Watch live: Donald Trump expected to announce 2024 presidential bid. Video / AP
Donald Trump used a speech from his luxury Florida resort on Tuesday night to boast about the things he achieved in four years in the White House.
He talked about national security and jobs and healthcare and the friendships he made with leaders from Russia, Iran and North Korea.
For much of the address, Trump read from a teleprompter. But as he often did during his time as president, Trump went off script.
At one point during the speech, the candidate for the Republican nomination invoked a conspiracy theory that CNN commentators suggested was not even being spoken about in the darkest corners of the internet.
Trump told his supporters that China “played a very active role” in the election that saw the former president booted from America’s top job.
“No President had ever sought or received one dollar for our country from China until I came along,” Trump said.
“Many people think that because of this China played a very active role in the 2020 election.”
He then held his palms out and said: “Just saying, just saying. I’m sure that didn’t happen.”
They were doing so, the Post reported, by “amplifying politically polarising topics” with nearly 2000 user accounts, some of which purported to be located in the United States.
In the lead up to the 2020 election, Trump accused China of favouring Biden.
“Just In: Chinese State Media and Leaders of CHINA want Biden to win ‘the U.S. Election,’” Trump tweeted.
But Politico reported that a national security official with knowledge of intelligence said there was “no evidence of such a concerted campaign aimed at interfering in the election”.
Speaking in Florida, Trump made it official that he was running for the White House for a third time.
“Ladies and gentleman, America’s comeback starts right now,” he said to chants of “USA, USA”.
“Three years ago when I left office … our nation was at the pinnacle of power and prestige. Striding into the future, confident and so strong,” he said.
“Everybody was thriving like never before.”
Trump, 76, foreshadowed the move in recent weeks, telling social media followers he would be making an announcement shortly, without providing further details.
The former president was defeated by Joe Biden in 2020.
The presidential elections are due to be held in November 2024.
Trump spruiked his credentials and celebrated what he achieved as president.
“China, Russia, Iran and North Korea were respected, they respected the United States and quite honestly they respected me. I knew them well,” he said.
“The world was at peace. America was prospering and our country was on track for an amazing future. Because I made big promises to the American people and, unlike other presidents, I’ve kept my promises.”
He said the war in Ukraine “would never have happened if I was your president”.
It took him less than 15 minutes to take aim at Biden.
“Now we have a President who falls asleep at global conferences,” Trump said.
“Two years ago we were a great nation and soon we will be a great nation again.”
He said he believed the American people would “overwhelmingly reject” the left at the 2024 polls.
“Are you getting ready? I am too.”
Trump, wearing his signature blue suit and red tie, said, “I am tonight announcing my candidacy for President of the United States.
“Together we will be taking on the most corrupt forces imaginable. Our country is in a horrible state. We are in grave trouble.”
While Trump was speaking, Biden tweeted a 50-second video with the caption: “Donald Trump failed America.”