Journalist Michael Wolff, the author of three books about the presidency of Donald Trump (Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House, Siege: Trump Under Fire, and his latest, Landslide: The Final Days of the Trump Presidency), is convinced that the twice-impeached former president is going to run again in 2024.
In an op-ed in The New York Times, Wolff explained his certainty about a decision that the future of the Republican Party as a viable political entity hinges upon.
Wolff begins his argument by referencing a meeting he had with Trump at Mar-a-Lago this spring, which the brooding former guy agreed to despite the negative portrayal that the author had depicted in his books.
Wolff took the opportunity to ask Trump about his plans for a presidential library, a typical preoccupation of former chief executives looking to cement their legacy and public images.
Apparently, Wolff’s question deeply disturbed Trump, as the author recounts in his essay.
“There was a flash of confusion on his uniquely readable face, and then anger, aroused, I figured, by the implication of what I seemed to be saying — that his time in office was past,” Wolff writes.
“’No way, no way,’ he snarled, ‘no way.’”
“It is an existential predicament: He can’t be Donald Trump without a claim on the presidency. He can’t hold the attention and devotion of the Republican Party if he is not both once and future king — and why would he ever give that up? Indeed, it seemed to be that I was strategically seated in the lobby of Mar-a-Lago when I arrived precisely so I could overhear the efforts by a Republican delegation to court and grovel before Mr. Trump and to observe his dismissive dominance over them,” Wolff continued.
The author goes on to detail Trump’s bellicose posture towards any member of the GOP who dares to question his unbending dominance of the party that he and his supporters effectively invaded and took control of, characterizing the deposed leader as “not so much paranoid about challenges to him but warlike, savoring his future retributions.”
Trump proceeded to launch into attacks on those he considers insufficiently supportive of his Republican leadership position and his claims of a fraudulent election, demeaning in turn former Vice President Mike Pence, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), and even Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, a man who has been a steadfast supporter of all things Trump, yet who poses a threat as a potential rival for the 2024 GOP presidential nomination.
Wolff explains that Trump is confident in his king-making abilities in local GOP primaries and that the former president sees a 2024 re-election bid as his “best way to directly challenge the prosecutors” who are anxiously queuing up to charge Trump for his criminal violations of the law.
Wolff also points to Trump’s “classic hucksterism, and his synoptic U.S.P. — unique selling proposition” as potent weapons in the still-scheming former president’s arsenal.
“In 2016 it was “the wall.” For 2022 and 2024 he will have another proposition available: “the steal,” a rallying cry of rage and simplicity,” Wolff writes.
The author concludes his op-ed with a warning to Democrats not to underestimate the former guy’s quest for vengeance and the restoration of his presidential power.
“For Democrats, who see him exiled to Mar-a-Lago, stripped of his key social media platforms and facing determined prosecutors, his future seems risible if not pathetic. But this is Donald Trump, always ready to strike back harder than he has been struck, to blame anyone but himself, to silence any doubts with the sound of his own voice, to take what he believes is his and, most of all, to seize all available attention. Sound the alarm.”
Democrats would be wise to heed Wolff’s warning and cut off Trump’s ability to scam his way into a second term in office.
Original reporting by Michael Wolff at The New York Times.
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Vinnie Longobardo is a 35-year veteran of the TV, mobile & internet industries, specializing in start-ups and the international media business. His passions are politics, music and art.