Trump Makes His First Official Move

Establishes 'Office of the Former President' to manage affairs
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 26, 2021 6:25 AM CST
Updated Jan 26, 2021 6:44 AM CST
Trump Makes His First Official Move
On the last day of his presidency, Donald Trump and Melania Trump walk to board Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House.   (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Donald Trump's post-presidential life began taking shape Monday as he established "The Office of the Former President," reports the Hill. Its stated goal will be to manage Trump's public appearances, correspondence, public statements, and official activities. While former presidents typically open such offices, Trump is the first to claim the generic title rather than use his own name, notes the Orlando Sentinel. The office will be in Florida's Palm Beach County, home of Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort, though it wasn't immediately clear whether the office will actually be at Mar-a-Lago. Trump himself continues to keep a low profile—he's been spotted playing golf and tennis—and the New York Times reports that he has talked to aides about wanting to take a break for several months.

Don't be surprised if that doesn't happen, however. As the Times notes, Trump suddenly has fresh opportunities to make his mark on the GOP: Ohio Sen. Rob Portman just announced he won't run for re-election, and Trump ally Sarah Huckabee Sanders has launched a campaign for governor in Arkansas. More generally, the former president is expected to focus on punishing House GOP members who bucked him on impeachment, especially Liz Cheney. Meanwhile, Politico reports that a former top political aide to Trump, Brian Jack, has been spreading the word that Trump does not intend to form a third political party and will instead focus on influencing the GOP. It's seen as a warning of sorts to Senate Republicans who might consider voting against Trump on impeachment that they would face retribution in upcoming primaries. (More Donald Trump stories.)

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