From Wikipedia, the free encyclopediaFor other uses, see Donald Trump (disambiguation).
This article is about a person involved in a current event. Information may change rapidly as the event progresses, and initial news reports may be unreliable. The last updates to this article may not reflect the most current information. Donald Trump President of the United States
January 20, 2017
Vice President Mike Pence (elect) Succeeding Barack Obama Personal details Born June 14, 1946
New York City, New York, U.S.
Political party Republican (1987–1999, 2009–2011, 2012–present) Other political
Democratic (before 1987, 2001–2009)
Spouse(s) Children Alma mater Fordham University
University of Pennsylvania (BS)
Signature This article is part of a series about
President of the United States
Donald John Trump (born June 14, 1946) is an American businessman and the President-elect of the United States. He is scheduled to take office as the 45th President on January 20, 2017. As the Republican Party's nominee for president in the 2016 election, he defeated Hillary Clinton in the general election on November 8, 2016.
Trump is currently the chairman and president of The Trump Organization, the principal holding company for his real estate ventures and other business interests – a position he has said he will vacate prior to his assumption of the presidency. During his career, Trump has built office towers, hotels, casinos, golf courses, and other branded facilities worldwide.
Trump was born and raised in New York City and received a bachelor's degree in economics from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania in 1968. In 1971 he was given control of his father Fred Trump's real estate and construction firm and later renamed it The Trump Organization, rising to public prominence shortly thereafter. Trump has appeared at the Miss USA pageants, which he owned from 1996 to 2015, and has made cameo appearances in films and television series. He sought the Reform Party presidential nomination in 2000, but withdrew before voting began. He hosted and co-produced The Apprentice, a reality television series on NBC, from 2004 to 2015. As of 2016, he was listed by Forbes as the 324th wealthiest person in the world, and 156th in the United States.
In June 2015, Trump announced his candidacy for president as a Republican and quickly emerged as the front-runner for his party's nomination. In May 2016, his remaining Republican rivals suspended their campaigns, and in July he was formally nominated for president at the 2016 Republican National Convention. Trump's campaign has received unprecedented media coverage and international attention. Many of his statements in interviews, on Twitter, and at campaign rallies have been controversial or false. Several rallies during the primaries were accompanied by protests or riots. On October 7, a 2005 audio recording surfaced in which Trump bragged that fame made women amenable to kissing and groping; multiple women accused him of forcibly doing so shortly thereafter. He apologized for the 2005 comments and denied the allegations, describing them as part of a wider smear campaign.
Trump's platform included renegotiation of U.S.–China trade deals, opposition to particular trade agreements such as NAFTA and the Trans-Pacific Partnership, stronger enforcement of immigration laws together with building a wall along the U.S.–Mexico border, reform of veterans' care, repeal and replacement of the Affordable Care Act, and tax cuts. Following the November 2015 Paris attacks, Trump called for a temporary ban on Muslim immigration to the United States, later stating that the ban would focus instead on countries with a proven history of terrorism, until the screening for potential terrorists is improved. He will be the oldest person to ever become a first-term president, at the age of 70, surpassing Ronald Reagan who was 69 years of age upon winning the 1980 election.
- 1 Early life, ancestry, education and military status
2 Business career
- 2.1 Real estate
- 2.2 Professional sports
- 2.3 Beauty pageants
- 2.4 Trump University
- 2.5 Donald J. Trump Foundation
- 2.6 Branding and licensing
- 2.7 Taxes and income
- 2.8 Net worth
- 3 Entertainment and media
- 4.1 Political affiliations
- 4.2 Involvement in politics, 1988–2015
- 4.3 Presidential campaign, 2016
- 4.4 Political positions
- 5 Personal life
- 6 Appearances in popular culture
- 7 Legal matters
- 8 Awards and accolades
- 9 See also
- 10 Notes
- 11 References
- 12 External links
Early life, ancestry, education and military statusFurther information: Ancestry of Donald Trump
Trump was born on June 14, 1946, in Jamaica Estates, Queens, a neighborhood in New York City. He was the second youngest child of five children. Of his four siblings, three are living: Maryanne, Elizabeth, and Robert. Trump's older brother Fred Jr. died in 1981 from alcoholism, which Trump says led him to avoid trying alcohol or cigarettes.
Trump is of German ancestry on his father's side and Scottish ancestry on his mother's side; all four of his grandparents were born in Europe. His father Fred Trump (1905–1999) was born in Queens to parents from Kallstadt, Germany and became one of the biggest real estate developers in New York City. His mother, Mary Trump (née MacLeod, 1912–2000), was born in Tong, Lewis, Scotland. Fred and Mary met in New York and married in 1936, settling together in Queens. His uncle John G. Trump, a professor at Massachusetts Institute of Technology from 1936 to 1973, was involved in radar research for the Allies in the Second World War, helped design X-ray machines that provided additional years of life to cancer patients, and in 1943, the Federal Bureau of Investigation requested him to examine Nikola Tesla's papers and equipment when Tesla died in his room at the New Yorker Hotel. Trump frequently invokes his uncle as proof of his family's smart genes.
Drumpf, the family's ancestral name, evolved to Trump during the Thirty Years' War in the 17th century. Trump has said that he is proud of his German heritage; he served as grand marshal of the 1999 German-American Steuben Parade in New York City.[nb 1]
The family had a two-story Tudor Revival home on Wareham Place in Jamaica Estates, where Trump lived while attending The Kew-Forest School. Due to behavior problems, Trump left the school at age 13 and was enrolled in the New York Military Academy (NYMA), where he finished eighth grade and high school. In 1983, Fred Trump told an interviewer that Donald "was a pretty rough fellow when he was small." During his senior year, Trump participated in marching drills, wore a uniform, and attained the rank of captain. In 2015, he told a biographer that NYMA gave him "more training militarily than a lot of the guys that go into the military".
Trump attended Fordham University in the Bronx for two years, beginning in August 1964. He then transferred to the Wharton School of Finance and Commerce at the University of Pennsylvania, which offered one of the few real estate studies departments in United States academia. While there, he worked at the family's company, Elizabeth Trump & Son, named for his paternal grandmother. Trump graduated from Wharton in May 1968 with a Bachelor of Science in Economics.
Trump was not drafted during the Vietnam War. While in college from 1964 to 1968, he obtained four student deferments. In 1966, he was deemed fit for service based upon a military medical examination, and in 1968 was briefly classified as fit by a local draft board, but was given a 1-Y medical deferment in October 1968. In an interview for a 2015 biography, Trump attributed his medical deferment to heel spurs. In December 1969 Trump received a high number in the draft lottery, which would also have exempted him from service.
An analysis of Trump's business career by The Economist in 2016, concludes that his "...performance [from 1985 to 2016] has been mediocre compared with the stock market and property in New York", noting both his successes and bankruptcies. Any such analysis is difficult because, as the magazine observed, "Information about Mr Trump's business is sketchy. He doesn't run a publicly listed firm..." Trump's early successes were partly commingled with those of his father so they omit them, claiming, "The best long-term starting point is 1985, when Mr Trump first appeared in the rankings without his father." A subsequent analysis by The Washington Post, whose reporters were denied press credentials by the Trump presidential campaign, opined that "Trump is a mix of braggadocio, business failures, and real success."
Real estateSee also: The Trump Organization
Prior to graduating from college, Trump began his real estate career at his father's company, Elizabeth Trump and Son, which focused on middle-class rental housing in the New York City boroughs of Brooklyn, Queens, and Staten Island. During his undergraduate study, one of Trump's first projects was the revitalization of the foreclosed Swifton Village apartment complex in Cincinnati, Ohio, which his father had purchased for $5.7 million in 1962. Fred and Donald Trump became involved in the project, and with a $500,000 investment, turned the 1,200-unit complex's occupancy rate from 34% to 100%. Trump has said that when he graduated from college in 1968, he was worth about $200,000 (equivalent to $1,020,000 in 2015). In 1972, the Trump Organization sold Swifton Village for $6.75 million. At age 23, he made an unsuccessful commercial foray into show business, investing $70,000 to become co-producer of the 1970 Broadway comedy Paris Is Out!
He was given control of the company in 1971 and, in one of his first acts, renamed the company to The Trump Organization. In that year, he also moved to Manhattan, where he took part in larger construction projects and used attractive architectural design to win public recognition. He and his father drew wider attention in 1973 when the Justice Department alleged that they were discriminating against blacks who wanted to rent apartments, rather than merely screening out people based on low income as the Trumps stated. The Department of Justice said that black "testers" were sent to more than half a dozen buildings and were denied apartments, but a similar white tester would then be offered an apartment in the same building. Ultimately the Trumps' company and federal officials signed an agreement under which the Trumps made no admission of wrongdoing, and under which qualified minority applicants would be presented by the Urban League.
By 1973, Trump was president of the Trump Organization, and oversaw the company's 14,000 apartments across Brooklyn, Queens, and Staten Island. In 1978, the city selected his site on the West Side of Manhattan as the location for its Jacob Javits Convention Center, after finding that he was the only bidder who had a site ready for the project. He received a broker's fee on the property sale.
Trump's first big deal in Manhattan was the development of the Grand Hyatt Hotel in 1978 next to Grand Central Terminal. The aging brick facade of the Commodore Hotel was sheathed in glass, and the existing lobby of the hotel was replaced by an atrium. The Commodore was thus presented as a remodeled Hyatt hotel at its opening in September 1980, helping to bring Trump to public prominence. Part of this deal was a $1 million loan Fred Trump's Village Construction Corp. made to help repay draws on a Chase Manhattan credit line Fred had arranged for Donald as he built the hotel, as well as a $70 million construction loan jointly guaranteed by Fred and the Hyatt hotel chain. Fred was a silent partner in the initiative, due to his reputation having been damaged in New York real estate circles, after investigations into windfall profits and other abuses in his real estate projects, making Donald the front man in the deal. According to journalist Wayne Barrett, Fred's two-decade friendship with a top Equitable officer, Ben Holloway, helped convince them to agree to the project. Donald negotiated a 40-year tax abatement for the hotel with the city, in exchange for a share of the venture's profits. The deal helped reduce the risk of the project and provided an incentive for investors to participate.
In 1981, Trump purchased and renovated a building that would become the Trump Plaza, on Third Avenue in New York City. Trump made this into an apartment cooperative, in which tenants partly owned the building.
Trump TowerMain article: Trump Tower (New York City)
In 1983, Trump completed development of Trump Tower, a 58-story skyscraper in Midtown Manhattan. The project involved complicated negotiations with different parties for the Bonwit Teller building, the land, and the airspace above a neighboring building. When negotiations were completed in 1978, The New York Times wrote "That Mr. Trump was able to obtain the location ... is testimony to [his] persistence and to his skills as a negotiator."
Trump Tower occupies the former site of the architecturally significant Bonwit Teller flagship store, which Trump demolished in 1980 after purchasing the site. There was controversy when valuable Art Deco bas-relief sculptures on its facade, which had been promised to the Metropolitan Museum of Art by Trump, were destroyed on the orders of the Trump Organization during the demolition process. In addition, the demolition of the Bonwit Teller store was criticized for a contractor's use of some 200 undocumented Polish immigrant workers, who, during the rushed demolition process, were reportedly paid 4–5 dollars per hour for work in 12-hour shifts. Trump testified in 1990 that he rarely visited the site and was unaware of the illegal workers, some of whom lived at the site and who were known as the "Polish Brigade". A judge ruled in 1991 that the builders engaged in "a conspiracy to deprive the funds of their rightful contribution", referring to the pension and welfare funds of the labor unions. However, on appeal, parts of that ruling were overturned, and the record became sealed when the long-running labor lawsuit was settled in 1999, after 16 years in court.
Trump Tower was developed by Trump and the Equitable Life Assurance Company, and was designed by architect Der Scutt of Swanke Hayden Connell. Trump Tower houses both the primary penthouse condominium residence of Donald Trump and the headquarters of the Trump Organization. The building includes shops, cafés, offices, and residences. Its five-level atrium features a 60-foot-high waterfall spanned by a suspended walkway, below a skylight. Trump Tower was the setting of the NBC television show The Apprentice including a fully functional television studio set. When the building was completed, its condominiums sold quickly and the tower became a tourist attraction.
Harrah's at Trump Plaza opened in Atlantic City in 1984. The hotel/casino was built by Trump with financing by Holiday Corp. and operated by the Harrah's gambling unit of Holiday Corp. The casino's poor results exacerbated disagreements between Trump and Holiday Corp. Trump also acquired a partially completed building in Atlantic City from the Hilton Corporation for $320 million. When completed in 1985, the hotel/casino became Trump Castle. Trump's wife, Ivana, managed the property.
Trump acquired the Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Florida, in 1985 for $5 million, plus $3 million for the home's furnishings. In addition to using the home as a winter retreat, Trump also turned it into a private club with membership fees of $150,000. At about the same time, he acquired a condominium complex in Palm Beach with Lee Iacocca that became Trump Plaza of the Palm Beaches.
Repairs on the Wollman Rink in Central Park, built in 1955, were started in 1980 by a general contractor unconnected to Trump, with an expected 2 1⁄2-year construction schedule, but were not completed by 1986. Trump took over the project, completed it in three months for $1.95 million, which was $750,000 less than the initial budget, and then operated the rink for one year with all profits going to charity in exchange for the rink's concession rights.
Later in 1988, Trump acquired the Taj Mahal Casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey, in a transaction with Merv Griffin and Resorts International. The casino was opened in April 1990, and was built at a total cost of $1.1 billion, which at the time made it the most expensive casino ever built. Financed with $675 million in junk bonds at a 14% interest rate, the project entered Chapter 11 bankruptcy the following year. Banks and bondholders, facing potential losses of hundreds of millions of dollars, opted to restructure the debt.
The Taj Mahal emerged from bankruptcy on October 5, 1991, with Trump ceding 50 percent ownership in the casino to the bondholders in exchange for lowered interest rates and more time to pay off the debt. He also sold his financially challenged Trump Shuttle airline and his 282-foot (86 m) megayacht, the Trump Princess. The property was repurchased in 1996 and consolidated into Trump Hotels & Casino Resorts, which filed for bankruptcy in 2004 with $1.8 billion in debt, filing again for bankruptcy five years later with $50 million in assets and $500 million in debt. The restructuring ultimately left Trump with 10% ownership in the Trump Taj Mahal and other Trump casino properties. Trump served as chairman of the organization, which was renamed Trump Entertainment Resorts, from mid-1995 until early 2009, and served as CEO from mid-2000 to mid-2005.
Business bankruptciesFurther information: Legal affairs of Donald Trump § Use of bankruptcy laws
Although Trump has never filed for personal bankruptcy, hotel and casino businesses of his have been declared bankrupt six  times between 1991 and 2009 due to its inability to meet required payments and to re-negotiate debt with banks, owners of stock and bonds and various small businesses (unsecured creditors). Because the businesses used Chapter 11 bankruptcy, they were allowed to operate while negotiations proceeded. Trump was quoted by Newsweek in 2011 saying, "I do play with the bankruptcy laws—they're very good for me."
The six bankruptcies were the result of over-leveraged hotel and casino businesses in Atlantic City and New York: Trump Taj Mahal (1991), Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino (1992), Plaza Hotel (1992), Trump Castle Hotel and Casino (1992), Trump Hotels and Casino Resorts (2004), and Trump Entertainment Resorts (2009). Trump said "I've used the laws of this country to pare debt. ... We'll have the company. We'll throw it into a chapter. We'll negotiate with the banks. We'll make a fantastic deal. You know, it's like on The Apprentice. It's not personal. It's just business."
Inheritance and further acquisitions
Trump acquired an old, vacant, 70 story office building at 40 Wall Street in Manhattan in 1996. After a complete renovation, it became the Trump Building. After his father died in 1999, Trump and his siblings received equal portions of his father's estate valued at $250–300 million.
In 2001, Trump completed Trump World Tower, a 72-story residential tower across from the United Nations Headquarters. Trump also began construction on Trump Place, a multi-building development along the Hudson River. He continued to own commercial space in Trump International Hotel and Tower, a 44-story mixed-use (hotel and condominium) tower on Columbus Circle which he acquired in 1996, and also continued to own millions of square feet of other prime Manhattan real estate.
Trump acquired the former Hotel Delmonico in Manhattan in 2002. It was re-opened with 35 stories of luxury condominiums in 2004 as the Trump Park Avenue.
Trump has licensed his name and image for the development of a number of real estate projects including two Trump-branded real estate projects in Florida that have gone into foreclosure. The Turkish owner of Trump Towers Istanbul, who pays Trump for the use of his name, was reported in December 2015 to be exploring legal means to dissociate the property after the candidate's call to temporarily ban Muslims from entering the United States.
Trump also licensed his name to son-in-law Jared Kushner's fifty story Trump Bay Street, a Jersey City luxury development that has raised $50 million of its $200 million capitalization largely from wealthy Chinese nationals who, after making an initial down payment of $500,000 in concert with the government's expedited EB-5 visa program, can usually obtain United States permanent residency for themselves and their families after two years. Trump is a partner with Kushner Properties only in name licensing and not in the building's financing.
The Trump Organization operates many golf courses and resorts in the United States and around the world. The number of golf courses that Trump owns or manages is about 18, according to Golfweek. Trump's personal financial disclosure with the Federal Elections Commission stated that his golf and resort revenue for the year 2015 was roughly $382 million.
In 2006, Trump bought the Menie Estate in Balmedie, Aberdeenshire, Scotland, creating a golf resort against the wishes of local residents  on an area designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest. A 2011 independent documentary, You've Been Trumped, by British filmmaker Anthony Baxter, chronicled the golf resort's construction and the subsequent struggles between the locals and Donald Trump. Despite Trump's promises of 6,000 jobs, in 2016, by his own admission, the golf course has created only 200 jobs.
In April 2014, Trump purchased the Turnberry hotel and golf resort in Ayrshire, Scotland, which is a regular fixture in the Open Championship rota. In June 2015, Trump's appeal objecting to an offshore windfarm (Aberdeen Bay Wind Farm) within sight of the golf links was denied. In December 2015, Trump's attempt to prevent the windfarm being built within sight of his golf course was dismissed by five justices at the UK Supreme Court in the case of Trump International Golf Club Scotland Ltd v The Scottish Ministers.
In 1983, Trump's New Jersey Generals became a charter member of the new United States Football League (USFL). Before the inaugural season began in 1983, Trump sold the franchise to Oklahoma oil magnate J. Walter Duncan, and bought it back after the season. He then attempted to hire longtime Miami Dolphins coach Don Shula, but the deal fell apart because he was unwilling to meet Shula's demand for an apartment in Trump Tower. Trump ended up hiring former New York Jets coach Walt Michaels. The USFL played its first three seasons during the spring and summer, but Trump convinced the majority of the owners of other USFL teams to move the USFL 1986 schedule to the fall, directly opposite the National Football League (NFL), arguing that it would eventually force a merger with the NFL, which would supposedly increase their investment significantly.
Before the 1985 season, Trump signed Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Doug Flutie to a $7 million 5-year personal-services contract. That made Flutie the highest-paid pro football player at the time, as well as the highest-paid rookie in any professional sport. After the season, the Generals merged with the Houston Gamblers. Trump owned 50% of the newly merged team, which would stay in New Jersey and retain the Generals nickname. At the time, Trump boasted "it's probably the best team in football." (New Jersey and Houston both had good but not great seasons in 1985: they each made the playoffs but lost first-round games.)
The Generals never played another game. The 1986 season was cancelled after the USFL won a pyrrhic victory in an antitrust lawsuit against the NFL: the NFL technically lost the suit, but the USFL was awarded just $3.00 in cash damages. The USFL, which was down to just 7 active franchises from a high of 18, folded soon afterward.
Trump attempted to buy the NFL's Buffalo Bills in 2014 but was unsuccessful. During his 2016 presidential run, he has been critical of the NFL's updated concussion rules, complaining on the campaign trail that the game has been made "soft" and "weak", saying a concussion is just "a ding on the head". He accused referees of throwing penalty flags needlessly just to be seen on television "so their wives see them at home".
Trump had expressed an interest in purchasing the Cleveland Indians for $13 million in a February 15, 1983 letter sent by Kenneth Molloy to team president Gabe Paul. Trump increased his offer to $34 million later that same year. His lack of commitment to keep the franchise in Cleveland beyond three years cost him any chance of completing the acquisition.
Trump remained involved with other sports after the Generals folded, operating golf courses in several countries. He also hosted several boxing matches in Atlantic City at the Trump Plaza, including Mike Tyson's 1988 fight against Michael Spinks, and at one time acted as a financial advisor for Tyson.
In 1989 and 1990, Trump lent his name to the Tour de Trump cycling stage race which was an attempt to create an American equivalent of European races such as the Tour de France or the Giro d'Italia. The name was suggested by his business partner, basketball commentator Billy Packer, who originally planned to call the race the Tour de Jersey. The first stage of the inaugural race ended in the college town of New Paltz, New York where picketers greeted the riders with anti-Trump signs. The second stage began in New York City, and Mayor Ed Koch, who had denounced Trump as "one of the great hucksters", boycotted the event. The last stage of the 10-stage 837-mile race was even more controversial. Going into the last stage, Belgian rider Eric Vanderaerden was favored to win the tour championship, but lost at least 1 minute 20 seconds when he took a wrong turn on a poorly marked course in Atlantic City, riding a quarter-mile or more out of his way. He ended up finishing third overall, behind tour winner Dag-Otto Lauritzen (a Norwegian rider with the American-owned 7-Eleven team) and runner-up Henk Lubberding, who also took a wrong turn during the last stage. Trump withdrew his sponsorship after the second Tour de Trump in 1990, because his other business ventures were experiencing financial woes. The race continued for several more years as the Tour DuPont.
In February 1992, Mike Tyson was convicted in Indiana for raping an 18-year-old beauty pageant contestant. Before he was sentenced, Trump stated that the trial was a "travesty" and that he had seen many women groping Tyson. Trump suggested that Tyson should be released from prison and allowed to continue fighting, and offered to promote one or more bouts, the proceeds of which ($15 to $30 million, according to Trump) would go to Tyson's accuser and to victims of rape and abuse. Tyson was sentenced to a six-year term, continuing his boxing career when he was paroled in 1995 after serving a little less than half his term. Trump did not promote any of Tyson's post-prison fights, but the two men continued to be friends. In 2016, Tyson endorsed Trump's presidential candidacy. In an Indiana stump speech, Trump said: "Mike Tyson endorsed me. I love it. He sent out a tweet. Mike. Iron Mike. You know, all the tough guys endorse me. I like that, okay?"
From 1996 until 2015, when he sold his interests, Trump owned part or all of the Miss Universe, Miss USA, and Miss Teen USA beauty pageants. Among the most recognized beauty pageants in the world, the Miss Universe pageant was founded in 1952 by the California clothing company Pacific Mills.
Trump was dissatisfied with how CBS scheduled his pageants, and took both Miss Universe and Miss USA to NBC in 2002. In 2006, Miss USA winner Tara Conner tested positive for cocaine, but Trump let her keep the crown, for the sake of giving her a second chance. That decision by Trump was criticized by Rosie O'Donnell, which led to a very blunt and personal rebuttal by Trump criticizing O'Donnell. In 2012, Trump won a $5 million arbitration award against a contestant who claimed the show was rigged.
In 2015, NBC and Univision both ended their business relationships with the Miss Universe Organization after Trump's controversial 2015 presidential campaign remarks about Mexican illegal immigrants. Trump subsequently filed a $500 million lawsuit against Univision, alleging a breach of contract and defamation.
On September 11, 2015, Trump announced that he had become the sole owner of the Miss Universe Organization by purchasing NBC's stake, and that he had "settled" his lawsuits against the network, though it was unclear whether Trump had yet filed lawsuits against NBC. He sold his own interests in the pageant shortly afterwards, to WME/IMG. The $500 million lawsuit against Univision was settled in February 2016, but terms of the settlement were not disclosed.
Trump University LLC was an American for-profit education company that ran a real estate training program from 2005 until at least 2010. After multiple lawsuits, it is now defunct. It was founded by Donald Trump and his associates, Michael Sexton and Jonathan Spitalny. The company offered courses in real estate, asset management, entrepreneurship, and wealth creation, charging between $1,500 and $35,000 per course. In 2005 the operation was notified by New York State authorities that its use of the word "university" violated state law. After a second such notification in 2010, the name of the operation was changed to the "Trump Entrepreneurial Institute". Trump was also found personally liable for failing to obtain a business license for the operation. In 2013 the state of New York filed a $40 million civil suit claiming that Trump University made false claims and defrauded consumers; the lawsuit is ongoing as of 2016. In addition, two class-action civil lawsuits are pending in federal court relating to Trump University; they name Donald Trump personally as well as his companies. One of the cases, Low v. Trump, is set for trial on November 28, 2016.
Trump repeatedly criticized a judge, Gonzalo P. Curiel, who is overseeing two of the Trump University cases. During campaign speeches and interviews up until June 2016, Trump called Curiel a "hater of Donald Trump", saying his rulings have been unfair, and that Curiel "happens to be, we believe, Mexican, which is great. I think that's fine", while suggesting that the judge's ethnicity posed a conflict of interest in light of Trump's proposal to build a wall on the United States–Mexican border. Many legal experts were critical of Trump's attacks on Curiel, often viewing them as racially charged, unfounded, and an affront to the concept of an independent judiciary. On June 7, 2016, Trump issued a lengthy statement saying that his criticism of the judge had been "misconstrued" and that his concerns about Curiel's impartiality were not based upon ethnicity alone, but also upon rulings in the case.
Donald J. Trump FoundationMain article: Donald J. Trump Foundation
The Donald J. Trump Foundation is a U.S.-based private foundation established in 1988 for the initial purpose of giving away proceeds from the book Trump: The Art of the Deal by Trump and Tony Schwartz. The foundation's funds mostly come from donors other than Trump, who has not given personally to the charity since 2008. The top donors to the foundation from 2004 to 2014 were Vince and Linda McMahon of World Wrestling Entertainment, who donated $5 million to the foundation after Trump appeared at WrestleMania in 2007.
The foundation's tax returns show that it has given to healthcare and sports-related charities, as well as conservative groups. In 2009, for example, the foundation gave $926,750 to about 40 groups, with the biggest donations going to the Arnold Palmer Medical Center Foundation ($100,000), the New York Presbyterian Hospital ($125,000), the Police Athletic League ($156,000), and the Clinton Foundation ($100,000).
Starting in 2016 The Washington Post began reporting on how the foundation raised and granted money. The Post uncovered several potential legal and ethical violations, such as alleged self-dealing and possible tax evasion. The New York State Attorney General is investigating the foundation "to make sure it is complying with the laws governing charities in New York." A Trump spokesman called the investigation a "partisan hit job". On October 3, 2016, the New York Attorney General's office notified the Trump Foundation that it was allegedly in violation of New York laws regarding charities, and ordered it to immediately cease its fundraising activities "in New York".
Branding and licensingMain article: List of things named after Donald Trump
Trump has marketed his name on a large number of building projects as well as commercial products and services, achieving mixed success doing so for himself, his partners, and investors in the projects.[nb 2] In 2011, Forbes' financial experts estimated the value of the Trump brand at $200 million. Trump disputed this valuation, saying his brand was worth about $3 billion.
Many developers pay Trump to market their properties and to be the public face for their projects. For that reason, Trump does not own many of the buildings that display his name. According to Forbes, this portion of Trump's empire, actually run by his children, is by far his most valuable, having a $562 million valuation. According to Forbes, there are 33 licensing projects under development including seven "condo hotels" (the seven Trump International Hotel and Tower developments). In June 2015, Forbes pegged the Trump brand at $125 million as retailers like Macy's Inc. and Serta Mattresses began dropping Trump-branded products.
Taxes and incomeSee also: § Presidential campaign, 2016
Trump has released some financial information, but has declined to publicly release any of his full tax returns, saying that he will do so before the 2016 election if what his attorneys described as an ongoing audit by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is completed covering tax returns for the years 2009 through 2016. According to a July 2015 press release from his campaign manager, Trump's "income" for the year 2014 was $362 million ("which does not include dividends, interest, capital gains, rents and royalties"). His disclosure filings for the year 2015 stated that his total gross revenue was in excess of $611 million.
Fortune magazine has reported that the $362 million figure as stated on his Federal Election Commission (FEC) filings is not "income" but gross revenue before salaries, interest payments on outstanding debt, and other business-related expenses; Trump's net income was "most likely" about one-third of that. According to public records, Trump received a $302 New York tax rebate in 2013 (and in two other recent years) given to couples earning less than $500,000 per year, who submit as proof their federal tax returns. Trump's campaign manager has suggested that Trump's tax rebate was an error.
In October 2016, it was revealed that Trump had claimed a loss of $916 million on his 1995 tax returns. As tax losses from one year can be applied to offset income from future years, the $916 million loss allowed him to reduce or eliminate his taxable income (and consequently his US federal income taxes) during the eighteen year carry forward period. Trump acknowledged he used the loss but declined to provide details such as the specific years the loss was applied.
An investigative story by the New York Times found that in the early 1990s in order to avoid "financial ruin" Trump's businesses used methods which were "legally dubious" to avoid paying taxes, and that Trump's own lawyers described these activities as "improper". Independent tax experts stated that "Whatever loophole existed was not ‘exploited’ here, but stretched beyond any recognition" and that it involved "sleight of hand". Since the taxes were related to the reduction in Trump's extensive junk bond debt at the time and the bankruptcies of three of Trump's casinos, the methods used were probably related, according to the report, to Trump's reported $916 million loss reported on his 1995 tax return.
In 2016, Forbes estimated Trump's net worth at $3.7 billion, and Bloomberg $3 billion. These estimates would make him one of the richest politicians in American history. He has often given much higher estimates, sometimes over $10 billion, with the discrepancy due in part to the uncertainty of appraised property values, as well as his own assessment of the value of his personal brand. As of 2016, Forbes ranked him the 156th wealthiest person in the U.S. and the 324th wealthiest in the world.
On June 16, 2015, just prior to announcing his candidacy for president of the United States, Trump released a one-page financial statement "from a big accounting firm—one of the most respected" stating a net worth of $8,737,540,000. "I'm really rich", Trump said. Forbes believed his claim of $9 billion was "a whopper," figuring it was actually $4.1 billion. In June 2015, Business Insider published Trump's June 2014 financial statement, noting that $3.3 billion of that total is represented by "Real Estate Licensing Deals, Brand and Branded Developments", described by Business Insider as "basically [implying] that Trump values his character at $3.3 billion." In July 2015, federal election regulators released new details of Trump's self-reported wealth and financial holdings when he became a Republican presidential candidate, reporting that his assets are worth above $1.4 billion, which includes at least $70 million in stocks, and a debt of at least $265 million. According to Bloomberg, for the purposes of Trump's FEC filings Trump "only reported revenue for [his] golf properties in his campaign filings even though the disclosure form asks for income", noting independent filings showing all three of his major European golf properties were unprofitable.
Mortgages on Trump's major properties—including Trump Tower, 40 Wall Street, and the Trump National Doral golf course—each fall into the "above $50 million" range, the highest reportable category on FEC filings, with Trump paying interest rates ranging from 4% to 7.125%. Mortgages on those three properties were separately reported as $100 million, $160 million, and $125 million in 2013. Trump is a leaseholder, not owner, of the land beneath 40 Wall Street. Other outstanding Trump mortgages and debts are pegged to current market interest rates. A 2012 report from Trump's accounting firm estimated $451.7 million in debt and other collateral obligations. Filings in 2015 disclosed debt of $504 million, according to Fortune magazine. Bloomberg documented debt of at least $605 million in 2016. Trump's outstanding debt was at least $650 million in August 2016, in addition to an outstanding loan of $950 million to the Bank of China and Deutsche Bank (among other creditors) on 1290 Avenue of the Americas, in which Trump is a minority owner.
Trump was listed on the initial Forbes List of wealthy individuals in 1982 as having an estimated $200 million fortune, including a share of his father's estimated $200 million net worth. After several years on the list, Trump's financial losses in the 1980s caused him to be dropped from 1990 to 1995, and reportedly obliged him to borrow from his siblings' trusts in 1993; in 2005, The New York Times referred to Trump's "verbal billions" in a skeptical article about Trump's self-reported wealth. At the time, three individuals with direct knowledge of Trump's finances told reporter Timothy L. O'Brien that Trump's actual net worth was between $150 and $250 million, though Trump then publicly claimed a net worth of $5 to $6 billion. Claiming libel, Trump sued the reporter (and his book publisher) for $5 billion, lost the case, and then lost again on appeal; Trump refused to turn over his unredacted tax returns despite his assertion they supported his case. In a sworn deposition, Trump testified that he once borrowed $9.6 million from his father, calling it "a very small amount of money", but could not recall when he did so; Trump has since told campaign audiences he began his career with "a small loan of one million dollars" from his father, which he paid back with interest: "it has not been easy for me", Trump told one New Hampshire crowd.
In April 2011, amid speculation whether Trump would run as a candidate in the United States presidential election of 2012, Politico quoted unnamed sources close to him stating that, if Trump should decide to run for president, he would file "financial disclosure statements that [would] show his net worth [was] in excess of $7 billion with more than $250 million of cash, and very little debt." Although Trump did not run as a candidate in the 2012 elections, his "professionally prepared" 2012 financial disclosure was published in his book, which claimed a $7 billion net worth.
A July 2015 campaign press release, issued one month after Trump announced his presidential run, said that the FEC filing "was not designed for a man of Mr. Trump's massive wealth" and that his "net worth is in excess of TEN BILLION DOLLARS [sic]". However, Trump has testified that "my net worth fluctuates, and it goes up and down with markets and with attitudes and with feelings—even my own feelings." On the same day, Trump's own stated estimates of his net worth have varied by as much as $3.3 billion. Trump has also acknowledged that past exaggerated estimates of his wealth have been "good for financing". Forbes has said that although Trump "shares a lot of information with us that helps us get to the figures we publish," he "consistently pushes for a higher net worth—especially when it comes to the value of his personal brand." Forbes reduced its estimate of Trump's net worth by $125 million following Trump's controversial 2015 remarks about Mexican illegal immigrants, which ended Trump's business contracts with NBCUniversal, Univision, Macy's, Serta, PVH Corporation, and Perfumania. An internal Young & Rubicam study of Trump's brand among high-income consumers showed "plummeting" ratings for traits such as "prestigious", "upper class", and "glamorous" at the end of 2015, suggesting that Trump's various businesses could face market difficulties and financing challenges in the future.
The value of the Trump brand may have fallen due to his presidential campaign. Some consumers say they are avoiding purchasing Trump-branded products and services as a protest against Trump and his campaign. Bookings and foot traffic at Trump-branded hotels and casinos fell off sharply in 2016, primarily driven by a decrease in visits to the properties by women. Following the release of the Access Hollywood tape recordings in October 2016, the value of the Trump brand was reported to have taken a further hit, with estimates of the reduction in the brand's added value of up to 13 percentage points.
Entertainment and media
Trump has twice been nominated for an Emmy Award and has made appearances as a caricatured version of himself in television series and films. He has also played an oil tycoon in The Little Rascals. Trump is a member of the Screen Actors Guild and receives an annual pension of more than $110,000. He has been the subject of comedians, flash cartoon artists, and online caricature artists. Trump also had his own daily talk radio program called Trumped!
The ApprenticeMain article: The Apprentice (U.S. TV series)
In 2003, Trump became the executive producer and host of the NBC reality show The Apprentice, in which a group of competitors battled for a high-level management job in one of Trump's commercial enterprises. Contestants were successively "fired" and eliminated from the game. In 2004, Trump filed a trademark application for the catchphrase "You're fired."
For the first year of the show, Trump earned $50,000 per episode (roughly $700,000 for the first season), but following the show's initial success, he was paid $1 million per episode. In a July 2015 press release, Trump's campaign manager claimed that NBCUniversal had paid him $213,606,575 for his 14 seasons hosting the show, although the network did not verify the claim. In 2007, Trump received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for his contribution to television (The Apprentice). The star has been targeted by vandals a few times, the most recent case was in October 2016.
Along with British TV producer Mark Burnett, Trump was hired as host of The Celebrity Apprentice, in which celebrities compete to win money for their charities. While Trump and Burnett co-produced the show, Trump stayed in the forefront, deciding winners and "firing" losers.
On February 16, 2015, NBC announced that they would be renewing The Apprentice for a 15th season. On February 27, Trump stated that he was "not ready" to sign on for another season because of the possibility of a presidential run. Despite this, on March 18, NBC announced they were going ahead with production. On June 29, after widespread negative reaction stemming from Trump's campaign announcement speech, NBC released a statement saying, "Due to the recent derogatory statements by Donald Trump regarding immigrants, NBCUniversal is ending its business relationship with Mr. Trump," apparently ending Trump's role in The Apprentice.
FilmographyMain article: Donald Trump filmography
- Ghosts Can't Do It (1989)
- Home Alone 2: Lost in New York (1992)
- Across the Sea of Time (1995)
- The Little Rascals (1995)
- Eddie (1996)
- The Associate (1996)
- Celebrity (1998)
- Zoolander (2001)
- Two Weeks Notice (2002)
- Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps (2010)
Trump Model Management
In 1999, Trump founded a modeling company, Trump Model Management, which operates in the SoHo neighborhood of Lower Manhattan. Together with another Trump company, Trump Management Group LLC, Trump Model Management has brought nearly 250 foreign fashion models into the United States to work in the fashion industry since 2000. In 2014, president of Trump Model Management Corrine Nicolas, other managers, and the company were sued by one of the agency's former models, Alexia Palmer, alleging racketeering, breach of contract, mail fraud, and violating immigrant wage laws. The case was dismissed from U.S. federal court in March 2016.
Trump is a WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment) fan, and a friend of WWE owner Vince McMahon. He has hosted two WrestleMania events in the Trump Plaza and has been an active participant in several of the shows. Trump's Taj Mahal in Atlantic City was host to the 1991 WBF Championship (which was owned by WWE, known at the time as the "World Wrestling Federation"). He also appeared in WrestleMania VII. He was interviewed by Jesse Ventura ringside at WrestleMania XX.
Trump appeared at WrestleMania 23 in a match called "The Battle of the Billionaires." He was in the corner of Bobby Lashley, while Vince McMahon was in the corner of Lashley's opponent Umaga with Stone Cold Steve Austin as the special guest referee. The deal was that either Trump or McMahon would have their head shaved if their competitor lost. Lashley won the match, and so McMahon got the haircut.
On June 15, 2009, as part of a storyline, McMahon announced on Monday Night Raw that he had "sold" the show to Trump. Appearing on screen, Trump declared he would be at the following commercial-free episode in person and would give a full refund to the people who purchased tickets to the arena for that night's show. McMahon "bought back" Raw the following week for twice the price.
Trump was inducted into the celebrity wing of the WWE Hall of Fame in 2013 at Madison Square Garden for his contributions to the promotion. He made his sixth WrestleMania appearance the next night.
Trump has described his political leanings and positions in various ways over time. Politico has described his positions as "eclectic, improvisational and often contradictory". He has listed several different party affiliations over the years and has also run as a Reform Party candidate. The positions that he has revised or reversed include stances on progressive taxation, abortion, and government involvement in health care.
Trump's party affiliation has changed over the years. Although his party affiliation prior to 1987 is unclear, Trump was an early supporter of Republican Ronald Reagan for United States President in the late 1970s. By 1987, he identified as a Republican. In 1999, Trump switched to the Reform Party for three years and ran a presidential exploratory campaign for its nomination. After his run, Trump left the party in 2001 due to the involvement of David Duke, Pat Buchanan, and Lenora Fulani within the party.
From 2001 to 2008, he was a Democrat; but, in 2008, he endorsed Republican John McCain for President and officially changed his party registration to Republican in 2009. In December 2011, Trump became an Independent for five months before returning to the Republican Party, where he has pledged to stay.
Trump has made contributions to campaigns of both Republican Party and Democratic Party candidates, with the top ten recipients of his political contributions being six Democrats and four Republicans. After 2011, his campaign contributions were more favorable to Republicans than to Democrats. In February 2012, Trump endorsed Republican Mitt Romney for President. When asked in 2015 which recent President he prefers, Trump picked Democrat Bill Clinton over the Republican Bushes.
According to a New York state report, Trump circumvented corporate and personal campaign donation limits in the 1980s—although no laws were broken—by donating money to candidates from 18 different business subsidiaries, rather than donating primarily in his own name. Trump told investigators he did so on the advice of his lawyers. He also said the contributions were not to curry favor with business-friendly candidates, but simply to satisfy requests from friends.
Involvement in politics, 1988–2015Further information: Donald Trump presidential campaign, 2000
Trump floated the idea of running for president in 1988, 2004, and 2012, and for Governor of New York in 2006 and 2014, but did not enter those races. He was considered as a potential running mate for George H. W. Bush on the Republican Party's 1988 presidential ticket but lost out to future Vice President Dan Quayle. There is dispute over whether Trump or the Bush camp made the initial pitch.
In 1999, Trump filed an exploratory committee to seek the presidential nomination of the Reform Party in 2000. A July 1999 poll matching him against likely Republican nominee George W. Bush and likely Democratic nominee Al Gore showed Trump with seven percent support. Trump eventually dropped out of the race due to party infighting, but still won the party's California and Michigan primaries after doing so.
In February 2009, Trump appeared on The Late Show with David Letterman, and spoke about the automotive industry crisis of 2008–10. He said that "instead of asking for money", General Motors "should go into bankruptcy and work that stuff out in a deal".
As Trump publicly speculated about seeking the 2012 Republican presidential nomination, a Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll released in March 2011 found Trump leading among potential contenders, one point ahead of former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney. A Newsweek poll conducted in February 2011 showed Trump within a few points of Barack Obama, with many voters undecided in the November 2012 general election for president of the United States. A poll released in April 2011 by Public Policy Polling showed Trump having a nine-point lead in a potential contest for the Republican nomination for president while he was still actively considering a run. His moves were interpreted by some media as possible promotional tools for his reality show The Apprentice.
Trump played a leading role in longstanding "birther" conspiracy theories. Beginning in March 2011, Trump publicly questioned Barack Obama's citizenship and eligibility to serve as President. Although Obama had released his birth certificate in 2008, Trump claimed that it was missing. and demanded to see it. Trump said that he had sent investigators to Hawaii to research the question, but he did not follow up with any findings. He also repeated a debunked allegation that Obama's grandmother said she had witnessed his birth in Kenya. When the White House later released Obama's long-form birth certificate, Trump took credit for obtaining the document, saying "I hope it checks out." His official biography mentions his purported role in forcing Obama's hand, and he has defended his pursuit of the issue when prompted. In 2013 he said, "I don't think I went overboard. Actually, I think it made me very popular." When asked in 2015 whether Obama was born in the United States, Trump said he did not want to discuss it further. Earlier, Trump had also called for Obama to release his student records, questioning whether his grades warranted entry into an Ivy League school. In September 2016, Trump publicly acknowledged that Obama was born in the U.S., and falsely claimed that rumors to the contrary had been started by Hillary Clinton during her 2008 presidential campaign.
In the 2012 Republican primaries, Trump generally had polled at or below 17 percent among the crowded field of possible candidates. On May 16, 2011, Trump announced he would not run for president in the 2012 election, while also saying he would have won.
In 2013, Trump was a featured speaker at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC). During the lightly attended early-morning speech, Trump said that President Obama gets "unprecedented media protection," he spoke against illegal immigration, and advised against harming Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security.
Also in 2013, he spent over $1 million to research a possible run for president of the United States. In October 2013, New York Republicans circulated a memo suggesting Trump should run for governor of the state in 2014, against Andrew Cuomo; Trump said in response that while New York had problems and taxes were too high, running for governor was not of great interest to him. He also made statements denying climate change that were discordant with the opinion of the scientific community. In February 2015, Trump said he told NBC that he was not prepared to sign on for another season of The Apprentice at that time, as he mulled his political future.
Presidential campaign, 2016Main article: Donald Trump presidential campaign, 2016
On June 16, 2015, Trump announced his candidacy for President of the United States at Trump Tower in New York City. He drew attention to domestic issues such as illegal immigration, offshoring of American jobs, the U.S. national debt, crime, and Islamic terrorism. He also announced his campaign slogan, "Make America Great Again." Trump runs as a self-described conservative, particularly in fiscal and religious matters. His campaign emphasizes American patriotism, with a disdain for what he refers to as "political correctness".  Some rallies during the primary season were accompanied by protests or violence, including attacks on protesters inside the rallies, and clashes between protesters and Trump supporters outside the venues.
Trump is the second major-party presidential nominee in American history whose experience comes principally from running a business (Wendell Willkie was the first). If elected, Trump would become the first United States President without prior government or military experience, and the first without prior political experience since Dwight D. Eisenhower. Trump would also be the oldest first-term president; Ronald Reagan was older when he took office for a second term.
Republican leaders such as House Speaker Paul Ryan were hesitant to support him early on. They doubted his chances of winning the general election and feared he could harm the image of the Republican Party.
Trump's run for president has received an unprecedented amount of free media attention. Many of the statements Trump has made during his presidential campaign have been controversial. Others have been described by Politico as "mischaracterizations, exaggerations, or simply false". Fact checking organizations such as PolitiFact.com and FactCheck.org have singled him out as having made a record number of false statements during his campaign compared to other candidates, based on the statements they have analyzed. At least four major publications – Politico, The Washington Post, The New York Times, and the Los Angeles Times – described Trump statements as lies, whoppers, or falsehoods. According to journalists James Oliphant and Emily Flitter, Trump's penchant for exaggerating to voters has roots in the world of New York real estate where he made his fortune, and where hyperbole is a way of life; Trump refers to this as "truthful hyperbole". Lucas Graves, a professor at the University of Wisconsin–Madison School of Journalism & Mass Communication, says that Trump often speaks in a suggestive way that makes it unclear what exactly he meant, and Graves adds that fact-checkers "have to be really careful when you pick claims to check to pick things that can be factually investigated and that reflect what the speaker was clearly trying to communicate."
Trump has stated that the media has intentionally misinterpreted his words. The New York Times reported in August 2016 that journalistic standards normally prevent mainstream, non-opinion journalists from becoming oppositional against a particular candidate, but says that the Trump campaign is not normal.
PrimariesMain article: Republican Party presidential primaries, 2016Further information: Republican Party presidential candidates, 2016
Trump entered a large field of candidates against 16 other Republicans campaigning for the nomination, the largest presidential field in American history. Trump participated in eleven of the twelve Republican debates, skipping only the seventh debate on January 28 (that was the last debate before primary voting began on February 1). The debates received historically high viewership, increasing the visibility of Trump's campaign.
By early 2016, the race had mostly centered on Donald Trump and U.S. Senator Ted Cruz. On Super Tuesday, Trump won the majority of the vote and remained the front-runner throughout the primaries. By March 2016, Trump reached over 50% in national support from Republican primary voters and became poised to win the Republican nomination. After a landslide win in Indiana on May 3, 2016, which prompted the remaining candidates Ted Cruz and John Kasich to suspend their presidential campaigns, RNC Chairman Reince Priebus declared Trump the presumptive Republican nominee. With nearly 14 million votes, Trump broke the all-time record for winning the most primary votes in the history of the Republican Party.
General election campaignMain article: United States presidential election, 2016
After becoming the presumptive Republican nominee, Trump's focus shifted to the general election, urging remaining primary voters to "save [their] vote for the general election." Trump began targeting Hillary Clinton, who became the presumptive Democratic nominee on June 6, 2016, and continued to campaign across the country. One month before the Republican National Convention, Secret Service agents thwarted an assassination attempt on Trump by a 20-year-old British man illegally residing in the U.S. during one of his rallies in Las Vegas.
Clinton had established a significant lead in national polls over Trump throughout most of 2016. In early July, Clinton's lead narrowed in national polling averages following the FBI's conclusion of its investigation into her ongoing email controversy. FBI Director James Comey concluded Clinton had been "extremely careless" in her handling of classified government material.
On July 15, 2016, Trump announced Indiana Governor Mike Pence as his running mate. Trump and Pence were officially nominated by the Republican Party on July 19, 2016, at the Republican National Convention. The list of convention speakers and attendees included former presidential nominee Bob Dole but the other prior nominees did not attend, though John McCain endorsed Trump prior to the convention.
Two days later, Trump officially accepted the nomination in a 76-minute speech inspired by Richard Nixon's 1968 acceptance speech. The historically long speech was watched by nearly 35 million people and received mixed reviews, with net negative viewer reactions according to CNN and Gallup polls.
In late July, Trump came close to Clinton in national polls following a 3 to 4 percentage point convention bounce, in line with the average bounce in conventions since 2004, although it was toward the small side by historical standards. Following Clinton's 7 percent convention bounce, she extended her lead significantly in national polls at the start of August.
Trump has declined to publicly release any of his full tax returns, which led to speculation about whether he is hiding something. Trump says that he is unable to release his tax returns because they are being audited and his lawyers advise against release. He also declines to release records for audited years that he has already "passed" because such records "mesh" and "interrelate" with current disputed IRS filings. High-income individuals are audited more frequently than the average taxpayer, but it is unusual for an individual to be audited for several consecutive years. Trump has told the news media that his tax rate was "none of your business," but added, "I fight very hard to pay as little tax as possible". If he does not release his tax returns before the November 2016 election, he would be the first major party candidate since Gerald Ford in 1976 not to do so. Although no law prohibits release of tax returns during an audit, tax attorneys differ about whether such a release is wise legal strategy.
General election debatesMain article: United States presidential election debates, 2016
On September 26, 2016, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton faced off in the first presidential debate at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York. Lester Holt, an anchor with NBC News, was the moderator. This was the most watched presidential debate in United States history. The second presidential debate was held at Washington University in Saint Louis, Missouri. Much of the narrative of that debate was dominated by a leaked tape of Trump making lewd comments (see below), and counter-accusations by Trump of sexual misconduct by Bill Clinton. Trump had invited four women who had accused Clinton of impropriety to a press conference prior to the debate. The final presidential debate was held at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas on October 19. Trump's refusal to say whether he would accept the result of the election drew particular press attention.
Sexual misconduct allegationsMain articles: Donald Trump and Billy Bush recording controvehan (May 26, 2016). "Hotel Bookings at Donald Trump's Hotels Are Way Down". Money Magazine. Retrieved October 18, 2016.