In his first sit-down TV interview for months, former US President Donald Trump was asked about his future plans. He played coy. Donald Trump has teased a potential return to the White House, revealing he is “seriously considering” running for president again in 2024.
It isn’t the first time Mr. Trump, whose single term ended in January amid the lingering drama of the Capitol riot, legal challenges to the election results, and a failed attempt to bar him from running again, has hinted at another tilt for the top job. Mr. Trump made the comments in an hour-long interview with Fox News host Sean Hannity yesterday, his first sit-down interview with a major news network since leaving office.
- “Are you running again in 2024? What are the odds?” Hannity asked.
- “First of all, it’s a long time,” said Mr. Trump, 74.
- “The odds, the odds. What are the odds?
- “I say this: I am looking at it very seriously, beyond seriously.
“From a legal standpoint, I don’t want to really talk about it yet. It’s a little too soon.”
It is unclear precisely what “legal standpoint” Mr. Trump was referring to. However, the former president is fighting off some potentially damaging legal battles.
He is facing investigations in New York over his past financial affairs. In Georgia, investigators examine whether he violated the law by attempting to pressure state officials to overturn the 2020 election results.
Continuing his answer, Mr. Trump said he was “all in” to back Republican Party candidates in the 2022 midterm elections, which will decide the balance of power in Congress.
“If they need a rally, we’ll do a rally, we’ll do calls, we’ll do all sorts of things,” said the former president.
“Almost everybody I endorse wins.”
The Hannity interview was held at Mr. Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Florida, where he has spent most of his time since he left the White House and President Joe Biden was inaugurated in January.
It is not the first time Mr. Trump has hinted at another run for president. “I’ll see you in four years,” he told his supporters at a holiday reception at the White House in December, and at a Conservative Political Action Conference in February, he repeated his false claims that he actually won the 2020 election.
“Who knows, I may even decide to beat them for the third time,” Mr. Trump told the crowd.
Mr. Trump is eligible to run for president in 2024 after being acquitted in his second impeachment trial earlier this year. A conviction could have resulted in him being barred from seeking office.
A 57-43 majority of the US Senate voted to convict Mr. Trump for “incitement of insurrection” against the government. However, a two-thirds majority of 67 was required for a guilty verdict. Hence the acquittal.
Should he attempt another run, the question will be whether he will have enough support within the Republican Party to make a comeback. Some high-profile Republicans, such as Congresswoman Liz Cheney, deserted him in the wake of the riots. National security expert for Bondi Partners, Mark Watson, said he felt the Trump brand was too damaged for the former president to make a comeback. “In my view, the US reached the peak, Donald Trump, on the sixth of January this year with the attack on the Capitol. I think the Trump personal brand was damaged; it’s tough to see a way back for him personally,” Mr. Watson told Sky News.
That said, he stressed there were still a lot of voters who continued to connect with Mr. Trump’s values.
“Trumpism, on the other hand, is alive and well, that hasn’t gone away, and there’s still a lot of voters in America who still connect to the basic themes Donald Trump was pushing,” he said.
Elsewhere in the interview with Hannity, Mr. Trump reflected on his past three months since leaving the top job, saying “helping people” was what he missed the most.
“That’s why I did it,” he said.
“Look, this has been very traumatic. I had a great life, great company, great business, no problems, and now all I do is, people, go after you. It’s vicious, it’s horrible, but you know what? I loved doing it because I helped people. And I’ve helped them more than any president.”
Mr. Trump said his most significant accomplishment as president had been providing $1.5 trillion ($1.92 trillion) in tax cuts to corporations and individuals, adding he hoped the Biden administration did not “screw it up”.