Sitting at his desk in the Oval office, Joe Biden puts in a call to Donald Trump in Mar-a-Lago.
The call is made via a confidential zoom link, managed by the White House and the Homeland Security Agency (HSA).
Trump, who had agreed to the talk, picks up right away. We only see the two men in their respective screens.
Biden – Good morning to you.
Trump – And to you, too. I just came from the golf course… missed a hole in one by 2 inches… that’s the kind of shape I’m in. Ready for another 4 years.
Biden – That’s what I wanted to talk to you about.
Trump – My golf game? I’m incredible. I keep getting better and better. Just the way I’m built, I suppose. So, what’s on your mind… Mr President? For a moment there I almost called you Sleepy Joe, but I caught myself. So, how are you?
Biden – Doing just fine, which is quite remarkable, considering all the people who’re convinced I’m in the early stages of dementia.
Trump – That’s what I’m told. You’re not?
Biden – I’m not. I remember everything, including those things I’d rather forget.
Trump – But your motor skills… I mean, when you were in Indonesia the other day, you stumbled on a step, and if it hadn’t been for their president walking alongside you and holding your arm, you would’ve fallen on your face. Would’ve knocked your teeth out, too.
Biden – I would’ve caught myself, I’m sure.
Trump – Time to retire, Joe. You shouldn’t wait until the end of your term. You’re liable to trip while coming down the steps from Air Force One and break your neck. Just let Kamala take over.
Biden – You’re always filled with soothing words for me. Will think about it. The reason I’ve called you is because I have a deal for you.
Trump (laughs) – You… you have got a deal for me?
Biden – I do.
Trump – Incredible. Go ahead, I’m listening. I have a meeting coming up for a new Trump Tower I’m thinking of building in the Gulf.
Biden – Hope it goes well.
Look, man… how about, in the interest of the nation… that neither you nor I run for President.
Trump is silent.
Biden – The reason is…
Trump – No deal, Joe. That’s the end of that.
Biden – Look… it’s not your age… at 76 you’re in great shape… but it’s the stuff you’ve done.
Trump – I haven’t done anything against the law, nothing. The capitol riot was their idea, I did not incite them, but you democrats want to demonize me. I won’t have it.
Biden – You have divided this country like no one else has, and we’re in great need of coming together to face China and Russia.
Trump – Let me stop you right there. I put those tariffs on the Chinese and I got their respect. And you haven’t lifted them because they work. And all those things you’re doing now to stimulate our industry, I was going to do in my second term, which was stolen from me.
Biden – I got 7 million more votes than you did, so stop the nonsense,
Trump – It’s not nonsense. As far as our country needing to come together to face China and Russia, if I had been president, there would’ve been no war with Russia. Nothing. Why? Because Putin and I have a good relationship. If he had felt anxious about NATO being too close, he would’ve picked up the phone and called me. And I would’ve told NATO, ‘step back, okay,’ you’re making Putin uncomfortable.
Biden – And if Putin had said, I need another chunk of Ukraine, in addition to the chunk we now have, then you would’ve said, ‘Okay.’
Trump – Joe, you tell me, what has Ukraine done for us, lately? Nothing at all. Zero. Just give us headaches. And you and your pals, have been giving Zelensky billions and billions of dollars to fight a war that didn’t need to happen. Billions and billions that our people could use to make America great again. Let’s face it, Putin needs his space. Now, you were VP when Obama was president in 2014 and he didn’t lift a finger to stop Putin from taking over Crimea. Am I wrong? And you were right there at those meetings. Did you say anything?
Biden – I stood against the invasion. And so did Obama. But the internal conditions in Ukraine were not set to oppose Putin militarily in Crimea. The focus was on the East and we put sanctions against Russia and helped arm Ukrainian soldiers. The Ukrainian people have evolved politically since then and are fighting heroically to defend their land. You do not recognize their effort.
Trump – Oh, I do, I just don’t think they should be relying on so much stuff from us.
Biden – If we hadn’t been there for them, they would’ve been overrun long ago.
Trump – Life is tough.
Biden – You miss the point that Ukraine is fighting for all peoples committed to freedom.
Trump – Make America great again, Joe. Everybody has to take care of themselves. Now, about the deal you’re proposing, I don’t get it, what’s in it for me?
Biden – You’re a divisive force in our nation. We don’t need that. Today, Europe and America are working together like we haven’t in decades. And central to continuing to do so is having Americans united. You did nothing to strengthen those ties.
I beat you soundly in 2020 and will beat you again if I choose to run once more. I will, though, admit my flaws, and advancing age is an issue. I would be 82 at the start of a next term. It is of concern. But back to you. You will do nothing to unite the country if you’re reelected. You’re all about you and you and then you. You’re not equipped to help build bridges between Americans, which are essential to face the conflicts that lie ahead.
Trump – No deal, Joe. You’ve got no deal for me and are wasting my time. Run if you want to or not. I will beat you or Kamala or Gavin.
Biden – Here’s what my offer would do for you.
Trump – Go ahead.
Biden – Spare you the embarrassment of losing in the primaries.
Trump – You’ve got to be kidding?
Biden – You had your moment. You did what you did and now it’s over for you. The results of the midterm elections speak loudly. Your people were mostly defeated, and in Georgia, Warnock will beat the football player.
Trump – You should worry about you losing the primaries. Not me.
Biden – Look, man, think long term for a moment. You had your moment and you screwed it up. You didn’t educate your people. Didn’t say to them, ‘we got in and now we’ve got to work together with our fellow Americans.’
Trump – My people know that.
Biden – They’re not acting like they do.
As for me, I’m having a great moment. I’ve helped strengthen the western alliance and its support of brave Ukraine. Because of it, the winds of freedom are blowing. Blowing to Iran, blowing to China. I have no regrets about pulling out of Afghanistan. It was time. And I have made climate change a top priority of my administration, unlike you.
Trump – I hear you, Joe… and I thank you for thinking of me… that’s very kind… but I will not lose the primaries and will go on to a second term as President.
Biden – Mark my words, if by a miracle you become the Republican candidate, you will lose the general election. I’ve come to you because I think that, by together choosing to not run for another term, we could energize our nation in a positive way, and set the tone for an electoral contest that will bring out the best in both parties.
Joining me in such gesture, will enhance your standing and your legacy as a political leader.
Trump – Thank for your thoughts but no.
Biden – Please reconsider my offer. We still have time. Best to you and family. Have a good day.
Biden hangs up.
Trump looks down at the ground for a moment.
Trump (to himself) – There’s nothing to think about. I will run and I will win. I will beat whomever the democrats throw at me. And what a moment that will be. Just incredible. I can see the parade of people coming down Pennsylvania Avenue to cheer me on. Happy people, people exulting in their confidence.
What an amazing sight that will be. Extraordinary.
So… four more years… and then… who knows?