NEW YORK (AP) — As he played to a crowd of supporters in Robstown, Texas, former President Donald Trump drew cheers as he talked up his first two runs for the White House — and teased a third.
“In order to make our country successful, safe and glorious again, I will probably have to do it again,” he said last month.
That carefully placed “probably” may soon be gone from Trump's stump speech.
Aides to the former president are making quiet preparations for a 2024 presidential campaign that could be launched soon after next week's midterm elections as Trump tries to capitalise on expected Republican wins to propel himself toward becoming the front-runner for his party's nomination.
“I'm like 95% he's going to run,” said Reince Priebus, Trump's former White House chief of staff.
"The real question,” he added, “are other big challengers going to run? If President Trump runs, he will be very difficult for any Republican to defeat.”
Another campaign would be a remarkable turn for any former president, much less one who made history as the first to be impeached twice and remains embroiled in multiple and intensifying criminal investigations, including probes of classified information held at his Mar-a-Lago club and his effort to pressure election officials to overturn the results of the 2020 election.
Trump has a history dating back to the 1980s of publicly toying with White House bids only to back down.
But Trump, according to people close to him, is eager to be back in the political game.