The White House holiday receptions are scheduled as normal this year, despite the coronavirus pandemic guidelines. Instead of canceling them, the White House has modified the events to best provide personal safety to guests and staff. Tuesday evening a White House reception was held and President Trump teased his guest that if his re-election isn’t successful now, he’ll see everyone in four years.
Stories of Trump’s desire for a second term have been reported to include another run for president in 2024. As a one-term president, there isn’t anything to stop him from pursuing another run. Just hours after Attorney General Barr said that the DOJ has not found any evidence of widespread fraud that would change the results of the election, Trump was telling his guests that the election was rigged and nothing will change his mind about that conclusion.
“It’s been an amazing four years,” Trump told the room, filled with many people not wearing masks despite public health officials’ guidance amid the Covid-19 pandemic. “We are trying to do another four years. Otherwise, I’ll see you in four years.”
“But they don’t like that.”
He also asked if people were watching the “fraud hearings” with his legal team — referring to the events his attorney Rudy Giuliani has held with state legislatures in an attempt to challenge the results of the election.
“Honestly, this is a disgrace,” Trump told the room.
He told them, “I call it a rigged election, and I always will.” It isn’t Trump’s nature to stop fighting. He feels wronged and there are, allegedly, plenty of examples of improper behavior and other shenanigans in several states but not enough to make him the winner of the presidential election. I don’t think I’ve ever seen an election night where election workers just stopped counting ballots, for example. And, it looks fishy that big bundles of ballots are suddenly found and all of them go to Biden in places where Trump was ahead. Those are examples of stories being reported. I won’t be surprised if he never officially concedes the election to Biden. He doesn’t have to do that, technically speaking, and he’s not one to feel beholden to regular procedures. The transition is proceeding forward without a formal concession.
Will Trump attend Biden’s inauguration? My inclination is to believe that he will not. He’ll likely skip it, which will cause a stir among traditionalists while probably giving Team Biden a reason to breathe a sigh of relief. They know that Trump’s presence would overshadow Sleepy Joe on his big day. If he does run again in 2024, he knows that his most loyal supporters will want to see Trump holding firm in his denial of any personal concessions to Biden. So far Trump isn’t saying one way or the other if he’ll attend the inauguration.
Still, one person familiar with the situation said they believe Trump’s advisers will strongly encourage him to attend the January 20 inauguration, even if he doesn’t concede the election, because it would better preserve his potential influence going forward — including if he decides to run again in 2024 — if he doesn’t appear like a sore loser.
Trump told reporters last week that he’d already decided what he was doing on Inauguration Day. “I’ll be honest, I know the answer, but I just don’t want to say it yet,” he said. But aides viewed that as more of a way to put off the question, and did not take it to mean a decision had been made.
There are rumors that Trump is planning his own big event on Inauguration Day. This seems more in line with Trump’s way of doing things. He’s a pro at organizing events that take the spotlight off of others. He repeatedly did it during the campaign. Trump held numerous rallies in airplane hangars and those events were covered by the media (though not always by CNN and MSNBC) and increased enthusiasm for supporters. Frankly, I kind of hope he does it. The inauguration this year is going to have to be scaled back due to the pandemic anyway. It likely won’t be any more exciting than the Democrat convention last summer was, an event on which the inauguration committee may pattern their plans. That sounds pretty boring in comparison to a Trump rally, doesn’t it?