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Trump puts his bottom line before the country. And the GOP is helping him do it.

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The idea of losing is beyond him, unless he can blame a rigged election. We knew that, too.

What we did not know — and what is playing out now — is that, in the waning days of his presidency, his courtiers would all pay homage to the fallen king as he ransacks the government on his way out by firing key public servants like the defense secretary whom he considers disloyal, further rattling national security by refusing to share intelligence briefings with the incoming president, and weaponizing the Justice Department to look for mass voter fraud where none exists.

As he sits in the Oval Office, you’ve got to wonder: What is the President actually thinking? Is he concerned about his followers? About democracy? About his legacy?

Nah. He’s thinking about himself, of course. One source who knows the President well makes this case: “He’s not worried about the Republican Party. He’s worried about how he can commercialize and monetize all of this.”

Ah, of course. Post-election King Trump rallies across America (with paid attendance no doubt). Can’t you just imagine the former president claiming his rallies are bigger than Oprah’s motivational gatherings? A TV show! A big book deal, worth millions! (He’ll want more than Obama, but won’t get it.) Another run in 2024!

If he’s no longer the king, he’ll be the kingmaker. All GOP politicians will have to kiss the ring if they are to succeed. After all, he has a 70 million-plus following, and that ain’t beans. Only a small handful Republican senators have acknowledged Joe Biden as President-elect. Two Georgia Republicans vying for Senate seats dutifully asked for a GOP election official in the state to resign because he had not done enough, in their words, to deliver an “honest and transparent” election in which Trump was not crowned the victor.

And worst of all, the secretary of state, occupying a once vaunted position, goes to the podium to declare the transition will be peacefully made — to Trump. We know he wants to be president, and wants Trump’s blessing — but this way?

Luckily, history will record all of this.

Enough about (lack of) principles. Getting back to principal, which is always Topic A in Trumpworld. Right now, though, he’s raising money allegedly to fight the inevitably fruitless court battles on some imagined voter fraud. But look at the small print: The money also seeds his newly-established political action committee. So while he’s telling his voters he’s fighting to stay, he’s also looking for way to fund his future endeavors when he leaves. Always looking for a way to find a buck.

If there’s an analogy to this way of leaving the White House in US history, it doesn’t come to mind. There have been disagreements over counts, sure. (And the Election 2000 recount was about 537 votes in one state, and not fanciful claims of fraud nationwide.)

After all, this is a democracy, not a kleptocracy — in which leaders simply try to loot their citizens. Keep that in mind. But it still might be a good idea to keep an eye on the President’s bulging pockets as he exits the back door.

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