Former President Donald Trump officially declares 2024 presidential candidacy

Trump attacks President Joe Biden, political opponents, says U.S. is in 'grave trouble'
Donald Trump announces his plans to run for president in 2024 during a speech at Mar-a-Lago on Nov. 15, 2022.
Posted at 9:43 PM, Nov 15, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-16 09:57:01-05

PALM BEACH, Fla. — It's official.

Former President Donald Trump will seek the Oval Office once again.

Trump, the only president impeached twice, made the announcement during a speech at his Mar-a-Lago estate on Palm Beach on Tuesday night.

"I am tonight announcing my candidacy for president of the United States," Trump said to an audience of several hundred supporters, club members and gathered press in a chandeliered ballroom at Mar-a-Lago, where he stood flanked by more than 30 American flags and banners that read, "MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!"

In an all-too-familiar listing of grievances, Trump attacked President Joe Biden and his political opponents, saying the U.S. is in "grave trouble." Trump railed on the country's inflation and America's drug problem, saying if he is reelected he will attack inflation and resolve the country's immigration problems.

"We will again put America first," he added.

WATCH: Trump announces 2024 presidential candidacy

Donald Trump officially declares 2024 presidential candidacy

Trump listed his accomplishments during his presidency while also attacking Biden's policies on energy, immigration and the U.S. pullout of Afghanistan.

The former president did not mention Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who will likely be his toughest competitor in seeking the Republican nomination.

The announcement comes while Trump faces a series of intensifying criminal investigations, including a Department of Justice probe into the hundreds of documents with classified markings that were discovered in boxes and drawers at Mar-a-Lago.

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Aides and allies had urged Trump to wait until after the midterms were over — and then until after a Dec. 6 Senate runoff election in Georgia — to announce his plans. But Trump, eager to return to the spotlight, is also hoping to stave off a long list of potential challengers, including DeSantis, who cruised to reelection last week and is now being urged by many in his party to run for president a well.

Trump has tried to blame Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell for the GOP's performance — and McConnell allies have criticized Rick Scott, the Florida senator who heads the Senate Republicans' campaign committee.

Former President Donald Trump waves after announcing he is running for president for the third time at Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Fla., Tuesday, Nov. 15, 2022.
Former President Donald Trump waves after announcing he is running for president for the third time at Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Fla., Tuesday, Nov. 15, 2022.

RELATED: Palm Beach County Republicans stressing out over DeSantis-Trump feud

However, Trump has received the brunt of criticism for elevating candidates in states like Pennsylvania and Arizona who were unappealing to general election voters because they embraced his lies about 2020 election or held hard-line views on issues like abortion that were out of step with the mainstream.

While Trump has the backing of the No. 3 House Republican, Rep. Elise Stefanik, others were already moving on.

RELATED: Did Trump's denouncement of DeSantis kick off 2024 presidential primary?

Asked whether she would endorse Trump in 2024, Republican Sen. Cynthia Lummis of Wyoming told reporters Monday: "I don't think that's the right question. I think the question is, who is the current leader of the Republican Party?"

Asked who that was, she replied: "Ron DeSantis."

Just one president in U.S. history has been elected to two non-consecutive terms: Grover Cleveland in 1884 and 1892.

The Florida Democratic Party released the following statement after Tuesday's announcement:

"While criminal investigations swirl around him, Donald Trump is announcing a third campaign for the White House after twice losing the popular vote and handing Republicans two consecutive midterm disasters," Florida Democratic Party press secretary Gricel Gonzalez said. "The MAGA brand has become toxic, leaving Donald, a four-time loser, kicking off his campaign tonight by boarding an empty Trump train."

Portions of this article courtesy of the Associated Press