Real estate mogul and television personality Donald Trump announced on Wednesday that he will take a significant step towards launching a presidential campaign.
Trump, a Republican, said he is forming an exploratory committee. This is an essential first move that lets candidates raise money to fund the early stages of their campaigns.
"We must rebuild our infrastructure, control our borders, support local control of education, greatly strengthen our military, care for our veterans and put Americans back to work! We must stop other countries from totally taking advantage of our representatives who are being out-negotiated at every turn. I am the only one who can make America truly great again!" Trump said in a statement.
Critics have long been skeptical of Trump's willingness to pull the trigger on a White House bid. Trump, the host of NBC's "The Apprentice," previously flirted with a presidential campaign in 2012 and a New York gubernatorial campaign in 2014 without ultimately pursuing them. A senior Trump adviser told the New Hampshire Union Leader that he will not be renewing his "Apprentice" contract.
Trump appears to be hoping that concrete steps like hiring political staffers and launching the new committee will indicate he's serious about the potential 2016 campaign.
"I have a great love for our country, but it is a country that is in serious trouble. We have lost the respect of the entire world. Americans deserve better than what they get from their politicians — who are all talk and no action!" his statement exclaimed.
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