Trump launches 2024 US presidential run

Donald Trump, who has mounted relentless attacks on the integrity of United States voting since his 2020 election defeat, has launched a bid to regain the presidency in 2024, aiming to pre-empt potential Republican rivals.

Trump, seeking a potential rematch with Democratic President Joe Biden, made his announcement at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida on Tuesday a week after midterm elections in which Republicans failed to win as many seats in Congress as they had hoped.

In a speech broadcast live on US television, Trump spoke to hundreds of supporters in a ballroom decorated with several chandeliers and lined with dozens of American flags.

"In order to make America great again, I am tonight announcing my candidacy for president of the United States," Trump said to a cheering phone-waving crowd of donors and longtime supporters.

Earlier in the day, aides filed paperwork with the US Federal Election Commission setting up a committee called "Donald J. Trump for President 2024".

For much of the speech, Trump steered clear of the name-calling that marked his recent public appearances, opting instead for a critique of Biden's presidency and a review of what Trump said was the policy achievements of his own time in office.

"Two years ago we were a great nation and soon we will be a great nation again," he said.

There is a long road ahead before the Republican nominee is formally selected in the summer of 2024, with the first state-level contests more than a year away.

Trump's announcement comes earlier than usual even in a country known for protracted presidential campaigns and signals his interest in discouraging other possible contenders such as Florida Governor Ron DeSantis or his own former vice president, Mike Pence, from making a bid for the Republican Party's 2024 presidential nomination.

DeSantis handily won re-election as governor during the midterms. Pence, while promoting his new book, has sought to distance himself from Trump.

Other potential Republican presidential hopefuls include Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin, Texas Governor Greg Abbott, former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley and former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

Trump played an active role in the midterms, recruiting and promoting candidates who echoed his false claims that the 2020 election was stolen from him through widespread voting fraud.

But many of his candidates in key battleground states lost, prompting some prominent Republicans to openly blame him for promoting weak candidates who derailed the party's hopes of taking control of the Senate.

Control of the House of Representatives remains up in the air, but Republicans are on track to win a razor-thin majority.

Trump will seek his party's nomination even as he faces trouble on several fronts, including a criminal investigation into his possession of government documents taken when he left office as well as a congressional subpoena related to his role in the January 6, 2021, US Capitol attack by his supporters.

Trump has called the various investigations he faces politically motivated and has denied wrongdoing.

Trump, 76, is seeking to become only the second US president in history to serve non-consecutive terms, after Grover Cleveland, whose second stint ended in 1897.

Biden, 79, said last week he intends to run for re-election and will likely make a final decision by early next year.

In an Edison Research exit poll, seven out of 10 midterm voters expressed the view that Biden, who remains deeply unpopular, should not run again.

In the same poll, six of 10 respondents said they had an unfavourable opinion of Trump.

During his turbulent 2017-2021 presidency, Trump defied democratic norms and promoted "America First" nationalism while presenting himself as a right-wing populist.

He became the first US president to be impeached twice, though congressional Democrats failed in their attempts to remove him from office.

The political landscape has changed dramatically since he won the presidency in 2016 and some in his party, including major donors, are exhausted by the drama surrounding him.