Des Moines, IA -- Billionaire real estate mogul Donald Trump is making his presence known in the Iowa political scene, with help from one of his closest advisors. On Monday, Trump's executive, Michael Cohen, spent the day in Iowa giving political watchers one more reason to believe Trump is seriously considering a run for president in 2012.
Now that one of his closest advisers is spending time in Iowa it seems like Trump's seriously considering it.
Trump's executive Michael Cohen, the co-founder of the website "shouldtrumprun.com," tells Fox News he took a "personal day" to fly from New York City to Iowa to meet with GOP insiders in Des Moines.
"We are very anxious to learn about Iowa and report back to Mr. Trump, when he hopefully decides to run in June, " Cohen said.
When a reporter asked Cohen to identify what sets Donald Trump apart from what could be a crowded field of Republican candidates, Cohen praised his boss' qualifications including, "his business acumen" and "his negotiating skills," while quipping that all of these assets should be obvious to anyone.
And of course, there's also the fact that -- according to Cohen -- "Mr. Trump is one of the wealthiest men in the country...also one of most well-known individuals on the planet."
Cohen landed in Des Moines Monday morning in what he describes as the smaller of Trump's two private airplanes. If you're picturing a smaller executive type private plane, think again. Cohen's ride resembled a commercial airliner with the word "TRUMP" plastered across both sides, and the very same plane often seen in Trump's reality show, "The Apprentice."
We were curious who was picking up the tab for today's flight to Iowa. Cohen says , it's not Donald Trump.
"Somebody else is paying for it."
"Who?" asked a reporter.
"It doesn't matter," Cohen protested before answering. "Stewart Rahr is paying for it. He's co-creator of shouldtrumprun.com."
Rahr, a self-made billionaire, is close friends with Trump. I spoke with Rahr by phone Monday afternoon, after his private plane arrived in New Orleans, just in time for Rahr to celebrate Mardi Gras. Rahr confirms he financed Cohen's trip to Iowa because he's willing to do whatever he can to get Trump elected.
"Whatever it takes. Whatever it takes to get Mr. Trump into the White House," Rahr said.
Reports that Stewart Rahr covered the cost of Michael Cohen's trip to Iowa caused some turbulence on political blogs late Monday afternoon, proposing Donald Trump somehow violated specific campaign finance rules limiting the amount of money people can donate to candidates who are "testing the waters" in a presidential bid.
We caught up with Cohen at Iowa's Faith and Family Coalition event Monday night in Waukee, Iowa, where he responded to the reports."Absolutely not true," said Cohen. "I'm offended. It's very very irresponsible reporting. The plane was paid for by Stewart Rahr, a good friend of Trump's."
"There is no exploratory committee. This is done by the two of us, we're having fun doing it. Our goal is to get Mr. Trump to run [for president]."
"He [Trump] has gone out and said to hundreds of reporters, he will make his decision by June. He's seriously considering running for the Republican nomination. If he does, we will see a very different America."