Trump hints at third presidential run in first trip to DC since losing election

Washington DC - Ex-President Donald Trump hinted at a third presidential campaign Tuesday during a speech at a policy summit held by former members of his administration, telling his supporters that efforts to impeach him and investigate the January 6 attack on the US Capitol are intended to hurt them.

Donald Trump arrives to speak at the America First Policy Institute Agenda Summit in Washington DC.
Donald Trump arrives to speak at the America First Policy Institute Agenda Summit in Washington DC.  © MANDEL NGAN / AFP

"They want to damage you in any form, but they really want to damage me so I can no longer go back to work for you, and I don't think that's going to happen," he said to the crowd, which showed its support with chants of "Four more years!"

Trump made the comments at the America First Policy Institute's summit in Washington, his first visit to the nation's capital since he left office in January 2021. The 76-year-old is thinking about announcing a third presidential campaign as soon as September, according to news reports.

Though Trump didn't make a formal announcement, he suggested throughout the speech that he doesn't plan to fade into political obscurity.

Kamala Harris slams Pyongyang's rocket test during Korea trip
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Instead, he said he felt compelled to remain engaged despite what he called "persecution" from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the select committee investigating the January 6 Capitol insurrection he instigated.

"If I stayed at home and just took it easy, the persecution of Donald Trump would stop immediately," he said. "But that's not what I will do. ... I have to save our country."

Trump repeats false election claims

During the speech, which started as a policy address on crime, Trump called the House January 6 committee a group of "thugs" and "hacks," mocked Representative Adam Schiff, a California Democrat, and repeated the lie that he won the 2020 presidential election.

"I always say I ran the first time, and I won. And then I ran a second time, and I did much better," he said. "What a disgrace it was. But we may just have to do it again."

Cover photo: MANDEL NGAN / AFP

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