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Donald Trump’s 10 Biggest, Baddest Feuds

From Obama’s birth certificate to Megyn Kelly’s menses, Trump has picked more than a few fights in his day

Donald Trump

In his campaign announcement speech, Donald Trump characterized Mexican immigrants as rapists and drug dealers.

Scott Olson/Getty

Donald Trump knows better than anyone that reality TV is fueled by conflict, both genuine and manufactured. In fact, Trump's entire life, up to and including his presidential campaign, has been conflict-driven.

Here is a necessarily partial list of Trump's most spectacular feuds over the years.

Ivana Trump

Vittorio Zunino Celotto/Getty

Trump vs. Ivana

Though the Donald and his ex-wife Ivana have since made amends, their split in the early Nineties was one of the signature nasty divorces of the era. They married in the late Seventies and rose to become the embodiment of a gaudy high life over the following decade and a half. Their ugly divorce proceedings became the stuff of legend, with Ivana walking away with a settlement that reached well into the tens of millions. The two fought regularly, including over whether a ceiling mural in Trump Tower should be of cherubs or warriors. (Ivana, who preferred cherubs, lost that argument.)

Recently, the Daily Beast dug up comments Ivana once made about Trump having "violated" her sexually during one of their disputes; she has since said the act wasn't rape in the "criminal sense." She also said she thinks he would make an "incredible president."


US President Barack Obama delivers remarks on the nuclear deal reached with Iran at American University in Washington, DC, August 5, 2015. In 1963 US President John F. Kennedy traveled the short distance from the White House to American University to muster support for diplomatic engagement with nuclear foe the Soviet Union. On Wednesday, at the same spot, President Obama will echo Kennedy's entreaty, arguing for a nuclear deal with Iran -- a country described by his predecessor as part of an "axis of evil." AFP PHOTO/JIM WATSON (Photo credit should read JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)

Jim Watson/Getty

Trump vs. President Obama

Before this election cycle, Trump's most famous foray into politics involved his bizarre obsession with President Obama's place of birth. Trump's years-long birther crusade to expose Obama as a foreign-born fraud culminated in him offering the president $5 million to the charity of his choice if he'd release his college transcripts.

Rosie O'Donnell

NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 07: Rosie O'Donnell attends the 2015 Athena Film Festival awards ceremony and reception at Barnard College on February 7, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Noam Galai/WireImage)

Noam Galai/Getty

Trump vs. Rosie O’Donnell

Trump has long traded barbs with Rosie O'Donnell. In 2006, O'Donnell accused Trump of being a "snake-oil salesman." 

"Rosie's a loser, a real loser," Trump responded, threatening to sue her. "I look forward to taking lots of money from my nice fat little Rosie," he told People.

Years later, when O'Donnell announced her engagement to Michele Rounds, Trump lashed out on Twitter. "I feel sorry for Rosie's new partner in love whose parents are devastated at the thought of their daughter being with @Rosie–a true loser," Trump tweeted. Although the two made nice briefly after O'Donnell suffered a heart attack, their public spats continue to this day.

Megyn Kelly

LATE NIGHT WITH SETH MEYERS -- Episode 080 -- Pictured: Political commentator Megyn Kelly arrives on July 31, 2014 -- (Photo by: Lloyd Bishop/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)


Trump vs. Megyn Kelly

The first 2016 GOP debate had no shortage of memorable moments, but the one that will live on in infamy is Trump's response to Fox News host Megyn Kelly's question about his comments regarding women. "You've called women you don't like 'fat pigs, dogs, slobs and disgusting animals,'" Kelly said. "Only Rosie O'Donnell," Trump replied.

Following the debate, Trump suggested Kelly asked antagonistic questions because she was menstruating. "You could see there was blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her… wherever," Trump said on CNN. (A spokesperson later claimed he was talking about her nose.)

Kelly later took a scheduled vacation that Trump insinuated may have been punishment from top management at Fox. When she returned, he began insulting her on Twitter, retweeting followers who called her a "bimbo."

Fox Chairman and CEO Roger Ailes defended Kelly in a written statement: "Donald Trump's surprising and unprovoked attack on Megyn Kelly during her show last night is as unacceptable as it is disturbing."

Trump dismissed the idea of apologizing to Kelly, saying instead she should apologize to him.


Sandy Huffaker/Getty

Trump vs. Mexicans

Trump's surge in popularity began earlier this summer when he made racist comments about Mexican immigrants. "When Mexico sends its people, they're not sending their best," Trump said. "They're bringing drugs. They're bringing crime. And they're rapists. And some, I assume, are good people."

Trump's comments angered many in the Spanish-speaking world, with Trump's Miss Universe pageant getting dumped by Univison. Weeks later, at a press conference, Univision's Jorge Ramos pressed the candidate on his remarks. Trump responded by having Ramos ejected from the presser. "Go back to Univision," Trump said to Ramos, a U.S. citizen who was born in Mexico. The following day, Trump said Ramos was "ranting and raving like a Madman." 

In August, two Trump supporters in Boston attacked a homeless Hispanic man. One of the attackers, Scott Leader, told police after the incident, "Donald Trump was right, all these illegals need to be deported."

Trump initially responded by saying his supporters are "passionate," though he later condemned the violence.


An investor walks past a screen that shows share prices in a security firm in Shanghai on August 13, 2015. China weakened its currency for the third consecutive day on August 13, but financial markets that had been shaken by the surprise devaluation took heart as authorities pledged not to let the yuan plummet. CHINA OUT AFP PHOTO (Photo credit should read STR/AFP/Getty Images)


Trump vs. China

At a campaign rally in August, Trump alleged that Chinese businesspeople don't make small talk during negotiations. "We want deal," Trump said, doing a crude impression. 

And in his campaign announcement speech earlier in the summer, Trump boasted that – unlike the U.S. government – he knows how to deal with China. "When was the last time anybody saw us beating, let's say, China in a trade deal? They kill us," Trump said. "I beat China all the time. All the time." In 2011, Trump went on CNN and proclaimed, "China is our enemy."


DERRY, NH - AUGUST 19: U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks speaks to members of the media before a town hall meeting in Derry, New Hampshire, August 19, 2015. (Keith Bedford/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)

Keith Bedford/The Boston Globe/Getty

Trump vs. “Gotcha” Questions

During an interview with conservative radio show host Hugh Hewitt, Trump mistook the Quds Force – an elite Iranian Revolutionary Guard unit – for the Kurdish people, many of whom are U.S. allies and are often called the world's largest stateless ethnic group. Following the flub, Trump called Hewitt a "third-rate radio announcer" who asks "gotcha" questions.

John McCain

WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 18: U.S. Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) participates in a discussion on the unfolding violence in Iraq on June 18, 2014 at the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research in Washington, DC. The rise of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) over the last year and a decline in the power of the government in Baghdad has led to questions of what America gained from its costly efforts in the region. (Photo by T.J. Kirkpatrick/Getty Images)

T.J. Kirkpatrick/Getty

Trump vs. John McCain

In July, Trump attacked Sen. John McCain's Vietnam record,insinuating that because McCain had been a POW he was not a war hero. "I like people that weren't captured, OK?" Trump said at a summit in Iowa.

McCain, who had previously accused Trump of "firing up the crazies" in the Republican Party, asked Trump to apologize to POWs following his remarks.

Lindsey Graham

WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 29: Senate Armed Services Committee memebrs and Republican presidential candidates Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) (L) and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) (2nd L) prepare to question witnesses during a hearing about the nuclear deal struck between Iran and six nations, including the United States, on Capitol Hill July 29, 2015 in Washington, DC. Members of the Obama administration encouraged the senators to support the deal, saying it will eliminate Iran's ability to make a nuclear weapon for at least ten years. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Chip Somodevilla/Getty

Trump vs. Lindsey Graham

"Stop being a jackass": that was Sen. Lindsey Graham's advice for Trump days after the Donald's comments about McCain's war record. Trump, in turn, gave out Graham's personal cell phone number in a speech in which he also called his fellow GOP presidential candidate "an idiot."

Several weeks later, Graham said that if Trump came to his home state, he'd "beat his brains out."

Trump responded by pointing to recent national polls numbers. "You're only 26 points behind me," he tweeted. Touché.


NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 03: GOP presidential front-runner Donald Trump speaks at a news conference in Manhattan after he signed a pledge Thursday to support the Republican nominee in the 2016 general election, ruling out a third-party or independent run on September 3, 2015 in New York City. Trump made the announcement following a meeting with Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus. Trump stressed repeatedly in the news conference that he is leading in all national polls. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Spencer Platt/Getty

Trump vs. The Media

Trump has occasionally hit back against critical media coverage by sending reporters and writers hand-written letters in black Sharpie. In one instance, Trump wrote to Salon reporter Justin Elliott promising to disclose his net worth, after Elliott reported that Trump could legally avoid doing so: "You will be very surprised," he scrawled.

He did something similar to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar after the former Lakers player wrote a negative op-ed about Trump in the Washington Post.

Another time, Trump copy-edited a Vanity Fair blog post and sent it to the author, Juli Weiner.

And just this week, Trump expressed his dissatisfaction with Rolling Stone's recent Trump cover story, calling sections of it "garish" on CNN.