Why Donald Trump's Unexpected Trip To Washington DC Has Political Watchers Talking

On September 12, 2022, Newsweek reported that former President Donald Trump was seen getting off of a plane in Washington the previous day (which is to say, Sunday, September 11). Ordinarily, such a thing wouldn't make the news; after all, people travel here and there all the time, whether they're former presidents or just everyday travelers. However, a few things stood out about this event that put it outside the norm. 

For one, he arrived at Dulles Airport, which is often used by people heading to the Capitol, as opposed to, say, changing planes or traveling on to somewhere else. For another, the 45th president made no mention of his plans to travel to Washington, which is a bit outside the norm for him considering that he ordinarily publicizes his comings and goings on his social media platform or through the press.

This has led to speculation on social media that he was, or is about to be, placed under arrest. However, there are a number of reasons why that might not be true, including the fact that it wasn't announced at the time, and a big news event such as the arrest of a former president would almost certainly be covered far and wide. It's just as likely that he's in town for some mundane reason as well.

Option 1: He Got Arrested or Is Getting Arrested

The first area of speculation surrounding Trump's unannounced and unexpected visit to Washington concerns the idea that he came to town for his arrest. The 45th president is certainly facing criminal liability from a number of fronts, as The Tennessean reports. The Memphis newspaper suggests that the committee investigating the January 6 Capitol riots is planning to wrap things up with a criminal indictment. And of course, his Mar-a-Lago home was raided by the FBI with a view toward finding and identifying classified materials that weren't his to take to Florida; that, too, may result in a criminal indictment. And of course, Georgia is looking into Trump's alleged attempts to interfere in the 2020 election in that state, which could also result in a criminal indictment.

At least one Twitter user was unabashed in their feelings about Trump's mysterious arrival at Dulles airport, saying "DEAR GOD, PLEASE let this life-long chaos creating grifter & con-man be arrested and sent to prison so we can have our damn country back!" they tweeted. Yet others are acknowledging that while the situation is odd, the truth really isn't known yet. Palmer Report tweeted, "As I suspected would be the case when the news first broke yesterday, we still don't know why Trump is in DC. He hasn't said anything about it, suggesting it's either really bad for him (grand jury) or it's something boring ..."

Option 2: He's In Town For Some Mundane Reason

The second major area of speculation about his unexpected D.C. visit is that he's in town for something mundane, like playing golf or getting medical care. As The Daily Beast noted, when he was spotted getting off the plane Sunday night, he was dressed not in his customary suit and tie, but rather "still in his golf shoes," which could potentially mean that he's in town to play golf. Freelance reporter Andrew Leyden, the man who broke the story and who took the video of the former president deplaning, suggested the same. And Trump does own a nearby golf course, so he could just be in town to play a few holes, though The Daily Beast said the forecast called for rain that day. 

Newsweek also raises the possibility that he's in town for medical care. Typically, sitting and former presidents get their medical care at Walter Reed Hospital in Washington, so he could be visiting for health reasons.

All of this, it bears noting, is nothing more than speculation. That is, unless and until an official source reports the reason for his being in D.C. -– and indeed, there may never be such an announcement and he could return home with the reasons for his unannounced Washington visit never being made known.