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Donald Trump: Business magnate and reality TV star announces he will run for White House

The 69-year-old has previously flirted with a presidential election campaign

Andrew Buncombe
Wednesday 17 June 2015 01:43 BST
Real estate mogul and TV personality Donald Trump announces his campaign for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination
Real estate mogul and TV personality Donald Trump announces his campaign for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination

Where does Donald Trump buy his confidence? At which store does he purchase his swagger?

On Tuesday, the possessor of bottomless brio and hair that has a life of its own, declared that intends to do something he has previously talked an awful lot about doing – run for the White House.

The 69-year-old Republican business tycoon and reality television host made the announcement on Tuesday morning at a press conference held in the lobby of his eponymous Trump Tower in New York.

Given that it was his building, it was perhaps not surprising that he should take the opportunity to talk about himself, and he certainly did that.

“Our country is in serious trouble,” declared the man, known globally as the quick-talking host of The Apprentice. “We don’t have victories anymore.”

He added: "Ladies and gentlemen, I am officially running for President of the United States."

During a twisting, turning address that lasted around 30 minutes, Mr Trump drew attention to the issues he believed were the greatest challenge for America, and declared that he could and would fix all of them.

Donald Trump filed documents revealing his net worth

They ran from the threat from Isis, the need to generate more jobs, troublesome international trade deals, America’s ageing nuclear arsenal and the issues thrown up by immigration. He claimed that Mexico was “sending people who have lots of problems”.

“I speak to the border guards. They tell me what we’re getting,” he said. “I am going to build a great big wall on our southern border and I will make Mexico pay for it.”

Mr Trump has previously flirted with a run for the presidency. In both 2008 and 2012 he indicated he was interested in contesting, only to decide against.

A flurry of reports had suggested this time he was much more serious. In January, he declared with typical flourish that he was the only person who could save America.

In May, he announced a leadership team in New Hampshire, which hosts the first presidential primary, and he was due to fly to Iowa, which hosts the first caucus, after Tuesday’s announcement.

His speech was accompanied by the release of records that showed his net worth to be a little under nine billion dollars. “I’m using my own money,” he said. “I’m really rich.”

He also took the opportunity to attack some of his rivals seeking the Republican nomination, suggesting Senator Marco Rubio had been unable to answer a question about whether or not he would have invaded Iraq, as President George Bush did in 2003.

On Monday, he had tweeted that the US did not need another Bush in the White House, as Jeb Bush announced his own his candidacy in Miami

“How are these people going to lead us,” he said on Tuesday.

Mr Trump is joining a crowded Republican field of possible candidates and becomes the 12th to officially declare.

While some might question the seriousness of Mr Trump’s candidacy, he currently appears in the top ten Republican options in most polls, something that would gain him entry to the potentially crucial first television debate, being hosted by Fox News in Ohio on August 6.

Even while he would still only have an outside chance, his presence at the debate could make things potentially difficult for some of his rivals.

He said: “Our country needs a truly great leader and we need a truly great leader now.”

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