Former President Donald Trump is being advised to hold off in making an announcement that he’s running for the GOP nomination in 2024, according to a Monday evening report.
The Washington Post, citing unnamed sources, reported that, as the tumultuous and deadly withdrawal from Afghanistan was playing out in late August, the former president toyed with the notion of announcing a 2024 run but was talked out of it by his advisers.
“They responded by urging patience, according to three people familiar with the discussions, who like others spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly,” the Post reported.
“An announcement would force a reshuffling of his newly formed fundraising apparatus, advisers argued, and could complicate his ability to appear on broadcast television without triggering equal time rules,” the paper added.
Some of Trump’s advisers expressed concerns that Democrats could use an announcement to frame the 2022 midterms around another candidacy, which they believe would increase turnout and thus disrupt his efforts if Republicans don’t manage to win control of Congress. In addition, some advisers said Trump will be much more effective at getting like-mind GOP candidates elected next year if he himself was not yet a declared presidential contender.
“The biggest point we drove home was that he doesn’t want to own the midterms if we don’t win back the House or Senate,” said someone familiar with the conversations, the Post noted.
Trump appears to have been influenced by the arguments, for now, said the Post, adding that rather than campaign for himself, he “has settled on a strategy of winks and nods” with some in the GOP worried that “he is acting like a candidate for public office, and making clear he intends to be one again, without actually declaring so himself.”
Trump’s former top political adviser, Kellyanne Conway, attempted to explain his strategy.
“He tacitly keeps the 2024 crowd on notice that nobody can move a major muscle until he decides what he’s doing,” said Conway, who also served as Trump’s 2016 campaign manager.
“As for 2024, there has been a shift from intention to urgency as he watches in horror the many failings of this administration,” she added.
In the meantime, Trump has returned to holding campaign-style rallies in various parts of the country, often in support of hand-picked candidates. In addition, he is also aggressively raising money using similar tactics online that his 2020 campaign employed, which the Post calls “unprecedented…for a former president.” Since he has been deplatformed from the major social media sites, his operation sends out daily emails that attack Democrats, opponents, and some Republicans.
The Post reported that an “informal” survey of 13 of his current advisers found that 10 said they believe he will run again in 2024, while two said he is conducting a public relations ploy and one said they weren’t sure.
“We’re not supposed to be talking about it yet, from the standpoint of campaign finance laws, which frankly are ridiculous,” Trump, 75, noted on Sept. 11, when he was asked in an interview if he planned on running for president again. “But I think you are going to be happy. Let me put it that way.”
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