President Donald Trump has confirmed in public for the first time that he wants to run for the presidency again in 2024, something that he has reportedly been discussing for weeks in private.
Videos of a White House Christmas party on Tuesday evening showed Trump addressing a gathering comprised mainly of Republican National Committee members.
“It’s been an amazing four years,” Trump told the crowd. “We’re trying to do another four years. Otherwise, I’ll see you in four years.”
Trump has been privately telling advisers for weeks that he’s pondering a 2024 campaign, and some close to him think he could announce a bid in the immediate weeks ahead.
In fact, some US media report that Trump is considering announcing his 2024 campaign on Inauguration Day and skipping the swearing-in of Joe Biden, in order to cause the maximum disruption and steal his successor’s limelight.
There is “preliminary planning” underway for a Jan. 20 event to kick off a new Trump bid, three people familiar with the discussions said. Regardless of the timing of a campaign announcement, the sources said Trump is not expected to attend Biden’s inauguration. He also does not plan to invite Biden to the White House or even call him.
Trump is keen on the idea of formally launching a 2024 campaign on Inauguration Day because that’s when he filed for re-election in 2017, sources say.
Tuesday’s video of the president’s appearance was streamed live on Facebook by one attendee, Pam Pollard, who is national committeewoman for the Oklahoma GOP. It showed dozens of people crammed into the Cross Hall of the White House state floor, standing closely together. Many seen in the video were not wearing masks.
In the video, Trump is heard continuing to air baseless allegations of election fraud to explain his defeat by President-elect Biden.
“It’s certainly an unusual year. We won an election. But they don’t like that,” Trump told the group, adding: “I call it a rigged election, and I always will.”
Tuesday appears to mark the first time outside those private conversations that he’s spoken about seeking a return to the White House, as Biden prepares to move into the Oval Office on Jan. 20.
In the history of the United States, the only other man who has successfully come back to the White House again after losing an election was Grover Cleveland, who was elected president in 1884 and then in 1892.
Rita Osakwe/Agency Reports