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Claytoonz: Four more coups with Trump

Comic: Editorial cartoon

Claytoonz: Four more coups with Trump

Welcome to the first day of the 2024 campaign season.

If Donald Trump really believes the last election was stolen and the election didn’t work, then why is he going through the trouble of going through another election? If I take my car through a carwash and it comes out with pigeon crap all over it, I’m not gonna go through that carwash again. The only reason for Trump to run for president again when he believes, as he stated last night, that our democracy is a “rigged and corrupt system,” is to use the 2024 election as a vehicle for another coup attempt.

Seizing power isn’t just one of the several reasons Trump announced his candidacy for the 2024 election last night. One of my readers on GoComics titled the Trump comeback attempt “Loserpalooza Grifting Tour 2024.” Trump has a history of grifting his supporters. To raise money from his gullible goons over the past two years, he’s used fighting to be reinstated (he was not reinstated), to fund campaigns for other Republicans (which he did very little of), and to fight the political attacks against him by the FBI and DOJ (they’re not political). Now, he gets to raise money as a political candidate, but let’s use last night as an example of how that works into another grift.

Trump made his announcement at Mar-a-Lago. This was a campaign event. I’m sure Mar-a-Lago charged the Trump campaign to host this event. For the slow kids, the money you gave Trump for his campaign or Super PAC went to the venue owned by Trump and then went into Trump’s pocket. This is what we refer to as a grift.

Records from Trump’s former accounting firm, Mazars USA, were released two days ago by the House Committee on Oversight and Reform. The disclosure shows that six nations spent over $750,000 at Trump’s Washington hotel during his presidency (sic). China, Malaysia, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and the United Arab Emirates would spend $10,000 a night in order to influence the Trump White House (sic). Qatar spent more than $300,000 over three months ahead of a meeting between Trump and the country’s emir. So when Trump sat down to talk to that guy, he was probably aware that he had just given him over $300,000. These are just six of the nations that patronized a Trump property while he was in office. The Washington Post estimates that his trips to Mar-a-Lago alone cost taxpayers over $64 million.

At $64 million, that’s one dollar for every bedbug found at Trump Doral. Or at $130,000 to silence porn stars he raw dogged in Vegas hotel rooms, $64 million would pay off 493 Stormy Daniels. And MAGAt goons want an accounting of every dollar we spent on Ukraine, please.

Another reason Trump’s announcing this early is that he believes he can’t be indicted by the Department of Justice for the coup attempt, or the stealing of classified information, or by Georgia for election fraud, and for everything else he’s being investigated for. Since Donald Trump’s white nationalist terrorists defecated in the halls of Congress, I believe any sentence Trump receives should include picking up dog poop in Washington D.C.’s public parks. Hey, who’s that fat orange guy bagging dog doo-doo in Farragut Square?

And another reason he’s announcing this early is to scare off other potential Republican candidates, like Ron DeSantis. But if anything, Trump has potentially created an exciting moment for when DeSantis does announce, because it’ll be new and fresh after Trump has spent months being the only candidate barking out the same boring lies. Ooh, when he does announce, I hope DeSantis wears the white boots.

Boring? Did I mention boring? It couldn’t have been boring because last night, I turned on Fox News for a few minutes and saw Mike Huckabee and Jim Jordan telling Sean Hannity that it would be impossible to beat Trump because he was on a huge roll of dynamic energy or some shit like that. Sean, Huckabee, Jordan, and a few other goons were going on and on about how incredible Trump’s speech was that they weren’t actually paying any attention to. What?

Yeah, Fox News cut away from Trump’s speech to talk about his speech. The fear for Fox News was that their viewers might actually hear it…or fall asleep while hearing it. This is like me making a giant bowl of pasta with my amazing sauce, putting it across the room where you can see it, but not letting you have any of it. Instead, I’ll just describe it and tell you how amazing it is. Just take my word for it. The meatballs are amaze-balls. Mmm, mmm, mmm.

Last night, all the pundits were pointing out that Trump was attempting to duplicate what Grover Cleveland accomplished and be just the second former president to win the presidency. Grover Cleveland was elected to the presidency in 1885 and he lost his reelection attempt in 1889. Four years later, in 1892, he came back and won the presidency again. Not only did he win the presidency, but he beat William McKinley, the man who defeated him in 1889. Trump isn’t just trying to do what Cleveland did by winning back the presidency, but also by defeating the man who defeated him, President Joe Biden.

But after listening to his speech last night, or at least the parts I didn’t fall asleep to, Trump is more likely to duplicate the history of the five other former presidents who attempted to retake the White House than he is to duplicate Cleveland’s feat.

Trump’s speech was boring. Sure, he was reading off a teleprompter but it was like the guy couldn’t see the periods. It was one long run-on sentence of lies.

It wasn’t shocking that MSNBC didn’t air any of his speech live, but it was a little of a surprise that CNN gave up and went to analysts during his speech. But it was an even bigger surprise that Fox News stopped airing it live and instead, brought us the fawning analysis of Mike Huckabee. Fox News wanted their readers to trust that it was an exciting speech instead of viewing it and seeing it as the snore-fest it actually was. Jeb Bush tweeted that it was “low energy” and hashtagged #SleepyDonnie.

It was an extremely long speech. In fact, he might still be delivering it.

You might be thinking it only seemed boring on TV and to truly appreciate the dynamic energy and enthusiasm, one would have had to be there. We could always ask the people who were there if only the Trump campaign would unlock the doors and let them out. That’s right. Several people tried to flee before they yawned themselves to death but were foiled in their escape attempts by locked doors. That was probably a violation of a lot of fire codes and definitely the stuff of my nightmares.

I was in a room during a Trump speech once and fortunately, the doors were not locked and my companion and I were able to flee the scene during all the seig heils when nobody would notice. But even if they had locked the doors, no Trump campaign workers would have been able to prevent me from leaving.

It’s the lack of energy and enthusiasm coming from Trump that makes me believe he’s not going to duplicate Grover Cleveland, and instead follow the paths of Martin Van Buren, Millard Filmore, Ulysses S. Grant, Theodore Roosevelt, and Herbert Hoover (Yes, I have ninja research skills, y’all). Each of these five former presidents attempted a comeback to retake the White House after leaving it. What all five failed to do wasn’t just win back the White House, but win their parties’ nominations. Each of their parties said, “Nah, uh-uh, we’re good, thanks but no thanks,” and “seriously, Fillmore? What the fuck?”

Maybe instead of trying to be like Grover Cleveland, other than being tied with him for second-fattest president (Cleveland didn’t have a Dr. Ronnie Jackson to lie about his weight but he did have a doctor who’d give him secret jaw surgery on a yacht off the coast of Long Island), Trump should try to do what president John Tyler did.

John Tyler also lost the presidency after one term, took 16 years off, then attempted a political comeback by running for a seat in Congress…the Confederate Congress.

Sure, John Tyler was a traitor, a former U.S. president joining the enemy, but Trump’s a traitor too. Donald Trump is beholden to Russia and tried to overthrow our government. And we all know how much Trump loves Confederate statues and defends Nazis and people in white hoods, but the Confederacy isn’t around anymore. Maybe Trump can run for office in the government of one of our enemies that still exist, like Russia or North Korea. Tyler won a seat in the Confederacy and maybe Trump can sit in the Duma, the Russian Congress. They can call him the Duma Dumbass. It’s catchy.

Just be careful, Sleepy Donnie. Tyler won the election in his political comeback but died before he could assume his treasonous office. Don’t worry, Donald. I’ll let everyone know you’re not dead…and that you’re just giving another speech.

Clay Jones is the 2022 recipient of the RFK Human Rights Journalism Award in Editorial Cartooning, and won a 2021 Sigma Delta Chi Award for Excellence in Journalism from the Society of Professional Journalists. He was a finalist for the Herblock Prize in 2019 and a finalist for the National Headliner Award in 2020. See more award-winning editorial cartoons from him at

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