After months of hints and speculation, Donald Trump announced Tuesday from his Mar-a-Lago club that he’s running for president again in 2024.
"I am tonight announcing my candidacy for President of the United States," Trump said to an audience of several hundred supporters, club members and gathered press in a chandeliered ballroom at his Mar-a-Lago club, where he stood flanked by more than 30 American flags and banners that read, "MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!"
Trump’s presidential bid confronts a nation weighted by economic turmoil, the elimination of federal abortion rights and broad concerns about the future of democracy.
He had been teasing a Nov. 15 announcement since before the midterm election, seemingly in anticipation of riding the "red wave" all the way to the steps of the White House after he endorsed nearly 300 candidates. But Trump’s backing didn’t carry the weight many anticipated — and the red wave didn’t materialize.
Trump lost some of the election’s biggest prizes, particularly in Pennsylvania, where Dr. Mehmet Oz, who only narrowly won his Senate primary with Trump's backing, lost to Democrat John Fetterman. Trump-backed candidates also lost governors' races in Arizona, Pennsylvania, and Michigan, and a Senate race in New Hampshire.
Control of the Senate remains under the Democrats, while control of the House is still undecided and much closer than predicted, raising questions about Trump's appeal and the future of an already-divided party.
Since then, Trump has continued to spread the lie that President Joe Biden only took office through voter fraud, despite no evidence of such.
Exhaustive reviews in the states disputed by Trump upheld Biden’s win, and legal challenges pursued by the former president and his allies were rejected by numerous judges, including ones appointed by Republicans.
Former President Donald Trump answers questions from reporters during an election night party at Mar-a-Lago, Tuesday, November 8, 2022 in Palm Beach, Florida. (Phelan M. Ebenhack for The Washington Post via Getty Images)
RELATED: Live midterm election results: Key U.S. House races
Meanwhile, his newly-announced presidential candidacy may bring about legal questions, as the former business mogul is facing multiple investigations that could lead to indictments.
The Trump Organization, the holding company for his buildings, golf courses and other assets, is accused of helping some top executives avoid income taxes on compensation they got in addition to their salaries, like rent-free apartments and luxury cars. A criminal trial is set to begin in New York.
Secondly, Trump has been subpoenaed to testify in front of the committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack, a summoning that he’s since challenged with a lawsuit.
And lastly, federal authorities are criminally investigating the handling of classified documents at his Mar-a-Lago estate.
The legalities, though, haven’t compromised the support of many of his followers, and, since he’s been president, he’s also generated a new loyal fanbase among followers of the QAnon conspiracy.
The conspiracy began in the dark corners of the internet and is premised on the belief that the country is run by a ring of child sex traffickers, satanic pedophiles, and cannibals that only Trump can defeat.
Trump has published dozens of Q-related posts on his self-made social media app Truth Social, in contrast to 2020, when he claimed that while he didn’t know much about QAnon, he couldn’t disprove its conspiracy theory.
Major social media platforms including YouTube, Facebook and Twitter have banned content associated with QAnon and have suspended or blocked accounts that seek to spread it.
Trump has also been banned over posts suggesting the illegitimacy of Biden’s presidential win — though, with Elon Musk’s takeover of Twitter, Trump could be allowed a revival on the platform.
A Trump-Biden rematch?
In the 2020 presidential election, Biden earned 306 electoral votes to Trump’s 232, the same margin that Trump had when he beat Hillary Clinton in 2016, which he repeatedly described as a "landslide." (Trump ended up with 304 electoral votes because two electors defected.)
Biden achieved victory in 2020 by prevailing in key states such as Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, Arizona, and Georgia.
If Trump gets a rematch against Biden, who has not officially announced a candidacy, the competition could become one of the longest and most impactful political duels in American history, spanning several years and multiple elections.
This story was reported from Detroit. The Associated Press contributed.