OPINION: This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion
Mark Meadows, the former White House Chief of Staff under the Trump administration, says that the former President and his allies are looking to “move forward in a real way.”
Speaking to Newsmax’s Cortes and Pellegrino on Friday, Meadows said that both he and Trump were meeting with “some of our Cabinet members” as recently as that day, but he added that he was not “authorized to speak” on behalf of the former president to divulge too many details about the meeting.
According to Meadows, the meeting would not have happened at all if there were no plans to “move forward in a real way.”
“We met with several of our Cabinet members tonight. We actually had a follow-up … meeting with some of our Cabinet members. And as we were looking at that, we were looking at what does come next,” Meadows said.
“I’m not authorized to speak on behalf of the president, but I can tell you this, Steve: We wouldn’t be meeting tonight if we weren’t making plans to move forward in a real way, with President Trump at the head of that ticket,” he added.
Although Meadows’ remarks were vague, it does suggest that Trump may have intentions to run for office in 2024 or assume some other position in Republican politics besides acting as the de facto kingmaker for the party.
Trump previously told Fox News host Sean Hannity that he made a decision on 2024, but did not say exactly what it was, according to The Hill. The former president did hint however at running for office again.
“You are not going to answer, but I have to ask, where are you in the process,” Hannity said to Trump on Wednesday, regarding his decision on whether to mount another White House bid. “Let me ask you this, without giving the answer, what the answer is, have you made up your mind?”
“Yes,” Trump responded.
“If you move forward, you know how difficult it is, but you seem ready to reengage in that battle,” Hannity said later in the interview.
“It’s not that I want to,” Trump said to Hannity. “The country needs it. We have to take care of this country. I don’t want to. Is this fun? Fighting constantly? Fighting always? I mean, the country, what we have done, is so important.”
Despite being several months out of office, Trump remains the overwhelmingly most popular figure in the Republican Party, with several polls suggesting that voters would choose to elect him again if he runs for office. Earlier this month, a straw poll taken at the Conservative Political Action Conference showed that Trump enjoyed overwhelming support from those present, holding a 70 percent lead over other opponents. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis came in at second place with 21 percent support, followed by others with single-digit points.
For now, Trump remains vague about whether he will truly run in 2024, and there are no expectations that Trump, should he run, will do so unopposed in a Republican primary as he may face a strong contender in DeSantis, who is enjoying popular political support all across the right for his hardline stances against progressivism and socialism through his fight against Critical Race Theory, illegal immigration, and mask mandates.
On Friday, DeSantis blocked efforts to impose mask mandates by signing an order prohibiting all schools in Florida from mandating their requirement. Florida schools that implement the mandate run the risk of losing state funding. The order is “effective immediately” and directs the Florida Departments of Health and Education to release emergency rules stipulating that decisions over whether students will be masked in classrooms will be left up to parents, and not school officials.