Donald Trump’s Influence Is Fading

You’d be forgiven for thinking that the first anniversary of the January 6 attack on the US Capitol would be a day reserved for solemn reflection. However, former President Donald Trump seems to think it should be a day when we all pay attention to him.

Trump plans to mark him with one of his favorite indulgences: a news conference in which he will likely repeat lies about the election he lost and attack fellow Republicans who disagree with him.

“I will have a press conference on January 6 at Mar-a-Lago to discuss all of these points, and more,” the former president said in a statement so clogged with outlandish claims and outlandishness that it reads as if he dictated it in one go. sigh.

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Holding the press conference is an appalling choice that dishonors those who died in the battle between the police and Trump loyalists who wanted to prevent Congress from certifying President Joe Biden’s electoral victory.

But Trump has two apparent goals: He wants to perpetuate false claims of voter fraud, and he wants to rewrite history with the lie that the attack was merely an “unarmed protest” in response to the “rigged election,” as his press release puts it. By making these false claims, he also wants to tighten his grip on the Republican Party by criticizing those who refuse to accept his alternate version of reality.

On both counts, the Trump stunt suggests that a man operates not from a place of confidence and strength, but from anxiety and confusion. Anyone who follows the House Select Committee on January 6 would understand why.

News from the commission indicates they are focused on Trump and his inner circle, with the possibility that they may make criminal referrals to the Justice Department, sources told CNN. Meanwhile, key figures such as rally organizer Ali Alexander cooperate with the commission.

It is clear that the former president wants to strengthen his position within the party, but considering his efforts to stay relevant in the last year, it is safe to say that his power is limited.

Sure, Trump has played a huge role in shaping the Republican Party; his lies about voter fraud have taken hold within the party, Republican-controlled states have passed a series of laws restricting voters, and he has ushered in an era of growing extremism. But now that he no longer holds the highest office in the country, Trump himself is far from the kingmaker he wants to be.

Looking back over the year, Trump’s attempts to wield his power over the GOP have been spotty. All statewide attempts to overturn the 2020 election results have failed, and when the former president pressed the Texas governor to move forward on voter audit legislation, he got nowhere.

Meanwhile, his chosen candidate for the US Senate seat in Pennsylvania has suspended his campaign amid allegations of domestic abuse. And in Alabama, his support for Senate candidate Mo Brooks seems to have little effect (you’ll remember Trump’s weakness was on display in Alabama in 2017 when his US Senate picks lost in both the primary and general elections). ).

Trump booed for saying he got a booster dose of the vaccine 0:53

Other Trump setbacks include his candidate’s failure in a special congressional election in Texas. And those who are fighting primary battles against incumbent Republicans who voted to impeach Trump after the Jan. 6 insurrection are struggling with fundraising.

In the most glaring example, Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming, a member of the Jan. 6 commission—a Republican who may top Trump’s enemies list—has 10 times more campaign cash than her Trump-backed rival, according to estimates. Most recent filings from the Federal Election Commission for October.

In Washington, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, the most powerful Republican in office, appears to be distancing himself from Trump. He recently expressed interest in the commission’s effort on January 6 to “reveal all the participants who were involved,” adding, “It was a horrendous event, and I think what they’re looking for is something the public needs to know.”

Trump and his television allies have bombarded McConnell with criticism for months. And despite the former president recently declaring McConnell a “disaster” who should be replaced, Republican senators seem unwilling to do so, according to Politico.

To understand the state of Trumpism almost a year after January 6, we can also look at his recent conferences. Trump teamed up with former Fox News host Bill O’Reilly to launch a “historic tour,” but they failed to sell enough tickets to fill some of the seats. In Dallas, some audience members booed Trump when he said he had received a booster shot against Covid-19.

O’Reilly said he had reassured Trump about his position on vaccines earlier in the day.

After the weak performance in the political races, the resistance of McConnell, the tireless investigation of the commission on January 6 and the shock of hearing jeers in an arena that did not sell out, it is not surprising that Trump is planning a press conference to commemorate the anniversary of the horrific attack on the United States Capitol.

You may be in balmy Palm Beach, Florida, where the sun is shining on your Mar-A-Lago resort, but you desperately need the warmth brought by the media attention and controversies it will inevitably stir up.

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