Democrats 'radical'
    Associated Press

    Trump, in 2020 campaign mode, calls Democrats 'radical'

    President Donald Trump jabbed at the press and poked the political establishment he ran against in 2016 as he kicked off his reelection campaign with a grievance-filled rally that focused more on settling scores than laying out his agenda for a possible second term. Addressing a crowd of thousands at Orlando's Amway Center on Tuesday night, Trump complained he was "under assault from the very first day" of his presidency by a "fake news media" and an "illegal witch hunt" that had tried to keep him and his supporters down. Trump made only passing mention of any of the Democrats running to replace him even as he tossed out "radical" and "unhinged" to describe the rival party.

  • Jilted by Trump, Xi and Kim Seek Upper Hand Before G-20 Summit
    Bloomberg

    Jilted by Trump, Xi and Kim Seek Upper Hand Before G-20 Summit

    (Bloomberg) -- Both China’s Xi Jinping and North Korea’s Kim Jong Un have suffered from President Donald Trump’s penchant for walking away from talks. Now, he’ll have to worry about what they tell each other behind closed doors.Xi’s state visit to Pyongyang on Thursday -- the first such visit by a Chinese president in 14 years -- will showcase a renewed camaraderie between two neighbors that battled the U.S. together in the Korean War. The trip also sends Trump a pointed message about China’s broader influence ahead of potentially pivotal trade talks between American president and Xi on the sidelines of the Group of 20 summit in Osaka, Japan.For Kim, it’s another chance to demonstrate he’s got options beyond a third meeting with Trump, after the second ended in collapse in February. The North Korean leader may find a more receptive audience for complaints about U.S. after Trump rejected China’s latest trade offer last month.“Both leaders will likely seek to put pressure on Washington to conduct nuclear diplomacy with North Korea largely on North Korea’s terms -- through a phased, step-by-step approach to denuclearization and including partial sanctions relief,” said Mintaro Oba, a former U.S. diplomat who worked on Korean Peninsula issues. “If anything, this visit will underscore the weakening regional support for the U.S. pressure campaign.”China’s LeverageThe summit comes at dramatic point in the strategic dance between the three leaders -- with U.S. ties with both China and North Korea on the downswing. Until his recent breakdowns with Xi and Kim, Trump had managed to keep relations with either one or the other on the rise.The problem for Trump is that China -- as North Korea’s dominant trading partner and sole security ally -- is key to maintaining the economic isolation the U.S. is relying on to force Kim back to the negotiating table. While China has repeatedly affirmed its commitment to the international sanctions regime it helped erect against North Korea, the country has shown its limits amid the trade showdown with Trump.On Tuesday, China joined Russia in blocking the UN Security Council committee that monitors North Korea sanctions from declaring that the country exceeded its annual import cap on refined petroleum products, the Associated Press said, citing two diplomats. The move came after the U.S. and its allies accused North Korea of using illicit ship-to-ship transfers to bring in more oil, Bloomberg News reported, citing a U.S. letter to the panel.In a commentary published Wednesday in North Korea’s ruling party newspaper, Xi said he wished to “open a new chapter” in ties. He told Kim, whom he repeatedly referred to as “Comrade Kim Jong Un,” that China supported North Korea’s “right direction for politically solving the issue on the Korean Peninsula.”Xi’s visit -- representing his fifth meeting with Kim -- is part of series of moves to repair ties strained by Kim’s weapons tests and other efforts to assert his independence after taking power in late 2011. The first meeting came in the early days of the U.S.-China trade dispute last year, when Xi told Kim in Beijing that he had made a “strategic choice” to have a friendlier relationship.Missile Tests“It is in China’s interest to comply with UN sanctions without necessarily enforcing them, mainly for two reasons -- so as not to put strain on DPRK-China relations, and to ensure that North Korea survives prolonged sanctions,” said Rachel Minyoung Lee, a Seoul-based senior analyst with NKPro.Trump may have facilitated Xi’s trip to North Korea by playing down Kim’s recent tests of short-range ballistic missiles in an apparent violation of UN sanctions -- approved with China’s vote. During a trip to Japan last month, the U.S. president referred to the missiles tested as “some small weapons,” saying the operation “disturbed some of my people, and others, but not me.”Xi and Kim might discuss ways to convince Trump to drop his demands that North Korea first dismantle its nuclear arsenal before it can receive sanctions relief. China, like Russia, backs a process in which North Korea’s disarmament steps are met by U.S. rewards, arguing that it’s the best way to build trust.‘Over-interpreting’Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang acknowledged during a briefing Wednesday that the country wields “significant” influence in North Korea, but encouraged “all parties” to do more to promote a resolution. Earlier this week, Lu dismissed a link between trade talks and the North Korean visit, saying: “Whether or not this meeting will be used as a marker or leverage, I can only say that people who think this may be over-interpreting.”Still, Xi’s mere presence in Pyongyang -- a place no top Chinese leader has visited since Hu Jintao in 2005 -- may make the point. Trump has previously speculated after meetings between Xi and Kim that China was working to undermine nuclear talks out of spite for their trade disputes.“Xi’s visit will send a message that the strong relations between China and North Korea are critical to tackle the nuclear issue and to maintaining the peace on the peninsula, which the U.S. should not ignore,” said Wang Sheng, a professor of international politics at Jilin University in China.\--With assistance from Peter Martin, April Ma and Lucille Liu.To contact the reporters on this story: Jihye Lee in Seoul at jlee2352@bloomberg.net;Dandan Li in Beijing at dli395@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Brendan Scott at bscott66@bloomberg.net, Jon HerskovitzFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Dems get inside Trump inner circle with Hope Hicks interview
    Associated Press

    Dems get inside Trump inner circle with Hope Hicks interview

    The closed-door interview that House lawmakers have with Hope Hicks, a former communications director for President Donald Trump, marks the first time they are hearing from someone linked to his inner circle since the release of special counsel Robert Mueller's report. Obtaining the testimony Wednesday from Hicks, a close and trusted former Trump aide, is a significant victory for Democrats, given that Trump has broadly stonewalled their investigations. The House Judiciary Committee originally subpoenaed Hicks to give public testimony, but agreed to the private interview after negotiations.

  • Trump’s Personality Is His Biggest Re-Election Obstacle
    National Review

    Trump’s Personality Is His Biggest Re-Election Obstacle

    ‘What’s your pitch to the swing voter on the fence?” ABC’s George Stephanopoulos asked President Trump in an interview that aired Sunday.Questions of this sort are gifts to politicians, but interviewers ask them for a couple of reasons. One, they’re civic-minded. Politicians deserve the opportunity to make their cases straightforwardly — and voters deserve to hear them. Second, they save time. If you give your subject a free shot to get the talking points out of the way, you can move on to the more interesting stuff.Trump’s initial answer started off following the standard script. He got four words off that must have had his political advisers cheering: “Safety, security, great economy.”Ideally, this is where Trump should have stopped talking.But the president kept going, boasting that he won 52 percent of the women’s vote in 2016. He didn’t. That was the white women’s vote; he got 41 percent of women overall, according to exit polls. Then, Trump talked about how the economy would help him with minorities.“So,” Stephanopoulos asked, “that’s the pitch?”Trump briefly got back on message. “No, I have no pitch,” he said. “You know what I have? The economy is phenomenal. We’ve rebuilt our military. We’re taking care of our vets. We’re doing the best job that anybody’s done probably as a first-term president.”This was another good place to stop. But he was only getting warmed up: “I have a phony witch hunt, which is just a phony pile of stuff. Mueller comes out. There’s no collusion. And essentially a ruling that no obstruction.”And then Trump was off to the races, fighting with Stephanopoulos about what the Mueller report did or didn’t say. The facts weren’t on Trump’s side, as virtually every news outlet was eager to trumpet.But politically, that’s not the important part. Impeachment is catnip to the mainstream media and Democrats. Whether Trump was “set up” by the deep state and their “dirty” dossier is catnip to Republicans and right-wing media. But it seems a fair bet that the swing voters Stephanopoulos asked about aren’t intoxicated by either topic.And that’s the problem for Trump. When you talk to people who think Trump will be re-elected, they point to conventional rules about how a good economy makes voters want to stay the course. That’s superficially plausible, but it leaves out the single most important fact of the political landscape: Trump’s personality.A good economy doesn’t necessarily speak for itself. Normal presidents stay on message to deny the press the ability to talk about more interesting stuff. The only talking point Trump can be counted on to stick to is himself. Hence, his claim to Stephanopoulos that no one has been treated worse than him.Trump doesn’t want the election to be about the economy, he wants it — and everything else — to be about him. His exchange with Stephanopoulos was an analogue of every Trump rally. He runs through the talking points about the economy or conservative judges as quickly as possible so he can get to the really important topic: Donald Trump.The problem for Trump is that if the central question of the election is him, he will lose because he is not popular.The Trump campaign’s internal polling, which was leaked last week, showed him trailing Joe Biden in several must-win states by wide margins. Brad Parscale, Trump’s campaign manager, said the polls were irrelevant because it was “ancient” data from last March, taken before he was “exonerated” by the Mueller report. But Trump’s post–Mueller-report approval ratings haven’t improved. Trump’s sub–50 percent approval rating has had the least variation of any president since World War II. Most people have made up their minds about him, and most of them don’t like him.The campaign responded by saying it had fresh data showing solid support from “informed voters.” Parscale told ABC News that since March, “We have seen huge swings in the president’s favor across the 17 states we have polled, based on the policies now espoused by the Democrats.”The key words there are “informed voters.” According to the New York Times, the polls Parscale described were “informed ballot” polls that described Democrats in negative ways before asking about support for Trump.The common wisdom among pollsters is that if you’re citing informed-ballot polls, you’re losing. But even taken at face value, the meaning of these polls is that some voters could be persuaded to vote for Trump if they could be convinced they were voting on issues rather than Trump. For that to work, Trump would have to stop acting like Trump and make the message about something other than him. That’s a tall order.© 2019 TRIBUNE CONTENT AGENCY LLC

  • Trump's Orlando Rally Shows He's Running Out of New Tricks
    Bloomberg

    Trump's Orlando Rally Shows He's Running Out of New Tricks

    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- Four years ago, Donald Trump glided down an escalator into the lobby of Trump Tower, a building he regards as his signature accomplishment, for a marketing event. During a speech in which he boasted of his wealth and business acumen, and promised to tackle what he described as unchecked immigration from Mexico, unfair competition from China, and the “big lie” of Obamacare, he announced his presidential bid. “We are going to make our country great again,” he said. “I will be the greatest jobs president that God ever created. I tell you that.”On Tuesday evening, Trump took to the stage in Orlando, Florida, for what, by all appearances and a dearth of concrete policy proposals, was also nothing much more than a marketing opportunity. “Tonight, I stand before you to officially launch my campaign for a second term as president of the United States,” he said in the Amway Center, a stadium named after the company his education secretary’s in-laws co-founded and still run. “We are going to keep on working. We are going to keep on fighting. And we are going to keep on winning, winning, winning.”Trump has got far in life on little more than gossamer-thin promotional efforts and he tapped into the allegiances and sentiments of thousands of his supporters in Orlando by asking them to help pick his new campaign slogan. Should he retain “Make America Great Again” – Trump stopped to gauge their applause – or swap that one out for “Keep America Great?” The crowd clearly preferred the latter. He also made his case by gesturing toward positive economic and jobs data, and trotting out a tired series of enemies including Hillary Clinton, the media, Robert Mueller, China, ISIS and immigrants. The good guys were God, the American flag, the country, guns, Israel and national security.Trump wound up saying little new in his Orlando speech and he’s probably going to have to do much better if he wants a second lease on the Oval Office. While he’s successfully mobilized the emotions and resentments of a large portion of the electorate, and has commandeered the Republican Party machinery, the biggest fruits of his presidency have been enjoyed by cultural conservatives and his most affluent supporters. Other voters have now road-tested the unproven Trump of 2015 who promised to take a wrecking ball to the Washington bureaucracy, drain the swamp, and negotiate a series of political and economic deals that would benefit average Americans struggling with uncertainty. A significant number of those folks may review Trump’s original promises and find him lacking. In that context, Trump’s 2015 marketing salvo in Trump Tower may offer a more interesting series of reference points than Tuesday night’s performance art at the Amway Center. Consider some of these highlights from the 2015 speech:IMMIGRATION AND THE WALL“I would build a great wall, and nobody builds walls better than me, believe me, and I’ll build them very inexpensively, I will build a great, great wall on our southern border. And I will have Mexico pay for that wall. Mark my words.”There is no wall, of course. Other than incarceration and deportation, Trump hasn’t offered a refined, sophisticated response to immigration problems and the humanitarian crisis plaguing the U.S.’s southern border. He’s merely hatched an escalating series of migration crises to court his base and thus converted a thorny policy challenge into a wrenching, inhumane debacle.HEALTHCARE“We have to repeal Obamacare, and it can be –  and – and it can be replaced with something much better for everybody. Let it be for everybody. But much better and much less expensive for people and for the government. And we can do it.”Trump failed to overturn Obamacare. He and his party still haven’t outlined and made a case for a healthcare plan to replace it. While Trump has hinted recently that he might roll out a new plan soon, somebody who promised to get something better “for everybody” – at a lower price point for both the government and consumers – is peddling snake oil. EDUCATION“End – end Common Core. Common Core should – it is a disaster… We have to end, education has to be local.”Education in the U.S. is already largely local, and Common Core programs (a set of standards on what American schoolkids should know at the end of each grade) are administered at the state and local level. Trump never had the power to gut Common Core to begin with, and it still exists.PUBLIC WORKS“Rebuild the country’s infrastructure.”Nope.NATIONAL SECURITY“I will stop Iran from getting nuclear weapons.”The drama unfolds and the president seems determined to honor this promise. But he has run a fragmented and chaotic White House and his national security team is no exception. So his approaches on Iran policy (like his approaches toward North Korea, China and Russia) are invariably inconsistent, sometimes suspect, and often just plain senseless. THE ECONOMY, MARKETS AND FISCAL MANAGEMENT“Reduce our $18 trillion in debt, because, believe me, we’re in a bubble. We have artificially low interest rates. We have a stock market that, frankly, has been good to me, but I still hate to see what’s happening. We have a stock market that is so bloated. Be careful of a bubble because what you’ve seen in the past might be small potatoes compared to what happens. So be very, very careful.”Although he didn’t mention a tax cut at all in his 2015 speech, Trump and the GOP engineered a massive corporate rate reduction and a meaningful cut to personal rates that – along with deregulation and judicial appointments – may be a core accomplishment of his first term. It created a short-term economic pop and has given markets a lift. But the national debt has breached $22 trillion and the deficit is tracking to reach $1 trillion next year. Trump is now pushing the Fed to lower rates to stave off a possible recession and many stocks appear to be at peak valuations. Bubblicious all around. But Trump (and the country) are also enjoying unemployment rates at their lowest since the late 1960s. If middle class and working class voters end up realizing very few financial gains from the tax cut, or a recession hobbles the job market, Trump will have some explaining to do.GOOD GOVERNMENT“You know, we’re building on Pennsylvania Avenue, the Old Post Office, we’re converting it into one of the world’s great hotels. It’s gonna be the best hotel in Washington, D.C. We got it from the General Services Administration in Washington.”Trump operates a hotel in Washington that sits atop federally controlled land that he is, in essence, leasing from himself now that he’s president. The hotel draws guests who do a lot of business or conduct a lot of diplomacy with the White House, and it’s emblematic of the financial conflicts of interest that continue to dog Trump and his eldest children. Did Trump mention the hotel during his 2015 speech because he wanted to emphasize his desire to divest his holding in the interest of transparent, corruption-free governance? No, he did not. He mentioned it because the speech – at its core – was part of a marketing effort Trump deployed to promote his personal brand and properties.Trump’s bid for the presidency in 2020 will hinge on whether he continues to have economic winds at his back, who the Democrats put forward as their nominee, and how voters respond to the various promises made by Trump in 2015 – and not kept. Soliciting input from crowds on catchy campaign slogans won’t paper over any of that.To contact the author of this story: Timothy L. O'Brien at tobrien46@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: James Boxell at jboxell@bloomberg.netThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Timothy L. O’Brien is the executive editor of Bloomberg Opinion. He has been an editor and writer for the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, HuffPost and Talk magazine. His books include “TrumpNation: The Art of Being The Donald.”For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Trump's Orlando Rally Shows He's Running Out of New Tricks
    Bloomberg

    Trump's Orlando Rally Shows He's Running Out of New Tricks

    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- Four years ago, Donald Trump glided down an escalator into the lobby of Trump Tower, a building he regards as his signature accomplishment, for a marketing event. During a speech in which he boasted of his wealth and business acumen, and promised to tackle what he described as unchecked immigration from Mexico, unfair competition from China, and the “big lie” of Obamacare, he announced his presidential bid. “We are going to make our country great again,” he said. “I will be the greatest jobs president that God ever created. I tell you that.”On Tuesday evening, Trump took to the stage in Orlando, Florida, for what, by all appearances and a dearth of concrete policy proposals, was also nothing much more than a marketing opportunity. “Tonight, I stand before you to officially launch my campaign for a second term as president of the United States,” he said in the Amway Center, a stadium named after the company his education secretary’s in-laws co-founded and still run. “We are going to keep on working. We are going to keep on fighting. And we are going to keep on winning, winning, winning.”Trump has got far in life on little more than gossamer-thin promotional efforts and he tapped into the allegiances and sentiments of thousands of his supporters in Orlando by asking them to help pick his new campaign slogan. Should he retain “Make America Great Again” – Trump stopped to gauge their applause – or swap that one out for “Keep America Great?” The crowd clearly preferred the latter. He also made his case by gesturing toward positive economic and jobs data, and trotting out a tired series of enemies including Hillary Clinton, the media, Robert Mueller, China, ISIS and immigrants. The good guys were God, the American flag, the country, guns, Israel and national security.Trump wound up saying little new in his Orlando speech and he’s probably going to have to do much better if he wants a second lease on the Oval Office. While he’s successfully mobilized the emotions and resentments of a large portion of the electorate, and has commandeered the Republican Party machinery, the biggest fruits of his presidency have been enjoyed by cultural conservatives and his most affluent supporters. Other voters have now road-tested the unproven Trump of 2015 who promised to take a wrecking ball to the Washington bureaucracy, drain the swamp, and negotiate a series of political and economic deals that would benefit average Americans struggling with uncertainty. A significant number of those folks may review Trump’s original promises and find him lacking. In that context, Trump’s 2015 marketing salvo in Trump Tower may offer a more interesting series of reference points than Tuesday night’s performance art at the Amway Center. Consider some of these highlights from the 2015 speech:IMMIGRATION AND THE WALL“I would build a great wall, and nobody builds walls better than me, believe me, and I’ll build them very inexpensively, I will build a great, great wall on our southern border. And I will have Mexico pay for that wall. Mark my words.”There is no wall, of course. Other than incarceration and deportation, Trump hasn’t offered a refined, sophisticated response to immigration problems and the humanitarian crisis plaguing the U.S.’s southern border. He’s merely hatched an escalating series of migration crises to court his base and thus converted a thorny policy challenge into a wrenching, inhumane debacle.HEALTHCARE“We have to repeal Obamacare, and it can be –  and – and it can be replaced with something much better for everybody. Let it be for everybody. But much better and much less expensive for people and for the government. And we can do it.”Trump failed to overturn Obamacare. He and his party still haven’t outlined and made a case for a healthcare plan to replace it. While Trump has hinted recently that he might roll out a new plan soon, somebody who promised to get something better “for everybody” – at a lower price point for both the government and consumers – is peddling snake oil. EDUCATION“End – end Common Core. Common Core should – it is a disaster… We have to end, education has to be local.”Education in the U.S. is already largely local, and Common Core programs (a set of standards on what American schoolkids should know at the end of each grade) are administered at the state and local level. Trump never had the power to gut Common Core to begin with, and it still exists.PUBLIC WORKS“Rebuild the country’s infrastructure.”Nope.NATIONAL SECURITY“I will stop Iran from getting nuclear weapons.”The drama unfolds and the president seems determined to honor this promise. But he has run a fragmented and chaotic White House and his national security team is no exception. So his approaches on Iran policy (like his approaches toward North Korea, China and Russia) are invariably inconsistent, sometimes suspect, and often just plain senseless. THE ECONOMY, MARKETS AND FISCAL MANAGEMENT“Reduce our $18 trillion in debt, because, believe me, we’re in a bubble. We have artificially low interest rates. We have a stock market that, frankly, has been good to me, but I still hate to see what’s happening. We have a stock market that is so bloated. Be careful of a bubble because what you’ve seen in the past might be small potatoes compared to what happens. So be very, very careful.”Although he didn’t mention a tax cut at all in his 2015 speech, Trump and the GOP engineered a massive corporate rate reduction and a meaningful cut to personal rates that – along with deregulation and judicial appointments – may be a core accomplishment of his first term. It created a short-term economic pop and has given markets a lift. But the national debt has breached $22 trillion and the deficit is tracking to reach $1 trillion next year. Trump is now pushing the Fed to lower rates to stave off a possible recession and many stocks appear to be at peak valuations. Bubblicious all around. But Trump (and the country) are also enjoying unemployment rates at their lowest since the late 1960s. If middle class and working class voters end up realizing very few financial gains from the tax cut, or a recession hobbles the job market, Trump will have some explaining to do.GOOD GOVERNMENT“You know, we’re building on Pennsylvania Avenue, the Old Post Office, we’re converting it into one of the world’s great hotels. It’s gonna be the best hotel in Washington, D.C. We got it from the General Services Administration in Washington.”Trump operates a hotel in Washington that sits atop federally controlled land that he is, in essence, leasing from himself now that he’s president. The hotel draws guests who do a lot of business or conduct a lot of diplomacy with the White House, and it’s emblematic of the financial conflicts of interest that continue to dog Trump and his eldest children. Did Trump mention the hotel during his 2015 speech because he wanted to emphasize his desire to divest his holding in the interest of transparent, corruption-free governance? No, he did not. He mentioned it because the speech – at its core – was part of a marketing effort Trump deployed to promote his personal brand and properties.Trump’s bid for the presidency in 2020 will hinge on whether he continues to have economic winds at his back, who the Democrats put forward as their nominee, and how voters respond to the various promises made by Trump in 2015 – and not kept. Soliciting input from crowds on catchy campaign slogans won’t paper over any of that.To contact the author of this story: Timothy L. O'Brien at tobrien46@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: James Boxell at jboxell@bloomberg.netThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Timothy L. O’Brien is the executive editor of Bloomberg Opinion. He has been an editor and writer for the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, HuffPost and Talk magazine. His books include “TrumpNation: The Art of Being The Donald.”For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Poll: What do Democrats want to hear about at the debates? (Hint: It's not Trump.)
    USA TODAY

    Poll: What do Democrats want to hear about at the debates? (Hint: It's not Trump.)

    Poll: Democratic voters are eager to hear from candidates on issues from health care to education. They don't want to spend debate time on Trump.

  • Factbox: Clash between Trump, U.S. House Democrats shifts into courts
    Reuters

    Factbox: Clash between Trump, U.S. House Democrats shifts into courts

    Trump and most of his fellow Republicans dismiss the Democrats' inquiries as grandstanding or political harassment. The Democrats, who control the House of Representatives, say the investigations are needed to hold to account a president who scorns respect for the law and governing norms. In most of the disputes, Trump and his advisers run the legal risk of contempt of Congress citations and court enforcement actions that could result in fines.

  • Trump EPA to unveil replacement for Obama's power plant rule
    Reuters

    Trump EPA to unveil replacement for Obama's power plant rule

    The Affordable Clean Energy rule is expected to give states broad leeway in how they regulate emissions from power plants, in line with a draft blueprint https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-epa-climate/trumps-epa-unveils-weaker-alternative-to-obama-power-plant-rule-idUSKCN1L61AK the agency released last year, sources familiar with the matter told Reuters. Obama's Clean Power Plan had aimed to slash power plant carbon emissions by more than a third from 2005 levels by 2030, which would have forced utilities to drop coal in favor of cleaner fuels like natural gas. The regulation was never enacted because of lawsuits by Republican states.

  • USA TODAY

    Hope Hicks to become first former Trump administration official to testify at Congress about Mueller report

    Hope Hicks, President Donald Trump's former spokeswoman, to be first former administration official in Robert Mueller's report to testify at Congress