Donald Trump blasted President Joe Biden’s botched withdrawal from Afghanistan while dropping his strongest hint yet that of a potential 2024 presidential bid.
The former president told fellow Republicans ‘the time is coming’ for him to make a formal announcement about his next bid for the White House.
Trump said he believes ‘people are going to be very happy’ with his decision while noting that America has ‘lost everything’ under Biden’s leadership.
His proclamation comes as a prominent GOP donor who gave hundreds of thousands of dollars to Trump’s 2016 and 2020 campaigns told DailyMail.com he does not believe former president will run for president again.
Instead, the donor said he could see Trump anointing Florida Governor Ron DeSantis to take on the national MAGA torch.
Donald Trump blasted President Joe Biden’s botched withdrawal from Afghanistan while dropping his strongest hint yet that of a potential 2024 presidential bid
Trump, giving the keynote address at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Dallas, Texas this weekend, confirmed he will be making his plans to run for office public in the near future.
‘It’s certainly not a very long period, the time is coming,’ Trump said Saturday when Fox News asked when Republicans could expect a formal announcement.
‘I think people are going to be very happy, our country has never been in a position like this, we’ve lost everything.’
He argued the nation was facing both domestic and foreign policy crises, stating America lost its ‘prestige’ when Biden withdrew US troops from Afghanistan last year.
‘Our country has never been at a worse point,’ Trump said.
‘They gave away $85 billion worth of equipment, dead soldiers, you still have Americans over there probably as hostages, eventually will be hostages, there has never been a time like this.’
Trump (left, pictured Saturday) argued the nation was facing both domestic and foreign policy crises, stating America lost its ‘prestige’ when Biden (right, pictured Sunday) withdrew US troops from Afghanistan last year. Trump alleged ‘our country has never been at a worse point’
‘They gave away $85 billion worth of equipment, dead soldiers, you still have Americans over there probably as hostages, eventually will be hostages, there has never been a time like this,’ Trump said of the Afghanistan withdrawal. PICTURED: Hundreds of people run alongside an Air Force C-17 transport plane as it moves down a runway in Kabul, Afghanistan on Aug. 16, 2021
PICTURED: A US Air Force C-17 Globemaster III safely transports approximately 640 Afghan citizens from Hamid Karzai International Airport on August 15, 2021
He also claimed the US is a ‘nation that allowed Russia to devastate a country, Ukraine, killing hundreds of thousands of people, and it will only get worse.’
Trump complained that Biden turned ‘the safest border in US history by far’ into ‘the worst border ever in history.’
‘Just last month, an illegal alien here in Texas was indicted for the cold blooded murders of four elderly women throughout the state. And he’s been linked to the deaths of at least 24 people,’ he said.
‘What we do in the next few months and the next few years will determine whether American civilization will collapse and fail or whether it will thrive, frankly like never before.’
He added: ‘We’ll be making an announcement in the not too distant future.’
Trump (pictured Saturday) promised his followers he would be ‘making an announcement in the not too distant future’ about his decision to run in 2024. He also commented on the 2020 election, which he continues to maintain was ‘rigged and stolen’
Trump retains a hold on the base of the party. And merchandise bearing his name or likeness dominated the exhibitor stands at the CPAC Texas conference in Dallas
Trump also commented on the 2020 election, which he continues to maintain was ‘rigged and stolen.’
‘The election was rigged and stolen, and now our country is being systematically destroyed. And everybody knows it. … I ran twice and won twice,’ he declared.
‘America is on the edge of an abyss. And our movement is the only force on Earth that can save it. We have to seize this opportunity to deal with the radical left socialists and fascists.’
His remarks came shortly after the CPAC unveiled a poll showing the former president as an ‘overwhelming favorite’ for the 2024 Republican nomination.
Trump captured nearly 70 percent of the ballots cast at the conference. DeSantis was a distant second at 23.7 percent.
Since leaving office, Trump has remained active within the Republican party, including having endorsed a long list of candidates for all levels of government – local, state and even the US Senate.
The results show Trump strengthening his grip on the conservative grass roots. He increased his lead over second place DeSantis to 45 points since the last poll was done in February
However, some analysts suspect that Trump may actually endorse DeSantis in 2024 instead of running for office himself.
Dallas businessman Doug Deason spoke to DailyMail.com’s senior political reporter, Rob Crilly, in the offices of his financial empire in Dallas shortly before the former president arrived to speak at CPAC.
Although, Trump delighted the crowd by trailing the idea of a 2024 run, Deason said the former president had a lot to lose by running.
‘I think Donald Trump is enjoying life,’ he said. ‘And I think that he is in a position as the power broker.
‘He’s the kingmaker and why would he want to go back and get the crap beat out of him all the time, and have all the responsibility and not be building his empire?
‘He’s had to go back and help rebuild it and you know, why let it deteriorate?
‘Why would it fall apart again? Because he’s just gonna get attacked just like he was.
‘And he can be the kingmaker without being the king.’
Top Republican donor Doug Deason said he did not believe Donald Trump will run in 2024. Although he would win the party primary he would likely lose in the general election, he said
Deason (centre) campaigns on criminal justice reform, and advised President Trump on the issue. He was co-chair of the Texas Trump Victory campaign in 2020 and is a friend of Don Jr
Trump retains a strong hold on the grassroots of the Republican Party.
So Deason’s comments will be seen as a hint to the former president that powerful party backers would rather see him step aside rather than risk defeat.
Deason was a key player in helping Trump secure Texas. He was co-chair of the state’s Trump Victory fund in 2020 and in 2016 he and his father Darwin Deason donated more than $900,000 to help elect Trump and other Republicans.
This time around, he said he was not turning his back on Trump, who he said would still likely win the Republican nomination if he decided to run.
But he talked up the appeal of DeSantis and his wife Casey.
‘I think Ron DeSantis would be Donald Trump without all the baggage.
‘I mean Donald J. Trump had the best policies of any president in my lifetime, including President Reagan.
‘But you know he could be petty about things, and he wouldn’t let things go. And you know, you love it and hate it.’
Trump cutouts are used to sell conservative cellphone plans at CPAC Texas in Dallas
Deason has held fundraisers for DeSantis as he campaigns for another term as Florida governor.
43-year-old DeSantis’s emergence on the national scene has triggered talk that he could represent a changing of the generational guard.
His efforts to keep Florida open through the pandemic and his leading role in the nation’s culture wars have kept him in the headlines.
As a result, polls consistently place him second to Trump (albeit a distant one) when Republicans are asked who they want as their nominee in 2024.
Deason, who advised Trump on criminal justice reform, said DeSantis would be a more inclusive leader.
‘He’ll sit and listen and let people engage, and he won’t dominate a conversation,’ he said, contrasting that approach with Trump. ‘I think Ron would be a wonderful president.’