In the dying days of the Trump era, some of the president’s top political lieutenants set out on a clear mission: to distract Trump from aspects of the job that they believe could cause more pain in the country if the president gives too much money. pay attention to them.
And while Trump is increasingly isolated – and some aides hope, distracted – some of the most important members of his administration clean up the details, pursue their personal agendas, and try to prevent Trump from starting another crisis.
A senior Trump administration official described the activity around the outgoing president as a protracted act of “custody” of a “violent toddler” that aides and chief advisers hope to overcome next week without Trump no longer unleashes historic disasters.
Four other senior administration officials familiar with their conversations said Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien and Vice President Mike Pence discussed continuity of government in recent years. days, including the potential risks the country faces from last week’s violence. when a Trumpist mob stormed the Capitol. Those conversations mainly focused on the need to continue operating as usual – with one important distinction: the idea now is to do so with as little communication as possible with the Oval Office, these officials said.
The idea is to steer the ship as it always has been, ”said one of these senior officials. “Everyone seems to keep their heads down and stay in their zone. There was no mention of the 25th Amendment or the deletion [Trump] from the office. It’s just, ‘Let’s go through this.’ “
Meanwhile, Trump, whose rhetoric helped incite the January 6 riots, is increasingly cut off from once-loyal senior officials, some of whom have resigned in recent days. Instead, the president is focused on dealing with the fallout, both legally and in terms of reputation, the attack and the resulting deaths. Even the president’s personal lawyer and close confidant, Rudy Giuliani, has been somewhat absent for the past 24 hours, catching up with his own personal issues, including the New York Bar’s decision to open an investigation into his withdrawal from office. its members, according to a person with direct knowledge of the situation.
With the president isolated in the White House, senior officials decided to bolster their own political agendas in the dying days of the Trump administration.
Pompeo, for example, has for years emphasized the importance of fighting Beijing on the world stage and punishing the regime for its gross human rights violations against the Uyghur population – while developing its own future political perspectives. Thus, Pompeo is focused on shrinking China and building better relations with Taiwan, officials close to the secretary said, while taking not so subtle digs to Democrats from their official government Twitter account. According to his staff, Vice President Pence will spend the remaining days in office overseeing vaccine distribution and discussing with governors across the country what to expect for deliveries over the coming weeks. Pence was, after all, the original head of the coronavirus task force and the spread of COVID-19 is a stain on his legacy.
And O’Brien, whose staff shrank last week when several senior National Security Council leaders resigned, spends much of his time attaching to Jared Kushner about his recent efforts in the Middle East. (O’Brien worked closely with Kushner and senior Iranian envoy Brian Hook on negotiating agreements like the Abraham Accords, which developed formal diplomatic relations between Israel and the United Arab Emirates and laid the groundwork for additional pacts between enemies.)
And inside the White House, senior political adviser Stephen Miller pushed Trump to take a victory lap at the southern border on Tuesday to deliver a speech on his “immigration achievements,” as put it. someone familiar with planning. (Miller, of course, was one of the architects of the administration’s draconian immigration policies.) Miller was also involved in conversations with the president about Acting DHS Secretary Chad Wolf, who has resigned from his post Monday, and his response to violence. at the Capitol. Following the attack, Wolf in a statement called it “tragic and sickening” and called on Trump to condemn the attack. Miller supported the decision to withdraw Wolf’s appointment as head of DHS, according to two people familiar with the matter. (Miller did not respond to a request for comment for this story, and neither did the White House.)
Tuesday’s trip is part of an effort by key contributors to chart a travel itinerary that will take him out of the White House to highlight his “legacy,” according to three people familiar with the discussions. They have pitched ideas for high-profile TV interviews, although some close advisers fear what would happen if interviewers asked about the riot and the 2020 election.
The Helpers also printed and rushed to show him the latest articles they found on Big Tech companies that are “censoring” him and other extremely conservative online in recent days. One of the motivations behind this, two of the sources said, was to try and focus his energy on his favorite cause of denouncing the alleged anti-conservative prejudice of social media giants like Twitter and Facebook, in the hope that such distractions prevent it from causing further, irreversible or even violent chaos.
It’s an effort that may last longer than the week and a half Trump has left as president. Sources close to Trump and GOP agents, even those who seem horrified by the events of the past week, privately admit that it is again It’s uncertain whether Trump will be able to exercise a stranglehold on the Tory movement or hold onto a place as kingmaker in the party. Even though prominent Republican Party leaders, major donors and former Trump confidants continue to publicly distance themselves from that president and condemn his recent actions and rhetoric, a new poll this week shows Trump still enjoys a broad support among Tories and GOP voters although its numbers have been hit hard.
“Trump should stay awake at night and seriously consider stepping down,” said Dan Eberhart, a major GOP and Trump donor who has openly regretted giving $ 100,000 this last round to Trump’s re-elects. “He has lost the moral imperative to run the country for the next week and a half.
Unfortunately for Republicans seeking a quick resignation, Trump has been screaming in private, locked up in the White House since the weekend, about how, “I won’t quit. “And on Monday, administration officials began tell reporters that Trump and Pence had a reunion that night, apparently to reconcile after the former helped put the latter’s life in danger. Apparently, the two men have vowed to continue doing “their” work together, until Joe Biden’s inauguration.
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