Are you at all surprised to hear that Trump has been plotting a dramatic exit from the White House on Inauguration Day?
I suppose you might be, since Trump has of course raised doubts about whether he would make any kind of exit from the White House. In any case, I’m here to tell you that on Jan. 20, Trump reportedly plans to board Air Force One and fly to Florida to host a rally.
This is according to Axios, which helped us picture just what that would look like: At the same time as Biden is getting sworn in at a relatively low-key socially-distanced ceremony, Trump would be speaking to a rowdy crowd in an airport hangar, likely continuing to make false claims about the election.
Or, as the Daily Beast reported last month, the rally might actually turn out to be a campaign event announcing Trump’s 2024 presidential run. Though the Trump camp has so far refused to comment on these reports, it certainly seems like the president and his associates have been building the infrastructure for a 2024 bid. Since the election, Trump has raised $170 million from his supporters, the vast majority of which goes to a PAC Trump set up to fund his political activities post-presidency—not to his election recount efforts, as he has led his supporters to believe. Trump’s team is also reportedly considering extending the lease on the space that served as his 2020 campaign headquarters in Virginia.
Axios describes Trump’s possible Inauguration Day campaign kick-off as the perfect “split-screen moment,” which makes me depressed because I can imagine so clearly the way cable news networks will provide us with just that, even though it’s giving Trump exactly what he wants.
In a world not far off from ours (though not significantly better than ours either, since in it Trump was still the president for four years), Trump would fly to Florida and head straight to the golf course instead.