Washington (CNN) - Donald Trump left one New Hampshire crowd with the distinct impression that he's running for president in 2012, according to a conservative activist present in the room for a closed-door meeting with the business mogul in Dover on Wednesday.
Andrew Hemingway, chairman of the Republican Liberty Caucus of New Hampshire, told CNN that Trump appeared to be "deadly serious about running."
"Today they were talking to people about hiring staff," Hemingway said. "He was joking about how the lawyers make him say 'If I run' and that type of stuff. He is serious. He is going to run."
Hemingway was one of dozens of Republican activists, operatives and party officials summoned to meet with Trump as he made his maiden trip to the first-in-the-nation primary state as a potential presidential candidate.
Trump arrived in Portsmouth Wednesday morning and held a press conference at the airport before hitting the road for a series of meetings in the Seacoast area, including one sit-down with New Hampshire GOP Chairman Jack Kimball.
Present at the Dover meeting along with Hemingway were several prominent conservative activists, including radio host Jeff Chidester, 9/12 leader Jerry DeLemus and Seacoast Freedom Network founder Dianne Bitter.
Hemingway described the Trump session, held in a side room at a local restaurant, as "very awkward, very weird."
The television star arrived at the restaurant in a limousine, accompanied by an entourage of well-dressed aides. He entered the room and was just about to address the crowd of roughly 50 people, but was interrupted by a call on his cell phone, Hemingway said. Trump stepped out to take the call, then returned to address the smallish room from behind a microphone.
Trump then spoke about illegal immigration, the Federal Reserve and "how incompetent Obama is," according to Hemingway, who said "the people there really seemed to like him.
"He said 'I've got a little debt, but I've got a lot of cash and I'm wiling to use it on a presidential race,'" Hemingway said.
Trump told the group that he will to use the final episode of "The Apprentice," his reality television show, to broadcast when he plans to make a final announcement about his presidential ambitions.
That episode is set to air on May 22. Trump has said he will make a final decision sometime in June.