Former President Donald Trump on Saturday entered the campaign for the first time since announcing his third presidential run in November and said he was “more committed” than ever to reclaiming the White House. Told.
Appearing in New Hampshire before a second visit to South Carolina, Trump said he was “angrier” about the country’s direction, calling the nation’s first primary state “over and over again.” I vowed to return. I’m looking to replicate my 1st place finish at Granite State in 2016.
“This is it,” Trump said at the New Hampshire Republican Party’s annual meeting in Salem. “We start here as presidential candidates.”
En route to South Carolina, Trump told reporters on the plane that he received a phone call from Nikki Haley, the state’s former governor who served as an ambassador to the United Nations, considering running for president in 2024. Said he was doing
“I talked to her for a while and said, ‘Look, if you want to get away, go with your heart.’ was a great president.”
Trump said he told Haley “you should.”
Haley, who recently moved her entourage to Charleston, is said to be weighing when to start her campaign at this point, and doesn’t want to be the first to run against Trump herself. She said she would not challenge Trump if he ran for the White House in 2024.
CNN reached out to Haley for comment.
Earlier Saturday, the Trump campaign sent out a fundraising email, declaring that “no other candidate is working this fast to win all the final votes,” adding that “the early primaries “The first Republican presidential candidate to campaign in two states.”
In New Hampshire, Trump announced that outgoing Republican Speaker Stephen Stepanek would join his campaign as a senior adviser.
Stepanek co-chaired Trump’s first presidential campaign and served two terms before becoming the top Republican in New Hampshire. He joins three-time presidential candidate Trump’s team and faces waning support among state officials looking for a new person to top the party ticket.
In his remarks in Salem, Trump slammed media reports that he had stayed in Florida since running for office in November and cast doubt on his lackluster start to his campaign, adding that the number from his trail would drop. He defended the months-long hiatus.
“They said, ‘He’s not doing rallying. Maybe he missed that step.'” ‘ said Mr Trump.
In New Hampshire, Trump also announced his new proposal to end federal funding for schools that “promote critical racial theories and left-wing gender ideologies” and let parents elect school principals. advertised. ”
Meanwhile, who of the campaign’s aides and supporters, including senior advisers Brian Jack and Chris LaCivita, and former White House social media director Dan Scavino, met on Saturday for Trump’s second round in Columbia, South Carolina. The election campaign was to be called off.
This event had all the trappings of a presidential event, as his podium was positioned under the state capitol rotunda and flanked by American flags. The Trump campaign, which is preparing to draw on challengers in the coming weeks, including Haley in particular, hoped to capitalize on the candidate’s unique position as former president.
Across the Trump announcement corridor is the South Carolina House of Representatives, whose Republicans approach the former president’s 2024 campaign with a mixture of glee and trepidation.
Some enthusiastically embraced his bid, while others told CNN ahead of Saturday’s event, notably Haley and Tim Scott — two South Carolina natives who will be running for the White House. He said he’s waiting to see how the Republican primaries shape up, especially if you’re looking for. – Decide to take on the ex-president.
Trump won the South Carolina primary in 2016 by 10 points. He hopes to accomplish this feat again this cycle. Still, Trump’s biggest potential rival, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, is already working to cultivate his own following in the state, said a person familiar with the outreach. .
“He has a very tight-knit group already established and they’re calling to discuss him,” the person said.
Trump continues to be investigated by the Justice Department, and Special Counsel Jack Smith has linked Trump’s retention of classified documents at the Mara Lago Resort and the Jan. 6, 2021 riot at the U.S. Capitol. Oversees some criminal investigations. Both investigations involve Trump’s actions.
Trump’s campaign event Saturday came after a recent revelation that classified documents were also found in a location linked to both Biden and former Vice President Mike Pence. He appointed another special counsel to take over the investigation of classified Obama-era documents found in his home and former private office.
Earlier this week, Facebook’s parent company Meta announced that it would restore Trump’s Facebook and Instagram accounts in the coming weeks, more than two years after he was suspended following the Jan. 6 attacks. Did.
This article and headline have been updated.