Former U.S. president Donald Trump incited an attack on the U.S. Capitol, got himself banned from social media, downplayed the coronavirus pandemic while 400,000 people died and was impeached twice during his single term in office.
But you won’t read about any of that on his new official website, 45office, which presents a rosy and scandal-free account of Trump’s time in the White House.
Trump and his wife, Melania Trump, launched the new website on Monday as a portal for media and followers to contact them as they continue to rebuild their digital presence following their departure from Washington, D.C.
“The Office of Donald J. Trump is committed to preserving the magnificent legacy of the Trump Administration, while at the same time advancing the America First agenda,” the site’s homepage says. “Through this office, President Trump will remain a tireless champion for the hardworking men and women of our great country — and for their right to live in safety, dignity, prosperity, and peace.”
The site features two contact forms, a homepage and an “about” section with a glowing 850-word account of Trump’s presidency.
“Donald J. Trump launched the most extraordinary political movement in history, dethroning political dynasties, defeating the Washington Establishment, and becoming the first true outsider elected as President of the United States,” the writeup says.
It applauds Trump for achieving a “decisive victory” in the 2016 election, without mentioning that he lost the popular vote to Hillary Clinton by three million. It also does not mention his baseless efforts to cast doubt on the election that he lost to Joe Biden in 2020.
The writeup echoes many of Trump’s own self-congratulatory talking points, citing his economic achievements, energy policy, border security moves and efforts to strengthen NATO.
It does not mention the economic crash during the pandemic, Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris climate accord, family separations at the U.S. border or his reluctance to condemn Russia for meddling in the 2016 U.S. election.
Trump’s site also hails him as the architect of the United States’ current COVID-19 comeback, after he encouraged and supported vaccine development through Operation Warp Speed. It credits him with saving “countless lives,” without mentioning that the U.S. led the world in coronavirus deaths under his watch. It also does not address his personal bout with the virus, his attempts to guess a cure, his efforts to downplay the threat or his long-running attempts to blame China and Democratic governors for the setbacks he faced.
The page does highlight Trump’s move to limit travel from China in January of 2020 — a move that Trump cited for many months after the pandemic exploded in the United States.
The site describes Trump as an “unwavering champion” for police officers and the military, without mentioning the racial justice protests that broke out following the death of George Floyd last year. Trump largely tried to discredit the protesters by dismissing them as Antifa agitators, and once claimed that Floyd would be proud of Trump’s economic numbers.
“Whether it was combating the virus, fighting foreign terrorists, creating jobs, securing America’s borders, unleashing American energy, revitalizing American patriotism, or restoring the American spirit, President Trump never wavered in defence of our values, our families, our traditions, and our freedom,” the site says.
Trump’s popularity was at 39.2 per cent at the end of his presidency, according to the polling aggregator FiveThirtyEight. He ended his term with an average job approval rating of 41 per cent — the lowest rating in the history of Gallup polling.
Trump still wields significant influence within the Republican Party, despite losing the House, the Senate and the White House after his 2016 election. He has also hinted at running for a second term in 2024, though the website does not mention it.
The new website also includes a writeup about Melania Trump. Much of it addresses her time before living at the White House, although some space is dedicated to her anti-bullying campaign, Be Best. The campaign was often ridiculed as ineffective during her tenure at the White House, when her husband would routinely mock and insult his perceived enemies on Twitter and in public statements.
Trump echoed those old attacks in a statement released by his office on Monday in which he blasted doctors Anthony Fauci and Deborah Birx, who were on his coronavirus task force, for their recent criticism of him. He mocked the 80-year-old Fauci for his baseball throw and called Birx a “proven liar” after she criticized his pandemic response in a CNN interview.
“I look at it this way. The first time we have an excuse,” Birx told CNN in a new documentary. “There were about a hundred thousand deaths that came from that original surge. All of the rest of them, in my mind, could have been mitigated or decreased substantially.”
Birx was in the room when Trump wondered aloud if people should swallow disinfectant or shine sunlight in their bodies to fight the coronavirus. Birx did not shoot the idea down when asked about it.
In his statement, Trump suggested that many states would be worse off if he’d followed the doctors’ approach. He also accused the pair of trying to “reinvent history.”
The statement did not mention the version of history presented on Trump’s new website.
— With files from Reuters and The Associated Press