Daily Mail

Trump: I’m back to save America (again)

- From Tom Leonard in New York

There were the same red caps among the audience and the same backdrop of massed US flags.

And, of course, there was the same Donald Trump in a dark suit and red tie, making outrageous claims about how he has, and will again, ‘make America great and glorious’.

The 76-year- old former President confirmed in the early hours of yesterday that he will run for the White house in 2024, setting out his case in front of a crowd of wellheeled supporters. he chose the appropriat­ely gaudy setting of the crystal-chandelier­ed ballroom of his Mar-aLago country club in Florida – entering, as ever, to the strains of patriotic anthem ‘Proud to be an American’.

Mr Trump told his cheering fans that the past two years under President Joe Biden had been a disaster for the US – but that ‘America’s comeback starts right now.’

Despite the bombast, the rally was noticeably more subdued and The Donald – reading from a teleprompt­er for a change – sounded flatter and hardly fired up.

Some of the guests were seen trying to leave before he’d finished his rambling speech, which ran for over an hour – only to be turned back by security guards.

Mr Trump was joined on stage by his wife Melania, who reportedly never wanted him to stand for president the first time round. Such misgivings are now shared by many republican­s, who believe he’s an electoral liability and would represent the party’s worst chance of retaking the White house.

Senior advisors had urged him to at least delay announcing a new election run so soon after the midterm congressio­nal elections severely dented his political credibilit­y, when most of the candidates he had personally endorsed failed to win.

A notable absentee from the rally was Mr Trump’s daughter Ivanka, a key aide in his administra­tion. She has confirmed she won’t be joining the new campaign. her husband, Jared Kushner, has reportedly made the same decision. Meanwhile, Mr Trump’s sons – Donald Jr and eric – have reportedly offered to campaign hard for their father.

Trump reportedly spent part of his daughter Tiffany’s wedding last weekend trying without success to convince Ivanka and Jared to rejoin Team Trump.

‘They both feel they got burned in Washington and don’t want to go back and expose themselves and their children to another bitter campaign,’ an insider told the new York Post.

Mr Trump’s speech highlighte­d familiar issues – crime, border security, and energy independen­ce. he talked up his record on the economy and holding foreign adversarie­s such as china ‘in check’ while avoiding plunging the US into new wars.

Denouncing the Biden administra­tion, he mentioned inflation, higher petrol prices and problems at the Mexican border. ‘now we are a nation in decline. We are a failing nation,’ he said to loud applause.

Yet in a sign that he may have learnt lessons from the midterms, he largely avoided the subject that pundits say has done so much to turn off voters: his false claim that Biden’s 2020 victory was fraudulent.

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