WASHINGTON (AP) — It’s a club Donald Trump was never really interested in joining and certainly not so soon: the cadre of former commanders in chief who revere the presidency enough to put aside often bitter political differences and even join together in common cause.
Members of the ex-presidents club pose together for pictures. They smile and pat each other on the back while milling around historic events, or sit somberly side by side at VIP funerals. They take on special projects together. They rarely criticize one another and tend to offer even fewer harsh words about their White House successors.
Like so many other presidential traditions, however, this is one Trump seems likely to flout. Now that he’s left office, it’s hard to see him embracing the stately, exclusive club of living former presidents.
“He kind of laughed at the very notion that he would be accepted in the presidents club,” said Kate Andersen Brower, who interviewed Trump in 2019 for her book “Team of Five: The Presidents’ Club in the Age of Trump.” “He was like, ‘I don’t think I’ll be accepted.’”
It’s equally clear that the club’s other members don’t much want him — at least for now.