Outgoing US President Donald Trump has talked in recent days with associates about forming a new political party, according to people familiar with the matter—an effort to exert continued influence after he leaves the White House, the Wall Street Journal has said.
Citing said sources, the Journal said Trump discussed the matter with several aides and other people close to him last week. The president said he would want to call the new party the “Patriot Party,” the sources further noted.
Trump has feuded in recent days with several Republican leaders including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.), who on Tuesday said Trump deserved blame for provoking the deadly 6 January riot at the Capitol. Polls show Trump retains strong support among rank-and-file GOP voters.
The White House declined to comment, the Journal noted.
It’s unclear how serious the outgoing president is about starting a new party, which would require a significant investment of time and resources. The president has a large base of supporters, some of whom were not deeply involved in Republican politics prior to his 2016 campaign.
Third parties have typically failed to draw enough support to play a major role in national elections. Any effort to start a new party would likely face intense opposition from Republican party officials, who would chafe at the thought of Trump peeling off support from GOP candidates.
Meanwhile, a Senate impeachment trial is still looming for Trump who is set to depart for incoming President Joe Biden ahead of today’s inauguration. Through the impeachment, Democrat lawmakers are hoping to effect a ban on Trump from ever holding or contesting for political office.