A few days ago, seemingly out of nowhere, Donald Trump suddenly began hinting that he would somehow just magically remain in office if he loses the election. It was obviously a scare tactic, and it doesn’t take much to figure out that it’s an empty threat he can’t actually pull off. But now we seemingly know why he was looking to create such a distraction.
Like a bad poker player, Donald Trump has a tell. Whenever a major newspaper is about to publish a bombshell story about one of his scandals, that paper customarily asks the White House if Trump wants to provide comment for the story. This typically happens a day or two before publication.
Based on the timing, it’s now fairly clear that Donald Trump was asked for comment on the New York Times bombshell about his tax returns, right around the time that he suddenly began threatening to refuse to leave office. In other words, this was an attempt at distracting from the tax returns story, under the premise that the public can only pay attention to so many scandals at a time.
If anything, Trump jumped the gun and created his distraction too early; perhaps the New York Times waited a few extra days to publish the tax returns story out of respect for Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s passing. In any case, now we know why Trump tried to create such a scene. It didn’t work.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report