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Why Donald Trump Might Not Be Able to Run For President

Donald Trump Red Wave
By Gage Skidmore: Former President of the United States Donald Trump speaking with attendees at the "Rally to Protect Our Elections" hosted by Turning Point Action at Arizona Federal Theatre in Phoenix, Arizona.

Michael Cohen, Donald Trump’s infamous attorney, made a pretty bold prediction back in December that the media largely missed and I think is worth thinking about: Trump may not run for president after all. 

Cohen told CNN in an interview that “[I] don’t believe yet that I’m wrong. In fact, all he’s done is file a single piece of paper making an announcement that he’s intending, that he’s running for the presidency of the United States as a Republican and he’s looking for the nomination.”

“Ok, who’s his campaign manager? Who’s his finance director? Who’s his press secretary? Who is his scheduler? Where’s his staff? There is none.”

But does all of that indeed mean Trump won’t run? 

No, Donald Trump Is Running Unless He Is in Jail? 

I hate to bust Michael Cohen’s bubble – but I do think, indeed, Donald Trump will run for president. Nothing will stop him. And I do mean nothing. 

Trump clearly does not care what chaos is swirling around him and oftentimes seems to excel when all the cards are stacked against him.

Time and time again, when Trump looks like he is down and out, be bounces back.

This isn’t me being some MAGA or Trump fanboy – I clearly have my issues with the man – but he always seems to have unlimited political lives and just keeps trucking. 

After all, this is the guy who can literally say anything – including truly racist comments – and somehow not end his political career. 

I will admit, I can see why Coehn is saying this – it seems Trump has so many court cases and possible ways he could go to jail that any of these could make him politically unviable.

However, I see Trump – even if he was charged with something – using it as a fundraising opportunity and a way to get his supporters even more fired up. 

What gives Donald Trump power is media attention. The more attention he has, the better he seems to do. 

My opinion: unless the man is actually convicted of a crime and is literally in jail, he is running for president.

And even then, he might try to run for president from a cell. This is, after all, Donald Trump we are talking about. 

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Written By

Harry J. Kazianis (@Grecianformula) is a Senior Editor for 19FortyFive and serves as President and CEO of Rogue States Project, a bipartisan national security think tank. He has held senior positions at the Center for the National Interest, the Heritage Foundation, the Potomac Foundation, and many other think tanks and academic institutions focused on defense issues. He served on the Russia task force for U.S. Presidential Candidate Senator Ted Cruz, and in a similar task force in the John Hay Initiative. His ideas have been published in the New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, CNN, CNBC, and many other outlets across the political spectrum. He holds a graduate degree in International Relations from Harvard University and is the author of The Tao of A2/AD, a study of Chinese military modernization. Kazianis also has a background in defense journalism, having served as Editor-In-Chief at The Diplomat and Executive Editor for the National Interest.



  1. Quartermaster

    February 4, 2023 at 1:44 pm

    Much of the noise about Trump going to jail is just noise. They have nothing on him and most of what is going on is just an attempt to screen Biden from the consequences of his own crimes.

  2. Dave Nelson

    February 4, 2023 at 2:38 pm

    Astute observations.

    All that is missing is the cause: Deep Narcissistic Personality Disorder.

    His mental (ill)health does not allow him to not strive to always be seen as great (in his own mind he is the GOAT), and what could be greater than a come-back victory?

    So of course he will run. If he fails he *cannot* accept that it might be his own fault; we’ll see the same nonsense as 2020.

  3. Walker

    February 4, 2023 at 8:01 pm

    Half of Trump running is to try to shield him from going to jail. After all, he is just being politically persecuted. That defense doesn’t work if he doesn’t run. So he really has no choice. He actually better hope he wins, it’s his only chance to pardon himself.

  4. Rick

    February 4, 2023 at 9:53 pm

    Legal entanglements that won’t quit and you say they have nothing on him? It would appear that you never saw a scandal you couldn’t ignore.

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