Trump may launch surprise bid for White House as soon as this month, report says

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Against the backdrop of damning details put forward by the January 6 select committee, former president Donald Trump may soon decide to jump into the 2024 presidential race.

That’s according to new reporting from The New York Times, which said that Mr Trump may make a surprise campaign announcement as soon as this month. The potential looming decision has sent his aides scrambling, according to The Times.

Mr Trump has long hinted that he will launch another White House bid, and he remains a dominant force in the Republican Party. Most political observers believe the former president would be the likely 2024 GOP nominee if he does decide to run.

However, the January 6 hearings have revealed a series of damaging details about the former president’s conduct around the Capitol riot. Most recently, former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson testified that Mr Trump was aware that some of his supporters were armed during his “Stop the Steal” rally, but that he wanted metal detectors removed because “they’re not here to hurt me”.

Ms Hutchinson also revealed that the former president allegedly lunged towards the steering wheel of his presidential vehicle and accosted a Secret Service agent when his protective detail declined to transport him to the Capitol to join his supporters.

Mr Trump, in turn, has said Ms Hutchinson is living in a “fantasy land” and denied his former aide’s testimony. The details of Ms Hutchinson’s Secret Service anecdote have been backed up by several reports in recent days.

The Times reported that the timing of Mr Trump’s potential announcement remains unclear. He may decide to announce his candidacy on social media without any heads up to his team, the report said.

Despite Mr Trump’s likely intention to run, a number of high-profile Republicans have been making their own moves towards a 2024 bid. Indeed, The Independent reported that some GOP donors see the momentum in the party moving away from Mr Trump.

“I think there’s a significant movement within the donor base”, Eric Levine, a Republican lawyer and fundraiser, told The Independent. “There’s a concern that Donald Trump is the singular one Republican who ... may not be able to win in 2024..”

Other Republicans eyeing a potential run include former vice president Mike Pence, former United Nations ambassador Nikki Haley and former US secretary of state Mike Pompeo, among others.

The bombshell revelations by the January 6 committee may further empower the Department of Justice to pursue a criminal case against the president or those in his inner circle, which could damage Mr Trump politically should he decide to mount a third bid for the White House. According to The Times’ reporting, Mr Trump may use a surprise campaign announcement to push back against the committee’s revelations.

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