Donald Trump knows what he’s doing in 2016.
“In my own mind, I’ve decided, but I haven’t made it official – that’s for the 16th,” Trump told msnbc in a phone call from Iowa. “Can’t tell you yet, though I’d like to!”
The real estate mogul – who famously questioned the president’s citizenship, leading him to release his birth certificate in 2011 – will announce on June 16 whether or not he will make a 2016 presidential bid. After setting the date for the declaration, which will take place at Trump Tower Atrium, he headed off to early voting states Iowa and New Hampshire – a possible indication of what that announcement will likely be.
Trump, who called from the prospective campaign trail in the first-in-the-nation caucus state, said he was excited to see strong poll numbers, particularly because “people don’t think I’m running.”
Indeed, the businessman topped 2016 hopefuls like New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul in early April polling. But in a more recent poll, Trump also led another list: candidates GOP voters don’t want to see run. In a national poll by Quinnipiac, 21% of Republicans said they would “definitely would not support” him in the Republican primary. Just 5% said they’d vote for Trump if the election were held today.
Trump weighed a presidential bid in 2012 as well, going as far as setting a date for an announcement. He ultimately bowed out in May 2011 and signed on to another season of hosting “The Apprentice.”
But this time Trump seems ready to go all in. He’s hired staff in key early states and has been on the trail in Iowa and South Carolina, telling voters he’s “very seriously” looking at a 2016 bid. He has already turned down another season of “The Apprentice,” too.
“I think people will be very happy – some will be very surprised,” Trump told msnbc cryptically.