Trump’s Plan to Survive the Unsurvivable

From a story on headlined “Trump’s survive-the-unsurvivable plan”:

Never in the history of American politics has one man survived and even thrived off more terrible news than Donald Trump.

Why it matters: The former president has racked up impeachments, investigations, and indictments at a pace never seen in America. Yet he persists — and often comes out stronger.

Between the lines: Trump’s had a lot of practice at surviving the unsurvivable. So his team has developed a playbook to repeat during bad news, Axios’ Alex Thompson reports:

Pre-release: Trump will preempt any damaging announcement by releasing new information himself beforehand to try to blunt the impact of coming revelations.

Whataboutism: Trump will try to muddy the waters by pointing to any mistakes — real, exaggerated, or false — by his opponents.

Martyrdom: He will tell his supporters that any allegations against him are part of a larger conspiracy against his cause to fight the establishment.

Solidarity: Even before all the facts are known, Trump has his allies hit the airwaves to claim that he is innocent or his enemies are corrupt.

Shamelessness: Trump never hides or acts embarrassed, even in the face of damning information.

Flood the zone online: Trump’s team prepares large volumes of content ahead of time to pump out on social media.

Raise big money: Never waste a chance to raise money — especially if the Justice Department indicts him for obstruction and mishandling classified materials.

Go apocalyptic: “In the end, they’re not coming after me, they’re coming after you — and I’m just standing in their way,” Trump said Saturday at a rally in Columbus, Ga., his first appearance since the Florida indictment. He also said: “This is the final battle.”

The big picture: Trump is the only president in U.S. history to be impeached twice. He’s the only former president to be indicted on federal charges. And he expects to be indicted at least once more — this time as part of his efforts to overturn his election loss in 2020.

Between the lines: One former Trump White House official said that with Trump’s emphasis on martyrdom, he “becomes Dorothy exposing the Wizard of Oz, rather than an alleged criminal. And it feeds into the persecuted feeling a lot of his base feels.”

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