Trump talks about ‘another four years’ at White House reception

Trump talks about ‘another four years’ at White House reception
Trump talks about ‘another four years’ at White House reception

Would seek to run in 2024? 3:41

(CNN) — President Donald Trump spoke during a Christmas reception at the White House Tuesday about spending four more years in office, whether these years begin in January 2021 or January 2025, according to a source familiar with his comments.

“It’s been an amazing four years,” Trump said in the room, packed with people not wearing masks despite directives from public health officials amid the COVID-19 pandemic. “We are trying to stay another four years. Otherwise, I will see you in four years, “he added.

Trump wrongly insisted again that he had won the election. And he said, “But they don’t like that.” He also asked if people were watching “fraud hearings” with his legal team, referring to events that his lawyer Rudy Giuliani has held with some state legislatures in an attempt to challenge the election results.

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“Honestly, this is a shame,” Trump said in the room.

The president addressed the guests from the great steps of the White House. Although several people wore face masks, many did not and some were coughing audibly.

Trump’s control over the Republican Party

Trump lost the race for a second term last month but has yet to concede defeat to President-elect Joe Biden. However, his administration allowed the official presidential transition to begin.

A Trump campaign adviser told CNN that there have been discussions about a potential event in Trump’s plans for the future. That event could be scheduled around opening day, the adviser said.

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Trump is expected to hint at a bid for 2024, leaving the door open for a comeback campaign.

Within Trump’s circle of advisers, it has been noted that the president maintains incredible control over the Republican Party, in which lawmakers have been hesitant to recognize Biden as president-elect. “I’ve never seen anything like it,” the adviser told CNN.

CNN reported last month that some people in Trump’s orbit have said they expect the president to announce a candidacy in 2024 when he finally acknowledges the results. Those sources said they expect him to dismiss the 2020 race as fraudulent, while hinting that he will compete again in four years.

The prospect of Trump running again could create an uncomfortable scenario for those currently surrounding and supportive of him politically, as the vice president, secretary of state, former UN ambassador and many others are said to be weighing their own nominations.

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But as Trump publicly denies that he lost the election while continuing to push his lawsuits, he sees the scoreboard and understands that he has no chance of holding onto the presidency, two White House advisers told CNN on Monday.

What will you do on the opening day?

When asked if the president realizes he has been defeated, a close adviser who has been in contact with Trump about his legal strategy said Monday: “Yes, he does.” That adviser also said Trump will continue with the legal challenges until they are exhausted, but pointed to Wisconsin’s electoral certification on Monday and said, “It’s clear what happens.”

In an interview on Sunday, Trump declined to offer a time horizon for when he might loosen his losing battle to overturn the election results. And he admitted that even if Biden takes office, he will still not be convinced that he lost.

Still, a person familiar with the situation said he believes Trump’s advisers will strongly encourage him to attend the January 20 inauguration, even if he does not acknowledge the outcome of the election, because it would better preserve his potential influence in the future, even if he decides to run again in 2024, if he doesn’t seem like a sore loser.

Trump told reporters last week that he had already decided what he would do on inauguration day. “I’ll be honest, I know the answer, but I don’t want to say it yet,” he said. But the attendees saw that more as a way to postpone the question and did not interpret it as a decision made.

CNN’s Devan Cole, Kevin Liptak, and Caroline Kelly contributed to this report.

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