Donald Trump could announce his candidacy for the 2024 election as early as this month, it’s claimed, with the former president reportedly jealous of Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, and keen to distract from ongoing Capitol riot hearings.
Most candidates for presidential elections announce their run the year before, so as to minimize the time on the campaign trail, where they’ll likely face scandals and embarrassing skeletons in their closets.
But Trump, 74, is agitating to declare his intentions much sooner, according to the New York Times.
On Friday The New York Times reported that the former president has surprised some of his advisers by saying he may declare his intentions on social media, without even informing them in advance.
Trump remains banned from Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, and would have to make the announcement on his much smaller network, TruthSocial.
He is said to be aggrieved by increasing attention and compliments heaped on Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.
Many Republicans believe DeSantis pushes the same policies that made Trump very popular – but without the divisive and unpredictable personality.
Aides, the paper said, are scrambling to build a campaign infrastructure in time for an announcement that could come this month.
‘Every day is different,’ one source told CNN.
‘We get told he’s going to announce imminently, and by the afternoon that has changed.’
Donald Trump, seen on June 25 at a rally in Illinois, could announce his candidacy for 2024 as soon as this month, sources told The New York Times
Trump, 74, has barely stopped campaigning for re-election since leaving the White House in January 2021
Another source, who previously said Trump would wait until after Labor Day, told CNN the September announcement was ‘up in the air’ and that if Trump does announce early, ‘it will be July.’
‘He’s sounding a lot more committed lately,’ added another person close to Trump.
Trump has repeatedly teased another run for the White House, even though he’d only be allowed to serve a single term.
But the idea has been given added urgency by the surge in support for DeSantis, the 43-year-old governor of Florida.
Powerful GOP supporters hope DeSantis could serve two terms in office to the one Trump will have to make do with, giving him more time to push through his policies.
Trump and Ron DeSantis are seen in November 2019. Many Republican megadonors are now backing DeSantis in his November re-election bid
Desantis, seen on Thursday at a press conference announcing a new civics program, is seen by many as a significant threat to Trump
New campaign filings obtained by Politico show that DeSantis has received $3.4 million from 10 donors who collectively spent $24 million on Trump’s reelection bid.
Many of those who donated had never contributed to state-level Florida elections before, and include Home Depot founder Bernie Marcus, 93, who gave DeSantis $500,000. In 2016, he was one of Donald Trump’s most generous donors, contributing $7 million.
The cash donations for a relatively small-fry election show just how seriously many big-hitting Republicans are taking DeSantis as a potential presidential candidate.
Trump told The New Yorker, in an article entitled: ‘Can Ron DeSantis displace Donald Trump as the G.O.P.’s combatant in chief?’, that he was responsible for DeSantis’s political career thanks to a 2018 endorsement credited with landing the Florida man the governor’s post.
‘If I didn’t endorse him, he wouldn’t have won,’ Trump said.
The article said that DeSantis was sometimes described as ‘Trump with a brain’.
Asked again whether he would beat DeSantis in 2024, Trump told Newsmax: ‘I was very responsible for him getting elected.’
Big money is following DeSantis, however.
DeSantis has amassed a campaign war chest of $100 million, setting new records, and leaving him well positioned to turn those funds to 2024.
DeSantis, pictured on June 16 in Miami, insists he is focused on the 2022 race and not thinking about 2024
Trump’s face is seen on a screen during the June 28 hearing of the January 6 committee
Trump himself has already amassed a $100 million fund, through his Super PAC.
But that money is not allowed to be able to directly support a candidate, under campaign finance laws.
Some aides are urging Trump to wait, so he can use the cash freely before his official declaration.
One R.N.C. official also pointed out that when Trump officially launched his bid, the Republican party would have to stop paying his legal bills related to an investigation by the New York attorney general.
Trump’s son, Donald Trump Jr, is encouraging him to wait so he has a more complete campaign team ready to go, The New York Times said.
Others are concerned about the impact of the January 6 hearings.
Trump himself has been watching them avidly, and giving commentary on his Truth Social network.
Lindsay Graham, the South Carolina senator, said Trump should declare swiftly, to keep him focused on policy.
‘It’s up to him if he runs or not,’ Graham told The New York Times.
‘But the key to him being successful is comparing his policy agenda and policy successes with what is going on today.’