Inside the mind of Donald Trump: Cornered and vulnerable, he doesn’t want to run but feels he has no choice

inside the mind of donald trump cornered and vulnerable he doesnt want to run but feels he has no choice

It was, according to Donald Trump, the moment that “America’s comeback” finally began. But to former aides and biographers, the ex-president announcing his third run for the White House was anything but.

They told i Mr Trump’s declaration was “dumbfounding” and a brazen attempt to avoid prosecution. Instead, Mr Trump is “cornered” and driven by a “fear of irrelevance” rather than a desire to actually become president again.

It’s a scorching verdict that echoed the unease in the Republican party about Mr Trump’s decision to run in the 2024 election. Having lost in the 2020 election and being blamed for poor performance in the midterms last week, some, including those who have worked closely with Mr Trump, feel he should step aside.

Among them is Michael Cohen, Mr Trump’s former personal lawyer and fixer, who poured scorn on his former boss for announcing his candidacy with more than two years to go before the election.

“Donald’s unprecedented early presidential announcement is dumbfounding,” he told i about what is running through Mr Trump’s mind.

“I suspect he believes that this move will clear the Republican field from others who have shown favourable polling numbers and expressed interest in running for the 2024 nomination.

“Additionally, he believes that this announcement will stay all legal proceedings that he is currently plagued by. Both are inaccurate”.

Two-time Trump biographer Michael D’Antonio said Mr Trump was motivated by his “fear of imprisonment, his fear of irrelevance and his inability to tolerate failures or setbacks”.

“I think he’s more vulnerable than he was during the first impeachment, second, and perhaps during his whole presidency,” he said.

“During that time there were no sign threats of the sort he faces now.

“He doesn’t have a choice. All of this was evident in the declaration last night. He seems to lack passion himself. He stuck with the script almost fully. I didn’t think the crowd was enthusiastic.

“His heart’s not in it. It really seems like he’s cornered. All the accountability that he’s escaped he now is afraid of, he’s now fearing”.

During the midterm elections candidates backed by Mr Trump in key battleground states like Pennsylvania lost. Rather than win the House by a few dozen seats, Republicans are now predicted to have a majority of just a few seats. Democrats retained control of the Senate and improved their majority by one with a run-off in Georgia that could expand that to two.

More on US midterms 2022

After the results came in, civil war erupted in the Republican Party with many blaming Mr Trump for choosing poor candidates and for making election denial a key issue in the vote, a strategy which turned off independent voters.

Other former aides to Mr Trump took to TV and social media to tell him to step down.

Sarah Matthews, Mr Trump’s former press secretary, told CNN that “we need to pass over him”.

“He’s shown he’s not fit to serve by inciting an insurrection, he’s unfit to hold office ever again,” she said.

“His speech was uninspiring. There’s nothing new to it. It was kind of a boring speech.

“I think he thinks this a potential way to avoid a criminal investigation but I also think it’s his own ego”.

Others like Mick Mulvaney, Mr Trump’s former chief of staff, said he was the “only Republican who could lose” to Joe Biden in 2024.

Alyssa Farah Griffin, the former White House director of strategic communications, tweeted: “Donald Trump is wholly unfit for office and a clear and present danger to democracy.

“You try being high energy when you’re running for President primarily to try to avoid indictment!

The National Review, an influential conservative magazine, wrote an editorial about Mr Trump simply titled: “No”.

It read: “To paraphrase Voltaire after he attended an orgy, once was an experiment, twice would be perverse”.

The editorial said that Mr Trump’s announcement was “low-energy” and said he was “weaker” than his first two Presidential races.

The magazine complained about his “cracked obsessions” that would bring “chaos” to the Republican Party.

Another voice opposing Mr Trump was Mark Esper, his former defence secretary who said Florida governor Ron DeSantis was “top of the list” of his candidates.

In an interview Mr Esper said: “The election last week is an example that Donald Trump is incapable of winning elections.

“He’s done more to help the Democrats than the Republicans”.

Of course, Mr Trump’s supporters would respond by saying “they would say that” and some did come out in support of him.

Among them was Senator Lindsey Graham, a staunch Trump ally, who said that he would be “hard to beat” and was on a “winning path”.

But the strength of feeling against Mr Trump from those who worked so closely with him during his term in the White House is striking, and a sign of how burned they feel by being associated with him.

Whether or not the Republican party as a whole, and Mr Trump’s base, ever gets to the same point remains to be seen.

Inews.. .

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