President Donald Trump has spent the past several weeks reassuring his supporters that he still has a path to victory in the 2020 presidential election, mounting legal challenges and attacking the news media for declaring Democrat Joe Biden the winner.
In reality, Trump has accepted defeat and is already looking ahead, according to a Saturday report from The Washington Post. In private conversations with aides and confidants, the commander-in-chief has reportedly contemplated his post-presidential plans, exploring several options.
One of them is running again in 2024. In fact, according to individuals familiar with the situation, Trump has told allies that he could announce a 2024 campaign by the end of this year, or even sooner.
“One adviser who recently spoke with the president said that Trump told him he planned to announce a new campaign in three weeks, and that he wanted to act quickly to try to freeze the large field of prospective Republican 2024 presidential candidates.”
Vice President Mike Pence, former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo are viewed as potential White House hopefuls, and all of them have served in the current administration.
However, some Republicans have already expressed support for Trump’s hypothetical comeback. Notably, Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida recently said that he endorses the “Trump 2024 movement.”
It has also been speculated that Trump is looking to start his own media company, but some aides believe that is unlikely, given how expensive and risky this project would be.
But that does not mean Trump won’t use his power and influence to destroy political opponents. Several people close to the commander-in-chief told The Washington Post that he is still furious with Fox News and that he “plans to seek vengeance” against the network.
According to former Republican National Committee Chairman (RNC) Michael Steele, whatever he decides to do, Trump will not retreat from public life like many of his predecessors. Instead, he will likely seek to remain an influential voice in conservative politics and media for years to come.
“He wants the party to continue to be consumed by him and his madness,” Steele said.
Some believe that Trump will try to use the leverage and power he has to shape the future of the Republican Party and influence the political landscape.
“His Twitter feed, as obnoxious as it is, is one of the most powerful tools he has — and he gets to take that with him. He’ll still have that ability to make or break primaries and tank deals on Capitol Hill,” said Brendan Buck, a GOP strategist and former senior aide on Capitol Hill.