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Donald Trump’s ferocious efforts leads him to White House

PTI Washington | Updated on January 12, 2018 Published on January 20, 2017

US President-elect Donald Trump waves with his wife Melania at the "Make America Great Again! Welcome Celebration" at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington on January 19.   -  Reuters

New York’s best-known developer and reality television personality, Trump was often synonymous with controversy

Donald Trump, a colourful billionaire, tapped into the disillusionment of blue-collar voters by his controversial anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim rhetoric that makes him the most unconventional president in US history after one of the most divisive contests.

New York’s best-known developer and reality television personality, 70-year-old Trump was often synonymous with controversy during his bitterly-fought presidential campaign against Democrat rival Hillary Clinton.

The real estate mogul turned to politics announcing his candidacy for president on the Republican ticket in 2015, joining a crowded field of more than a dozen major candidates.

Once considered a long shot, Trump won a majority of the primaries and caucuses by defeating sixteen well-known politicians of his party. Trump, 70, became the official Republican Party candidate for president on July 19, 2016.

During his election campaign, a number of women accused him of sexually assaulting them. He hogged headlines for several suggestive and denigrating remarks against women, including his own daughter.

Most prominent was a video that resurfaced after 5 years, in which Trump is heard boasting about being able to sexually assault women and get away with it for being “a star”.

Trump had teased the idea of running for the presidency since 1987, but many feel the final straw for him was the 2011 White House Correspondents’ dinner when he was made the unwitting target of President Barack Obama’s pointed jokes.

The incident had unfolded amid Trump upping the ante on the birth row, as he questioned whether the US President was an American citizen.

The annual dinner happened just a couple of days before the US Navy Seals raid that killed al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden in May 2011 in Pakistan. The killing of the man who masterminded the 9/11 terror attacks unified the nation and Trump faced a backlash for questioning the nationality of the President who took the world’s most wanted man out.

Four years later, the tycoon entered the crowded field of the Republican Party’s presidential campaign, but his candidature was instantly dismissed as a reality stunt by many, including his own party members as well as Obama.

But far from being entertaining, the Trump campaign shocked people with divisive statements that threatened to undermine the long-cherished secular and Democratic American traditions.

Trump was also criticised by his party for insulting the parents of a decorated Muslim-American soldier who died in the line of duty in Iraq.

Such was his rhetoric in the campaign that top leaders of his own party, including House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senator Ted Cruz, did not endorse him till close to the end of the election cycle.

Trump’s rhetoric, however, resonated with the American working class, who were fed up with the establishment and the Washington elite and were also angry at losing their jobs to immigrants or to companies shipping work abroad.

The real estate mogul ran an unconventional election and will be the most unconventional president in US history.

After his surprise victory in the November elections, Trump made several controversial appointments including nomination of his son-in-law Jared Kushner as his senior advisor, a move that could be challenged under the 50-year-old anti-nepotism law.

The Trump team includes former CEO of energy giant ExxonMobil Rex Tillerson as secretary of state; retired Marine General and critic of the Obama administration James Mattis as Secretary of Defence; as well as Steve Bannon as Chief Strategist and Senior Adviser. Bannon is seen as an extremist with ties to white supremacist “alt-right” movement.

With millionaires and billionaires in the team, the Trump administration might be the wealthiest in modern US history.

Nearly a week before his inauguration, Trump declared that he had formally handed over “complete” control of his business empire to his two sons — Donald Jr and Eric — and they won’t discuss its operations with him, in a move to avoid conflicts of interest during his presidency.

‘Make America Great Again'

Trump, who came to power focusing on ‘Make America Great Again’, promises to strengthen the American economy and build a wall on the border of Mexico to keep out illegal immigrants.

Trump, who calls himself a greatest jobs producer that God ever created, last week said he will announce “big news” over the next couple of weeks.

Ahead of his swearing in ceremony, Trump was hit by sensational claims that he was “cultivated” by Russia for years and Moscow has compromising information on him.

Trump responded angrily by dismissing the allegations as a “witch hunt” and likened it to as “living in Nazi Germany”, inviting criticisms from the Jewish groups which slammed him and sought his apology for invoking Nazi Germany.

Early life

Trump was born in Queens, the fourth child of New York real estate tycoon Fred Trump. He attended the Wharton School and got into real estate with a “small” USD 1 million loan from his father before joining the company.

He helped manage his father’s extensive portfolio of residential housing projects in the New York City boroughs, and took control of the company — which he renamed the Trump Organisation — in 1971.

Considered a ruthless businessman, Trump transformed his family’s business from residential units in Brooklyn and Queens to high—class Manhattan projects.

Today his signature towers are among the most expensive and sought-after addresses in New York City.

Behind this veneer of success, however, are a series of failed ventures — Trump has filed for bankruptcies and has been accused of not paying his contractors and selling small businesses that work for him short.

He is known as much for being an entertainment tycoon as he is for owning prime real estate across the world. He built an empire in the entertainment business, and from 1996 until 2015, was an owner in the Miss Universe, Miss USA, and Miss Teen USA beauty pageants.

He married thrice and is currently husband to Melania Trump. His children are Donald Trump Jr, Ivanka, Eric, Tiffany and Barron.

Published on January 20, 2017
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