President Donald Trump is returning to the campaign trail less than a month into his first term in office.
Trump announced via Twitter on Wednesday that he will hold a “rally” at the airport in Melbourne, Florida, on Saturday evening. The tweet quickly sparked speculation about whether the event would be held in Trump’s capacity as president—he said in the past he’d potentially hold rallies as president—or for his 2020 re-election campaign.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 15, 2017
Turns out, it’s for his re-election. In a statement to CNN’s Jim Acosta, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said the rally would be a “campaign” event.
Spicer says Trump rally in FL Saturday is a "campaign" event. So the 2020 campaign has begun.
— Jim Acosta (@Acosta) February 15, 2017
Other reporters soon confirmed that the event would be run by the Trump campaign and not the U.S. government.
Spicer on POTUS event on Saturday in FL: "It's being run by the campaign"
— Zeke Miller (@ZekeJMiller) February 15, 2017
Trump friend tells me decision for POTUS to hold big rally Sat in FL is part of his desire to "go to his people" and "bring back the crowds"
— Robert Costa (@costareports) February 15, 2017
Trump’s decision to hold a campaign rally so early into his time in the White House is unusual, and the rally itself comes at a particularly tumultuous time for the nascent presidency.
In the past few days alone, Trump’s national security adviser quit for misleading Vice President Mike Pence, U.S. intelligence sources claim the 2016 Trump campaign team was in regular contact with Russian intelligence officials prior to the campaign, and Trump’s approval rating is currently hovering around 42 percent.
The only question now is, what will his 2020 campaign slogan be?