For the first time in a public setting, President Donald Trump appeared to say Tuesday that he is considering another run for president in 2024, even as he continues refusing to concede that he has lost this year’s race.
“It’s been an amazing four years. We are trying to do another four years. Otherwise, I’ll see you in four years,” Trump said during a White House Christmas party on Tuesday evening that was attended mostly by members of the Republican National Committee.
According to a video of the event, the president also continued to spout off a number of baseless allegations regarding his recent election loss, asserting without evidence (as he has for several weeks now) that the contest between him and President-elect Joe Biden was rife with fraud.
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“It’s certainly an unusual year. We won an election,” Trump told those in attendance. “But they don’t like that. I call it a rigged election, and I always will.”
Rumors had previously circulated about Trump having privately discussed running for president again with his advisers, but his statement on Tuesday night offers a stronger indication that those discussions have indeed been happening.
If Trump officially announces a plan to run in 2024, the timing of such an announcement would impact the politics of the next four years. Doing so within the next few weeks, as many have alleged he will do, could put a “freeze” on the field of possible presidential candidates within the GOP in 2024. It could also lead Republican lawmakers across the country, including in Washington, to continue to act as though Trump is the de facto party leader, legislating and voting in ways shaped by a desire not to upset him.
According to sources that have spoken to NBC News, Trump is weighing the possibility of announcing another run for office on January 20, the day Biden is set to be inaugurated. Those same sources told NBC that Trump is not planning to attend Biden’s swearing-in ceremony, thwarting a tradition of outgoing presidents attending such events for incoming chief executives that has only been interrupted a few times over the nation’s history.
If Trump decides to skip the event — and announce his intention to run for president at the same time — Trump would be violating norms and breaching cordialities in an unprecedented way. Such a breach could also stir up his base, which would likely see it as an act of defiance against an incoming administration that many on the right baselessly view as illegitimate.
Public intellectual Noam Chomsky, who recently spoke with Truthout contributor C.J. Polychroniou, hypothesizes that such a move could lead to a series of events that could risk making the government “ungovernable” for the next four years, if it indeed happens.
“I think both Trump and Trumpism will remain with us for a long time, both the individual himself and the poisonous currents he has unleashed,” Chomsky added later in the interview.