Conservative news aggregator Matt Drudge made the announcement Tuesday on his website.
The president plans to tap former digital adviser Brad Parscale, who is presently spearheading a pro-Trump outside group called America First Policies, the campaign announced in a statement that came out shortly after the Drudge report.
According to Drudge, Trump plans to “stun the political” world by announcing his reelection bid only 13 months into his presidency, but Trump’s decision to run for reelection is not a surprise.
He has repeatedly talked about being president for eight years, and he filed paperwork with the Federal Elections Commission in January of last year for his reelection committee — the same month he was inaugurated.
But the decision to leak the news to Drudge and to formally announce a campaign suggests the White House wants to rally Trump’s base at a time when Republicans are facing difficult prospects in the fall midterm elections, and when Trump himself is dealing with a series of news stories related to special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russia.
The Trump campaign said that in his campaign manager duties, Parscale will be engaging in the 2018 midterm elections by “providing candidates with general support, endorsements, and rallying the support of the political grassroots by engaging Trump supporters in districts and states.”
“Brad was essential in bringing a disciplined technology and data-driven approach to how the 2016 campaign was run. His leadership and expertise will be help build a best-in-class campaign,” White House senior adviser Jared Kushner said in a statement.
It’s not clear where or exactly when Trump will hold a campaign-style reelection event.
The president has clung to his surprise 2016 election victory, frequently using it as a touchstone in his political speeches.
At the Conservative Political Action Conference last week, Trump railed against his 2016 Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton, mocking her for losing Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania, all of which went for the GOP presidential candidate for the first time in decades.
Still, Trump is likely to face a far different electoral terrain in 2020, as liberals are energized in opposition to him and will be eager not to repeat the mistakes of the Clinton campaign.
Democrats will likely be contending with a huge field of candidates in 2020, believing Trump to be vulnerable.
Nearly a half-dozen Democratic senators, as well as governors and even left-leaning celebrities, appear to be positioning themselves for the chance to take on Trump, whose approval rating is historically low for a first-term president.
The presidential jockeying comes as Democrats are licking their chops over their 2018 midterm prospects, believing they can take back the House.
The party in power typically loses seats in a midterm election, and the generic congressional ballot shows Democrats with a lead of about 9 points, according to the RealClearPolitics average.
There are concerns that Trump will be a drag on GOP ticket in the midterms. Democrats have shown their energy can translate into electoral victories, as they’ve notched early gains in state-level contests in some districts that Trump won handily in 2016.