PALM BEACH, Fla. — Former President Donald Trump is expected to launch a 2024 presidential campaign Tuesday night from his palatial Mar-a-Lago resort — just one week after disappointing midterm election results cast doubt on his viability to clinch a second non-consecutive term in office.
Trump, 76, will host hundreds of supporters and throngs of journalists at Mar-a-Lago for the widely watched announcement, which he booked before his handpicked candidates struggled or lost in many key battleground races last week.
The former president’s 9 p.m. address will lay out his vision to double down on policies he enacted during his four years in office while reversing the actions of his successor, Joe Biden, who says he also plans to run again in 2024, despite turning 80 on Nov. 20.
The particulars of Trump’s announcement remain unclear — though he regularly reminisces about the famous image of himself coming down the escalator of New York’s Trump Tower in 2015 with his wife Melania to launch what was then a long-shot campaign.
As in the 2016 election, Trump enters the race against steep odds as Republicans warm to potential rivals like Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and as President Biden is on the political mend thanks to strong Democratic showings in the midterms in spite of relatively low approval ratings and economic anxiety over the highest sustained inflation since the early 1980s, as well as a possible recession next year.
Sources told The Post that Trump’s campaign will be led initially by Susie Wiles, who has spearheaded Trump’s political operation since last year, and Chris LaCivita, who leads the pro-Trump super PAC Preserve America.
Wiles formerly ran DeSantis’ 2018 gubernatorial campaign. The 44-year-old governor is one of Trump’s chief potential competitors for the Republican nomination, according to polling, and won re-election last week by a crushing 19.4 percentage points over Democrat Charlie Crist.
Trump’s former White House political director Brian Jack also is expected to play a key role in Trump’s campaign, sources said, as is longtime Trump adviser Boris Epshteyn.
Jack is a veteran of the 2016 Trump campaign and currently runs House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s national political operation. McCarthy (R-Calif.) is favored to become House speaker next year.
Trump announced the Mar-a-Lago event Nov. 7 during an Ohio rally for victorious Republican Senate candidate J.D. Vance — after telling some allies he was considering announcing his bid at the rally as a tactic to claim credit for expected GOP election gains.
The campaign launch is moving ahead despite many of Trump’s handpicked candidates flaming out in the midterm elections, in which Democrats retained control of the Senate, with Republicans expected to retake the House by a much smaller margin than anticipated.
Trump-backed Republican candidate Dr. Mehmet Oz lost his Pennsylvania Senate race to Democrat John Fetterman, giving Democrats a bonus seat in a crucial battleground state, where Trump defeated Hillary Clinton in 2016.
Another Trump-backed candidate faltered in Georgia, where Republican Herschel Walker trails Democratic incumbent Sen. Raphael Warnock. That race will be decided in a runoff election next month Dec. 6.
Trump would be the second president to win non-consecutive terms after Democrat Grover Cleveland in the late 1800s. He’ll launch his bid amid a series of investigations that could result in unprecedented criminal charges against a former president.
The FBI raided Mar-a-Lago on Aug. 8 and said it recovered caches of classified records that were improperly moved to Florida last year. The Justice Department reportedly is also investigating Trump’s role in an effort to present rival slates of presidential electors in states that Biden won in 2020.
Trump accuses investigators of pursuing a long-running “witch hunt” that began with the FBI’s investigation of his 2016 campaign’s possible collusion with Russia. That probe ended more than halfway through Trump’s term without turning up evidence of a criminal conspiracy.
Trump’s victory over Clinton was sealed through upset victories across Midwestern states including Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, which voted for Biden in 2020 alongside Arizona and Georgia, which Trump also won in 2016. The COVID-19 pandemic strongly impacted the 2020 election, driving record voter participation through mail-in voting.
Trump is the only president to have been impeached twice — first in 2019 for pressuring Ukraine to investigate Hunter Biden’s $1 million-per-year job at energy company Burisma and again in 2021 for allegedly inciting the Jan. 6 storming of the Capitol that disrupted certification of Biden’s victory. The Senate acquitted him both times, allowing him to hold office again.