Impeachment To Capitol Riots, Here's What May Influence Donald Trump's 2024 Bid
Republican candidates like Kari Lake, Blake Master and Mark Finchem, lost the recently concluded mid-term polls. All of them were endorsed by Trump.
A week after the US mid-term elections, former president Donald Trump announced that he will run for the next presidential elections scheduled for 2024. He made the announcement at his Mar-a-Lago estate on Tuesday. "In order to make America great again, I am tonight announcing my candidacy for president of the United States," Reuters quoted Trump as saying.
"Two years ago we were a great nation and soon we will be a great nation again," he said.
Trump lost to Joe Biden, a democrat leader, in the 2020 elections after which he made scathing allegations that the polls were rigged and democrats won by forgery.
As Trump makes his bid for the second term, here is all you need to know about the controversies during his presidential tenure and the mixed performance of Republicans in the recently concluded mid-term polls that he supported:
Democrats dampen Republicans' gains in mid-term polls
In Florida, where Trump made his announcement on Tuesday, Republicans did not win as many seats in US Congress as they had expected in last week's mid-term polls, considered to be a litmus test of the first two years of the presidency.
While the Republican party will likely gain control of the House of Representatives, it is struggling to flip the Senate.
Presently, the 100-member US Senate is equally divided between both parties, but it leans Democratic due to Vice-President Kamala Haris' casting vote (as the Vice President is the ex-officio presiding officer of the Senate). For the Republicans to gain control of the Senate, they had to flip one seat. While some key battleground Senate battles remain deadlocked, Democrat John Fetterman has reportedly flipped a Republican seat in Pennsylvania.
For example, Republican Kari Lake who claimed that the 2020 elections were rigged, lost to Democratic candidate Katie Hobbs. Republicans need to win at least 218 seats to hold a majority in the House of Representatives. Republican Blake Master also lost to Mark Kelly in Arizona, while Republican Mark Finchem, dubbed as an election denier, lost to Adrian Fontes of the Democrat side. All of these candidates were endorsed by Trump.
Trump's role in January 6 Capitol riots
After the US presidential election concluded in November 2020 and Biden defeated Trump, the Republican leader raked up the claims that the Democrats had won by fraud and rigging. Trump kept reiterating the claims and a week before Biden's oath-taking ceremony, Trump supporters stormed the US Capitol triggering a riot-like situation on January 6, 2021.
Before the violent clashes, Trump, while addressing a "Save America" rally asked his supporters to march towards the Capitol to protest against the alleged vote fraud. "You don't concede when there's theft involved. Our country has had enough. We will not take it anymore," Trump had told the crowd.
The supporters scaled the walls of the Capitol and stormed the building while Congress was certifying Joe Biden's win. Visuals showed protesters vandalising the building, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's office.
"We're going to walk down to the Capitol and we're going to cheer on our brave senators and congressmen and women, and we're probably not going to be cheering so much for some of them," he had told the crowd.
Trump, the 45th President of the US, is the only US president to be impeached twice. His first impeachment was on December 18, 2019, for" abuse of power and obstruction of Congress". In February 2021, he faced impeachment as his speech before the Capitol riots was seen as a provocation for the incident.
His second impeachment trial also triggered a debate about whether or not a former president could be prosecuted on charges of "incitement of insurrection" over the deadly mob siege of the Capitol.
The House voted 232-197 to impeach Trump. "The proceedings moved at lightning speed, with lawmakers voting just one week after violent pro-Trump loyalists stormed the U.S. Capitol," a report published by the AP said.
"He must go, he is a clear and present danger to the nation that we all love," Pelosi said then. After the impeachment, Trump released a video message and said, "Like all of you, I was shocked and deeply saddened by the calamity at the Capitol last week."
Is Trump still the favourite Republican?
Even as Trump announced his bid for the White House for a second term in 2024, another Republican — Ron DeSantis — has emerged as a favourite for the Republican presidential candidate. Not only did Florida Governor DeSantis win in the mid-term polls, but an opinion poll also showed that more Republicans preferred him to be the next Republican presidential candidate.
Trump has expressed displeasure over DeSantis's rising popularity, even warning him not to contest for president in 2024. BBC quoted Trump as saying, "I don't know if he is running. I think if he runs, he could hurt himself very badly. I really believe he could hurt himself badly. I don't think it would be good for the party," BCC quoted Trump.
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