The Drudge Report on Tuesday reported on a “SHOCK ANNOUNCEMENT” from President Donald Trump that turned out to be anything but.
“Just one year into his presidency, Trump will stun the political world by announcing he is running for re-election in 2020,” the agenda-setting conservative website reported on its homepage.
“Digital guru Brad Parscale will be named campaign manager, DRUDGE REPORT has learned,” the site reported, adding: “The bold move comes 980 days before Election Day, a historical record. Obama announced 582 days out.”
The Trump campaign officially announced his re-election effort shortly afterward.
— ABC News (@ABC) February 27, 2018
That Parscale will lead the campaign is news: the 42-year-old served as the 2016 Trump campaign’s digital director and is credited in part for driving the campaign’s social media advertising and outreach. He’s remained in the Trump orbit, though he doesn’t serve in the White House. The House Intelligence Committee interviewed him in October of last year.
Politico tallied Federal Election Commission disclosures in January 2017 and reported that Parscale’s firm, Giles-Parscale, was “by far Trump’s biggest vendor,” having been paid nearly $88 million by the campaign. Parscale told “60 Minutes” a few months later that he was paid $94 million from the campaign.
However, that Trump is running for re-election is no surprise at all.
For one thing, Trump filed paperwork with the FEC announcing that he’d reached the legal threshold to become a 2020 candidate on Inauguration Day, Jan. 20, 2017. He’s also kept up an active campaign rally schedule since taking office. His campaign committee has raised millions of dollars in 2017 and 2018.
And he’s spoken openly about his desire to be re-elected, one in a list of taboos the President saw no reason to heed.
I was recently asked if Crooked Hillary Clinton is going to run in 2020? My answer was, "I hope so!"
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 16, 2017
This post has been updated.