Donald Trump, the twice-impeached former president who inspired an insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, is, according to Washington Post poised to announce his 2024 presidential campaign on Tuesday night, ignoring the advice of many Republicans who want him to wait until after a Georgia Senate runoff next month in hopes of locking up support for his candidacy.
The expected announcement in Florida at his Mar-a-Lago Club, as the report has it, comes in a moment of political vulnerability for Trump as voters resoundingly rejected his endorsed candidates in last week’s midterm elections. Since then, elected Republicans have been unusually forthright in blaming Trump for the party’s underperformance and potential rivals are already openly challenging Trump for the nomination.
“Trump has been eager to reclaim the spotlight and pressure Republicans to line up behind him, inviting prominent party leaders to his launch event and keeping track of who attended.
Advisers spent much of the year lobbying Trump to hold off announcing until after the midterms, arguing that he might motivate Democratic voters or get drowned out by election news. He finally agreed to promise a “very big announcement” for Tuesday, and stuck with that plan despite further efforts to convince him to wait until after next month’s runoff between Sen. Raphael G. Warnock (D-Ga.) and GOP candidate Herschel Walker.
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“President Trump is going to announce on Tuesday that he’s running for president,” longtime spokesman Jason Miller said last Friday on former strategist Stephen K. Bannon’s podcast.
Miller said Trump told him: “There doesn’t need to be any question. Of course I’m running. I’m going to do this, and I want to make sure people know I’m fired up and we’ve got to get the country back on track. … Everyone knows I’m going to run so let’s go get started.”
Trump’s urgency to announce also comes in part from wanting to get ahead of a potential indictment in any of the several ongoing criminal investigations into his conduct. He and close associates are under multiple criminal investigations: by the Justice Department in the effort to submit phony electors claiming Trump won key states in the 2020 election; in the mishandling of classified documents recovered from Mar-a-Lago; and by an Atlanta-area prosecutor in the pressuring of Georgia officials to overturn that state’s election results. His company is also in the middle of a trial for criminal tax fraud and the New York attorney general filed a lawsuit that could freeze the company’s operations, already winning the appointment of an independent monitor.
The GOP’s disappointing midterm results — which included Democrats holding the Senate and less-than-expected margins in the House — have heightened efforts within the party to move on from Trump. On Monday, the president of the Club for Growth, a well-funded conservative group, said their research showed that Trump’s attacks on other Republicans are taking a toll on his support and joined calls for him to delay his announcement until after the Georgia runoff.
“Republicans need to be united behind a strong candidate and a platform that shows voters real solutions to beat Biden and the Democrats in 2024,” David McIntosh said in a statement.
Many of the party’s top donors — who were often not Trump’s biggest fans to begin with — have begun private conversations about how best to sideline him for a new generation of leaders, according to people in touch with them, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to disclose private deliberations.
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