Real estate mogul Donald Trump has spent over $1 million exploring a potential presidential bid in 2016, the New York Post reports.
The billionaire, who repeatedly teased running for the 2012 Republican nomination only to stay out of the race, has reportedly spent the cash to research interest in his potential bid in each state.
“The electoral research was commissioned. We did not spend $1 million on this research for it just to sit on my bookshelf,” Trump's special counsel Michael Cohen told the Post. “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.“
Trump, who sparked controversy in 2011 with his calls for President Barack Obama to release his birth certificate, has already started to make the rounds at GOP events.
Last week, he spoke at a Republican Party dinner in Michigan. Prior to the event, Trump threw cold water on the idea jumping in the race, telling attendees at a pre-dinner conference that it was "highly unlikely."
“Everybody tells me, ‘Please run for president. Please run for president.’ I would be much happier if a great and competent person came along. I’d be happy if President Obama did a great job. I’m a Republican, but before anything, I love this country,” he said, according to the Advisor & Source. “I would love to see somebody come in who is going to be great.”