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(Not to be confused with The Presidents of the United States of America)
Barack Obama ← Donald Trump → Joe Biden
Donald John Trump is the 45th President of the United States of America, succeeding Barack Obama. One of the few presidents to be known outside of political circles before his run, he was originally a real estate mogul known for slapping his name on the front of his innumerable hotels, casinos, resorts and golf courses. Prior to transferring his business assets to his children, most of his capital was rooted in New York City, where he owned several million square feet of property, including half of the Empire State Building. And prior to 2015 he held joint-ownership over the Miss Universe pageant, also encompassing Miss USA and Miss Teen USA. This is a secondary achievement to Donald's comb-over, which rivals any architecture he's built.
In The Seventies, Trump inherited his real estate business from his father Fredrick (rechristening it "The Trump Organization", natch). Following a five-year apprenticeship under his dad, Donald relocated to New York City to begin his career in earnest. He went on to gather up Manhattan's most profitable properties like so many vacant Monopoly squares.
His 1987 semi-autobiographical book, The Art of the Deal, sold extremely well as people began to identify him with American entrepreneurship and shrewd power brokering. It was around this time that Trump started to appear As Himself in television Dom Coms and films, including cameos in Home Alone 2 and The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, where the characters invariably treat him with a reverence usually reserved for royalty. His golden boy image took a beating in The Nineties as the result of bankruptcies, a much-publicized extramarital affair, and mounting debt (partly as a result of the 1980s recession), but he managed to bounce back. He even has his officially licensed and voiced video game.
From 2004 to 2015, Trump starred in The Apprentice, his own reality TV series (created by Mark Burnett, the brains behind Survivor) on NBC. The show consists of a selection of candidates competing against each other for an open slot in one of Trump's companies. The program was wildly successful and remains one of the highest-rated reality shows to date. He has since been replaced with Arnold Schwarzenegger.
In 2011, Trump briefly ran in the Republican presidential nomination primary for the 2012 election, seen by some as a ratings stunt. He was a proponent of the "birther" theory, so his campaign was ended after the birther train was stopped for good by Barack Obama providing his long-form birth certificate. Despite this, Trump maintained that there were still "questions" about Obama's birth certificate until he dropped the issue in 2016.
On June 16, 2015, he again announced his candidacy for president, as a Republican. With his opposition to illegal immigration, and alleged "free-trade agreements" as well as non-interventionist views on foreign policy, among many other things, Trump quickly emerged as the front-runner for the Republican nomination, showing qualities that other candidates in his party lacked. His highly controversial remarks and unorthodox behavior during the campaign gave him a Hatedom and a Fandom as massive as each other. It came to a point where Trump became the only major Republican candidate.
Donald Trump faced Hillary Clinton in the 2016 general election. He campaigned on a platform promising a renegotiating several "disastrous" international trade deals, stronger enforcement of immigration laws, reform of veterans' care, repeal and replacement of Obamacare, abolition of Common Core education standards, investments in the country's infrastructure, ending corruption in Washington D.C. and a simplified tax code with lower rates. His primary slogan was "Make America Great Again" with secondary slogans including "Build the Wall", "Drain the Swamp", and "He's With Me" (a jab at his opponent's main slogan "I'm With Her"). Originally predicted by the majority of the media polling to lose in a landslide (which was born of an incorrect assumption that turnout demographics would equal that of the 2008 election), he would up winning several states in the "Rust Belt" previously thought Democrat strongholds, such as Michigan and Pennsylvania.
In the 2020 general election, Donald Trump faced off against Joe Biden. Despite both being fairly unpopular candidates, and televised debates leading up to the election quickly devolving into a mutual mudslinging spectacle, Joe Biden managed to pull ahead and claim victory, succeeding him as the 46th President of the United States.
He is the third president to have been impeached (twenty-one years less a day after Bill Clinton was), the first to have been impeached during his first term of office, and the first to be impeached twice. He is also the first president to have been banned from all major social media sites for misleading information and inciting violence. As of June 2023, he is the first former President to be indicted on felony charges.
Some editors would probably have some triumphant line of argument to add here in support or opposition of any of those, but they should know better.
- Ad Hominem: Has been on the giving and receiving end of this often. Trump has been known to attack the person in debates alongside - or often instead of - addressing the point raised in an argument. For example, his reason for disliking the retired Admiral McCraven was because he is a "Hillary Clinton fan."
- Adam Westing: At one time, he seemed to revel in parodies of himself, even appearing in a series of OREO commercials with Darrell Hammond impersonating him. Hammond was the longest-running white male cast member of Saturday Night Live, and one of the show's best and most frequently-used celebrity impersonators.
- All Issues Are Political Issues: While President, he claimed any criticism of his actions was a political attack. After (reluctantly) leaving the White House, he claimed any and all criminal investigations and charges he faced were politically motivated.
- All Women Are Lustful: Trump's view of women, especially according to the Pussygate tape. After implying that Nancy O'Dell, who once rebuffed his advances, became sluttier with "big phony tits", he went on to explain that all women all want it with a star:
And when you're a star, they let you do it. You can do anything. *beat* Grab 'em by the pussy. You can do anything.
- Admiring the Abomination: Trump has notoriously given praise to several world leaders viewed as controversial at best or outright despots at worst. These include Vladimir Putin of Russia, Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines, Xi Jinping of China, and Kim Jong Un of North Korea (despite Trump previously throwing some shade at Kim and even threatened "fire and fury" against North Korea on Twitter). He once claimed he admired Saddam Hussein for executing terrorists, and if Michael Wolfe is truthful in his book Landslide, he had to be kept by aides from publicly saying positive things about Adolf Hitler himself.
- Animals Hate Him: Okay, maybe too broad a generalization, but there was one infamous attempt at a campaign photo shoot with a bald eagle that went rather badly...
- And Stay Out!: According to the December 1, 2021 "Fever Dreams" column/pocast on The Daily Beast news website, Trump -- who was banned by his successor Joe Biden from receiving traditional post-Presidency intelligence briefings after the January 6, 2021 insurrection attempt -- has begun claiming that he wasn't banned, he instead actively refused to accept those briefings:
“When we reached out to Donald Trump’s office early this week about the reporting we had, and also the details in this newly revised CIA book,” [Fever Dreams co-host Asawin Suebsaeng] relates, “he tried to convince us that his current lack of post-presidency briefings is all his own decision. It was all by his own design…
- Appeal to Popularity: This logical fallacy underlies Trump's frequent claims that an unspecified but large number of unknown and anonymous "people" agree with him or certify his opinions and positions as correct. He seeks to validate his statements by counterfeiting a body of people who allegedly agree with him.
- Arch Enemy: Has several people who've committed themselves to going against him where the feeling's mutual. No need to list any examples - the list that used to be here was quite egregious.
- Artistic License Law:
- "I have an Article II where I have the right to do whatever I want as president", Trump said in July 2019. It wouldn't be until more than a year later that Trump learned that Article II didn't quite give him the power he thought he had, particularly over other branches of the government.
- His apparent belief that legal cases are decided for whoever shouts loudest, regardless of evidence.
- His claim that being banned from all major social media sites at the end of his presidency was a violation of the First Amendment of the United States Constitution. The First Amendment forbids the government -- and only the government -- from regulating speech. Private entities are permitted -- in fact, required at times -- to regulate speech which they enable. Further, businesses are permitted to refuse to service to anyone they care to -- a right supported all the way to the Supreme Court by conservatives, who only imagined it being used by Christian bakeries to refuse to make cakes for gay weddings. Not to mention that the social media sites which have banned him have also banned other world leaders and political figures for identical behavior, putting the lie to his insistence that he is being specifically targeted.
- As of March 30, 2021, a federal judge has ruled that the Non-Disclosure Agreements Trump had his campaign workers sign were so broad as to be unenforceable, suggesting that Trump's desire to control his employees' speech exceeds his understanding of the laws regarding the legal ways of doing so.
- Similarly, in late September 2021, a New York arbitrator ruled that the NDA ex-White House aide Omarosa Manigault Newman was required to sign did not adhere to typical legal standards and was "vague, indefinite, and therefore void and unenforceable". The arbitrator summarized the agreement as imposing on her "an obligation to never say anything remotely critical of Mr. Trump, his family or his or his family members' businesses for the rest of her life", and ruled that the document did not qualify as a binding contract under New York law.
- In an interview with Sean Hannity on September 21, 2022 regarding his possession of classified documents at Mar-a-lago, Trump solemnly declared that as President he could magically declassify documents just "by thinking about it", and that despite there being a formal procedure by which documents are declassified, "There doesn't have to be a process".
- Artistic License Medicine: His notorious speech where he suggested drinking bleach or using an "injection" of disinfectant to clear a Covid patient's lungs is often regarded as one of his costliest mistakes.
- Attack! Attack! Attack!: Trump rarely if ever backs down. No matter the potential foolishness or folly, he will almost inevitably double down when called on it, usually citing unspecified anonymous "people" who agree with him or certify him as being correct.
- A case in point would be his defense in 2019 of calling for the death penalty for the so-called "Central Park Five" in 1989, even after the five had been exonerated of the rape and beating of jogger Trisha Meili when murderer and serial rapist Matias Reyes confessed to the crime once DNA evidence identified him. With no evidence whatsoever, Trump painted the five as still being criminals guilty of unknown other crimes to justify his demand for their executions.
- Attention Whore: No doubt as a consequence of his narcissism, Trump craves and revels in constant attention, and will do or say anything to draw and keep that attention on him. His rage and the subsequent lawsuits he filed when he was banned from his usual bully pulpits in the wake of the January 6, 2021 insurrection attempt are typical of him when he is denied the adulation he thinks he is due from the American people.
He lives in terror of being irrelevant.
—Chris Cillizza, CNN.com, September 8, 2021
- Political commentator Kurt Bardella used the Trope Name directly in September 2022:
He’s an attention whore and everything always has to be about Donald. He has to make himself the centre of the universe so he goes out there and plays this little flirtatious ‘will he, won’t he?’ card and it’s just designed to continue to keep that conversation going.
—Kurt Bardella, The Guardian
- Author Vocabulary Calendar: Trump's frequent use of "failing" as a pejorative for any news outlet which reported anything negative about him, as though impugning the profit margins of organizations such as The New York Times was relevant to their journalistic integrity. His insistence that any television program which covered him negatively was always losing or low in ratings also testifies to Trump's obsession with winning as the only meaningful metric in life.
- Awesome McCoolname: Trump, as the words has several meanings, including "surpass (something) by saying or doing something better". His ancestral name was Drumpf, which was changed to Trump sometime in the 17th century, and has picked up steam as a pejorative (often one that falls into Godwin's Law) among his many liberal critics and detractors.
- Badass: He got a very credible threat to his life at least two weeks before his presidential election, to the point the Secret Service evacuated him from the speech he was giving, but instead of letting it stick, he simply went right back to the podium a few minutes later and continued speaking. Throughout his entire presidential campaign and into his presidency, Trump has been the target of more than one confirmed assassination attempt and refused to quit appearing in public or be cowed into doing so.
- Badass Grandpa: Trump was in his late sixties when the aforementioned threat happened, and he's now an actual grandfather.
- Bad Liar: Trump's "Pants on Fire!" count on Politifact (a designation given when "The statement is not accurate and makes a ridiculous claim") is 179 (as of August 2023), which is roughly 18% of his statements as a whole.
- Bannon Banned: Quite a bit of strife in the political fandom was caused by Steve Bannon's appointment as a quasi-Chief of Staff.
- Believing Their Own Lies: It's unclear, but Trump does at least give the appearance of believing his lies du jour.
- Big Bulky Bomb: He became the first president to deploy a MOAB, the so-called "Mother of All Bombs" (which itself is a Shout-Out to Saddam Hussein's "mother of all wars" boast) in 2017. This bomb is so big it has to be launched out the back of a cargo plane, but it's only a conventional explosive.
- Big Lie: Ever since losing the November 2020 election, Trump and his allies -- including Senators Josh Hawley and Ted Cruz -- claimed without proof that Joe Biden's victory had been the result of a vast program of voter fraud executed by the Democrats. While they repeatedly insisted that they had evidence to prove this assertion, none ever materialized and no court (out of sixty lawsuits) ruled in their favor. One lawsuit filed with the Supreme Court of the United States by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton in early December 2020 actually claimed that the complete lack of any evidence of voter fraud was in fact proof of the existence of a massive conspiracy that had perfectly hidden all traces of both its existence and its efforts to "undermine" the "true" results of the election. Regardless of the absence of any proof, the members of Trump's Cult of Personality uncritically accepted these claims, which directly led to the mob assault upon the United States Capitol on January 6, 2021.
- Attempts to "prove" that organized voter fraud "stole" the election continued through the summer of 2021, with recounts and audits in states with sympathetic Republican governors or legislatures -- as many as four in some states. As of this writing, all have failed to show anything close to what Trump's increasingly strident supporters demand that they should -- and one in fact revealed that Biden had actually won with more votes than initially counted.
- In late August 2022 Trump outright demanded his immediate reinstatement as President, insisting nearly two years after the fact that the 2020 election was "stolen" despite no evidence having emerged to prove his claims.
- Blatant Lies: Has been accused of doing this frequently, though not without reason or proof. The Washington Post began keeping a record false or misleading claims (lies), totaling 492 in his first 100 days in office, 3001 in his first 466 days, 4,229 in his first 558 days and 6420 in his first 649 days. His lie count varies, but in the first 466 days of his Presidency, he averaged 6.5 'false or misleading claims' a day, whereas in June and July of 2018, he averaged 16 lies per day. This dramatic uptick seemingly coincided with increased pressure from the Mueller investigation. The exponential lie count continued under the aforementioned pressure, coupled with the run up to the Mid-Term elections on November 6, 2018. According to the graph in the Washington Post, Trump has lied/ made false claims over 1000 times in October 2018].
- As of November 1st, 2018, Trump claims to tell the truth "when [he] can"
- As of December 10th, 2018, as part of their Fact Checker, the Washington Post created the ultimate category of lie, or misleading claim. Based on their prior "Pinocchio" scale whereby a claim is award 1 (shading of truth) to 4 (lying) Pinocchio's depending on its relative truthfulness; the new category is called a "Bottomless Pinocchio" and stands for any false claim repeated publicly more than 20 times. These claims constitute disinformation. The biggest Pinocchio's of the year were given own page.
- "I do not tolerate ANY extreme violence." Trump posted this to Twitter on October 8, 2020 in response to Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer's accusation that he encouraged White Supremacist groups and their violence. And then on January 6, 2021, he told a rally "And after this, we're going to walk down there, and I'll be there with you" before doing nothing to prevent that crowd from storming the Capitol building. He was not right there with them. As soon as he was done speaking he returned to the White House to watch the insurrection he'd launched on TV.
- George Conway has described him as "the most prodigiously documented liar in American history, if not the history of the world."
- As of the end of his presidency, the Washington Post credited him with over 30,500 false or misleading claims during the four years he was in office.
- Trump claims a golf handicap of 2.5. (When it comes to golf handicaps, lower is better.) In July 2023, professional golfers assessed it at closer to 30.
- Broke Episode: Trump's businesses have filed for bankruptcy six times.
- Brooklyn Rage: Trump's persona, at least in the media, is that of a straight-talking, tough New Yorker - an image he's made efforts to cultivate over the years.
- Brutal Honesty: He is quite outspoken, especially where things such as excessive political correctness are concerned. As for how honest, that's a subject of some debate; suffice to say he's said both truths and falsehoods.
- The Bully: A noted behavior over the years.
- Trump received his cameo in Home Alone 2 because he demanded it in exchange for permission to film in the Plaza Hotel, which he owned at the time. In a December 2020 interview with Insider, director Chris Columbus explicitly described it as "bully[ing] his way into the movie".
- In early January 2021, Trump attempted to bully his vice president Mike Pence into illegally calling the election for him by browbeating him: "You can either go down in history as a patriot, or you can go down in history as a pussy." (Pence chose "patriot", enraging Trump with his "betrayal".)
- The Caligula: Trump matches many of the qualities listed in the article, most notably his extreme behavior (which was very obvious after his 2020 defeat) and his intolerance of disagreement or things he doesn't want to hear - it's not for nothing that his own press secretary invented the phrase "Alternative Facts". And while he's never renamed a city for himself, one need only point at all the gaudy buildings he's built with his name on them, or his frequently-expressed desire to add his face to Mount Rushmore.
- Calvin Ball: Trump would ignore many unwritten "rules" for running a successful campaign and win anyway.
- He completely ignored the "rule" that a campaign should "never put a candidate in a hat if you can avoid it"  and not only made his "Make America Great Again" hat iconic, but successfully wore a hard hat when accepting an endorsement from West Virginia Coal Association .
- Trump was the first major party candidate in 40 years not to release his income tax return. He claims an ongoing audit prevented him from doing so.
- The Cameo: Trump has appeared as himself (or characters parodying himself in some way) in numerous shows (including The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and The Nanny) and even a couple of films like Home Alone 2: Lost in New York.
- Catch Phrase: "You're fired." Inverted regularly in the season finales of The Apprentice, when he announces "You're hired."
- "Make America Great Again" (MAGA for short) was his campaign slogan - he re-purposed "Let's make America great again" from Reagan's 1980 campaign. Although he intended on using "Keep America Great" as his 2020 slogan, it wasn't seen as much as the original.
- Trump's other 2016 campaign slogans included "Build The Wall", "Lock Her [Hillary Clinton] Up" and "America First".
- Trump's now-suspended Twitter feed was populated with tweets filled with the catchphrases, or Stock Phrases, "Witch Hunt!" / "No Collusion! (regarding the Mueller investigation) and "Fake News" (regarding any and all negative stories about the Donald).
- The Chosen One: Repeatedly invoked and lampshaded by Trump himself, as well as some of his allies. He has been spoken of in religious terms among his followers, such as when Rick Perry told Trump that he was God's chosen one. Trump also refers to himself as the only one who could have done X, for a whole host of X.
"I am the chosen one."
—Donald J. Trump, 21 August 2019
- This is his explicit role in the QAnon conspiracy theory/pseudo-religion, combined with The Messiah, at least before Joe Biden's inauguration in 2021 -- according to the original dogma, Trump was to be elected to a second term, then sweep through the government arresting and executing all Democrats for being cannibalistic Satanist pedophiles, and establish a permanent Republican/conservative government. The remaining QAnon adherents are still recalibrating their prophecies to explain the discrepancy.
- Compensating for Something: Trump's resurgence in business was accompanied by the, erm... erection of a 68-story Trump Tower in Manhattan's Upper East Side. Pleased with the finished product, he sprouted more "Trump Towers" in major cities throughout the U.S.
- Also while on the campaign trail, he assured America that despite his small hands, he had "no problems in that department".
- Has been attributed to him in other areas "has the best words", is "like a smart person", has "one of the best temperaments" and, the clincher, he is a "very stable genius."
- Con Man: A frequent charge leveled at him over the years, both formally and informally.
- Trump University (also known as the Trump Wealth Institute and Trump Entrepreneur Initiative LLC), which he founded and which was owned and operated by the Trump Organization, was an unaccredited school which claimed to train students in real estate, asset management, entrepreneurship, and wealth creation. It was infamous for high-pressure sales tactics and misleading marketing, and was the subject of fraud and racketeering investigations in several states, plus two class-action suits in federal courts. No less an eminence than the arch-conservative publication The National Review described it as "a massive scam".
- He was also described as such during his presidency, but no more so than for his end-of-2020 fund raising, where his apparatchiks claimed that any donated money would go to fighting the confirmation of Joe Biden or to help the Georgia Senate run-offs, but (as explicitly noted in the fine print) most of which actually went to Trump's own political action committee.
- So described by attorney and Trump critic George Conway in "What I Really Believe", an opinion piece published in the Washington Post on January 19, 2021:
I believe he’s a con man, a pathological liar ... I believe he doesn’t care about, and may not even fully comprehend, the difference between truth and lies, between honesty and mendacity.
- Conspiracy Theorist: Trump never met a conspiracy theory too wild to embrace and retweet, as long as it made him look good or his enemies look bad. He would gladly delve fathoms deep into Cloudcuckoolander territory if it served his needs, such as the claim that Hugo Chavez, who had died three years before Trump was elected, was behind a vast international conspiracy to deny him re-election.
- Starting well before his political career, he has promoted dozens of them; among the most troubling were his assertion that Barack Obama was not born in America and thus not eligible to be President ("Birtherism"), that Muslims in Jersey City were celebrating the 9/11 attacks by partying in the streets as it was happening, that Ted Cruz's father was involved in John F. Kennedy's assassination, that there was widespread voter fraud in 2016 (the election he won), that there was even more voter fraud in 2020, that Obama was "wiretapping" his campaign, Hillary Clinton ordered Vince Foster and dozens of others murdered (not a conspiracy theory he started, in his defense, but one he seems adamant is true), Global Warming is a "Chinese hoax", and that Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia was murdered (which he did seem to make up himself). He gladly took up QAnon, the whackjob right-wing movement that was convinced that all Democrats were blood-drinking, Satan-worshiping pedophiles and that Trump was a savior who would defeat them all and make the world safe for fascism.
- Consummate Liar: Averted. Trump's apparent uncontrollable compulsion to make himself look better or more knowledgeable at all times has led to him lying about things that can easily be verified or which were witnessed by thousands or millions of other people -- starting with the claim that his 2017 Inauguration had a larger crowd than any other Inauguration ever, especially Barack Obama's -- a claim immediately disproven by the National Parks Service, which released side-by-side aerial photographs demonstrating just how tiny the turnout was for Trump, and how immense it was for Obama.
- In the interests of fairness, it should be noted that more than a year and a half after his inauguration, the characterization of this as a deliberate lie was challenged by then-Press Secretary Sean Spicer, who claimed that Trump's boast was based on cropped photos provided by an anonymous NPS photographer which left out the vast tracts of empty space that were filled with people for Obama's inauguration, and thus Trump hadn't lied, he'd been misled. This had the problem of contradicting Trump's comment that the boast was based on his own on-the-spot observation of the crowd during the ceremony.
- Crunchtastic: Trump has a bigly vocabulary of the best words. Even if a few are made up. (See, for example, Covfefe).
- Cult of Personality: His following, who comprise approximately a third of Republican voters by best counts, and who uncritically accept everything he says.
- Didn't Think This Through:
- A common opinion of his critics is that simply running for President was the biggest mistake of his life, as it was a position he was unprepared for with no experience or background in politics. Being unable to accept criticism in a position that was so public and so under public scrutiny has led to legal issues and unwanted revelations. Many of his detractors have also stated that simply thinking a few minutes before hitting the "Send" button on Twitter might have solved a lot of his problems.
- The most notable example was the January 6, 2021 Capitol Building riot, which he at least partially encouraged. Breaking and entering the seat of the United States government (something that did not happen even during the American Civil War) and assaulting police is not the right way to convince everyone that the opposing candidate "stole" the election. The blatant act of terrorism caused Trump to lose much of his already waning support, rendered him Persona Non Grata with all major social media outlets and a number of companies which had formerly done business with him, and also caused the press to refer to him with words like "fascist", "traitor", and "Nazi", which they had, up to then, tried hard to avoid using. Whatever the case, it was obvious to everyone it did not improve his political career or reputation, likely ruining it and that of many others.
- The potential side-effect of the storm of pardons he issued in his final weeks in office. Accepting a pardon by American law is an admission of guilt by the pardoned party, but worse, doing so removes the recipient's protection against self-incrimination under the Fifth Amendment (because they can't be prosecuted they can't incriminate themselves); consequently they can be compelled to testify -- in this case, against Trump. It took several weeks after the first pardon for this to occur to anyone in Trump's White House (at which point it was too late); Federal investigators, of course, were aware of this and more than happy to trade a few underlings for Trump himself.
- Averted when Trump was reportedly dissuaded from pardoning his children in his last hours in office by aides who raised the spectre of them being forced to testify against him.
- Possibly the worst example to date was inviting known hate group leader Nick Fuentes to a party at Mar-a-Lago in November 2022, an act that has resulted in many of his former allies and defenders condemning him for it. As of this writing, he has yet to apologize or even admit it was a bad idea.
- Except it went From Bad to Worse a week later when public scorn for it led to an angry rant claiming the Constitution must be "terminated" to reinstall him as President. The response was almost exclusively condemnation, even by members of his own party. In the grand Trump tradition he then began denying he'd ever said such a thing and described all media reports about it as fabrications. As a final kick to the teeth, Fuentes himself condemned Trump, claiming his announcement for his reelection showed Trump was too moderate.
- Dodgy Toupee: Often when someone wants to make a sketch or joke about Donald Trump they may take the easy angle and mock the obvious toupee. Meet the Spartans did this where he fires Spiderman and cuts his web but he sticks it back onto his head and pulls the wig off.
- Lisa Lampanelli did this funnier than anyone: "What do you say to a barber to get him to cut your hair like that? I fucked your daughter?"
- In one Sluggy Freelance strip, his toupee was revealed to be a live squirrel.
- The Don: Numerous observers, especially toward the end of 2020, commented on how Trump ran his administration like a crime family. Even earlier, it was noticed how often Trump used criminal argot in the context of his presidency, such as referring to whistleblowers as "rats" and congratulating those who had refused to cooperate with investigations for not "ratting him out".
- Dude, Where's My Reward?: Trump was obsessed for a while with winning the Nobel Peace Prize, likely out of a desire to "one-up" his predecessor. He made a very big deal when he was simply nominated for it, despite being one of 318 candidates and ultimately didn't win.
- Eagle Land: Foreign observers ignore his statements and look at his actions - pulling out of international organizations, putting in place entry restrictions against people who believe a different faith than he does, tearing up free-trade treaties - as evidence that he is firmly in Type 2.
- Egopolis: Trump 'brands' his buildings with the Trump name displayed prominently, often placing large gold "T" symbols throughout the interior rooms.
- Empty Promise: Usually played straight just like almost every other politician of the early 21st century, but Inverted with his promise to "accept no salary". Federal law forbids anyone from working for the government for no salary, but Trump donated all of his salary to various government departments during his tenure as President.
- Ensemble Darkhorse: In the 2016 Presidential campaign, especially since he won.
- Epic Fail:
- Many of his detractors have noted how hard it is to actually bankrupt a casino (a business whose sole product is money) which Trump managed to do multiple times.
- His constant insistence that mail-in votes are tampered with or destroyed has caused much of his base to distrust that method, and suppressed far more Republican voters than Democrats, ultimately costing them votes. This continues to be a problem long after the 2020 election, the complete failure of the 2021 attempt to recall California Governor Newsome a good example of the results.
- His support of the Arizona vote audit. After five months of delays and absurd accusations, the leaked results showed that Biden won the state by even more votes than previously believed. Some of his detractors have half-jokingly started to encourage more such audits in other states.
- Exaggerated: He calls it "truthful hyperbole" (an oxymoron) in "The Art of The Deal". Otherwise known as stretching the truth.
- He has, according to himself, the best words, the best brain, is like a smart person, has the best temperament, and knows the "system" better than anyone.
- Fair Use: Defied. As this article shows, he has a long history of using works of music at his events without the consent or approval of the creators.
- Favoritism Flip Flop: it has been pointed out that Trump has a tendency to express agreement with the last person with whom he's spoken. A good example was after the 2018 Parkland shooting in Florida, when he seemed to favor gun control on the Wednesday (28/2/18), only to backtrack on the Thursday (1/3/18) after a meeting with the NRA.
- Fountain of Memes: Became a gigantic wellspring of these during his 2016 Presidential campaign and his Presidency, some of which he even encouraged.
- Friendly Enemy: With Bernie Sanders, who attempted to get the Democrat party's nomination in 2016 but lost narrowly to Hillary Clinton. Trump repeatedly encouraged Sanders during the primary. The media branded it a transparent attempt to peel Bernie voters away from Hillary Clinton, though conceded there might be genuine sympathy. With a third party hacking revealing Democrat internal communications always talked as though Hillary would be the nominee the suggestion the primary was rigged wound up very appropriate.
- Frivolous Lawsuit: After refusing to concede the 2020 presidential election, Trump or his proxies filed over sixty lawsuits in attempts to challenge and overturn the election. Only one judge ruled in his favor, and that judge's decision was overturned. Many of these were riddled with spelling, grammar and (worst of all) procedural errors a first-year law student wouldn't make - like his legal team filing one in the wrong state. And then there was the Insane Troll Logic that underlaid some of them...
- Trump also has a history of of filing SLAPP (“strategic lawsuit against public participation”) suits against anyone who criticizes or offends him, in an attempt to bankrupt them with legal fees or simply intimidate them into shutting up.
"I spent a couple of bucks on legal fees, and they spent a whole lot more. I did it to make his life miserable, which I’m happy about."
—"What really gets under Trump’s skin? A reporter questioning his net worth", The Washington Post, March 8, 2016
- One of Trump's (fortunately unachieved) goals as president was to relax libel and other laws so that it would be easier to use the courts to suppress speech of which he didn't approve.
- A full summary of Trump's horrendous history of filing these lawsuits is displayed here.
- Trump's seemingly endless repertoire of lies about everything led more than one observer to note that he was attempting to gaslight the entire country.
- Oxford English Dictionary placed "gaslighting" in the top words of 2018, something The Washington Post credited Trump (among other sources) for that.
"The concept has also been applied to political contexts this year, with the term used extensively of President Donald Trump; his frequent assertions that the media are spreading ‘fake news’, and implications that his administration is the sole arbiter of truth, have led to Trump’s presidency of the United States being compared to an abusive relationship."
- Great Wall: Invoked by Trump when he promised that he would build a "big beautiful wall" along the United States' southern border to protect poor helpless Americans from ravening hordes of illegal Mexican immigrants. He also promised to make Mexico pay for it, though offered no means of doing so. Only about a hundred yards of it were ever actually erected during his administration, mostly to test various construction methods and designs, and it started collapsing from poor construction and cheap materials before his single term was over.
- Hey, You: His endorsement for the 2022 Missouri Senate primary was "Eric". Whether he meant Eric Greitens or his opponent Eric Schmidt, he didn't specify.
- Hidden in Plain Sight: Assuming Trump wasn't being sarcastic, he asked Russia to hack his opponents' emails... live on TV... during a news conference.
- Hoist by His Own Petard: Trump's permanent bans from multiple social media platforms have been held up as examples of the right of businesses to deny service to anyone they care to -- a right supported all the way to the Supreme Court by Trump and his conservative backers, who only imagined it being used by their side in the so-called "culture wars".
- Humiliation Conga: Trump was on the receiving end of this from Barack Obama at the end of April 2011. On Wednesday[when?], after Trump jumped on the "birther" issue, Obama released the long sought after "long form birth certificate", making Trump look somewhat foolish (though Trump boasted about how proud he was of getting the certificate released; he probably still didn't believe it). On the Saturday, Trump was the subject of more roasting than the President at the White House Correspondent's Dinner. And finally, on the Sunday night, just to make a bad week worse for Trump, Celebrity Apprentice was interrupted for the news that Obama had ordered a successful raid and killing on Osama bin Laden.
- Ignorant of His Own Ignorance: His understanding of uranium is unparalleled. (See Know-Nothing Know-It-All below for more)
- Immediate Self Contradiction: Within a couple hours of the siege of the Capitol building by an armed mob of Trump supporters during the count of Electoral College votes on January 6, 2021, Trump and his children's Twitter feeds suddenly reversed their stand entirely on encouraging their followers to "take their concerns to Congress".
- Implacable Man: Trump can be (and has been) accused of many things, but not weakness. Proclaimed by supporters with the unofficial slogan "Can't Stump the Trump", referencing what they see as an ability to have repeated (political) attacks just glance off of him instead of sticking like most candidates.
- Trump contracted COVID-19, but was cleared by doctors days later, despite being in the "vulnerable" category as an elderly man (Trump was 74 when he contracted COVID-19). On the other hand, he was not cleared until after being given treatment that anybody other than the President would have had to wait until they were at death's door to receive - the credit for this one should go to the medical profession.
- Even the Democratic party's own analysts will (in hindsight) give him credit for accomplishing the almost impossible feat of being on the opposite end of both the most lavishly-funded and well-connected political campaign team in history and the most consistently unfavorable press coverage ever received by a Presidential candidate in the past century and still triumphing over both on sheer determination.
- Improbable Hairstyle: His hairstyle, toupee or not, is very distinct and hard to shift.
- British Political Cartoonist Dave Brown regularly depicts Trump's hair as an autonomous and evil looking rodent.
- Scandinavia and the World has shown the hairdo as a separate entity capable of holding people hostage.
- Insane Troll Logic: Many, many examples. Leaving out some of his bizarre claims about the 2020 election, there are things like his apparently sincere belief that if COVID-19 testing was reduced or stopped, then there would be fewer people -- maybe even none! -- suffering from COVID-19.
- Ironic Echo: When Greta Thunberg addressed the United Nations in 2019, Donald Trump tweeted that she looked like "a very happy young girl looking forward to a bright and wonderful future", ignoring the topic of her speech. On the final day that Donald Trump was president in 2021, Greta Thunberg tweeted that he looked like "a very happy old man looking forward to a bright and wonderful future."
- Irony: inverted: Trump claimed to hire the best people, only to systematically fire them one by one, and for a number of them to end up indicted, pleading guilty and then put on trial (Flynn, Manafort, Gates, Cohen etc).
- He launched a tirade of abuse at Omarosa Manigault Newman, calling her a "crazed lowlife" and a "dog". He has known and worked with her for 15 years, and has fired her 4 times (3 times on "The Apprentice", once IRL).
- Even his wife Melania can't escape the iron-y grip of Trumpdom: she advocates for the prevention of cyber-bullying while her husband - the most powerful man in the world - bullies people on the internet. Ouch.
- See The Nicknamer below: while naming Ted Cruz "Lyin' Ted" and Hillary Clinton "Crooked Hillary", Trump was (and as of early 2021 still is) himself the subject of an ongoing investigation, is arguably one of the biggest liars on the planet, and is very possibly crooked.
- It Will Never Catch On: Outside of his own campaign team the number of political pundits, analysts, or insiders even remotely willing to entertain the idea that Donald Trump could successfully be elected President could literally be counted on the fingers of one hand. Then he proved them wrong by winning.
- Youtube has a highlight reel of the best Trump election skepticism, complete with punchline.
- Scott Adams got it right, however.
- It's All About Me: Cannot comprehend anything greater than himself, let alone dedicating oneself to such a thing, as shown by comments he made in 2020 admitting his total inability to understand why American soldiers would and did give up their lives for the country (and later calling them "suckers and losers" for doing so).
- He also made it clear on more than one occasion that he did not think that being President meant serving the country, but rather that he was doing it a favor.
- He repeatedly declared in mid-2020 that COVID-19 didn't affect anyone "important", but dropped that claim as soon as he had been diagnosed with the disease in October of that year.
- When his attorney general, William Barr, announced that there was no proof of election fraud after the 2020 election of Joe Biden, Trump cornered him over a dinner in the Oval Office and demanded, "Why would you say such a thing? You must hate Trump. There’s no other reason for it. You must hate Trump."
- "Just Joking" Justification: The White House staff routinely backpedaled on his more outrageous and controversial pronouncements with a "Just Joking" excuse. A few examples:
- His notorious speech where he asks Russia for help finding Hillary Clinton's emails, claiming they'd be rewarded? His base will always claim he was just kidding.
- In June 2020, when Trump proudly announced at a rally that he had ordered a slowdown of COVID-19 testing in the middle of the pandemic, the White House quickly declared that he had been joking.
- Likewise when in April 2020 Trump solemnly recommended that the American people inject disinfectants and drink bleach to cure COVID-19, the White House helpfully clarified that he was being "sarcastic".
- Similarly, the White House excused his fervent declaration that Democrats were "treasonous" and "un-American" for staying seated during his 2018 State of the Union speech as "just joking".
- Given that Trump shows no evidence he even possesses a sense of humor, it's amazing how many jokes he told from the Presidential podium that nobody noticed until his staff pointed them out. Trump would also occasionally subvert his staff's efforts by contradicting them and insisting he really was serious.
- Just Plane Wrong: Famously claimed that the F-35 Fighter Jet was literally invisible. Also famously claimed the Continental army seized control of the airports during the American Revolution.
- Karma Houdini:
- Despite being impeached in 2019 for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, the Senate refused to bring him to trial.
- While over a dozen of his businesses have failed and six more of his businesses have declared bankruptcy, he has never declared personal bankruptcy.
- Two allegations of sexual impropriety were enough to get Bill Clinton impeached and brought to trial. (He was acquitted.) Forty-three allegations of sexual impropriety were not enough to bring Trump to court.
In truth, the question of whether Trump is held to normal standards of accountability is hardly new — it's been the soundtrack of his presidency, and arguably his entire adult life.
—Keith Boag, "Can America handle the truth about Trump?", January 29, 2021
- Kicked Upstairs: Picking South Carolina governor Nikki Haley, a critic of his, as Ambassador to the UN has been described as this. The position would give her a position with no actual power to an organization Trump has repeatedly called a joke and would make South Carolina's lieutenant governor, who is more supportive of Trump, the governor.
- Know-Nothing Know-It-All: It was a frequent boast of his during his presidency was that he always knew more than any expert. According to Trump, he was a military genius, a prodigy in economics, and a master of all matters medical, among many other fields. This was how he was able, for instance, to confidently declare COVID-19 was a hoax, a mild flu, and a dangerous disease that would never enter the United States, all at once.
Trump: One of the problems that a lot of people like myself — we have very high levels of intelligence, but we’re not necessarily such believers [in climate change].
- The same can be said of his cabinet picks. Rick Perry (former Governor of Texas and Trump's first Secretary of Energy) didn't even know nuclear energy was part of the package when he said he wanted to “do away with” the department at a 2011 presidential debate. Steven Mnuchin, his first Secretary of the Treasury, is a known spendthrift who has been criticized for making frivolous purchases. Callista Gingrich (his Ambassador to the Vatican) seemed to have no qualifications other than being Catholic, and was likely appointed as a favor to Trump's ally Newt Gingrich. And Scott Pruitt (his EPA chief) had been best known for unsuccessfully suing the EPA twelve times. Oh, and the state he represents, Oklahoma, is among the most polluted in the nation. More examples can be found here.
- Post Presidency it has gotten worse with his endorsements, who are mostly extremist celebrities with no experience in politics, for no reason other then gratitude for them endorsing him. These include Dr. Mehmet Oz in Pennsylvania, J.D. Vance in Ohio, and Hershel Walker in Georgia.
- Lack of Empathy: Is apparently completely incapable of understanding or sympathizing with the feelings of anyone other than himself, as noted by many outside observers and reporters.
- Landslide Election: Subverted in 2016, inverted in 2020. He claimed his victory in 2016 was "the biggest Electoral Landslide in history, but it was not even close and he lost the Popular vote. While he and many proponents predicted a 312-Electoral Vote landslide in 2020, he lost 306 to 232. Ironically, Biden's victory was a wider margin that Trump's in 2020, which Trump himself claimed was a landslide.
- Large and In Charge: 6'3" and 243 pounds as of the end of 2020, with a body mass index over 30, which qualifies him as "obese", although not morbidly so as some have claimed.
- Last-Name Basis: Due to using his family name as a brand name and the meaning of the word "trump", Donald Trump is referred to as Trump the majority of the time (or occasionally President Trump).
- Machiavelli Was Wrong: His methods have been called "Machiavellian" by his detractors, and given his record, the Trope seems legit.
- Madness Mantra: White House insiders reported that after the 2020 election was called for Joe Biden, a disbelieving Trump would wander the White House muttering, "I won. I won. I won."
- Medal of Dishonor:
- Trump is such a Bad Liar, The Washington Post was inspired by his statements to create a new category on their fact-check system, the Bottomless Pinocchio, which is for absurd lies that are repeated multiple times. As of September 2022, Trump has 56 Bottomless Pinocchios, the worst being his claim that his economy was the best in United States history, repeated 493 times. This is also, by the way, the Post's record number of times for a Bottomless Pinocchio.
- Also, statements either originating or propagated by Trump have been given the Lie of the Year designation by Politifact six times.
- Metaphorgotten: See some of the entries under "Troll" below.
- A Million Is a Statistic: Repeatedly declared during mid-2020 that "nobody important" was affected by COVID-19. By the end of his administration nearly 400,000 Americans had died from the disease.
- The Mole: During Trump's 2016 campaign for the Presidency, his previous history as a supporter of the Democratic party as well as a friend of the Clintons had no few news outlets, including the BBC, wondering if he wasn't actually a Democratic mole within the Republican party.
- Move Along, Nothing to See Here: Trump makes all his wives, alleged mistresses and staffers sign Non-Disclosure Agreements.
- As of March 30, 2021, a federal judge has ruled that the Non-Disclosure Agreements Trump had his campaign workers sign were so broad as to be unenforceable. So in this particular case the trope appears to averted.
- As president, Trump and his staff routinely destroyed records of meetings and phone calls in violation of federal law mandating their preservation. A small group of White House staffers who went out of their way to reconstruct destroyed paper records early in his administration were fired for doing so.
- Mundane Made Awesome: Frequently referred to his never-built US/Mexico border wall as a big, beautiful wall.
- Narcissist: Diagnosed as such by multiple mental health professionals before and during his presidency, including his own niece.
- Some believe that his narcissism is so severe that he simply could not conceive that he lost the 2020 election and sincerely believed that he won in the face of all evidence to the contrary.
- Never My Fault: No matter what happened during his administration, it was never his fault. The Obama Administration was to blame for anything bad that happened on Trump's watch, almost all the way to the 2020 election; somewhere in 2020 he started blaming people who weren't even in office yet.
- He famously declared in front of video cameras that he took "no responsibility" for failures of his administration to address the COVID-19 outbreak.
- In the wake of the January 6, 2021 mob attack on the Capitol, Trump repeatedly refused to take any responsibility for the violence and deaths inflicted by the crowd he had whipped into a frenzy, and in fact claimed unnamed and unidentified "people" had examined "every word" of his speech and certified it harmless.
- During the 2022 midterm elections, Trump declared that while any wins for the Republicans were entirely due to him, any losses weren't his fault.
- Never Accepted in His Hometown: Trump joins James K. Polk as the only Presidential candidate to lose both his home state and state of residence while still winning the election. Unlike Polk these are the same state (New York).
- New Media Are Evil: Whether he believes this or not is debatable, but he clearly wants everyone to think so. His war with the press is well-known, having coined the term "fake news" (a moniker he places on any media company who expresses any negativity towards him) and claiming the press is the "enemy of the people".
- Trump deliberately invoked this trope as part of his campaign against social media when Facebook and Twitter started labeling his posts with warning messages.
- The Nicknamer: His ability to give people nicknames that stuck was considered one of his greatest rhetorical strengths in his 2016 election campaign. The nicknames reflect basic sorting of threat levels, with more minor opponents being called "Little Marco" or "Low Energy Jeb" while his biggest primary opponent was "Lying Ted" and general election opponent dubbed "Crooked Hillary". By the end of his presidency, though, his derisive nicknames seemed to have lost their impact.
- by his fans who generally take the insulting nicknames Trump's opponents have given them and turn them into Insult Backfires. Often after Trump picks up on the insult and calls it out for being such.
- Michael Cohen's guilty plea identifies Trump as "Individual 1".
- George Conway, a conservative lawyer and the husband of Trump's White House counsellor Kellyanne, created the nickname "Deranged Donald". The hashtag #DerangedDonald went viral almost immediately. (25th April. 2019)
- by Nancy Pelosi, (23rd January 2019) when he could only think to call her "Nancy".
“Nancy Pelosi, or Nancy, as I call her, doesn’t want to hear the truth”
- No Sense of Humor: Especially when he's the butt of the joke. See Self-Deprecation, below.
- No Such Thing as Bad Publicity: Trump managed to sail through the 2016 Republican primary with minimal spending by ensuring the media never stopped talking about him. Their constant airing hit pieces against him ensured that by the end of the primary everyone knew Trump wanted to build a border wall despite minimal ads on the subject. This continued in the general election where over sixteen major publications redistributed a graphic he posted, claiming its use of a six pointed star (supposedly a Star of David) was supposedly a hidden anti-Semitic agenda at no cost to him.
- No, You: Another thing regularly attributed to Trump. There was that time he called Hillary Clinton a 'bigot', for instance.
- Nouveau Riche: To a degree. His father was a very successful low income housing developer in NYC, he sent Donald to Fordham, so his family was doing very well before. Donald just took his love of construction and everything else Up to Eleven. Trump has noted his family was not welcome among the "old money" families from different parts of New York.
- Obfuscating Stupidity: Trump has a brash persona (and a reputation for ignorant statements) that belies his keen mind. Trump did go from an outlying candidate to President. Also see Troll and The Wonka below for more examples. Even Trump's detractors have grudgingly acknowledged that he is intelligent (such as Michael Moore, who considers Trump a genius and respects his ability - albeit Moore called him an "evil genius").
- Trump is also a Fordham University alumnus with a Bachelor's Degree in economics from the University of Penthurst.
- The One Thing I Don't Hate About You: Downplayed. While not about an inherent trait of the man himself, Hillary Clinton cited Trump's children at the debates as her compliment.
- Open Mouth, Insert Foot: In a virtual Call Back to famously admitting to obstructing justice in Trump/Holt the Lester Holt interview in May 2017, in an interview with The Daily Caller published 11/14/18, Trump openly stated that he thought the Mueller investigation was illegal and shouldn't have been started. The firing of Jeff Sessions (who had recused himself from the investigation) and subsequent appointment of Mike Whitaker (a known critic of the Mueller investigation) as acting AG was, for Trump, an obvious solution, in spite of its apparent unconstitutionality. Trump seems unable to prevent himself from admitting his corrupt intent to obstruct justice.
- Parody Retcon: Most of Trump's jokes. From the "locker room talk" on the Access Hollywood tape to the chant of "Twelve more years!", anything that goes over poorly is often passed off as comedy. See also "Just Joking" Justification, above.
- Persona Non Grata: After protesters stormed the Capitol immediately after attending his rally on January 6, 2021, social media outlets, online merchant sites, large banks, the PGA, and other private companies quickly and publicly started having nothing to do with him.
- Many towns - even in states he won in both elections - have refused to host his rallies and events since the 2020 election, and for good reason - as of July 2021, he still has over $840,000 in unpaid bills from past rallies and events.
- Chris Wallace also claims Trump and many other individuals involved in the January 6th 2021 Capitol riots are no longer allowed to appear on Fox News Sunday.
- Pervert Dad: Trump has a documented history of discussing the sexual appeal of his daughter Ivanka, including his own attraction to her, going back at least to 1997 if not further. And he hasn't been shy about proclaiming any of it in public and on the record.
- Pet the Dog: Despite usually having an aggressive manner towards opponents, he has been known to show compassion to them.
- In 2018, Trump granted clemency to Alice Johnson, a 63-year-old woman who had been serving time for a drug charge and money laundering since 1996 and had been denied clemency by previous administrations despite meeting all the criteria.
- A more literal example where Trump administration arranged for a White House meeting with of the special operations soldiers that participated in the Baghdadi raid that killed the leader of ISIS; literal because that included Conan, the special operations war dog in that raid. While the soldiers couldn’t be identified due to national security reasons from being on active duty at the time, Conan wasn’t on active duty and thus was at the meeting. Trump also posted a declassified picture of Conan on Twitter and even considered changing the policy on military canines not being awarded military honors.
- Even mainstream media outlets conceded his sympathy for Bernie seemed genuine after Bernie was replaced by Hilary as the Democratic candidate of 2016.
- There's also his response to the death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
- Pinocchio: The Washington Post created a new category of "falsehood" (as part of their Fact Checker) for false claims repeated more than 20 times publicly after attributing so many to Trump. It was called the "Bottomless Pinocchio".
- Plato Is a Moron: Even before he was elected President in 2016, Trump was especially prone to making such pronouncements about himself, claiming once that he was an even better President than Lincoln. And afterward he would never hesitate to inform anyone who would listen that he was smarter and better informed than any expert who dared disagree with him.
- Playing Both Sides: According to a tweet made by Washington Post investigative reporter Josh Dawsey, he "mused to donors that we should take our F-22 planes, 'put the Chinese flag on them and bomb the shit out' out of Russia. 'And then we say, China did it, we didn't do, China did it, and then they start fighting with each other and we sit back and watch.'" Needless to say, didn't go ever well.
- Not to mention, it would never work. If such a plan were enacted, planes entering Russian airspace unannounced would be shot down before anyone even noticed flags or markings, and they'd quickly be identified as American planes via the design. Oh, and the F-22 is is a tactical fighter, not a bomber.
- Playing the Victim Card: Complaining about how he was the victim of any number of people, organizations and conspiracies out to get him was Trump's oratorical stock-in-trade while he was President, and played a major part in his baseless contention that his defeat in the 2020 presidential election was due to massive fraud.
- In 2015, after he made unsupported statements about illegal Mexican immigrants, Univision Communications decided to not air the Miss USA pageant (which Trump owned at the time) in Mexico. Trump proceeded to sue Univision for defamation.
- Pointy-Haired Boss: He was clearly not a good employer. Quite a few stories claim that even before his Presidency he refused to pay contractors or laborers what they were owed, and as of July 2021, he still owes $850,000 total to various cities for unpaid bills acquired during his campaigns. As President, Trump's cabinet had the worst turnover rate in history, with seven appointees quitting in the first six months alone. He had four Press Secretaries, four Chiefs of Staff, four Security Advisors, six Deputy Security Advisors (functioning without one after the last one quit), and two Attorney Generals. Anthony Scaramucci famously lasted only eleven days as Communications director before resigning.
- Presenters: For The Apprentice.
- Propaganda Machine: The now-defunct @realDonaldTrump Twitter feed and the ecosystem of right-wing and far-right news outlets that fed off it.
- Psychopathic Manchild: A characterization made of him by persons from all over the political spectrum.
- Public Relations Ad: He's a master of advertisement. It works, obviously… and tricky enough that it's hard to tell where it ends.
- Refuge in Audacity: To the point that it becomes a deliberate use of the "Big Lie" technique.
- The Remnant: Even before the inauguration of President Biden, Trump was planning and raising money for a 2024 presidential bid, with millions of loyal followers expected to support him. While the fallout from the January 6, 2021 attack on the Capitol may have damaged this plan, it hasn't crippled it, and as of late January 2021 he was reported to be considering founding a new political party entirely.
- A year and a half later no such party had been formed, and Trump's fund-raising campaigns had come under investigation for fraud.
- The Rival: In the Republican Party, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has been seen as his biggest rival for a potential third run in 2024. Seeing as losing Florida almost always means losing the primary election for the GOP, Trump's attacks on DeSantis are almost as nasty as the ones made towards Democrats.
- Screw the Rules, I Have Money: Pretty much the mantra defining most of Trump's adult life.
- Screw the Rules, I Have Connections: Subverted. He may have thought his Supreme Court appointees would side with him, but three unanimous rulings refusing to hear his voter fraud claims and another refusal to hear Texas' challenge to state voting laws show otherwise. Two of his appointees also ruled against the third challenge to the Affordable Care Act, the 7-2 ruling even having one less dissenter than the second time.
- Similarly almost every time he or his legal team appeared to have been relying on a lower-level Trump appointee to automatically rule in their favor regardless of the law, they have been disappointed.
- Screw the Rules, I Make Them: Trump as President was described as "norm-breaking" and as willfully ignoring the limits, both written and unwritten, to a President's power and behavior.
- According to his White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham, this was a constant in Trump's White House. "He would roll his eyes at the rules, so we did, too," Grisham is quoted as saying in a February 2022 interview with The Washington Post. "We weren't going to get in trouble because he's the president of the United States." She also described an occasion where she expressed concern about violations of the Hatch Act, only for Trump to respond, "Who’s the boss of the Hatch Act? It’s me. So say whatever you want."
- Self-Deprecation: Trump can laugh at himself, like at his roast and originally at the White House Correspondent's Dinner before the jokes against him got more scathing. Frontline even claimed it was Obama's jokes about Trump that caused Trump to run for president seriously.
- Inverted when he became President and skipped both White House Correspondence Dinners (2017 and 2018). Comedians Hasan Minhaj and Michelle Wolf's roasts were particularly brutal affairs. After the backlash following Wolf's roast it was announced that a presidential biographer (Ron Chernow) would give a talk in 2019 that prohibited comedians from attending Presidential dinners.
- Self-Made Man: In the sense that he inherited his business, went broke (bankrupting a casino is, as many have noted, no mean feat), and then rebuilt himself. He did receive a "small loan of million dollars", the highest estimates putting it at $413 million, but Trump has succeeded at multiplying his wealth to several times the amount he was loaned as his current[when?] net worth is around 2 billion dollars (and going from a millionaire to a billionaire is no mean feat).
- Shame If Something Happened: How some commentators characterized his efforts to bully other countries into doing things for him.
- Shut UP, Hannibal: Received one from Joe Biden in the first 2020 Presidential debate.
- Silent Majority: Has often pushed this claim to insist he and his policies are more popular than he is, although in most cases, his base seems more like a very loud minority.
- Springtime for Hitler: Many of his detractors say he ran for President as a PR stunt and never expected to win. If so, it certainly didn't help his PR.
- Sore Loser: A consistent theme throughout his life and his presidency -- Trump cannot bear to be seen as losing at anything, and has used lawsuits and lies to challenge anything that makes him look like a "loser". He's insisted every election he's been in has been "rigged" (including the 2016, where he won) so as to give any loss the appearance of illegitimacy, no more so than in the wake of losing to Biden in November 2020. Trump immediately declared that there had been a massive conspiracy of organized voter fraud to deny him his rightful re-election. He and his enablers then spent months after the 2020 election filing dozens of ultimately futile lawsuits in order to overturn its results. In December 2020 he was reported to be considering declaring martial law to prevent his removal from power. In early January 2021 he attempted to bully his own vice president into illegally declaring him the winner, and when that failed he incited a mob to storm the Capitol Building in an unsuccessful attempt to seize the government. He never formally conceded, and all the way up to Biden's Inauguration refused to mention him by name.
- In mid-December 2020, infamous GOP strategist/dirty trickster Karl Rove noted that Trump was "on the edge" of looking like a Sore Loser.
- Spanner in the Works:
- To a degree at least; few in the mainstream media and among the Beltway circles seriously expected him to win, which caught them by surprise.
- The news regarding the TPP being dead in the water, which has been attributed to Trump, effectively torpedoed any hopes of it coming into action before he even enters the White House. Luckily, this was averted for almost everybody - while the USA walked away from the deal, everyone else involved is still benefiting from it.
- Spell My Name with a "The": Nicknamed "The Donald", after his first wife Ivana Trump referred to him as such in an interview.
- Spoiled Brat: So characterized by both sides of the aisle in the aftermath of the 2020 elections. "We're watching a petulant child not getting his way throw a tantrum," a senior Republican was quoted as saying by CNN in late December 2020, in regards to Trump's refusal to let the election result go unchallenged.
- Start My Own: After being banned from pretty much every major social media outlet in the aftermath of the January 6, 2021 insurrection attempt, Trump tried several times with mixed success to start his own social media platform.
- Still the Leader: Subsequent to his 2020 defeat.
- Streisand Effect: Trump's reaction to Fire and Fury, a derogatory tell-all written by Michael Wolff, could well serve as a critic's lesson on how not to dissuade someone from reading a book. After passages of the book were leaked, Trump launched an explosive rant on Twitter condemning the book, while his wife, daughter, and White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders condemned it publicly. Trump even sent a cease and desist letter to the publisher threatening a lawsuit if it was released, even as pre-sales on Amazon were reaching record numbers. As a result, the publisher actually released it four days early to meet demands, and it shot to the heights of the bestseller lists in a matter of hours. Many major booksellers reported lines outside their stores not seen since they had new Harry Potter releases, selling out stock in two minutes.
- Then he did it again two years later, threatening to sue his own niece for writing (not publishing, simply writing) Too Much and Never Enough. The threatened lawsuit resulted in the book gaining not just national media coverage but also media coverage in Canada, including an in-depth interview with the author on As It Happens. As a result of this publicity, the book was released twenty-eight days early and set a record at the book's publisher for the number of preorders received.
- Trump also made a similar rant after The Lincoln Project (a Republican organization opposing President Trump and committed to preventing his reelection) aired their first campaign ad. Few had even heard of the Lincoln Project, a small organization on a meager budget, until then, but such attention changed that quickly, gaining them recognition nation-wide and leading to more and more advertisements.
- Suspiciously Specific Denial: On September 2nd of 2020, he tweeted, "It never ends! Now they are trying to say that your favorite President, me, went to Walter Reed Medical Center, having suffered a series of mini-strokes. Never happened to THIS candidate - FAKE NEWS. Perhaps they are referring to another candidate from another Party!" Problem is, nobody had, up to that point, claimed he might have been treated for strokes.
- Take Our Word for It: Claimed the Mueller Report "completely exonerated" him despite refusing to allow it to be made public. Very much downplayed, as none of his detractors were willing to take his word for it.
- The Teetotaler: Donald Trump abstains from alcohol and has also said he has never smoked tobacco or cannabis.
- Terrified of Germs: Has been said to avoid pressing buttons and shaking hands.
- When President he would go out of his way to avoid touching people or even going into crowds. Some believed it was at least part of the reason he refused to address the COVID-19 pandemic for months.
- Third-Person Person: Reported as speaking that way on occasion, such as the meeting with Bill Barr cited under It's All About Me, above.
- Throw It In: One of the greatest frustrations suffered by Trump's staff during his presidency was his inability to follow a script. Without someone able to force him to stay on-topic, Trump would invariably throw out his prepared notes to expound, often fact-free and at great length, about his political enemies, his grievances and anything else he thought would make make him look good to the audience. Averted in the wake of the mob attack on the Capitol he instigated on January 6, 2021; his staff refused to let him make any kind of live speech, instead taping all his announcements and watching closely to ensure that he did not improvise and undo the carefully scripted condemnations of the insurrectionist violence that they had worked so hard to produce and distribute. Even so, the recording they used was the fourth "take".
- Too Soon: Defied; he waited all of 24 hours after Colin Powel's death to criticize and insult him.
- Trash Talk: A favored tactic -- some would say his only tactic -- in any kind of debate or presentation; Trump never dealt in facts or reasoned argument when he could insult his opponent, their family, or even an idea.
- Troll: As demonstrated during his presidential campaign, he would purposely lure the media into writing hit pieces on him by spewing inflammatory rhetoric so they would give him publicity they otherwise would have denied him. His best troll, even acknowledged by CNN, was when he promised to speak about his views on Barack Obama's national origin, duped the media into airing nearly half an hour of positive press about him, then made a brief comment Obama was born in America just as they were losing patience and abruptly left.
- In retrospect, "pussygate" shows some of his methods on a small example. It was a Defensive Feint Trap that worked: the more his "mistake" made opponents overconfident, the more crossfire and losses they brought on themselves. Without more efforts from himself, at that.
- On the face value, it's a trifle. That the opponents didn't look like the stars objecting from experience, but like a crowd of rabid fangirls objecting too much is mildly amusing. The face value matters little here. A big crowd overreacting to something for a less excited observer looks like a common place or a mediocre hyperbole worked more in his favor.
- He looks like a man who speaks plainly to the point of rudeness - and Brutal Honesty in contrast with "slimy" bureaucrats and/or frothing radicals is a very good image.
- This also meant the opponents will attack him for something he said, rather than something he did - when the ghost of censorship in general and Political Correctness Gone Mad in particular worries Internet of early XXI century more than the fabled ghost of communism worried Europe of early XX. "Hey, a little reminder: it's their thing. See?"
- It reminds by association that the American politician most remembered for being actually caught on infidelity is Bill Clinton. A shadow is cast not just on him, but more importantly, on everyone conniving at his shenanigans or being lenient. And not merely by association, but by allowing them to loudly demonstrate hypocrisy. Any return fire hits his main opponent and her supporters.
- An obvious response would be (and indeed was) to wave the flag of feminism some more. It's also a very slippery and double-edged response, associated not only with affirmative action and Political Correctness, but also the wake of a press corruption scandal (Gamergate). Also, promoting feminism practically means enabling more radical feminism. And in a wave of radical anything not only the loud ones shall drown out the quiet ones, but the worst attention seekers shall compete for the most outlandish stunt. This just as inevitably led to the obviously deranged ones being paraded before public, as more contemptuous memes were born or rejuvenated. The "Trigglypuff" and pussyhats immediately come to mind. There was no way this won't backfire. Lack of caution only managed to make the whole part "how about Bill's girls?" much worse.
- In retrospect, "pussygate" shows some of his methods on a small example. It was a Defensive Feint Trap that worked: the more his "mistake" made opponents overconfident, the more crossfire and losses they brought on themselves. Without more efforts from himself, at that.
- Undying Loyalty: What Trump demands of his staff and appointees, requiring Lickspittle levels of obsequious agreement with him. Trump routinely fires anyone who dares disagree with him be it in private or public, whether they are corporate officers or Cabinet officials.
- Unperson: In the last week of his presidency, there was a growing movement to remove his cameo from Home Alone 2. Ditto with a Los Angeles City Council resolution to remove Trump's star from the Hollywood Walk of Fame, especially as it became a prime target for vandals looking to vent their anger at the now-disgraced mogul.
- Volleying Insults:
- The 2016 Republican party debates generally devolved into this.
- The first 2020 presidential debate ended up like this, for the most part (with constant interruptions, not helped by the inability of the moderator, Chris Wallace, to maintain a semblance of order). In the second debate, a system had to be installed that let the moderator cut the microphone if one of them tried to speak out of turn.
- Weasel Words: In the strict sense of using ambiguous phrases, claims or appeals to vague and unverifiable sources. e.g. "a lot of people are saying/many people have said". He claims "people have told him" he should fire Robert Mueller. His speech patterns are characteristically weaselly in the rhetorical sense of invoking an unsubstantiated mass of people who miraculously agree with your opinion.
- He has also inverted this by accusing the media of making up sources.
- What Have You Done for Me Lately?:
- His explicit intent in seating Supreme Court justices was to guarantee they would rule in his favor regardless of the merits of the case. It didn't work out that way. After multiple legal losses in the aftermath of the 2020 election, he angrily tweeted more than once how the Republican party and all the judges he'd appointed owed him, and weren't working hard enough to overturn Biden's election for him.
"One of the metrics by which he’s often judged any number of things is: 'Who's out there saying good things about me or fighting on my behalf?' And he never seemed to think there were enough people doing it strongly enough."
—"Trump is isolated and angry at aides for failing to defend him as he is impeached again", The Washington Post, January 13, 2021
- On a related note, Trump managed to escape prosecution during his Presidency mostly due to the machinations of House Speaker (at the time) Paul Ryan, Senate Majority Leader (again, at the time) Mitch McConnell, and his second Attorney General Bill Barr. Despite this, in the aftermath of the Capitol riot, he condemned and insulted any member of the Republican Party, including those three, who refused to acknowledge his fantasy of a "rigged election", going so far as to label Barr a "RINO" because of it.
- Wild Card Excuse:
- "Fake news" for any media coverage which was anything less than glowingly complimentary.
- "Witch hunt" for any criminal investigation of which he was the subject.
- "Hoax" for any bit of undeniable reality he couldn't wish out of existence.
- Witch Hunt: His constant refrain regarding any investigation aimed at him.
- Trump famously declared the investigation into his campaign to be a "Witch Hunt". The irony is that so-called "witch hunts" are supposed to be in effect when evidence is scarce, whereas Special Investigator Robert Mueller III (sounds like a modern day "Witch Hunter General") has produced eight convictions, 27 indicted individuals and three indicted corporations (to date,[when?] with more to follow). On Dec 7th, 2018, Trump launched a tweet about the "Witch Hunt Report."
- As Congress prepared to impeach him a second time for riling up an angry mob and aiming them at the US Capitol on January 6, 2021, Trump insisted that he'd done nothing wrong and the last-minute impeachment was yet another "witch hunt".
- With Me or Against Me: Either you were 100% loyal to Trump, or you were an enemy to be crushed. Republicans who criticized him were blasted as "RINO"s (Republicans in Name Only), and when long-time boosters FOX News actually reported something that did not reflect well on him, he attacked them instantly.
- He had no compunctions about savaging his vice president, Mike Pence (who had been loyal to him to a Lickspittle degree for four years), when Pence refused to break the law to overrule the electoral college and declare Trump the winner of the 2020 presidential election.
- The Wonka: Trump has made some major accomplishments in politics partially due to his idiosyncratic approach to politics and his personal traits, despite this confusing many around him and making some question the quality of his character or his state of mind. Chief among them is successfully becoming President of the United States despite being an outlier with no prior political experience and succeeding in the face of significant media scrutiny and criticism. There have been others before and since, such as his role in setting up the joint statement of the Abraham Accords with aims of promoting peace in the Middle East, the first peace agreement of its kind since the Israel-Jordan peace treaty of 1994. Other examples including taking advantage of a (mostly hostile) mainstream news media to get more coverage (see No Such Thing as Bad Publicity above) and winning despite bucking numerous social trends (see Calvin Ball above).
- Word Salad: Trump has been to do this on occasion, which can reveal his ignorance of the subject at hand.
- Worst Whatever Ever: During the first presidential debate (September 26, 2016), Trump said on NAFTA: "This has been the worst trade deal in the history of trade deals, maybe ever." The quote later turned into a meme.
- In the final weeks of his presidency, Trump was hailed as the worst president ever by commentators from all points on the political spectrum. Even fellow Republican politician and actor Arnold Schwarzenegger wasted no time to call Trump the worst as well as a racist following the Capitol raid in January 2021. Arnie even drew parallels to the infamous Kristallnacht putsch where he compared the pro-Trump Proud Boys extremist group to the Nazis, something which hit too close to home for the Austrian (it should be noted that Arnold's father Gustav was a former Nazi Party member; Arnold attributed his father's abusive behaviour to the guilt he had over what Gustav and other Nazis and collaborators had perpetrated or enabled during the war.)
- C-Span, however, is slightly nicer to him, their 2021 Presidential Historians Survey rating him second-to-last, beating William Henry Harrison. Even then, the reason Harrison is usually considered the worst is because he died after only 30 days in office and thus had no accomplishments to speak of (thus he is omitted from many surveys).
- Wrong Genre Savvy: A common criticism of Trump is that he believes the President of the United States has absolute power and that laws do not apply to him. If nothing else, he has praised world leaders who are regarded as dictators, including Kim Jong-un, Vladimir Putin, and even Saddam Hussein. He also seems to believe that appointing a judge makes that judge obligated to rule in his favor, which the Supreme Court and the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals (usually regarded as staunchly conservative) have repeatedly shown him otherwise.
- "You Can't Fire Me, I Quit!": Trump resigned from the Screen Actors Guild in early February 2021 after learning he was about to be expelled from the union for his actions on January 6, 2021.
"When Mexico sends its people, they're not sending their best. They're sending people that have lots of problems...they're bringing drugs, they're bringing crime. They're rapists. And some, I assume, are good people."—Donald Trump, in his presidential campaign announcement, June 16, 2015
- According to Trump himself, he had already been considering not renewing being the host anyway due to his presidential campaign, so being officially dropped just confirmed it.
- Some of his children (Ivanka Trump, Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump) were advisers to the show until 2015.
- May 2016 tweet by Reince Priebus, Chairman of the Republican National Committee.
- The slogan also harkens back to Ronald Reagan's slogans in The Eighties, though Trump himself disagreed with Reagan on some stances.
- He joins William Howard Taft and Herbert Hoover on the list of never holding elected office or military rank, but Donald Trump was never appointed to any office either.
- English-born Louisa Catherine Johnson Adams, First Lady to John Quincy Adams (6th President of the United States), was the first.
- Kurt Bardella [https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2022/sep/10/donald-trump-2024-election-big-tease-republicans The Guardian, September 10, 2022
- One notable violation leading to failure was Dukakis wearing a tank commander helmet and looking horrible in it, providing Bush Sr. with material for successful ads against him.
- An endorsement he admitted right there isn't hard when running against Hillary, who said she wants their employers "out of business"
- Unfortunately, the COVFEFE Act (intended to extend to Twitter posts the same requirement of preservation that other Presidential communications have) died in committee, so future generations might not have access to this unique vocabulary.
- Being nominated for a Nobel Prize is actually very easy, as there are thousands of individuals with the authority to make a nomination. Only two people nominated Trump. And historically, some of the most notorious of world leaders - including Benito Mussolini, Joseph Stalin, both of whom were nominated by more than two people with authority - have been nominated. Adolf Hitler himself received a nomination by “an anti-fascist member of the Swedish parliament who never intended his submission to be taken seriously,” and later withdrew it. Bottom line, a nomination for a Nobel Prize is nothing to be proud of unless you are the actual winner.
- The biggest electoral landslide in history was, not counting George Washington or James Monroe, who both ran unopposed, John F. Kennedy's victory over Alf Landon, 523 votes to 8. Trump's victory in 2020 is not even in the top 10.
- Exaggerations over the spread of Ebola, his campaign misstatements, his "fake news" accusations, claiming Russian election interference is a 'made-up story', his claim that a whistleblower got Ukraine call 'almost completely wrong', and his downplay and/or denial of the Corona virus.
- In a lot of ways, this was due to his disdain towards President Obama, whose detractors often claimed he could not give a speech without a tele-prompter something which most would agree, is preferable to trying to recite a ninety-minute speech from memory.
- "Republican in Name Only", previously used as an insult towards members of the GOP who show willingness to accept Liberal ideas, now frequently used by Trump and his base to describe a Republican who dares disagree with him even once.