Donald Trump did not rule out the possibility that he might decide not to serve as president if he beats Hillary Clinton in the November general election, the New York Times reported Thursday. "I'll let you know how I feel about it after it happens," he told an interviewer, when asked if might walk away from the job once the election is done.
Presented in a recent interview with a scenario, floating around the political ether, in which the presumptive Republican nominee proves all the naysayers wrong, beats Hillary Clinton and wins the presidency, only to forgo the office as the ultimate walk-off winner, Mr. Trump flashed a mischievous smile. "I'll let you know how I feel about it after it happens," he said, minutes before leaving his Trump Tower office to fly to a campaign rally in New Hampshire.
Now he is refusing to rule out an even more dramatic departure, one that would let him avoid the grueling job of governing, return to his business and enjoy his now-permanent status as a media celebrity.
Leaving the nation hanging would created an unprecedented constitutional crisis, creating a high level of uncertainty depending on the exact moment a victorious Trump decided to vacate the presidency. If it is done before the electoral college members vote within their state delegations, it would leave those individuals with the power to personally choose the next president. If it happened after Trump was officially chosen by the electoral college, the presidency would likely go to his vice presidential running mate -- although the constitution only addresses death, not a resignation.
A majority of the 538 electors would be Republicans, but they might not agree on the best alternative candidate. If no one won a majority of the electors, the contest between the top three vote-getters -- one of whom would presumably be Mrs. Clinton -- would go to the House of Representatives, where each state would be given one vote, while the Senate would select the vice president. House Republicans hold 33 states to the Democrats' 14, with three evenly split. It is unclear whether the vote would take place before or after newly elected representatives were seated.
Of course, Trump being Trump, he may be just teasing the nation