During a closed-door speech Monday to the National Republican Congressional Committee, former President Donald Trump told the invited guests that “we” are coming back with “vengeance” in an apparent reference to his as-yet-unannounced decision to seek a return to power in 2024.
Given that Trump has resumed holding rallies nationwide, continues to dominate Republican primary polling and has, since losing to Joe Biden in 2020, repeatedly hinted that he plans to mount another White House bid, it’s not exactly a closely guarded secret that he wants his old job back. Equally unsurprising is the promise that a second Trump term would hold its share of political payback.
Trump, after all, has repeatedly spoken over the years about how exacting revenge is a guiding principle.
“If somebody hits you, you’ve got to hit ’em back five times harder than they ever thought possible. You’ve got to get even. Get even,” Trump said in a 2012 speech.
Seven years later, former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon remarked that if the then president won reelection in 2020, “You’re going to get pure Trump off the chain. Four years of Donald Trump in payback mode.”
In further anticipation of a second Trump term, Bannon this week went after former Defense Secretary Mark Esper, who had detailed numerous instances of what he saw as Trump’s faulty judgment in a new book.
“When we come to power, don’t think you’re going to be skipping away from this,” Bannon said of Esper.
Former White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham warned in October that a Trump victory in 2024 would usher in four years of reprisals.
“He’s clearly the frontrunner in the Republican Party,” Grisham said in an interview with ABC’s “Good Morning America.”
“Everybody’s showing their fealty to him. He’s on his revenge tour, for people who dared to vote for impeachment. And I want to just warn people that once he takes office if he were to win, he doesn’t have to worry about reelection any more. He will be about revenge, he will probably have some pretty draconian policies.”