Calling Himself “President Trump,” Former Officeholder Releases Statement
Joe Biden is the President of the United States. Donald Trump is not the President of the United States. Sometimes, a former president may still be addressed with the title, out of courtesy, but a former officeholder releasing statements and claiming the title of President is atypical at best. When it comes from a former president who actively fought to keep the title after losing re-election, it becomes even more concerning.
Donald Trump recently established for himself an unofficial “office of the former president,” but in a statement published by CSPAN, he drops the “former.”
The statement is headed “President Donald J Trump meeting readout,” in mimicry of statements that are generated by the White House about an actual President. It goes on to describe a “meeting between President Donald J. Trump and House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy.”
Statement and Photo from Former President Donald Trump pic.twitter.com/iS6k3OEUjn
— CSPAN (@cspan) January 28, 2021
The content itself is bland and generic, essentially the former president promising to endorse Republican candidates and help boost the party. Aside from the heading, the short statement refers to “President Donald J. Trump” once, and “President Trump” one additional time. It also boasts that Trump’s approval rating is higher than ever — an echo of his persistent claims while he was in office.
Forms of Address lays out the traditions and rules with regard to addressing a former president — it’s quite typical, in interviews, to address a former president by the title “President” and their name, but “not traditionally correct.”
It’s not the sort of office where an ex-president, twice impeached and with two popular vote losses, is liable to face any type of censure. It’s merely unusual, especially from an ex-president who still insisted, publicly and vehemently, right up to the day that he left office, that he didn’t actually lose.