Trump told allies he plans to announce 2024 presidential bid early, sources say

Former President Donald Trump has privately told allies and aides in recent days that he is seriously considering announcing a 2024 presidential election as soon as this summer, CBS News has learned.

Trump’s latest exploration of a political comeback and possible summer announcement of another presidential campaign was first reported by The New York Times.

Even as Trump edges closer to a 2024 race, his deliberations remain fluid. No final decision has been made on whether to run and, if so, when to make such an offer, according to three people close to Trump who spoke on condition of anonymity in order to share details of conversations private.

Still, Trump’s Republican allies and former White House and campaign aides told CBS News they believe an early entry for another White House bid for Trump is a possibility. The former president left his home in Mar-a-Lago, Florida last month for his seasonal migration to his club in Bedminster, New Jersey.

Several people who spoke to Trump recently told CBS News that Trump and his small group of closest advisers are now working out different ways for Trump to announce a 2024 campaign, whether this summer or after the midterm elections. of this year. Traditionally, the presidential candidates of the main parties wait until well after the fall elections before entering presidential campaign mode. An early launch by Trump, before the November election, could upset the campaign strategies of both parties.

Republicans had planned to focus on economic issues, particularly the high inflation that is putting financial strain on families nationwide. An early entry by Trump into the presidential race could force candidates to focus instead on voter fraud, which has been a constant drumbeat for the former president since losing the 2020 election to Joe Biden. Some Republican operatives also fear a pre-midterm entry could help Democrats turn the 2022 round into a referendum on Trump.

But some Trump associates remain skeptical that the former president will formally announce his candidacy in the coming months. A former senior campaign official said he wouldn’t believe it would happen if Trump walked down the escalator at Trump Tower in New York again, recalling the launch of his 2016 presidential campaign.

Others close to Trump say his anger at television House committee hearings on January 6 fuels his motivation to race again, and potentially announce soon. Some people close to Trump said he felt under-defended by Republicans and felt he alone was in the best position to defend himself.

During an interview with Newsmax last week, Trump was asked how much of the Jan. 6 committee’s deliberations were aimed at “preventing you from running again in 2024?”

“I think that’s largely the case,” Trump replied. “I’m leading in all the polls — against Republicans and Democrats. I’m leading in Republican polls in numbers that no one’s ever seen before. And against Biden, and everyone they lead, I am in the lead against them.”

“At the right time, I’ll say what I want to do,” Trump said of a possible announcement in 2024.

At rallies throughout this midterm cycle, Trump has sometimes gone beyond flirting with another run for the White House.

“This is the year we’re going to take back the House, we’re going to take back the Senate, and we’re going to take back America. And in 2024, most importantly, we’re going to take back our beautiful White House,” Trump said in a refrain. Typical, at a recent rally in Illinois for GOP candidates Rep. Mary Miller and former state senator Darren Bailey, who is running for governor. Both candidates won in their respective primary races on Tuesday.

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