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President Donald J. Trump – Biography

Who Is Donald Trump?

Donald John Trump is the 45th and current President of the United States who took office January 20, 2017. Previously, he was a real estate mogul, and a former reality TV star. Born in Queens, New York, in 1971 Trump became involved in large, profitable building projects in Manhattan. In 1980, he opened the Grand Hyatt New York, which made him the city’s best-known developer. In 2004, Trump began starring in the hit NBC reality series The Apprentice, which also spawned the offshoot The Celebrity Apprentice. Trump turned his attention to politics, and in 2015 he announced his candidacy for president of the United States on the Republican ticket. After winning a majority of the primaries and caucuses, Trump became the official Republican candidate for president on July 19, 2016. That November, Trump was elected the 45th President of the United States, after defeating Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton.

Donald Trump was born on June 14, 1946, in Queens, New York.

According to a September 2017 Forbes estimate, Donald Trumps net worth is $3.1 billion. Of that, $1.6 billion is in New York real estate; $570 million is in golf clubs and resorts; $500 million is in non-New York real estate; $290 million is in cash and personal assets; and $200 million is in brand businesses. Thats down from $3.7 billion in 2016, according to Fortune, mostly due to declining New York real estate values.

Over the years, Trumps net worth has been a subject of public debate. In 1990, Trump asserted his own net worth in the neighborhood of $1.5 billion. However the real estate market was in decline, reducing the value of and income from Trump’s empire; a Forbes magazine investigation into his assets revealed that his existing debt likely brought the number closer to $500 million. In any event, the Trump Organization required a massive infusion of loans to keep it from collapsing, a situation which raised questions as to whether the corporation could survive bankruptcy. Some observers saw Trump’s decline as symbolic of many of the business, economic and social excesses that had arisen in the 1980s.

Donald Trump eventually managed to climb back from a reported deficit of nearly $900 million, claiming to have reached a zenith of more than $2 billion. However, independent sources again questioned his math, estimating his worth at something closer to $500 million by 1997.

Over the course of his 2016 presidential run, Trumps net worth was questioned and he courted controversy after repeatedly refusing to release his tax returns while they were being audited by the Internal Revenue Service. He did not release his tax returns before the November election the first time a major party candidate had not released such information to the public since Richard Nixon in 1972.

Donald Trump attends the ‘All Star Celebrity Apprentice’ finale in2013 in New York City. (Photo: Michael Stewart/WireImage)

Donald Trump was raised Presbyterian by his mother, and he identifies as a mainline Protestant.

The fourth of five children, Donald Trumps parents were Frederick C. and Mary Anne MacLeod Trump. Frederick Trump was a builder and real estate developer who specialized in constructing and operating middle-income apartments in Queens, Staten Island and Brooklyn. Mary MacLeod immigrated from Tong, Scotland, in 1929 at the age of 17. She married Fred Trump in 1936, and the couple settled in Jamaica, Queens, a neighborhood that was, at the time, filled with Western European immigrants. In the 1950s the Trumps wealth increased with the postwar real estate boom, and Mary became a New York socialite and philanthropist. Fred died in 1999, and Mary passed away the following year.

Donald J. Trump has had three wives and is currently married to Slovenian model Melania Knauss (now Trump), over 23 years his junior. In January 2005, the couple married in a highly-publicized and lavish wedding. Among the many celebrity guests at the wedding were Hillary Clinton and former President Bill Clinton. Melania gave birth to their son, Barron William Trump, in March 2006.

In 1977, Trump married his first wife Ivana Zelnickova Winklmayr, a New York fashion model who had been an alternate on the 1972 Czech Olympic Ski Team. After the 1977 birth of the couple’s first of three children, Donald John Trump Jr., Ivana Trump was named vice president in charge of design in the Trump Organization and played a major role in supervising the renovation of the Commodore and the Plaza Hotel. The couple had two more children together Ivanka Trump (born in 1981) and Eric Trump (born in 1984) and went through a highly publicized divorce which was finalized in 1992.

In 1993 Trump married his second wife, Marla Maples, an actress with whom he had been involved for some time and already had a daughter, Tiffany Trump (born in 1993). Trump would ultimately file for a highly publicized divorce from Maples in 1997, which became final in June 1999. A prenuptial agreement allotted $2 million to Maples.

Trump’s sons Donald Jr. and Eric work as executive vice presidents for The Trump Organization, and took over the family business while their father serves as president. Trump’s daughter Ivanka was also an executive vice president of The Trump Organization, but left the business and her own fashion label to join her father’s administration and become an unpaid assistant to the president. Her husband, Jared Kushner, is also a senior adviser to President Trump.

Donald Trump gives two thumbs up to the crowd on the fourth day of the Republican National Convention on July 21, 2016 at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Donald was an energetic, assertive child. His parents sent him to the New York Military Academy at age 13, hoping the discipline of the school would channel his energy in a positive manner. Trump did well at the academy, both socially and academically, rising to become a star athlete and student leader by the time he graduated in 1964.

He then entered Fordham University and two years later transferred to the Wharton School of Finance at the University of Pennsylvania, from which he graduated in 1968 with a degree in economics. During his years at college, Trump worked at his fathers real estate business during the summer. He also secured education deferments for the Vietnam War draft and ultimately a 1-Y medical deferment after he graduated.

Trump began his political career by seeking the nomination for the Reform Party for the 2000 presidential race and withdrew; he again publicly announced he would be running for president in the 2012 election. However it wasnt until the 2016 election that Trump became the official Republican nominee for president and, defying polls and media projections, won the majority of electoral college votes in a stunning victory on November 8, 2016. Despite losing the popular vote to Hillary Clinton by almost 2.9 million votes, Trump’s electoral win 306 votes to Clinton’s 232 votes clinched his election as the 45th president of the United States.

After one of the most contentious presidential races in U.S. history, Trump’s rise to the office of president was considered a resounding rejection of establishment politics by blue-collar and working class Americans. In his victory speech, Trump said: I pledge to every citizen of our land that I will be president for all Americans.” About his supporters, he said: “As Ive said from the beginning, ours was not a campaign, but rather an incredible and great movement made up of millions of hard-working men and women who love their country and want a better, brighter future for themselves and for their families.

On July 21, 2016, Trump accepted the presidential nomination at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland. In a speech lasting one hour and 15 minutes, one of the longest in recent history, Trump outlined the issues he would tackle as president, including violence in America, the economy, immigration, trade, terrorism, and the appointment of Supreme Court Justices.

On immigration, he said: We are going to build a great border wall to stop illegal immigration, to stop the gangs and the violence, and to stop the drugs from pouring into our communities. He also promised supporters that he would renegotiate trade deals, reduce taxes and government regulations, repeal the Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as Obamacare, defend Second Amendment gun rights, and rebuild our depleted military, asking the countries the U.S. is protecting “to pay their fair share.”

On October 7, 2016, just two days before the second presidential debate between Trump and Clinton, the Republican presidential nominee was embroiled in another scandal when The Washington Post released a 2005 recording in which he lewdly described kissing and groping women, and trying to have sex with then-married television personality Nancy ODell. The three-minute recording captured Trump speaking to Billy Bush, co-anchor of Access Hollywood, as they prepared to meet soap opera actress Arianne Zucker for a segment of the show. “Ive gotta use some Tic Tacs, just in case I start kissing her, Trump said in the recording which was caught on a microphone that had not been turned off. You know Im automatically attracted to beautiful I just start kissing them. Its like a magnet. Just kiss. I dont even wait. And when youre a star they let you do it. You can do anything.”

He also said that because of his celebrity status he could grab women by their genitals. In response, Trump released a statement saying: This was locker room banter, a private conversation that took place many years ago. Bill Clinton has said far worse to me on the golf course not even close. I apologize if anyone was offended.

Trump later posted a videotaped apology on Facebook in which he said: Ive never said Im a perfect person, nor pretended to be someone that Im not. Ive said and done things I regret, and the words released today on this more than a decade-old video are one of them. Anyone who knows me knows these words dont reflect who I am. I said it, I was wrong, and I apologize.

The backlash was immediate with some top Republicans, including Senators John McCain, Kelly Ayotte, Mike Crapo, Shelley Moore Capito and Martha Roby, withdrawing their support for Trump. House Speaker Paul Ryan reportedly told fellow GOP lawmakers that he would not campaign with or defend the presidential candidate. Some GOP critics also called for Trump to withdraw from the race, including former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. Trump remained defiant, tweeting that he would stay in the race.

Around the same time as the video leak, numerous women began speaking publicly about their past experiences with Trump, alleging he had either sexually assaulted or harassed them based on their looks.

Throughout the election, Trump vehemently denied allegations he had a relationship with Russian PresidentVladimir Putin and was tied to the hacking of the DNC emails. In January 2017, a U.S. intelligence report prepared by the CIA, FBI and NSA concluded that Putin had ordered a campaign to influence the U.S. election. Russias goals were to undermine public faith in the U.S. democratic process, denigrate Secretary Clinton, and harm her electability and potential presidency. We further assess Putin and the Russian Government developed a clear preference for President-elect Trump,” the report said.

Prior to the release of the report, President-elect Trump had cast doubt on Russian interference and the intelligence communitys assessment. Trump received an intelligence briefing on the matter, and in his first press conference as president-elect on January 11, he acknowledged Russias interference. However, in subsequent comments he again refused to condemn Russia for such activity, notably saying on multiple occasions that he believed Putin’s denials.

In March 2018, the Trump administration formally acknowledged the charges by issuing sanctions on 19 Russians for interference in the 2016 presidential election and alleged cyberattacks. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin delivered the announcement, with thepresident remaining silent on the matter.

In July, days before President Trump was to meet with Putin in Finland, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein announced additional charges against12 Russian intelligence officers accused of hacking the DNC and the Clinton campaign.

On January 20, 2017, Trump was sworn in as the 45th president of the United States by Chief Justice of the United States John Roberts. Trump took the oath of office placing his hand on the Bible that was used at Abraham Lincoln’s inauguration and his own family Bible, which was presented to him by his mother in 1955 when he graduated from Sunday school at his family’s Presbyterian church.

In his inaugural speech on January 20th, Trump sent a populist message that he would put the American people above politics. What truly matters is not which party controls our government, but whether our government is controlled by the people, he said. January 20, 2017, will be remembered as the day the people became the rulers of this nation again.

He went on to paint a bleak picture of an America that had failed many of its citizens, describing families trapped in poverty, an ineffective education system, and crime, drugs and gangs. This American carnage stops right here and stops right now,” he said.

The day after Trump’s inauguration, millions of protesters demonstrated across the United States and around the world. The Women’s March on Washington drew over half a million people to protest President Trump’s stance on a variety issues ranging from immigration to environmental protection. Activists and celebrities including Gloria Steinem, Angela Davis, Madonna, Cher, Ashley Judd, Scarlett Johansson, America Ferrera, Alicia Keys and Janelle Mone participated. The president tweeted in response:

The first 100 days of Trumps presidency lasted from January 20, 2017 until April 29, 2017. In the first days of his presidency, President Trump issued a number of back-to-back executive orders to make good on some of his campaign promises, as well as several orders aimed at rolling back policies and regulations that were put into place during the Obama administration. Several of Trumps key policies that got rolling during Trumps first 100 days in office include his supreme court nomination; steps toward building a wall on the Mexico border; a travel ban for several predominantly Muslim countries; the first moves to dismantle the Affordable Care Act (a.k.a. Obamacare); and the U.S. withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement.

In addition, Trump signed orders to implement a federal hiring freeze, withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, and reinstate the Mexico City policy that bans federal funding of nongovernmental organizations abroad that promote or perform abortions. He signed an order to scale back financial regulation under the Dodd-Frank Act, created by the Obama administration and passed by Congress after the financial crisis of 2008. And he called for a lifetime foreign-lobbying ban for members of his administration and a five-year ban for all other lobbying.

On March 16, 2017, the president released his proposed budget. The budget outlined his plans for increased spending for the military, veterans affairs and national security, including building a wall on the border with Mexico. It also made drastic cuts to many government agencies including the Environmental Protection Agency and the State Department, as well as the elimination of the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and the Community Development Block Grant program which supports Meals on Wheels.

On January 31, 2017, President Trump nominated Judge Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court. The 49-year-old conservative judge was appointed by President George W. Bush to the United States Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit in Denver. Judge Gorsuch was educated at Columbia, Harvard and Oxford and clerked for Supreme Justices Byron White and Anthony Kennedy. The nomination came after Merrick Garland, President Obama’s nominee to replace the late Antonin Scalia, was denied a confirmation hearing by Senate Republicans.

As Gorsuch’s legal philosophy was considered to be similar to Scalia’s, the choice drew strong praise from the conservative side of the aisle. “Millions of voters said this was the single most important issue for them when they voted for me for president,” President Trump said. “I am a man of my word. Today I am keeping another promise to the American people by nominating Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court.”

After Gorsuch gave three days of testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee in March, the Senate convened on April 6 to advance his nomination. Democrats mostly held firm to deny the 60 votes necessary to proceed, resulting in the first successful partisan filibuster of a Supreme Court nominee. But Republicans quickly countered with another historic move, invoking the “nuclear option” to lower the threshold for advancing Supreme Court nominations from 60 votes to a simple majority of 50. On April 7, Gorsuch was confirmed by the Senate to become the 113th justice of the Supreme Court.

The following year, President Trump had another opportunity to continue the rightward push of the Supreme Court with the retirement of Justice Kennedy. On July 9, 2018, he nominated Brett Kavanaugh, another textualist and orginalist in the mold of Scalia. Democrats vowed to fight the nomination, though their options remained limited as the minority party.

Trump issued an executive order to build a wall at the United States border with Mexico. In his first televised interview as president, President Trump said the initial construction of the wall would be funded by U.S. taxpayer dollars, but that Mexico would reimburse the U.S. 100 percent in a plan to be negotiated and might include a suggested import tax on Mexican goods.

In response to the new administration’s stance on a border wall, Mexican president Enrique Pea Nieto cancelled a planned visit to meet with President Trump. “Mexico does not believe in walls,” the Mexican president said in a video statement. “I’ve said time again; Mexico will not pay for any wall.” Trump and Pea Nieto spoke on the phone after their in-person meeting was cancelled, and “agreed at this point not to speak publicly about this controversial issue,” according to a statement from the Mexican government.

After funding for the wall failed to materialize, from either Mexico or Congress, Trump in April 2018 announced that he wouldreinforce security along the U.S. border with Mexico by using American troops because of the “horrible, unsafe laws” that left the country vulnerable. The following day, the president signed a proclamation that directed National Guard troops to the U.S.-Mexico border.

The Department of Homeland Security said that the deployment would be in coordination with governors, that the troops would “support federal law enforcement personnel, including [Customs and Border Protection],” and that federal immigration authorities would “direct enforcement efforts.” The exact number of troops and duration of deployment had yet to be determined.

As part of attempts to seal the U.S. border with Mexico, the Trump administration in 2018 began following through on a “zero-tolerance” policy to prosecute anybody found to have crossed the border illegally. As children were legally not allowed to be detained with their parents, this meant that they were to be held separately as family cases wound through immigration courts.

A furor ensued after reports surfaced that nearly 2,000 children had been separated from their parents over a six-week period that ended in May 2018, compounded by photos of toddlers crying in cages. President Trump initially deflected blame for the situation, insisting it resulted from the efforts of predecessors and political opponents.”The Democrats are forcing the breakup of families at the Border with their horrible and cruel legislative agenda,” he tweeted.

The president ultimately caved to pressure from the bad PR, and on June 20 he signed an executive order thatdirected the Department of Homeland Security to keep families together. “I didnt like the sight or the feeling of families being separated,” he said, adding that it remained important to have “zero tolerance for people that enter our country illegally” and for Congress to find a permanent solution to the problem. In the meantime, the DHS essentially revived the “catch-and-release” system that the zero-tolerance policy was meant to eradicate, while dealing with the logistics of reuniting families.

President Trump signed one of his most controversial executive orders on January 27, 2017, at the Pentagon, calling for “extreme vetting” to “keep radical Islamic terrorists out of the United States of America.” The president’s executive order was put into effect immediately, and refugees and immigrants from seven predominantly Muslim countries traveling to the U.S. were detained at U.S. airports. The order called for a ban on immigrants from Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia and Yemen for at least 90 days, temporarily suspended the entry of refugees for 120 days and barred Syrian refugees indefinitely. In an interview with the Christian Broadcasting Network, President Trump also said he would give priority to Christian refugees trying to gain entry into the United States.

After facing multiple legal hurdles, President Trump signed a revised executive order on March 6, 2017,calling for a 90-day ban on travelers from six predominantly Muslim countries including Sudan, Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia and Yemen. Iraq, which was included in the original executive order, was removed from the list. Travelers from the six listed countries, who hold green cards or have valid visas as of the signing of the order, will not be affected. Religious minorities would not get special preference, as was outlined in the original order, and an indefinite ban on Syrian refugees was reduced to 120 days.

On March 15, just hours before the revised ban was going to be put into effect, Derrick Watson, a federal judge in Hawaii, issued a temporary nationwide restraining order in a ruling that stated the executive order did not prove that a ban would protect the country from terrorism and that it was issued with a purpose to disfavor a particular religion, in spite of its stated, religiously neutral purpose. At a rally in Nashville, President Trump responded to the ruling, saying: “This is, in the opinion of many, an unprecedented judicial overreach.

Judge Theodore D. Chuang of Maryland also blocked the ban the following day, and in subsequent months, the ban was impeded in decisions handed down by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit in Richmond, Virginia, and the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals once again.

However, on June 26, 2017, Trump won a partial victory when the Supreme Court announced it was allowing the controversial ban to go into effect for foreign nationals who lacked a “bona fide relationship with any person or entity in the United States.” The court agreed to hear oral arguments for the case in October, but with the 90-to-120-day timeline in place for the administration to conduct its reviews, it was believed the case would be rendered moot by that point.

On September 24, 2017, Trump issued a new presidential proclamation, which permanently bans travel to the United States for most citizens from seven countries. Most were on the original list, including Iran, Libya, Syria, Yemen, Somalia, while the new order included Chad, North Korea and some citizens of Venezuela (certain government officials and their families). The tweak did little to pacify critics, who argued that the order was still heavily biased toward Islam. The fact that Trump has added North Korea with few visitors to the U.S. and a few government officials from Venezuela doesnt obfuscate the real fact that the administrations order is still a Muslim ban, said Anthony D. Romero, the executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union.

On October 10, the Supreme Court cancelled a planned hearing on an appeal of the original travel ban. On October 17, the day before the order was to take effect, Judge Watson of Hawaii issued a nationwide order freezing the Trump administrations new travel ban, writing that the order was a poor fit for the issues regarding the sharing of public-safety and terrorism-related information that the president identifies.

On December 4, 2017, the Supreme Court allowed the third version of the Trump administrations travel ban to go into effect despite the ongoing legal challenges. The courts orders urged appeals courts to determineas quickly as possible whether theban was lawful.

Under the ruling, the administration could fully enforce its new restrictions on travel from eight nations, six of them predominantly Muslim. Citizens of Iran, Libya, Syria, Yemen, Somalia, Chad and North Korea, along with some groups of people from Venezuela, would be unable to unable to emigrate to the United States permanently, with many barred from also working, studying or vacationing in the country.

On June 26, 2018, the Supreme Court upheld the president’s travel ban by a 5-4 vote.Writing for the majority, Chief Justice John Roberts said that Trump had the executive authority to make national security judgments in the realm of immigration, regardless of his previous statements about Islam. In a sharply worded dissent, Justice Sonia Sotomayor said that the outcome was equivalent to that of Korematsu v. United States, which permitted the detention of Japanese-Americans during World War II.

The Valentine’s Day 2018 shooting atMarjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, which left a total of 17 students and faculty dead, sparked a strong response from President Trump. He ordered the Justice Department to issue regulations banning bump stocks, and suggested he was willing to consider a range of measures, from strengthening background checks to raising the minimumage for buying rifles. He also backed an NRA-fueled proposal for arming teachers, which drew backlash from many in the profession.

The president remained invested in the issue even as the usual cycle of outrage began diminishing: In a televised February 28 meeting with lawmakers, he called for gun control legislation that would expand background checks to gun shows and internet transactions, secure schools and restrict sales for some young adults. At one point he called outPennsylvania Senator Pat Toomey for being “afraid of the NRA,” and at another he suggested thatauthorities should seize guns from mentally ill or other potentially dangerous peoplewithout first going to court. “I like taking the guns early,” he said. “Take the guns first, go through due process second.”

His stances seemingly stunned the Republican lawmakers at the meeting, as well as the NRA, which previously considered the president as a strong supporter. However, within a few days, Trump was walking back his proposal to raise the age limit and mainly pushing for arming select teachers.

In early August 2017, intelligence experts confirmed that North Korea successfully produced a miniaturized nuclear warhead that fits inside its missiles, putting it one step closer to becoming a nuclear power. Around the same time, the North Korean state news agency said they were “examining the operational plan” to strike areas around the U.S. territory of Guam with medium-to-long-range strategic ballistic missiles. U.S. experts estimated North Koreas nuclear warheads at 60 and that the country could soon have an intercontinental ballistic missile capable of reaching the United States. Trump responded that North Korea would be met with fire and fury if the threats continued and that the U.S. military was locked and loaded.

On August 15, Korean leader Kim Jong-un said hed “watch a little more the foolish and stupid conduct of the Yankees,” which Trump tweeted was a very wise and well reasoned decision. However on August 20, North Korea warned that the U.S. was risking an “uncontrollable phase of a nuclear war” by following through with military drills with South Korea.

On August 28, North Korea launched a missile over Japan. The following day, Trump said all options were on the table. At the United Nations General Assembly on September 19, Trump pejoratively called Kim Jong-un Rocketman and said he would totally destroy North Korea if it threatened the United States or its allies, hours after the group voted to enact additional sanctions against the country.

Two days later, Trump widened American economic sanctions; three days later North Korea threatened to shoot down American airplanes even if they were not in its airspace, calling Trumps comments a declaration of war. A week later, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said the U.S. and North Korea were in direct communication and looking for a non-militarized path forward.

On October 20, CIA Director Mike Pompeo warned that North Korea was in the “final step” of being able to strike mainland America with nuclear warheads and the U.S. should react accordingly. However some foreign policy experts were concerned that war between the U.S. and North Korea was increasingly possible.

Following the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea, during which North Korea made a show of unity with the host country, its officials also relayed interest in opening up communications with Washington.President Trump leaped at the opportunity, announcing that he was willing to sit down with Kim.

On June 12, 2018, Trump and Kim met at the secluded Capella resort in Singapore, marking the first such encounter between a sitting U.S. president and North Korean leader. The two held private talks with their interpreters, before expanding the meeting to include such top staffers as Pompeo (now U.S. secretary of state), National Security Adviser John Bolton and White House Chief of Staff John Kelly.

Afterward, in a televised ceremony, the leaders signed a joint statement in which Trump “committed to provide security guarantees” to North Korea and Kim “reaffirmed his firm and unwavering commitment to complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.” Although their talks marked an early step in a diplomatic process that some predicted could take years to complete, the president said he believed denuclearization on the peninsula would begin “very quickly.”

“We’re very proud of what took place today,” Trump said. “I think our whole relationship with North Korea and the Korean Peninsula is going to be a very much different situation than it has in the past.”

Two weeks after the meeting with Kim, the White House announced that Trump would hold his first formal discussions with Russian President Vladimir Putin inHelsinki, Finland, on July 16, 2018.

The two men met on the heels of Trump’s heavily scrutinized summit with NATO leaders, and shortly after the Justice Department announced the indictment of 12 Russian operatives for interfering in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Prompted to address the issue of election hacking in a joint news conference for the two leaders,President Trump refused to point a finger at his counterpart. “I think we’ve all been foolish. I think we’re all to blame,” he said, adding that”President Putin was extremely strong and powerful in his denial today.”

The comments drew a harsh response stateside, with several notable Republicans joining their Democratic colleagues to question why the president was siding with Putin over his intelligence agencies.Senator McCain called it “one of the most disgraceful performances by an American president in memory,” and even Trump ally Newt Gingrich weighed in with strong words, tweeting, “It is the most serious mistake of his presidency and must be corrected immediately.”

Trump sought to quiet the furor after returning to the White House, insisting that he had misspoken when saying he didn’t see why Russia should be blamed and reminding that he has “on numerous occasions noted our intelligence findings that Russians attempted to interfere in our elections,” though he again suggested that other parties could be responsible.

Around that time, it was revealed that Trump had instructed Bolton, his national security adviser, to invite Putin to the White House that fall, news that caught Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats off guard. Bolton soon disclosed that he would postpone the invitation until the conclusion of the special counsel investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

Additionally, it was learned that the soccer ball gifted to President Trump from Putin, to commemorate the recently completed World Cup, was embedded with a transmitter chip. It turned out that the chip was a standard feature for the product, designed to provide access toplayer videos and other content for people using their mobile devices near the ball.

In May 2018, over the objections of European allies, President Trump announced that he was withdrawing the U.S. from theIran nuclear deal enacted by his predecessor and reimposing sanctions on the Middle Eastern country.

The announcement initially drew a tepid response from Iran, but PresidentHassan Rouhani had stronger words on the issue while addressing diplomats in July, noting that “war with Iran is the mother of all wars” and warning his American counterpart to”not play with the lion’s tail, because you will regret it eternally.”

That seemingly enraged Trump, who fired off an all-caps tweet addressed to Rouhani: “Never, ever threaten the United States again or you will suffer consequences the likes of which few throughout history have ever suffered before,” he wrote. “We are no longer a country that will stand for your demented words of violence & death. Be cautious!”

One of President Trumps first executive orders in office was calling on federal agencies to “waive, defer, grant exemptions from, or delay” aspects of the Affordable Care Act to minimize financial burden on states, insurers and individuals.

On March 7, 2017, House Republicans, led by Speaker Paul Ryan, introduced the American Health Care Act, a plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA). However, the controversial bill ultimately didn’t have enough Republican votes and was withdrawn a few weeks later, representing amajor legislative setback for Speaker Ryan and President Trump.

After intense negotiations among party factions, a new Republican health care plan was brought to a vote in the House of Representatives on May 4, 2017, and passed by a slim margin of 217 to 213. That passed the buck to the Senate. Almost immediately after a draft was unveiled on June 22, conservative senators such as Ted Cruz declared they could not support the bill’s failure to significantly lower premiums, while moderates like Susan Collins voiced concerns over its steep cuts to Medicaid. On June 27, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell elected to delay his planned vote for the bill. When the third, so-called skinny repeal, bill finally went to a vote on in the Senate July 28, it failed by three votes.

In September, a new bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act was put forth by Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Senator Bill Cassidy of Louisiana. However on September 26, Senate republicans announced they would not move forward with the current plan, as they were short of the required votes. We are disappointed in certain so-called Republicans, Trump responded.

On October 12, 2017 Trump signed an executive order in a move that could dismantle the ACA without Congresss approval, expanding health insurance products mostly less comprehensive plans through associations of small employers and more short-term medical coverage. He also announced that he would get rid of health insurance subsidies. Known as cost-sharing reduction payments, which lower the cost of deductibles for low-income Americans, they were expected to cost $9 billion in 2018 and $100 billion over the next decade.

On October 6, 2017, the Trump administration announced a rollback of the birth control mandate put in place by the Obama administrations Affordable Care Act, which required insurers to cover birth control at no cost without copayments as a preventive service. For years, the mandate was threatened by lawsuits from conservative and religious groups.

The Trump administration said the new exemption applies to any employer that objects to covering contraception services on the basis of sincerely held religious beliefs or moral convictions. The change is in line with Trumps promises as a candidate to ensure that religious groups are not bullied by the federal government because of their religious beliefs. Opponents of the measure say that it could potentially affect hundreds of thousands of women, and that access to the affordable contraception the mandate provided prevents unintended pregnancies and saves womens lives.

On April 26, 2017, just days away from his 100th day in office, President Trump announced his tax plan in a one-page outline that would dramatically change tax codes. The plan called for streamlining seven income tax brackets to three 10, 25 and 35 percent. However, the initial outline did not specify which income ranges would fall under those brackets. The plan also proposed to lower the corporate tax rate from 35 to 15 percent, eliminate the alternative-minimum tax and estate tax, and simplify the process for filing tax returns. The proposal did not address how the tax cuts might reduce federal revenue and increase debt.

On December 2, 2017, Trump achieved the first major legislative victory of his administration when the Senate passed a sweeping tax reform bill. Approved along party lines by a 51-49 vote, the bill drew criticism for extensive last-minute rewrites, with frustrated Democrats posting photos of pages filled with crossed-out text and handwriting crammed into the margins.

Among other measures, the Senate bill called for the slashing ofthe corporate tax rate from 35 to 20 percent, doubling personal deductions and ending the Obamacare mandate.It also included a controversial provision that allowed for “unborn children” to be named as beneficiaries of college savings accounts, which critics called an attempt to support the pro-life movement.Despite estimates by the Congressional Budget Office that the bill would cost $1.5 trillion over a decade, GOP senators insisted that charges would be offset by a growing economy.

After the bill’s passage, President Trump tweeted: Biggest Tax Bill and Tax Cuts in history just passed in the Senate. Now these great Republicans will be going for final passage. Thank you to House and Senate Republicans for your hard work and commitment!On December 20, the final tax bill formally passed both chambers of Congress, needing only the president’s signature to give him his first major legislative victory.

Following partisan battles over a spending bill in early 2018, which resulted in a brief government shutdown and stopgap measures, President Trump threatened to torpedo a $1.3 trillion spending bill with a last-minute veto. Reportedly angry that the bill did not fully fund his long-promised Mexican border wall, he nevertheless signed the bill into law on March 23, hours before another government shutdown would have gone into effect.

On March 1, 2018, after the conclusion of a Commerce Department investigation, President Trump announced that he was imposing tariffs of 25 percent on steel imports and 10 percent on aluminum. The following month, the administration said it was adding a 25 percent tariff on more than 1,000 Chinese products to penalize the country for its trade practices, though Trump ultimately granted temporary exemptions to China, the European Union, Canada and Mexico as he sought to renegotiate deals.

His actions resulted in new agreements with South Korea and multiple South American countries to restrain their metal exports, but talks with China, the E.U. and the border countries stalled. In late May, the administration announced that it was moving forward with all tariffs, including a tax on $34 billion worth of Chinese goods that went into effect in July.

The move drew a harsh response from the E.U., Canada and Mexico, which announced retaliatory measures. With Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau condemning Trump’s “unacceptable actions” and French President Emmanuel Macron threatening to isolate the U.S. from the Group of 7, the president faced a frosty reception at the G-7 summit in Quebec in June. He ultimately left the summit early, making headlines on the way out by announcing he would not sign a communique between the seven nations and taking shots at Trudeau on Twitter. In July, Trump again had harsh words for allies at the NATO summit in Brussels, Belgium, including accusations that Germany was “captive” to Russia for its dependence on Russian natural gas, and followed with criticism of U.K. Prime MinisterTheresa Mayfor herhandling of Brexit.

Back home, the president attempted to head off the political fallout of a potentially costly trade war with the announcement that the administration would provide up to $12 billion in emergency relief funds for U.S. farmers.

On February 22, 2017 the Trump administration rolled back federal protection for transgender students to use bathrooms that correspond to their gender identity, allowing states and school districts to interpret federal anti-discrimination law. On March 27, 2017 President Trump signed several measures under the Congressional Review Act to reverse regulations related to education, land use and a “blacklisting rule” requiring federal contractors to disclose violations of federal labor, wage and workplace safety laws.

On December 6, 2017, President Trump announced that the U.S. was formally recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, and would move the American embassy there from its current location in Tel Aviv. The declaration broke decades of precedent, in which the U.S. refused to take sides in the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians over territorial rights to the city.

Fulfilling one of his campaign pledges, Trump referred to the move as “a long overdue step to advance the peace process,” noting it “would be folly to assume that repeating the exact same formula would now produce a different or better result.” He also stressed that the move would not interfere with any proposals for a two-state solution.

The announcement was praised by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu but not as warmly received by American allies France, Britain and Germany, which called it disruptive to the peace process. Leaders of the predominantly Muslim countries Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Jordan, Egypt and Lebanon all condemned the move, while Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said the U.S. could no longer be considered a mediator in the region.

On December 21, the U.N. General Assembly voted 128 to 9 to demand that the U.S. rescind its formal recognition of Jerusalem. Britain, France, Germany and Japan all voted for the resolution, though others, like Australia and Canada, abstained from the symbolic vote.

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President Donald J. Trump – Biography

Cryptocurrency News: What You Need to Know This Week

Cryptocurrency News
Cryptocurrencies traded sideways since our last report on cryptos. However, I noticed something interesting when playing around with Yahoo! Finance’s cryptocurrency screener: There are profitable pockets in this market.

Incidentally, Yahoo’s screener is far superior to the one on CoinMarketCap, so if you’re looking to compare digital assets, I highly recommend it.

But let’s get back to my epiphany.

In the last month, at one point or another, most crypto assets on our favorites list saw double-digit increases. It’s true that each upswing was followed by a hard crash, but investors who rode the trend would have made a.

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Cryptocurrency News: XRP Validators, Malta, and Practical Tokens

Cryptocurrency News & Market Summary
Investors finally saw some light at the end of the tunnel last week, with cryptos soaring across the board. No one quite knows what kicked off the rally—as it could have been any of the stories we discuss below—but the net result was positive.

Of course, prices won’t stay on this rocket ride forever. I expect to see a resurgence of volatility in short order, because the market is moving as a single unit. Everything is rising in tandem.

This tells me that investors are simply “buying the dip” rather than identifying which cryptos have enough real-world value to outlive the crash.

So if you want to know when.

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Cryptocurrency News: Bitcoin ETFs, Andreessen Horowitz, and Contradictions in Crypto

Cryptocurrency News
This was a bloody week for cryptocurrencies. Everything was covered in red, from Ethereum (ETH) on down to the Basic Attention Token (BAT).

Some investors claim it was inevitable. Others say that price manipulation is to blame.

We think the answers are more complicated than either side has to offer, because our research reveals deep contradictions between the price of cryptos and the underlying development of blockchain projects.

For instance, a leading venture capital (VC) firm launched a $300.0-million crypto investment fund, yet liquidity continues to dry up in crypto markets.

Another example is the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s.

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Cryptocurrency News: Bitcoin ETFs, Andreessen Horowitz, and Contradictions in Crypto

Cryptocurrency News: Looking Past the Bithumb Crypto Hack

Another Crypto Hack Derails Recovery
Since our last report, hackers broke into yet another cryptocurrency exchange. This time the target was Bithumb, a Korean exchange known for high-flying prices and ultra-active traders.

While the hackers made off with approximately $31.5 million in funds, the exchange is working with relevant authorities to return the stolen tokens to their respective owners. In the event that some is still missing, the exchange will cover the losses. (Source: “Bithumb Working With Other Crypto Exchanges to Recover Hacked Funds,”.

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Cryptocurrency News: This Week on Bitfinex, Tether, Coinbase, & More

Cryptocurrency News
On the whole, cryptocurrency prices are down from our previous report on cryptos, with the market slipping on news of an exchange being hacked and a report about Bitcoin manipulation.

However, there have been two bright spots: 1) an official from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) said that Ethereum is not a security, and 2) Coinbase is expanding its selection of tokens.

Let’s start with the good news.
SEC Says ETH Is Not a Security
Investors have some reason to cheer this week. A high-ranking SEC official told attendees of the Yahoo! All Markets Summit: Crypto that Ethereum and Bitcoin are not.

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Ripple Price Forecast: XRP vs SWIFT, SEC Updates, and More

Ripple vs SWIFT: The War Begins
While most criticisms of XRP do nothing to curb my bullish Ripple price forecast, there is one obstacle that nags at my conscience. Its name is SWIFT.

The Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) is the king of international payments.

It coordinates wire transfers across 11,000 banks in more than 200 countries and territories, meaning that in order for XRP prices to ascend to $10.00, Ripple needs to launch a successful coup. That is, and always has been, an unwritten part of Ripple’s story.

We’ve seen a lot of progress on that score. In the last three years, Ripple wooed more than 100 financial firms onto its.

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Cryptocurrency Price Forecast: Trust Is Growing, But Prices Are Falling

Trust Is Growing…
Before we get to this week’s cryptocurrency news, analysis, and our cryptocurrency price forecast, I want to share an experience from this past week. I was at home watching the NBA playoffs, trying to ignore the commercials, when a strange advertisement caught my eye.

It followed a tomato from its birth on the vine to its end on the dinner table (where it was served as a bolognese sauce), and a diamond from its dusty beginnings to when it sparkled atop an engagement ring.

The voiceover said: “This is a shipment passed 200 times, transparently tracked from port to port. This is the IBM blockchain.”

Let that sink in—IBM.

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Cryptocurrency News: Bitcoin ETF Rejection, AMD Microchip Sales, and Hedge Funds

Cryptocurrency News
Although cryptocurrency prices were heating up last week (Bitcoin, especially), regulators poured cold water on the rally by rejecting calls for a Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF). This is the second time that the proposal fell on deaf ears. (More on that below.)

Crypto mining ran into similar trouble, as you can see from Advanced Micro Devices, Inc.‘s (NASDAQ:AMD) most recent quarterly earnings. However, it wasn’t all bad news. Investors should, for instance, be cheering the fact that hedge funds are ramping up their involvement in cryptocurrency markets.

Without further ado, here are those stories in greater detail.
ETF Rejection.

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Cryptocurrency News: Vitalik Buterin Doesn’t Care About Bitcoin ETFs

Cryptocurrency News
While headline numbers look devastating this week, investors might take some solace in knowing that cryptocurrencies found their bottom at roughly $189.8 billion in market cap—that was the low point. Since then, investors put more than $20.0 billion back into the market.

During the rout, Ethereum broke below $300.00 and XRP fell below $0.30, marking yearly lows for both tokens. The same was true down the list of the top 100 biggest cryptos.

Altcoins took the brunt of the hit. BTC Dominance, which reveals how tightly investment is concentrated in Bitcoin, rose from 42.62% to 53.27% in just one month, showing that investors either fled altcoins at higher.

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Cryptocurrency News: New Exchanges Could Boost Crypto Liquidity

Cryptocurrency News
Even though the cryptocurrency news was upbeat in recent days, the market tumbled after the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) rejected calls for a Bitcoin (BTC) exchange-traded fund (ETF).

That news came as a blow to investors, many of whom believe the ETF would open the cryptocurrency industry up to pension funds and other institutional investors. This would create a massive tailwind for cryptos, they say.

So it only follows that a rejection of the Bitcoin ETF should send cryptos tumbling, correct? Well, maybe you can follow that logic. To me, it seems like a dramatic overreaction.

I understand that legitimizing cryptos is important. But.

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Cryptocurrency News: New Exchanges Could Boost Crypto Liquidity

President Donald J. Trump – Biography

Who Is Donald Trump?

Donald John Trump is the 45th and current President of the United States who took office January 20, 2017. Previously, he was a real estate mogul, and a former reality TV star. Born in Queens, New York, in 1971 Trump became involved in large, profitable building projects in Manhattan. In 1980, he opened the Grand Hyatt New York, which made him the city’s best-known developer. In 2004, Trump began starring in the hit NBC reality series The Apprentice, which also spawned the offshoot The Celebrity Apprentice. Trump turned his attention to politics, and in 2015 he announced his candidacy for president of the United States on the Republican ticket. After winning a majority of the primaries and caucuses, Trump became the official Republican candidate for president on July 19, 2016. That November, Trump was elected the 45th President of the United States, after defeating Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton.

Donald Trump was born on June 14, 1946, in Queens, New York.

According to a September 2017 Forbes estimate, Donald Trumps net worth is $3.1 billion. Of that, $1.6 billion is in New York real estate; $570 million is in golf clubs and resorts; $500 million is in non-New York real estate; $290 million is in cash and personal assets; and $200 million is in brand businesses. Thats down from $3.7 billion in 2016, according to Fortune, mostly due to declining New York real estate values.

Over the years, Trumps net worth has been a subject of public debate. In 1990, Trump asserted his own net worth in the neighborhood of $1.5 billion. However the real estate market was in decline, reducing the value of and income from Trump’s empire; a Forbes magazine investigation into his assets revealed that his existing debt likely brought the number closer to $500 million. In any event, the Trump Organization required a massive infusion of loans to keep it from collapsing, a situation which raised questions as to whether the corporation could survive bankruptcy. Some observers saw Trump’s decline as symbolic of many of the business, economic and social excesses that had arisen in the 1980s.

Donald Trump eventually managed to climb back from a reported deficit of nearly $900 million, claiming to have reached a zenith of more than $2 billion. However, independent sources again questioned his math, estimating his worth at something closer to $500 million by 1997.

Over the course of his 2016 presidential run, Trumps net worth was questioned and he courted controversy after repeatedly refusing to release his tax returns while they were being audited by the Internal Revenue Service. He did not release his tax returns before the November election the first time a major party candidate had not released such information to the public since Richard Nixon in 1972.

Donald Trump attends the ‘All Star Celebrity Apprentice’ finale in2013 in New York City. (Photo: Michael Stewart/WireImage)

Donald Trump was raised Presbyterian by his mother, and he identifies as a mainline Protestant.

The fourth of five children, Donald Trumps parents were Frederick C. and Mary Anne MacLeod Trump. Frederick Trump was a builder and real estate developer who specialized in constructing and operating middle-income apartments in Queens, Staten Island and Brooklyn. Mary MacLeod immigrated from Tong, Scotland, in 1929 at the age of 17. She married Fred Trump in 1936, and the couple settled in Jamaica, Queens, a neighborhood that was, at the time, filled with Western European immigrants. In the 1950s the Trumps wealth increased with the postwar real estate boom, and Mary became a New York socialite and philanthropist. Fred died in 1999, and Mary passed away the following year.

Donald J. Trump has had three wives and is currently married to Slovenian model Melania Knauss (now Trump), over 23 years his junior. In January 2005, the couple married in a highly-publicized and lavish wedding. Among the many celebrity guests at the wedding were Hillary Clinton and former President Bill Clinton. Melania gave birth to their son, Barron William Trump, in March 2006.

In 1977, Trump married his first wife Ivana Zelnickova Winklmayr, a New York fashion model who had been an alternate on the 1972 Czech Olympic Ski Team. After the 1977 birth of the couple’s first of three children, Donald John Trump Jr., Ivana Trump was named vice president in charge of design in the Trump Organization and played a major role in supervising the renovation of the Commodore and the Plaza Hotel. The couple had two more children together Ivanka Trump (born in 1981) and Eric Trump (born in 1984) and went through a highly publicized divorce which was finalized in 1992.

In 1993 Trump married his second wife, Marla Maples, an actress with whom he had been involved for some time and already had a daughter, Tiffany Trump (born in 1993). Trump would ultimately file for a highly publicized divorce from Maples in 1997, which became final in June 1999. A prenuptial agreement allotted $2 million to Maples.

Trump’s sons Donald Jr. and Eric work as executive vice presidents for The Trump Organization, and took over the family business while their father serves as president. Trump’s daughter Ivanka was also an executive vice president of The Trump Organization, but left the business and her own fashion label to join her father’s administration and become an unpaid assistant to the president. Her husband, Jared Kushner, is also a senior adviser to President Trump.

Donald Trump gives two thumbs up to the crowd on the fourth day of the Republican National Convention on July 21, 2016 at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Donald was an energetic, assertive child. His parents sent him to the New York Military Academy at age 13, hoping the discipline of the school would channel his energy in a positive manner. Trump did well at the academy, both socially and academically, rising to become a star athlete and student leader by the time he graduated in 1964.

He then entered Fordham University and two years later transferred to the Wharton School of Finance at the University of Pennsylvania, from which he graduated in 1968 with a degree in economics. During his years at college, Trump worked at his fathers real estate business during the summer. He also secured education deferments for the Vietnam War draft and ultimately a 1-Y medical deferment after he graduated.

Trump began his political career by seeking the nomination for the Reform Party for the 2000 presidential race and withdrew; he again publicly announced he would be running for president in the 2012 election. However it wasnt until the 2016 election that Trump became the official Republican nominee for president and, defying polls and media projections, won the majority of electoral college votes in a stunning victory on November 8, 2016. Despite losing the popular vote to Hillary Clinton by almost 2.9 million votes, Trump’s electoral win 306 votes to Clinton’s 232 votes clinched his election as the 45th president of the United States.

After one of the most contentious presidential races in U.S. history, Trump’s rise to the office of president was considered a resounding rejection of establishment politics by blue-collar and working class Americans. In his victory speech, Trump said: I pledge to every citizen of our land that I will be president for all Americans.” About his supporters, he said: “As Ive said from the beginning, ours was not a campaign, but rather an incredible and great movement made up of millions of hard-working men and women who love their country and want a better, brighter future for themselves and for their families.

On July 21, 2016, Trump accepted the presidential nomination at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland. In a speech lasting one hour and 15 minutes, one of the longest in recent history, Trump outlined the issues he would tackle as president, including violence in America, the economy, immigration, trade, terrorism, and the appointment of Supreme Court Justices.

On immigration, he said: We are going to build a great border wall to stop illegal immigration, to stop the gangs and the violence, and to stop the drugs from pouring into our communities. He also promised supporters that he would renegotiate trade deals, reduce taxes and government regulations, repeal the Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as Obamacare, defend Second Amendment gun rights, and rebuild our depleted military, asking the countries the U.S. is protecting “to pay their fair share.”

On October 7, 2016, just two days before the second presidential debate between Trump and Clinton, the Republican presidential nominee was embroiled in another scandal when The Washington Post released a 2005 recording in which he lewdly described kissing and groping women, and trying to have sex with then-married television personality Nancy ODell. The three-minute recording captured Trump speaking to Billy Bush, co-anchor of Access Hollywood, as they prepared to meet soap opera actress Arianne Zucker for a segment of the show. “Ive gotta use some Tic Tacs, just in case I start kissing her, Trump said in the recording which was caught on a microphone that had not been turned off. You know Im automatically attracted to beautiful I just start kissing them. Its like a magnet. Just kiss. I dont even wait. And when youre a star they let you do it. You can do anything.”

He also said that because of his celebrity status he could grab women by their genitals. In response, Trump released a statement saying: This was locker room banter, a private conversation that took place many years ago. Bill Clinton has said far worse to me on the golf course not even close. I apologize if anyone was offended.

Trump later posted a videotaped apology on Facebook in which he said: Ive never said Im a perfect person, nor pretended to be someone that Im not. Ive said and done things I regret, and the words released today on this more than a decade-old video are one of them. Anyone who knows me knows these words dont reflect who I am. I said it, I was wrong, and I apologize.

The backlash was immediate with some top Republicans, including Senators John McCain, Kelly Ayotte, Mike Crapo, Shelley Moore Capito and Martha Roby, withdrawing their support for Trump. House Speaker Paul Ryan reportedly told fellow GOP lawmakers that he would not campaign with or defend the presidential candidate. Some GOP critics also called for Trump to withdraw from the race, including former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. Trump remained defiant, tweeting that he would stay in the race.

Around the same time as the video leak, numerous women began speaking publicly about their past experiences with Trump, alleging he had either sexually assaulted or harassed them based on their looks.

Throughout the election, Trump vehemently denied allegations he had a relationship with Russian PresidentVladimir Putin and was tied to the hacking of the DNC emails. In January 2017, a U.S. intelligence report prepared by the CIA, FBI and NSA concluded that Putin had ordered a campaign to influence the U.S. election. Russias goals were to undermine public faith in the U.S. democratic process, denigrate Secretary Clinton, and harm her electability and potential presidency. We further assess Putin and the Russian Government developed a clear preference for President-elect Trump,” the report said.

Prior to the release of the report, President-elect Trump had cast doubt on Russian interference and the intelligence communitys assessment. Trump received an intelligence briefing on the matter, and in his first press conference as president-elect on January 11, he acknowledged Russias interference. However, in subsequent comments he again refused to condemn Russia for such activity, notably saying on multiple occasions that he believed Putin’s denials.

In March 2018, the Trump administration formally acknowledged the charges by issuing sanctions on 19 Russians for interference in the 2016 presidential election and alleged cyberattacks. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin delivered the announcement, with thepresident remaining silent on the matter.

In July, days before President Trump was to meet with Putin in Finland, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein announced additional charges against12 Russian intelligence officers accused of hacking the DNC and the Clinton campaign.

On January 20, 2017, Trump was sworn in as the 45th president of the United States by Chief Justice of the United States John Roberts. Trump took the oath of office placing his hand on the Bible that was used at Abraham Lincoln’s inauguration and his own family Bible, which was presented to him by his mother in 1955 when he graduated from Sunday school at his family’s Presbyterian church.

In his inaugural speech on January 20th, Trump sent a populist message that he would put the American people above politics. What truly matters is not which party controls our government, but whether our government is controlled by the people, he said. January 20, 2017, will be remembered as the day the people became the rulers of this nation again.

He went on to paint a bleak picture of an America that had failed many of its citizens, describing families trapped in poverty, an ineffective education system, and crime, drugs and gangs. This American carnage stops right here and stops right now,” he said.

The day after Trump’s inauguration, millions of protesters demonstrated across the United States and around the world. The Women’s March on Washington drew over half a million people to protest President Trump’s stance on a variety issues ranging from immigration to environmental protection. Activists and celebrities including Gloria Steinem, Angela Davis, Madonna, Cher, Ashley Judd, Scarlett Johansson, America Ferrera, Alicia Keys and Janelle Mone participated. The president tweeted in response:

The first 100 days of Trumps presidency lasted from January 20, 2017 until April 29, 2017. In the first days of his presidency, President Trump issued a number of back-to-back executive orders to make good on some of his campaign promises, as well as several orders aimed at rolling back policies and regulations that were put into place during the Obama administration. Several of Trumps key policies that got rolling during Trumps first 100 days in office include his supreme court nomination; steps toward building a wall on the Mexico border; a travel ban for several predominantly Muslim countries; the first moves to dismantle the Affordable Care Act (a.k.a. Obamacare); and the U.S. withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement.

In addition, Trump signed orders to implement a federal hiring freeze, withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, and reinstate the Mexico City policy that bans federal funding of nongovernmental organizations abroad that promote or perform abortions. He signed an order to scale back financial regulation under the Dodd-Frank Act, created by the Obama administration and passed by Congress after the financial crisis of 2008. And he called for a lifetime foreign-lobbying ban for members of his administration and a five-year ban for all other lobbying.

On March 16, 2017, the president released his proposed budget. The budget outlined his plans for increased spending for the military, veterans affairs and national security, including building a wall on the border with Mexico. It also made drastic cuts to many government agencies including the Environmental Protection Agency and the State Department, as well as the elimination of the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and the Community Development Block Grant program which supports Meals on Wheels.

On January 31, 2017, President Trump nominated Judge Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court. The 49-year-old conservative judge was appointed by President George W. Bush to the United States Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit in Denver. Judge Gorsuch was educated at Columbia, Harvard and Oxford and clerked for Supreme Justices Byron White and Anthony Kennedy. The nomination came after Merrick Garland, President Obama’s nominee to replace the late Antonin Scalia, was denied a confirmation hearing by Senate Republicans.

As Gorsuch’s legal philosophy was considered to be similar to Scalia’s, the choice drew strong praise from the conservative side of the aisle. “Millions of voters said this was the single most important issue for them when they voted for me for president,” President Trump said. “I am a man of my word. Today I am keeping another promise to the American people by nominating Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court.”

After Gorsuch gave three days of testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee in March, the Senate convened on April 6 to advance his nomination. Democrats mostly held firm to deny the 60 votes necessary to proceed, resulting in the first successful partisan filibuster of a Supreme Court nominee. But Republicans quickly countered with another historic move, invoking the “nuclear option” to lower the threshold for advancing Supreme Court nominations from 60 votes to a simple majority of 50. On April 7, Gorsuch was confirmed by the Senate to become the 113th justice of the Supreme Court.

The following year, President Trump had another opportunity to continue the rightward push of the Supreme Court with the retirement of Justice Kennedy. On July 9, 2018, he nominated Brett Kavanaugh, another textualist and orginalist in the mold of Scalia. Democrats vowed to fight the nomination, though their options remained limited as the minority party.

Trump issued an executive order to build a wall at the United States border with Mexico. In his first televised interview as president, President Trump said the initial construction of the wall would be funded by U.S. taxpayer dollars, but that Mexico would reimburse the U.S. 100 percent in a plan to be negotiated and might include a suggested import tax on Mexican goods.

In response to the new administration’s stance on a border wall, Mexican president Enrique Pea Nieto cancelled a planned visit to meet with President Trump. “Mexico does not believe in walls,” the Mexican president said in a video statement. “I’ve said time again; Mexico will not pay for any wall.” Trump and Pea Nieto spoke on the phone after their in-person meeting was cancelled, and “agreed at this point not to speak publicly about this controversial issue,” according to a statement from the Mexican government.

After funding for the wall failed to materialize, from either Mexico or Congress, Trump in April 2018 announced that he wouldreinforce security along the U.S. border with Mexico by using American troops because of the “horrible, unsafe laws” that left the country vulnerable. The following day, the president signed a proclamation that directed National Guard troops to the U.S.-Mexico border.

The Department of Homeland Security said that the deployment would be in coordination with governors, that the troops would “support federal law enforcement personnel, including [Customs and Border Protection],” and that federal immigration authorities would “direct enforcement efforts.” The exact number of troops and duration of deployment had yet to be determined.

As part of attempts to seal the U.S. border with Mexico, the Trump administration in 2018 began following through on a “zero-tolerance” policy to prosecute anybody found to have crossed the border illegally. As children were legally not allowed to be detained with their parents, this meant that they were to be held separately as family cases wound through immigration courts.

A furor ensued after reports surfaced that nearly 2,000 children had been separated from their parents over a six-week period that ended in May 2018, compounded by photos of toddlers crying in cages. President Trump initially deflected blame for the situation, insisting it resulted from the efforts of predecessors and political opponents.”The Democrats are forcing the breakup of families at the Border with their horrible and cruel legislative agenda,” he tweeted.

The president ultimately caved to pressure from the bad PR, and on June 20 he signed an executive order thatdirected the Department of Homeland Security to keep families together. “I didnt like the sight or the feeling of families being separated,” he said, adding that it remained important to have “zero tolerance for people that enter our country illegally” and for Congress to find a permanent solution to the problem. In the meantime, the DHS essentially revived the “catch-and-release” system that the zero-tolerance policy was meant to eradicate, while dealing with the logistics of reuniting families.

President Trump signed one of his most controversial executive orders on January 27, 2017, at the Pentagon, calling for “extreme vetting” to “keep radical Islamic terrorists out of the United States of America.” The president’s executive order was put into effect immediately, and refugees and immigrants from seven predominantly Muslim countries traveling to the U.S. were detained at U.S. airports. The order called for a ban on immigrants from Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia and Yemen for at least 90 days, temporarily suspended the entry of refugees for 120 days and barred Syrian refugees indefinitely. In an interview with the Christian Broadcasting Network, President Trump also said he would give priority to Christian refugees trying to gain entry into the United States.

After facing multiple legal hurdles, President Trump signed a revised executive order on March 6, 2017,calling for a 90-day ban on travelers from six predominantly Muslim countries including Sudan, Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia and Yemen. Iraq, which was included in the original executive order, was removed from the list. Travelers from the six listed countries, who hold green cards or have valid visas as of the signing of the order, will not be affected. Religious minorities would not get special preference, as was outlined in the original order, and an indefinite ban on Syrian refugees was reduced to 120 days.

On March 15, just hours before the revised ban was going to be put into effect, Derrick Watson, a federal judge in Hawaii, issued a temporary nationwide restraining order in a ruling that stated the executive order did not prove that a ban would protect the country from terrorism and that it was issued with a purpose to disfavor a particular religion, in spite of its stated, religiously neutral purpose. At a rally in Nashville, President Trump responded to the ruling, saying: “This is, in the opinion of many, an unprecedented judicial overreach.

Judge Theodore D. Chuang of Maryland also blocked the ban the following day, and in subsequent months, the ban was impeded in decisions handed down by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit in Richmond, Virginia, and the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals once again.

However, on June 26, 2017, Trump won a partial victory when the Supreme Court announced it was allowing the controversial ban to go into effect for foreign nationals who lacked a “bona fide relationship with any person or entity in the United States.” The court agreed to hear oral arguments for the case in October, but with the 90-to-120-day timeline in place for the administration to conduct its reviews, it was believed the case would be rendered moot by that point.

On September 24, 2017, Trump issued a new presidential proclamation, which permanently bans travel to the United States for most citizens from seven countries. Most were on the original list, including Iran, Libya, Syria, Yemen, Somalia, while the new order included Chad, North Korea and some citizens of Venezuela (certain government officials and their families). The tweak did little to pacify critics, who argued that the order was still heavily biased toward Islam. The fact that Trump has added North Korea with few visitors to the U.S. and a few government officials from Venezuela doesnt obfuscate the real fact that the administrations order is still a Muslim ban, said Anthony D. Romero, the executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union.

On October 10, the Supreme Court cancelled a planned hearing on an appeal of the original travel ban. On October 17, the day before the order was to take effect, Judge Watson of Hawaii issued a nationwide order freezing the Trump administrations new travel ban, writing that the order was a poor fit for the issues regarding the sharing of public-safety and terrorism-related information that the president identifies.

On December 4, 2017, the Supreme Court allowed the third version of the Trump administrations travel ban to go into effect despite the ongoing legal challenges. The courts orders urged appeals courts to determineas quickly as possible whether theban was lawful.

Under the ruling, the administration could fully enforce its new restrictions on travel from eight nations, six of them predominantly Muslim. Citizens of Iran, Libya, Syria, Yemen, Somalia, Chad and North Korea, along with some groups of people from Venezuela, would be unable to unable to emigrate to the United States permanently, with many barred from also working, studying or vacationing in the country.

On June 26, 2018, the Supreme Court upheld the president’s travel ban by a 5-4 vote.Writing for the majority, Chief Justice John Roberts said that Trump had the executive authority to make national security judgments in the realm of immigration, regardless of his previous statements about Islam. In a sharply worded dissent, Justice Sonia Sotomayor said that the outcome was equivalent to that of Korematsu v. United States, which permitted the detention of Japanese-Americans during World War II.

The Valentine’s Day 2018 shooting atMarjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, which left a total of 17 students and faculty dead, sparked a strong response from President Trump. He ordered the Justice Department to issue regulations banning bump stocks, and suggested he was willing to consider a range of measures, from strengthening background checks to raising the minimumage for buying rifles. He also backed an NRA-fueled proposal for arming teachers, which drew backlash from many in the profession.

The president remained invested in the issue even as the usual cycle of outrage began diminishing: In a televised February 28 meeting with lawmakers, he called for gun control legislation that would expand background checks to gun shows and internet transactions, secure schools and restrict sales for some young adults. At one point he called outPennsylvania Senator Pat Toomey for being “afraid of the NRA,” and at another he suggested thatauthorities should seize guns from mentally ill or other potentially dangerous peoplewithout first going to court. “I like taking the guns early,” he said. “Take the guns first, go through due process second.”

His stances seemingly stunned the Republican lawmakers at the meeting, as well as the NRA, which previously considered the president as a strong supporter. However, within a few days, Trump was walking back his proposal to raise the age limit and mainly pushing for arming select teachers.

In early August 2017, intelligence experts confirmed that North Korea successfully produced a miniaturized nuclear warhead that fits inside its missiles, putting it one step closer to becoming a nuclear power. Around the same time, the North Korean state news agency said they were “examining the operational plan” to strike areas around the U.S. territory of Guam with medium-to-long-range strategic ballistic missiles. U.S. experts estimated North Koreas nuclear warheads at 60 and that the country could soon have an intercontinental ballistic missile capable of reaching the United States. Trump responded that North Korea would be met with fire and fury if the threats continued and that the U.S. military was locked and loaded.

On August 15, Korean leader Kim Jong-un said hed “watch a little more the foolish and stupid conduct of the Yankees,” which Trump tweeted was a very wise and well reasoned decision. However on August 20, North Korea warned that the U.S. was risking an “uncontrollable phase of a nuclear war” by following through with military drills with South Korea.

On August 28, North Korea launched a missile over Japan. The following day, Trump said all options were on the table. At the United Nations General Assembly on September 19, Trump pejoratively called Kim Jong-un Rocketman and said he would totally destroy North Korea if it threatened the United States or its allies, hours after the group voted to enact additional sanctions against the country.

Two days later, Trump widened American economic sanctions; three days later North Korea threatened to shoot down American airplanes even if they were not in its airspace, calling Trumps comments a declaration of war. A week later, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said the U.S. and North Korea were in direct communication and looking for a non-militarized path forward.

On October 20, CIA Director Mike Pompeo warned that North Korea was in the “final step” of being able to strike mainland America with nuclear warheads and the U.S. should react accordingly. However some foreign policy experts were concerned that war between the U.S. and North Korea was increasingly possible.

Following the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea, during which North Korea made a show of unity with the host country, its officials also relayed interest in opening up communications with Washington.President Trump leaped at the opportunity, announcing that he was willing to sit down with Kim.

On June 12, 2018, Trump and Kim met at the secluded Capella resort in Singapore, marking the first such encounter between a sitting U.S. president and North Korean leader. The two held private talks with their interpreters, before expanding the meeting to include such top staffers as Pompeo (now U.S. secretary of state), National Security Adviser John Bolton and White House Chief of Staff John Kelly.

Afterward, in a televised ceremony, the leaders signed a joint statement in which Trump “committed to provide security guarantees” to North Korea and Kim “reaffirmed his firm and unwavering commitment to complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.” Although their talks marked an early step in a diplomatic process that some predicted could take years to complete, the president said he believed denuclearization on the peninsula would begin “very quickly.”

“We’re very proud of what took place today,” Trump said. “I think our whole relationship with North Korea and the Korean Peninsula is going to be a very much different situation than it has in the past.”

Two weeks after the meeting with Kim, the White House announced that Trump would hold his first formal discussions with Russian President Vladimir Putin inHelsinki, Finland, on July 16, 2018.

The two men met on the heels of Trump’s heavily scrutinized summit with NATO leaders, and shortly after the Justice Department announced the indictment of 12 Russian operatives for interfering in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Prompted to address the issue of election hacking in a joint news conference for the two leaders,President Trump refused to point a finger at his counterpart. “I think we’ve all been foolish. I think we’re all to blame,” he said, adding that”President Putin was extremely strong and powerful in his denial today.”

The comments drew a harsh response stateside, with several notable Republicans joining their Democratic colleagues to question why the president was siding with Putin over his intelligence agencies.Senator McCain called it “one of the most disgraceful performances by an American president in memory,” and even Trump ally Newt Gingrich weighed in with strong words, tweeting, “It is the most serious mistake of his presidency and must be corrected immediately.”

Trump sought to quiet the furor after returning to the White House, insisting that he had misspoken when saying he didn’t see why Russia should be blamed and reminding that he has “on numerous occasions noted our intelligence findings that Russians attempted to interfere in our elections,” though he again suggested that other parties could be responsible.

Around that time, it was revealed that Trump had instructed Bolton, his national security adviser, to invite Putin to the White House that fall, news that caught Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats off guard. Bolton soon disclosed that he would postpone the invitation until the conclusion of the special counsel investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

Additionally, it was learned that the soccer ball gifted to President Trump from Putin, to commemorate the recently completed World Cup, was embedded with a transmitter chip. It turned out that the chip was a standard feature for the product, designed to provide access toplayer videos and other content for people using their mobile devices near the ball.

In May 2018, over the objections of European allies, President Trump announced that he was withdrawing the U.S. from theIran nuclear deal enacted by his predecessor and reimposing sanctions on the Middle Eastern country.

The announcement initially drew a tepid response from Iran, but PresidentHassan Rouhani had stronger words on the issue while addressing diplomats in July, noting that “war with Iran is the mother of all wars” and warning his American counterpart to”not play with the lion’s tail, because you will regret it eternally.”

That seemingly enraged Trump, who fired off an all-caps tweet addressed to Rouhani: “Never, ever threaten the United States again or you will suffer consequences the likes of which few throughout history have ever suffered before,” he wrote. “We are no longer a country that will stand for your demented words of violence & death. Be cautious!”

One of President Trumps first executive orders in office was calling on federal agencies to “waive, defer, grant exemptions from, or delay” aspects of the Affordable Care Act to minimize financial burden on states, insurers and individuals.

On March 7, 2017, House Republicans, led by Speaker Paul Ryan, introduced the American Health Care Act, a plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA). However, the controversial bill ultimately didn’t have enough Republican votes and was withdrawn a few weeks later, representing amajor legislative setback for Speaker Ryan and President Trump.

After intense negotiations among party factions, a new Republican health care plan was brought to a vote in the House of Representatives on May 4, 2017, and passed by a slim margin of 217 to 213. That passed the buck to the Senate. Almost immediately after a draft was unveiled on June 22, conservative senators such as Ted Cruz declared they could not support the bill’s failure to significantly lower premiums, while moderates like Susan Collins voiced concerns over its steep cuts to Medicaid. On June 27, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell elected to delay his planned vote for the bill. When the third, so-called skinny repeal, bill finally went to a vote on in the Senate July 28, it failed by three votes.

In September, a new bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act was put forth by Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Senator Bill Cassidy of Louisiana. However on September 26, Senate republicans announced they would not move forward with the current plan, as they were short of the required votes. We are disappointed in certain so-called Republicans, Trump responded.

On October 12, 2017 Trump signed an executive order in a move that could dismantle the ACA without Congresss approval, expanding health insurance products mostly less comprehensive plans through associations of small employers and more short-term medical coverage. He also announced that he would get rid of health insurance subsidies. Known as cost-sharing reduction payments, which lower the cost of deductibles for low-income Americans, they were expected to cost $9 billion in 2018 and $100 billion over the next decade.

On October 6, 2017, the Trump administration announced a rollback of the birth control mandate put in place by the Obama administrations Affordable Care Act, which required insurers to cover birth control at no cost without copayments as a preventive service. For years, the mandate was threatened by lawsuits from conservative and religious groups.

The Trump administration said the new exemption applies to any employer that objects to covering contraception services on the basis of sincerely held religious beliefs or moral convictions. The change is in line with Trumps promises as a candidate to ensure that religious groups are not bullied by the federal government because of their religious beliefs. Opponents of the measure say that it could potentially affect hundreds of thousands of women, and that access to the affordable contraception the mandate provided prevents unintended pregnancies and saves womens lives.

On April 26, 2017, just days away from his 100th day in office, President Trump announced his tax plan in a one-page outline that would dramatically change tax codes. The plan called for streamlining seven income tax brackets to three 10, 25 and 35 percent. However, the initial outline did not specify which income ranges would fall under those brackets. The plan also proposed to lower the corporate tax rate from 35 to 15 percent, eliminate the alternative-minimum tax and estate tax, and simplify the process for filing tax returns. The proposal did not address how the tax cuts might reduce federal revenue and increase debt.

On December 2, 2017, Trump achieved the first major legislative victory of his administration when the Senate passed a sweeping tax reform bill. Approved along party lines by a 51-49 vote, the bill drew criticism for extensive last-minute rewrites, with frustrated Democrats posting photos of pages filled with crossed-out text and handwriting crammed into the margins.

Among other measures, the Senate bill called for the slashing ofthe corporate tax rate from 35 to 20 percent, doubling personal deductions and ending the Obamacare mandate.It also included a controversial provision that allowed for “unborn children” to be named as beneficiaries of college savings accounts, which critics called an attempt to support the pro-life movement.Despite estimates by the Congressional Budget Office that the bill would cost $1.5 trillion over a decade, GOP senators insisted that charges would be offset by a growing economy.

After the bill’s passage, President Trump tweeted: Biggest Tax Bill and Tax Cuts in history just passed in the Senate. Now these great Republicans will be going for final passage. Thank you to House and Senate Republicans for your hard work and commitment!On December 20, the final tax bill formally passed both chambers of Congress, needing only the president’s signature to give him his first major legislative victory.

Following partisan battles over a spending bill in early 2018, which resulted in a brief government shutdown and stopgap measures, President Trump threatened to torpedo a $1.3 trillion spending bill with a last-minute veto. Reportedly angry that the bill did not fully fund his long-promised Mexican border wall, he nevertheless signed the bill into law on March 23, hours before another government shutdown would have gone into effect.

On March 1, 2018, after the conclusion of a Commerce Department investigation, President Trump announced that he was imposing tariffs of 25 percent on steel imports and 10 percent on aluminum. The following month, the administration said it was adding a 25 percent tariff on more than 1,000 Chinese products to penalize the country for its trade practices, though Trump ultimately granted temporary exemptions to China, the European Union, Canada and Mexico as he sought to renegotiate deals.

His actions resulted in new agreements with South Korea and multiple South American countries to restrain their metal exports, but talks with China, the E.U. and the border countries stalled. In late May, the administration announced that it was moving forward with all tariffs, including a tax on $34 billion worth of Chinese goods that went into effect in July.

The move drew a harsh response from the E.U., Canada and Mexico, which announced retaliatory measures. With Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau condemning Trump’s “unacceptable actions” and French President Emmanuel Macron threatening to isolate the U.S. from the Group of 7, the president faced a frosty reception at the G-7 summit in Quebec in June. He ultimately left the summit early, making headlines on the way out by announcing he would not sign a communique between the seven nations and taking shots at Trudeau on Twitter. In July, Trump again had harsh words for allies at the NATO summit in Brussels, Belgium, including accusations that Germany was “captive” to Russia for its dependence on Russian natural gas, and followed with criticism of U.K. Prime MinisterTheresa Mayfor herhandling of Brexit.

Back home, the president attempted to head off the political fallout of a potentially costly trade war with the announcement that the administration would provide up to $12 billion in emergency relief funds for U.S. farmers.

On February 22, 2017 the Trump administration rolled back federal protection for transgender students to use bathrooms that correspond to their gender identity, allowing states and school districts to interpret federal anti-discrimination law. On March 27, 2017 President Trump signed several measures under the Congressional Review Act to reverse regulations related to education, land use and a “blacklisting rule” requiring federal contractors to disclose violations of federal labor, wage and workplace safety laws.

On December 6, 2017, President Trump announced that the U.S. was formally recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, and would move the American embassy there from its current location in Tel Aviv. The declaration broke decades of precedent, in which the U.S. refused to take sides in the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians over territorial rights to the city.

Fulfilling one of his campaign pledges, Trump referred to the move as “a long overdue step to advance the peace process,” noting it “would be folly to assume that repeating the exact same formula would now produce a different or better result.” He also stressed that the move would not interfere with any proposals for a two-state solution.

The announcement was praised by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu but not as warmly received by American allies France, Britain and Germany, which called it disruptive to the peace process. Leaders of the predominantly Muslim countries Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Jordan, Egypt and Lebanon all condemned the move, while Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said the U.S. could no longer be considered a mediator in the region.

On December 21, the U.N. General Assembly voted 128 to 9 to demand that the U.S. rescind its formal recognition of Jerusalem. Britain, France, Germany and Japan all voted for the resolution, though others, like Australia and Canada, abstained from the symbolic vote.

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A Microdose Of “Magic Mushrooms” Could Unleash Your Creativity

Free Your Mind

It turns out you don’t have to risk a bad trip to enjoy the mind-expanding benefits of psychedelics.

According to researchers from Leiden University, just a tiny dose of magic mushrooms or truffles containing psychedelic substances — an amount unlikely to make you think the floor is alive and wants to eat you — can enhance your cognitive abilities.

With Free Drugs

For their study, which was published Thursday in the journal Psychopharmacology, the researchers first tracked down 36 volunteers at an event organized by the Psychedelic Society of The Netherlands.

Then they asked these volunteers to each complete three tasks, which they designed to assess the person’s ability to identify a solution to a problem (that’s called convergent thinking), reason and find answers to new problems (fluid intelligence), and recognize many possible solutions to a problem (divergent thinking).

Each volunteer completed the tasks twice: once before consuming approximately 0.37 grams of dried truffles — that’s about one-third the weight of a jelly bean — and once after.

The researchers found that the microdoses improved the volunteers’ divergent and convergent thinking — they were better equipped to find a single solution to a problem and conjure up additional out-of-the-box solutions.

Do Trip

Microdosing has gained popularity in recent years among tech workers who think it gives them a creative boost at work, but this was the first study to explore how microdosing psychedelic substances can affect a volunteer’s cognitive abilities in a natural setting. Lead researcher Luisa Prochazkova is hopeful that its results will inspire others to pursue similar research on magic mushrooms.

“Apart from its benefits as a potential cognitive enhancement technique, microdosing could be further investigated for its therapeutic efficacy to help individuals who suffer from rigid thought patterns or behavior such as individuals with depression or obsessive-compulsive disorder,” she said in a press release.

And those benefits would come without the potential side effect of a bad trip.

READ MORE: Can Tiny Doses of Magic Mushrooms Unlock Creativity? [EurekAlert]

More on psychedelics: Did an Acid Trip Change Your Life? Scientists Want to Know About It

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A Microdose Of “Magic Mushrooms” Could Unleash Your Creativity

Scientists: The Government Should Invest in Carbon Capture Now

Scrub Tech

It’s starting to look as though our best bet to stave off a climate change apocalypse is carbon capture: technology that can clean a huge amount of greenhouse gases from the planet’s atmosphere.

The problem: that technology doesn’t exist yet. In a 368-page report published Thursday by the National Academies of Science, leading scientists argued that the government should invest heavily in research that could leave to planet-saving carbon capture.

Outatime

The urgent call for carbon capture research comes on the tail of a damning UN report in which researchers concluded that civilization has much less time than we thought to prevent irreparable environmental devastation.

This is a different sort of investment than expanding our use of solar and wind power — two things we know how to do fairly well at this point. Carbon capture tech still needs more fundamental research.

But Maybe

Different approaches to carbon capture tech have shown promise at the proof of concept level, as The New York Times reported. The real challenge will be scaling those different technologies to the point where they can accomplish what the National Academies of Sciences is hoping.

Unfortunately, this may mean putting all of our chips on entrepreneurs and hoping that some tech company cracks the climate code. Because until someone figures carbon capture out, it would seem things are going to keep getting worse.

READ MORE: Scientists Push for a Crash Program to Scrub Carbon From the Air [The New York Times]

More on carbon capture: Experts Worry a Landmark Report on Climate Change Will Call for Unrealistic Tech

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Scientists: The Government Should Invest in Carbon Capture Now

These Environmentally Friendly Bricks Are Made out of Human Urine

Bathroom Bricks

The next time you pee, think about this: Your urine could one day create the sustainable building materials of the future.

Dyllon Randall is a research engineer at the University of Cape Town. He’s also the supervisor on a new project in which students harvested urine from urinals so they could transform the waste into building bricks. Not only could these bio-bricks eliminate one form of human waste, they could also help fight climate change.

Liquid Gold

In a paper published in the Journal of Environmental Chemical Engineering, the team describes the process of creating one of its bio-bricks.

First, they collect human urine in special urinals that convert much of the liquid into a solid fertilizer. Then, they add the remaining urine to loose sand they colonized with a bacteria that produces an enzyme called urease. This urease reacts with the urine over a period of four to six days, cementing the sand into the brick-like shape of its container.

This whole process takes place at room temperature, while creating traditional bricks involves the use of carbon emission-producing kilns. And as yet another bonus, the team says it can convert the little bit of human urine left over from the brick-building process into yet another fertilizer.

Flushed Away

Ultimately, this team has taken something most of us don’t think twice about flushing down the toilet every day and transformed it into two things we need: fertilizer and building materials.

Still, the amount of urine needed to produce just one brick would require about 100 trips to the restroom, so unless the team is able to get its hands on a lot more urine, these bio-bricks might never find their way onto a construction site.

READ MORE: World-First: Bio-Bricks From Urine [University of Cape Town]

More on upcycling waste: Researchers Devise Method for Recycling Astronaut Urine to Make 3D Printing Plastics in Space

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These Environmentally Friendly Bricks Are Made out of Human Urine

Former General: The US Will Likely Fight a War With China

“Strong Likelihood”

On Wednesday, a retired general predicted that America will wage a war with China in the future.

That’s according to the Associated Press, which quoted Lt. General Ben Hodges’ remarks at a Warsaw conference for Central European military leaders.

“I think in 15 years — it’s not inevitable — but it is a very strong likelihood that we will be at war with China,” Hodges said.

Self-Fulfilling Prophecy

The risk is that this sort of rhetoric could become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

A military leader publicly predicting war with another major world power seems like the sort of move that could make such a war much more likely to happen.

Town Ain’t big Enough

Hodges’ comments seem to come from China’s increasing political and economic influence around the world. America will need to reckon with the fact that China is quickly gaining on other world leaders and may soon pass them technologically and economically.

Hopefully, that reckoning comes with a little bit more grace than setting the stage for a future of warfare.

READ MORE: Retired US general says war with China likely in 15 years [AP]

More on China: An AI Research Supergroup Just Added its First Chinese Firm

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Former General: The US Will Likely Fight a War With China

Facebook Sees a Future in Augmented Reality Glasses

Zuckerglass

The year is 2025. You’re trying to pay attention to your nephew blowing out the candles on his birthday cake, but bright-red Facebook notifications keep flickering in your peripheral vision.

The social media giant really wants its breakout hardware device to be a pair of augmented reality glasses. That’s according to the company’s head of AR, Ficus Kirkpatrick, who blabbed to TechCrunch during an AR event last week in LA.

“We want to see [AR] glasses come into reality,” Kirkpatrick said, “and I think we want to play our part in helping to bring them there.”

Eye Spy

This isn’t the first sign that Facebook wants to dominate the AR space. It bought the breakout VR company Oculus in 2014. Last year, it filed a patent for what look an awful lot like smart spectacles.

If heads-up glasses are the company’s next push, it’ll need to overcome decades of missteps in the space, from Nintendo’s disastrous Virtual Boy to Google’s failed-and-revived Project Glass. And Kirkpatrick cautioned to TechCrunch that the tech likely won’t be here for at least five years.

If the company dreams up a compelling product, though, we’re all going to need to ask ourselves whether we want Facebook notifications clogging up our views as much as they already do our screens.

READ MOREFacebook Confirms It’s Building Augmented Reality Glasses [TechCrunch]

More on augmented reality: These Are The Lightest Augmented Reality Smart Glasses on The Market

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Facebook Sees a Future in Augmented Reality Glasses

Poll: Cool Teens Think Self-Driving Cars Are Totally Lame

Can It Kickflip?

Sources tell us that teens are into a lot of totally-rad stuff like skateboards, dank memes, and dabbing.

Notably missing from that list? Self-driving cars. It takes a lot for people who still needs their parents to drive them to their dates to pass on autonomous vehicles, but that’s exactly what 56 percent of 764 teens polled by State Farm insurance said, according to CBS News.

Hall Monitors

To be fair, the poll was taken among the narcs of the teen world: members of Students Against Destructive Decisions, a group that fights underage substance abuse. According to CBS’s article, chief concerns included the lack of steering wheels and brake pedals fully autonomous vehicles.

Without those standard features, some of the teens felt hesitant to give full control over their safety to the self-driving car.

Buckle Up

No matter how safe self-driving cars may become, this poll illuminates an often-overlooked challenge for autonomous vehicles: actual human interest. In addition to the many technological and political hurdles on the path towards a world of AVs, we can’t forget to address the needs of the people who will be riding in them.

That means that solving problems like motion sickness in people who are used to driving, and convincing passengers that their lives are in good hands, will need to be just as high an industry priority as actually getting the cars to work right.

READ MORE: Self-driving cars are a nonstarter for many teens [CBS News]

More on teens in AVs: Federal Officials put the Brakes on a Driverless School Bus

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Poll: Cool Teens Think Self-Driving Cars Are Totally Lame

Terminator 2’s Terrifying Villain Inspired a New Liquid Metal Robot

Hasta La Vista

Soochow University robotics professor Li Xiangpeng didn’t mince words in a new interview about his latest robot.

“We were inspired,” he told the South China Morning Post, “by T-1000 from Terminator 2: Judgment Day.

T-1000? The killer assassin android on a special mission to murder the teenaged John Connor? That T-1000?

Thankfully, it wasn’t T-1000’s killer instincts that prompted Xiangpeng. Instead it was the liquid-metal robot’s shape-shifting ability that fascinated his research team. And while the robot they built is far less advanced than the one depicted in James Cameron’s sci-fi classic, it could pave the way for bots to come.

Hey Janelle

Xiangpeng and other researchers from China and Australia detail their creation in a paper published earlier this month in the journal Advanced Materials.

Ultimately, their robot comprises just three parts: a plastic wheel, drops of a gallium-based liquid metal alloy, and a small lithium battery. Voltage from the battery alters the liquid metal’s center of gravity, which causes the palm-sized robot to roll in one direction or the other.

I’ll Be Back

The bot may be a far cry from T-1000, but the researchers believe their creation could serve as inspiration for other devices, the same way James Cameron’s 1991 smash-hit followup to “The Terminator” inspired them to build this tiny bot.

“In the future, we expect to further develop soft robots incorporating liquid metal that could be used in special missions such as searching for and rescuing earthquake victims, since they can change shape to slide under doors or make it through spaces humans can’t get into,” researcher Tang Shiyang told SCMP.

Saving people following natural disasters — now that’s the kind of mission we can get behind.

READ MORE: Chinese Scientists Develop Shape-Shifting Robot Inspired by T-1000 From Terminator [South China Morning Post]

More on Terminator-esque robots: Russia’s New Space Robot Can Drive, Use Tools… and Shoot

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Terminator 2’s Terrifying Villain Inspired a New Liquid Metal Robot


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