Donald Trump is likely to announce his much-expected 2024 presidential run from Florida, sources have told The Sunday Telegraph, amid speculation he is intent on overshadowing his Republican rival Ron DeSantis.
At his mansion on the ultra-exclusive island of Palm Beach, the only clue to the wealthy enclave’s newfound prominence in US politics is the jumbo-sized American flag rippling in the wind.
Yet it is here, amid the verdant lawns and palm trees, that the former president has formed his base for a comeback some believe may start this month.
Trump, who recently turned 76, has spent the past few months assembling advisers at his private club to plot his return to the presidency with a highly anticipated 2024 campaign.
The Sunshine State holds numerous advantages as a campaign launchpad, but some suggest Trump may also be keen to overshadow Florida’s other White House hopeful, the state’s Republican governor Ron DeSantis.
He gained a national profile for his anti-lockdown stance in the pandemic and his “anti-woke” battle with the Disney corporation. The result was a huge upswing in GOP support, with some polls of the party base suggesting DeSantis is level with Mr Trump.
DeSantis has fuelled speculation over his aspirations by notably refusing to rule out a challenge to Trump.
Republican insiders have said they are confident Trump will run. He is said to have fixated on dominating his most likely rival, often berating the Florida governor as an “overrated” and lacklustre politician.
He is even reported to have looked at staging his launch in Tallahassee, the state capital, reportedly keen to show the governor “who the boss is”.
Though Trump sources dismiss that idea, they do note that Florida has merit as the home base of a White House bid, pointing to its critical significance to presidential races as the largest swing state and significant fundraising potential.
Trump has already amassed a war chest of more than $120m (€115m), far more than any other potential candidate and even more than the Republican party’s national committee. However, as Trump charts his course towards 2024, his advisers remain split over when to make his announcement, particularly as his former vice president Mike Pence and Arkansas senator Tom Cotton have signalled their willingness to take him on.
Tomorrow, America’s independence day, was touted as a ripe opportunity but that idea has since been shelved.
His aides are reportedly rushing to build up campaign infrastructure but, according to The New York Times, he recently surprised some of them by saying he might declare his candidacy on social media without warning them.
Other advisers have counselled him to wait for November’s mid-term election results, which may hand Republicans control of Congress.
Meanwhile Donald Trump’s social media company and some of its employees received subpoenas from both a federal grand jury and securities regulators, according to a public disclosure on Friday, possibly delaying or even killing a deal promising a cash infusion needed to take on Twitter.
Trump Media & Technology Group received subpoenas from a grand jury in New York and the Securities and Exchange Commission, according to a securities document filed by Digital World Acquisition Corp on Friday. Digital World has plans to buy Trump Media, releasing $1.3bn for its fledgling business, but the deal is unlikely to be done during two legal probes.
Trump, who is Trump Media’s chairman, was not among the employees who received subpoenas, according to a Trump Media statement.
Trump’s social media offering, Truth Social, launched in February.
Trump Media last year lined up dozens of investors to pump $1bn into the company, but can’t get the cash until the Digital World acquisition is done. An extra $300m would come from Digital World itself.
Telegraph Media Group Limited