Rhetoric of Donald Trump
| Guide to:|
|Ideas and policies|
“”I’ve got black accountants… Black guys counting my money! I hate that. The only kind of people I want counting my money are short guys that wear yarmulkes every day.
|—A former-Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino executive quoting Trump|
The rhetoric of Donald Trump is deeply problematic for a number of reasons. His poor word choice often leads to ambiguity, disagreements and confusion on whether he actually meant whatever he said. After all, George Orwell in his essay Politics and the English Language has warned against bad English. Not to mention, Trump is continually pushing the Overton window to his advantage by constant personal attacks, while exhibiting an "alarming willingness to use fascist themes and styles," according to the father of fascism studies. (Most infamously, he retweeted and endorsed a quotation from Benito Mussolini, and when confronted about it, said "What difference does it make?").
Analytically, Trump's rhetoric is twice as extreme as every US President from Herbert Hoover through Barack Obama. Using extreme language is a method to circumvent or overwhelm reason according to Yale philosopher Jason Stanley who wrote How Fascism Works. Regardless of whether Trump's policies are fascistic, Trump's rhetoric is fascistic and is comparable to the rhetoric of Joseph Goebbels. Extreme rhetoric, including vague and incoherent language, has consequences: In general, Trump's rallies have inspired, or outright incited, an uptick in violence from his supporters all over the nation, including from his own security guards and campaign staffers. Protesters and journalists are often the intended targets. Even when there's no violence, he expresses disappointment at the peace. It's gotten so bad, Trump actually entertained political assassination of Hillary Clinton to keep her from appointing Supreme Court Justices, prompting the Secret Service to host a private meeting with him over his remarks.
Guys like Marco Rubio are unable to court Trump supporters, because Rubio would never come out and refuse to condemn the KKK—even though he knows that Klansmen vote Republican. Trump can somehow not condemn the KKK and condemn them in the same day and not alienate anybody in his base.
Psychologists at the University of Texas and Princeton University studied over three million texts dating back to 1789 belonging to political leaders of Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States, plus news stories, books, movie subtitles, and cable news transcript. They noticed a clear trend of politicians speaking more simply but with greater confidence. Donald Trump accelerated that trend. In fact, he ranks first on confidence but last on analytical thinking compared to all other U.S. presidents. John Quincy Adams topped the U.S. chart with just under 99 points in analytical speech while Trump scored only 16 in a 2015 debate. The average for U.S. presidents is 90, with everyone other than Trump and Barack Obama scoring above 70. In speaking with confidence, Trump's score is 89; the average for U.S. presidents is 64.
- 1 Confusion and Gaslighting
- 2 Illusion of expertise
- 3 General affection for publicity
- 4 Idiocracy and kakistocracy
- 5 Racism
- 6 Islamophobia
- 7 Sexism
- 8 Anti-semitism
- 9 Authoritarianism
- 10 Other cases
- 11 See also
- 12 Notes
- 13 References
Confusion and Gaslighting
Trump changes his mind so often that reporters cannot work out what he really intends. This may be his erratic personality or it may be deliberate.
“”This is going to be one of the darker and more dangerous things about the Trump presidency. In authoritarian states, confusion is the baseline. You can never really tell what's going on, and the confusion is a political tool to keep people powerful.
|—New York University's Jay Rosen quoted by Matt Baum of Harvard University|
You know the old adage that the Presidency ages you? In Trump's case, his presidency is aging the country. His relentless barrage of doubling and tripling and quadrupling down on his statements, his constant lying, his bullying personality, his rejection of facts, his destruction of logic, and his love of spectacle, all have led to cognitive problems developing among Americans who become worn out by his extremism. Trump is — consciously or unconsciously — basically trying to gaslight whomever happens to hear him or read about him.
Illusion of expertise
No, we're not talking about comedian Irwin Corey, whose comedy routine as "The World's Foremost Authority" mocked "argument from authority" with a pompous word salad. As a rhetorical device, Trump frequently resorts to claiming to be foremost authority practically every topic imaginable despite himself being a dummkopf. Trump has claimed to be the foremost authority on many topics, probably intending the statements to be a totalitarianesque thought-terminating cliché. Trump himself or sometimes Trump referring to his underlings/sycophants has claimed to be the world's foremost authority of:
- Agriculture: "You know more about agriculture than any human being that I've ever spoken to." (Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perduewor
- Osama bin Laden: "You also know I predicted that Osama bin Laden was coming to the United States, because I knew a lot about it, and I know more about it than most, believe me, and I’ve been given credit for it."
- Cory Booker, "I know more about Cory than he knows about himself."
- Borders: "You know more about borders, I think, than anybody." (Former White House chief of staff John F. Kelly)
- Campaign contributions: "I know more about contributions than anybody."
- Courts: "I know more about courts than any human being on earth. Okay?"
- Debt: "Nobody knows more about debt than I do."
- Facebook: "I understand the power of Facebook maybe better than almost anybody, based on my results, right?"
- Guns: "They know more about guns than any — I don’t know, there may be two or three people in this room, but believe it or not, not many." (Trump's sons)
- H-1B and H-2B Visas: "I know the H-1B. I know the H-2B. Nobody knows it better than me."
- Law: "You know more about law than anybody, law enforcement." (police chiefs)
- Left-wing: "I think I know more about the other side than almost anybody."
- Money: "I understand money better than anybody."
- NAFTA: "You people know more about NAFTA than anybody, okay?" (residents of Maine)
- Nuclear horror: "There is nobody who understands the horror of nuclear more than me."
- People who get good TV ratings: "I know more about people who get ratings than anyone."
- Politicians: I "know more about politicians than anybody."
- Renewables: "…look, I know more about renewables than any human being on earth because I understand it from — you know, from…"
- Security: "…was done, very importantly, for security — something you people know more about than all of us." (police chiefs)
- Shale: "[Y]ou know more about shale than anybody, right here in Pennsylvania." (Pennsylvanians)
- Steelworkers: "I know more about steelworkers than anybody that’s ever run for office."
- Taxes: "I know the details of taxes better than anybody. Better than the greatest C.P.A."
- Technology: "I know tech better than anyone…"
- Trade: "Nobody knows more about trade than me."
- Wall Street bankers: NBC host Matt Lauer to Trump, "You’re a guy who said you know the Wall Street bankers better than anyone."
- Wedges: "I know more about wedges than any human being that’s ever lived." (regarding North Korea driving a wedge between South Korea and the US)
General affection for publicity
“”“I’m not saying that’s a good thing, and in truth it probably says something perverse about the culture we live in. But I’m a businessman, and I learned a lesson from that experience: good publicity is preferable to bad, but from a bottom-line perspective, bad publicity is sometimes better than no publicity at all. Controversy, in short, sells.”
|—The Art of the Deal (1987)|
Trump has mastered the technique of False Conviction: you can get away with parodying ultra right-wing opinions if you remain absolutely committed to it. Donald will say things where it's clear he's being deliberately contrarian, but he will sell it as if it's his own full name.
The media blew their load too early. Trump laid the bait and they could not resist: Illegal immigrant rapists, John McCain, disabled reporter, KKK disavowal, Lewandowski, Taco bowl,[note 1] John Miller, history with women, and so much more. He has systematically made the media attack him on issues which the public sees as minor or deceiving. He's built the armor himself. A great example of this was when he said more British Muslims join ISIS than the British military. The Guardian, in its rush to Stump Trump, reported that 640 Muslims joined the military but only 440 have joined ISIS (if you don't count the ones that died or came back). While they're back-slapping each other for stumping that plastic American celebrity, everyone who reads that is seeing Trump's actual point being reinforced with hard numbers from a paper that clearly hates him, "so it must be true". This is part of why voters like him and think he “speaks truth to power.”
Idiocracy and kakistocracy
“”We won with the poorly educated. I love the poorly educated.
|—The Donald, immediately after winning Nevada|
According to Rolling Stone, the guy-at-the-end-of-the-bar theory of Trump is increasingly true, in that he will say whatever is the opinion of Ordinary Americans—you know, idiots—sitting in a sports bar. His followers on Facebook were rated as the least grammatical of any candidate (12.6 mistakes per 100 words), barely edging out Rick Santorum (11.5 per 100).
Everyone knows politicians speak in shorthand. Newspapers seldom print whole speeches these days, so speeches are typically anchored around vacuous sound bites. Trump goes one step further by talking at a third-grade reading level. Everything is "terrible", "terrific", "fantastic", "horrible", "loser", "yuge", i.e., pure hyperboles. This is coming from a man who literally uttered the words "I have a very good brain" and "I went to an Ivy League school, I know so many words, I have the best words." In a statement bragging about his vocabulary, he used the word "words" instead of "vocabulary". (Palin again. I read all the best newspapers!) He tends to use a particular set of words or one simple talking point which he repeats mostly unchanged multiple times during the same thought:
The other thing with the terrorists is you have to take out their families, when you get these terrorists, you have to take out their families. They care about their lives, don't kid yourself. When they say they don't care about their lives, you have to take out their families.
I’m a very smart guy, I went to the best college, I had good marks. I was a very smart guy, good student. [...] I was a really good student at the best school. I’m like a smart guy [...] If I were a liberal Democrat, people would say I’m the super genius of all time. The super genius of all time.
My whole life is about winning. I always win. I win at golf. I’m a club champion many times at different clubs. I win at golf. I can sink the three-footer on the 18th hole when others can’t. My whole life is about winning. I don't lose often. I almost never lose.
Sound and fury, signifying nothing
“”Somewhere, in the brimstone-caked cave where the universe weaves the threads of American politics, someone decided to give a Republican base hungry for a return to the 1980s a candidate born of and longing for that decade.
Despite being a fantastic slogan, "Make America Great Again" can mean entirely different things for two people who agree on most issues, let alone for millions of people with much more varied views.
Trump's basically inviting you to pick your own evidence as to how it "isn't great" (tacit agreement) and then to fix your own temporal horizon as to when it was "great." Naturally, people will focus on a time in their own lives when things were great, and so someone who promises to restore them to that position generates a positive reception. Nostalgia is a powerful sales tool; look how many advertisers plug into it.
The missing puzzle piece is not more rhetoric but definite plans, something Trump does not always have.
"Hispanics love me!"
During his speech in which Trump announced his bid for the presidency, Trump gained notoriety for saying (among other things):
The U.S. has become a dumping ground for everybody else's problems ... When Mexico sends its people, they're not sending their best ... They're sending people that have lots of problems, and they're bringing those problems with us. They're bringing drugs. They're bringing crime. They're rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.
Naturally, such comments produced outrage among most decent people worldwide. When asked to retract his statements following protests against him at the US-Mexico border,[note 2] Trump refused, saying that "the Hispanics love me!" and that "they were chanting for me at the airport!" Like the Muslims dancing on 9/11 that Trump keeps talking about, this did not happen.
Ivanka Trump later wrote a letter to Trump in private to "clarify" his position, claiming that "When Mexico sends its people" was referring to illegal immigration and not all Mexicans. When asked what the statement said, Ivanka said that:
... my father has a tremendous relationship with people of Hispanic descent. You know, this is — this is something that personally was very hard for me because I know how many friends my father has who are Hispanics, how many people work at our company who are Hispanic ... He said that, you know, how many Hispanic friends he has and how many — how fortunate we are to have so many great Hispanic people working for us.
Trump was invoked by the perpetrators of a hate crime in Boston, in which two brothers assaulted a Hispanic homeless man and urinated on him before leaving him to die. While Trump's first tweet condemned the action, he followed it up with:
I will say, the people that are following me are very passionate. They love this country. They want this country to be great again. But they are very passionate. I will say that.
His campaign manager followed up in an interview:
We would never condone violence. If that’s what happened in Boston, by no means would that be acceptable in any nature. However, we should not be ashamed to be Americans. We should be proud of our country, proud of our heritage, and continue to be the greatest country in the world.
Remember, a Mexican guy was beaten nearly to death in Boston last year by folks who said they did it because of Trump. Trump didn't denounce that behavior, he just said his supporters were passionate. Just as he has an "out" when people question him about his comments on Mexicans (I'm just talking about the illegals!) and Muslims (I'll only ban Muslim visitors temporarily!). The general election is months away. Trump will refute these allegations for a week or so, and then people will be tired of talking about it.
"Look at my African-American over here!"
I don't know anything about what you're even talking about... Did he endorse me, or what's going on? Because I know nothing about David Duke; I know nothing about white supremacists.
The earliest signs of Trump's racism can be found with his father Fred's management of The Trump Management Corporation (TMC), including violating the Fair Housing Act by preventing African Americans from renting at his properties; for Donald, this began at the time he took control of TMC from his father. When and if this discrimination ceased is a bit murky, but it lasted at least until at least 1975, and possibly as late as 1983.
Trump uses made-up statistics from an alt-right white supremacist group claiming that a disproportionately high proportion of murders are black people killing white people. Trump also cited unfounded statistics based on answers to loaded questions from "a virulently anti-Muslim organization" called the Center for Security Policy to suggest that American Muslims are more violent and more accepting of Sharia than they really are.
Nope, not done yet. During a rally, when his supporters beat up a black protester while chanting "USA!" Trump can be heard demanding "Get him out of here!" while later insisting that the protester "should have been roughed up." True to his word, when Trump next sent his security guards to rough up another protester, one of his
stormtroopers supporters let his excitement get the best of him and belted a “Sieg Heil!” as the uppity negro was dragged away. (You could also hear another one say "Light the motherfucker on fire!")
At another rally, the staff and local law enforcement kicked out thirty black students. According to the students, they were given no reason to leave, and they were attending the rally as a nondisruptive silent sit-in protest. Trump spokespeople denied that the Trump campaign had knowledge of the incident, and the staff ejected some of the people because of disruption, including profanities, arguing with the Trump detail when they were asked to leave, and trying to cut in line after leaving.
Michael Cohen, Trump's former personal lawyer, revealed some racist statements made by Trump directly to him:
- That's because black people are too stupid to vote for me.
- Name one country run by a black person that’s not a shithole… Name one city.
- There's no way I can let this black fucking win. [regarding Kwame Jackson, an Apprentice contender]
- …only the blacks could live like this. [regarding a rough part of Chicago]
Racists who support Trump
Excluding Neo-Nazis, who are covered in a different section.
- Trump has retweeted user @keksec_org, a white supremacist who quotes such wonderful people as Geert Wilders just as often as he does Trump, and frequently refers to "the feeble mind of the American Negro" when he is criticised on Twitter.
- KKK Grand Wizard Emeritus David Duke has praised Trump's supposed fight against "Jewish domination of the media", despite the fact that Trump is professedly pro-Israel and has no problems at all with his daughter converting to Judaism. (Trump disavowed Duke, but didn't seem to think association with an actual Brownshirt was that big a deal.)
- Representatives of the Council of Conservative Citizens, an unreconstructed segregationist outfit that helped to incite the 2015 terrorist attack in Charleston, have also endorsed Trump.
- To top off the above: On 2 November 2016, the official KKK
ragnewspaper — The Crusader — openly endorsed Trump for president.
"I love the Muslims!"
Trump repeatedly claims without much evidence that American Muslims celebrated 9/11, but what Trump advocates would be much worse. Trump argues we should ban all Muslims from heading to America, including Muslim American citizens, something even Dick Cheney ("Here's a guy who did a rotten job as Vice-President...") would not advocate. Joe Scarborough had to cut him off on his show.
Trump supports a mandatory identification database for Muslim Americans. When asked about the parallel of requiring registration of, well, Jews, Trump's ambiguous answer/non-denial was, "What do you think?" For what it's worth, Trump's daughter has converted to Judaism, so file this one with "Dick Cheney puts votes ahead of his gay daughter."
My demeaning comments towards women were just show business
“”In the future, if you're wondering: "Hillary can't satisfy her husband," is when I decided to kick your ass.
In the course of the GOP debates, he openly insulted the looks of his party’s sole female contender, Carly Fiorina, the menstrual cycle of Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly, and suggested Hillary Clinton got “schlonged” in her 2008 Democratic primary loss to Barack Obama. In response, voters live-tweeted their periods to him.
His followers harassed Kelly with unoriginal and sexist slurs after Trump decided not to partake in the Fox News debate. Even the media have their role to play: when Kelly cut her hair, everyone knew it was in preparation for her rematch with The Don. Bill Maher was right on the money when he said that if Republicans were smart, they would be running Megyn Kelly.
In response to an ad that slut-shamed his wife, that the Make America Awesome Super-PAC released, Trump proceeded to attack Ted Cruz's wife. Yes, Trump attacked someone who had nothing to do with the ad. Yes, he couldn't be bothered to read the fine print on the ad that clearly said "not authorized by any candidate or candidate committee."
In late 2016, Access Hollywood released an 11-year-old behind-the-scenes tape of Trump bragging about using his celebrity status to get away with sexually assaulting women, specifically noting that he likes to "grab 'em by the pussy." Trump and other Republicans have defended the tape's comments as "locker-room talk."
“”The thing about the Republican’s words isn’t that they’re explicit or graphic. It’s that they’re misogynistic, coercive, abusive, and dehumanizing. And as my colleague David Graham notes, illegal: The candidate is describing forcing himself on women, bragging that they’re disinclined to object because of a power structure on which he knowingly capitalizes. Framing this as lewd, even extremely so, is a reminder of the frequent reluctance to name sexual assault.
“”So Trump’s position is “I boast about sexually assaulting women, but when women confirm that is true, they are liars, because I was just lying all those times, and you must believe I am telling the truth, because whatever is convenient for me to say in this very moment weighs much more than what they say with witnesses, confirmation, etc., just as I weigh much more than the people I assault.”
One of the women who complained that Trump groped her is suing for defamation and insists she is not a liar. As of 2016, as many as 16 women have accused Trump of sexually assaulting them. Some of these 16 women have corroborating evidence, Trump and Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders to the contrary.
"Beautiful Jewish Baby!"
But it's not just the crypto-fascists who love him: Real Neo-Nazis of the swastika-waving, Jew-baiting, race war-daydreaming variety have jumped onboard, too! In a one-week analysis by Twitter analysis firm Little Bird has found out that a whopping 62% of Trump's retweets have been from accounts which believe in white genocide alone, and 58% of the top white supremacist accounts on Twitter follow Donald Trump.
Trump tweeted a picture of Hillary Clinton with what appeared to be a Star of David and a giant pile of cash, accusing Clinton of being the most corrupt politician ever. Trump decided to counter allegations of antisemitism, blaming the "dishonest
Jewish-run media" for distortion, and describing the star used as a "basic star", a sheriff's badge, or a label from a Frozen coloring book. The fact that the image originally appeared on 8chan's version of /pol/, and contained the watermark of @FishBoneHead1—whose racist, anti-Semitic, and Islamophobic tweets on geopolitics have been in plain sight on Twitter until recently—was just a coincidence.
Trump's final 2016 campaign ad featured a variety of antisemitic dog whistles, with Hillary Clinton and three powerful Jews (financier George Soros, Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen, and Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein) being the targets.
Even Bibi Netanyahu thinks Trump is out of his tree? It's beautiful that Muslims and Jews can come together in their shared opposition to Donald Trump. Maybe Trump is what we need to achieve peace in the Middle East, sort of like Ozymandias' squid creature in Watchmen.
Neo-Nazis that support Trump
- The chairman of the American Nazi Party loves Trump's racist proposals, but dismisses him as a candidate because he doesn't believe Trump could actually accomplish any of them.
- (repeat) KKK Grand Wizard Emeritus David Duke has praised Trump's supposed fight against "Jewish domination of the media", even though Trump is professedly pro-Israel and has no problems at all with his daughter converting to Judaism. (Trump disavowed Duke, but didn't seem to think association with an actual Brownshirt was that big a deal.)
- According to Andrew Anglin on the neo-Nazi website The Daily Stormer, "The Donald has once again proven ... that 'make America great again' is code word for 'race war.'" Stormfront founder Don Black has publicly credited him with reviving white nationalism in America, and pledges that the machine set in motion by Trump 2016 will outlast the businessman's candidacy even if he drops out. Thanks, asshole. The Anti-Defamation League also thinks Trump stirred up racism and made ugly types of racism more acceptable.
- Ironically, although Trump compared his rival Ben Carson to a child molester, he himself has won the coveted endorsement of neo-Nazi child molester (and erstwhile al Qaeda-supporter) August Kreis III.
- A segment of PBS Newshour showing first-time voter Grace Tilly and her family failed to report on some interesting tattoos on their hands: an 88 tattoo (numerical code for "Heil Hitler" in the neo-Nazi community) and Odin's Cross, a white-nationalist symbol. The Anti-Defamation League lists both symbols neo-Nazi hate symbols.
- Birgitt Peterson, a 69-year-old woman from Yorkville, [[Illinois[[, appeared in the Chicago Tribune doing a Nazi salute. Peterson, born in West Berlin, alleged that she took offense to counterprotestors calling her a Nazi; therefore, she said "If you want to do it right, you do it right" and did a Nazi salute. Remarkably, this stunt backfired, with the image circulating on the internet showing alleged neo-Nazis at Trump's rallies (an allegation Peterson denies). Donald Trump, Jr., decided to weigh in on the debate, retweeting an allegation that this was the work of Bernie Sanders supporter Portia Boulger (despite Peterson being identified in the original Chicago Tribune report) and alleging that this was part of a vast left wing conspiracy against Trump, Sr., deleting his tweet without apologizing or even acknowledging his mistake. This has led to the hashtag #ApologizeTrumpJr. Trump immediately apologized for his mistake... two weeks after he had posted the picture up originally.
Call to assassinate Hillary Clinton
Trump made an ambiguous statement which has been interpreted as a call to assassinate Hillary Clinton.
“”"If she gets to pick her judges, nothing you can do folks. Although the Second Amendment people… maybe there is, I don't know. But I'll tell you what, that will be a horrible day."
|—Actually not The Onion|
Another day! Another Trump gaffe! As expected, the usual cadre of Trump sycophants were on-hand to explain why a man who speaks his mind and says what every one is really thinking didn't actually mean what he said.
“”I fear that an unbalanced person hears that in this inflamed environment and, God forbid, thinks that was a threat. I certainly take it as a threat, I really do, and Trump needs to apologise
|—Tony Schwartz, author of [Trump’s book] The Art of the Deal|
And he did it again! Mirroring a Tweet he'd made all the way back in January, Trump once more implied that Hillary Clinton's bodyguards should be disarmed and that she should see what happens to her:
“”She’s very much against the Second Amendment. She wants to destroy your Second Amendment. Guns, guns, guns, right? I think what we should do is, she goes around with armed bodyguards like you have never seen before. I think that her bodyguards should drop all weapons, they should disarm. I think they should disarm immediately. Take their guns away. She doesn’t want guns. Let’s see what happens to her. Take their guns away, OK, it would be very dangerous.
The above quote is also a great example of the way Donald Trump talks.
"I will never, ever forgive [the voters]"
“”Can you imagine how badly I'll feel, if I spent all of that money, all of this energy, all of this time — and LOST?
|—Trump, explorer of the impossible|
On August 13th, 2016, Trump coldly stated that he would "never, ever forgive" the voters of Connecticut, Florida, Pennsylvania and Ohio if they didn't pull the right levers for him on election day. Sensing the changing mood in the crowd, he quickly blurted out that he loved them anyways and changed the topic; a move that was met with prolonged booing.
"If I lose, the election must be rigged!"
“”If Mr. Trump is suggesting that a conspiracy theory is being propagated across the country, including in places like Texas, where typically it's not Democrats who are in charge of voting booths, that's ridiculous. That doesn't make any sense, and I don't think anyone takes that seriously.
|—Obama, on Trump's accusation that the election is one big scam|
Trump refused to say one way or the other if he would concede the election if he lost. Rick Hasen of the University of California described Trump's comments as, “appalling and unprecedented” and fears there could be "violence in the streets from his supporters if Trump loses."
Lashing out against the rule of law
“”The independent judiciary is something we should all be thankful for.
|—Chief Justice John Roberts|
Donald Trump has no kind words for the ongoing investigation led by Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III into his ties with Russia, calling it a "witch hunt," and a "total mess" that is "absolutely nuts," and accusing it of being conducted by "hardened Democrats." Trump considers Mueller to be "conflicted" and his team a "gang of Democrat thugs" who are "a disgrace to our nation." Trump called his first U.S. Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, "very weak" and "disgraceful" and ousted him for recusing himself from the Russia probe. He described the numerous charges against his former staff as "peanuts." He called former FBI director James Comey, whom he fired because of the Russia investigation, "crazy" and "a real nut job". In a meeting with senior Russian officials at the White House, he said he faced great pressure because of the investigation.
Nor is Trump reluctant to pointedly criticize the judiciary. He has had some strong words for federal judges who ruled against his immigration policies, calling them biased. In late 2018, Trump called a judge from the 9th Circuit[note 3] who rejected his migrant asylum policy an "Obama judge." This prompted a response from United States Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts, "We do not have Obama judges or Trump judges, Bush judges or Clinton judges." Chief Justice Roberts then added one day before Thanksgiving the statement quoted above. Such a dispute between the heads of the executive and judiciary branches is exceedingly rare, but not unprecedented. President Barack Obama criticized the Supreme Court in his 2010 State of the Union Address. When asked about it, Roberts said the criticisms were very troubling. However, Roberts has generally avoided dipping his toes into political discourse. Nevertheless, in light of the controversial appointment of Justice Brett Kavanaugh, Roberts and some of his colleagues have taken steps to combat the perception that the Supreme Court is politically divided between conservatives and liberals and that judges are loyal to the Presidents who appointed them.
In July 2015, Trump set the tone for the race with an attack on John McCain's military record, declaring:
“”He's a war hero because he was captured. I like people who weren't captured.
Trump's Vietnam-era record was one of a series of draft deferments (including studying real estate at the University of Pennsylvania). This was parallelled by a seemingly unusual conversion of his fitness to serve from 1-A (available to serve) before college to 1-Y (only in time of emergency) to 4-F (unfit to serve) after college, citing a bone spur in the foot, though he no longer recalls which foot. Trump doubled down on his comments, causing Rupert Murdoch to disavow him, although Roger Ailes hadn't let up (until he was fired). McCain eventually had to apologize to Trump (!) for calling his supporters crazies, which provoked this entire exchange.
He also made other factually inaccurate statements about the late Senator from Arizona. It is not true that McCain graduated last in his class from the United States Naval Academy; he graduated fifth from the bottom. While Trump did sign off a military transport for McCain's body, he did not "give" McCain's funeral. In fact, McCain's family made it clear Trump was not welcomed. Trump claimed credit for a healthcare reform bill that enabled military veterans to receive private healthcare at public expense that was actually authored by John McCain and Bernie Sanders and signed into law by President Barack Obama. However, it was Trump who signed into law an extension that McCain created in the last months of his life. When Trump signed into law a bill that increased the U.S. military budget, which included the higher salaries for service members that McCain fought for, he avoided mentioning its formal name, the John S. McCain National Authorization Act. Nor did he credit McCain.
“”We are taking aim at the global freeloading that forces American consumers to subsidize lower prices in foreign countries through higher prices in our country.
|—Donald Trump just before the 2018 midterm elections.|
Donald Trump is well aware of the fact that American patients are subsidizing the affordable healthcare enjoy by the citizens of many other countries, calling it "global freeloading". With this in mind, many Congressional representatives dared him to support their legislative proposal to cut prescription drug prices in the United States by (1) encouraging competition between generic drugs and brand-name drugs, (2) allowing Medicare to negotiate prices directly with pharmaceutical companies, and (3) enabling patients to import drugs from Canada, where prices are lower. Prices are deemed "excessive" if they are higher than the median in Canada, the United Kingdom, Germany, France and Japan. There was no immediate response from the White House.
American involvement in the Middle East
“”Great nations do not fight endless wars.
|—Donald Trump, 2019 State of the Union address.|
“”...I wish Bernie well. It'll be interesting to see how he does [in the 2020 Democratic Presidential nomination]... You got a lot of people running, but only one person is going to win.
|—Donald Trump, in response to Bernie Sanders announcing he was running for President in 2020.|
- Policies of Donald Trump — rhetoric begets action.
- Trump-Russia connection — the tie that binds.
- Fun:Trump synonym generator
- Fun:Trump Insult Generator
- Fun:Trump Tweet Generator
- Who could hate a man just enjoying his taco salad? He got millions of dollars' worth in publicity from this stunt alone, as media outlets tried to spin it in their own way or provide some opinion on why he made it. For God's sake, he mentioned the name of one of his restaurants in the tweet. He's just hawking his corn muffins on a free, world-sized stage.
- Clearly liberal media bias: The Trumpster has told us that "We have no border right now".
- The 9th Circuit, the largest of federal appellate courts, covers Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon and Washington.
- With both candidates viewed unfavorably, expect a bloodbath by Joe Garofoli and John Wildermuth (June 11, 2016 Updated: June 11, 2016 9:10pm) San Francisco Chronicle.
- Trumped!: The Inside Story of the Real Donald Trump-His Cunning Rise and Spectacular Fall by John R. O'Donnell (1991). Simon & Schuster.
- Politics and the English Language by George Orwell (1946). Horizon volume 13, issue 76, pages 252–265.
- See the Wikipedia article on Politics and the English Language.
- Interview with Robert Paxton, "Father of Fascism Studies: Donald Trump Shows Alarming Willingness to Use Fascist Terms & Styles", Democracy Now! 3.15.16.
- Trump is twice as extreme as his predecessors in the past century. That's dangerous by Dana Milbank (May 24, 2019 at 6:20 PM) The Washington Post.
- How Fascism Works: The Politics of Us and Them by Jason Stanley (Random House) 2018. ISBN 0525511830.
- Lerner, Kira, "How Trump Has Inspired Violence Across The Country, In One Map", ThinkProgress (3/17/16 at 10:01 am).
- "Trump's Recent Behavior Is Even More Terrifying Than You Think". ThinkProgress. Characteristically, Trump said he's considering paying legal fees to McGraw.
- Kate Sommers-Dawes (12 March 2016). "All the times Trump has called for violence at his rallies". Mashable.
- "Black woman repeatedly shoved at Trump rally in KY". 2 March 2016 – via YouTube. Trump bemoans that America is too "nice" and "politically correct".
- Date, S. V. (August 9, 2016). "Trump Suggests Shooting Clinton, Her Supreme Court Picks, Or Both". The Huffington Post.
- "Trump denies conversation with Secret Service". msn.com.
- Trump’s speech: Less analytical, more sure than predecessors. Associated Press. February 11, 2019. Accessed February 14, 2019.
- How will the US media cover President Donald Trump?
- After two years Trump is more ignorant on foreign policy by Jennifer Rubin (January 3 at 9:00 AM) The Washington Post. "This strikes me as a typical Trumpian word salad that reveals his sketchy and inadequate grasp of the geopolitics of Afghanistan." — former ambassador to Turkey, Eric S. Edelman
- The foremost experts on various topics according to Trump, most of whom are Trump by Philip Bump (January 2 at 1:59 PM) The Washington Post.
- If Cory Booker is the future of the Democratic Party, they have no future! I know more about Cory than he knows about himself. by Donald J. Trump (5:14 AM - 26 Jul 2016) Twitter.
- 'This Week' Transcript: Donald Trump and Ben Carson (Nov 22, 2015, 9:14 AM ET) ABC News.
- Donald Trump: "Somebody Said I'm the Ernest Hemingway" of Twitter by Arlene Washington (7:58 PM PST 11/20/2015) Hollywood Reporter.
- The TODAY Show should call me about who to put on the show— I know more about people who get ratings than anyone. by Donald J. Trump Verified account (11:12 PM - 26 Oct 2012) Twitter.
- Trump explains why he feels the primary process is 'unfair' (April 13, 2016) Fox News (archived from April 15, 2016).
- The Democrats are trying to belittle the concept of a Wall, calling it old fashioned. The fact is there is nothing else’s that will work, and that has been true for thousands of years. It’s like the wheel, there is nothing better. I know tech better than anyone, & technology..... by Donald J. Trump (1:58 PM - 21 Dec 2018) Twitter.
- Eglot, Jessica, "Is Donald Trump right that more British Muslims fight for Isis than the UK army?", The Guardian (12/11/15 at 09.08 EST).
- Donald Trump: Conservative group mocking me sought my money by Jake Miller (June 18, 2015, 2:36 AM) CBS News.
- Paul Solotaroff, "Trump Seriously: On the Trail With the GOP's Tough Guy", Rolling Stone 9.9.15. Gwenda Blair, biographer: "It's all part of what he does, the bragging and the repetition: It's called branding, and he's relentless at it."
- Trump supporters have the worst Facebook grammar, study finds by Justin Wm. Moyer (October 7, 2015). Washington Post.
- Shafer, Jack, Is Donald Trump Smarter Than a Third Grader?, Politico 8/13/15.
- David Edwards, "Donald Trump: To defeat ISIS ‘you have to take out their families’", Raw Story.
- This is what Trump's border wall could cost US by Kate Drew (October 9, 2015) CNBC
- Trump Won’t Prove He Was a ‘Super Genius’ at Wharton by Gideon Resnick (September 21, 2015) The Daily Beast
- This is the most Donald Trump interview Donald Trump has ever given by Chris Cilliza (Decemeber 09, 2015) The Washington Post
- Cudmore, Becca, "How Donald Trump Brainwashes", Brain Decoder 12.8.15.
- Bump, "Donald Trump: The perfect candidate for the Reagan era", WaPo 8.13.15.
- Staff (June 16, 2015). "Full text: Donald Trump announces a presidential bid". Washington Post.
- Saul, Heather (July 24, 2015). "Donald Trump declares 'the Hispanics love me – they were chanting for me' after being met by protesters at US-Mexico border". The Independent.
- Miller, Katherine; McDermott, Nathan; Stanton, John (August 13, 2016). "After Mexican “Rapists” Comment, Ivanka Trump Wrote An Unused Clarification". BuzzFeed.
- Lorenzo Ferrigno, "Donald Trump was right. All these illegals need to be deported.", CNN.
- Michael Allen, "Trump Campaign Unaware That Man Shouted 'White Power' At Alabama Rally (Video)", Opposing Views.
- Domonoske, Camila, "Trump Fails To Condemn KKK On Television, Turns To Twitter To Clarify", NPR (Updated 2/29/16 9:34 AM ET).
- All the Evidence We Could Find About Fred Trump's Alleged Involvement with the KKK by Mike Pearl (March 10, 2016) Vice.
- Major Landlord Accused of Antiblack Bias in City by Morris Kaplan (October 16, 1973) The New York Times.
- "How Corporations and Politicians Use Numbers to Lie — and How Not to Be Fooled". Alternet.
- Aviva Shen, "Donald Trump: My Fans Were Right To Beat Up Black Protester", Thinkprogress.
- Benjy Sarlin. "Trump Audience Member Yells Nazi Salute as Protester Removed From Las Vegas Rally". NBC News.
- "Black students ejected from Trump rally in Ga.". USA Today (February 29, 2016).
- Michael Cohen Says Trump Repeatedly Used Racist Language Before His Presidency by Emily Jane Fox (November 2, 2018 2:30 PM) Vanity Fair.
- Trump Thanks Self-Described Dutch White Supremacist For His Support by Catherine Thompson (October 8, 2015, 1:57 PM EDT) Talking Points Memo.
- Brianna Ehley, "Trump: I don't want David Duke's endorsement", Politico.
- "White Supremacist Organizations Officially Endorse Donald Trump", Ring of Fire Radio.
- Tito Ojo-Medubi, "Is Donald Trump in the KKK? The Crusader newspaper endorses him for president", Inquisitr
- "Donald Trump Keeps Lying About New Jersey 9/11 Celebrations". The Huffington Post. 29 November 2015.
- "Man Asks Trump: 'When Can We Get Rid' Of All The Muslims In America? His Answer Was Horrifying.". ThinkProgress.
- Donald Trump: Dick Cheney’s Book Is ‘Very Very Angry And Nasty’, ThinkProgress. Wouldn't you expect Trump to congratulate this man on his undeserved path to fortune?
- Tierney McAfee, "Speaker Paul Ryan Disavows Trump for Call to Ban Muslims, as White House Says Trump's 'Morally Reprehensible' Plan 'Disqualifies Him' from Being President", People.
- Scott Eric Kaufman, "Watch “Morning Joe” Scarborough cut to commercial in the middle of an interview because someone won’t shut up", Salon.
- Phillip Bump, "Donald Trump backs a federal database to track Muslims — but not gun sales", Washington Post.
- Zimmerman, Neetan, "Trump mocks Fiorina’s physical appearance: 'Look at that face!'", The Hill (September 09, 2015, 08:25 pm)
- Zimmerman, Neetan, "Trump: Megyn Kelly had blood coming out of her 'wherever'", The Hill (August 07, 2015, 09:51 pm).
- Hensch, Mark, "Trump: Clinton ‘got schlonged’ by Obama", The Hill (December 22, 2015, 08:10 am).
- "#LiveTweetYourPeriod". twitter.com.
- "Donald Trump Fans Attack Megyn Kelly With Sexist Slurs". vocativ.com.
- Jerde, Sara, "Trump: Megyn Kelly Should Give Me 'Half Of Her Salary' For Helping Her Ratings", TPM (3/21/16, 6:35 PM EDT).
- Stern, Marlow, "Bill Maher: Forget Trump, Megyn Kelly Should Be the GOP Nominee for President", Daily Beast (01.29.16 7:50 PM ET).
- "Donald Trump’s new low of attacking Ted Cruz’s wife fits perfectly into his campaign strategy". Vox.com.
- A power structure on which he knowingly capitalizes
- Her people thought she was both crazy and a liar
- Trump sued for defamation by former Apprentice Summer Zervos
- A Running List Of The Women Who’ve Accused Donald Trump Of Sexual Assault: All their stories in one place by Catherine Pearson et al. (10/13/2016 04:24 pm ET Updated Oct 28, 2016) Huffington Post.
- President Trump and accusations of sexual misconduct: The complete list by Meg Kelly (November 22, 2017 at 3:00 AM) The Washington Post.
- Trump says sex harassment claims are ‘fake news,’ but there are corroborators by Glenn Kessler (October 27 at 6:14 PM) The Washington Post.
- "An Energized White Nationalist Movement Rallies Behind Trump’s Immigration Plan". Southern Poverty Law Center.
- Marshall Kirkpatrick (January 26, 2016). "Data: 62% of the people Donald Trump RTed this week follow multiple White Supremacist accounts". Little Bird.
- Ruth Ben-Ghiat. "With Trump's Twitter history, latest no surprise". CNN News. July 5, 2016.
- Jeremy Diamond. "Trump campaign defends tweet as a 'basic star' in wake of criticism". CNN News. July 5, 2016.
- Seth Maxon. "Trump Points Out 'Star of David' on Frozen Coloring Book No One Ever Noticed". The Slate. July 7, 2016.
- Trump's campaign team are usually so keen to attribute their lifted Twitter memes – why not this one?
Anthony Smith. "Donald Trump's "Star of David" Hillary Clinton Meme Was Created by White Supremacists". News.Mic. July 3, 2016.
- Trump Rolls Out Anti-Semitic Closing Ad by Josh Marshall (November 5, 2016 8:22 pm) Talking Points Memo.
- LoBianco, Tom, "Trump 'postpones' Israel trip after Netanyahu criticism", CNN (Updated 12/10/15 at 10:39 AM ET).
- Stokols, Eli, "Trump plans AIPAC surprise", Politico (03/20/16 03:52 PM EDT).
- "American Nazi Party Chairman: Trump's Muslim Ban Is Unrealistic". BuzzFeed.
- Andrew Anglin. "The Donald Does the Ultimate Evil and Retweets a Hateful Racist" (archived at archive.is) The Daily Stormer. October 9, 2015.
- Ben Schreckinger, "He's sparked an insurgency", Politico.
- "Free to say what they really believe". Butterflies and Wheels. Retrieved on 4 August 2016.
- Claire Phillips, "Donald Trump likens Ben Carson's 'pathological' temper to child molesting", The Guardian.
- Salinger, Tobias. "Neo-Nazi child molester declares support for Donald Trump as he's sentenced to 50 years behind bars" New York Daily News. Friday, November 6, 2015, 9:02 PM.
- Husband, Andrew. "Trump Endorsed By Ex-KKK Leader, Convicted Child Molester During Trial" Mediaite. 12:26 pm, November 6th, 2015
- Spargo, Chris. "Donald Trump supporter with multiple white supremacist tattoos on her hands features in news report about the GOP front-runner" Daily Mail (archived 26 March 2016 via archive.is), 17 March 2016.
- Sargent, Jordan. "PBS News Story on First-Time Trump Voters Prominently Displays Longtime White Power Tattoos" Gawker (archived 17 March 2016 via archive.is), 16 March 2016.
- "88" (archived 1 June 2015 via archive.is) and "Celtic Cross" (archived 26 March 2016 via archive.is) on the Hate on Display: Hate Symbols Database at the website of the Anti-Defamation League.
- Jason Wambsgans. "Trump supporter outside UIC" Chicago Tribune.
- Eli Rosenberg. "Trump Supporter Who Made Nazi Salute Explains Why She Made the Gesture" The New York Times.
- Clemence Michallon. "Trump fan defends snap of her doing the Nazi salute - saying she was just showing 'rude' protesters how 'to do it right'" The Daily Mail (archived at archive.is on 29 March 2016), 13 March 2016.
- Silverstein, Jason (March 29, 2016). "Donald Trump Jr. apologizes for incorrectly labeling woman as Bernie Sanders-supporting 'Nazi'". NY Daily News.
- WhatViraling01, (9 August 2016). "Did Donald Trump just suggest "2nd Amendment People" shoot Hillary Clinton?" – via YouTube.
- Kuns, Karoli. "Trump Runs To Hannity To Shrug Off His Threatening Comments". crooksandliars.com.
- "Rudy Giuliani Defends Trump's 2nd Amendment Comments on 'GMA'". August 10, 2016. ABC News.
- Smith, David (10 August 2016). "Donald Trump hints at assassination of Hillary Clinton by gun rights supporters" – via The Guardian.
- Hillary said that guns don't keep you safe. If she really believes that she should demand that her heavily armed bodyguards quickly disarm! by Donald J. Trump (4:27 PM - 3 Jan 2016) Twitter.
- Donald Trump Suggests Hillary Clinton’s Bodyguards Should Stop Protecting Her: "Let's see what happens to her." by Mollie Reilly (09/16/2016 07:33 pm ET | Updated Sep 17, 2016) Huffington Post.
- Trump says he'll "never, ever forgive" voters if he loses the election (Saturday, August 13, 2016 - 01:30) Reuters.
- Maxwell Tani, "'That doesn't make any sense': Obama responds to Trump's claim that the November election will be 'rigged' ", Business Insider
- What would happen if Donald Trump refused to concede this election?
- Adam Kelsey, "What Happens if Donald Trump Doesn't Concede the Election?", ABC News
- Roberts, Trump spar in extraordinary scrap over judges. Associated Press. November 21, 2018.
- Trump attacks Mueller's Russia inquiry as 'absolutely nuts'. BBC News. November 15, 2018.
- Trump fires Attorney General Jeff Sessions. BBC News. November 7, 2018.
- Trump Russia affair: Key questions answered. BBC News. December 12, 2018.
- Report: Trump Told Russians He Fired 'Nut Job' Comey Because Of Investigation. NPR. May 19, 2017.
- In A Rare Move, Chief Justice Roberts Criticizes President Trump. NPR. November 22, 2018.
- Trump slams McCain for being 'captured' in Vietnam; other Republicans quickly condemn him by Philip Rucker (July 18, 2015) Washington Post. All except for a weaselly, Thank you, Donald, for bringing up my next point stance from Cruz.
- Deferments Helped Trump Dodge Vietnam (April 28, 2011; updated July 18, 2015) The Smoking Gun. It never got in the way of his 18-hole golf game.
- Donald Trump's Own Secret: Vietnam Draft Records by Russell Goldman (April 29, 2011) ABC News.
- Killough, Ashley, "Trump: No regret over questioning McCain's heroism"], CNN (Updated 5/11/16 at 1:34 PM ET).
- chat tiest, (20 July 2015). "McCain: 'Term Of Endearment' To Call Trump Supporters 'Crazies'". Retrieved on 4 August 2016 – via YouTube.
- AP FACT CHECK: McCain can’t respond but his record speaks. Associated Press. March 23, 2019. Accessed March 23, 2019.
- Liberals dare Trump to back their bills lowering drug prices. Associated Press. January 10, 2019.
- State of the Union: Trump announces second North Korea summit. BBC News. February 6, 2019. Accessed February 6, 2019.
- Word for Word: President Trump on Bernie Sanders. C-SPAN. February 19, 2019.