ElectionTrump's run for the highest office in the land was contentious from the start. In the speech declaring his run for office, he attracted significant media attention due to a statement revealing his intention to build a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border which also included derogatory remarks about Mexican people. Despite the perception that Trump did not have the political experience to be president, and widespread criticism for his inflammatory comments about Muslims, political opponents, and critics throughout the campaign, he was able to secure the Republican Party nomination.
In the run-up to the November 2016 election, Trump was often characterized as an underdog, and described negatively by much of the American public. Polling numbers the day before the election had many in the media reporting that a Clinton victory was all but assured - she did in fact win the popular vote by nearly three million votes. However, Trump secured the intermediary title of "president-elect" after securing 306 electoral college votes to Clinton's 232. Voters that helped secure the presidency of Donald Trump were more likely to be older, male, and white, with a higher median income.
Relationship with the mediaTrump's tumultuous relationship with the media began earl in his administration, frequently referring to them as the "fake news media." It is difficult to ascertain if Americans were distrustful of the news media before the rise of Trump, or if it is a direct result. Regardless, the relationship between the media, the presidency, and the population as irreversibly changed. One poll found that more than half of Americans felt that when the president called something "fake news," what he really meant was that he did not like what was being reported. Despite this, a separate poll in 2017 found that nearly 40 percent of respondents said that they trusted Trump over the news media to tell them the truth about important issues.
President Trump was famously a prolific user of Twitter, often opting to communicate with the American people via the 140-character form. The former president often used Twitter to post controversial and false statements, as well as for leveraging attacks against those who he perceived to be against him. The president's use of the social media platform leading up to and during the January 6th attack on the Capitol resulted in the announcement from Twitter that his account had been indefinitely suspended.
Scandals aboundScandals became synonymous with the administration from day one. In 2016, U.S. media reported that officials tied to the president held backroom communications with Russian officials through which they hoped to secure an advantage over Hillary Clinton during the election campaign. A majority of Americans believe that Russia created and spread fake news stories to help Trump win the election. The Special Counsel report of Robert Mueller concluded that the Russian government "interfered in the 2016 presidential election in sweeping and systematic fashion." The relationship between the Trump administration and Russia further resulted in scandals including attempts to suppress investigations into Russian interference and the dismissal of both FBI director James Comey, and National Security Advisor Michael Flynn.
President Donald Trump was impeached for the first time in December 2019. An inquiry by the House of Representatives found that he had solicited foreign interference in the 2020 U.S. election. The inquiry stated that the president withheld military aid from Ukraine in order to pressure the country into investigating and revealing damaging information about his political opponent, Joe Biden. The president was charged with abuse of power and obstruction of Congress but was acquitted by the Senate in a vote mostly along party lines.
January 6th and second impeachmentDonald Trump lost his re-election bid in November 2020. While Trump insisted the election had been stolen from him due to widespread voter fraud, no evidence ever emerged to support these claims. On January 6, 2021, Trump delivered a speech to his supporters in which he encouraged them to march to the Capitol building where Congress was certifying the election results. Many of his followers stormed the Capitol building in an attempt to overturn those results, which resulted in five deaths.
A week later, the House voted to impeach the president once again - charging him with inciting an insurrection. When the trial moved to the Senate, seven Republicans voted in favor of conviction, along with all Democrats and two independents. Despite the votes of the seven Republican Senators, Trump was acquitted for a second time.