Behind closed doors in Mar-a-Lago, former President Donald Trump has told friends and confidants he loves the idea of authorities exposing him to hordes of reporters and news cameras. He even openly considered whether he should smile at the media and considered how the audience would react and was said to have described the potential show as an interesting experience.
No one is quite sure if his comments were bragging or genuine resignation about what lies ahead. If you were really looking forward to it, you might be disappointed.
There’s no indication, even if Trump is indicted, that authorities will bring him into the storied New York City police tradition known to detectives and crime reporters alike: ushering in freshly arrested detainees in front of a group of reporters.
If Trump is charged and turns himself in, arrangements could potentially be made between the Secret Service and law enforcement to prevent a media circus.
Another person who spoke with Trump, who was not authorized to speak, said the former president was less interested in the details of where he would appear than in securing the opportunity to show the public he was not indulging in shame.
As he awaits potential criminal indictment, making him the first current or former US president to face criminal charges, Trump often seems detached from the seriousness of his potential legal troubles, according to people who have spent time with him in the US. the last days.
The Republican has been spotted cruising around his Palm Beach, Florida resort in his golf cart, and one recent night DJ threw a party to his personally curated Spotify playlists, which often include music by the Rolling Stones. and “The Phantom of the Opera”.
When Trump zeroed in on the case — one of four criminal investigations in Georgia, New York and Washington now pitting the frontrunner for the GOP presidential nomination — he did so to show strength and avoid any hint of shame over his circumstances. An approach that reflects his approach to recurring political crises and his talent for creating dramatic moments made for television.
And seeing Trump after his court appearance could galvanize his supporters, whom the former president urged over the weekend to protest his arrest.
“He wants to be defiant, to show the world that if they can try to do it to him, they can do it to anyone,” said one person who spoke to Trump over the weekend. A Trump campaign spokesman did not respond to a request for comment.
Trump felt empowered and angry at the prospect of being arrested, according to those who spoke to him. He also enjoyed a certain amount of magical thinking.
For decades, according to people who worked with him at the Trump Organization, the former president, who was first criminally investigated in the 1970s, was clearly afraid of arrest. He has spent years training officials who could influence investigations into him or his company.
Trump has discussed the possibility that his recent pressure campaign, a series of unproven and provocative personal attacks he has launched on investigators, Democrats and Republicans, could persuade Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg to withdraw from the case.
This idea, according to legal experts, is highly unlikely, but Trump has a long record of believing he can manipulate external events according to his will, and he has sometimes succeeded.
Bragg, who was a senior official in the New York Attorney General’s office who filed a series of lawsuits against the Trump administration, has stated publicly that his legal decisions will not be affected by politics.
For now, Trump seems content to follow his own formula for crisis communications, one that eschews long-term planning for short-term gain.
The former boss has always stressed the importance of winning the next starter at almost any cost and with no regard for what happens next.
On Saturday morning, the former president kicked off a frantic news cycle by announcing on social media that he would be arrested within three days. Trump then visited a nearby golf course, letting his team explain that he had no direct knowledge of the timing of the arrest.
By Saturday afternoon, Trump had evaded controversy by flying to the exact location of another former political humiliation: the Central Bank of Korea Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where a slim crowd turned out for his first pandemic-era rally on Sept. 20, 2020.
This time, Trump wasn’t standing apart from the crowd but strolling through it, his dark blue suit and red tie contrasting with a crowd dressed mostly in T-shirts, T-shirts, and T-shirts watching the NCAA wrestling tournaments. section One.
He chatted with the fighters after their bouts, met some of the coaches and listened to some short chants in his honour, a performance meant to project arrogance and disguise any concerns about a suspended suspension.
“He’s totally focused on the fighters,” one staff member commented.
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