Former President Trump said he would find it “very disloyal” if former Vice President Mike Pence or other members of his former Cabinet sought the GOP presidential nomination in 2024, seeking to send a warning to a number of figures weighing potential White House bids.
“Many of them have said they would never run if I run, so we’ll see if that turns out to be true,” Trump said Friday during a brief phone interview with Fox News Radio host Brian Kilmeade. “I think it would be very disloyal if they did, but that’s OK, too.”
Trump boasted that “the polls have me leading by 40, 50 points” and said he would decide on whether to pursue another presidential bid “in the not-too-distant future.”
The former president has not said whether he intends to run, but has openly flirted with seeking a return to the White House.
Most polls show Trump as the clear favorite to reclaim the Republican nomination if he were to run, but several other high-profile Republicans like Pence, former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley, among others, are also reportedly considering a bid for the White House.
Earlier this week, Pence took several swipes at Trump, warning conservatives against veering too far toward “unprincipled populism” during a speech at the Heritage Foundation in Washington, D.C.
Trump has been sharply critical of his former vice president for not going along with his plan to stop the certification of President Biden’s electoral college victory on Jan. 6, 2021.
A former assistant to Trump told the House panel investigating the Jan. 6 riot earlier this year that Trump called Pence a “wimp” during a call between the men shortly before the riot.
Updated at 3:18 p.m.