On Friday night, President Donald Trump told supporters that he may leave the U.S. if former Vice President Joe Biden wins the 2020 presidential election. Trump spoke at a rally in Macon, Georgia, where he mocked Biden harshly while ignoring coronavirus safety measures. A clip of the comment went viral on social media.
"I shouldn't joke because you know what? Running against the worst candidate in the history of presidential politics puts pressure on me," Trump said sardonically on Friday. "Could you imagine if I lose? My whole life, what am I gonna do? I'm gonna say: 'I lost to the worst candidate in the history of politics.' I'm not gonna feel so good. Maybe I'll have to leave the country — I don't know."
Trump says he may leave the US if Biden wins. pic.twitter.com/XmbtYpNDoh— David Mack (@davidmackau) October 17, 2020
The crowd assembled at Trump's rally laughed audibly at this comment, though others took it more seriously. Some remarked that fleeing the country would only further implicate Trump in the crimes many accuse him of — such as election-tampering and campaign finance violations.
Others had a more simple response: they tweeted that they'd be glad to see Trump go. Many expressed fears that pro-Trump groups like the Proud Boys would continue to rally around the president even if he lost the election, so having him out of the picture would be preferable.
On Saturday, CNN reported on several reasons why the president might want to leave the U.S. if he loses the 2020 presidential election. Reporters found that Trump could face serious legal repercussions for some of his behavior over the years without the status of the presidency there to shield him. This included some of the big revelations from his tax history, which was published by The New York Times earlier this month.
Trump could be subject to multiple investigations for possible financial fraud going back to years before his presidency. Additionally, there are multiple defamation lawsuits waiting in the wings, from women who have accused Trump of sexual assault and sexual harassment. Former magazine columnist E. Jean Carroll reportedly intends to sue Trump for defaming her after she publicly accused him of rape.
"In every regard, his leaving office makes it easier for prosecutors and plaintiffs in civil cases to pursue their cases against him," said Harry Sandick, a former federal prosecutor in the Manhattan US attorney's office. "For example, he is claiming a higher protection from subpoenas in the criminal cases and also in the congressional subpoena cases, [and that] is based largely on the fact that he is President."