Donald Trump announced today that he would not run for president, ending months of speculation that the reality TV host and real estate mogul would wage a bid for the Republican nomination.
“After considerable deliberation and reflection, I have decided not to pursue the office of the Presidency,” he said in a statement.
“This decision does not come easily or without regret; especially when my potential candidacy continues to be validated by ranking at the top of the Republican contenders in polls across the country. I maintain the strong conviction that if I were to run, I would be able to win the primary and ultimately, the general election. I have spent the past several months unofficially campaigning and recognize that running for public office cannot be done half heartedly. Ultimately, however, business is my greatest passion and I am not ready to leave the private sector.”
Trump appeared at NBC’s upfront presentation in New York and made the same announcement, to cheers from advertisers. He’ll continue to host the network’s “Celebrity Apprentice.”
The rest of Trump’s statement — via CNN — is below: