Donald Trump tells supporters he might run for president in 2024

Our Foreign Staff
·2-min read
Donald Trump still believes he won the US election - AP
Donald Trump still believes he won the US election - AP

Donald Trump suggested he might run again for president in 2024 as he hosted a crowded holiday reception at the White House on Tuesday evening that appeared to break coronavirus rules.

The president told a crowd of Republican National Committee members that he could make another bid for the White House, his strongest comments on seeking another term since he lost the election to Joe Biden.

"It's been an amazing four years," Mr Trump told the crowd. "We're trying to do another four years. Otherwise, I'll see you in four years."

The video of Mr Trump's appearance was streamed live on Facebook by one attendee, former Oklahoma Republican Party Chair Pam Pollard. It showed dozens of people crammed into the Cross Hall of the White House state floor, standing closely together. Many seen in the video were not wearing masks.

The Trumps began hosting holiday receptions this week, intent on celebrating a final season before Trump leaves office on January 20.

According to social media postings reviewed by the Associated Press, the events have featured large crowds of often maskless attendees gathered indoors – violating the public health guidance the US government has pressed the nation to follow during the holiday season as cases of Covid-19 skyrocket across the country (see graph below).

Coronavirus USA Spotlight Chart - cases default
Coronavirus USA Spotlight Chart - cases default

In the video, Mr Trump is heard continuing to air baseless allegations of election fraud to explain his defeat by Mr Biden despite his attorney general, William Barr, saying on Tuesday that the Justice Department had not uncovered evidence of widespread voter fraud and had seen nothing that would change the outcome of the 2020 presidential election.

Mr Trump has privately told advisers that he is considering a re-election bid but his remarks on Tuesday night are the first time he has said it in public.

"It's certainly an unusual year. We won an election. But they don't like that," Mr Trump told the group, adding: "I call it a rigged election, and I always will."

The White House has been the site of at least one suspected Covid-19 superspreader event, and dozens of the president's aides, campaign staffers and allies have tested positive in numerous outbreaks. Mr Trump was hospitalised for the virus in October, and the first lady and two of his sons have tested positive. Numerous others have had to quarantine.

Stephanie Grisham, the first lady's spokeswoman and chief of staff, said last month that the White House would be moving forward with events "while providing the safest environment possible".

She said that would include smaller guest lists, that "masks will be required and available, social distancing encouraged while on the White House grounds, and hand sanitiser stations throughout the State Floor."

"Attending the parties will be a very personal choice," she added.