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Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump has already told advisers he's thinking about running for president again in 2024, two sources familiar with the conversations tell Axios.

Why it matters: This is the clearest indication yet that Trump understands he has lost the 2020 election to Joe Biden — even as the president continues to falsely insist that he is the true winner, that there has been election fraud and that his team will fight to the end in the courts.

  • Presidents are limited to serving two terms but they need not be consecutive.
  • Officials with the Trump campaign and White House could not immediately be reached for comment.

Be smart: Aides advising Republicans who are likely to run in 2024 are dreading the prospect of a Trump run given the extraordinary sway he holds over millions of GOP voters.

  • Even four years after leaving office, he could remain formidable in a Republican primary.
  • That fact alone could freeze the ambitions, fundraising and staffing of individual candidates — and of the Republican National Committee as it seeks to regroup and move beyond Trump.

By the numbers: 40% of Americans surveyed between Nov. 5-7 believe that Trump would run for president in 2024 if he was defeated by Biden, according to a Harris poll shared with Axios.

Don't forget: On the day he was inaugurated, in 2017, Trump filed paperwork with the Federal Election Commission to qualify as a 2020 candidate.

Go deeper

Off the Rails

Episode 7: Trump turns on Pence

Photo illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios. Photos: Elijah Nouvelage, Alex Wong/Getty Images

Beginning on election night 2020 and continuing through his final days in office, Donald Trump unraveled and dragged America with him, to the point that his followers sacked the U.S. Capitol with two weeks left in his term. Axios takes you inside the collapse of a president with a special series.

Episode 7: Trump turns on Pence. Trump believes the vice president can solve all his problems by simply refusing to certify the Electoral College results. It's a simple test of loyalty: Trump or the U.S. Constitution.

"The end is coming, Donald."

The male voice in the TV ad boomed through the White House residence during "Fox & Friends" commercial breaks. Over and over and over. "The end is coming, Donald. ... On Jan. 6, Mike Pence will put the nail in your political coffin."

Biden embarks on a consequential presidency

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Donald Trump tried everything to delegitimize the rival who vanquished him. In reality, he's set Joe Biden on course to be a far more consequential U.S. president than he might otherwise have become.

The big picture: President Biden now confronts not just a pandemic, but massive political divisions and an assault on truth — and the aftermath of the assault on the Capitol two weeks ago that threatened democracy itself.

Jan 19, 2021 - Politics & Policy

GOP leaders skip Trump send-off in favor of church with Biden

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy in July. Photo: Erin Scott-Pool/Getty Images

Congressional leaders, including House GOP leader Kevin McCarthy and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, will skip President Trump's departure ceremony in Maryland tomorrow morning in favor of attending mass with incoming President Joe Biden ahead of his inauguration, congressional sources familiar with their plans tell Axios.

Why it matters: Their decision is a clear sign of unity before Biden takes the oath of office.