On Saturday evening, Donald Trump, the former president and current leader of the GOP, is scheduled to deliver another one of his red-meat-hurling, post-presidency speeches at the North Carolina Republican Party’s annual convention. And there is one particular morsel that various Trump advisers and confidants are praying that the twice-impeached former president does not serve to his followers this weekend—or, ever.
“I conveyed something [to Trump] to the effect of, ‘It would be a terrible idea to even say the word, ‘August’ [at Saturday’s event],” said a person who is still in contact with the Republican ex-president.
In the time since New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman tweeted on Monday that “Trump has been telling a number of people he’s in contact with that he expects he will get reinstated by August,” several close allies of the former president have made a point of getting in touch with Trump to deliver a simple message, according to three sources familiar with the matter.
The message: Whoever is trying to get in your ear to tell you that you could be “reinstated” in the White House by August, or at any time during President Joe Biden’s term in office, doesn’t know what they’re talking about, and repeating their deranged theories in public could be used against you by your enemies. Furthermore, they told him, it would be better to focus on the 2022 midterm elections and, subsequently, the 2024 presidential race.
These knowledgeable sources said that the people close to Trump who’ve sought to dissuade him from talking about this publicly have counseled him gently and diplomatically, determining that pushing too hard could risk inadvertently nudging the mercurial ex-president towards actually talking about it.
The idea that Trump would be “reinstated” in a few weeks is the stuff of MAGA fan fiction—but that hasn’t stopped Trump from privately entertaining the baseless August theory. He has claimed the theory is something that many “highly respected” people have recently assured him is possible (once the nonexistent evidence of massive 2020 voter fraud is finally revealed), as The Daily Beast reported this week. The former president has refused to accept reality and admit that he legitimately lost the last U.S. presidential election, and has spearheaded the Republican Party’s anti-democratic crusade that kicked into high gear in November and continues to this day.
The theory of Trump’s August re-ascension to power, which is being promoted by a segment of MAGA diehards and election dead-enders, isn’t based on any particular intel or insider gossip, even. It’s based on a guess.
In an interview with The Daily Beast earlier this week, MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell, a mega Trump ally who helped fund several efforts to overturn Biden’s victory, said, “If Trump is saying August, that is probably because he heard me say it publicly.”
He continued, “The month of August, for this, is subjective…but I don’t know if it’ll be that month, specifically…I spoke about it with my lawyers who said that they should have something ready for us to bring before the U.S. Supreme Court by July. So, in my mind, I hope that means that we could have Donald Trump back in the White House by August. That’s how I landed on August, and I’m hopeful that that is correct.”
Several advisers to Trump would only want him to mention August or “reinstatement” on Saturday, or any day, if he were to quickly deny that this kind of reinstallation is possible. But as of Friday evening, Trump’s office had yet to release a statement pushing back on this week’s reporting that he believes this, even though the former president hasn’t been shy about commenting on recent news items that he alleges are incorrect.
As of the start of this weekend, those in Trump’s social and political orbits who spoke to The Daily Beast did not know for sure if the ex-president would veer off-script on Saturday and say something about August or reinstatement that would cause them severe headaches. One of the sources who still talks to Trump said they discussed it with him not long after Haberman posted her tweet, expecting Trump to say the reporting was “bullshit” or “fake news,” only to have the ex-president decline to knock it down.
“I have and continue to be a strong supporter of President Trump’s,” Robert Jeffress, a Dallas megachurch pastor who advised Trump during his administration, said on Friday afternoon. “I would love to see him back in the White House in 2024, but I believe there is no benefit to relitigating the last election. We need to be concentrated on winning the next election. People need to engage and deal with reality, not fantasy. I know the president to be an extremely intelligent person, one of the smartest people I’ve ever known, and I would doubt seriously the reports that he believes he’s going to be reinstated in August.”
For Jeffress and other Trump associates, they may soon find out just how much the former president buys that fantasy.