Four years in the White House. What happened during Trump's first presidential term
The incumbent president is fighting for the highest state post in the United States for the second time. However, according to polls, he is behind his rival Joseph Biden nationwide by about 8 percentage points and lagging behind him in the so-called swing states.
WASHINGTON, November 3. / TASS /. Republican Donald Trump is fighting for the highest state office in the United States for the second time. If he wins elections in the country on Tuesday, he will remain head of the White House for another four years.
According to polls, the 74-year-old Trump is behind his rival, 77-year-old Democratic candidate Joseph Biden, nationwide by about 8 percentage points, and is lagging behind in so-called wavering states that play a key role in the presidential race. Polls also show that 53.4% of Americans disapprove of Trump's presidency, while only 45% approve. Nevertheless, political analysts believe that he retains good chances of success - much will depend on how actively his supporters go to the polling stations.
Trump continues to enjoy the support of those voters who brought him to the White House in 2016 on a wave of discontent with the policies of Democratic President Barack Obama. An important part of his electorate is not only rich Americans, who received tax breaks from him, but also conservative residents of the American hinterland, including white evangelical Christians.
Trump's four-year victory over former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton came as almost a surprise to everyone - and even to himself. The New York billionaire entrepreneur was considered an outsider in the Washington political establishment and was essentially a "stranger among his own" even in the Republican Party. Now he is running as president, as well as the de facto leader of not only the Republicans, but all the most conservative forces in America today.
Trump and impeachment
Trump is the first-ever U.S. president to run for a second term after being impeached in Congress. In 2019, Democrats in the House of Representatives accused him of trying to use his office to politically harm his electoral rival, former Vice President Joseph Biden. Trump pushed for Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to initiate an investigation into Biden's son, who served on the board of directors of the Ukrainian gas company Burisma. Ultimately, Trump was acquitted by the Republican-majority Senate.
From the first days in power, the Trump administration was accompanied by an endless series of scandals related to the resignation and dismissal of cabinet members, heads of federal departments and senior White House officials. Only in the post of Assistant to the President for National Security, four people were replaced, not counting those temporarily acting. Trump's unpredictability and voluntaristic management style caused confusion and then complete rejection among many Americans.
Democrats, who still believe that Trump dishonestly defeated their candidate Hillary Clinton in the 2016 elections, declared war on him from the first days, trying to almost openly sabotage his decisions. There was even talk of the existence of a "deep underground" in the American government, which is resisting Trump, guided by national security interests. In addition, he has developed an unprecedentedly bad relationship with the leading liberal newspapers and television companies. Trump calls them "false media", and they do not skimp on negative assessments of his policies.
According to him, it is because of this that he uses Twitter so actively. "This way I can refute the false media, this is very important," he once said at a press conference. In addition, Trump regularly uses the social network to make serious political statements and even announce resignations and appointments in his administration through it.
New slogan for a new term
Trump and his closest aides claimed that back in 2016 they made their plans for eight years in power at once. Then his campaign slogan, borrowed from Ronald Reagan, sounded like "Make America Great Again", and he tried to fulfill this promise, creating additional incentives for the development of the national economy and taking protectionist measures to protect American manufacturers. Following the results of his first presidential term, Trump said that America had already become great thanks to his policies and therefore now the slogan should be: "Let's keep America great."
Until the beginning of this year, when advertising his main achievements, Trump called primarily stable economic growth. However, everything was changed by the coronavirus pandemic, which collapsed the US GDP in the second quarter by 31.4% on an annualized basis. In the third quarter, this figure rose by 33.1%, but due to disagreements between the White House and Democrats in Congress, a new package of additional economic stimulus has not yet been approved. Experts believe that in the last months of the outgoing year, this may seriously slow down the country's economic recovery. In addition, the labor market situation remains extremely difficult.
Obama built, Trump destroyed
After receiving the keys to the Oval Office in January 2017, Trump set about renegotiating relations with other countries and international organizations, promoting the slogan "America First." As a result, the United States left the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the UN Human Rights Council, withdrew from the Paris Climate Agreement and announced its withdrawal from the World Health Organization on July 6, 2021.
Washington terminated the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) with Canada and Mexico and replaced it with a new Canada-Mexico-United States Trade Agreement (USMCA). The United States began imposing duties on EU goods and launched a widespread trade war against China.
The pandemic further aggravated relations with the PRC. Washington accused Beijing of trying to hide information about the origin of the coronavirus and the extent of the epidemic. Trump has already been ill with COVID-19 and continues to call the coronavirus "Chinese".
During Trump's tenure as president, the United States withdrew from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty and announced its intention to withdraw from the Open Skies Treaty. The fate of the Treaty on Measures to Further Reduce and Limit Strategic Offensive Arms, which expires in February 2021, remains in question. Washington has made the renewal of this agreement impracticable.
Trump also announced his intention to reduce the presence of US troops in the Middle East in order to "get out of these endless wars," but the actual withdrawal of American soldiers from the region has not yet occurred.
Trump also reversed the course taken by the Obama administration to normalize relations with Cuba and ended the international agreement on Iran's nuclear program, calling it "the worst deal in US history." Calling himself a master of negotiation, he claims he can negotiate better terms with Tehran.
Despite serious disagreements with his closest allies, Trump says he has "good relations" with many of the world's leaders. Among his diplomatic achievements, he considers negotiations with the DPRK on the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, as well as a plan for a peaceful settlement of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, which, however, was immediately rejected by the Palestinian side.
In addition, the Trump administration takes credit for brokering agreements on the normalization of Israel's relations with the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, dubbed the "Abrahamic Accords." In October, the US President announced that Sudan had also agreed to normalize relations with Israel.
Trump barely hid hopes that the Abrahamic Accords would bring him additional pre-election points. They can really be written down to him as an asset, but foreign policy problems are traditionally far from the most important thing that worries the Americans. According to surveys, they are much more concerned about the state of the economy and the epidemiological situation in the country.
It was not possible to "get along"
Back in 2016, Trump announced that he expects to "get along" with Russia, but during his tenure as president, there was no improvement in relations between the two countries. Moreover, during this period, the United States imposed new anti-Russian sanctions, including against the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project, provided military assistance to Ukraine and took steps to further limit contacts with the Russian Federation in a number of areas. This happened largely due to the fact that not only Democrats in Congress, but also some people from the current Republican administration, still suspect Moscow of trying to interfere in the American elections.
These suspicions were investigated for two years by Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller, who did not find evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign with Russia, but confirmed the conclusions of the US intelligence report on "Russian interference." Moscow has repeatedly denied such allegations, and Trump has called the Mueller investigation and similar investigations in Congress a "witch hunt."
During his tenure, Trump met several times with Russian President Vladimir Putin, including during the G20 meeting in Hamburg in July 2017, at the Helsinki summit in July 2018 and during the G20 meeting in Osaka in June 2019. Trump also announced his desire to invite his Russian counterpart, along with the leaders of several other states, to the next G7 summit, which was to be held in the United States in 2020. The leaders of Canada and the EU countries opposed this, but in any case, such a meeting did not take place due to the pandemic.
Donald Trump was the fourth child of the successful New York property developer Frederick Trump, the son of German immigrants. He set up his own construction company in 1920, raised it during the Great Depression, mainly building houses as part of the affordable housing program. His father became a role model for Trump in business. On his mother's side, Mary McLeod, Trump has Scottish roots.
The President's elder sister, Marianne Trump-Barry, is a lawyer who rose to serve as a judge of the Federal Court of Appeals. Trump's older brother, Fred, died of alcoholism. This made such an impression on Donald that he, in his own words, does not drink, does not smoke, and has never used even weak drugs.
In 1959-1964, Trump studied at the New York Military Academy, a private boarding school, and then for two years at Fordham University. He then transferred to the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania, from which he graduated in 1968 with a BA in Economics. In the same year, Trump was diagnosed with foot problems, and a medical report allowed him to avoid being drafted into the army at the height of the Vietnam War.
After completing his studies, Trump began working in his father's company and after a few years he himself headed the family business. He later renamed the construction conglomerate the Trump Organization and changed its direction of development, switching to expensive office buildings, hotels, casinos and golf clubs around the world. After winning the presidential elections in 2016, he transferred the management of the company to his eldest sons, but remained its owner.
Trump has tried his hand at other areas of business as well. In 1996-2015, together with the television company NBC, he organized the Miss USA and Miss Universe beauty contests. Some of his business projects were unprofitable. These include a football team, an airline, a mortgage company, a magazine, a vodka and mineral water production, a board game, an Internet company and a university.
During the financial crisis of 1989, Trump's personal debt was estimated at $ 900 million, the debt of his companies at $ 8.3 billion. However, he managed to restructure debts and paid them off in five years.
Trump has been married three times. In 1977, he married Ivana Zelnichkova, a former Czechoslovak skier, later a fashion model and successful entrepreneur, who bore him three children - Donald (1977), Ivanka (1981) and Erica (1984). In 1993, the couple divorced.
Trump's second wife was actress and producer Marla Maples. Their marriage lasted six years, in 1993 Maples gave birth to their daughter Tiffany Ariana.
In 2005, Trump married Melania Knavs. The future first lady of the United States was born in the city of Novo Mesto in Slovenia. In her youth, she began to build a modeling career and in the mid-1990s moved to one of the world fashion capitals - New York, where she met Trump. In 2006, they had a son, Barron William.
Since the last election campaign, Ivanka and her husband Jared Kushner have been among Trump's closest aides. Kushner is officially a senior adviser to the president.
Reality shows and politics
Long before his political career, Trump was known as an unsurpassed master of self-promotion. His name constantly flashed on the front pages of American and foreign newspapers and magazines, he starred in films, TV series and even music videos, and in 2003 he became a producer and host of the reality show "Apprentice", for which he was awarded a star on the Alley glory in Hollywood.
In recent years, his opponents have repeatedly shattered the star, accusing Trump of seeing his presidency "like just another reality show." Be that as it may, Trump has already left a noticeable mark not only in show business, but also in big politics. Whether it will last four years or eight years will become known in the coming days, if not hours.