Chris Christie knows what makes Donald Trump tick.
That’s why it’s worth listening to the former governor of New Jersey – and one-time Trump ally – about why the former president kept classified documents at his Mar-a-Lago home after he left the White House.
“I think it’s much more likely that he’ll have the trophy, walk around and say, ‘Look, I’ve got this, this or that classified document,'” Christie said in an ABC appearance. This week.” “Remember something, he can’t believe he’s not the president. He can’t believe he’s still not getting these documents. And he’s got to show everybody at Mar-a-Lago or up in Bedminster in the summer that he’s still got some of that shit.
Which is very interesting!
I think for a lot of people – especially some Democrats – the driving belief is that Trump kept all kinds of classified documents because he was (or is) doing something nefarious.
I find what Christie proposes much more plausible.
Note that much of what Trump does is for appearance’s sake. What matters to him is how people perceive things, not how they really are.
In other words: he has spent his whole life playing the role of “Donald Trump”. And his four years as president were a pivotal time in that lifelong mission. He simply won’t – or can’t – accept that he no longer has that power and influence.
Therefore, the electoral fraud conspiracy continues to roll. And that’s why he continues – for his base – to act like he’s still the president. Being able to tell someone (using Christie’s words) “This is a classified document” during a conversation helps maintain the illusion that Trump is, on some level, still in power. He still (at least himself) has vestiges of being president, which allows him to act (and more importantly) act like president.
To be clear: Trump’s reasons for choosing to keep classified materials at Mar-a-Lago are largely irrelevant to the ongoing Justice Department investigation into keeping those documents. Trump did what he did and the DOJ investigation is less interested in the “why” than the “what.”
But as a way to understand Trump’s psyche, Christie’s observation is invaluable. Trump has invested heavily in continuing to appear as if he is the president. Keeping classified documents sounds and still seems important.
Again, Trump cares a lot more about how things LOOK than how things ARE. Always has, always will.