- Donald Trump questioned whether his former CFO not paying taxes was “even a crime.”
- Allen Weisselberg, 75, has been sentenced to five months for his role in a Trump Organization tax dodge scheme.
- Trump said that Weisselberg, who pled guilty, was “a casualty of the greatest Witch Hunt of all time.”
Donald Trump just launched yet another bid for presidency. Here’s his life through the years in photos.
Donald John Trump was born to Fred and Mary Anne Trump in Queens, New York on June 14, 1946. He is the second-youngest of five children.
As a teen, the president was enrolled at the New York Military Academy where he briefly served as a captain during his senior year.
He graduated from Wharton School of Finance at the University of Pennsylvania with a bachelor’s in economics in 1968. He then started his career at his father’s real estate development company, E. Trump & Son.
As someone who loves the art of negotiation, Trump was able to negotiate New York City to provide a 40-year tax abatement for the Grand Hyatt Hotel — the first ever granted to a commercial property.
An early win was when Trump offered to renovate decrepit areas in need, such as a long-closed ice-skating rink, at no profit to himself, after the city’s renovation effort went through five years of delays and more than double the original cost estimate.
Trump’s enterprise also stretched out into sports, where he was the original owner of the New Jersey Generals of the United States Football League.
Trump owns a fleet of luxury helicopters, and a private plane that was often a backdrop at his 2016 presidential campaign events.
Trump also enjoys tennis — he even played a round, wearing his traditional suit, against the legendary Serena Williams.
Trump was notorious for befriending supermodels. His first wife, Ivana, a Czech-American, was a member of the social elite.
Trump had three kids with Ivana: Donald Jr., Ivanka, and Eric.
He divorced Ivana in a public split in 1992, and married Marla Maples in 1993.
Trump and Marla had one daughter, Tiffany, in 1993.
As a self-proclaimed family man, Trump attended many public events and television shows with his family over the years.
Trump loved showing off his wealth with lavish spending, and once paid the sultan of Brunei $30 million for a nearly 300-foot yacht.
Trump first started showing signs of interest for a possible bid for the US presidency with the formation of a presidential exploratory committee ahead of the 2000 election.
To test the political waters, the potential Reform Party presidential candidate traveled to several areas to address party leaders.
In 2005, Donald Trump married fashion designer and model Melania Trump.
The two had one son, Barron, in 2006.
As no stranger to the political process, Trump was even acquainted with members of the judicial branch. Here he is greeting Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas at the Daytona 500.
He also became the owner of the infamous Miss Universe beauty pageant for many years.
Trump loves to golf. He owns 17 courses. The president has spent time at one of his golf courses during at least 266 days of his presidency so far.
His reality TV show “The Apprentice” made Trump a household name. Everyone knew him for his classic catchphrase, “You’re fired!” Trump himself was fired as host of “The Celebrity Apprentice” by NBC in 2015 after he made derogatory comments about immigrants during his campaign.
Some of the president’s projects, like Trump University, were mired in lawsuits that Trump lost or had to settle. Others he may have made a profit on, but declared bankruptcy, and partners he worked with accused him of not paying them.
In June 2015, Trump famously launched his presidential campaign by coming down an escalator in Trump Tower.
As the fog of the political battlefield cleared on the Republican side, Trump prepared to take on presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.
Trump made his final appeal to voters in swing-states as the contentious campaign drew to a close.
While Trump won the electoral votes needed to secure the presidency, he lost the popular vote to Hillary Clinton by nearly three million votes.
Taking his oath of office on January 20, 2017, Trump officially became the 45th President of the United States.
Trump signed 90 executive actions during his first 100 days in office. Some of his more controversial orders, like the travel ban, drew hundreds of thousands of people to protest. That action was ultimately held up by the Supreme Court.
After taking office, Trump’s administration faltered under a series of scandals and missteps. One of these was his firing of FBI director James Comey, who was leading an investigation into Russia’s meddling in the US election.
The special counsel Robert Mueller was appointed to oversee the investigation. Nearly two years later, he closed the probe in May 2019 — after charging several of Trump’s associates with crimes, concluding Russia interfered in the 2016 election to benefit Trump, and outlining several instances that the president failed at obstructing justice.
As a businessman who prides himself as a seasoned dealmaker, Trump has had mixed success interacting with world leaders as president. With some, he’s had sparkling relationships. With others, things have been more frosty.
As the commander-in-chief of the armed forces, Trump observed the sacrifices made by US service members on Memorial Day.
Trump’s first foreign trip as president began in Saudi Arabia and ended in Italy in May 2017. In Riyadh, Trump was photographed with the infamous glowing orb that took social media by storm.
At his first presidential college commencement, Trump addressed the graduating class of Liberty University. “What imprint will you leave in the sands of history?” he asked them. “What will future Americans say we did in our brief time right here on earth? Did we take risks? Did we dare to defy expectations? Did we challenge accepted wisdom and take on established systems? I think I did, but we all did and we’re all doing it.”
Trump often received criticism during his time in office, like when he threw paper towels into a crowd in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria wreaked havoc on the region.
Other times in his presidency were more lighthearted. On the White House front lawn, Trump and the first lady presided over the Easter egg roll, one of many holiday traditions.
In some of the more lighthearted moments, Trump entertained athletic champions at the White House with his favorite items from fast-food restaurants.
His presidency witnessed multiple mass shootings including ones at the Las Vegas Strip, at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, and at Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, Florida. Trump has fiercely defended the Second Amendment.
The Trumps joined the living presidents and first ladies to attend the funeral of former President George H.W. Bush in December 2018.
From December 2018 through January 2019, the federal government was shut down for a record 35 days when he and lawmakers couldn’t get spending bills passed over disputes related to funding for his long-promised border wall.
Trump successfully saw Justice Brett Kavanaugh confirmed to the Supreme Court despite the controversy surrounding his appointment and a heated confirmation hearing in the Senate. The president ushered in three conservative justices, including Neil Gorsuch and Amy Coney Barrett.
The president was impeached by the House of Representatives on December 18, 2019, on charges of abusing his power and obstructing Congress. The inquiry was sparked after a whistleblower filed a report over a phone call the president held with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in July 2019. Trump is the third president to be impeached in US history.
Things turned out alright for the president, however, when he was acquitted by the Republican-controlled Senate on February 5 by a vote of 52-48. Utah Sen. Mitt Romney was the only Republican to vote to convict the president.
The Trump Administration was tasked with handling the COVID-19 pandemic, which first reached the US in January. Some 400,000 Americans died from the disease caused by the novel coronavirus during Trump’s time in office. The president received sharp criticism for his administration’s handling of the pandemic.
The president also received criticism for his handling of nationwide protests about racism in US police forces. At a press conference in June, Trump threatened to deploy the military to end nationwide unrest. Meanwhile, a crowd of peaceful protesters was tear-gassed outside of the White House to make way for Trump to walk to a nearby church for a photo-op.
Trump celebrated his 74th birthday less than five months before the 2020 general election. At the time, the president was planning to resume his campaign rallies, which were paused due to COVID-19.
Trump returned from a Tulsa rally in which he called for the US to slow its COVID-19 testing when the country had about 2.3 million cases and almost 120,000 deaths.
Trump attended his first debate against Joe Biden in September 2020. It was later revealed by Trump’s former chief of staff Mark Meadows that the president tested positive for COVID-19 three days before debating Biden in person.
Trump nominated Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court following the death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Coney Barrett was confirmed by the Senate and sworn in just eight days before the 2020 election.
Trump spoke to his supporters on January 6, 2021, repeating his debunked claim that the election was stolen from him. Shortly thereafter, the MAGA mob stormed the Capitol.
Trump became the only president to be impeached twice following the Capitol insurrection. He was later acquitted by the Senate in a 57-43 vote.
Trump left the White House early on January 20, 2021, and skipped President Joe Biden’s inauguration, breaking a time-honored tradition that had held for 152 years.
In June 2021, Trump held his first rally since leaving office, reciting many of his debunked claims about election fraud.
Trump skipped the 9/11 20-year anniversary memorials attended by Presidents Biden, Obama, Bush, and Clinton. Instead, Trump did an unannounced photo-op with New York police and firefighters before going to Florida to give commentary on a boxing match.
Trump endorsed dozens of candidates in the 2022 midterms, many of whom – like Mehmet Oz – later lost their elections.
Trump attended the funeral of his first wife, Ivana Trump, alongside his family in July 2022.
Trump has remained the focus of the House Select Committee investigating the January 6 attack. The committee subpoenaed Trump, whose legal team filed suit to block his testimony.
Former President Donald Trump questioned whether not paying taxes is “even a crime” as he lamented that Allen Weisselberg, the Trump Organization’s former CFO, has been jailed.
“He didn’t pay taxes on the use of a company car – does anyone? The use of a company apartment – does anyone? Or the Education of his grandchildren – Wow! Are these things really criminal, or even a crime?” Trump wrote on Truth Social on Friday.
Trump said that Weisselberg, who pleaded guilty in August to 15 felony counts, including a scheme to defraud, conspiracy, grand larceny, and criminal tax fraud, was “a casualty of the greatest Witch Hunt of all time.”
Weisselberg, 75, was earlier this month sentenced to five months for his role in masterminding a Trump Organization tax dodge scheme.
The scheme saved hundreds of thousands of dollars in taxes for him and a small group of other second-tier executives.
The plea deal also requires Weisselberg to pay more than $2 million in back taxes and penalties.
Weisselberg will serve his sentence at New York City’s notorious Rikers jail, which depending on good behavior, could be cut down to roughly 100 days, his lawyer has said.
Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg said in a press statement after the sentencing that Weisselberg “used his high-level position to secure lavish work perks such as a rent-free luxury Manhattan apartment, multiple Mercedes Benz automobiles, and private school tuition for his grandchildren – all without paying required taxes.”
The former CFO remained loyal to his former employer throughout the trial, continuing to insist that Trump himself did nothing wrong.
Trump also faces a $250 million fraud lawsuit from New York Attorney General Letitia James, as her office alleges that he “falsely inflated his net worth by billions of dollars to further enrich himself and cheat the system.”