Kellyanne Conway, who managed former President Donald Trump's 2016 campaign, told CBS News on Friday that Trump has his sights set on the White House in 2024 and that, within weeks, he might officially throw his hat in the ring.
Conway was asked whether Trump plans to announce he's running for president before Thanksgiving.
Conway, who also served as Trump's adviser after he defeated failed presidential contender Hillary Clinton, said that the former president is "as active as anybody" in the midterm elections.
Trump has resumed his signature rallies, seeking to build support for a Republican red wave and denouncing Democrat policies that he says are driving America to ruin.
“Our country is going to hell,” Trump said at a Sept. 3 rally in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. “Above all, this election is a referendum on the corruption and extremism of Joe Biden and the radical Democratic Party.”
It's a message he's expressed repeatedly, telling rallygoers at a more recent event in Wilmington, North Carolina, that “if you want the decline and fall of America, then you should vote for the crazy, radical left Democrats,” adding that putting Republicans back in charge would “save the American dream.”
Conway said in the CBS interview that, once the midterms are done, Trump will "assess the timing of his announcement."
"I will tell you why he wants to run for president—Donald Trump wants his old job back," Conway said.
Pressed on the specific timing of a possible Trump announcement, Conway said, "I think before the end of this year."
'I've Already Made That Decision'Trump, for his part, said back in mid-July that he had made up his mind about whether to run in 2024, with the only remaining "big decision" being the timing.
"I’ve already made that decision, so nothing factors in anymore,” Trump said in an interview with New York Magazine, published on July 14.
“My big decision will be whether I go before or after,” Trump added, indicating that he is undecided on whether to announce before or after the 2022 midterm elections.
In her interview on CBS, Conway was asked whether the FBI raid on Trump's Mar-a-Lago home had changed his calculus in any way about getting into the presidential race.
"It's changed the level of support that he has seen from people who may have been sitting on the fence or reluctant about another Trump run," Conway replied. She added that the raid has led such people to rally around the former president.
Conway was also asked whether she believes former Vice President Mike Pence has a "viable path to the White House." She replied by saying that only if Trump decides not to run would Pence have a chance.
'It Has to Be Him'At the "Save America" event in Pennsylvania at the beginning of September, The Epoch Times asked rallygoers who they would like to see running for president on the Republican ticket. Many said it has to be Trump.
Edward Borek of Pennsylvania, a veteran in his eighties, said he has been open to this question and has spent a lot of time learning about those on the growing list of potential Republican 2024 hopefuls.
“I think it has to be him,” he said, referring to Trump.
“I can’t see any other candidates right now who can come on up, push him aside, and lead the movement,” said Borek. “You’re not gonna get somebody else.”
“Absolutely Trump,” said rallygoer Mike Mangrell.
“I want him back to finish what he started, to drain the swamp, fix the crime, and build the wall.”