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‘More angry’ Donald Trump begins public campaign for 2024

Once again presenting himself as an outsider in Washington, Trump vowed to fight the “corrupt political establishment” and “fight the forces that are devastating our country.”

In this vein, he supported term limits for members of Congress, a lifetime ban on lobbying by former members, and a ban on members of Congress trading insider stock.

“Only a non-politician could do that,” he joked before heading to the South Carolina capital, Columbia, to deliver another speech.

Both states are seen as potential kingmakers in the Republican nominee contest as they will be among the first to run their primaries.

The events were seen as a chance to revive Trump’s stalled presidential bid, which has largely kept out of the public eye since his campaign began last November.

But there has been no noticeable change in Trump’s message as the former president once again focused on his baseless claims that the 2020 presidential election was rigged.

He repeated a list of disparaging nicknames for his political rivals and vowed to save the country from “destruction by the selfish, radical and corrupt political establishment”.

However, his most divisive accusations were reserved for conservative critics, whom he refers to as “RINOs”—Republicans in name only—who he said were “even more dangerous than Democrats.”

Trump’s first appearances in the first primary states are meant to solidify his status and fight off potential Republican rivals.

But few prominent Republicans seem willing to share the stage with him, suggesting that Trump’s dominance over his party has come to an end.

Several senior Republicans have fueled speculation that they may file competing bids as some polls show many GOP voters would prefer a new leader in 2024.

The nomination could lead to a two-horse race between Trump and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who has led the former president in some recent polls.

Mr. Trump was due to present a leadership team and a new set of endorsements in South Carolina, but many Republican politicians in the state blame scheduling conflicts for missing the event.

South Carolina is home to two potential Republican rivals: Nikki Haley, its former governor, and Tim Scott, its junior senator.

Ms Haley could announce the 2024 bid in a matter of weeks while Mr Scott is still seriously considering the announcement.

“I think Trump’s people will face it,” former South Carolina GOP chairman Cato Dawson told the Washington Post.

Mr. Trump’s statewide event will take place at his legislature in Colombia, which can seat just 500 people.

The small venue is a deliberate choice, its staff said, describing it as an “intimate” event as part of a more “gradual” rollout designed to cement its status in key states without wasting resources early in the race.

His top campaign advisers said that approach is reflected in his campaign team — a small, hand-picked group — which is once again taking a more low-key approach to Trump’s latest campaign in 2024.

While Mr. Trump is still seen as a leader among potential GOP candidates, GOP strategists have suggested that many party officials are likely to refrain from publicly supporting him until the field has taken shape.

Mr. Trump’s biggest hurdle to becoming the Republican presidential nominee may be his growing legal troubles as a special counsel investigates his handling of classified documents since leaving office.

“These are radical left prosecutors, absolutely terrible, terrible people,” Trump said, promising to investigate the Justice Department if he is re-elected.

“In a year, we will win the New Hampshire primary,” he told the crowd.

“And then with the help of the good people in the state — I love the people — we will take back our country, take back the White House, and clean up the United States.”

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