The Straits Times says

Trump leaving, but will not be forgotten

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Nothing about United States President Donald Trump ever came in mellowed tones. Controversial as a businessman disdainful of politicians, including the Republican Party whose platform he nonetheless mounted to rise to power without having held public office before, he leaves with a mixed record - including being impeached twice and banned by social media - that will be examined for decades to come. Quite in character, the 45th president is not going quietly. His last weeks saw determined attempts to use the judiciary to stay in office, followed by a tacit incitement that led supporters to storm the US Capitol in an unprecedented repudiation of the national vote. A Gallup poll released on Monday showing his approval rating at 32 per cent, a low point of his presidency, is perhaps indicative of America's mood.

The Covid-19 pandemic to which he responded at the start, then allowed to fester to his nation's great peril, is the principal reason why he has ended up as a one-term president. Ignoring science, he gave millions of Americans a false sense of bravado against a disease to which he himself subsequently fell victim, as did others in the White House. The US has the world's largest case load and deaths, and Mr Trump's poor handling proved costly not only for the US economy but also to its image as the pre-eminent global power. His tenure has been marked by widened divisions in the country, and a damaged US reputation internationally.

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