On Trump’s future plans, among which pardoning himself and his children, not attending Biden’s inauguration, damaging the US democracy even more, and planning to make an escape with his supporters’ money.
First published in December 2020.
IT ISN’T ONLY TRUMP coming up with ideas that seem crazy to most of us over the last four years. I mean, creating a Schedule F to get rid of career employees you don’t want or who represent the “Deep State,” or to cripple the Biden Administration when it comes in and finds fewer experts on the payroll? Trust me, Donald J. Trump didn’t come up with that. But … who did?
TRUMP’S FUTURE PLANS are … what? I’m not sure he knows, or should know, at this juncture. He could run in 2024. He could create or buy or join a cable network to have a platform for the next four, or 20, years. He does like attention. And he’s sure gotten it. For a guy who impersonated his own spokesman when he was in the private sector just to plant gossip items in New York City tabloids extolling the virtues of himself, to a guy who commanded the world stage just by waking up … it will be hard to settle for something in between. So, running in 2024 or not – he will be heard, as he likes to say, “strongly.”
AND YOU GET A PARDON, AND YOU GET A PARDON … Trump has not been bashful about taking care of “friends” via the pardon process or trying to leverage pardons for his personal political gain. He’s probably used it fewer times than his predecessors but he definitely has used it more for friends and loyalists, or people he wants to stay loyal to him. There’s the predictable rumor that he is considering pardons for most of his adult children and himself, and I expect we’ll see those. Maybe not for himself though it would “stay” potential charges against him while the constitutionality of pardoning oneself is battled out. A pardon for Rudy Giuliani? Strong possibility. He certainly has been a loyal foot soldier, especially post-election as he floats, unabashedly, idiotic claims of voter fraud.
WILL BE CONCEDE? I can’t imagine Trump conceding to President-elect Joe Biden nor can I imagine him attending Biden’s inauguration. I mean, sit by idly while someone else gets all the attention? Especially someone he knows defeated him at the polls and made him a (shh) “loser”? It just isn’t in his psyche to do that. Imagine the faces he’d make with his arms crossed in front of him as Biden takes the oath of office? Not a good look.
“NO WAY BIDEN GOT 80 MILLION VOTES” is the claim being made by Trump and his male adult sons. Well, Biden did. My guess is his total was that high for various reasons – partly because of the virus giving millions of folks nothing to do but wait in line to vote, or no excuse to avoid mailing in or delivering a ballot to town halls and other official drops. Plus, a motivation by folks to get out and vote and not allow a close election like 2016, or avoiding third party candidates because they experienced that doing only harm in 2016. Plus, Trump got 74 million votes … a record for a sitting president, for sure, and probably for similar reasons – his supporters are all very loyal believers who saw his reign threatened so they made sure to vote, in person. Again, they had plenty of time to wait in line. Plus, they were apparently less concerned about the virus than Biden supporters.
DAMAGE TO OUR DEMOCRACY has been done. The only question is, can we repair it? Open question. While Joe Biden will be providing a less dramatic and more stable leadership, Trump will still be out there tweeting and sitting on his own or someone’s TV network bloviating. And with 70-plus million supporters in this election, there will be people paying attention to him. His supporters are going nowhere and will be willing opponents of a Biden Administration.
SEN. MARCO RUBIO is making an early play to anoint himself the heir to Trump’s throne. Not likely. One, Trump won’t be ceding his role … ever. So there’s no vacuum to be filled. Plus, the ambitious Rubio doesn’t have the gumption Trump has nor his instincts. His first shot was tweeting of Biden’s Cabinet nominees, “Biden’s cabinet picks went to Ivy League schools, have strong resumes, attend all the right conferences & will be polite & orderly caretakers of America’s decline.” One, that ignores that Trump’s Cabinet, and Trump himself, are products of the Ivy League. And, two, not exactly pithy like, “Liberate Michigan!”
FILL THE COFFERS WHILE YOU CAN seems to be, and always has been, the Trump life goal. While Giuliani and others are out there falsely yelling “fraud” in the election Trump is sending out hundreds of emails calling for donations to his voter fraud defense fund. As has been pointed out, though, the small print of those emails states the first 75% of every contribution goes to a new political action committee Trump set up in mid-November which can be used to fund his political activities going forward, including staff and travel. The other 25% goes to the Republican National Committee. So far, he’s approaching $200 million in fund raising from what many of us would see as annoyingly too many requests.
(Tangent: I was on a trip with President Reagan’s Commerce Secretary Malcolm Baldrige years ago. We stayed a night at the working ranch of a friend of his in Colorado. After dinner the friend’s father proudly pulled out a pile of letters he received “From President Reagan” seeking donations. He said he’d given $5 or $10 when he could afford it. Baldrige said to him, “the President appreciates your support and he told me before I came out to let you know that you’ve given enough and you may still get letters but please don’t contribute.” People do believe the claims in those letters. And have for many years. Tangent over.)
THE BIDEN ADMINISTRATION. I have to confess, as the President-elect has been announcing his appointees, he’s had me tearing up. He’s been appointing to senior positions men, women, Blacks, Whites, Browns, South Asian, out gays and lesbians, offspring of immigrants, of single mothers and people who are products of broken homes and single mothers, who were on public assistance of some kind. I’ve never reacted that way watching a President make his nominations. But, while the special interest groups still aren’t satisfied that enough of their own have been appointed – and no doubt more will be – I have never seen a Cabinet and sub-Cabinet that so looks like America, the real America. It honestly not only reflects the coalition that elected Biden but, more importantly, makes a huge difference in assuring more views are at the table while making policy.🔷
B. Jay Cooper, former deputy White House press secretary to Presidents Reagan and George H.W. Bush.
- B. Jay Cooper is the author of Mac Baldrige: The Cowboy in Ronald Reagan's Cabinet | The Lyons Press
Check their Voting Record:
🗳️ Donald Trump
🗳️ Joe Biden
🗳️ Marco Rubio