Trump planning first Iowa trip since announcing 2024 bid

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FILE - President Donald Trump arrives to speak at a campaign rally at the Knapp Center on the campus of Drake University, Jan. 30, 2020, in Des Moines, Iowa. Republican presidential prospects are streaming into Iowa, the leadoff presidential caucus state. Notably absent from the lineup, at least for now, is former President Donald Trump who carried the state twice, by healthy margins, as the Republican presidential nominee in the 2016 and 2020 elections. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci, File)

DES MOINES, IowaDonald Trump is planning to visit Iowa in mid-March, a first foray to the leadoff caucus state since announcing his 2024 White House campaign.

The former president hinted at an Iowa trip “very soon” in a radio interview with Des Moines talk show host Simon Conway on Tuesday. A Trump aide confirmed Wednesday that plans were underway for an upcoming appearance, but declined to provide details about the location or date, beyond the middle of this month.

The aide spoken on condition of anonymity to discuss plans that have not been publicly announced.

“We're planning something very soon,” Trump told Conway on WHO radio. “And then we'll be coming back at least a couple of times before the election.”

Trump has been notably absent in Iowa, where Republican candidate Nikki Haley, his former U.N. ambassador, and potential rivals Mike Pence, the former vice president, and Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., have visited after a slow start to campaigning in the state.

Some Iowa Republican activists, including Gloria Mazza, chairwoman of the Polk County Republicans, representing Iowa's most populous county, have noted that Trump has stayed away so far. Trump traveled in January to New Hampshire, scheduled to host the first Republican presidential primary next year, and South Carolina, the South's first primary.