Edward Norton Says Donald Trump’s Transition Delay Aimed At ‘Nixon-Style’ Deal To Concede: ‘Call. His. Bluff.’

Edward Norton attends the "Motherless Brooklyn" red carpet during the 14th Rome Film Festival on October 17, 2019 in Rome, Italy.
Vittorio Zunino Celotto / Getty Images

Actor Edward Norton sounded off on President Donald Trump in a Friday morning Twitter thread, insisting that the 45th president is delaying the transition to President-elect Joe Biden in an attempt to avoid the “deep, multi-dimensional legal jeopardy” the actor said he’s in.

“I do not think Trump is trying to ‘make his base happy’ or ‘laying the groundwork for his own network’ or that ‘chaos is what he loves’. The core of it is that he knows he’s in deep, multi-dimensional legal jeopardy & this defines his every action,” Norton tweeted.

Norton said Trump’s delay is, instead, an attempt to “buy time for coverup & evidence suppression” as part of a “desperate endgame” that involved sowing sufficient disorder and about the impending transfer of power to get a “Nixon-style deal” before conceding. Having invoked his extensive experience playing poker, Norton laid out his argument using metaphors from Texas Hold ’em.

“But he doesn’t have the cards. His bluff after ‘the flop’ has been called in court. His ‘turn card’ bluff will be an escalation & his ‘River card’ bluff could be really ugly. But they have to be called.”

The actor went on to describe Trump as a “mobster” who was trying to “bully” the United States by threatening the nation’s democratic foundations. Norton made repeated calls for the president’s bluff to be called, interspersed with a tirade of invective directed at Trump.

“Call. His. Bluff,” Norton tweeted.

Edward Norton attends the "Motherless Brooklyn" red carpet during the 14th Rome Film Festival on October 17, 2019 in Rome, Italy.
  Vittorio Zunino Celotto / Getty Images

It’s not the first time Norton’s made his voice heard in the political arena. In 2004, he urged college students to vote against incumbent Republican President George W. Bush on the basis of the 43rd president’s policies on tax breaks and college funding. Norton lent his voice to Bush’s opponent, Sen. John Kerry, making speeches on his behalf.

In 2008, Norton switched tactics, supporting but not directly campaigning on behalf of future President Barack Obama. He also produced a documentary, By the People: The Election of Barack Obama, about the 44th president’s campaign to take the White House, as Reuters reported at the time.

“Senator Obama’s history-making race for the White House has given our film a perfect framework to explore the pulse of the country at this vital moment in our history,” Norton said.

Norton’s Friday morning remarks may spark conversations about celebrities participating in political conversations, something the actor spoke about previously. In a 2016 interview with The Globe And Mail, he was asked about a statement made by fellow actor Mark Wahlberg, who’d stated that celebrities live in a bubble and should not talk about politics as a result. Norton agreed in part, saying people should possess the “humility to not comment glibly” and that having a platform sometimes encourages people to opine too casually. Still, Norton maintained that having a certain notoriety doesn’t preclude a person from having relevant and worthwhile opinions on other matters.

“The fact of being well known for something doesn’t in any way automatically mean it’s impossible to have a serious grounding in another subject. America’s a place that subsists on civic participation, and I don’t think that people who have public profiles should step back from participation.”