What Donald Trump’s Life Is Like Since Leaving The Presidency
A solid argument can be made that, in his life post-presidency, Donald Trump is facing a reckoning — one that cannot be erased like his cameo in Home Alone 2. For years, the former reality star dodged debt and shrugged off his business failures, building resorts and residences on a solid foundation of colleagues who had allegedly been shortchanged.
According to Bloomberg, the newfound politician planned to “run the White House just like he’s run his business.” In a way, it was one of the few campaign promises he kept as he racked up both enemies and debt at a rapid pace. “You’re fired,” Trump’s renowned Apprentice catchphrase, became a regular occurrence as staffers filtered in and out of the administration (some with bitter stories that ended up becoming best-sellers). The Washington Post claims his “most enduring legacy” may just be a “historic rise in national debt,” which climbed nearly $7.8 trillion during his term.
President Joe Biden moved swiftly to start removing the controversial footprint of his predecessor (including his reported Diet Coke button, which is a shockingly better use of the same technology that Matt Lauer allegedly had in his 30 Rock office). Though his first and only term is over, Trump’s problems seemingly have just begun.
Joe Biden quickly took aim at Donald Trump's legacy
Donald Trump is a man of many legacies, including a stint as a failed steak salesman, the owner of an allegedly fraudulent university, a shuttered palace in the middle of Atlantic City, and his place among a very limited number of one-term presidents. Though he’s made history as the first president to be impeached twice, the fact that he ever managed to hold the position in the first place is unequivocally his most notable endeavor. So, what happens to that political legacy now?
Few would want to leave behind little more than a partially-built border wall, an unfettered pandemic, and a wake of lawsuits, but Trump isn’t just anyone. The former reality star appeared to cling onto the presidency until the 11th hour, peddling claims of voter fraud, falsely declaring himself the winner of the election, and arguably inciting an insurrection, which is the subject of his second impeachment trial. His efforts were to no avail, and hours after Joe Biden took his presidential oath, he began erasing some of Trump’s most prized policies.
According to The New York Times, Biden signed 17 executive orders aimed at “[reversing] the gravest damages” caused by Trump, effectively starting the process of eradicating his legacy. This included rejoining the Paris Climate Agreement and remaining a part of the World Health Organization, ending the travel ban on predominately Muslim countries, halting construction of the border wall, and strengthening the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.
Donald Trump is permanently banned from Twitter
When Joe Biden’s Peloton bike and rescue dog made headlines, it became clear that the country was — hopefully — finding itself back in a world where tan suits and Dijon mustard caused scandals rather than world leaders threatening nuclear war with button-measuring contests on Twitter. Nature was healing, and that may partially be because Twitter slammed down its banhammer.
Donald Trump’s use of the platform became synonymous with his presidency, and he regularly used it to peddle conspiracy theories, circumvent the need for official press briefings, embolden his base, and cyberbully his critics. His account was so ubiquitous that The New York Times kept a 598-item list of the “people, places, and things” he “insulted” using the platform. Sadly, those days have come to an end, and if Trump is slowly descending into madness while watching Fox News from his room in Mar-a-Lago, none of us get to see it.
Two days after Trump proclaimed “you will never take back our country with weakness” just before his rioting supporters stormed the Capitol, Twitter announced that it was permanently suspending his account “due to the risk of further incitement of violence.” This, of course, didn’t sit well, and Trump tried to send messages through his campaign and digital director before their accounts were also suspended. Twitter wasn’t alone in its actions, though. The former president was also booted from YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook, though his future on those platforms is up in the air.
Donald Trump's supporters are jumping ship
Since the attempted insurrection, former President Donald Trump has found himself at odds with a number of his most fervent supporters. Even weeks before the assault on the U.S. Capitol, Axios ran the shocking headline “Trump turns on everyone.” Who’s everyone? This reportedly includes former Vice President Mike Pence, who certified the election results; former chief of staff Mark Meadows, former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and even Sen. Mitch McConnell, who’s long been one of Trump’s most vocal champions. The thing is: Trump didn’t just turn on his allies, they started turning on him, too.
According to The New York Times, “McConnell privately back[ed]” Trump’s second impeachment. Fox News seemingly jumped ship, and even Rudy Giuliani, who once gracefully stood in the parking of Four Seasons Total Landscaping, trying his best to shield the cameras from the adjacent adult toy shop as he gave his now-infamous press conference, was scorned.
In the weeks leading up to his second impeachment, Fox News reported that Trump had “no lawyer to defend him.” At the time of this writing, he appears to be feuding with his longtime attorney. Officials told The Washington Post that Trump “instructed his aides not to pay Giuliani’s legal fees” and was upset with the $20,000 per day charge for the former NYC mayor’s “work attempting to overturn the election.” In return for his efforts, Giuliani faces disbarment pending an investigation.
Home sweet Mar-a-Lago
Let’s not forget that Donald Trump once allegedly claimed he would refuse to leave the White House, a similar phrase New Yorkers have repeated to themselves before ditching the wafting smell of garbage and retiring to Florida. Never say never. Though the Secret Service was prepared for the former president to barricade himself in the Oval Office like Julian Assange in the Ecuadorian embassy, the moving trucks eventually came, and the Trumps hightailed it to a modest retirement community known as Mar-a-Lago. And as soon as Melania Trump hit that Florida soil, she floated away, ignoring the press and leaving Donald in the dust.
Donald didn’t so much gracefully exit the White House as he slithered away, eschewing tradition and refusing to attend Joe Biden’s inauguration. Like Sex and the City’s Jack Berger, who famously dumped Carrie Bradshaw on a Post-It, the real estate mogul did supposedly write his predecessor a “very generous” note, according to USA Today. As reported by The New York Times, Melania, who entered the White House months after her husband, also “checked out early,” leaving incoming first lady, Jill Biden, to fend for herself as she transitioned into her new home.
Newsweek reports that when the former first couple landed in Florida, they were met by crowds of cheering supporters, who lined the streets between the airport and Mar-a-Lago. For a moment, it was almost as if what happened in Washington was nothing more than a fever dream — but that moment did not last.
Donald Trump is already fighting with his Mar-a-Lago neighbors
Though it may have initially appeared that Trump supporters welcomed the former first couple to Palm Beach, Fla. with open arms, that wasn’t exactly the case. Former President Donald Trump’s base — at least in the Sunshine State — appears to be dwindling, particularly in the posh community he may soon call home. According to The New York Times, “only a small group of supporters” showed up at the airport to watch him land, and it was nowhere near the number of “local Republicans” who left the party after the insurrection at the Capitol (to be exact, a reported 1,488 of them jumped ship). “Nobody that I’ve spoken to is looking forward to him coming back to Palm Beach,” Richard J. Stein, a local real estate agent, told the outlet.
As of this writing, Trump’s fledgling Mar-a-Lago retirement has already been marred by a feud with the neighbors, who view his presence as a harbinger of traffic jams. According to The Washington Post, the owners of the club’s neighboring property are trying to force him out, claiming he’s got no legal right to live there because it’s not a residential property. Apparently, in the 1990s, Trump signed an agreement converting Mar-a-Lago “from his private residence to a private club.” Still, his issues with the neighbors are nothing new, stemming as far back as the giant flagpole he erected that ignored local height limits. Oh, to be a fly on the wall of that homeowners association meeting.
NYC want's nothing to do with Donald Trump, either
If Donald Trump’s neighbors win, and he’s booted from Mar-a-Lago, it’s unclear exactly where the alleged billionaire will live. The real estate mogul has essentially been exiled from his former kingdom of New York City — but he’s the one who exiled himself. Throughout his presidency, the New York native has framed his birthplace as an enemy, threatening to withhold federal funds and life-saving coronavirus vaccines from the state. Governor Andrew Cuomo even went as far as saying New Yorkers think he’s “the worst president.”
“Forget bodyguards, [Trump] better have an army if he thinks he’s going to walk down the streets in New York,” Cuomo said (via Politico), adding, “He is persona non grata in New York City, and I think he knows that, and he’ll never come back to New York, because New Yorkers will never forget how gratuitously mean he has been.”
Trump may have no plans to live in New York, but he was still technically working there — emphasis on the was. After the insurrection at the Capitol, NYC mayor Bill de Blasio announced that he was cancelling all of the Trump Organization’s contracts with the city. This included “agreements to operate the Central Park Carousel, Wollman and Lasker skating rinks, and Ferry Point Golf Course.” “The City of New York will not be associated with those unforgivable acts in any shape, way or form,” de Blasio said.
Donald Trump's second impeachment trial is looming
While Melania Trump is unpacking boxes at Mar-a-Lago, former President Donald Trump is gearing up for his second impeachment trial — a brand new historic milestone, fit for a brand new lawyer. Per ABC News, Rudy Giuliani initially claimed to be on the president’s defense team, but experts warned that the former president would likely be convicted if his longtime attorney led the charge. More importantly, Giuliani could be called as a witness, especially because he was the one who called for “trial by combat” prior to the insurrection, according to The Hill.
Since then, Trump has hired Butch Bowers, a lawyer from South Carolina. It’s not clear if anyone else will be joining the former president’s legal team, but we do know that the real estate mogul does not have his usual support in Congress. According to CNN, the GOP — which was once unified in its seemingly unconditional admiration for Trump — has fractured. An anonymous Republican member of congress told the network that Mitch McConnell “wants Trump gone” even though the former senate majority leader suggested delaying the trial.
At the time of this writing, USA Today reports that Trump’s impeachment trial is scheduled for February 2020. In order for the former president to be convicted, it would take just 17 Republican senators to join the 50 Democrats, who all, presumably, will vote to convict.
A pardon can't save Donald Trump now
Remember way back in 2019, when Donald Trump wasn’t charged in Robert Mueller’s Russian interference probe? As Vox reports, that was at least partly because it’s against the Justice Department’s policy to prosecute a sitting president. With those legal protections gone, and investigations ramping up, the former president faces a murky legal future.
According to Reuters, the businessman was mulling over the idea of a self-pardon for any charges related to on-going investigations; however, that would’ve only protected him on federal level. That means the onus to prosecute would be on the states, who are already aggressively pursuing Trump for various suspected crimes. Most notably, as The New York Times reports, Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr. has “been fighting in court for more than a year to obtain Trump’s personal and corporate tax returns.” The week before President Biden’s inauguration, CNN reported that the investigation widened to include the Trumps’ Westchester compound, and though we don’t know the exact focus of the investigation, court papers suggest it’s related to insurance, tax, and bank fraud.
Beyond that, The New York Times reports that prosecutors in Georgia are contemplating a criminal investigation into the former president’s alleged attempt to overturn the state’s election results. This is directly related to the now-infamous phone call where Trump urged Brad Raffensperger, Georgia’s secretary of state, to “find 11,780 votes.” Raffensperger reportedly “dismissed the president’s baseless claims of fraud.” For Trump, time could be running out.
More money, more problems
Donald Trump is still a billionaire, but the former reality star is reportedly only a fraction as wealthy as he was when he first took office. According to Forbes, his net worth dipped by $600 million (or nearly 20%) in 2020 to just $2.5 billion. He’s inching his way to the very bottom of the Forbes 400. Move over Jeff Bezos, or actually, don’t bother.
While Trump undeniably has enough cash that Barron probably won’t end up with a mountain of student debt, these losses could be the tip of the iceberg. According to Forbes, the Trump Organization was regularly unloading between $32 million and $53 million worth of real estate year over year. In 2020, they “sold almost nothing,” but his golf and resort properties struggled to make up the deficit. According to The New York Times, they were losing money prior to the pandemic, but it got much worse when they were forced to “drastically reduce hotel occupancy” and “close some restaurants and bars” as the virus spread. The red icing on the debt cake? Following the violent riot at the Capitol, the PGA moved its May 2022 championships away from the Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, NJ.
The New York Times reports that over the next few years, Trump has “more than $300 million in debt coming due,” which he’s “personally guaranteed.” The real question is whether or not he’ll be able to pay it as his most precious lenders cut ties.
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