Trump drops new hints on possible 2024 presidential run: 'We were so close'

Trump said it's 'inconceivable' that Republicans would lose upcoming midterms

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Former President Donald Trump on Thursday hinted at a 2024 presidential run in a wide-ranging interview on "Hannity," where he addressed his storied relationship with the media, his prior successes in office and why he believes the country will "not survive" under President Biden's leadership.

Trump repeatedly teased his own 2024 run throughout the exclusive interview with Fox News host Sean Hannity, touting a number of foreign policy successes during his presidency and outlining future policy positions that he would support if he chose to seek office again. 

"Look, I want to see great leadership in this country, more important than Republican, or Democrat, or liberal, or conservative," Trump said. "Our country is going to hell. We are a nation in decline."

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President Donald Trump speaks in the Cabinet Room of the White House in Washington, Monday, April 9, 2018.

President Donald Trump speaks in the Cabinet Room of the White House in Washington, Monday, April 9, 2018. (Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.  (AP Photo/Susan Walsh))

While he stopped short of confirming 2024 speculation citing legal ramifications, the former president refused to rule out the possibility of a White House bid.

"I love the country and we were so close," he told Hannity. "Before COVID came in we had a country like never in history."

In the event of re-election, Trump said he would "very quickly" restore the office of the presidency, beginning with the deportation of the "criminal" immigrants who've crossed the border illegally under Biden's open border policies. 

"Millions of people are in the country now that shouldn’t be here. Many of them are prisoners. Criminals. The bad ones I would deport. Yes. Millions and millions of people, they’re poisoning our country," he said.

Trump pointed to his foreign policy record during 2016-2020 before taking shots at Biden for signaling weakness on the global stage.

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"Iran was in check, North Korea was in check, I got along very well with Kim Jong-Un which…we would have ended up in a nuclear war then. Russia was totally in check and China was in check.

Trump and Kim shake hands during their 2019 meeting. (AP/KCNA)

Trump and Kim shake hands during their 2019 meeting. (AP/KCNA) ((AP/KCNA))

"They knew there was retribution," he added. "They knew that we can’t sit back and let these horrible things happen. But with President Xi as an example, when you’re with President Xi and when you’re with all of these world leaders, they are at the top of the game and they are at the top of their game. They are sharp as a tack, they are smart, they’re brilliant…you have to be really on your game to deal with these people."

"I’m the only one in 70 years, they said that kept us out of wars," he continued.

Dialing up the culture war rhetoric and attacks on his political opponents, Trump said it's "inconceivable" that Republicans would lose the upcoming midterm election considering how unpopular many of the Democratic policies are with the public.

"When it comes to the election, if you want to have high taxes if you want to have high crime, I say this – it’s so politically incorrect they tell me, but I don’t think so -- if you want to have men playing in women’s sports, if you want to have all this horrible education stuff where they are brainwashing and indoctrinating your children. 

Trump told 'Hannity' he is rooting for Biden to succeed ‘incredibly’ as a leader.

Trump told 'Hannity' he is rooting for Biden to succeed ‘incredibly’ as a leader. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

"You take a look at how bad they are. It’s inconceivable that the Republicans can lose," he said, adding, "I just hope the people get out and vote."

In an apparent shift of tone for the former president, Trump said he is rooting for Biden to succeed as a leader, even if it would make a potential race against him more competitive.

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"Beyond Republican or Democrat I want to see someone that’s great, he reiterated. "I would rather have him succeed incredibly even if it meant a much tougher [campaign] and maybe even a loss."

"I want to see what’s good for the country," Trump said. "This country is a mess. The way it’s going right now it’s not going to survive."