Ex-chief of staff says Trump won't run because he can't be seen as 'loser'

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  • Donald Trump
    Donald Trump
    45th President of the United States


Donald Trump's longest-serving White House chief of staff isn't so sure that the former president will mount a comeback campaign in 2024, even as he continues to tease another run for the White House.

"Trump won't run," John Kelly, a former Homeland Security secretary who served as Trump's chief of staff for a year and a half, told The Atlantic. "He'll continue talking about it; he may even declare, but he will not run. And the reason is he simply cannot be seen as a loser."

Kelly has remained relatively quiet since leaving his post at the White House in 2019, though he has spoken critically of Trump in the wake of the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol.

Yet his remarks to The Atlantic underscore the ongoing debate among Republicans about what Trump's political future holds.

While the former president has made sporadic public appearances and hinted that another presidential run is on the table, some party officials and operatives are skeptical that he'll actually pull the trigger on a 2024 White House bid.

Despite losing the 2020 election to President Biden by roughly 7 million votes, Trump has continued to claim without evidence that he was robbed of victory by widespread voter fraud and systemic irregularities.

State audits of the election results have repeatedly debunked his assertions.

Still, Trump relishes the political limelight and has eagerly injected himself into discussions of the 2024 presidential election.

Other would-be GOP presidential contenders, like former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley, have said that they will not run for the White House if Trump decides to jump into the race.

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