There’s no shortage of people aiming to deny Donald Trump re-election in 2020 And that, of course, is assuming he even finishes his first term in office. But the White House has tipped its hand, revealing the four individuals it thinks stand the best chance of challenging the president in four years. And while three of the four are more traditional, elected progressives in the federal government – the one they fear the most might actually be the one guy closest to Trump himself – fellow billionaire reality TV star Mark Cuban.
The New York Post reports that Trump’s White House team has begun to keep tabs on the four individuals it thinks could post the biggest threat to a second term in office, something Trump is allegedly “obsessed” with.
Chief Trump advisor Steve Bannon is overseeing the operation, dispatching consultants to dig up dirt on Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown, Connecticut Sen. Chris Murphy, Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper and Dallas Mavericks owner and “Shark Tank” host Mark Cuban, according to the Post.
“The White House political department wants people to start looking into them,” a source told the Post. “Trump is obsessed with running for re-election.”
Interestingly, much bigger names like Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren on not on the watch list, as the Trump team feels confident both would be “too old” to seek the White House. Ironically, Warren is three years younger than Trump himself.
But it’s Cuban – a former Trump ally, who gives the president and his closest advisors the most anxiety. “He’s not a typical candidate,” another source told the paper. “He appeals to a lot of people the same way Trump did,” adding that Cuban would appeal across party lines and have a nearly inexhaustible bank account to fund his own effort.
This rumor gained a bit of traction on Sunday, as Trump and Cuban engaged in a heated back and forth on Twitter, in which Trump said Cuban “isn’t smart enough” to run for president. That earned an appropriately simple response from Cuban. When asked from another Twitter user why Trump was suddenly going after him again, seemingly without provocation, Cuban again nailed the bigger issue:
For his part, Cuban has said he would never run for president.