Former President Donald Trump plans to launch the next phase of his presidential campaign with an event planned for South Carolina, Politico is reporting.
Trump is expected to hold his first public campaign event of the new year in late January in Columbia, South Carolina.
Aides to Trump say it is the first step into a more public phase of his run for the White House. His advisers add that it will not be a rally, but a more "intimate" event in a state slated to hold an early Republican primary.
They noted it is part of a gradual build-out of his campaign, which has been relatively quiet in terms of public events since he announced on Nov. 15 he would make another presidential bid.
"In order to make America great and glorious again, I am tonight announcing my candidacy for president of the United States," Trump told the crowd at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Florida, at the time.
"This will not be my campaign. This will be our campaign all together, because the only force strong enough to defeat the massive corruption we are up against is you, the American people. It's true. The American people, the greatest people on earth. We love them all. And we love both sides. We're going to bring people together. We're going to unify. ..."
Trump advisers Brian Jack, Chris LaCivita, and Susie Wiles, in an interview with Politico, rejected suggestions that Trump had been running a low-energy effort since his announcement.
They noted his opening of a campaign headquarters in West Palm Beach, Florida, his activity in key primary states during the 2022 midterm election and the growth of senior staff.
They pointed out the South Carolina event, along with other activity, shows that Trump is taking important steps to position himself the GOP nomination during the early days of the race.
"Not all that occurs in the campaign is done in the public eye … There's a level of expectation that is maybe pushed by people that don't view the campaign in maybe the most positive light," LaCivita said.
The former president has not held any of his rallies since the end of the midterms.
"People want to push, 'Why aren't you doing rallies?' Well, I think it would be kind of crazy to be spending huge amounts of money this far out," LaCivita said.
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