'Not above the law': Why Trump's decision to run for president won't change his legal woes
Experts say Trump's presidential announcement will have little to no impact on his sweeping legal troubles left over from his first White House stint.Would President Joe Biden's administration take the historic step of prosecuting a political rival? How might a high-profile criminal or civil case proceeding against Trump during a presidential campaign be viewed by voters? What are the implications for the Department of Justice if prosecutors charged Trump but failed to win a conviction?
© Phelan M. Ebenhack for The Washington Post via Getty Images Former President Donald Trump, left, waves to guests during an election night party at Mar-a-Lago, Tuesday, November 8, 2022 in Palm Beach, Florida. Phelan M. Ebenhack for The Washington Post via Getty Images
- Trump doesn't have real friends at Mar-a-Lago, a Florida billionaire told the Financial Times.
- Despite the atmosphere of adulation, it's "all transactional," Jeff Greene told the paper.
- Reporters have long noted Trump's love of associating with the rich and famous.
See inside the ornate Mar-a-Lago ballroom where guests wearing 'Ultra MAGA' hats crowded in as Trump announced his 2024 presidential bid
- Mar-a-Lago was packed ahead of Former President Donald Trump's announcement of his presidential bid.
- Guests took videos in a blue MAGA booth and interacted in a ballroom covered in gold decor.
- Trump's supporters, including Roger Stone and MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell, were in attendance.
Former President Donald Trump said he had a "special announcement" on Tuesday at Mar-a-Lago, in Palm Beach, Florida.
The billionaire and now-Florida resident would go on to announce his candidacy for the 2024 presidential election in the private club's grand ballroom. The room had golden seating set up for an estimated 500 people, though much of the crowd would be standing.
Security instructed reporters to be in the room no later than 6 p.m. Broadcasters such as CNN and Fox News would end up carrying much of the speech live.
MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell spoke to reporters earlier in the evening, saying he expected Trump would deliver a "great message of hope."
Blake Marnell, a supporter from San Diego, told Insider's Kimberly Leonard that he had come to Mar-a-Lago once before for a Kari Lake fundraiser.
Russell Vought, director of the Office of Management and Budget during the Trump presidency, was one of the earlier guests to arrive.
In typical Trump fashion, the entire room — from the ground ceiling — was decked in gold.
Trump supporters used this studio-like space to take photos and film videos.
Meanwhile, members of the press sat in the back, with risers dividing the room between media and guests.
Organizers provided reporters with a beverage station of caffeine and water — all branded with Trump.
As the night went on, more guests crowded the event space. Background music included "Rocket Man" and "Tiny Dancer" by Elton John.
Former Trump adviser Roger Stone was also in attendance.
Trump walked in and took the stage. One notable absence was his daughter Ivanka Trump, who said she'd be stepping back from politics to focus on her children. Jared Kushner was present for the announcement.
Guests didn't linger long after the hourlong speech, but voiced their support for Trump's 2024 announcement as they exited the ballroom
A billionaire who lives near Trump in Florida said that former President Donald Trump is not surrounded by true friends at the club, according to the Financial Times.
Trump bid nets tough reaction from some former media friends
NEW YORK (AP) — Not all of his friends have abandoned him, but the harsh media reaction to former President Donald Trump's announcement that he's seeking the top office again illustrates that if he wants his old job back, he has a lot of convincing to do. Just glance at some headlines: “Trump Shocks the World by Nearly Putting Us to Sleep,” said the RedState blog. “Old Mar-a-Lago Man Yells at Cloud,” said the American Conservative. “Donnie, Time to Go Away,” said Blue State Conservative. “Trump 3.0 is a Changed Man. He's a Loser,” said the Washington Examiner.
Real estate mogul Jeff Greene told the paper that the atmosphere of adulation there is "all transactional."
The paper said Greene joined as a Mar-a-Lago member in 2010. It was not clear if he remained part of the club.
Trump is well-known for holding court among allies and admirers at his Florida home, often soaking up applause when he walks in the room, as filmmaker Alex Holder said earlier this year.
And the FT described the many fans — including wealthy "Trumpettes" — who flock to Mar-a-Lago and lavish praise on the former president. Greene suggested this is all fake.
Asked who Trump's close friends are, Greene told the paper: "I don't think he has any friends."
He said that one person he knows who plays golf with Trump "all the time" was never invited to the White House when Trump was president, implying that Trump did not really much care for him.
Trumpflation causes MAGA products to skyrocket in price
Red "Make America Great Again" caps, Trump t-shirts, and campaign bumper stickers are much more expensive than they used to be.And now that he's running for president again in 2024, he's continuing his fundraising ways for his new presidential campaign committee.
In 2018, Greene made a failed attempt at running for Florida governor as a Democrat, eight years after a 2010 attempt at the US Senate.
Before the 2018 campaign — when Trump appeared to take offense at an attack ad Greene ran — the pair had a cordial relationship, Greene told the paper.
But that was largely due to his wealth, Greene suggested. "He would come over to my table, I think because I was a billionaire," he told the FT. "He likes billionaires." © Kimberly Leonard/Insider Former President Donald Trump made a 2024 White House run official on November 15, 2022, in the grand ballroom at Mar-a-Lago. Kimberly Leonard/Insider
It's a characterization that also came up in "Confidence Man," the recent book by Trump-watching New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman.
In an excerpt seen by Insider, Trump considered his time as president worth it because he made "so many rich friends and nobody knows who they are." Haberman wrote that she found the remark "jarring" when Trump said it.
Speaking of the legions of fans who gravitate towards Trump's club, Greene told the paper: "They want to be around him because he's the ex-president."
Trump "likes people to defer to him . . . and tell him how good he is," Greene told the FT.
Despite this, Greene said he felt more welcome at Mar-a-Lago than at other clubs.
Others, such as British hard-right politician Nigel Farage, told the paper that he considered Trump a "good friend" who "meant it" when he said in 2016 they would be friends for life.
A spokesperson for Trump did not immediately respond to a request for comment, sent on Thanksgiving.
What are Donald Trump's latest legal challenges? Special counsel, new suit over alleged assault and more .
Despite the Thanksgiving holiday week, Donald Trump faced several developments - both criminal and civil - in multiple cases and investigations.Here is a summary of the key developments since last Friday: