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Former President Donald Trump Announces Bid for 2024 Presidential Race Amid Looming Cloud of Legal Probes

Donald Trump at a rally in Phoenix, AZ. Image via Gage Skidmore.

Former President Donald Trump announced his third bid for the White House, declaring that he will seek the Republican presidential nomination in 2024 from his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida. Despite being subject of multiple federal investigations, losing his bid for re-election in 2020 and never conceding his loss, he is seeking his second term in office and is expected to be the front-runner for his party’s nomination.

“This comeback starts right now,” Trump said Nov. 15. “In order to make America great and glorious again, I am, tonight, announcing my candidacy for president of the United States.”

During an hour-long announcement, Trump mentioned the nation “prospered and projected towards an amazing future” during his administration, while enduring “hardship” throughout the previous two years under President Joe Biden.

Although he has no shortage of critics, Trump approaches the 2024 presidential race with strong advantages, the Washington Post reports. In addition to the over $60 million he could direct to a political action committee to fund his campaign, Trump’s existing database of donors and highly-populated events bode well for his upcoming race.

Trump’s campaign will be led by Florida based political consultant, Susie Wiles, who helped him win the state during his previous two presidential bids, according to the Washington Post. Wiles, who has led Trump’s political team for the past year, will be joined by strategist Chris LaCivita and former White House political aide Brian Jack. 

Faith Okani, a senior biology major and chemistry and Japanese double minor from Oakland, California, shared her thoughts about Trump’s announcement with The Hilltop.

“I think Trump is in no position to run for reelection after the Jan. 6 insurrection, as well as the ‘Mar-a-Lago raid’. Many in the GOP have decided to support DeSantis due to the actions of the Trump administration,” Okani said.

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Trump’s likely GOP competitors include Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who has drawn the support of billionaire Elon Musk and Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin, both of whom have already received criticism from Trump. Although Musk financially supported President Barack Obama, Musk said he was “disappointed” by the Biden administration and preferred a president in 2024 who is a centrist, or someone with moderate political views.  

Trump reportedly views DeSantis as substantial competition. The Florida governor recently spoke at meetings of the Republican Jewish Coalition and the Republican Governors Association. Although many Republicans, some of whom were endorsed by Trump, experienced defeat during this year’s midterm elections, DeSantis encouraged them to look at Florida as a “blueprint for success.”

“I think some of Trump’s competitors, like Ron DeSantis, act like him and have a better chance of winning the Republican nomination,” Nagea Kirkley, a senior international relations and community development double major from Atlanta, said.

“This is a reflection of a broken system that allows for criminals to run for office and because of how poorly he performed his job, yet he still gets to advance his career,” she continued.

Trump is currently being investigated by the Department of Justice for removing classified documents from the White House and his affiliation with the Jan. 6 insurrection, the Manhattan District Attorney for tax fraud and the Georgia District Attorney for election tampering. He has also been subpoenaed by the Jan. 6 House Select Committee and sued by the New York Attorney General and Howard University School of Law alumna, Letitia James, for his business practices within the Trump organization.

Despite these looming legal probes, when considering a potential rematch between Trump and Biden, Okani does not have faith in Biden, who is the oldest president to have served in office, citing his poor approval ratings. 

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“When it comes to the Democratic party, I don’t think Biden will be able to run for reelection and be successful. His approval ratings were recently around 37 percent, and they have been consistently low,” Okani said.

Recent polling from Reuters and Ipsos showed Biden’s approval rating rising to 40 percent. Other Democratic candidates who are expected to vie for the role include Vice President Kamala Harris, U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg and California Gov. Gavin Newsom.

Copy edited by Chanice McClover-Lee

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