Donald Trump, America’s Shadow President . . .

Joe Biden may be America’s de facto president, but come on, who’s really running the country? Kamala Harris? Susan Rice? Joe Manchin? Obama? A shadow president possible?

A Grain of Salt | ElbyJames
4 min readAug 3, 2021


Editors notes: I’m trying something new. This is the first in a series of political pieces. Let me know what you think. Thanks.

President Donald Trump is running a shadow presidency? Why shouldn’t he? I mean if there’s a deep state why not a shadow president? If Trump can be impeached as a private citizen then why can’t he be a shadow president?

Where did this idea of a “shadow presidency” originate? Most likely from the main stream media who by-the-way relies on Trump for their ratings. Since Trump left office, CNN and the rest of the MSM’s ratings have taken a hit so it’s only naturally Trump gets thrown back into the 24-hr news cycle.

In an interview with Newsmax host Steve Cortes (who himself is a former Trump adviser) Mark Meadows, who was Trump’s final White House chief of staff, hinted at the reality of a Trump shadow presidency.

“We met with several of our Cabinet members tonight,” Meadows said. “We actually had a follow-up member – meeting with some of our Cabinet members, and as we were looking at that. We were looking at what does come next.”

In an interview with Peter Nicholas, South Carolina senator Lindsey Graham stipulated Trump hasn’t lost just yet:

“He has a lot of sway over the Republican Party. If he objects to anything Biden [does], it would be hard to get Republicans on board. If he blessed some kind of deal, it would be easier to get something done. In many ways, he’ll be a shadow president.”

These kinds of speculation aren’t anything new. Many speculated when number 44 left office he would be setting up a shadow presidency. Unlike Trump’s shadow presidency which – if it truly exists – is in Mar-a-Lago, Obama set his up just blocks from the White House.

In a private speech in 2017, Rep. Mike Kelly (R-Pa.) alleged former President Barack Obama is living in Washington to run a secret operation to take down President Trump.

“President Obama himself said he was going to stay in Washington until his daughter graduated,” Kelly said at the event in remarks caught on video.

“. . . he’s only there for one purpose and one purpose only, and that is to run a shadow government that is going to totally upset the new agenda.”

Apparently it’s okay for the Left to operate a shadow government or shadow presidency but if anybody who is remotely tied to the politics of the Right mentions it, they’re looked at as being a far-right, conspiracy nut. But the tables have turned and anybody who denies Trump is a “shadow president” is viewed as a far-right facist.

Why is the left so vested in Trump’s so-called “shadow presidency”? Joe Biden is ostensibly the president, yet, he is effectively a “missing” president. Videos of his failing cognitive abilities are staples on the video websight YouTube. To think the White House and the Democratic party hasn’t taken notice and reacted by placing a “shadow president” in place after all the work to place a Democrat in office would be fruitless.

And as is typical with Trump, the grievances he wildly purveys usually have at least a kernel of truth to them if you dig deep enough. He has a reasonable argument in the formation of his post-presidency office for instance his tenure was “rigged,” for a lack of a better term from before it started. Remember, it. was in December 2016 —nearly a month before Trump’s inauguration —when the first official accusation he’d been sinisterly aided by “Russian interference” was leaked via unnamed members of the “intelligence community.”

Both Trump and his supporters feel they have more than ample justification to claim he was defrauded rather than defeated in this election. The issue is not even so much his supporters believe the election was “rigged” but the election was fraudulent. Does Trump’s “defrauded” election or “rigged” election give him the authority to operate a shadow presidency? Most Americans would say “no” but, most on the left would agree that ol’ number 45 is indeed running a “shadow presidency.”

According to Rasmussen Reports, “voters are not letting go of their belief that the 2020 presidential election was a fraud-filled nightmare.” By a margin of 51% to 44%, voters said it is “likely” that cheating affected the outcome. That included 74% of Republicans and 30% of Democrats.

According to Rasmussen, most voters say it’s “more important to prevent cheating in elections than to make it easier to vote and, by more than a two-to-one margin, they reject claims that voter ID laws are discriminatory.”

If there really is a “shadow president,” then there are plenty of informal powers in the post-pandemic office a newly-christened “shadow president” could conceivably wield. Having garnered 74.2 million votes, he’ll have a limitless range of options to continue exerting political influence. The first thing virtually any ambitious Republican who wants to win a competitive primary election will seek is his endorsement.



A Grain of Salt | ElbyJames

ElbyJames is an American disabled combat vet exiled in the UK & a free speech absolutist. He’s an occasional Top Writer