OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
Former President Donald Trump has disputed some of the testimony in the January 6 Committee’s hearings on what he said to former Vice President Mike Pence.
He was speaking to a group of religious conservatives in Nashville, Tennessee at the Faith and Freedom Coalition’s “Road to the Majority” when he said that he did not call Pence a “wimp,” Politico reported.
“I don’t even know who these people are. But I never called Mike Pence a wimp,” he said. “I never called him a wimp. Mike Pence had a chance to be great. He had a chance to be frankly historic.
“But just like Bill Barr and the rest of these weak people, Mike – and I say it sadly because I liked them – but Mike did not have the courage to act,” he said.
“’Mike was afraid of whatever he was afraid of,” he said. “But as you heard a year and a half ago, Mike Pence had absolutely no choice but to be a human conveyor belt.”
He also teased campaigning for president again in 2024.
“One of the most urgent tasks facing the next Republican president — I wonder who that will be,” he said. “Would anybody like me to run for president?”
And his announcement of his candidacy could happen before the midterms.
The former president has teased the idea of making a 2024 presidential campaign, with many assuming he will be in the race, but now sources are saying that his announcement could come as soon as the Fourth of July, NBC News reported.
Some believe he should wait until after the midterm elections to make his announcement, but others believe he should make an announcement before then to cut off any steam other possible contenders are getting.
“I’ve laid out my case on why I think he should do it,” his longtime adviser Jason Miller, said as he accompanied the former president to a rally in Wyoming over Memorial Day weekend. “I think that there being clarity about what his intentions are [is important] so he can start building that operation while it’s still fresh in people’s minds and they’re still active — a lot of that can be converted into 2024 action.”
Another adviser who believes that Trump should wait until after the midterms said that he believes the announcement is going to be “sooner rather than later.”
The adviser said that one question is “whether he can sort of suppress his excitement about a 2024 rematch and not, say, go ahead and put that statement out … and waits for a big event, a big speech to do it.”
“A betting person says he’s doing it, and he also wants to crowd out the rest of the field,” they said.
Two people in Trump’s orbit told NBC News they had been asked informally to hold July 4 as a date for a possible announcement, but Miller — noting that Trump hasn’t yet decided to run — said it is “not true” that the day has been reserved, even unofficially, for a launch.
Without specifically addressing the question of timing, Trump spokesman Taylor Budowich said in a text exchange with NBC News that he sees growing public appetite for a Trump comeback.
“America was strong, prosperous, and greatly respected under President Trump, and that’s why he continues to have unprecedented strength through his endorsement record and the demand for his leadership has never been higher,” the spokesman said.
Last week dropped another clue that he may be gearing up to run for president in 2024.
While speaking with Fox News, Trump said the revelations out of the trial of former Hillary Clinton campaign lawyer Michael Sussmann and his acquittal make him “want to fight even harder.”
With 8-bold words, Trump said: “If we don’t win, our country is ruined.”
A jury found former Clinton campaign lawyer Michael Sussmann not guilty on Tuesday of making a false statement to the FBI in September 2016 when he claimed that he was not working on behalf of any client when he brought information alleging a covert communications channel between the Trump Organization and Russia’s Alfa Bank.
When asked if the verdict had any effect on his future political plans, particularly running for president in 2024, Trump told Fox News: “If anything, it makes me want to fight even harder.”
“If we don’t win, our country is ruined,” Trump said. “We have bad borders, bad elections, and a court system not functioning properly.”
He added: “Our country is being systematically destroyed.”