Trump launches his White House bid - but was America listening?

Former US President Donald Trump launched his third campaign for the White House just one week after a disappointing midterm showing for Republicans, ITV News Correspondent Robert Moore reports

This was the worst kept secret in American politics.

It has been clear for weeks that Donald Trump would launch his long-shot bid to win back the White House.

But the timing was terrible. The Republican disappointment over recent midterms elections has deflated the party and Trump’s brand. Many of the candidates he had supported lost their races for governorships and senate seats.

His advisers - in fact virtually every Republican - urged him to wait before launching into the slash-and-burn politics of a presidential run.

Trump ignored everyone.

Former President Donald Trump stands on stage with former first lady Melania Trump. Credit: AP

Two years after an election defeat he never accepted - two years after a presidency that ended in the chaos of an attempted insurrection - Trump implausibly pitched this as a moment of national salvation.

"The American comeback begins now," he told supporters packed into the Mar-a-Lago ballroom.

With many falsehoods weaved into the speech, Trump portrayed his bid as an attempt to save the country from carnage.

But America may not have been listening. Many TV networks showed a few minutes of the speech but then quickly moved on.

Donald Trump officially announces his candidacy for the 2024 US presidential election

Furthermore, Republican voters may also have moved on. Ron DeSantis - the Florida Governor who has emerged as a big winner from the elections last week - represents a major threat to Trump's hopes of winning the Republican nomination.

Trump’s speech was one we have heard dozens of times before at rallies across the country.

At a gathering of his ultra-loyalists who were watching the announcement on TV there was initial enthusiasm. But after the first 45 minutes, some were asleep. Others drifted away.

This is Trump’s problem. Many Americans - even those who like his policies and are sympathetic to his cause - are exhausted with the constant chaos and disruption he represents.

It is possible that Trump could win in 2024. But at this moment it’s the longest of long-shots.

Want a quick and expert briefing on the biggest news stories? Listen to our latest podcasts to find out What You Need To Know