Donald Trump announces run for president in 2024 | Donald Trump

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Donald Trump has announced his candidacy for the Republican presidential nomination in 2024, likely sparking another period of tumult in US politics and especially his own political party.

“In order to make America great and glorious again, I am tonight announcing my candidacy for president of the United States,” Trump said from ballroom of his private Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach on Tuesday night.

Vowing to defeat Joe Biden in 2024, he declared: “America’s comeback starts right now.”

The long-expected announcement by a twice-impeached president who incited a deadly attack on Congress seems guaranteed to deepen a stark partisan divide that has fueled fears of increased political violence.

But it also comes as Trump’s standing in the Republican party has suddenly been put into question. Trump spoke at Mar-a-Lago a week after midterm elections in which his Republican party did not make expected gains, losing the Senate and seeming on course for only a narrow majority in the US House.

In his remarks, Trump took credit for Republicans’ apparent victory in the House, even though they are poised to capture a far narrower majority than they expected. “Nancy Pelosi has been fired. Isn’t that nice?” he said.

In a party hitherto dominated by Trump, defeats suffered by high-profile, Trump-endorsed candidates led to open attacks on the former president and calls to delay his announcement or not to run at all. As Trump’s standing has slipped, Ron DeSantis, the governor of Florida, has surged into strong contention after sailing to reelection last week.

On Tuesday, Trump announced his run regardless.

Now 76, Trump was long seen as a colorful if controversial presence in American life, a thrice-married New York real-estate mogul, reality TV star and tabloid fixture who flirted with politics but never committed.

crowd chats
Supporters gather at Mar-a-Lago. Photograph: Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

But in 2015, after finding a niche as a prominent voice for rightwing opposition to Barack Obama – and a racist conspiracy theory about Obama’s birth – Trump entered the race for the Republican nomination to succeed the 44th president.

Proving immune to scandal, whether over personal conduct, allegations of sexual assault or persistent courting of the far right, he obliterated a huge Republican field then pulled off a historic shock by beating the Democratic nominee, Hillary Clinton, in the 2016 election.

The question of Russian intervention in that election lingered through four years in the White House that served up a riotous procession of controversy, conflict and corruption.

Robert Mueller, a former FBI director, was appointed as special counsel to investigate Russian election interference and links between Trump and Moscow. Mueller did not establish a conspiracy but did win convictions of senior Trump aides and lay out extensive evidence that Trump sought to obstruct justice. Trump claimed exoneration regardless.

Trump’s first impeachment, in 2019, was for withholding military aid to Ukraine in an attempt to extract dirt on political rivals. He was acquitted after only one Republican senator, Mitt Romney of Utah, the 2012 presidential nominee, voted to convict.

Trump’s presidency was chaotic but undoubtedly historic. Senate Republicans playing political and constitutional hardball helped install three supreme court justices, cementing a dominant rightwing majority which has now removed the right to abortion and weakened gun control laws while eyeing further significant change.

Trump’s third supreme court pick, replacing the liberal justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg with Amy Coney Barrett, a hardline Catholic, came shortly before the 2020 election. That contest, with Obama’s vice-president, Joe Biden, was fought under the shadow of protests for racial justice and the coronavirus pandemic, the latter a test badly mishandled by Trump’s administration as hundreds of thousands died.

Trump was conclusively beaten, Biden racking up more than 7m more votes and the same electoral college win, 306-232, that Trump enjoyed over Clinton, a victory Trump then called a landslide.

But Trump’s refusal to accept defeat, based on his “big lie” about electoral fraud, fueled election subversion efforts in key states, the deadly January 6 attack on the US Capitol by supporters and far-right groups, a second impeachment for inciting that insurrection (and a second acquittal, if with more Republican defections) and a deepening crisis of US democracy.

‘Florida is where woke goes to die’: Republican Ron DeSantis re-elected as governor – video

Trump flirted with announcing a new run throughout Biden’s first two years in power, ultimately delaying until after midterm elections, which did not go as he or his party expected. But while high-profile backers of Trump’s stolen election myth were defeated, among them his choice for Arizona governor, Kari Lake, more than 170 were elected, according to the Washington Post.

Until his midterms reversal, Trump dominated polling of potential Republican nominees for 2024. His closest rival in such surveys, DeSantis, reportedly indicated to donors he would not compete with Trump. But the landscape has now changed. DeSantis won re-election by a landslide, gave a confident victory speech to chants of “two more years” and has surged in polling – prompting attacks from Trump. At least one Republican mega donor, Ken Griffin, has said he backs the Florida governor.

Should Trump dismiss DeSantis as he has so many other challengers and win the nomination, the 22nd amendment to the US constitution would bar him from running again in 2028. But a rematch of 2020 remains possible. Though Biden will soon turn 80 and has faced questions about whether he should seek a second term himself, he is preparing a re-election campaign.

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