Donald Trump’s 10 Biggest, Baddest Feuds
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.
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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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