Trump supporters furious over column saying ex-president shouldn’t have presidential library

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Mayank Aggarwal
·2 min read
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<p>File image: Donald Trump has been lying low since his impeachment in January 2021</p> (AFP via Getty Images)

File image: Donald Trump has been lying low since his impeachment in January 2021

(AFP via Getty Images)

Led by the conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh, supporters of Donald Trump have expressed outrage over a recent Washington Post column that argued that the former president shouldn't have a presidential library.

The column, by art and architecture critic Philip Kennicott, called upon the US Congress to deny Mr Trump the customary presidential library and argued that he lacks "focus, administrative savvy and financial resources to execute a presidential center."

Presidential libraries are intended to be apolitical institutions, which gather together documents and artefacts to tell the story of each past administration.

Kennicott's article, which argued that allowing Mr Trump a library would "cause further damage to the country", has received its own share of support and criticism since it was published last week.

"It's a long story, it goes on, it's filled with 'blah, blah, blah.'" Limbaugh said of the piece. "They're deathly afraid that Trump is going to triumphantly return to public life."

Mr Trump’s critics are “not going to be able to stop this… They're not going to be able to stop Trump from having a public life, if he wants it,” he said.

The radio host, who in February 2020 was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by Mr Trump, argued that the former president's impeachment trial was being pursued to discredit any future political statements he might make.

“Who are these people to decide whether an ex-president deserves a library or not? If he can raise the money for it, then he can do a library,” argued Limbaugh, who has millions of listeners.

On questions related to funds required for the library, the radio host claimed previous libraries of former presidents were funded by Saudi Arabia.

He suggested that Democrats might be jealous because the Clinton library doesn’t get many visitors, while a Trump institution “would become the biggest tourist attraction in the country”.

Meanwhile, on Thursday, the Obama Foundation announced that after an “extensive federal regulatory review,” the Obama Presidential Center will break ground on the South Side of Chicago in 2021.

Barack Obama tweeted that he hopes that “the center will breathe new life into historic Jackson Park while delivering jobs, growth, and much more to the South Side", adding: "Let’s get to work.”

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