Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has reportedly told advisers to work on plans for a potential independent campaign for president in this year's race, sources confirmed to NBC News.
The New York Times first reported the news Saturday, citing unnamed sources briefed on his deliberations, that the 73-year-old media mogul has indicated to friends and allies that he would be willing to spend $1 billion of his vast fortune on a White House bid.
According to the source, Bloomberg has set a March deadline — the latest point at which he could qualify as an independent candidate on the ballot in all 50 states — and his decision will likely be contingent on the results of early primaries.
Sources close to Bloomberg tell NBC News that the former mayor is more likely to run if the nominees were Donald Trump or Ted Cruz on the Republican ticket and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders on the Democratic side.
Rumors of Bloomberg's presidential aspirations have been swirling since 2007 when the then-NYC mayor left the Republican party and registering as an Independent. The billionaire and former CEO of his financial services company was a life-long Democrat before switching to the GOP for his first mayoral run.
Bloomberg flirting with a presidential run in the past as a third-party candidate.