WASHINGTON: US President Donald Trump has virtually designated Democratic vice-presidential candidate Kamala Harris as his principal rival for the November 3 election, suggesting that she might even be the next President while implicitly conceding he could lose the election.
“His (Joe Biden’s) handlers and the Fake News Media are doing everything possible to get him through the Election. Then he will resign, or whatever, and we are stuck with a super liberal wack job that NOBODY wanted!” Trump tweeted on Monday morning, one of several tweets in recent days in which he has cast Biden as weak and infirm, and who will be overrun by a socialist squad led by Kamala Harris.

Trump’s raging attacks, some of them loaded with race-baiting and calls for summary justice and calls for vigilantism and summary justice without due process, comes amid scorching exposes about a President who has brought a wrecking ball to Washington’s set ways. Over the weekend, Trump endorsed extrajudicial killings, describing the death of an alleged shooting suspect at the hands of US Marshals as “retribution.”
“This guy was a violent criminal, and the US Marshals killed him. And I will tell you something, that’s the way it has to be. There has to be retribution,” Trump told Fox News Jeanine Pirro about the marshals shooting dead an army veteran who was purportedly a member of Antifa.
While the President’s endorsement of summary retribution has shocked US civil society with its long history of seeking justice rather than revenge, it is being cheered on by his supporters, some of whom have openly supported armed vigilantism by private militias and citizens exercising “second amendment rights,” including wielding heavy weapons to protect private property without informing authorities. In one such incident, a white couple who pulled guns on protestors marching through their gated private property were invited to speak at the Republican National Convention, consecrating the principle of using heavy weapons, purportedly for personal defence, without seeking government intervention.
Some analysts see Trump zeroing in on Kamala as part of an effort to rile up his base against someone he (and they) perceive as a foreigner. In a campaign speech in Nevada on Sunday, Trump once again referred to the possibility of a woman becoming the US President but maintained it would not be her (Kamala) while suggesting that succeeding Biden midterm was not the right way to get to the Oval office.
Trump’s endorsement of vigilantism, summary punishment without due process, and rambling obliquely about a potential Kamala Harris Presidency, comes amid fresh embarrassment for him by way of a former White House staffer calling him a tool of and “useful idiot” for Russia’s President Vladimir Putin.
“President Trump should be considered to be a useful idiot and a fellow traveler, which makes him an unwitting agent of Putin,” Alexander Vindman, the NSC staffer who raised a red flag about Trump’s phone calls to Ukraine’s leader told the Atlantic, which last month causec a furore by reporting that the US President had called those serving in the military “losers” and “suckers.”
“They may or may not have dirt on him, but they don’t have to use it. They have more effective and less risky ways to employ him. He has aspirations to be the kind of leader that Putin is, and so he admires him. He likes authoritarian strongmen who act with impunity, without checks and balances. So he’ll try to please Putin,” Vindman explained, adding, “In the Army we call this ‘free chicken,’ something you don’t have to work for—it just comes to you. This is what the Russians have in Trump: free chicken.”
Trump has repeatedly denied he is a tool of Russia, calling charges to that effect a “hoax” and “fake news,” even though he has been deferential and compliant to Moscow and once publicly sought Russia’s help in finding Hillary Clinton’s missing emails during the election – a statement he later dismissed as a joke.
On Monday, Trump continued to berate the media calling the new disclosures that he had derided the US military as a hoax, even though he has disparaged military service on record, including ridiculing late Senator John McCain for being taken prisoner of war in Vietnam. Trump also boasted about dodging military service, which according to his niece Mary Trump, was the norm in the family with her own father being mocked when he signed up for service.
On Monday, Trump headed out to California to survey the wildfires that have devastated parts of the west coast, while boasting of a “51% Approval Rating in Rasmussen Poll. 95% in Republican Party” and promising a booming economy next year if he wins. Kamala Harris too will be in California, her home state, at the same time.