The US: why is Trump still stirring up trouble?

US President Donald Trump is causing a new furor in his last days in office. According to media reports he pressured the secretary of state of Georgia to change the results of the presidential election in his state retroactively in a phone call. Trump has also talked of election fraud in the Georgia runoff elections for two Senate seats. Commentators analyse his behavior.

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Český rozhlas (CZ) /

Leaving as a political gangster

Public radio broadcaster Český rozhlas sees Trump's efforts to sway the election result in Georgia in his favour in a phone call as the culmination of an attempted coup:

“From the outset, Trump had no evidence of a large-scale conspiracy by the Democrats. ... During the one-hour-long phone conversation published by the Washington Post, Trump alternately sounds like a gangster, a wounded child, and then a nutcase, constantly repeating misinformation about alleged widespread fraud that has been disproved many times. In a normal democracy, the president would have to resign or be tried in new impeachment proceedings. And it wouldn't be a mere formality: the Senate could once and for all deprive Trump of the chance to run for president again.”

La Vanguardia (ES) /

Fear of ending up in prison

La Vanguardia's editor-in-chief Jordi Juan has a simple explanation for the outgoing president's absurd behaviour:

“As soon as Donald Trump leaves the White House, a long list of court cases for tax evasion, obstruction of justice and even attempted rape awaits him. Not to mention those charges that may be brought once he no longer holds the office of President of the United States. There's no doubt about it: Trump could end up in jail. And perhaps this explains his stubborn refusal to admit his election defeat, his messages on Twitter inciting his supporters to rebel, and his attempts to intimidate senior government officials, as he did with the secretary of state of Georgia.”

Rzeczpospolita (PL) /

President casting a shadow on his achievements

Trump is damaging his track record in the final phase of his presidency, notes Rzeczpospolita:

“Donald Trump made many mistakes during his four years in the White House, but he also secured some successes that will go down in history, such as initiating a policy aimed at limiting China's power. ... The style in which he is ending his term, however, may overshadow those successes. All the 88 million people who follow the president's Twitter account know that he has never acknowledged his electoral defeat. In the two months since the election, not a day has passed without him making accusations about vote-counting fraud or calling for a new election in a state.”

Spotmedia (RO) /

Four parties are better than two

Writing on Spotmedia, political scientist Valentin Naumescu sketches the direction he would like US politics to take:

“It's possible that both the Republicans and the Democrats - the pillars of US democracy for 170 years - will split up along radical/moderate lines. ... The best thing would be for the moderates to stay and the radicals to leave. That would see the emergence of a progressive (socialist) party under Bernie & co. and the hotheads of conformity on the left, and a nationalist (conservative) party with the Trumpists and the whole gamut of nationalists, conspiracy theorists and bigots on the far right. That would bring about a welcome clarity for America, and for all the free democracies in the world. And it would mean salvation for the liberal, moderate centre.”