Former U.S. President Donald Trump, whose 2016 victory stunned America and the globe, has invited the press to his Florida house at 9 p.m. on Tuesday for a "very big announcement." The 76-year-old billionairep is poised to re-enter the presidential race, defying pleas from within his own Republican Party to retire after his supporters underperformed in this year's midterm elections.
Trump, known for his unpredictability, may still change his mind at the last minute, but he has hardly concealed his intention to run for president again in 2024 for months. "President Trump is going to announce on Tuesday that he's running for president," one of his advisers, Jason Miller, said. Who also expects the address will be "very professional, very buttoned up."
A White House attempt in 2024 would be Trump's third presidential campaign and, if he wins his party's nomination, the Republican Party's fifth national election with him as the standard-bearer. Trump and the Republicans stormed into power in 2016, seizing control of the White House and retaining majorities in both chambers of Congress.
However, Democrats reclaimed the House of Representatives in a landslide in 2018 after campaigning heavily against Trump's abrasive demeanor. Trump was then defeated in re-election in 2020 by Democrat Joe Biden, while Democrats gained control of the 100-seat Senate with a de-facto majority thanks to Vice President Kamala Harris's tie-breaking vote in a chamber divided 50-50.
Trump chose to stay in politics despite leaving Washington in chaos immediately after his supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol, continuing to fundraise and hold rallies across the country. Trump made rejection of the 2020 election results a critical litmus test for candidates seeking his important political endorsement in the run-up to the 2022 midterm elections, which Biden's Democrats were projected to lose convincingly.
However, the projected Republican "red wave" did not materialize, and Democrats will retain control of the Senate. Republicans appear to have a razor-thin advantage in the still-undecided House. The results have emboldened Trump's Republican adversaries while draining the majority of his political momentum ahead of his Tuesday campaign launch.
The revelation on Tuesday is largely interpreted as an attempt to deflate the sails of potential Republican opponents, particularly Ron DeSantis, the newly-reelected Florida governor and rising star who has also garnered the support of Rupert Murdoch's conservative media empire. Trump's new White House bid will also be hampered by the numerous investigations into his behavior before, during, and after the administration, which could lead to his disqualification.
However, the former president is no stranger to scandal, having survived two impeachments thanks to Republican support in Congress.