Donald Trump, joined by his family, announces his run for President on June 16, 2015. (CHRISTOPHER GREGORY/GETTY IMAGES)
Donald Trump’s road to the Republican National Convention has been unconventional — to say the least.
With attention-grabs like alluding to a prominent journalist’s menstrual cycle to tweeting anti-Semitic imagery, his campaign has not been short of controversy.
The full list of bizarre antics, tactics and statements the presumptive nominee has used, said and tweeted are far too long to capture in any one list, but here are 12 of the most outrageous.
1) Trump’s bizarre campaign announcement speech — June 16, 2015
Trump officially threw his clown hat into the circus that would soon be the 2016 race with a jaw-dropping, ad-libbed speech in which he insulted Mexican immigrants as “rapists,” derided foreign countries and lambasted President Obama and other American leaders as “losers.”
The rambling 50-minute speech featured the first references of many of what would quickly become the most controversial and well-known hallmark campaign promises, including building a “great wall” along the U.S. border with Mexico, taking multiple shots at China and claiming that he “will be the greatest jobs President that God has ever created.”
2) Trump insults war hero John McCain for being captured during Vietnam War — July 18, 2015
In one of his cruelest, and strangest attacks, Trump, at a conservative summit in Iowa, ripped McCain, a former prisoner of war.
“He’s not a war hero,” Trump said dismissively of McCain, who spent more than five years being tortured as a prisoner of war in Vietnam and suffered permanent injuries as a result. “He’s a war hero because he was captured. I like people who weren’t captured.”
3) Trump gives out Lindsey Graham’s cell phone number on national television — July 21, 2015
Speaking at a campaign event in South Carolina, the home state of Trump’s then-rival for the nomination, the mogul blasted Graham — and then proceeded to give out his fellow presidential hopeful’s digits.
4) Trump’s performance in the contentious inaugural GOP debate — August 6, 2015
The first debate of the GOP primary season, hosted on Fox News Channel, began with a bang.
Tenacious moderator Megyn Kelly kicked off the event by reminding Trump that he’d called “women you don’t like, ‘fat pigs, ‘dogs, slobs and disgusting animal.’
Trump interjected, “Only Rosie O’Donnell,” setting off tensions between he, the conservative news network, and the entire GOP establishment that have yet to fully cool.
5) Trump insinuates on national TV that Kelly was menstruating during first debate — August 7, 2015
Trump, clearly affected by Kelly’s aggressive questioning of him during the initial GOP debate, was quick to go on the attack against the respected journalist.
In an interview the night after the debate, Trump blasted Kelly for bringing up his years of piggish, anti-women remarks, as she questioned him during the Republican debate. He even suggested disgustingly that her ire was a product of menstrual cycle.
“You could see there was blood coming out of her eyes. Blood coming out of her — wherever,” Trump said.
The remark created extraordinary controversy and Trump said later he was talking about Kelly’s nose.
6) Trump releases bizarre letter from doctor claiming he’s in perfect health — Dec. 15, 2015
In a superlative-filled statement that read more like a Trump campaign announcement than a doctor’s clinical report, the boisterous billionaire’s longtime physician attested to the candidate’s “extraordinary” fitness for the presidency.
“Mr. Trump has had a recent complete medical examination that showed only positive results. Actually, his blood pressure, 110/65, and laboratory test results were astonishingly excellent,” Dr. Harold Bornstein, the 70-year-old mogul’s doctor since 1980, wrote in a statement released Monday by the Republican front-runner’s campaign. “His physical strength and stamina are extraordinary.”
7) Trump claims he’s so loved he could murder people in Midtown and get away it — Jan. 23, 2016
The presumptive GOP nominee insisted at a South Dakota rally that his fans are so loyal they’d stick by him even if he carried out a massacre in the heart of Manhattan.
“I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot people and I wouldn’t lose voters, okay,” Trump said at a campaign event in Sioux City, Iowa. “It’s, like, incredible.”
8) Trump repeatedly refuses to disavow support from former KKK leader — Feb. 28, 2016
Days after David Duke, the former grand wizard of the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, said he supported Trump, the businessman repeatedly declined to reject the white supremacist’s endorsement.
His refusal to condemn the comments immediately prompted outrage from every corner of society, including civil rights groups, Democratic opponents and fellow Republicans.
When asked on CNN whether he would repudiate endorsement of his campaign by Duke, Trump said: “Just so you understand, I don’t know anything about David Duke, OK?”
“I don’t know anything about what you’re even talking about with white supremacy or white supremacists,” he added. “I have to look at the group. I mean, I don’t know what group you’re talking about. You wouldn’t want me to condemn a group that I know nothing about.”
Trump later blamed the fiasco on a bad earpiece during the interview.
9) Trump defends the size of his “something else” at debate — March 3, 2016
Trump took issue with an attack said the jibe was an insinuation that “If they’re small, something else must be small.”
“I guarantee you there’s no problem,” Trump said.
10) The birth of the campaign nickname — Various moments, Spring 2016
At Republican debates and during various campaign stops, Trump began rolling out clever nicknames for his political rivals. And like his candidacy, they all stuck.
Among them? “Lyin’ Ted” (Ted Cruz), “Little Marco” Marco Rubio), “Crooked Hillary” (Hillary Clinton) and “Goofy Elizabeth Warren.”
11) Trump tweets anti-Semitic image — July 2, 2016
Trump ignited yet another firestorm of criticism when he called Hillary Clinton the “most corrupt candidate” in history — and put her face next to a Star of David over a pile of money.
The GOP presumptive presidential nominee tweeted out the image earlier this month, but then later updated it with an image that replaced the Star of David with a red circle.
Days later he defended himself, tweeting a photo of a “Frozen” book that also featured a six-pointed star, writing: “Where is the outrage for this Disney book? Is this the ‘Star of David’ also? Dishonest media! #Frozen.”
12) Constant flip-flopping on nearly every issue he’s weighed in on — June 2015 – present
Over the course of Trump’s wild 13-month campaign, it’s become nearly impossible to pin down where the mogul stands on most issues.
That’s because, for the most part, he’s taken both sides on nearly everything.
In May Trump, who in recent years had labeled climate change a “con job,” a “hoax” and “b——t” — applied to build a wall along a luxury golf course that he owns in Ireland that is threatened by rising seas caused by climate change. He’s also spoken out of both sides of his mouth on abortion (“I’ll do far more for women than Hillary Clinton will ever do” versus saying women who undergo illegal abortions should face “some form of punishment”), torture (saying US military should “take out the families” of suspected terrorists versus admitting that the US “is bound by laws and treaties”), nuclear proliferation (“the biggest problem in the world” versus claiming he wanted to see South Korea and Japan possess nukes), minimum wage (against raising it versus supporting a raise) and allowing teachers to carry guns in classrooms (in the same sentence Trump said last month, “I don’t want to have guns in classrooms. Although, in some cases, teachers should have guns in classrooms”).