President Donald Trump hinted to supporters Tuesday evening at a White House Christmas party that he is looking to wage a 2024 comeback campaign, the most public comments he’s made about seeking another term since losing the 2020 election.
“It’s been an amazing four years. We are trying to do another four years. Otherwise, I’ll see you in four years,” Trump told a crowd of mostly Republican National Committee members, who immediately erupted in cheers, according to video of the remarks viewed by POLITICO.
Trump has been privately telling advisers for weeks that he’s pondering a 2024 campaign, and some close to him think he could announce a bid in the immediate weeks ahead. But Tuesday appears to mark the first time outside those private conversations that he’s spoken about seeking a return to the White House, as President-elect Joe Biden prepares to move into the Oval Office on Jan. 20.
Trump’s interest in a comeback bid has threatened to freeze the field of future Republican presidential aspirants, hampering their ability to lay the groundwork for national campaigns at a time when he maintains tight control over the party and vast popularity among its rank and file voters.
During his remarks, Trump lauded the development of the forthcoming coronavirus vaccines, which he called a “medical miracle. He also reiterated his unfounded claims that the 2020 election was “rigged.”
Many of the attendees at the Tuesday evening party appeared to be maskless, and coughs could be heard in the video.