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The Rushmore Report: What You Didn’t Know About Donald Trump

We all know he is the President of the United States. We know he is a brash billionaire. We know him as the star of The Apprentice and as the Tweeter-in-Chief. We know about his multiple marriages, bombastic ways, and unprecedented rise to the Oval Office. But there is more to The Donald than you know. Here are a few things about the 45th president you probably didn’t know.

1. Trump has never smoked, drank alcohol, or done drugs.

His older brother, Fred, was an active alcoholic for many years, and he warned Trump to avoid drinking. Fred ultimately died from his addiction. This left an impression on Donald that would never go away.

2. His hairstyle does not come easily.

When Trump awakes in the morning, he looks different. His remarkable hairline is achieved after blow-drying his hair forward and them combing it backward.

3. He has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

In 2007, Trump became the 2,327th star to receive the honor, because of his role as producer of NBC’s The Apprentice.

4. Trump is the only president with his own board game.

The monopoly-like game launched in 1989 and was ultimately discontinued after poor sales and bad reviews. The game was appropriately named Trump: The Game.

5. He once had his own brand of Vodka.

Though he doesn’t drink, he launched his Vodka in 2006, describing it as “a superb product and beautifully packaged.” The public didn’t agree. It was discontinued in 2011.

6. He doesn’t like to shake hands.

A germaphobe, when forced to shake hands, he has an interesting technique of vigorously pulling the other person close into his body.

7. Trump once owned a pro football team.

A player in high school, his love for football never left him. In 1983, he purchased the New Jersey Generals of the United States Football League, which he tried to merge with the NFL. The USFL folded after two seasons.

8. He has a high opinion of himself.

Okay, you already knew this one. But here’s the evidence. In 2004, he was quoted in The Daily News, saying, “All of the women on The Apprentice flirt with me – consciously or subconsciously. That’s to be expected.”

The Rushmore Report: Will President Trump Be Impeached?

In the wake of new revelations of memos written by former FBI Director James Comey, Democrats such as Sen. Angus King (ME), Rep. Al Green (TX), and Rep. Maxine Waters (CA) have called for the impeachment of President Trump. David Gergen (CNN) said, “We’re already in impeachment territory.” British oddsmakers give Trump only a 46 percent chance of finishing his first term. But can impeachment really happen? Let’s talk about it.

Only two presidents have ever been impeached. And no, Richard Nixon was not one of them. I’m talking about Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton. And neither was removed from office. That’s because impeachment and removal from office are a high bar to get over.

The Constitution is very specific about the basis for impeachment. Article II Section 4 states, “The President, Vice President, and all civil officers of the United States, shall be removed from office on impeachment from, and conviction of, treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors.” And the definition of “high crimes and misdemeanors” is not made clear.

But can President Trump actually be impeached and removed from office?

Yes.

Is it likely?

No.

There are five reasons a Trump impeachment is very unlikely.

1. President Trump has not even been accused of a crime.

Despite their best efforts, neither Democrats nor the media have produced a single scintilla of evidence of a crime – either in the Russian collusion or the Comey memo “scandal.” And where there is no evidence, there is no crime. And where there is no crime, there is no impeachment.

2. Impeaching Trump would be dumb politically.

If the Democrats were successful in actually removing Trump from office, they’d have a President Pence. And that would be their worst nightmare. Mike Pence is more conservative than Trump, and far less prone to the kind of unforced errors that make a second Trump term so precarious. Democrats will be in a much better position to win elections in 2018, 2020, and after by running against the volatile Trump than the steady Pence.

3. As with Bill Clinton, impeaching Trump would make him more powerful, not less.

When Clinton was impeached, he was at his lowest point in popularity. But being impeached was viewed as an overreach, resulting in a wide swing in public opinion. Clinton was empowered and suddenly had the country behind him as never before.

4. The math makes impeachment nearly impossible for Democrats.

Democrats would need the support of 25 House Republicans to approve articles of impeachment and then 15 Senate Republicans to remove Trump from office. There’s a reason no president has ever been removed from office. It is a really high bar to get over, and with Republicans in control of both chambers of Congress – nearly impossible.

5. The two big issues appear bogus.

Issue #1 – Trump’s meeting with Russian President Putin. The accusation is that Trump shared classified information with Putin. Here’s the problem – As President, Mr. Trump is completely within his rights to declassify anything at anytime. So even if he did what he is accused of doing, it is perfectly legal.

Issue #2 – the Comey memos. The implication is that Mr. Comey jotted down some comments Trump made to him at a White House dinner on February 14. Trump supposedly suggested Comey go easy on Michael Flynn. Rep. Elijah Cummings, as well as other Democrats, called this a “textbook case of obstruction of justice.” Here’s the problem – Anything short of a direct order would not rise to the level of obstruction, and therefore a crime. And if Trump actually had given Mr. Comey such a clear directive, by not telling the Justice Department – immediately – Comey effectively downplayed the severity of the comments. No one would have recognized obstruction as well as the Director of the FBI, and he did nothing to report the Trump comments as inappropriate.

So yes, it is possible that Mr. Trump could be impeached. It’s also possible my Houston Texans will win the next Super Bowl and the Houston Astros will win the World Series and the Houston Rockets will win next year’s NBA championship. It’s possible – but highly unlikely.

The Rushmore Report: What Trump Can Do that Will Only Make the Media/Democrats Hate Him More

Everyone wants to be liked. That is a universal plague that has ruined many a good person. Presidents are no different. And clearly President Trump falls into that category. He wants to be liked. Is he bothered by his low favorability ratings? You bet he is. Does it bother him that he is loathed by Democrats and mainstream media no matter what he does? Of course it does. But it is partly his own fault. In his young presidency, he has already done some things that clearly have won him the ire of the opposition. Here are a few examples.

1. Lower unemployment

Under the Trump presidency, unemployment has dropped to 4.7 percent, lower than at any time under the eight years of the Obama Administration. Unemployment hasn’t been this low since – gasp! – George W. Bush was President.

2. Record stock market

Just as employment is lower than at any time during Obama’s eight years, the stock market is higher than at any point in Obama’s eight years. That means more retirement savings for everybody.

3. Lower illegal immigration

Since Trump became President, illegal border crossings are down 70 percent. That means less crime and more jobs for Americans.

4. Standing up to Syria and North Korea

Syria has crossed Obama’s “red line” more times than the chicken crossed the road. But President Trump bombed Syria when they crossed him. And he is staring down North Korea as well, actually awakening China from its slumber. It’s called peace through strength.

5. Showing up to Day of Prayer rather than the Correspondents’ Dinner

This is a big no-no. In a span of one week, President Trump put God ahead of the media. He could have attended the venue that takes God’s name in vain, but chose the venue that prays in God’s name instead.

6. Fixing Obamacare

He could have shouted, “If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor. If you like your healthcare plan, you can keep your healthcare plan.” And he could have let the current program, clearly imploding, implode. But instead, Trump is supporting efforts to provide lower premiums and reduce healthcare costs.

7. Military pay raise

For the first time in six years, the military personnel are getting a raise. They protect us every day – perhaps they deserve a small pay increase every six years.

Predictably, these seven steps have brought the wrath (and vulgarity) of both media and Democrats alike. And why not? Low unemployment. More people working. Record savings. Stronger defense. Reduced illegal immigration. Day of Prayer. No wonder the left is in a dither.

But I will offer hope to the President. It’s not too late to win over your opposition, Mr. Trump. Here are a few random suggestions, sure to help.

1. Admit you are never right about anything.

2. Let Chuck Schumer make your next Supreme Court nomination for you.

3. Increase taxes.

4. Accumulate as much national debt as Mr. Obama did.

5. Make empty threats against countries who seek to annihilate Israel.

6. Replace Mike Pence with Nancy Pelosi.

I thought of one other thing you might try to win the approval of your most strident critics. You could walk on water. But if you do, know this. The opposition will say you don’t know how to swim.

 

The Rushmore Report – What Trump Is Doing Today that the Media Won’t Cover

President Reagan did it. So did Presidents Bush, Clinton, and Bush. President Obama did not do it. Today, President Trump is doing it again. But you won’t hear about it in the media much – if at all. It has happened every year in May for 66 years. Most presidents – though not all – make a pretty big deal out of it.

The media is covering President Trump’s budget deal, his comments about the government needing a “good shutdown,” his plans for the border wall, and pretty much every tweet he puts out at five in the morning. But they aren’t covering this – even though it is important to a huge part of the country.

What is it that President Trump is doing today?

He is participating in the National Day of Prayer.

Despite President Obama’s reticence to embrace a National Day of Prayer, such an event is consistent with our American heritage. George Washington said, “It is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favor.”

On April 17, 1952, President Harry S. Truman signed into law the annual observance of a National Day of Prayer, ordering that it must be declared by each subsequent president at a day of his choosing. President Reagan, 36 years later, designated the first Thursday of May as National Day of Prayer.

Today, over 35,000 prayer gatherings will be conducted by about 40,000 volunteers across the United States. According to TimeAndDate.com, “several million people are expected to participate in this call to prayer.”

Why do we need a National Day of Prayer? Historian David Barton offers four reasons. First, God tells us to pray (1 Timothy 2:1-4). Second, God answers prayer (Matthew 21:22). Third, God honors prayer and turns his attention to those who pray. Fourth, prayer changes those who pray.

I love what the aging Benjamin Franklin said at the Constitutional Convention. Standing to his feet, he pondered whether the assembly still desired to depend on God as they did in the beginning of the revolutionary movement. Franklin stated, “And have we now forgotten that powerful Friend? I have lived a long time, and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth – that God governs in the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without his notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without this aid?”

Ronald Reagan was right when he said, “If we ever forget that we are one nation under God, then we will be a nation gone under.”

Sunday, Beth and I attended the First Baptist Church of Dallas. Pastor Robert Jeffress mentioned that he would be with the President on Thursday for the National Day of Prayer. I suggest that is one time when we should all be with our President – the National Day of Prayer.

So find a prayer gathering near you. By hosting the Washington, D.C. National Day of Prayer, President Trump is doing what we would hope all presidents would do – whether the media shows up or not.

The Rushmore Report: What Trump Has Accomplished in His First 100 Days

As Donald Trump approaches the 100-day mark of his presidency, now is a good time to review what he has accomplished so far. Last week, Trump said, “No administration has accomplished more in the first 90 days.” It has been a bumpy and eventful ride so far. Since the Franklin Roosevelt Administration, the first 100 days have been heralded as the first test of a president’s success or failure. So how does President Trump stack up? Let’s start with what he has done so far, and then address the initiatives that may soon come to fruition.

What Trump has done so far

1. New bills: Trump has signed 28 bills into law, 13 aimed to reverse Obama policies. Many of these have been minor housekeeping bills. But no major pieces of legislation have yet been enacted.

2. Executive orders: To date, Trump has signed 24 executive orders, 22 presidential memorandums, and 20 proclamations. These numbers are not unusual when compared to past administrations.

3. Lagging appointments: While Trump has deservedly received high marks for his high-profile appointments, he is lagging in filling dozens of positions. Even Senate-confirmed positions remain unfilled. To his credit, the president’s nominee for the Supreme Court, Judge Neil Gorsuch, won approval and wide acclaim.

4. Foreign policy: The airstrikes in Syria and tougher stands against North Korea and Iran are a refreshing dose of presidential leadership that has been sadly lacking for the past eight years. Clearly, to Mr. Trump, red lines mean something. Still  uncertain, however, is how this new posture will play out on a most complicated world stage.

What to watch for in the next 100 days

1. Health care: It appears congressional Republicans may finally be getting their act together, and a major health care reform bill may be passed soon.

2. Border wall: A centerpiece to his presidential campaign, the famous wall may be coming online soon. While many uncertainties remain, the wall is slowly making progress.

3. Tax reform: Tax cuts seem imminent. How will they be paid for? Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin says the plan will “pay for itself with growth.” In his argument, he promises that reducing business and individual tax rates will unleash so much economic growth that the lost revenue will be almost completely recouped. Predictably, this view is not met with support across the political divide.

Conclusion

While it is clear that the Trump Administration has failed to enact significant legislation, the fault must be shared with congressional Republicans, who must put laws on his desk, and congressional Democrats, who would oppose legislation that guarantees world peace and wipes out hunger everywhere – if it was proposed by Republicans. Trump can chalk up great victories in the make-up of his cabinet and his Supreme Court nominee. He should also receive credit for his posture on the world stage, especially in the face of tyrannical leadership around the globe.

Trump has enjoyed many great achievements so far. Most importantly, he is keeping his promises to the American people. He is actually doing the things he was elected to do. But when history looks back at the Trump Administration, these first 100 days – though significant – will matter far less than the next 1,361 days.

The Rushmore Report: Korean War? What’s Coming and God’s Promise

America could be on the brink of nuclear war with North Korea. Mounting tensions, Korean missile tests, and American military build-up in the region have all fueled speculation of a possible catastrophe that could lead to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of lives in Seoul, South Korea, including over 20,000 American soldiers.

Let’s put it all in perspective. We will consider five factors: the latest developments, the basic issues, what the U.S. is doing, Trump’s options, and most importantly, God’s promise in such times.

1. The latest developments

Washington is committed to reigning in North Korea’s nuclear and missile ambitions. Vice President Mike Pence is making a 10-day trip to the region, warning North Korea that recent American strikes in Syria should serve notice of our resolve. In response, North Korea officials have reiterated their warnings that if America intervenes in any way, nuclear war may result.

2. The basic issues

Tensions on the Korean Peninsula have escalated in the past few months after North Korea launched missile tests that purposely showed increasing sophistication in the nuclear state’s weapons program. Korean capabilities suggest they may be able to reach the Unites States with nuclear missiles within ten years.

3. What the United States is doing

So far, U.S. President Donald Trump has played his hand – militarily, at least – as cautiously as his predecessors. A series of Situation Room meetings has come to the predictable conclusion that while the United States can be more aggressive, it should stop just short of confronting the North so frontally that it risks rekindling the Korean War, nearly 64 years after it came to an uneasy armistice. Mr. Trump has also escalated tough language on North Korea on social media.

4. Trump’s options

The new president has several ways he can respond to the mounting challenge. First, he can expand economic sanctions on North Korea. He will need to include China in any such actions. Second, Trump can take covert action. Washington might use electronic warfare or cyber attacks to disable North Korean missiles at launch time. Third, diplomacy is an option. To date, this has not appeared to interest the Trump Administration. There have been no official negotiations with North Korea for seven years. Fourth, Mr. Trump might use direct military force. This could include a sea blockade, military strikes on nuclear and missile facilities, or even an attempt to overthrow President Kim.

5. God’s promise

During troubled times for his country, King David wrote these words: “The Lord will be a refuge for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble.” That is God’s enduring promise. We have no way of knowing what Mr. Kim will do next – or Mr. Trump, for that matter. What we do know is what God will do next. He will stay close to those who diligently seek him. He will provide refuge in the midst of the storm and hope in the midst of utter despair.

In times like these, it is always good to look out for what may come next. But it is better to look up.

The Rushmore Report: Karl Rove’s Seven Suggestions for Trump

During a period that’s commonly considered a honeymoon for a new sitting president, Donald Trump’s first 100 days have been anything but, writes Republican operative Karl Rove, adding that the president needs a “course correction.” In a column for The Wall Street Journal, the former deputy chief of staff for George W. Bush wrote that Trump needs to do seven things to achieve success as America’s 45th president.

1. Focus tweets on governance: “Tweaking his messages has become vital.”

2. Trump should move on from the Susan Rice story.

3. “Mr. Trump should stop blaming his predecessor. It was tiresome when President Obama did it and it made him look weak.”

4. “The president should stop raising expectations. The strategy should be to underpromise and overdeliver.”

5. “Mr. Trump should stop attacking fellow Republicans.”

6. “The president should try to diminish infighting by encouraging unity of purpose, while maintaining diversity of opinion” within the White House staff.

7 “Much more structure is still needed” in the “policy-making process.”

Rove says it’s important to focus on the few big messages rather than inundate Americans with daily missives that are played up to be even bigger than yesterday’s. “The avalanche of news generated by this White House could exhaust people, causing them to lose interest and confidence. When his approval rating is below 40 percent – with softening support even among Republicans – the last thing Mr. Trump should want is for Americans to turn off and tune out,” Rove concludes.

About the Author

Mark Swanson is a writer for Newsmax.

The Rushmore Report: Democratic Chair – ‘Trump Didn’t Win the Election’

The newly elected Democratic National Committee chairman was videoed screaming that Donald Trump “didn’t win the election” during a rally in New Jersey. The embarrassing clip, in which Tom Perez also claims the Republican Party doesn’t care about voters, leaves little doubt about how he will attempt to drag voters back to the beleaguered party. An irate Perez, who served as President Obama’s Labor Secretary, screeches: “Donald Trump, you don’t stand for our values. You didn’t win this election.”

He added, “Donald Trump, the bromance you have with Putin, it’s not going to do you any good. Donald Trump, we will resist.”

According to several news reports, Mr. Perez also said there was “a bully in Washington in the White House.” Perez was elected as the DNC chair in February after edging out Keith Ellison, the first Muslim elected to Congress.

Democrats have been on a downward spiral in recent years, losing control of the House in 2010 and then the Senate (2012) and White House (2016).

Perez has been hell-bent on trying to help his party after he demanded all current staffers at the DNC submit their letters of resignation by April 15 in a desperate bid to overhaul the party’s organization following the humbling presidential defeat to Trump last year.

The DNC has endured a torrid time during the past few months, following accusations that the party favored Hillary Clinton over Bernie Sanders in the Democratic primary and the resignation of former chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz.

Trump has slumped to a new low in his approval ratings just 10 weeks into his presidency. Mr. Trump’s job approval stands at just 42 percent, according to a new NBC News/SurveyMonkey Poll.

A majority of those polled – 56 percent – said they think the President is doing a poor job and that he is leading the country in the wrong direction.

About the Author

Charlie Bayliss is a freelance British writer, published in several publications, including Stride, Neon, and Sabotage Reviews.

The Rushmore Report: Three Things Trump Must Do – Now

On the heels of his major setback on healthcare President Trump’s approval ratings have now dropped to 36 percent in the latest Gallup Poll. Democrats, aided by most media outlets as usual, are piling on. Charles Krauthammer says his presidency is “damaged.” Mika Brzezinski says “this presidency is fake and failed.” Chuck Schumer says Trump has demonstrated a “basic lack of competence.”

While Mr. Trump has enjoyed many early episodes of success, it is undeniable that the healthcare debacle is a major setback. Why the Republicans failed to find consensus on “repeal and replace” over the past seven years is a mystery. But Trump can turn things around. Trump can be a huge success. But he must do three things – now.

Here’s the deal. At the end of the day, Trump’s presidency will be measured by those who matter most – voters – based on just two things. Those two things are not national defense, the war against ISIS, the budget deficit, national debt, immigration, or the wall. Trump’s success or failure will be determined by just two things . . .

1. Wages

2. Jobs

That’s it. If wages go up and jobs are created, Trump wins. If wages continue to stagnate or decline, and job creation is anemic, Trump loses. It matters not what the Dow does, how the war ends or doesn’t end, what happens to Obamacare, or how well he builds the wall.

George H.W. Bush failed to understand “It’s the economy, stupid!” And it cost him re-election. It is still the economy. That’s what Americans care about more than anything else. And more specifically, they care about their personal economy. Do they have a good job at a rising wage? That’s it.

President Trump will fail if he allows himself to get distracted from these two issues – wages and jobs. So what are the three things he must do – now?

1. Form a jobs task force.

Economist Daniel J. Arbess wrote for Fortune: “President Trump should commission a public/private task force on the future of employment – with an emphasis on innovative ideas – including a broad range of thinkers.” Because America’s innovators have already shown willingness to meet with Trump, regardless of their political leanings, the president can bring in some big names and adopt some big ideas. He must empower this blue-ribbon group to make sweeping recommendations.

2. Invest in infrastructure.

The one thing Trump and Hillary Clinton agreed on during the past election cycle was the need for infrastructure. The Brookings Institution notes that infrastructure jobs “offer more equitable wages, require less formal education for entry, and are projected to grow over the next decade.” Trump’s campaign site promised “thousands of new jobs in construction, steel manufacturing, and other sectors to build the transportation, water, telecommunications, and energy infrastructure needed to enable new economic development.” If the president makes good on this promise, he will be seen as a uniter (infrastructure appeals to Democrats), while creating jobs at the same time.

3. Embrace green energy.

While this sounds like a non-Republican idea, it actually fits with the president’s stated goals. His own energy plan, during the election, stated, “Sound energy policy begins with the recognition that we have vast untapped domestic energy reserves right here in America. The Trump Administration will embrace the shale oil and gas revolution to bring jobs and prosperity to millions of America.” The statement went on to promote renewable energy, as well. Tom Randall, writing for Bloomberg, said, “Clean energy investment broke new records in 2015, and is now seeing twice as much global funding as fossil fuels.” By embracing green energy, Trump would create new jobs, while staking out the middle ground of American politics that has not been seen since the days of Ronald Reagan. Not bad company.

The Rushmore Report: Why Trump’s Low Poll Numbers Matter

President Trump entered the White House with the lowest approval ratings any president has had when taking office, and though his numbers went up for a few weeks, a new Gallup Poll has his approval rating at a new historic low – 37%. The question is, with the next presidential election nearly four years away, does it matter? The answer is yes – this is a real problem. Here’s why.

First, it is important to note that two factors seem to be able to keep approval ratings above or below their natural level for long periods: the economy and media coverage. To a lesser degree, unemployment and inflation have historically altered approval ratings. For Trump, this seems to be a wash. Though the economy is moving in a positive direction, clearly the media is predisposed to attack Trump as never seen in modern political history.

America’s current partisan divide further burdens the president’s numbers. Democrats in Congress are not going to work with him and Democrats at large are solidly against him, even if they don’t know why.

Here’s why low poll numbers matter. Any major policy initiative requires that the president work with people who pay attention to them. High approval ratings give a president a great deal of leverage over members of Congress. Under unpopular presidents, big policy changes – tax reform, immigration reform, health care reform – often force legislators to choose between what their district wants them to do and what the president or Congress wants them to do. A popular president can help to ease the burden of an unpopular vote; an unpopular president has to accept what Congress wants to pass if he wants to sign any bills at all.

A president can have real power to shape the future of the country, but that only comes with popularity. An unpopular president is more likely to find himself hemmed in by protests, like Johnson and Nixon in their later years – or like Carter, so ignored by Congress and his own administration that he spent his time approving the White House tennis schedules.

If President Trump wants to avoid their fate, he’ll need to change something dramatically. We’ll soon find out whether he can.

About the Author

Dan Cassino is an associate professor of political science at Fairleigh Dickinson University, researching public opinion and political psychology. His new book, Fox News and American Politics, will be released at the end of April.