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Tag: trump post presidency

Flood Of Scathing New Books  Angers Trump And Unnerves His Aides

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

Former President Donald Trump isn't very pleased about the onslaught of harsh new books and memoirs documenting his chaotic presidency, but there is just one problem with his disapproval.

According to Politico, Trump actually conducted interviews for each book being released. The publication noted that Trump agreed to conduct interviews thinking it would put a "positive spin" on the books being developed. In fact, Trump even sat down with the Wall Street Journal's Michael Bender and author Michael Wolff, two authors who have been at the center of scathing reports this week documenting excerpts from their books.

Per Politico:

"Eager to put his own positive spin on the books, Trump agreed to sit down with a parade of reporters at Mar-a-Lago. That included interviews with Bender, author Michael Wolff, ABC News' Jonathan Karl, Pulitzer Prize-winning Washington Post journalists Carol Leonnig and Philip Rucker, The New York Times' Maggie Haberman, and Jeremy Peters, among others."

While the Trump administration worked tirelessly to keep a lid on some of the fires the former president had caused, all of that is about to change now because books are hitting shelves all across the United States.

However, Trump reportedly is not the only one concerned about the release of the books. His former officials and advisors are also unnerved by what could be divulged in the coming weeks. In particular, many Trump officials have expressed deep concern about the books that will be released by actual members of the Trump administration like Kellyanne Conway, former counselor to the president, and Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner.

The publication reports: "Fear is mounting, too, about the tea-spilling to come. In particular, Trump officials are anxiously awaiting the books set to be published by actual colleagues, chief among them counselor to the president Kellyanne Conway and Jared Kushner, who plan to write their own accounts of the Trump presidency."

"I think it's fraught right now as to who is telling the truth," said a Trump adviser. "They're all trying to go back in time and curate their own images."

One former Trump administration official also admitted to being surprised that some of the more interesting details remain unreported until the books are released.

"I know that there are still a lot of major excerpts that will come out in the future," said a former senior administration official who participated in multiple book interviews. "The most interesting thing to me is how much the big scoops actually hold until publication."

Poll: Even White Republican Men Are Going Sour On Trump

Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos

Don't tell the Republican Party, but Donald Trump isn't exactly killing it with one of his most loyal demographics: white men.

Trump's biggest blow, according to Civiqs tracking, has come from white male independents, where his favorables have dropped a solid 10 points since a post-Election Day high of 53 percent in mid-November. Now Trump is six points underwater with the demographic, 43 percent - 49 percent.

But Trump's favorable rating over the past several months also shows him losing steam even faster with white GOP men than with white GOP women. Among white male Republicans, Trump's favorables have dropped six points since Election Day, 91 percent to 85 percent while he only slipped three points among white Republican women, 92 percent to 89 percent. Here's the male side of that equation:

That also means Trump is now doing nearly a handful of points better with conservative white women than with conservative white men.

This whole trend among white men is super interesting, but let's focus on one particular aspect of it—education level. Trump is taking his biggest hit among white male Republicans and independents with higher levels of education. In fact, the more education, the worse it gets for Trump.

To take an extreme example, here's white male independents with postgraduate degrees, where Trump's unfavorables have jumped about 10 points since Election Day to 64 percent now.

And here's white male Republicans with postgraduate degrees, where Trump's favorables have plummeted from 84 percent on Election Day to 71 percent now.

The Trump era has been defined to some extent by Donald Trump's ability to defy political gravity, which makes this relative fall from grace among white men both notable and very interesting in the context of 2022. The Republican Party has doubled down on Trumpism at a time when Trump himself is losing favor with one of his most loyal demographics. And when it comes to winning the suburbs, Republicans don't seem to be doing themselves any favors.

Trump Makes Ohio Senate Hopefuls Perform ‘Apprentice’ Audition At Mar-a-Lago

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

Former President Donald Trump is already working behind the scenes to set the stage for the 2022 primary election. He may not be making a return to the White House in 2022 but he is reportedly working to make sure he manages Republican lawmakers who seek higher office in 2022.

According to a report published by Politico, the former president recently met with four Republican Senate candidates in Ohio who are launching political campaigns in hopes of replacing Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) who is set to retire at the end of his term. The publication reports that on Wednesday, March 24, an Apprentice-style meeting took place at Trump's luxurious Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida.

The publication reports that the four Senate seat contenders—including former Ohio state Treasurer Josh Mandel, former Ohio Republican Party Chair Jane Timken, tech executive Bernie Moreno, and Mike Gibbons, the investment banker who co-chaired Trump's Ohio fundraising group—traveled to the luxury golf club to attend a fundraiser for Trump's former White House aide Max Miller, who has entered the Senate race to unseat Rep. Anthony Gonzalez (R-OH).

The meeting scene that played out behind closed doors at Mar-a-Lago is being similar to the boardroom scenes highlighted on Trump's former TV show The Apprentice. The Senate candidates spent their time competing for the former president's support. In addition to being compared to the boardroom-style game show, one person familiar with the media also insisted that it was more akin to "The Hunger Games."

According to Talking Points Memo, one person present noted that "the Ohio Republican Senate hopefuls were thrown into an unexpected and awkward showdown for Trump's support ahead of next year's midterm elections." The meeting began with Trump asking each candidate about the status of their campaigns. Each candidate had the opportunity to highlight the strong points of their campaigns.

At one point, former Ohio State Treasurer Josh Mandel bragged about "crushing" Timken in the preliminary polls while Gibbons highlighted the support she has received due to serving as Ohio's Republican Party chair.

Mandel responded: "Mr. President I only know two ways to do things: either not at all, or balls to the wall. I hired a bunch of killers on my team. I'm a killer, and we're going to win the primary and then the general."

Gibbons pointed out his history of contributing to the fundraising efforts for Trump's presidential campaign while Moreno noted that his daughter previously worked with the former president's re-election campaign. The latest report underscores the extent of Trump's efforts to take down the Republican lawmakers who voted in favor of his impeachment.

Why Trump Finally Made Me Smile

Donald Trump was never forever. The former president is 74, obese and the subject of serious criminal investigations. Resurfacing after disgracefully inciting a rampage on the Capitol, he addressed the Conservative Political Action Conference. The delivery was tired and the grievances now boring.

The big difference is he's no longer in power. Thanks to Trump, Democrats now hold the presidency and majorities in both houses of Congress. That the authoritarian clown show no longer threatens America makes it considerably more entertaining.

The speech was predictably heavy on attacks against the man who beat him. "Joe Biden has had the most disastrous first month of any president in modern history," Trump said. Biden, whose approval rating is 56 percent, as opposed to Trump's 34 percent, is ignoring him.

The question is whether there are enough sane people left in the Republican Party to fix it. Could the party, to borrow a phrase, build back better? That would be hard with the smart conservatives — Mitt Romney, Liz Cheney, Lisa Murkowski, Adam Kinzinger — now marooned on RINO Island.

Tom Nichols, a prominent never-Trumper, thinks it's over for the GOP. The party, he writes, is now "controlled as a personality cult by a failing old man."

What happens when the old man leaves the scene? Ted Cruz, Josh Hawley and other would-be Trumps might want his voters, but they don't have his skills. They lack the Vegas-comic patter and tough New Yorker persona and silly antics. In sum, they're not entertaining.

Same goes for the Trump children, hard as they might try on impersonation. (However, if Ivanka were to knock out the gutless Marco Rubio in a Florida primary, that would be OK.)

It's true that despite Trump's loss in November, Republicans took back several seats in the House. That, of course, was before Trump's cop-beating mob threatened to hang Mike Pence. (The former vice president, understandably, sent his regrets to the CPAC organizers.) And it happened after a campaign in which COVID-concerned Democrats failed to go door to door while Republicans did.

When the congressional midterms take place in 2022, things will be a lot different. COVID should be over. There could well be two years of nontraumatic governance and an economy fat with new jobs. At the same time, the voter bloc that still calls itself Republican is shrinking. And it's not good news that only 37 percent of Americans have a positive view of the Republican Party, whereas 48 percent have a positive view of Democrats, according to Gallup.

Should we worry that there may not be a Republican Party able to counter Democratic excesses? Another anti-Trump conservative, Jennifer Rubin, says no. She notes that many parts of the country are already basically one-party locales — say, Democratic New York City or Republican Mississippi. But their crowded primaries provide voters with a diversity of views.

Meanwhile, with Biden at the top, the Democratic Party has built up moderate appeal. The party's lefties are finding, much to their dismay, that their every wish is not Biden's command. By the way, Congress now has the highest job approval in almost 12 years, and it's run by Democrats.

When Republicans complained that Biden didn't spend much time negotiating with them on his COVID relief bill, the question was: Negotiate with whom? With the Republicans who wouldn't admit he really won the election? They happened to represent a majority of the House Republican caucus.

The happy news is that Trump doesn't even get me mad anymore. So what if he still insists he won the election? Crazy people on street corners claim to be president. Trump finally made me smile, because he no longer matters.

Follow Froma Harrop on Twitter @FromaHarrop. She can be reached at fharrop@gmail.com. To find out more about Froma Harrop and read features by other Creators writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators webpage at www.creators.com

Senate Acquits Trump Despite Bipartisan Support For Impeachment

Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos

After a confusing day, the United States Senate voted on Saturday afternoon 57 to 43 in favor of convicting Donald J. Trump in his second impeachment trial. Though this was, by far, the greatest bipartisan vote in favor of impeachment in the nation's history, it still was not sufficient to reach the necessary two-thirds of the Senate necessary for conviction.

Among those Republicans voting with Democrats were Richard Burr, Bill Cassidy, Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski, Mitt Romney, Ben Sasse, and Pat Toomey.

With that vote, the court of impeachment is adjourned and Republicans have shrugged off their last flirtation with the idea of democracy.

Saturday, Feb 13, 2021 · 3:59:25 PM EST · Mark SumnerSaturday, Feb 13, 2021 · 4:02:52 PM EST · Mark Sumner

Sen. Chuck Schumer: "This trial wasn't about choosing country over party, not even that. This trial was about choosing country over Donald Trump, and 43 Republican members chose Trump."

Saturday, Feb 13, 2021 · 4:05:41 PM EST · Mark SumnerSaturday, Feb 13, 2021 · 4:13:06 PM EST · Mark Sumner

Trump has released a gloating statement. I'm not going to quote any of it. Just know that he doesn't take a moment to condemn the violence on Jan. 6.

Twitter To Trump: You Are Banned Forever, No Matter What

Reprinted with permission from American Independent

Twitter executive Ned Segal on Wednesday said that even if Donald Trump ran for election in the future and was elected to the presidency, he would not be given back his Twitter account.

"When you're removed from the platform you're removed from the platform, whether you're a commentator, you're a CFO, or you are a former or current public official," Segal told CNBC.

Pressed to explain how the policy applies to Trump's specific case, Segal said, "He was removed when he was president and there'd be no difference for anybody who's a public official once they've been removed from the service."

Trump was permanently removed from Twitter in January. The service cited his support and praise of the rioters who attacked the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, noting that inciting violence violates Twitter's terms.

From the Feb. 10 edition of CNBC's "Squawk Box":

BECKY QUICK, CNBC: One more question for you, President Trump was banned, former President Trump was banned, if he came back, ran for office again and was elected president, would you allow him back on the platform?
NED SEGAL: So the way our policies work, when you're removed from the platform you're removed from the platform, whether you're a commentator, you're a CFO, or you are a former or current public official.
And so, remember, our policies are designed to make sure that people are not inciting violence, and if anybody does that, we have to remove them from the service and our policies don't allow people to come back.
QUICK: So no?
SEGAL: He was removed when he was president and there'd be no difference for anybody who's a public official once they've been removed from the service.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.

How Trump’s Pardons Of Bannon And Manafort Could Backfire

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

As expected, former President Donald Trump pardoned a long list of cronies during his final weeks in office, including Paul Manafort, his former 2016 campaign manager, and former White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon. Andrew Weissmann, who served as a lead prosecutor for then-Special Counsel Robert Mueller's office from 2017-2019, offers a legal analysis and critique of Trump's "abuse of the pardon power" in an article for Just Security.

And according to Weissmann, Trump hasn't necessarily saved Manafort and Bannon from all legal exposure.

"In issuing his pardons, Trump, true to form, followed no process," Weissmann explains. "He did not seek to identify those most worthy of the use of the clemency process. Instead, his abuse of this constitutional power has led many to deplore the expansive executive authority, although it can be a means of meting out justice when wielded impartially and even-handedly to the most deserving after due consideration of the interests of numerous parties."

Some of Trump's pardons, Weissmann notes, were "exceedingly broad" — for example, the pardon of former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.

"Flynn's pardon on Nov. 25, 2020 covers most any crime one can imagine, clearly seeking to leave no room for now holding Flynn to account for his past felonious conduct," Weissmann observes. "But oddly, not all of Trump's pardons followed the Flynn model. Indeed, many are narrowly drawn.

Weissmann cites Trump's Manafort pardon as an example of one that is "narrowly drawn." In Manafort's case, Weissmann writes, the "pardon is solely for the crimes of conviction: eight in the Eastern District of Virginia and two in the District of Columbia." And according to Weissmann, "That leaves numerous crimes as to which Manafort can still be prosecuted, as in Virginia, there were ten hung counts."

"In Washington," Weissmann adds, "the situation is even more wide open. In that district, Manafort pleaded to a superseding information containing two conspiracy charges, while the entire underlying indictment — containing numerous crimes, from money laundering to witness tampering to violation of the Foreign Agents Registration Act — now remains open to prosecution, as there was no conviction for those charges."

Another pardon Weissmann considers "narrowly drawn" is Trump's pardon of Bannon. In Weissmann's view, Bannon still has legal exposure despite the pardon Trump issued on his last full day in office.

Trump's Bannon pardon, according to Weissman, "applies to the pending 'offenses charged,' and not the underlying conduct, as it pardons Bannon for the specific counts charged."

"It also pardons crimes that could be charged for the underlying conduct under Chapter 95 of Title 18 of the United States Code — basically, racketeering type charges," Weissmann writes. "But that clearly leaves — unpardoned — numerous potential federal charges, such as mail and wire fraud. It is rare that a prosecutor charges all such counts that could be charged, as it would overwhelm a jury and is unnecessary to increasing a sentence upon conviction."

A Presidential Loser Can Still Win — But Will Trump?

Reprinted with permission from Roll Call

When you lose something precious, something valuable — the big prize — you don't have to get stuck with the "loser" label forever. Life and politics are full of examples of broken hearts and smashed dreams, and also examples of those who managed to rewrite their legacies in meaningful ways that benefited themselves and society.

Donald Trump has proved that he is not the kind of person given to reflection or remorse and would seem the last character capable of earning redemption. He slinked out of the White House on Wednesday, burdened with grievances, two impeachments and "what-ifs," beating an early retreat before Joe Biden and Kamala Harris were sworn in. But it's not too late for him to learn something he has not so far in his 74 years.

Though he predicted four years ago that an America without his leadership would crumble, it was Trump who brought a vision of "American carnage" to life. The lasting image is of his supporters storming the U.S. Capitol, attacking democracy itself, and of a COVID-19 death toll passing 400,000, Americans mourned not by him but by Biden and Harris on inauguration eve with a solemn and soulful service the country needed.

But Trump's Wikipedia entry doesn't have to start with the word "disaster," not if he looks away from his red-carpet exit to pay attention, even with his notoriously short attention span, to how others have conducted themselves when confronted with power and influence slipping through their fingers.

Second Acts

The person Trump often mocked for choking "like a dog" in his defeat by President Barack Obama in 2012 now has the upper hand as the leader of the Senate's "I told you so" caucus. Though he still may get hounded at airports or on planes by rowdy louts, Utah Sen. Mitt Romney stands as the only Republican to vote to convict on one article at Trump's first impeachment.

That, and his simple acknowledgment in November that Biden won, almost makes the memory of his sought-after endorsement by citizen Trump in 2012 and his early attempt to gain a spot in the Trump Cabinet fade. Now that Romney's presidential hopes are in the rear-view mirror, he clearly sees burnishing his legacy on the road ahead. And, perhaps, he simply believes in the Constitution.

Al Gore certainly has built a legacy that is so much more than being the candidate on the losing end of the 2000 presidential election decided by the state of Florida and a Supreme Court decision that is still argued over.

After Gore, as vice president, presided over the tallying of the electoral count that declared George W. Bush the new president, brushing off the objections of some allies, no one would have blamed him for going off the grid forever. But anyone who had listened to his eloquent speech of concession, urging the country to move forward, would have known that was not to be his last act.

Gore turned to his passion: climate change, the environment and the effects of global warming. The film "An Inconvenient Truth" turned his wonky slideshow into a riveting documentary that spread his ideas to millions and won two Academy Awards in the process. He was honored, along with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, with the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize "for their efforts to build up and disseminate greater knowledge about man-made climate change, and to lay the foundations for the measures that are needed to counteract such change."

That Nobel honor was also awarded to former President Jimmy Carter in 2002for "for his decades of untiring effort to find peaceful solutions to international conflicts, to advance democracy and human rights, and to promote economic and social development."

After a crushing landslide loss to the Ronald Reagan juggernaut in 1980, Carter returned to Georgia, but his global influence continued as he traveled the world to spread the gospel of democracy, monitor elections and play key roles in diplomatic negotiations.

The work of the Carter Center in Atlanta, founded to advance human rights and alleviate human suffering, is credited with important global health achievements, including assisting in the near elimination of Guinea worm disease, a painful and debilitating scourge that once plagued millions.

Remember how many folks wanted to dismiss another Georgian, Stacey Abrams, as a "loser" after her 2018 defeat for governor against Brian Kemp, an election he also conveniently oversaw as Georgia's secretary of state? When Abrams dared say she was more than qualified to be picked as Biden's running mate, many called her everything but "uppity" for daring to put her hat in the ring.

Nobody's snickering now. We were reminded of how Abrams lives rent-free in Trump's head when he used her name as a taunt in attempting to force Georgia officials to change the presidential results — by finding or tossing votes — in those infamous phone calls that may come back to legally haunt him.

After Abrams came some 55,000 votes shy of becoming the nation's first Black female governor, she continued to organize and strategize, seeking to expand the franchise to all Georgians. She had already launched the New Georgia Project, now ably run by Nsé Ufot, after the Supreme Court gutted key provisions of the Voting Rights Act. After her defeat, she founded Fair Fight to counter voter suppression efforts and mobilize voter participation.

That involvement by Abrams and so many other grassroots organizers, many of them African American women, helped deliver the former Confederate state of Georgia to Biden and sent two Democratic senators to Washington.

Now other states and the Democratic Party want to clone her.

Turning A Page

Like Carter and so many of the country's leaders, Biden has relied on his faith to see him through unimaginable losses, both political and personal. Expect to hear quotes from Scriptures and hymns in the next four years.

Many in an exhausted and ailing country and around the world soaked in Biden's declaration in his inauguration speech that "democracy has prevailed." With the help of all Americans, the new president promised to write "the next great chapter" in the American story, one of "hope, not fear."

Trump has set the bar for acceptable behavior so low he would not have to do much for people to give him a little bit of credit for helping write a new chapter, perhaps by joining others in that exclusive club of former presidents who find more in common when they are no longer rivals and can do so much good.

Though Trump has reportedly floated the idea of a third party, dragging QAnon cultists, dead-enders, white supremacists and others raging against America along with him, even he has to know — and his dispirited farewell gave a hint — that's a losers' game. Heck, even Mitch McConnell knows it.

But one glaring and important lesson, lived out in examples that are plain to see, would be the hardest for the Trump everybody knows to absorb — winning doesn't always have to be about "you."

Mary C. Curtis has worked at The New York Times, The Baltimore Sun, The Charlotte Observer, as national correspondent for Politics Daily, and is a senior facilitator with The OpEd Project. Follow her on Twitter @mcurtisnc3.

CQ Roll Call's newest podcast, "Equal Time with Mary C Curtis," examines policy and politics through the lens of social justice. Please subscribe on Apple, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts.