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Trump scared the GOP tonight by talking about a 2024 presidential announcement

Trump scared the GOP tonight by talking about a 2024 presidential announcement

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Former President Donald Trump sparked a fight Monday in the Republican Party after he threatened to overturn the midterm elections by announcing his 2024 presidential bid ahead of the vote.

Trump told people close to him on Monday that he might announce his candidacy at a rally scheduled for Monday night in Ohio, according to three people with knowledge of the discussion who spoke on condition of anonymity to describe the confidential conversations, which sparked a series of phone calls. appeals to party leaders who have been trying for months to prevent him from speaking until the end of the election. Some of his advisers began communicating to others on Monday that efforts were needed to dissuade him from making the announcement, two of the people said, while other advisers urged him to jump in.

It remained unclear Monday afternoon what he would do. Trump is known for trying to create uncertainty, and often wavers on decisions after receiving significant input from advisers. He also likes to pitch different theories and different plans to different advisors.

Party leaders fear it would boost Democratic turnout, especially in Senate races where control of the House is in the balance.

But Trump has been determined in recent weeks to take credit for midterm results if Republicans do well, and according to advisers, he has grown frustrated with the large crowds and energy for Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, whom he sees as a threat to the 2024 nomination. He has also watched as some potential rivals are getting more aggressive about running in 2024 and wants to get people to support him, advisers say.

A spokesman for Trump did not return calls seeking comment.

Trump has already publicly said all but made an official announcement, promising at a rally on Saturday that he would make an announcement “very, very, very soon.”

They are expected to throw a big party at Mar-a-Lago on Tuesday night when the results are announced, said a number of advisers who spoke on condition of anonymity to describe confidential discussions and want to appear publicly.

Is former President Donald Trump still the undisputed leader of the GOP or is the party moving on? (Video: Michael Cadenhead/The Washington Post)

Among those determined not to announce before the midterms were RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.). Republicans were optimistic about Tuesday night’s results, believing they would win the House by a wide margin and have a good chance of winning the Senate. McDaniel told People that she spoke with Trump on multiple occasions when he told others he was on the verge of announcing, and argued that he should make the midterm election a referendum on President Biden.

Part of Trump’s urgency stems from a desire to pre-empt potential impeachment, the logic being that a declared candidacy makes the prosecution look more political. He is under investigation in two federal investigations: one for trying to block the certification of the 2020 Electoral College results and the other for mishandling classified documents brought to Mar-a-Lago. The Justice Department’s usual freeze on open steps that could be considered to influence the election expires when polls close on Tuesday.

Trump also faces an ongoing investigation by prosecutors in Atlanta into his pressure on Georgia officials to override the state’s 2020 popular vote for president.

Republicans said they fear his announcement could backfire by motivating Democratic turnout on Election Day.

“It’s very obvious that he can’t wait to make the announcement,” retired Sen. Patrick J. Toomey (R-Pa.) said in an interview. “It’s a very bad idea for him to do that [tonight] because Republican prospects are best if this election is about the failure of Joe Biden’s presidency … to the extent that he’s saying that about himself, that makes it a little bit harder.”

One Republican strategist, who spoke on condition of anonymity to speak candidly, said: “It boggles the mind why he would turn it over to the Democrats at this late hour. Talking about yourself and risking losses across the map that might otherwise be wins would be a bad way to enter the presidential race.”

At least some family members were expected to attend Monday night’s gathering in Ohio, said two Trump advisers who spoke on condition of anonymity to describe confidential discussions. He is scheduled to appear in Dayton with Senate candidate JD Vance.

Vance’s chief strategist Jai Chabria said Trump’s announcement would not affect the race. “The night before the election, the fact that he’s here is already a turnout mechanism for our voters,” Chabria said. “Regardless, regardless we will win easily.”

One Democratic aide said Republican voters are already energized, so Trump’s announcement would help mobilize Democrats and be a sign of weakness.

“I would love to do that, but you know what, and I really mean this, I want to focus tonight on Dr. [Mehmet] Oz and Doug Mastrian,” Trump said Saturday at a rally in Latrobe, Pa., referring to the state’s GOP Senate and governor candidates. “I’m not going to say it now, but I’m telling you… I promise you that in the next, very, very, very short period of time, you’ll be so happy.”

The audience of about 8,000 gave him a standing ovation. When he finally told them they could sit down, Trump added: “Very, very soon. You’ll be surprised how quickly. But first, we must secure a historic Republican victory in November.”

Colby Itkowitz in Philadelphia contributed to this report.



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