A typical day in the Divided States of America: The New York Times is reporting that Donald Trump — in case you’ve forgotten, the previous president — has been telling friends and associates that he will be “reinstated” by August.
“He can simply be reinstated,” Sidney Powell told a meeting of QAnon, whose slogan is “Where the inmates run the asylum.” “Biden is told to move out of the White House, and President Trump should be moved back in,” she went on. “I’m sure there’s not going to be credit for time lost, unfortunately, because the Constitution itself sets the date for inauguration, but he should definitely get the remainder of his term and make the best of it.”
Never mind that the Constitution sets a four-year term for the presidency, “reinstate” is the trending word these days in wild and wacky Trumpworld.
“It is my hope that Donald Trump is reinstated, after all the proof comes out, by the end of August,” said Mike Lindell, the My Pillow Guy, who has strange dreams. By the way, he first made his declaration on Steve Bannon’s podcast. Need I say more?
And Lindell is taking credit for predicting Trump’s triumphant return, although he thinks that Trump would have to go through the judicial process. And never mind that the Supreme Court refused to consider every effort to even hear Trump’s fantasy that the election was stolen from him, a belief he allegedly still holds to this day. If so, his next project might be renaming his residence the Mar-a-Lago-Madhouse. It’s more probable that he’s really too embarrassed to admit he lied about the whole thing.
Whichever it is, one of Trump’s early cast of characters was Lt. Gen. Mike Flynn, his first national security adviser. Flynn didn’t last very long, because he got caught lying to the FBI.
Well, after President Trump pardoned him, Flynn is still rattling around. He spoke at that same QAnon conference and had his own ideas for “reinstatement” … a coup d’etat: “No reason, I mean, it should happen here. No reason. That’s right.” To be clear, he was responding to an audience member who was suggesting a military takeover, like Myanmar’s. After an uproar, including calls for sedition prosecution, Flynn beat a hasty retreat on Parler, one of the only social media platforms available to him: “Let me be VERY CLEAR — There is NO reason whatsoever for any coup in America, and I do not and have not at any time called for any action of that sort.”
Remember that Flynn led the Defense Intelligence Agency from 2012 to 2014, until he was forced to retire from the military. It begs the question why he headed the powerful agency for two years during the Obama administration. But in 2016, he declared his allegiance to Donald Trump. His main function at Trump rallies was to whip the supporters into a frenzy, charging Hillary Clinton with all manner of crimes and leading the crowd in chants of “Lock her up!”
Don’t worry; there is no evidence that Donald Trump will be “reinstated” by this August, or any other August through 2024. First of all, his successor Joe Biden enjoys a 54 percent job approval rating in the polls. Secondly, the job is methodically cleaning up the mess created by the Great Divider.
Trump’s support, meanwhile, is slipping even among Republicans, who are possibly puzzled by the changing stories of their congressional leaders. For instance, they blocked an investigation into the Jan. 6 insurrection at the Capitol, which could be considered the start of Flynn’s coup.
Donald Trump’s role in that debacle is still debated. Meanwhile, his participation in the Trump Organization’s alleged scams and what transpired during his presidency probably won’t lead to his “reinstatement” either, particularly while his legal status is so precarious. It’s tough making a comeback while you’re being prosecuted.
(Bob Franken is an Emmy Award-winning reporter who covered Washington for more than 20 years with CNN.)
© 2021 Bob Franken
Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.