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Updated by Media Excerpts on Aug 09, 2018
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2016 - Donald Trump

[8/5/15] Donald Trump talked politics with Bill Clinton weeks before launching 2016 bid

(WaPo) -- Former president Bill Clinton had a private telephone conversation in late spring with Donald Trump at the same time that the billionaire investor and reality-television star was nearing a decision to run for the White House, according to associates of both men.

Four Trump allies and one Clinton associate familiar with the exchange said that Clinton encouraged Trump’s efforts to play a larger role in the Republican Party and offered his own views of the political landscape.

Clinton’s personal office in New York confirmed that the call occurred in late May, but an aide to Clinton said the 2016 race was never specifically discussed and that it was only a casual chat.

The tone of the call was informal, and Clinton never urged Trump to run, the four people said.

One person with knowledge of Clinton’s end of the call said the former president was upbeat and encouraging during the conversation, which occurred as Trump was speaking out about GOP politics and his prescriptions for the nation.

[7/21/15] Why Donald Trump Didn't Run as a Democrat

(RealClearPolitics) -- Americans can change their political orientation over time—Ronald Reagan did it—but you’d be hard-pressed to find a Republican who during the last 28 years has variously listed his voter registration as Republican, Independence Party, Democrat, Republican again, and (as recently as 2012) registered himself in New York as “decline to state.” In the midst of that orgy of fickleness, Trump ran briefly for president—as a Reform Party candidate.

The money is the tipoff, as it often is with the man who never tires of boasting about his wealth.

He has given money to both major political parties over the years, but until four years ago, when he toyed with running in the Republican contest eventually won by Mitt Romney, Trump had given significantly more money to Democrats.

Trump gave over $100,000 to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, and to its Democratic counterpart over in the House. All during this time, he gave to Republicans, too—just not as much.

Since 2012, however, federal records show that Trump has given $463,450 to Republicans and only $3,500 to Democrats. Why the change in orientation? Trump himself is incoherent on this question, but a few theories spring to mind.

Trump is a Republican because, well, he just feels like being one for a while.

A second possibility is that switching political parties for convenience is just something New York billionaires feel entitled to do. Michael Bloomberg could not have been nominated as a Democrat when he ran for mayor in 2001—even though he was a Democrat—so Bloomberg just ran in the primaries of the moribund New York City Republican primary, overwhelming the opposition with money.

Judging by his petulance on the 2016 campaign trail, the easiest explanation is that Trump broke with the Democrats because he was peeved at the titular head of the Democratic Party. His pattern of donations changed markedly during Barack Obama’s second term as president. This change actually began a year earlier and it coincides with the 2011 White House Correspondents’ Association dinner. Trump was a guest, and listened as the president made fun of Trump’s hair, his supposedly garish architectural taste, and his fixation with Obama’s birth certificate.

The Donald kept up a tight smile as this roasting went on, but his expression froze in pique when the entertainer who followed Obama kept piling on. “Donald Trump often talks about running as a Republican, which is surprising," said comedian Seth Meyers. “I just assumed he was running as a joke.”

Four years later a lot of Republicans appear to be thinking the same thing.

(Politifact) -- Trump has actually been relatively evenhanded in doling out cash to the two parties, but since 1989, he’s contributed over $350,000 more to Republicans running for federal and state offices, campaign finance records show.

Data from the Federal Election Commission and state elections offices provided by the two websites show that Trump has given $584,850 to Democrats and $961,140 to the GOP over the last 26 years.

The difference in donations is almost entirely captured in Trump’s recent giving. Since 2012, Trump has donated $463,450 to Republicans and just $3,500 to Democrats

As an influential real estate developer in the Northeast and in cities around the world, Trump’s contributions may have not have much to do with one’s political party.

[6/16/15] Donald Trump has spent years courting Hillary and other Dems

(Politico) -- Donald Trump jumped into the crowded and rowdy Republican presidential field on Tuesday, but the business magnate has astutely played both sides of the aisle for years, and has been especially cozy - financially and personally - with Hillary Clinton. Clinton, the Democratic front-runner and former New York senator who had some say over.

Clinton, the Democratic front-runner and former New York senator who had some say over policy that could have impacted Trump’s vast business dealings, received donations from both him and son Donald Trump Jr. on separate occasions in 2002, 2005, 2006 and 2007, according to state and federal disclosure records.

Trump has also been generous with the Clinton Foundation, donating at least $100,000, according to the non-profit.

In another sign of their closeness, Clinton attended Trump’s 2005 wedding to current wife Melania Knauss at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach, Florida.

She wasn’t the only Democratic beneficiary of Trump’s wealth. Trump donated $5,000 to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and $20,000 to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee in the 2006 cycle, effectively buoying the election prospects of Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi, respectively.

Just $1,000 of Trump’s money in the 2006 cycle went to the National Republican Senatorial Committee.

Beginning with the 2012 cycle, however, financial disclosures show that Trump has donated exclusively to Republican candidates and groups.

[4/26/11] Trump's donation history shows Democratic favoritism

(WaPo) -- Billionaire Donald J. Trump, an early presidential favorite among tea party activists, has a highly unusual history of political contributions for a prospective Republican candidate: He has given most of his money to the other side.

The real estate mogul and “Celebrity Apprentice” host has made more than $1.3 million in donations over the years to candidates nationwide, with 54 percent of the money going to Democrats, according to a Washington Post analysis of state and federal disclosure records.

Recipients include Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (Nev.), former Pennsylvania governor Edward G. Rendell, and Rahm Emanuel, a former aide to President Obama who received $50,000 from Trump during his recent run to become Chicago’s mayor, records show. Many of the contributions have been concentrated in New York, Florida and other states where Trump has substantial real estate and casino interests.

The Democratic recipients of Trump’s donations make up what looks like a Republican enemies list, including former senator Hillary Rodham Clinton (N.Y.), Sen. John F. Kerry (Mass.), Rep. Charles B. Rangel (N.Y.), Sen. Charles E. Schumer (N.Y.) and the late liberal lion Edward M. Kennedy (Mass.).

The biggest recipient of all has been the Democratic Senate Campaign Committee of New York, which has taken in more than $125,000 from Trump and his companies. Overall, Trump has given nearly $600,000 to New York state campaigns, with more than two-thirds going to Democrats.

His Democratic generosity is hardly confined to New York, however. Trump has given more than $250,000 to federal candidates and campaigns, including more than $100,000 to the party’s House and Senate campaign committees. He donated $10,400 to Reid, including for his 2010 battle with Sharron Angle, the GOP nominee and tea party favorite.

He gave $95,000 to the Republican Governors Association for its record-breaking electoral push in 2010, and he has donated more than $80,000 to the three national GOP political committees in the past two decades.

[11/22/15] Trump's outrageous claim that 'thousands' of New Jersey Muslims celebrated the 9/11 attacks

(WaPo) TRUMP:

Hey, I watched when the World Trade Center came tumbling down. And I watched in Jersey City, New Jersey, where thousands and thousands of people were cheering as that building was coming down. Thousands of people were cheering.

Four Pinocchios