The tycoon's announcement, according to people familiar with his plans, is set to be followed by the release of a self-drafted financial summary of his assets, including an outline of his debts. Robert Costa and Matea Gold had a preview Monday:
Trump’s speech announcing his decision is likely to center on his career and fortune. He is expected to cast himself as an entrepreneur and outsider eager to tangle with the party establishment and U.S. economic rivals abroad, such as China.The financial statement drafted by his office is aimed at demonstrating his success as a businessman, as well as proving to skeptical GOP leaders that he is willing to disclose as much as other candidates at this stage.
Trump has publicly flirted with a White House bid for several campaign cycles, with critics dismissing the highly public decision-making process as attempts to increase his media exposure.
But Trump began indicating earlier this year that he was seriously considering a 2016 run. In addition to launching a presidential exploratory committee in March, he also decided in March to delay production on his long-running reality show, "The Apprentice," in order to focus his efforts on a potential campaign. In February, he began hiring staff in early voting states.
Trump enters the race with nearly unmatched name recognition and a powerful real estate brand -- but a reputation for a quick temper and attention-grabbing celebrity feuds.
Trump has frequently found himself embroiled in seemingly trivial spats with various public figures, including Arianna Huffington, Rosie O’Donnell and Cher. His bluntness was directed at allies as well. In 2012, after serving as a surrogate for GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney, he questioned the campaign's strategy. "Romney campaign used me in 6 primary states and won every one - they should have used me in Florida and Ohio & he would be President," he tweeted.
Romney campaign used me in 6 primary states and won every one- they should have used me in Florida and Ohio & he would be President.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 8, 2012
The business mogul, who has never held public office, enters an extremely crowded field of Republican presidential hopefuls, now numbering a dozen major candidates. And it remains to be seen how he will distinguish himself from his rivals on policy issues, in part because he's steered clear of many policy specifics: last month, he raised eyebrows when he said he had a "foolproof plan" to defeat the Islamic State terrorist group, but refused to reveal details because "I don’t want the enemy to know what I’m doing."
The Democratic National Committee immediately lampooned Trump's candidacy, indirectly taking a swipe at the entire GOP presidential field.
“Today, Donald Trump became the second major Republican candidate to announce for president in two days. He adds some much-needed seriousness that has previously been lacking from the GOP field, and we look forward to hearing more about his ideas for the nation," DNC spokeswoman Holly Shulman said in a statement.
What's clear is that Trump -- who has been traveling heavily in early-voting states -- plans to tout his business credentials and paint himself as a Washington outsider. In his announcement speech, Trump aggressively stressed his business savvy while knocking the political class for failing to deliver on promises.
"Politicians are all talk, no action. Nothing is going to get done. They will not bring us, believe me, to the promised land. They will not," Trump said. "I've been on the circuit making speeches and I hear my fellow Republicans — and they're wonderful people, I like them! They all want me to support them! — ... I watch the speeches of these people and they say, 'The sun will rise, the moon will set! All sorts of wonderful things will happen!'"
Though Trump faces an uphill battle to be taken seriously by his rivals, political watchers and the media, his enormous wealth means that he will be able to fund his own campaign out of pocket.
"I don't need anybody's money. I'm using my own money. ... I'm really rich," he told supporters.