Donald Trump is not going away quietly.
Amid ongoing speculation about the president’s next move, a report by NBC appears to confirm a rumour that Trump will, once again, break presidential norms in unprecedented fashion.
It’s customary for outgoing presidents to attend the inauguration of their successor, but Trump reportedly has other plans.
According to NBC, not only is he unlikely to attend, he is actively discussing launching a 2024 campaign to retake the White House on Joe Biden’s Inauguration Day.
The report anonymously cited people familiar with the discussion who claimed “preliminary planning” was underway for an event on January 20 to announce the bid.
Trump’s mercurial personality and much publicised short attention span means his plans are, of course, very subject to change. But reports are mounting that Trump is preparing for what is looking increasingly like a four year re-election campaign starting in 2021.
Trump considering ‘rival event for inauguration day’, report says
It comes after The Daily Beast reported Trump was wargaming a rival event to Joe Biden’s inauguration and discussing the best way to disrupt the start of the incoming president’s tenure.
According to the report, the president and some of his closest associates have already begun sounding out prominent donors to get a sense of who would be with him, or perhaps against him, in a 2024 run.
Meanwhile, Bloomberg reported last week that Trump told vice president Mike Pence, secretary of state Mike Pompeo and national security advisor Robert O’Brien that he would run for president again during a meeting in the Oval Office.
Trump inauguration plan labelled ‘petty’ and ‘spiteful’
Unlike Joe Biden’s inauguration, Trump’s rival event would be very unlikely to involve any coronavirus social distancing measures, allowing him to boast about the comparative crowd size and use it as fodder for his ongoing baseless election conspiracies which rile up his followers.
On more than one occasion, Trump told supporters he “would never speak to them again” and would simply disappear if he lost the election – with Biden even using it as a campaign ad.
Judging by the reaction among Trump critics to the latest report of a 2024 run, many are disappointed he won’t be making good on his promise.
“It’s actually impossible to imagine there’s anything so stupid, petty, ignorant, spiteful, selfish, destructive, or vile, that Donald Trump wouldn’t do,” American TV personality Ken Olin remarked on Twitter when sharing the NBC story.
Real reason Trump continues failed election fight
The president and his lawyers have had suit after suit slapped down by judges in different battleground states as they have been unable to provide proof of any substantive election malfeasance.
But aside from a loyalty test for Republicans and keeping supporters at the ready, Trump’s stated determination to keep up the fruitless legal battles appear more about money than the presidency.
The Trump campaign has bombarded supporters with emails and texts soliciting donations for the legal fight since losing the election.
According to The New York Times, the flurry of fundraising during November on the fraudulent grounds of a rigged election has netted the Trump campaign $US170 million ($230 million), an incredibly successful run for the campaign.
But in reality, and if one reads the small print, only a small minority of the funds raised from supporters actually go to filing the futile lawsuits and for any donations below $5,000, none goes towards election lawsuits.
If you look at the left side of this pic... you can see crews are making a lot of progress on the Biden inauguration grandstand on Pennsylvania Avenue in front of the north lawn of the WH. pic.twitter.com/qHUb2aAuFu
— Jim Acosta (@Acosta) December 1, 2020
Instead more than three quarters of the money raised is being diverted into an account Trump can use to fund his post-White House political career.
The president, meanwhile, continues to bombard supporters with urgent calls for cash.
Given he is reportedly gearing up for the longest official presidential run in history, he’s certainly going to need it.
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