Donald John Trump is seeking election to a second term as president of the United States. He is the 45th U.S. president, and only the third to have been impeached, but then cleared of the charges.
Trump officially launched his re-election campaign in June 2019 during a visit to Orlando, Florida. He told supporters, “We did it once and now we will do it again, and this time we’re going to finish the job.”
His campaign slogan is “Keep America Great,” a change in wording from his 2016 slogan, “Make America Great Again.”
Before entering politics, Trump was a well-known New York real estate developer and television personality. He took command of his family’s real estate business after completing studies at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Finance. The business expanded under his leadership. It became known for building hotels, casinos, and golf courses around the world.
In the early 1990s, the company was forced to reorganize to repay creditors. Trump sought bankruptcy protection on properties in New York and Atlantic City, New Jersey. He slowly rebuilt his businesses and by 2016, Forbes magazine estimated that he was worth over $3 billion.
In 2004, Trump became the producer and star of the reality television (TV) show “The Apprentice,” which was very popular. The series was broadcast on NBC television for over 10 years. For much of his time as a TV star, Trump stayed involved in national politics. He was a leading supporter of what is called the 'birther' conspiracy. It falsely claimed then-President Barack Obama was not born in the United States.
During his years as president, Trump has worked in support of tax reform, brought home U.S. troops from Syria, and named two Supreme Court justices. He also appointed nearly 200 other judges to lower federal courts.
Trump has pushed policies to try to stop illegal immigration, especially from Mexico. He got congressional approval to build a Mexican border wall with nearly $1.4 billion. He later declared a state of emergency to free up $3.6 billion more for the wall.
For three years, Trump took credit for economic growth that included an unemployment rate of 3.5 percent, the lowest in 50 years. He noted that during his presidency, the leading measures of stock prices rose to all-time highs. But that success ended without warning as the coronavirus pandemic spread from China around the world in early 2020. Trump questioned whether the coronavirus could kill large numbers of people in the United States.
The virus spread to all 50 states and the nation was soon in an economic crisis. For weeks, Trump met once a day with reporters to talk about the virus. Health experts advised Americans to wear face masks to limit the spread of the virus. Trump has said covering one’s face is a personal choice and did not wear a mask in public until July 2020.
The U.S. jobless rate reached 14.7 percent in April, then dropped to 10.2 percent in August. Trump said he expected much better days for the economy in the second half of 2020 and into 2021.
While the coronavirus swept across the country, the death of George Floyd led to nationwide protests against the police treatment of Black Americans. They became part of the "Black Lives Matter" movement.
Floyd was an African American man who died in police detention. Witnesses recorded videos of his death.
Trump expressed support for peaceful demonstrations but also said that protesters shouting “Black Lives Matter” were a “symbol of hate.”
By September 2020, Trump’s political future was unclear at best. Several studies of likely voters showed him behind former Vice President Joe Biden by about 6.9 percentage points.
U.S. President Donald Trump speaks about administration efforts to develop a vaccine as National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Dr. Anthony Fauci listens during a coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic response event
Trump’s foreign policy has been defined by his words “America First.” He pulled the United States out of several international agreements, including the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the Paris climate agreement, and the Iran nuclear deal.
On trade, Trump kept his campaign promise to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement with Canada and Mexico, while launching a trade war with China.
The president has repeatedly questioned the amount of money the United States spends to defend other countries. He has criticized NATO, the Western military alliance that was formed after World War II.
Trump has had a difficult relationship with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron. Yet he has developed friendly relationships with traditional U.S. enemies, such as North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Trump has faced major challenges as president, including congressional efforts to oust him from power. Democratic Party lawmakers claimed that he asked Ukraine’s leader to investigate Biden and his son, Hunter Biden, for wrongdoing that would help Trump win re-election.
The Democratic-controlled House of Representatives impeached him in late 2019, but the Republican-controlled Senate dismissed the charges in early 2020.
I’m Susan Shand.
Words in This Story
impeach - v. to charge the president of the United States with a crime
slogan - n. a phrase that represents one's beliefs
real estate - n. residential or commercial property that is used as an investment
golf course - n. the grassy area where the game of golf is played
casino - n. a place where one can legally gamble
bankruptcy - n. to legally declare oneself unable to pay back debts
conspiracy - n. the belief that there are forces working agains the good
pandemic - n. a contagious disease the crosses into several countries
challenge - n. problems or things that must be overcome to succeed