Trump misses being president terribly, according to an aide.
Of course, he misses being president. One of the world’s most infamous narcissists must have sucked up every second of adoration he got while being president. He loved being at the center of it all, you could see it in his rallies and the “sir stories.” He also misses being powerful, being able to do whatever he wants. He probably really misses it right now when feeling particularly vulnerable. At least, that’s the portrait painted in Politico’s Playbook Wednesday morning.
“There’s definitely a cloud of nerves in the air,” one adviser said, adding that this feels different than the typical barrage of legal issues surrounding Trump because there is pressure on Trump Org CFO ALLEN WEISSELBERG to flip. “I think the Weisselberg involvement and the wild card of that makes the particular situation more real, because there’s no sort of fluff and made-up fictional circumstances around the guy. … The fact that they’re dealing with a numbers guy who just has plain details makes people more nervous. This is not a MICHAEL COHEN situation.”
Right. As we’ve written for a year, crimes on paper are different, at least with respect to proving them beyond a reasonable doubt. (As to whether they’re sufficient as a policy matter for a state to prosecute an ex-president is another question.) Numbers are right there on the pages. The D.A. will also do everything possible to get Weisselberg to flip in order to say, “Yes, Trump knew he was lying to the bank,” or insurance company, or the government. There is also the real wildcard out there that fewer people are talking about and that’s money-laundering. That crime could open the door to international issues.
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As for Trump, his first reaction to the grand jury news was his default — it’s a political witch hunt. But how can it be a political witch hunt if he’s not in the game anymore, you ask? Simple: Float another run for president. “Interesting that today a poll came out indicating I’m far in the lead for the Republican Presidential Primary and the General Election in 2024,” he said in a statement responding to the news. His aides say his interest in running isn’t just a defense tactic — “he’s missing being president terribly,” one said. Others have said that he gets angry when questioned if he’s really serious.
The fact that he considers this more of a witch hunt proves that he still believes he’s a politician, politically viable as a candidate in 2024. He even mentioned that he’s leading other Republicans for the nomination, “by far,” in his post. None of this is surprising but that cloud of nerves hanging over Trump is a bit of a delicious thought. We suspect that there has been a cloud of fear hanging over Trump since the day he won in 2016.
We all remember the fear in his eyes in his acceptance speech. He tried to look triumphant. But in that moment, he was terrified. He knew this day would come eventually. People would start looking much closer at his deals. And the truth has always been Trump’s poison.