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Thursday will mark the one-year anniversary of the attack on the US Capitol and insurrection. A vigil is planned this year, and President Biden says he will address the nation. Former President Trump, whose supporters attacked the Capitol, is also expected to hold a news conference – and he may be planning another run for office in 2024. Special Correspondent Jeff Greenfield joins to discuss the history of presidential re-runs.
This Thursday will mark one year since a violent mob of supporters of former President Donald Trump attacked the U.S. Capitol and tried to stop the certification of the election of President Joe Biden.
There is a vigil planned on the steps of the capitol, and president Biden is set to address the nation this January sixth. Mr. Trump, who is accused of inciting the attack, also says he will hold a news conference that day–a move that may be part of an attempt to return to office. NewsHour Weekend Special Correspondent Jeff Greenfield joined us for more on presidential re-runs.
Jeff, a number of influential Republicans have some serious doubts about Trump and his actions. For instance, he's backing divisive primary Republicans. And couldn't that hurt Republican prospects of regaining the majority in the House in the fall elections?
Republicans have painful memories of what happened back in 2010, an otherwise great year for Republicans. And then again in 2012, when winnable Senate seats were lost because the primary voters nominated candidates were just unacceptable to the general election public. And we've already seen examples where some of Trump's favorites have a highly checkered past, involving everything from finances to domestic abuse. And so, yes, there is a concern that while Trump can probably persuade a lot of Republicans to vote for his candidates in a primary, that may limit not just what they could do in 2022, but might suggest that Trump himself is weaker as a general election candidate in 2024.
There are clouds that overhang a possible Trump 2024 campaign, namely January 6 and the Congressional Committee investigating what happened. Fellow Republican Liz Cheney and others have raised the possibility of criminal conduct. Would the committee's findings tarnish or even hurt Trump?
In the Republican Party, probably not, because they've already, if I can put it in a way that critics say, they've drunk the Kool-Aid. They are convinced that the whole January 6 episode or congressional investigation rather, is a political event. But I think the charge of criminal conduct again is not how you would want to launch a campaign to regain the White House. I should also point out that there were prosecutors in Manhattan, the New York State Attorney General's Office in Georgia, looking at different questions of criminal conduct involving everything from trying to obstruct the election count to financial misdoings in Trump's businesses. So those, you would not want that on your resume if you're trying to get the White House again.
Jeff, there are plenty of people who say, Oh no way, Trump in 2024. How naive is that?
From one to 10, it's an 11. Anybody who has seen the last six years of American politics and thinks, well, this time it can't possibly happen, has not been watching American politics. It is simply a way of putting your hands over your eyes and saying, I don't want to see this. If you're not taking Donald Trump seriously as a presidential candidate, in my view, you don't understand the political universe we live in today.
Jeff Greenfield, NewsHour Weekend Special Correspondent. Thank you, Jeff.
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