June 5, 2021

At Once Diminished and Dominating, Trump Begins His Next Act

By Maggie Haberman Annie Karni

1,682 words

The former president speaks on Saturday to the North Carolina Republican convention, as he resumes political speeches and rallies.

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Refreshed on June 20, 2021 at 12:50:32 am

Headlines and popularity

  1. At Once Diminished and Dominating, Trump Begins His Next Act
  2. At Once Diminished and Dominating, Trump Prepares for His Next Act

Revisions

June 20, 2021 at 12:50 am CHANGED
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- WASHINGTON — Donald J. Trump, the former president of the United States, commutes to New York City from his New Jersey golf club to work out of his office in Trump Tower at least once a week, slipping in and out of Manhattan without attracting much attention.
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+ GREENVILLE, N.C. — Donald J. Trump, the former president of the United States, commutes to New York City from his New Jersey golf club to work out of his office in Trump Tower at least once a week, slipping in and out of Manhattan without attracting much attention.
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- The place isn’t as he left it. Many of his longtime employees are gone. So are the family members who once worked there with him and some of the fixtures of the place, like his former lawyer Michael D. Cohen, who have since turned on him. Mr. Trump works there, mostly alone, with two assistants and a few body men.
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+ The place isn’t as he left it. Many of his longtime employees are gone. So are most of the family members who once worked there with him and some of the fixtures of the place, like his former lawyer Michael D. Cohen, who have since turned on him. Mr. Trump works there, mostly alone, with two assistants and a few body men.
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  His political operation has also dwindled to a ragtag team of former advisers who are still on his payroll, reminiscent of the bare-bones cast of characters that helped lift a political neophyte to his unlikely victory in 2016. Most of them go days or weeks without interacting with Mr. Trump in person.
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- But as he heads to the North Carolina Republican convention on Saturday night, in what is billed as the resumption of rallies and speeches, Mr. Trump is both a diminished figure and an oversized presence in American life, with a remarkable — and many say dangerous — hold on his party.
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+ But when he spoke on Saturday night to the North Carolina Republican convention in what was billed as the resumption of his rallies and speeches, Mr. Trump was both a diminished figure and an oversized presence in American life, with a remarkable — and many say dangerous — hold on his party.
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  Even without his favored megaphones and the trappings of office, Mr. Trump looms over the political landscape, animated by the lie that he won the 2020 election and his own fury over his defeat. And unlike others with a grievance, he has been able to impose his anger and preferred version of reality on a substantial slice of the American electorate — with the potential to influence the nation’s politics and weaken faith in its elections for years to come.
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  Still blocked from Twitter and Facebook, he has struggled to find a way to influence news coverage since leaving office and promote the fabrication that the 2020 election was stolen from him.
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  Last week, he shut down his blog after hearing from friends that the site was getting little traffic and making him look small and irrelevant, according to a person familiar with his thinking.
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  Some of his aides are not eager to engage with him on his conspiracy theories and would like to see him press a forward-looking agenda that could help Republicans in 2022. People in his circle joke that the most senior adviser to the former leader of the free world is Christina Bobb, a correspondent with the far-right, eternally pro-Trump One America News Network, whom he consults regularly for information about the Arizona election audit.
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- It remains to be seen what he says about the 2020 election during his appearance in North Carolina.
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+ In his 90-minute speech on Saturday, Mr. Trump repeatedly took aim at China for the coronavirus, ran through a litany of conservative culture war issues and ended with an extended frontal attack on voting and American democracy in which he endorsed a long list of Republican voter suppression proposals.
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- Mr. Trump was eager to take back the microphone on Saturday night in Greenville, where aides said he planned to attack Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, as well as the Biden administration.
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+ He raised fanciful, fact-free allegations of widespread fraud and “thousands” of dead people having voted for President Biden, called for voting to be limited in nearly all cases to voting in person on Election Day, and dismissed the results of the 2020 election as a product of the “crime of the century.”
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- Joe Biden wants American taxpayers to pay reparations,” Mr. Trump was expected to say, according to an aide involved in drafting the speech. “I want the Chinese to pay American taxpayers reparations.”
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+ I’m not the one trying to undermine American democracy,” Mr. Trump told a cheering crowd after falsely accusing Democrats of stealing the 2020 election and railing against mail-in and absentee voting. “I’m the one who’s trying to save it. Please remember that.”
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+ The former president was accompanied by his daughter-in-law, Lara Trump, who had been eyeing an open Senate seat in her home state of North Carolina but took herself out of the running on Saturday night.
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+ “I’m saying no for now, not no forever,” Ms. Trump told the crowd. Mr. Trump said he had been waiting for her to make a decision, and he then endorsed Representative Ted Budd, who objected to the Jan. 6 Electoral College count, from the stage.
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  Mr. Trump’s first post-presidential rally is scheduled for later in June, followed by more appearances both for himself, paid for by his super PAC, and on behalf of House Republicans who support his agenda, advisers said.
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  He has been so eager for an audience that he is even billed as a speaker who will appear live, via Jumbotron, at a rally in New Richmond, Wis., where the other headliners are Diamond and Silk, the MAGA movement social media stars, and Dinesh D’Souza, who received a presidential pardon from Mr. Trump for a felony conviction of making illegal campaign contributions.
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- Despite the modest nature of some of the events he is interested in attaching his name to, even some his biggest detractors are loath to write him off.
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+ Despite the modest nature of some of the events he is interested in attaching his name to, even some of his biggest detractors are loath to write him off.
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  “I wish I was more confident it was ridiculous,” said Bill Kristol, a prominent “Never Trump” conservative. “It’s missing the forest through the trees to fail to see how strong he is.”
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  Both of his 2020 campaign managers, Bill Stepien and Brad Parscale, are on Mr. Trump’s payroll and still involved in his world. But Mr. Trump is episodically enraged with most members of his team.

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Headlines

  • At Once Diminished and Dominating, Trump Begins His Next Act
  • At Once Diminished and Dominating, Trump Prepares for His Next Act

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  • Biden, Joseph R Jr
  • Content Type: Personal Profile
  • North Carolina
  • Presidential Election of 2020
  • Republican Party
  • Rumors and Misinformation
  • Storming of the US Capitol (Jan, 2021)
  • Trump, Donald J
  • United States Politics and Government
  • Voter Fraud (Election Fraud)