Split-screen appears as Biden convenes crisis talks while Trump prepares campaign announcement

Biden, British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, right, and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau gather to hold an ’emergency’ meeting to discuss a missile strike on Polish territory near the border with Ukraine , on the sidelines of the G20 leaders’ summit in Nusa Dua, on the Indonesian island of Bali, on November 16. (Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images)

White House officials were expecting a split-screen moment this week as President Joe Biden met with world leaders in Bali at the same time as his predecessor. should announce a third presidential one.

But the momentum has only grown as Biden convenes emergency talks with world leaders over the explosions in Poland at the same time as Trump loyalists fill the Mar-a-Lago ballroom for the announcement from the former president.

Biden was leading the crisis talks with members of the G7 and NATO in Bali – two groupings Trump has questioned the usefulness of his tenure.

“There was complete unanimity among the people around the table,” Biden said after the talks emerged. Less than 10 minutes later, Trump took the stage at Mar-a-Lago.

Before the trip, Biden’s advisers weren’t particularly concerned about split-screen — and after the Democrats’ election success, they were even less suspicious of Trump announcing a third presidential bid while Biden was in Asia.

On the one hand, Biden officials are happy to draw comparisons between the current president and the former on the foreign stage, given the general chaos that has often followed Trump on his foreign trips.

Trump’s announcement will surely spark renewed attention on Biden regarding decision-making regarding his re-election bid. By all accounts, including his closest advisers, Biden will feel more inclined to seek a second term if Trump is in the running.

But, for Biden, the timing couldn’t have been more opportune. The prospect of mid-course annihilation loomed over preparations for his trip around the world for the past few weeks. Widespread Republican victories — including by election deniers — would seriously complicate the president’s core message that democracies will prevail over autocracies.

Trump’s tease of a campaign announcement just as Biden would rally the world behind Democratic ideals only raised the stakes.