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Trump Slump

Atualizado: 28 de mar. de 2023

Facing his arrest, how will Trump spin his anticipated arrest?

Donald Trump has predicted he would be arrested this week, but until mid-week it hadn’t happened. Nevertheless, he’s awaiting criminal charges. The former president is plotting a strategy designed to both keep him out of jail and turbo-boost his historic bid to return to the White House.

It is a daunting task, and hunkered down in his Mar-a-Lago home, Mr. Trump seems resigned to becoming the first US president to be indicted for a crime. Yet it's also clear he will not go quietly. His past choices in moments of political crisis are a useful guide to what we might see next.

When cornered by political adversaries, Mr. Trump punches back.

Throughout his 2016 presidential campaign, he leaned in to conflict when other politicians might have backed off. Blasted for criticising war hero John McCain? Trump upped his attacks. Accused of sexual harassment before a debate with Hillary Clinton? He held a press conference with Bill Clinton's sexual accusers.

During his presidency, it was the same story through two impeachments, a special counsel investigation of Russia election meddling and countless smaller controversies.

"If Trump is indicted, the playbook remains exactly the same," says Bryan Lanza, a Republican strategist and Trump adviser. "Attack the legal as political."

In Brazil, this scenario had copycat implications, so righteous human beings understand this anti-democratic scenario. Bolsonaro, Brazil’s last president had the same impact, if not worse.

The best defence, as the American football saying goes, is a good offence.

Mr. Trump is already punching back against Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, framing him as a liberal prosecutor hell-bent on pursuing political retribution against the former president.

A press release on Monday referred to him as a "progressive activist", a "rogue prosecutor" and a "woke tyrant who has politicised the justice system".

Expect those attacks to continue if an indictment is announced and for Mr. Trump to portray himself as a victim of a leftist plot, a common theme of persecution that Mr. Trump has also regularly relied on in his political career.

Have a great day,

Prof. Carl Boniface

Source: BBC 23/03/23 (reduced edited text)

Vocabulary builder:

Slump (n) = fall, crash, collapse, nose-dive, decline, plummet

Daunting (adj) = intimidating, unnerving, discouraging, scary, overwhelming

Hunkered (v) regular verb to squatted, crouched, crawled, stooped, kneeled, get on all fours

Leaned (v) = rested, propped, supported, inclined

Righteous (adj) = virtuous, moral, good, upright, honorable, respectable

Hell-bent (adj) =determined to achieve something at all costs. "Why are you hell-bent on leaving?"

Woke (adj) = is an adjective derived from African-American Vernacular English (AAVE) meaning "alert to racial prejudice and discrimination".

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