Washington (CNN) – CNN has exclusively learned that Rep. Michele Bachmann will form a presidential exploratory committee. The Minnesota Republican plans to file papers for the committee in early June, with an announcement likely around that same time.
But a source close to the congresswoman said that Bachmann could form the exploratory committee even earlier than June so that she could participate in early Republican presidential debates.
"She's been telling everyone early summer," the source told CNN regarding Bachmann's planned June filing and announcement. But the source said that nothing is static.
"If you [debate sponsors] come to us and say, 'To be in our debates, you have to have an exploratory committee,' then we'll say, 'Okay, fine...I'll go file the forms.'"
Three GOP presidential primary debates are planned before and during early June: The first one on May 2 at the Ronald Reagan Library in Simi Valley, California and another on May 5 in South Carolina. CNN plans a GOP presidential primary debate in New Hampshire in early June.
Meanwhile, CNN has also learned that Iowa Republican state Sen. Kent Sorenson will likely be hired to be Bachmann's political director for the state - and that Bachmann aides hope to have a complete team together for Iowa by this weekend.
Sorenson is a prominent Tea Party figure in Iowa and holds sway with evangelicals in the state. He has publicly said he will support Bachmann if she mounts a presidential bid.
The three-term congresswoman and Tea Party favorite hopes to also have political teams in place - very soon - in New Hampshire, home to the first-in-the-nation presidential primary, and South Carolina, host of the first presidential primary in the South.
"I could have state directors in all those states within a week," Bachmann Chief of Staff Andy Parrish said.
– Follow Shannon Travis on Twitter: @shantraviscnn