#GoodMorningDC. Are we prepared for one last disruption by Trump, the ultimate disrupter?
Good morning, DC. Today, Biden will become the 46th president of the United States. In a few hours, the sun will set on Donald Trump’s presidency. As he gets ready to depart for Mar-A-Lago, are we prepared for one last curveball? One last disruption by the ultimate disrupter?
Trump did not pardon himself or his family. He has until noon today to change his mind and make any diversion he sees fit before leaving office. Twists and cliffhangers are Trump’s readymades. Let’s examine one last possible Trump twist, shall we?
What if Trump leaves DC on air force one, lands in Florida, motorcades to Mar-A-Lago, waves to the camera, shuts the door, and resigns? Pence becomes POTUS, pardons Trump and his family in an attempt to heal the nation and then proceeds with the normal duties of transferring power to Biden? He would be POTUS for two hours. Crazy, right?
The thing is, no power player in Washington DC this morning can wrap their mind around Trump leaving the office without an insurance policy. Would Trump resign last minute?
“If he resigns last-minute, he could say he’s been a target of witch-hunts for four years. He could say that this is just to protect against his adversaries doing it in the future,” a DC insider told Good Morning DC.
“I just cannot believe Trump will leave his future to chance,” the source added.
Last night, Trump issued 73 last-minute pardons and 70 commutations. Apart from high-profile Steve Bannon and rapper Lil Wayne, Paul Erickson, once the boyfriend of Maria Butina, got a pardon, too.
If the jail is in the cards for Trump, the same way it evidently was for Steve Bannon, who Trump pardoned while America was sleeping, what could Trump do? With all his plans to run again, to have his kids run for the office, what would he do with the Trump movement he created? If resignation to have Mike Pence save him is not on the table, where would Trump go? Scotland? Istanbul? There are many places on the globe where he would be able to have a soft landing. But the question remains: Would he do it? And for everyone out here trying to make sense of one of the most tumultuous presidencies of all time, here’s the question: Why did Trump not pardon himself, surely knowing the legal challenges he will face?
“The movement we started has only just begun,” Donald Trump said in his farewell video message on his last day in the office.
Trump talked about his mission over the past four years to Make America Great. “We did what we had to do and so much more,” he said. The outgoing President talked about his “spectacular First Lady.” He thanked the entire Pence Family, Mark Meadows, the Secret Service, and the White House staff. He even said he prays for the next administration, without specifying the name of his successor.
In one of his latest moves as the US President, last night, Trump ordered the declassification of certain materials related to the FBI's Crossfire Hurricane investigation.
This morning, I gave an interview for New Europe in which I shared my insights into the inauguration unlike any other.
“I am familiar with the banality of evil,” I said to Brussel based journalist Federico Grandesso. “I’ve lived in places of civil strife. I remember when (former Yugoslav, and later Serbian, leader) Slobodan Milosevic ordered tanks onto Belgrade’s streets in the 1990s. I remember the traumatic event when the first Democratic Prime Minister of Serbia, Zoran Djinjic, was assassinated. This is different, though, because no one expected to have Biden’s inauguration under rings of steel and army barricades. No one expected to have to report under the risk of physical harm in the land of the free.”
I also touched on QAnon and Trump’s legacy and the line we must draw in the sand against tyranny.
At the Lincoln memorial, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris honored close to 400,000 victims of the pandemic.
“Tonight, we grieve —and begin healing — together,” said Kamala Harris.
Their message has been consistently clear and soothing. After the ceremonies conclude today, the question becomes whether or not that was a matter of optics. Can Biden and Harris move forward without seeking revenge on the outgoing administration? It certainly does not help to be surrounded by those who have fervently demanded Trump’s head on a stick, the Clinton machine, as some call it. Although a rather thorough Mueller investigation came up dry, Hilary Clinton is steadfast in her belief that, with Donald Trump, all roads lead to Russia. Will the Biden administration leave this in the past and begin to heal the nation, as was promised, or will we, instead, witness intensified efforts to smear Trump and his supporters, even when he has all but fallen from relevance?
Perhaps, and just perhaps, in the spirit of healing and the words he spoke at the Reflective pool, a moment of reflection is needed. A moment of re-examination may bring with it the realization that maybe these people are not foreign agents but American made. Trump gave them a voice, but they were here, already, simmering and ready to take their anger out at the first opportunity. That is the Trump voter.
“The Trump voter is 100% American. Patriotic to a fault, some would say. And what riled these communities up and realigned the political parties was that, for the first time, they felt heard by Donald Trump. So it’s not that they were simmering with anger and hatred, they were just disillusioned by politics altogether. Then, enter Trump. They don’t like to be nice for the hell of being nice. I understand why his voters are predominantly characterized as hateful, but when I tell you I saw my mother’s eyes LIGHT UP when Donald Trump descended the escalator -- she got it. It’s just people not being heard,” Trump voter told Good Morning DC.
Law enforcement officials have identified and removed 12 people in the National Guard's ranks because of security precautions.
Trump’s farewell party at Joint Base Andrews did not get many RSVPs. Many former White House officials who left the Trump administration received invitations, and one of those who was there for the early days of the administration told Good Morning DC:
“I have no desire to be seen at that thing. He should be at the inauguration, executing a peaceful transition of power. Besides, who wants to wake up to go watch an airplane take off?”
Yesterday, the Senate reconvened. "The mob was fed lies. They were provoked by the President and other powerful people,” Senator Mitch McConnel articulated. James Comey also used very strong wording yesterday in an interview for the Guardian, saying that the “Republican party needs to be burned down.”
Across the pond, on the eve of Biden’s inauguration, former PM Theresa May attacked PM Boris Johnson. MAY: BORIS’S MORAL FAILURE, the title in Daily Mail reads on the front page. Mind the timing. Will May, this time, hold hands with Joe Biden the same way she did with Trump as she ushered him into the global stage?
VP Pence will be attending the Inauguration today.
Opening remarks start at 11:30 AM EST, and you can follow special coverage with The Pavlovic Today.
At noon, Justice John Roberts will administer the oath of office to Biden. Kamala Harris will be sworn in by former prosecutor, Justice Sonia Sotomayor, the first Latina member of the Supreme Court.
Today, Biden plans to sign executive orders on immigration, climate change, racial equity, pandemic, and economic relief.
From securing the 2016 election in a shocking victory to the events of January 6 at the US Capitol, from Impeachment to Impeachment, the sequel, Trump knows that he will be remembered. The only person who accompanied Trump for his grand entrance down the Trump Tower escalators that remains is his First Lady, Melania. Sad ending. “It really is. I could have been different,” a source who signed onto Trump’s team early told Good Morning DC. Trump indeed started no wars, but he turned on his own people.
As the President-Elect wakes up at Blair House, across from the White House in Washington DC, he is getting ready for church service at St. Matthews — What does he think about? If you are in your 30s, and you think your life is over, just think that one day you could turn 78 and still run for the office of the President of America. How’s that for inspiration? The American dream lives on.
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