A former top Republican advisor predicts Donald Trump will not leave the White House graciously and expects his behaviour to become increasingly erratic.
Former national security advisor and US ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton told NewstalkZB it was likely Trump would put up a fight to keep the top job and as results went against him his behaviour would deteriorate further.
"I think he will certainly look like a sore loser. He won't leave graciously," he told Mike Hosking.
Bolton said that from the tone of Trump's missives on social media he was not handling the election cliffhanger at all well.
"I think you can see from the tweets which are now in all capital letters showing blood pressure's high. I think he's finally beginning to face the handwriting on the wall although it's certainly premature to say that we know with any certainty what the outcome will be but it's also pretty clear as our politicians say you would rather than be Biden than Trump at this point."
Bolton predicted you would likely see more of the "early morning hours rhetoric" along similar lines of earlier tweets where Trump accused the Democrats of stealing the election from him and committing massive fraud which there was no evidence for at the moment.
However, the President was entitled to exercise all the statutory and legal rights available to him in the various states where the election outcome was close, he said.
"So Trump is going to run his string and we'll see what happens. The fact is though once you go into court you have an obligation to present evidence for what you say as opposed to being a politician where you can say pretty much anything you want."
He said the most important lesson to draw after four years of the Trump presidency was that he could not convince people he deserved a consecutive term.
"This will be the first time in the last four presidents who didn't get a second term.
"This is a pretty good example of Trump being rejected and Trump is lucky to be doing as well as he is," said Bolton.
Bolton thought if Covid had not been a factor Trump would have campaigned on a strong economy.
"He would have been in a relatively strong position but it also would have been a very different campaign."
He added it was not at all clear Biden would have landed the Democratic presidential nomination.
"Maybe it wouldn't have been a 77-year-old against a 74-year-old. Maybe the Democrats would have nominated somebody younger, maybe it would have been a very different campaign but obviously none of that happened."
Bolton said the Trump presidency would be viewed in history as "an aberration".
"He did a number of things that ensured a lot of support among republicans. He got lower taxes, less regulation of the economy. He did what he said he would do in the 2016 campaign and appointed 200-plus conservative judges to the federal judiciary including three to the Supreme Court and those sorts of things are traditional Republican doctrine but so much of the rest of what he did was just Donald Trump that I think he will be seen as an anomaly and an aberration. I think that's what history will say too."
Bolton said when he joined the Trump administration in 2018 he believed the gravitas of the presidential role would temper his behaviour and impact him as it had his predecessors.
He predicted there would be a very intense battle for the next Republican presidential nomination.