Trump biographer: President ‘doesn’t have the appetite to stay in it now because he knows it’s over’

Trump biographer: President ‘doesn’t have the appetite to stay in it now because he knows it’s over’
Shinzo Abe and Donald Trump playing golf

It is highly irregular for President Donald J. Trump to remain mum on any subject, given his standard overture of exhausting lust for the spotlight. On average, Trump spoke 48 minutes on camera every day in 2020, according to Bill Frischling, who owns Factba.se, a website that tracks all of his speeches and movements.

Since the election on Nov. 3, Trump has reportedly only spent 50 minutes on camera in total, The Washington Post reported Sunday. It appears Trump's constant cache of controversy is being underscored by the threat of something bigger: an undeniable loss that will unseat him on Jan. 20.

"Definitively, it is the quietest period of the presidency," Frischling said. "It's the longest stretch between events and it's the least number. Everything is off from the average universe. He spoke more in 2020 than previous years, and he's way down if you compare him to previous years or 2020."

According to the Post, "Trump has not left the Washington area since his election loss, eschewing his annual trip to Mar-a-Lago for Thanksgiving, where an ostentatious dinner underneath the chandeliers of his gilded Florida club was usually part family gathering, part publicity event."

Trump did manage to pull off a brief appearance at the virtual Group of 20 summit this weekend, speaking to other world leaders for a few minutes, looking downward at his phone during the proceedings and leaving early both days, aides and diplomats said. He chose to skip the special session regarding the coronavirus pandemic to play golf instead.

"Just arrived at Virtual G20. Was here yesterday also (early), but some of the Fake News Media failed to report it accurately – as usual. My speech is available (they said I didn't make a speech)," Trump tweeted Sunday.


The Post reported that they asked for the speech, however, the White House did not provide it.

As the sound of silence echoes through the nation, White House spokeswoman Sarah Matthews said the president is "hard at work fulfilling the promises he made to the American people and building on his unprecedented accomplishments as he works to rebuild our economy, lower drug costs, end the endless foreign wars by bringing our troops home, and deliver on his ambitious goal to have a safe and effective covid-19 vaccine before the end of the year."

"Advisers say he is trying to figure out what to say and what to do," the Post reported. "Unlike 2016, when Trump doubted he would win, he is genuinely surprised by the defeat, advisers say. Over the past few weeks of the campaign, advisers on Air Force One repeatedly told the president he was going to win because of the large crowds at his rallies and showed him favorable polling. Trump mused about how he would mock the pundits and his critics after the election when he won again, advisers said."

"It's about what serves his needs, not about what moves policy forward. He doesn't have the appetite to stay in it now because he knows it's over," said longtime Trump biographer and critic Tim O'Brien. "His only goal is to try and taint the election. So if he goes back to his base and runs again, so he can say Biden didn't really beat me, that's all he wanted out of this. He doesn't want to have to do all the dirty work himself."

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. AlterNet’s journalists work tirelessly to counter the traditional corporate media narrative. We’re here seven days a week, 365 days a year. And we’re proud to say that we’ve been bringing you the real, unfiltered news for 20 years—longer than any other progressive news site on the Internet.

It’s through the generosity of our supporters that we’re able to share with you all the underreported news you need to know. Independent journalism is increasingly imperiled; ads alone can’t pay our bills. AlterNet counts on readers like you to support our coverage. Did you enjoy content from David Cay Johnston, Common Dreams, Raw Story and Robert Reich? Opinion from Salon and Jim Hightower? Analysis by The Conversation? Then join the hundreds of readers who have supported AlterNet this year.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure AlterNet remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to AlterNet, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.

DonateDonate by credit card

Close

Don't Sit on the Sidelines of History. Join Alternet All Access and Go Ad-Free. Support Honest Journalism.