Even after Donald Trump publicly hinted in his first post-presidential speech that he’ll run again in 2024, his own niece isn’t buying it.
“There’s no way that he is going to put himself in the position of losing again,” Dr Mary Trump told Mehdi Hasan on MSNBC on Sunday.
Dr Trump, a psychologist and author of a bestselling book criticizing her uncle, spoke just minutes after the former president finished his speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference, or CPAC.
During that speech, the former president once again falsely claimed that he won the 2020 election, adding, “Who knows, I may even decide to beat them for a third time.”
The line drew cheers at CPAC, but Dr. Trump doubts her uncle will actually go through with another campaign - though he has much to gain from the insinuations.
“I think he’s going to pretend to [run], for sure. Think about how much money he’s made off the Big Lie in the last few months,” she said, referring to the falsehood that the 2020 presidential election was stolen.
“He’s made more money since President Biden won the election than I think he has in his entire life,” she went on. “So I don’t think he’s going to let that grift go quite so soon.”
The Trump campaign and other Republican organizations raised $207.5 million in the 20 days after the election, during which they sent hundreds of fundraising emails and texts making false claims about voter fraud.
Whether or not Donald Trump personally runs for president again, Dr Trump said, the larger issue is with his party.
“The problem is the Republican Party seems determined to keep him legitimate,” she said. “Republicans time after time have refused to take the off-ramp away from him, and decided that it was better for their future prospects to keep him a relevant player.”
Dr Trump pointed to this and other examples as evidence that the GOP has become “anti-democratic.”
“The Republican Party is not interested in democracy,” she said. “It is willing to embrace counter-majoritarian tactics in order to hold power illegitimately, no matter how much in the minority they are.”
Even as Republicans continue to celebrate him, Donald Trump has gone out of his way to punish his opponents within the party. At one point during his CPAC speech, the former president listed the names of all the Republicans in Congress who voted to impeach him.
“Get rid of them all,” he told the crowd.
Meanwhile, Dr Trump showed a bit of her uncle’s knack for Twitter trolling. As the CPAC speech began, she tweeted a picture of a beautiful beach at dusk, commenting, “Since nothing of importance is happening right now, here is a sunset.”
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