Donald Trump lost his Twitter account on Friday.
Shortly after, he reportedly lost his mind.
The president is “ballistic,” a senior administration official said after Twitter permanently took down his account, citing the possibility that it would be used in the final 12 days of Trump’s presidency to incite violence. The official said Trump was “scrambling to figure out what his options are.”
So too was much of the political universe, which has become bleary-eyed obsessive about Twitter these past four years as Trump used the medium to fire advisers, sink legislative initiatives, encourage social duress and, lastly, praise the scores of MAGA faithful, just days after hundreds of them violently ransacked the Capitol.
In a statement issued by the White House, Trump said he’d been “negotiating with various other sites” while “we also look at the possibilities of building out our own platform in the near future.” But aides did not reveal what plans were in the works. When Trump’s eldest son, Don Jr. offered up a URL to those hoping to keep tabs of his father’s whereabouts, it was a site that had been purchased in 2009 and, in recent years, a place where his books were sold. For those who did sign up, an email was sent, plugging his latest work: “Liberal Privilege”.
“As you know, the election is coming up,” it read, of the contest that took place two months ago.
For Trump, the Twitter ban was yet another inglorious passage to the final chapter of his presidency. Over the past two days, he’s been admonished by his own aides, chastised by Republicans, and threatened once more with impeachment.
Through it all, he’s been uncharacteristically quiet — banished temporarily at first from the main social media platforms but also unwilling to go out and speak before the press. The only times the public saw him were through awkwardly-edited White House produced-videos. In one, he urged for the rioting to end while clinging to the fiction that the election had been stolen from him. In another, he conceded he would not serve a second consecutive term.
There are no plans to immediately emerge from the cocoon either. One White House official said there were initial internal discussions between White House aides and Trump of doing a “last farewell interview.” But, the official added, “I’m not sure if they’re going to come to fruition,” much to the official’s chagrin.
“I don’t want the lasting impression of this administration to be what happened at the Capitol,” the official said. “We have a lot of accomplishments of this administration that should be highlighted so that we can leave a good final impression.”
The only acceptable end to Trump’s presidency is him behind bars.
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