WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump is discussing the launch of a 2024 campaign to reclaim the White House on inauguration day and omits the swearing-in of his successor at the talks, according to three people familiar.
The “preliminary planning” for the Jan. 20 event is underway to launch a new Trump bid, people in the talks said, although it is possible the president may announce earlier as a final decision has not yet been made.
Regardless of the timing of the announcement of the campaign, Trump is not expected to attend the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden, say people skilled in the discussions. He has no plans to invite Biden to the White House, or even call him, they said.
According to Biden’s interim officials, Trump’s participation in the inauguration or lack thereof will not affect their plans.
However, Trump is happy to think of an official commemoration of the 2024 campaign on inauguration day because it was then that he announced his re-election in 2017, people in the talks said.
Trump recently told some advisers that shortly after the Electoral College would meet on Dec. 14, he wanted to launch a 2024 campaign, people familiar with the discussions said. If you announce earlier, you can still hold a campaign-style event or rally on January 20th. The Daily Beast first reported that Trump could hold a rally on the inauguration day.
The Trump team was considering whether to extend the lease at its 2020 campaign headquarters in Virginia or relocate the small team left elsewhere, an acquaintance of the talks said.
Already, millions of dollars have been raised by its leading rescue policy action committee, “Saving America,” which was launched last month as an intermediary tool to fund its post-presidency plans. Although nearly 500 emails have been donated to find an “election defense fund,” the fine print states that up to 75 percent can turn to the new group.
The president told his aides and allies that he had been thrilled with fundraising since election day and, according to someone familiar with the discussions, encouraged the campaign to continue appealing in the coming weeks.
Biden’s helpers didn’t expect a traditional transition if he won the election. More specifically, there was no expectation that Trump would invite the elected president to the White House, and he had concerns about such a meeting during an epidemic, given the lack of security protocols followed in the West Wing. NBC News reported that Biden’s helpers found that any such meetings were likely to take place outside anyway.
It would be a rare, though not unprecedented, violation for the incumbent President not to take the oath of office of his successor. John Adams, John Quincy Adams and Andrew Johnson all skipped the event until he left the White House after Richard Nixon resigned and did not take the oath of office of Gerald Ford.