Donald Trump

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President of the United States

You are Donald Trump, President of the United States


“I would love to be able to be the one that made peace with Israel and the Palestinians...A lot of people tell me, really great people tell me, that it’s impossible — you can’t do it…I disagree. I think you can make peace…I have reason to believe I can do it.”

“Donald J. Trump is calling for a complete and total shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country’s representatives can figure out what the hell is going on.”

“When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re not sending you. They’re not sending you. They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with them. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.”

“If Putin likes Donald Trump, I consider that an asset, not a liability. Because we have a horrible relationship with Russia. Russia can help us fight ISIS, which by the way, is number one tricky.”

"Our country is in serious trouble. We don't have victories anymore. We used to have victories, but we don't have them. When was the last time anybody saw us beating, let's say China, in a trade deal? I beat China all the time. All the time."

“I think apologizing is a great thing, but you have to be wrong. I will absolutely apologize, sometime in the hopefully distant future, if I’m ever wrong.”

Early Life and Business Career

You were born in Queens, NY June 14, 1946. After attending the New York Military Academy as a boy, you matriculated at Fordham University and then transferred to the University of Pennsylvania, graduating in 1968 with a B.A. in Economics. In 1971 you took charge of you father’s real estate and construction firm, renaming it the Trump Organization. Under your management, the focus and scope of the organization changed dramatically. While your father had focused on middle-class rental housing in Brooklyn, Queens, and Staten Island, you sought to make a name for yourself in Manhattan. To that end, in 1973 you began holding meetings to help finance a complete remodel the old Commodore Hotel in Midtown into the new Grand Hyatt. Much work was done behind the scenes to make the deal happen, including using your father’s political connections to secure a 40-year tax abatement from the city of New York, saving you millions. In short, while to this day like to think of yourself first and foremost as a builder, the nature of the real estate business has meant that political considerations were never far from your mind. Since then, the Trump Organization has grown considerably. In addition to the several Manhattan skyscrapers that now bear your name, your organization has been involved, both domestically and internationally, in golf courses, hotels, beauty pageants, casinos, and a host of other projects and holdings. In the 1990s, your three Atlantic City casinos got into serious financial trouble, resulting in a series of corporate bankruptcies, and information from your 1995 tax returns recently revealed losses of almost 1 billion dollars in that year alone. However, you were able to recover, in part by shifting your business strategy to one of brand licensing, in which other developers pay the Trump Organization for the use of your name. These deals, which involve far less risk, have grown to become the most valuable portion of your organization. Your brand was given still further exposure due to your starring role on the reality TV show The Apprentice, beginning in 2003.

Political Career

Over the years, you have held diverse political views, and have at various times been a member of the Democratic, Reform, and Republican parties. In 2015, you declared your intention to run for President. While many saw your candidacy as an overwhelming long shot, you prevailed in the primaries over a large, divided Republican field before turning your attention to Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton. Here too, you consistently trailed in the polls, but shocked the nation and the world with your victory. By winning the electoral college, (if not the popular vote) you became the richest president ever, in addition to being the only one elected without any prior political or military experience.

Key Issues

(NB: As was pointed out in the previous section, you have held many different views, but this section will detail only those which rose to prominence in the 2015-16 presidential campaign.)

As revealed in the speech you gave when you announced your candidacy, you are a harsh critic of illegal immigration, particularly from Mexico, and you have pledged to build a wall along southern border to help curtail it. Your comments in that speech concerning illegal immigrants, in addition to your proposal to ban all Muslims from entering the United States (among other statements) have led to accusations of racism and xenophobia, in addition to comparisons to other “populist” movements such as the UK’s UKIP and France’s Front National. Your previous active role in the “birther” movement that sought to discredit President Obama on the basis of his alleged foreign birth has also given fuel to your detractors. In addition to criticizing the free movement of people, you have also critiqued free trade agreements such as NAFTA, and view the American trade deficit with China not only as a sign that China is “winning,” but as a key factor in the loss of US manufacturing jobs. To help reverse the latter phenomenon, you have promised to impose retaliatory tariffs on American companies who manufacture overseas. On both immigration and free trade, critics have pointed out that the reality is somewhat more complicated, and have warned that your zero-sum, winners versus losers approach will result in a return to the protectionist economic policies that helped usher in the Great Depression. Other domestic issues on which you have focused include a repeal of the Affordable Care Act, lower taxes, and increased spending on infrastructure. It remains to be seen whether the implementation of these policies will truly “make America great again.” On the foreign policy side, your views mostly revolve around the need to combat what you refer to as “radical Islamic terror.” You are especially concerned with the defeat of ISIS, but have also pledged to combat groups such al-Qaeda, Hezbollah, and Hamas. However, you are more isolationist than your recent predecessors, and have stated your opposition to the types of nation building and military intervention conducted by both the Obama and Bush administrations. In line with your domestic anti-immigration stance, you have opposed the admission of Syrian and Iraqi refugees into Western Europe, citing it as a cause of chaos and terrorism, and have instead advocated the creation of regional “safe zones,” to be financed by wealthy Gulf countries. Recent revelations by the American intelligence services concerning Russian hacking and other interference in the 2016 election has also brought this issue to the fore, while at the same time bringing increased attention to your relationship with Russian president Vladimir Putin, who you have personally complimented in speeches. You have also been critical of the Iran nuclear deal. You dislike that it has benefitted Iran financially, while at the same time purportedly allowing the Iranian government to simply “run out the clock” in its quest to develop nuclear weapons. This latter statement refers to the 15-year ban on uranium enrichment, though supporters of the deal have pointed out that even after this time, most of the monitoring and verification mechanisms spelled out in the deal will remain in effect. Finally, your statements relating to the disproportionate cost borne by the US in alliances such as NATO have led to concern about whether you will continue to support this diplomatic and military cornerstone of the post-WWII world order.

On Israel/Palestine

In your speech to AIPAC, you characterized yourself as a “lifelong supporter and true friend of Israel.” The fate of Israel has also taken on personal significance since your daughter Ivanka’s conversion to Orthodox Judaism prior to her marriage to Jared Kushner, a fellow real estate heir and recent appointee to the post of Senior White House advisor. In speeches, you have tended to echo the views of Netanyahu, and as such you have voiced support for continued settlement expansion and a move of the American Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. The latter views are also shared by David Friedman, your choice for ambassador to Israel. Finally, you have been harshly critical of the recent UN Security Council resolution 2234, which denounces the settlements as illegal and calls for a two-state solution along the 1967 Green Line. Even before this resolution passed, you had criticized the UN for its “weakness and incompetence” concerning Israel, and have insisted on bilateral talks between the two sides as opposed to an externally imposed framework for peace. However, despite the volume and tenor of your concessions to the Israeli right-wing, there is some cause for optimism. As the author of “The Art of the Deal,” you view the current Israeli-Palestinian stalemate as the ultimate test of your deal-making acumen, and have noted that for any deal to succeed, both sides must sacrifice valued assets. PA president Mahmoud Abbas sent you his congratulations after your election victory, and Abbas’ advisor for strategic affairs, Husam Zomlot, has welcomed Kushner’s appointment as Peace Envoy, stating that the elevation of such a trusted advisor reflects your commitment to the issue.

Role Playing Notes

In your recent campaign, you demonstrated an uncanny ability to distill complex phenomena into simple, easily understandable statements, with little regard paid to the demands of nuance, politeness, or even objective truth. With regard to the latter, you have characterized your relationship with the facts at hand as one of “truthful hyperbole,” in which a salesman will promote his product by means of hype and exaggeration, without excessive concern for the particulars. Whatever the merits of this strategy, it certainly helped you win the presidency, in part by cementing your image as an anti-establishment figure, and even after the election you showed no desire to modulate these tendencies towards those of a more traditional politician. As a result, the rest of the world’s statesmen have frequently been at a loss to respond to a figure whose statements might reasonably be seen not as accurate reflections of his views, but as something closer to opening gambits in a negotiation. For you, this unpredictability represents an asset in that it allows you maximum freedom to change your mind, while at the same time keeping your enemies unsure of your plans. For example, it is for the latter reason that you have always declined to provide specifics as to your strategy in defeating ISIS, though your critics have taken a more cynical view – namely that such plans have not been stated because they do not exist. While you have pledged to be open minded with regard to the trust you place in your counterparts on the world stage, you can be counted on to not back down if you perceive your personal brand in any way threatened or maligned. To those who offer kindness and compliments, you will always respond in kind, though any and all criticism can expect at least a verbal reprisal, and potentially more drastic measures. The American presidency is a position of immense power, and as of this writing you also have Congress on your side, allowing you a great deal of strategic latitude. However, any declaration or strategy must be coordinated with (or at least seconded by) the other members of your team. No official statement made by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson or Senior Foreign Policy Advisor Robert Gates should contradict your views, since any internal disharmony will make you appear disorganized - or worse, weak - and that is a perception you will never abide.


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