Trump mulls a future outside the White House as 2020 options fade
By Steve Holland WASHINGTON (Reuters) - With his long-shot efforts to hang on for a second term dwindling, U.S.
By Steve Holland
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - With his long-shot efforts to hang on for a second term dwindling, U.S. President Donald Trump is discussing with advisers several media ventures and appearances that would keep him in the spotlight ahead of a potential 2024 White House bid.
In the near term, Trump is expected to campaign on behalf of Republican U.S. Senate candidates in Georgia ahead of Jan. 5 runoff elections that will determine whether Republicans hang on to control of the chamber, the president's aides said.
He also is considering starting a new television channel or social media company to compete with those he felt betrayed him and stifled his ability to communicate directly with Americans, according to several advisers.
"I think every option is on the table, for a social media to a media company to him announcing he's running for president the day he leaves," said a Republican official who has taken part in meetings with Trump campaign advisers.
Trump has not conceded the election to Democratic rival Joe Biden, who on Nov. 7 cleared the 270 Electoral College vote threshold to win the presidency and be sworn into office on Jan. 20. Trump has claimed without evidence that the voting was beset by widespread fraud, but election officials report no serious irregularities or security issues.
Trump advisers said once it is clear that his legal challenges to the 2020 results are concluded, Trump has discussed announcing plans, possibly by the end of the year, to run for president again in four years.
"He feels like he was cheated, and he wants to run," said an adviser familiar with his thinking.
Such a move would not ensure an open runway for Trump to the Republican nomination, according to a party strategist who asked not to be named.
A long list of Republicans are expected to line up for White House bids in 2024, including Vice President Mike Pence, former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley, current Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Senators Ted Cruz and Tom Cotton, and a pair of governors, Ron DeSantis of Florida and Kristi Noem of South Dakota, among others.
"It isn't going to freeze the rest of the field," the strategist said. "Everybody respects Trump, but they think it's time for a new chapter."
BACK TO BUSINESS
Trump has been considering whether to start a new television news channel to rival Fox News after the president became disenchanted with the conservative network. Trump has complained its programming lacked a universal pro-Trump perspective.
He was described by aides as upset at Fox over its decision to call the election in Arizona for Biden last week when the result was far from clear.
On Thursday, Biden was projected to win Arizona and its 11 electoral votes after more than a week of vote counting from the Nov. 3 election, Edison Research said. On Friday with calls of Georgia for Biden and North Carolina for Trump, the final electoral vote https://www.reuters.com/article/usa-election/biden-solidifies-u-s-victory-over-trump-306-232-electoral-votes-idUSKBN27T0IQ tally stood at 306 for Biden to 232 for Trump.
Christopher Ruddy, a Trump friend who is CEO of Newsmax, a conservative TV news channel and website, said launching a rival news channel or streaming service would be difficult.
"I'm not sure the people around him appreciate the challenge that might involve," Ruddy said, adding his company was open to talking to Trump about a show on Newsmax.
"The president is an incredible draw," Ruddy said. "He has a huge fan base unlike any other political figure in American history."
Trump has repeatedly discussed with his advisers a plan to start a social media company to compete with Twitter, whose policies have led to content warnings posted on some of his tweets.
At a meeting with his campaign advisers a couple of months ago, Trump talked about the technology that would be needed for a conservative version of Twitter, and how the actual platform behind Twitter would be easy to mimic, a Republican official at the meeting said.
Trump prefers platforms that allow him to present an unfiltered message. He previously mused about broadcasting a daily radio program from the White House, and the idea advanced to the point where officials were talking about how to pull it off, according to an official familiar with the discussions.
Ultimately, the idea was set aside because of logistical concerns, the official said, such as the difficulty of blocking off an hour of the president's schedule every day for the program.
(Reporting by Steve Holland; Editing by Colleen Jenkins and Grant McCool)
This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.
By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States
BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.