Should a US president have less power
More and more lonely, more isolated and more frustrated : Donald Trump's last days as US President
In the middle of the week, US President Donald Trump met with Lindsey Graham, Republican Senator for South Carolina. On board Trump's official plane, the two spoke about the impeachment process and how the outgoing president should approach his final days in the White House.
Graham, of all people, who had almost broken with Trump after the storm on the Capitol. He criticized his attempts to overturn the presidential election, sometimes violently. But just a few days later, Graham rowed back and remained one of Trump's most loyal allies. Unlike Vice President Mike Pence or Trump's private attorney Rudy Giuliani.
Pence had fallen out of favor with Trump as he did not want to challenge the election result in Congress. And about Giuliani's desperate attempts to convince the public of the chances of a Trump election victory, Trump was no longer quite as happy.
The Washington Post reports that the outgoing US president no longer wants to pay Giuliani's bills. He even wants to have the reports that Giuliani submitted to him checked. Apparently, Trump's advisors were able to make it clear to him that the theses that Giuliani had put forward are at least controversial.
This means that there are not many allies left that Trump will let in. So that's why Graham. Trump reportedly asked Graham to persuade Republican senators to prevent his impeachment. According to the Washington Post, Graham is said to have worked through a list of senators while on the plane.
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Some senators are said to have assured Trump over the phone that they would reject an impeachment. This was probably able to appease Graham Trump a little - shortly before the Republican MP, Liz Cheney, had announced that she would not support Trump in the impeachment process. Cheney is number three Republican in the House of Representatives.
Graham said of Trump, according to statements he shared with several US media outlets: "There are some people who were upset before and are still now, but I can assure you that most Republicans think that impeachment is." bad for the country, unnecessary and would damage the presidency in general. "
Most Republican voters and the majority of Republicans in Congress continue to support Trump. Instead of breaking with Trump, they stand behind him and sometimes even portray him as a victim - of the Democrats and everyone who turned against the elected US president.
This also coincides with a survey by the US medium Axios: Only one in 100 Trump supporters agrees that Trump must be removed from office immediately. After all, a quarter of the traditionally Republican electorate see it that way.
More than 90 percent of Trump supporters are still behind Trump and the contestation of the election result and want him to run again in 2024. The majority of the traditionally Republican electorate, however, sees it differently.
Trump himself does not believe that he will be removed from office until January 20, the day Joe Biden's inauguration, he told his advisors, according to the Washington Post. He's probably right: It is very likely that the US Senate will not decide on Trump's impeachment until after Wednesday.
According to the advisors, Trump is currently more concerned about three other things that could make his post-presidency difficult: First, that Twitter and other social networks have banned his accounts. Second, that the National Association of Golfers has canceled a major tournament on one of its courses. And third, that Deutsche Bank is no longer available to him for financing.
His daughter, Kushner and Pence urged Trump to make a video statement
It is possible that his video statement from the Oval Office was chosen carefully. A statement in which he is unusually presidential and calls for "no violence, no law breaking and no vandalism of any kind" to be allowed in further demonstrations.
His chief adviser Jared Kushner, his daughter Ivanka Trump and Vice Pence are said to have urged him to watch this video - it could secure the support of "weak" Republicans. They advised him not to make impeachment a big issue, which he didn't either.
And yet: In Trump's environment, according to several US media reports, there are increasing voices that Trump's "incitement to rebellion" in front of the Capitol was too clear to defend. That is why Trump distances himself from many of his previous confidants and relies on people like Lindsey Graham.
“I think that's the logical conclusion of someone who only wants people in their closest circle to walk through fire for them. But it has reached a point where everyone is burned out, ”a senior member of the Trump administration told the Washington Post.
"Between the confirmation of the election result and the inauguration of the new president, there should be time to review the tenure and look at the achievements over the four years," said Kellyanne Conway, a longtime adviser to Trump. "But instead of celebrating these achievements, we saw the horror when the Capitol was stormed."
After his visit to Texas - he met Graham on the return flight - the outgoing US President's calendar is empty. It is reported that Trump does little in his final days as president other than watching television and railing with his remaining loyalists against Republicans who do not defend him enough.
"He feels more lonely, more isolated and more frustrated"
Trump is not only disappointed by Vice Pence and other party colleagues, but also by journalists like the presenter Laura Ingraham, who was allowed to interview him several times for Fox News.
“He's always feeling lonely, isolated, and frustrated,” says a former government official. “How he rated supporters was: 'Who says good things about me or fights for me?' But he never seemed to believe that there were enough people to support him strongly enough. "
According to Jo-Marie Burt, political scientist at George Mason University, how things will continue in the USA depends heavily on the outcome of the impeachment. "If impunity is allowed, it violates the American experiment," said Burt. If Trump is not held accountable, it could lead to people saying at some point: "You know, that just happens."
The good news for the remaining days of Trump's tenure is that he does not have full control over the US security apparatus. "I believe the chances of a right-wing takeover are almost nil," said Joseph Nye, a political scientist at Harvard University, according to the Washington Post. "It may be that some of the far-right groups will provoke violence," said Nye, "but a coup is not within their means."
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