The Journey of Donald J. Trump to the White House

Donald J. Trump once said, "Anyone who thinks my story is anywhere near over is sadly mistaken"

"It's always good to be underestimated".

True to the above, take a look at the journey of Donald Trump, from being a real-estate mogul to becoming the 45th President of the United States of America.

He was born on June 14, 1946, in New York City, New York, U.S., to real estate developer Frederick Trump and Mary McLeod, Trump graduated in 1968 from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania with a degree in economics. He was eligible for the draft lottery during the Vietnam War, but a combination of student and medical deferments disqualified him from service.

Early in his career, Trump invested $70,000 in a Broadway comedy – “Paris Is Out” – which remains his only producer credit for theatricals to date; the play was a flop. The next year, he began his real estate career – he joined his father’s company, Elizabeth Trump & Son. 

By 1971, he’d moved to Manhattan and was handling some of the largest and most profitable building projects in the city. He was given full control of the company later that year.

The future U.S. president spent the ‘70s networking and making connections with some of New York’s most influential people. Focused on maximizing profits, he involved himself in large-scale building projects in Manhattan and, by 1980, opened the Grand Hyatt Hotel next to the Grand Central Station. He also secured the Fifth Avenue site that would go on to house Trump Tower.

In 1977, Trump married Ivana Zelníčková, a New York-based fashion model. Born on Feb. 20, 1949, Zelníčková was briefly considered for Czechoslovakia’s skiing team at the 1972 Winter Olympics. The couple had two sons – Donald Jr. and Eric, as well as a daughter, Ivanka.

Trump Tower – a $200 million apartment-retail complex - was opened in 1983 and generated considerable national attention. The 58-story structure features a grand atrium, a 60-foot-high (18.3 meters) waterfall, luxurious apartments and retail stores.

Looking to profit off the growing casino market, Trump acquired and re-built the Taj Mahal, a hotel and casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey, for a rumored $1.2 billion. It was relaunched as the Trump Taj Mahal Casino Resort in 1990.

In May 2017, Trump reportedly sold the hotel, which he earlier labeled the "eighth wonder of the world," for $50 million.

He continued to buy new business ventures and diversify his holdings, acquiring Eastern Air Lines Shuttle for $365 million in 1989 and renaming it Trump Shuttle. Three years later, his dream of an uber-expensive airline service ran out of cash and defaulted on its debt.

Following the real estate slump of the late 1980s and early '90s, Trump’s empire took a hit and sustained itself almost wholly on loans. His own valuation of the company was $1.5 billion; Forbes’ valued it at only a third of that figure.

In 1991, Trump divorced Ivana and, two years later, married American actress Marla Maples. The marriage lasted for four years before Trump filed for divorce in 1997. The divorce was finalized in 1999 and Maples received $2 million under the prenuptial agreement. Together, they have a daughter, Tiffany.

Trump’s first serious stab at entering politics was on Oct. 7, 1999, when he formed an exploratory committee to decide on seeking the Reform Party’s candidacy for the 2000 U.S. presidential election.
Between 2004 and 2015, Trump hosted and starred in the NBC reality TV series “The Apprentice”, a show on which three of his children – Ivanka, Donald Jr. and Eric – also made appearances.

In 2005, Trump married Slovenian model-turned-jewelry designer Melania Knauss, with whom he has a son, Barron William.

In 2012, Trump considered entering politics yet again – another run for president. However, his reputation took a hit after he associated himself with the “Birther” movement – a group that believed then-U.S. President Barack Obama wasn’t born in the country.

On June 16, 2015, Trump announced a run for the Republican ticket for the 2016 presidential election. One of the more controversial candidates in recent times, he dominated media coverage with outrageous comments about fellow candidates and contentious immigration policies.

On May 26, 2016, Trump received the support of 1,238 delegates and secured the Republican Party’s nomination for the next presidential race. He beat U.S. Senators Ted Cruz (Texas), Marco Rubio (Florida) and Ohio Governor John Kasich, among others, and was confirmed as their nominee on July 19.

Trump faced Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton in three debates: on Sept. 26, Oct. 4 and Oct. 9, 2016, as part of the build-up to the election on Nov. 8, 2016.

On Nov. 9, Trump defeated Clinton to become the 45th U.S. President. In a close battle, the 70-year-old candidate won more than the required number of Electoral College votes but lost the popular vote.

Trump’s presidential inauguration was on Jan. 20, 2017, and, in his first week as U.S. president, he signed six Executive Orders, including the reinforcement of border security and the planning of a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.

In March 2017, Trump signed Executive Order 13780, titled Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States, which limited travel into the U.S. from certain countries. It also limited the inflow of refugees without valid travel documents.

In September that year, he signed Presidential Proclamation 9645, which expanded on the previous order. It restricted travel from Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Syria, Venezuela, and Yemen. 

In December, the Supreme Court allowed the ban to go into full effect, pending legal challenges. 
Rejecting the scientific consensus on climate change and asserting that the Paris Agreement would do very little to ease global warming, Trump announced the withdrawal of the U.S. from the climate accords in June 2017, making his nation the only one in the world to not ratify the agreement.
In December, he signed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, which reduced personal tax brackets, increased child tax credit and cut corporate tax rate to 21 percent, among other reforms.
In the same month, he also signed Space Policy Directive 1, which marked a change in the nation's space policy. It would now allow an U.S.-led integrated program with partners from the private sector, ensuring another human landing on the Moon, followed by missions to Mars and beyond.

In January 2018, Trump delivered his first State of the Union Address, where he called on all politicians to "summon the unity" necessary to fix the country's infrastructure and flawed immigration systems.  

During his time as a running Presidential candidate, Trump said he intended to roll back the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which allowed people who illegally entered or stayed in the U.S. as minors to receive a renewable period of deferred action from deportation (for two years) and also be eligible for a work permit. 

In September 2017, the Trump administration announced DACA would be repealed after six months, which led to nationwide protests. 

In January 2018, after a number of flip-flops on the decision, the White House finally agreed to release a "legislative framework" outlining a compromise on DACA, provided a considerable amount (around $30B) is appropriated for the border wall.

Trump’s foreign policies have grabbed eyeballs (and controversy) across the world. These include working on relations with Cuba, the violence-marred shifting of the U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem and trying to lift sanctions against Russia. 

However, none of these have quite transfixed the world as the attempt solve the North Korea crisis. In July 2017, under the supervision of its leader Kim Jong Un, North Korea tested two intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs). The following month, Trump warned Kim that further provocations would be met with “fire and fury like the world has never seen.” 

By March the following year, after a historic summit between Kim and South Korean President Moon Jae-in, the White House confirmed Trump would meet Kim in Singapore in June. True to his negotiating style, the U.S. president then threatened to pull out of the meeting before appearing to relent and re-confirm the potentially world-changing June 12 meet.

By Evie Fordham. Follow Evie on Twitter @eviefordham.
The Journey of Donald J. Trump to the White House The Journey of Donald J. Trump to the White House Reviewed by E.A Olatoye on January 28, 2019 Rating: 5

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