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Looking back at the foibles, fiascos, felonies, fallacies, floundering finances, fabricated facts, fatigue and fallout as imagined by Kagan McLeod

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Fake news, but whose?

Twisted truths and attacks on the news media were a big part of Donald Trump’s 2016 election campaign, and they didn’t stop after he won. He argued over how many people went to his inauguration, and press secretary Sean Spicer (seen in front of a bush) and adviser Kellyanne Conway (to the right of Spicer) defended his “alternative facts.” Meanwhile, he played favourites with conservative Fox News and picked fights with “failing” outlets like CNN and The New York Times.

Snakes and ladders

Few of those who started out on Team Trump would survive the White House’s internal politics for very long. John Bolton, Rex Tillerson and Jeff Sessions are some of the ones who were up, then down, then out.

The wall that wasn’t

Mr. Trump’s U.S.-Mexico border wall never quite materialized on the scale he planned, but asylum seekers in the United States faced even more hazardous obstacles, from Immigration and Customs Enforcement raids to children being separated from their families locked in cages. Right-wing adviser Stephen Miller, left, helped stoke the President’s anti-immigration agenda.

New friends, old foes

The world’s autocrats got along swimmingly with Mr. Trump, from Russia’s Vladimir Putin and Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan to North Korea’s Kim Jong-un and Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines. The leaders of Canada and France tried to play nice with him, though behind his back you may have heard them saying less friendly things. And the adversary Mr. Trump definitely didn’t want you to hear about was porn actress Stormy Daniels, who got a $130,000 payout to stay quiet about their past sexual relationship.

Judge dread

Mr. Trump kept trying to tilt the ideological balance of the U.S. Supreme Court right up until the week before the election. Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett made it onto the top court thanks to Mr. Trump’s Senate Republican allies, such as Mitch McConnell, bottom left.

Anybody? Anybody? Mueller?

Robert Mueller, right, spent more than a year investigating whether the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia amounted to a conspiracy, or whether the President obstructed justice to cover it up. That probe fizzled out, but stopped short of exonerating him. Another scandal over political interference in Ukraine made it to an impeachment vote in the House (which passed) and a trial in the Senate (which acquitted him).

Pros and cons

Mr. Trump may have come out of his impeachment trial unscathed, but others in his inner circle got in legal trouble for their activities, and some went to prison. Michael Flynn, Michael Cohen, Roger Stone, Steve Bannon are among those shown here.

The haters

From tiki-torch-wielding white supremacists to QAnon conspiracy theorists, the Trump era made racists bolder and their activities more public than ever before.

The COVIDiots

When the pandemic struck, immunologist Anthony Fauci (left) tried determinedly to get Americans to act – but Mr. Trump played down the virus’s risks for months. The President and his allies – like lawyer Rudy Giuliani, who falsely claimed people weren’t dying of the coronavirus any more – spread misinformation about the virus, while Vice-President Mike Pence, the man in charge of the COVID-19 response, pushed to reopen the country quickly. So far, COVID-19 has killed more than 230,000 Americans.

No justice, no peace

When Black Americans, including George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, died at the hands of U.S. police this year, American outrage at systemic racism spilled into the streets, despite the pandemic. Mr. Trump called them thugs and sent federal troops to silence them by force.

All in the family

Whenever the American people turned against him, Mr. Trump could at least count on his family: Wife Melania, sons Eric and Donald Jr., daughters Tiffany and Ivanka and son-in-law Jared Kushner.

The final countdown

Pandemic or no pandemic, the 2020 presidential election had to go on – though with millions of Americans voting from home, the U.S. Postal Service and counting offices were overwhelmed. Election night dragged on into election week as Mr. Trump pushed to have states stop counting (if he was in the lead, that is) and Joe Biden pushed back to make sure all voters had their say. The final word on the Trump presidency was, as always, the American people’s.

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