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Where could Donald Trump move if he loses the election?


Namita Singh
INDEPENDENT . Fri, November 6, 2020, 2:36 PM GMT+1
About a fortnight ago, President Donald Trump mulled aloud the possibility of leaving the country if he lost the election to his Democratic opponent Joe Biden.

“Could you imagine if I lose? I’m not going to feel so good. Maybe I’ll have to leave the country, I don’t know,” he said while addressing a campaign rally in Georgia.

In a twist of fate, it could be Georgia that now seals Mr Biden’s victory in the election. The Democrat has taken the lead in the count there and only needs to maintain his leads in Nevada and Arizona to find himself heading to the White House.

It remains to be seen whether Mr Trump will indeed lose, and he certainly isn’t going down without a fight. But if he were to make good on his promise and head for pastures new, where might we find former president Trump starting out afresh? We take a look at the options – in case he needs help with his transition.

Scotland

If he wants a quick move, Mr Trump might find it comfortable to reside in Scotland, where he owns at least two golf resorts – Trump International Golf Links Aberdeen and Trump Turnberry – which have received about £250,000 from his government during the past four years.

The lion’s share came from the US Department of Defence, which spent at least $184,000 (£142,000) on rooms at Turnberry for military personnel passing through the nearby Glasgow Prestwick Airport.

Mr Trump, whose mother Mary Trump was originally from Scotland, faced opposition to building his Trump International Golf Links on the Aberdeenshire coastline. Plans for the development were initially rejected before a Scottish National Party-run government inquiry led to its approval in 2008.

Canada

Though the president and the Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau have had a fraught relationship as leaders of two of the world’s closest allies, Canada might not be a bad option for Mr Trump, simply because the country is known worldwide for its warmth and acceptance towards migrants.

However, if Mr Trump does decide to move across the border to the north he will risk bumping into some of the millions who, in 2016, rushed to Google for advice on how how to quit the US altogether upon his election.

Canada enjoys many perks as a destination, from being a wealthy country with high education and employment levels, to its stunning landscapes. However, if he wants to become a Canadian citizen, Mr Trump would have to provide tax returns for at least four years of permanent residence in the country – something we know the president isn’t fond of doing.

Russia

Mr Trump’s friendly relationship with Russia’s president Vladimir Putin is well known, and its clear that Russia as a whole is a fan – after all, US intelligence agencies have concluded that the country tried to interfere in the 2016 presidential election to tilt the contest in Mr Trump’s favour.

The president’s relationship with Mr Putin has been described as deferential by political commentators, with the New York Times writing after Mr Trump refused to criticise the apparent poisoning of Alexei Navalny that “to all appearances, Putin has the president of the United States in his pocket”.

What better way to build on this relationship than move to Moscow and spend more time with the leader for whom Mr Trump has been expressing admiration ever since 2007, when Mr Putin became Time magazine’s “Man of the Year”.

China

There would be something fitting about Mr Trump finally embracing the rising Asian superpower he tussled with throughout his term, and which he described only in the past weeks as America’s “greatest adversary”.

It hasn’t all been bad – Mr Trump has applauded the acumen of the Chinese leader Xi Jinping on several occasions.

And the Trump Organisation already has a bank account in China to make the move easier – reportedly paying more taxes there than Mr Trump paid in income tax in recent years, according to the New York Times.

North Korea

The relationship between President Trump and North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-un has been turbulent over the past four years, as they turned from enemies to frenemies.

It started with vicious insults and threats in 2017 to the then-historic meeting in 2018 where the US president says “we fell in love”.

Mr Kim and Mr Trump held face-to-face talks several times and last year tilted at denuclearisation, but discussions stalled as the US refused to lift sanctions until North Korea fully abandoned its nuclear programme.

However, this year the North Korean leader received birthday wishes from President Trump, seen as an effort at rekindling the relationship. Offering a post-election haven might be one way for Mr Kim to return the favour.

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