Fact Check

Could Trump Be 'Reinstated' as President in August 2021?

There is no constitutional way for this to happen.

Published Jun 4, 2021

Updated Jun 5, 2021
 ( Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images)
Image Via Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images
Former U.S. President Donald Trump could be "reinstated" as president by August 2021.

On June 1, 2021, New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman tweeted that former President Donald "Trump has been telling a number of people he’s in contact with that he expects he will get reinstated by August," adding that this "isn’t how it works."

The Trump reporting came amid former National Security Advisor Mike Flynn's apparent endorsement (though he claims his words were "twisted") of a Myanmar-style coup that would bring Trump back to power. Trump's purported belief requires one not only to buy into the lie that the 2020 election was stolen, but also to disregard the existence of the United States Constitution, which provides no mechanism for Trump to return to office outside of winning another election.

Subsequent reporting by several media outlets, notably National Review and The Washington Post, also reported that Trump has discussed this expectation.

On June 2, 2021, The Washington Post, citing "people familiar with his [Former President Trump's] comments," reported that Trump "remains relentlessly focused on the false claim that the November election was stolen from him and is increasingly consumed with the notion that ballot reviews pushed by his supporters around the country could prove that he won." Trump's interest in this fantasy, the Post reported, has been propelled by "an array of figures who have publicly touted false claims of election fraud," including MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell, Pennsylvania state Sen. Doug Mastriano, and a One America News Network host.

On June 3, 2021, National Review provided additional confirmation of Trump's alleged fixation on returning to office in August. In a story titled "Maggie Haberman is Right," writer Charles C. W. Cooke reported not only on the veracity of Trump pushing this claim but also that Trump genuinely believes it to be true:

I can attest, from speaking to an array of different sources, that Donald Trump does indeed believe quite genuinely that he — along with former senators David Perdue and Martha McSally — will be “reinstated” to office this summer after “audits” of the 2020 elections in Arizona, Georgia, and a handful of other states have been completed.

I can attest, too, that Trump is trying hard to recruit journalists, politicians, and other influential figures to promulgate this belief — not as a fundraising tool or an infantile bit of trolling or a trial balloon, but as a fact.

At the same event in which Flynn apparently endorsed a military coup, former Trump lawyer Sidney Powell — whose defense in a current voter fraud related defamation lawsuit is that reasonable people would not take her claims about elections seriously — argued that "it should be that he [Trump] can simply be reinstated, that a new Inauguration Day is set."

As CNN legal analyst Steve Vladeck explained, however, "there's no regulation, rule, statute or constitutional provision that comes within a million light-years of what she's [Powell] describing. There is no mechanism for 'reinstating' a former President. There is no procedure for setting a 'new Inauguration Day.'"


UPDATE: Reframed underlying claim in order to provide a specific truth rating.

Alex Kasprak is an investigative journalist and science writer reporting on scientific misinformation, online fraud, and financial crime.