The doors may be closing in on Donald Trump's attempts to steal the 2020 presidential election through the courts, but that doesn't mean he's done with the presidency. Not by a long shot.
No one thought he'd go quietly into the night, but it looks like he's already kickstarting his bid for the 2024 Republican nomination.
Tuesday night at a White House Christmas party, Pam Pollard, a national committeewoman for the Oklahoma GOP, caught Trump on video saying that he plans on running in the next presidential election.
Trump claimed he won the election “but they don’t like that.” He asked if people were watching the “fraud hearings”… https://t.co/WVP0xfkCii— Kaitlan Collins (@Kaitlan Collins)1606876037.0
"It's been an amazing four years," the president told his guests. "We are trying to do another four years. Otherwise, I'll see you in four years."
He also repeated more lies about the validity of the 2020 contest.
"It's certainly an unusual year. We won an election. But they don't like that," Trump added. "I call it a rigged election, and I always will."
Trump will turn 78 in 2024, the same age president-elect Joe Biden is today. If he were to win, it would make him the oldest person ever elected to office. He'd also become the second U.S. president to serve non-consecutive terms.
Grover Cleveland served from 1885–1889, lost his reelection bid, and four years later was elected again, serving from 1893–1897. Cleveland won the popular vote in 1888 but lost the electoral college to Benjamin Harrison.
Trump's hint on Tuesday night could be part of a run up to an official announcement that may come sooner than expected. On Tuesday, sources told NBC the president may announce a 2024 run on Biden's inauguration day, January 20, 2021.
The sources also said he has no plans to attend Biden's swearing-in ceremony or speak with the president-elect.
Per my NBC News colleagues: Trump may announce for 2024 on inauguration day. Either way, he won't attend the inaug… https://t.co/mfIoIXJlNh— Ken Dilanian (@Ken Dilanian)1606860770.0
Trump's desire to stay in the political limelight means Americans may not get a break from him after four years of a chaotic, exhausting presidency. If he doesn't announce he's running right after leaving the White House, there will be months and months of speculation in the media over his 2024 intentions.
It's safe to say that Trump will relish the attention. The specter of another bid for the presidency will also give his Republican leaders pause before breaking away from his leadership or criticizing his scandal-ridden administration.
It also means that the rallies, the tweets, the lies, the conspiracies, and attempts to undermine America's most valuable democratic institutions aren't going anyway either.
In fact, Trump may be able to do just as much damage as an outsider lofting political Molotov cocktails into the White House as he was sitting behind the resolute desk.
A recent Politico / Morning Consult poll found that Trump is already the favored candidate among Republicans and Republican-leaning independents for 2024. In a hypothetical Republican primary, Trump gets 53% with Vice President Mike Pence (12%), and Donald Trump, Jr. (8%), rounding out the top three.
Other popular Republican figures, including Ted Cruz, Tom Cotton, Mitt Romney, and Nikki Haley each received less than 5%.
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