When this post goes live there will be three hours left in this miserable presidency, and he’s going out about how you would expect:
President Trump spent his final full day in office Tuesday the same way he spent many of his 1,460 prior days as president: brooding over imagined injustices, plotting retribution against perceived enemies and seeking ways to maximize his power.
But the same pathologies that abetted Trump’s political rise, animated his followers and became hallmarks of his turbulent single term have now, in the twilight of his presidency, left him a man diminished.
In an indication of his wounded state, the president who took office determined to be omnipresent in American life, with daily and at times hourly appearances before the press corps, was almost entirely absent from public view as he prepared to vacate the White House on Wednesday morning.
Trump has spent the past seven days effectively in hiding, apart from delivering a scripted farewell address that his staff recorded and released Tuesday afternoon. In the 19-minute speech, he acknowledged that his term as the 45th president is concluding and declared, “We did what we came here to do and so much more.”
In the two weeks since the riot, Trump has been disinclined to convene a final Cabinet meeting or a final news conference or a final coronavirus briefing because such events would remind people of his impending exit, aides said. And the president instructed his staff not to bring media members in for ceremonial events, such as awarding the Presidential Medal of Freedom or other accolades.
Another reason Trump has not held public events in his final days: Aides feel he is too volatile to interact freely with reporters. Trump is “just not in a place where they would go well,” according to a White House official.
And let’s not forget who will also have lost his access to power this afternoon: