Trump ‘is considering an event to announce his 2024 campaign on the day of Biden’s inauguration’

Biden’s inauguration will be on 20 January and a Trump campaign timed to clash would be a logistical and diplomatic nightmare for Washington DC

Harriet Alexander
Saturday 28 November 2020 14:34 GMT
Pelosi predicts Trump will 'be up to mischief' between election result and inauguration
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Donald Trump is considering launching his 2024 election campaign on the day of Joe Biden's inauguration, it has been reported - weighing up how to keep the spotlight on him in his post-White House life.

Mr Trump, who is yet to concede defeat, and may not ever, was asked on Thanksgiving whether he would attend Mr Biden's inauguration on 20 January.

"I don't want to say that yet," he replied. "I mean, I know the answer.  I'll be honest, I know the answer."

On Saturday The Daily Beast cited three sources who confirmed he is considering a 2024 run, and two of them said that he had floated the idea of holding an event during Mr Biden's inauguration, to cause maximum disruption.

According to two sources with direct knowledge of the matter, the president has privately bragged that he would still remain in the spotlight, even if Mr Biden is in the Oval Office, because the media finds Mr Biden "boring."

On 9 November Axios was among the first to report that Mr Trump was considering a 2024 run - something which, if successful, would make him only the second man in history to serve two non-consecutive terms. Grover Cleveland was the 22nd and 24th president, being elected in 1884 and 1892.  

The White House has not commented.

Mr Trump is determined not to give up the White House, and is fighting through the courts to, in his words, "overturn the vote".

On Friday his efforts received their latest blow, when a Trump-appointed judge sitting on a Pennsylvania appeals court delivered a scathing verdict on their case.

"Voters, not lawyers, choose the President. Ballots, not briefs, decide elections," wrote Judge Stephanos Bibas, on behalf of the three-judge Third Circuit Court of Appeals panel, composed entirely of Republican appointees.

Jenna Ellis, one of his lawyers, tweeted that they will now seek a resolution in the Supreme Court - although many legal experts thought was unlikely the court would take the case.

The president's discussion of a 2024 campaign is seen by his associates as a tacit acceptance that his legal case is going nowhere.

It is also a way of distracting him from his loss, with figures such as Jared Kushner, his son-in-law, and his daughter Ivanka reportedly being tasked with bringing him round to the idea that he will leave the White House.

His consideration of a 2024 run is already sparking jockeying for power among his supporters, The Daily Beast reported.

During an Oval Office meeting earlier this month between Mr Trump, Mike Pence, the vice president; Mike Pompeo, secretary of state, and Robert O'Brien, the national security adviser, the president said he planned on running in 2024, if the 2020 election results were not overturned, Bloomberg reported on Thursday.

"If you do that - and I think I speak for everybody in the room - we’re with you 100 per cent," said Mr O’Brien, according to the Bloomberg report.

It is unlikely that all those gathered were, privately, delighted.

If he does run a 2024 campaign it would likely thwart the presidential ambitions of Mr Pompeo and possibly Mr Pence. His own son, Donald Trump Jr, is enjoying the "Trump Jr 2024" hashtag, and considered a possible contender.

Whether the president can remain a political force, and whether he wants to, is yet to be seen.

On the day he was inaugurated, in 2017, Mr Trump filed paperwork with the Federal Election Commission to qualify as a 2020 candidate.

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