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Can Trump Really Run for President Again? Even After … *Gestures at Everything*

Donald Trump speaks at a political event, raising his hand out in front of him.

Welp, Donald Trump finally did the thing we all knew he was going to do eventually: He officially announced his campaign to run for president. Again.

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This might have been a bit surprising to some since initially, he was expected to ride the “red wave” of Republican midterm wins into a victorious announcement. But the party—and specifically the conspiracy-loving, election-denying MAGA candidates Trump endorsed—got trounced in the midterms. But he is still pushing forward because, according to sources close to him who spoke to CBS news, he’s worried he’ll look “weak” if he doesn’t move aggressively no matter what. Which, if we’re being honest, is actually not surprising in the slightest.

Trump made the announcement from Mar-a-Lago Tuesday night, citing “globalist” conspiracies and skyrocketing crime rates (*citation needed*!) as being his motivator for entering the race. (He, of course, omitted any mention of the plain old egotism we all know is the primary factor in play.)

What did Trump say about Ron DeSantis?

Leading up to his announcement, Trump used his Truth Social account to lash out and mock Florida Governor Rod DeSantis, who is expected to be a Republican frontrunner in the 2024 presidential race and therefore Trump’s biggest competition at the moment.

Trump has been very pointedly highlighting DeSantis’s history of support. Extremely subtle!

Can Donald Trump run for president again?

Having only served one term in office, there’s nothing to stop Trump from running for president again. There are a lot of reasons why he shouldn’t be able to run—like, you know, how he inspired and encouraged a violent attempt to overturn the last election.

But since he hasn’t actually been convicted of any crimes in relation to his role in the January 6 insurrection or the larger campaign to overturn a legitimate election, he can, legally, still run for office.

If he were found to have “engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the [United States], or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof,” that would bar him from serving in the government under Section 3 of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. It would not, however, prevent him from running—just from serving if he won. Also, even if he were in prison (we can dream!) he could actually still run a campaign for president.

With nothing to stop him from announcing his campaign tonight, I guess we just have to hope he gets absolutely humiliated during his run. When it comes to DeSantis, the enemy of our enemy is, well, not our friend. But this is bound to be peak “let them fight” fodder moving forward.

This post has been updated throughout.

(image: Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

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Vivian Kane
Vivian Kane (she/her) is the Senior News Editor at The Mary Sue, where she's been writing about politics and entertainment (and all the ways in which the two overlap) since the dark days of late 2016. Born in San Francisco and radicalized in Los Angeles, she now lives in Kansas City, Missouri, where she gets to put her MFA to use covering the local theatre scene. She is the co-owner of The Pitch, Kansas City’s alt news and culture magazine, alongside her husband, Brock Wilbur, with whom she also shares many cats.

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