(USA Features) Former President Donald Trump has hired a pair of political veterans in Iowa, one of the important first primary states, renewing speculation he’s prepping for a 2024 White House run.
An aide with the political action committee Trump founded following his 2020 election loss, the Save America PAC, told staffers in a Thursday memo that Eric Branstad and Alex Latcham are coming in as senior advisers.
A Save America spokesman, Taylor Budowich, confirmed the hires to Bloomberg News, adding that Latcham and Branstad will help on “many political matters.”
The former president has begun to make regular noises about running again in 2024, which has led other Republican hopefuls to reserve announcing their intentions to see if Trump gets in. If he does, these other GOP potentials have said, he would likely capture the nomination easily.
That said, Bloomberg News noted that has been vague enough about his intentions “as he has tried to steer clear of activities that would trigger federal election laws that would require him to register as a candidate.”
In May during an appearance on talker Dan Bongino’s show, Trump said, “We are going to make you very happy” when asked about his plans for the 2024 presidential cycle. “And we’re going to do what’s right.”
“The news of Trump’s taking steps in Iowa politics comes as Biden is buffeted by inflation worries, the resurgence of COVID-19 cases and the Taliban sweeping through Afghanistan,” Bloomberg News reported.
That said, Jeff Kaufmann, chairman of the Republican Party of Iowa, tweeted that the former president called him Sunday and “asked about Iowa’s farmers and other topics including Iowa’s first-in-the-nation status.”
Other Republicans have already been to Iowa and are seen as GOP hopefuls as well. They include former Vice President Mike Pence, Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas has also visited the state, and while Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has also been listed as a potential candidate, he has yet to make a trip to Iowa.
“Latcham and Branstad are Iowa natives with deep experience in the caucuses that have led off the presidential nominating contests,” Bloomberg News reported.
“Latcham was Trump’s Iowa political director during the 2016 general election campaign then was deputy political director in the Trump White House,” the outlet continued.
“Branstad was Trump’s state director in Iowa in 2016, then a senior White House adviser at the Commerce Department. During the 2020 Trump re-election campaign, Branstad was senior advisor in Iowa. He is the son of former Iowa Governor Terry Branstad, Trump’s U.S. ambassador to China,” the news service added.
In April, Trump’s final chief of staff, Mark Meadows, speculated that his former boss’s chances of jumping in the 2024 race are better than half.
“I’m feeling great about President Trump’s willingness to serve once again in the Oval Office,” Meadows told America First’s Sebastian Gorka, another former Trump administration official.
Without elaborating then, Meadows said Trump is “making all the preparations necessary” to run again for the White House and is being “encouraged by his friends” and former administration officials to do so.
“Ultimately, what I think you will see is a vision for America that didn’t stop on Nov. 3, didn’t stop on Jan. 20, and we need to reengage,” Meadows said. “So he’s getting major encouragement, and I would say this: I would put the odds at better than 50-50 that he runs again, and everybody should take note of that.”
And just last week, Trump’s first press secretary, Sean Spicer, now a Newsmax TV host, said with certainty of Trump: “He’s in.”