An auld lang syne review of the worst predictions about Trump

As we prepare to enter a third year with Donald Trump as president, he can brag of many accomplishments, such as record employment for blacks, Asian-Americans and Hispanics; replacing NAFTA; tax cuts; two Supreme Court justices; deep-sixing the Iran agreement; and moving the U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.

Like commanders-in-chief before him, Trump also has had to leave a lot of promises by the wayside. He didn’t “lock her up.” He hasn’t yet built a border wall that Mexico paid for. He didn’t install extreme vetting for visitors from high-terrorism, mostly Muslim-majority nations. And he abandoned his promise to launch a vaccine safety commission that would have defied the wishes of the rich and powerful pharmaceutical industry.

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As we look ahead to Year Three of the Trump presidency, there are countless predictions about what lies ahead. Will he be impeached, enjoy huge success, or serve a second term? (Or all of the above?)

One thing we know for sure is that we can’t tell the future by relying on those who have made outlandishly bad predictions in the past. So before we become engulfed by the inevitable discussions and debates about what’s going to happen in 2019 and beyond, here’s an auld lang syne walk down memory lane, looking at 11 of the most wildly inaccurate predictions involving Donald Trump’s candidacy and presidency.

  1. Remember when cable news and blogs were filled with speculation that Trump was purposely sabotaging his own campaign in 2016? The theory was that Trump never thought he had a chance of winning the presidency and, when he proved more popular than he thought, he needed to find a way out because he didn’t really want to do the job.

  2. It would be difficult to count the many times it was theorized, reported and attributed to anonymous sources that Trump was going to drop out of the presidential race. Some were certain of it. Over and over again.

  3. As Trump intentionally worked to lose the presidential race, according to sources real or imagined, it was all a secret plot to attain his true goal: launching a TV network. Trump supposedly ran for president to lose and then use his higher political profile to advance his business interests and TV channel.

  4. There was a period where some observers implied that Trump was deliberately throwing the election as part of a secret arrangement to allow his old friend, Hillary, to win. After all, Trump had contributed campaign money to the Clintons in the past and spoke to Hillary prior to announcing his own candidacy.

  5. When Trump didn’t drop out of the campaign, as many said he would, predictions shifted to the supposed certainty that Hillary's win was a done deal. Trump was a certain loser.

  6. There also was the prediction that, in the unlikely event Trump were actually to win, he would decline to be president.

  7. On the business side, some reporters and analysts forecast disaster: If Trump won, the stock market would immediately crash. It didn’t (although it seemed to be doing its best to go into free-fall in recent days).

  8. After Trump won, there were hours of news time and many pages online consumed by scenarios under which Trump could still be denied the presidency. One of them involved a coup within the electoral college when it convened the December following the election.

  9. There was a prediction that a President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump cites tax cuts over judges as having biggest impact of his presidency Trump cites tax cuts over judges as having biggest impact of his presidency Ocasio-Cortez claps back at Trump after he cites her in tweet rejecting impeachment MORE would impose martial law in the United States.

  10. When Trump’s wife, Melania, announced that she and their young son, Barron, would finish out the child’s school year in New York City, there was endless speculation about what that meant, and predictions that she would never move into the White House. She did.

  11. And the last, perhaps wildest incorrect prediction about Trump that hasn’t proven accurate (at least so far) was that he would start a war — likely a nuclear war — and probably even World War III.

Sharyl Attkisson is an Emmy Award-winning investigative journalist, author of The New York Times best-sellers "The Smear" and "Stonewalled," and host of Sinclair's Sunday TV program, “Full Measure.” Follow her on Twitter @SharylAttkisson.