Don’t call it a comeback! Whether it’s by popular acclamation or by a coup, as former national security adviser Michael Flynn suggested at a recent QAnon meeting, Donald Trump is apparently reckoning that he’ll be back in the White House by August. At least that’s the theory percolating among the Trump diehards ensconced at Mar-a-Lago. But then, nolens volens, came a contrary verdict from Lara Trump on Fox and Friends this morning: ‘There are no plans for Donald Trump to be in the White House in August.’

What a pity. It would be splendid to have Trump back in Washington even if only for the month of August. But keen-eyed observers will note that Lara confined her restriction to August. July remains open. So does September. No one can doubt that Trump, who has apparently been consulting with MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell and Christiana Bobb of One America News, continues to plot his return from exile.

The Europeans would shudder. The press corps, already bored to tears by the emollient Biden, would probably stage a conga line in the Rose Garden at the prospect of Trump’s return. And Biden? He, too, would surely welcome the transition. Washington is sweltering in August and Biden never misses a chance to take a day off. Indeed, as it happens, Biden is on vacation right now in Rehoboth Beach to celebrate his wife, Dr Jill Biden’s, 70th birthday.

Perhaps the whole ‘Trump-in-the-White-House’ scenario was just a desperate move cooked up by his entourage to extract some publicity for him. Trump, after all, has not exactly been doing well in that department, at least if you consider the demise of his blog. The ‘beacon of freedom’, as Trump put it, has been extinguished in less than a month to be replaced by…what? Twitter and Facebook are off-limits. Mr Twitchy Fingers has nowhere to twitch them. He’s vacated the internet. No one seems to have an answer, Trump least of all. Then there’s the fact that the Democrats won a blowout victory in a New Mexico special election. No backlash has developed to Biden. The Democrats remain in the race for the House in 2022. If Trump nationalizes the midterms, it may even redound to the benefit of the Democrats. The more the election is about Trump, the better they will perform.

It all has a bit of the feel of Trump on the eve of the collapse of his casinos in Atlantic City. His old man, Fred, was able to stave off the end for a bit by buying $3.5 million in casino chips without playing them. But the end was nigh. The banks foreclosed on him.

This time Trump is banking, so to speak, on holding rallies in a few weeks to reach out to his camp followers. He wants, in other words, to revive the revival meetings that led to his first run for the presidency. On Saturday, he will give a speech in South Carolina. Rallies are being planned for Florida, Ohio and Alabama.

Trump will have two lines of attack, both centering less on the politics of fear than aggrievement. The first will, of course, be the need to rectify what he sees as the manifestly unfair results of the 2020 election, which is to say that he wasn’t anointed the winner, no matter the actual results. The second will be to focus on the odious tactics allegedly being employed by the ‘purely political’ New York prosecutors to take him down.

But the auguries for Trump are not good. This past February, the Trump hotel and casino in Atlantic City were demolished. Now he himself may be imploding as well. The next few months will show whether Trump has any real staying power — or whether he has passed his sell-by date.