On Friday, writing for The New York Times, reporter and author Michael Wolff argued that it is inevitable that former President Donald Trump will run for president again in 2024.
The reason: he has unfinished business using the White House to punish all the Republicans he believes haven't shown sufficient loyalty to him — starting with his own former Vice President Mike Pence and the GOP Senate Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY).
"In his telling, it is Mr. Pence whose actions confirmed 'the steal,' by his refusal to overturn the electoral vote count, over which he presided in January in the Senate," wrote Wolff. "I believe he will run again just to stop the men who, in his view, helped take the presidency from him from trying to get it for themselves. The reports that reach him of the West Wing and members of his administration who refuse to subscribe to the idea of 'the steal' only feeds his fury and determination to punish all doubters — 'some very weak people who have worked for me but won't in the future,' as he told me."
Wolff then broke down why Trump's war against McConnell will be particularly intense.
"Mr. Trump believes that Mr. McConnell retained his Senate seat in 2020 only because of his support," he wrote. "The war against Mr. McConnell is a war about who controls the Republican Party — if it's Mr. Trump's party, it can't be Mr. McConnell's. If candidates win because of his endorsements, thereby making Mr. Trump himself the ultimate winner, and inevitable front-runner, then it's surely his party."
Trump has also reportedly expressed rage at other figures whose careers he boosted, like Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, who did not back his lawsuits to overturn the 2020 election. And he has gone on the warpath against Republican lawmakers who voted to impeach him for inciting the January 6 insurrection, like Reps. Liz Cheney (R-WY) and Anthony Gonzalez (R-OH).
"For Democrats, who see him exiled to Mar-a-Lago, stripped of his key social media platforms and facing determined prosecutors, his future seems risible if not pathetic," concluded Wolff. "But this is Donald Trump, always ready to strike back harder than he has been struck, to blame anyone but himself, to silence any doubts with the sound of his own voice, to take what he believes is his and, most of all, to seize all available attention. Sound the alarm."
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