Former commander-in-chief Donald Trump plans to run for president again, according to dinner conversations in recent months relayed by an inside source.
Trump has been touting the potential 2024 bid to at least three dining buddies, a former senior official at the Republican National Committee told Rolling Stone.
"I have three friends who've had dinner with him in the last couple of months. All three reported that his current plans are to run for president in 2024," the former RNC official said to Rolling Stone. "Now, whether he does or not is a different issue. We've still got three years to go. But he's telling people that."
The ex-RNC official stated that the first two dinners took place in late spring. But the third dinner happened in the last two weeks, the source said. The prior two dinner companions walked away from the discussions convinced Trump was serious, the official added. The third said he left the dinner "not 100% sure Trump wants to run but he likes being in the conversation, he wants to freeze the field, and he wants his name out there," according to the ex-RNC official.
A former Trump adviser who spoke with members of Trump's inner circle noted that he had been briefed on similar conversations that reflect the former president's current thinking. The ex-adviser said that Trump started to signal indications in private back in May that he was leaning towards running again.
"All the people I talk to who deal with him directly think as of now he is running," the ex-adviser said, adding that more recent signs suggest he wants to run.
Trump has teased the possible 2024 run before. At the Fox News town hall in late June, host Sean Hannity raised the subject of Trump's political ambitions for the foreseeable future. "You're not going to answer, but I have to ask," Hannity said. "Without giving the answer … have you made up your mind?"
"Yes," Trump said, provoking cheers from the Fox crowd.
In an interview with Newsmax, he hinted the same sentiments the day before his first campaign-style rally sponsored by Save America held in Wellington, Ohio. Trump said he'd be making an announcement "in the not too distant future."
June's conservative assembly in the swing state marked the first post-presidential rally since Trump left the Oval Office and one of many expected appearances in support of causes that further the Make America Great Again - Keep America Great agenda as well as the numerous accomplishments of the Trump administration.
"We won the election a second time and it's possible we'll have to win it a third time," Trump said at the event followed by applause and chants of "USA! USA!"
Trump's popularity within the Republican Party remains strong despite leaving the White House. A recent survey by veteran pollster Tony Fabrizio demonstrates that half of the respondents said they'd support Trump in a GOP primary. Conservative darling Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, a Trump ally, finished in a distant second place, claiming 19 percent of the respondents. Without the former president in the race, DeSantis is slated to dominate among right-wing White House hopefuls.
Trump remains "the king of the GOP" while DeSantis is "looking like the crown prince," Politico worded the disparity. Everyone else, including former Vice President Mike Pence, would be in single digits, leaving Trump the clear leader.
If his candidacy became official, Big Tech companies might have to reverse course on the handful of suspensions Trump received in the aftermath of the Jan. 6 riot.
"Facebook's ruling is an insult to the record-setting 75M people, plus many others," Trump said in response to the two-year Facebook ban, "who voted for us in the 2020 Rigged Presidential Election. They shouldn't be allowed to get away with this censoring and silencing, and ultimately, we will win."
The former leader of the free world remains suspended for two years, effective from the date of the initial suspension on Jan. 7, 2021. At the end of the period, Facebook will decide whether the "risk to public safety has receded."
White House press secretary Jen Psaki took the free market approach to justify Facebook's censorious actions. "As always, it's a decision for the company to make and any platform to make..." said Psaki, arguing that any social media site that is disseminating information to millions of Americans online "has a responsibility to crack down on disinformation, to crack down on false information, whether it's about the election or even about the vaccine as we're trying to keep the American public safe and return to normal out in society."
"Feels pretty unlikely that the zebra's gonna change its stripes over the next two years," Psaki said of the Biden administration's snooty stance on Trump.