The famed real estate mogul and incessant media-seeker Donald Trump just spent $1 million on "electoral research," according to Page Six of the New York Post, causing many to wonder if the Celebrity Apprentice host is gearing up for a 2016 White House bid.
In addition, "The Donald," as he is often referred to as, has recently been sought after to speak at Republican events. Some suggest he is testing the waters with in the party.
"Everybody tells me, 'Please run for president. Please run for president.' I would be much happier if a great and competent person came along," Trump said to attendees at the Oakland County Republican Party Lincoln Day Dinner in Novi, Mich., last week.
"I'd be happy if President Obama did a great job. I'm a Republican, but before anything, I love this country. I would love to see somebody come in who is going to be great."
U.S. World News however, reports that the latest expenditure is not for the impending presidential campaign, but rather a hold over from the previous election cycle.
Michael Cohen, Trump's executive vice president and special counsel, told the newspaper that the "expensive analysis" was actually commissioned in 2011 to provide insight to the electorate in 2012.
"The books contain information about 'what he would need to win over voters state-by-state, who he'd need to talk with and what needs to be done in each state,'" Cohen said.
Cohen joked that the book is "five times the size of War and Peace" and referred to as "The Bible."
With a 2016 presidential bid in mind or not, Trump remains a name in the Republican party, despite criticism coming from party elites.
His appearance at the Oakland County Republican party dinner drew a record 2,200 people in attendance, compared to the average 6-800. Trump is lined up to make many appearances at other Republican gatherings in the coming weeks.
Trump almost threw his hat in the political race in 2012, after causing a media frenzy over his candidacy. After repeatedly defending "birtherism" — the belief that the president is not actually an American citizen, and therefore unable to be president — Trump backed Republican Mitt Romney and donated millions to his PAC.
Trump didn't leave the 2012 election at that, though. After standing up for birtherism, he drew continued media buzz when he offered to donate $5 million to the charity of President Obama's choice in exchange for his birth certificate. Unsurprisingly, the president did not capitalize on this offer.
Still, Mr. Trump's 2016 plans remain uncertain.
"We did not spend $1 million on this research for it just to sit on my bookshelf," Cohen noted.
"At this point Mr. Trump has not made any decision on a political run, but what I would say is that he is exactly what this country needs. The turnout at these political speeches indicates his following remains very strong and is growing," he told the Post.