President Donald Trump lost the presidential election 10 days ago. Since then, he’s done next to nothing — at least publicly — to suggest he plans to continue doing the job in any serious manner through January 20.
Trump has no public events on his schedule Tuesday, the 10th time since the election that’s been the case, according to CNN’s Kevin Liptak. And, as CNN’s Kaitlan Collins pointed out, it’s been two weeks since the President last took any questions from the reporters who cover him.
What has Trump filled his days with, you ask? Well here’s what we know:
1. Golf: Trump played golf at his club in Virginia twice this past weekend, which makes 283 days spent at a golf course during his presidency, according to CBS News’ Mark Knoller. Trump was also on the golf course the previous weekend, when Joe Biden was declared the winner of the 2020 race by CNN and other media outlets.
2. Tweeting: Trump has used his Twitter feed to push any number of disproven or entirely fact-free conspiracy theories about the election. (I won’t repeat them here.) While Trump was always an avid and active Twitter user, the pace of his tweets and retweets have picked up considerably post-election — as have the number of his tweets that are flagged by Twitter for being inaccurate.
Video: Former CIA director: I do worry what Trump might do in the future (CNN)
3. Controversial military decisions: On Monday, the Pentagon signaled that Trump was planning to draw down American troops in both Afghanistan and Iraq. (That decision goes directly against the advice of the military chain of command.) And according to The New York Times, Trump asked his top advisers for options to strike at Iran’s nuclear capabilities before he leaves office.
4. Firing people: Trump removed Secretary of Defense Mark Esper shortly after the election and has, since that time, carried out a series of removals at of civilian staff at the Defense department. He is also rumored to be weighing the possibility of firing CIA Director Gina Haspel and has openly speculated about removing FBI Director Christopher Wray.
And well, that’s about it.
So, since losing the election, Trump has effectively given up doing any parts of the job that require either consultation with people outside of his inner circle or interaction with anyone who won’t affirm his fantasy that he is actually not only winning the election but will eventually claim a second term.
One prime example: Talks with congressional leaders to arrive at a coronavirus stimulus deal, which were active in the run-up to the election, have gone dormant — with no signs they will begin again despite the clear need for more money to be pumped into the economy in order to withstand the ongoing effects of Covid-19 on the country.
What’s striking about Trump’s I’m-taking-my-ball-and-going-home approach since losing his bid for a second term is that he continues to fight like hell — publicly at least — to hold onto a job that he has shown zero interest in actually doing over the past two weeks.
Why the disconnect? My educated guess is that Trump hates the idea of losing or being termed a loser more than anything. And so, even if he doesn’t really like doing most of the job that the American public fired him from, he will fight like hell to keep the stink of losing off of him. Trump may not really want to do the whole “being president” thing anymore but his seeming lack of interest in the job is trumped, ahem, by his desire to continue what in his mind is a lifetime winning streak.
So Trump will keep fighting. And even after he leaves office, he may well float the idea of running again in 2024. Or even do it!
But what these past two weeks have proven is that Trump cares about the winning (and the losing) much more than the job itself. He likes being president. Just not the stuff you have to do to, you know, be the president.