Sequestered in the White House following a series of high-profile resignations and the deadly riot at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday that he openly ignited, and with under two weeks left in his time in office, Donald Trump is so far undeterred by the fact he could soon become the first American president to get impeached twice by the House of Representatives. Instead, he’s determined to remain in office and make himself look good—body count aside. According to a source with direct knowledge of the matter, the president at one point in the White House on Friday “literally yelled” the words, “I’M NOT GOING TO RESIGN,” before launching into a tirade about how Democratic lawmakers will regret their push to impeach him a second time, and that they are hurting “the country” by doing so.
Two other people familiar with the situation say Trump made other similar comments this week or gave no indication that he was worried about leaving early or a removal. Trump, the two sources said, also predicted that it was, to him, a pointless endeavor since the soon-to-be Democratic-controlled Senate, currently in GOP hands, would never convict him in another impeachment trial, and asked advisers if they agreed with him.
In addition to mounting calls for his resignation or invocation of the 25th Amendment to remove him from office, Trump now faces possible investigation for incitement to riot for his comments to supporters before Wednesday’s storming of the Capitol.
Since Friday, the president has also been livid at Twitter for banning his @realDonaldTrump account, demanding to know if there were legal remedies to the permanent suspension, those close to Trump say.
White House spokespeople did not respond to a request for comment on Saturday afternoon. But campaign aide Jason Miller, a current senior adviser to Trump, told The Daily Beast on Saturday evening, “Be careful of what you wish for. Big Tech, Big Media, and their friends in the national Democratic Party have a unique ability to overreach, resulting in a strengthening of President Trump’s political base.”
In the days since the pro-Trump riot and its death toll, as well as in the recent days of a coronavirus surge in the United States, the outgoing president has been consumed by his standard diet of personal grievance and plans to promote and brag about what he deems his “amazing achievements,” even as some top members of his own party start distancing themselves from his mess.
According to two sources with knowledge of the matter, the president and several close advisers are now discussing the possibility of Trump sitting for multiple media interviews in the coming days, in an attempt to boast about his time in office, including with one potential interview they're hoping will focus on the Middle East deals he and his son-in-law, senior White House adviser Jared Kushner, helped to strike.
However, various current and former Trump officials who don’t think he should resign immediately feel that he should just get out of the picture now before President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration.
Asked if the president should resign, Barry Bennett, who served as a senior Trump adviser during the 2016 campaign, said on Saturday, “No. But go to Florida and stay. This is not a time to escalate the boiling anger across the country. Smart leaders will understand that anger on both sides is the real threat to our country. Not Trump. Escalation is not unlike what he did. We can’t afford to go any further down this road…If it’s not too late.”