Politics - News Analysis
REPORT: Trump Probably Won’t Build a Presidential Library and No One is Surprised
Bloomberg reports on an interesting and well-deserved complication for all things Trump and MAGA and this one impacts his future as a presidential candidate and should be watched.
As everyone knows, all modern presidents build a library. It is a place to hold all their papers, major documents, videos of speeches, communications, all centered in one location for scholarly research, for historians, and for the general public. These are not regular libraries like the type found in your neighborhood. These are palatial institutions employing large numbers of people, with costs that run into the hundreds of millions. Perfect, for a billionaire “builder,” right?
Hardly, and not just because Trump wouldn’t know the difference between a library and a chicken plant.
Trump is the first modern president who doesn’t see the election as a rejection of his presidency and so he doesn’t see it as time to retire. Of course, not. He wants all the MAGAs hanging on the possibility that he’s making a comeback, which makes it easier to fleece them for money. A library would look like Trump conceding that he’s done as president. Thus, how could he possibly start now?
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Presidential library historian and expert Anthony Clark doesn’t see a way, and states in the report, “Once he says, ‘I am going to be raising money for my library,’ he’s given up even the pretense of trying to run again.”
Plus, all that building stuff is just complicated, and one had to start earlier, as president, when you could really twist arms for donations to the library.
From Clark again in Bloomberg:
Clark said he doubts that Trump will ever have a presidential library because of how expensive and complicated they are to build, how difficult it is to secure a location and because he didn’t start raising money and planning before leaving office as other presidents did.
Planning? Raising money? One almost has to have a non-profit entity set up so that one doesn’t have to pay taxes on it and hire people to organize everything. Except, can Trump even run a charitable non-profit?
Trump agreed to pay $2 million in damages and shut down the Donald J. Trump Foundation in New York as part of a settlement in 2019 after allegations that he violated state rules governing nonprofits by spending money improperly, including buying a portrait of himself at a charity auction.
The former president’s political committees also raised more than $225 million after the 2020 election by telling supporters the money was needed to “stop the steal” through court fights. But his campaign disclosed spending just $8.8 million on legal expenses for recounts and court challenges, with most of the money still available to Trump for political activities as he ponders his next moves.
We agree with the expert. There is not going to be a library, at least not one in Trump’s lifetime, and probably never. Fitting, the guy who was the first president to miss his successor’s swearing-in, the first to on and on, will also be the first guy in modern history unable, not unwilling, simply unable to get a library done.
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