Former President Donald Trump has made no official public announcement that he plans to run again in 2024. But behind closed doors and among his inner circles, Trump has been behaving as if he has already decided to mount a fourth bid for the White House, according to a new report in Monday’s edition of Rolling Stone.
Post-presidency – and despite the violence that he incited at the end of his term – Trump remains the most popular figure in the Republican Party and his influence since leaving office in January has remained largely intact.
“Trump has told at least three people he’s dined with in recent months that he plans to run in 2024, a former senior official at the Republican National Committee tells Rolling Stone,” wrote correspondent Andy Kroll.
The unnamed insider said that he has “three friends who’ve had dinner with him in the last couple of months. All three reported that his current plans are to run for president in 2024. Now, whether he does or not is a different issue. We’ve still got three years to go. But he’s telling people that.”
According to that individual, “the first two dinners took place in late spring. But the third dinner happened in the last two weeks, the official said. The first two dinner companions came away from their conversations convinced Trump was serious and he’s running, the official adds. The third said he left the dinner ‘not 100% sure Trump wants to run but he likes being in the conversation, he wants to freeze the field, and he wants his name out there.'”
Trump also has a massive monetary advantage and can effectively hold the GOP’s 2024 candidate field hostage by claiming he wants to be president again, even if it turns out to be nothing but bluster.
“For now, Trump is seemingly having it both ways. By telling his friends that he plans to run and not officially declaring, he can continue to raise funds through his PAC without the restrictions of an official candidacy. The ex-R.N.C. official says such talk could also freeze the field of Republican presidential contenders. That field includes Mike Pompeo, Trump’s former CIA director and secretary of state; Nikki Haley, Trump’s former ambassador to the United Nations; Florida Gov. [Ron] DeSantis; and [Republican] U.S. senators like Tom Cotton of Arkansas and Josh Hawley of Missouri,” Kroll wrote.
“There are, of course, plenty of reasons why he won’t end up running: his old age, say, or the potential legal jeopardy he faces through his now-indicted company,” Kroll added. “But if the last six years have taught us anything, what fuels him is the attention of the media and adulation of his supporters.”
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Brandon is a political writer for the Hill Reporter specializing in current events, breaking news, and scientific discovery. Brandon holds a Bachelor of Music degree from Indiana University. He lives in New York City.