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Trump to make 'announcement' on US campaign

02 February 2012, 15:54

 Las Vegas - Donald Trump has said he will make a "major announcement" about the US presidential race on Thursday, after vowing to endorse a Republican candidate "in a very short period of time".

The real estate tycoon and reality TV star, who flirted with running for the presidency himself last year and has still not ruled out an independent run, will make his announcement at one of his own hotel-casinos in Las Vegas.

"I will be making a major announcement tomorrow... at Trump International Hotel & Tower, Las Vegas, Nevada. The announcement will pertain to the presidential race," he said on Twitter on Wednesday.

His office would give no more details, but the news came as Republican frontrunners Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich headed for Las Vegas ahead of the Nevada caucus on Saturday, following Tuesday's Florida primary won by Romney.

On Tuesday, Trump - whose endorsement would be a major coup for any of the four candidates still in the Republican race - said in an ABC News television interview that he would shortly announce his decision.

"I’m friendly with both. I respect both. I like both - they both want my endorsement," he said, referring to Romney and Gingrich.

Endorsing better than running

"We'll see what happens but, in a very short time I'll be making an endorsement," he added.

Trump said he would not make a third party bid if the person he endorses becomes the Republican Party's nominee to take on Democratic President Barack Obama in November.

He noted he would not be able to make a run as an independent until May, because he is banned from running a presidential campaign and having a prime-time TV show - the celebrity version of The Apprentice, which runs until May.

In any case he would prefer to endorse a candidate than be one, he said.

"I'd rather endorse a great candidate that's going to do a great job and win the election and become a great president. That's the number one option for me," he told talk show host George Stephanopoulos.


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