Trump Is ‘Ready for War’ With 2024 Presidential Announcement

Photo Illustration by Kelly Caminero/The Daily Beast/Getty
Photo Illustration by Kelly Caminero/The Daily Beast/Getty

Despite a worse-than-expected Election Day, a Georgia runoff, nervous advisers, and even a hurricane, Donald Trump is currently full-steam ahead on announcing his candidacy for president next Tuesday.

The announcement, slated for 9 p.m. EST at his Mar-a-Lago compound, will be full of MAGA pomp and circumstance, according to a source familiar with the event, and is meant to reignite a demoralized GOP base.

“The president is going to make a special announcement on Tuesday,” a person familiar with the decision told The Daily Beast on Thursday.

Trump’s been expected to formally declare himself a candidate next week since Monday night, when he teased his decision at a rally for then-Ohio Senate candidate—now Senator-elect—J.D. Vance.

But since Monday night, there’s been a maelstrom of political news. The midterm elections didn’t go as well as the GOP had hoped, causing a number of Republicans to say the party should turn the page on Trump. The Georgia Senate race, which could determine control of the Senate, went to a runoff. Trump’s feud with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has escalated. Hurricane Nicole—downgraded to a tropical storm but still destructive—made landfall on Florida’s shores. And dramatic leadership elections in the House are currently set for Tuesday, which could steal some of Trump’s news coverage.

The Quiet Way Trump and DeSantis Are Preparing for a Fight

Still, Trump appears hellbent on announcing on Tuesday. As one source in Trump’s orbit told The Daily Beast: “Rock and Roll!”

The decision comes as some advisers in Trumpworld have openly wondered if the timing is right. And if there’s any debate about whether Trump’s announcement will be good for the GOP’s electoral hopes in Georgia, that question can likely be answered by some of Trump’s most prominent former advisers going on TV and saying Trump should hold off.

On Wednesday, Trump adviser and Gettr CEO Jason Miller cautioned that a Trump announcement could affect the Georgia runoff.

“Of course, President Trump had said he’d be making an announcement on Nov. 15, next Tuesday. I’m advising the president to hold off until after the Georgia race,” Miller said on Newsmax Wednesday.

Likewise, former press secretary Kayleigh McEnany urged Trump to hold back from announcing a 2024 presidential run.

“I know there’s a temptation to starting talking about 2024—no, no, no, no, no,” she said on Fox News. “2022 is not over.”

“I think he needs to put it on pause,” McEnany said about Trump’s expected Tuesday announcement.

It’s not that other advisers don’t see the wisdom in holding off. It’s just that, they say, backtracking now would signal “weakness” to a field of potential 2024 rivals and foes alike.

“It’s hard to hold off at this point because it shows weakness. But there’s also a chance he could come up with some reason,” an adviser told The Daily Beast.

Right-Wingers Turn On Trump for Mocking DeSantis

That same source added that in the “unlikely” event that Trump does pull out of his Tuesday announcement, the reasoning might include things like “‘the hurricane is targeting my house” or “I need to focus on Herschel Walker’s race.”

A Trump spokesperson didn’t return The Daily Beast’s request for comment.

Part of the problem for Trump is that he wants to get out in front of the GOP rivals who are eyeing a 2024 run.

Most prominent is DeSantis, who won in a landslide Tuesday night even as other Republicans elsewhere unexpectedly lost.

Unlike the former president, DeSantis’ inner orbit operates in a far different fashion, with a tight-knit and “small” group of advisers who have mainly been leak-resistant.

At a rally this past weekend in Pennsylvania, the former president couldn’t resist name-checking DeSantis with a new nickname: “Ron DeSanctimonious.”

Over the past several months, Trump has privately complained about DeSantis. But it’s only recently that his grousing has spilled into public view.

On Thursday evening, Trump repeatedly went after DeSantis in classic Trump fashion—with lengthy, rambling statements on social media.

“Ron DeSanctimonious is playing games!” Trump wrote on Truth Social in one post. “The Fake News asks him if he’s going to run if President Trump runs, and he says, ‘I’m only focused on the Governor’s race, I’m not looking into the future.’ Well, in terms of loyalty and class, that’s really not the right answer.”

Trump Lawyer Issues Stern Warning to DeSantis on 2024 Speculation

Trump called DeSantis an “average” Republican and chalked up his increasing popularity to Florida attracting GOP voters who want to soak in the “SUNSHINE.”

Those familiar with the matter say DeSantis remains a continued point of frustration for the former president. Specifically, Trump has fumed over DeSantis not being “grateful” to the former president, according to a source who has spoken with Trump about the matter.

Part of Trump’s motivation in announcing so early for 2024 is to dissuade other Republicans from running—particularly DeSantis. As soon as Trump announces, he’ll make it more uncomfortable for DeSantis. Rather than occupying this in-between space where he isn’t exactly pro-Trump or anti-Trump, the former president declaring could help clarify exactly what DeSantis is going to do. But Trump isn’t just trying to box out DeSantis.

After at least 17 of Trump’s endorsed candidates were defeated at the ballot box on Tuesday, Republican Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan gloated about anti-Trump voices finding midterm success.

“I’ve been talking about a bigger tent,” Hogan told CBS News. “And we need that. I think there is a battle for which direction the Republican Party will go. My side of the party had a really good night. Trump’s side did not.”

Trump’s former vice president, Mike Pence, also looks poised to announce a bid—a candidacy that will also be complicated by Trump already running.

But many believe Trump’s early candidacy is a gambit to prevent the Department of Justice from indicting him. The theory goes that the DOJ may have held off on criminal charges before the midterms, but they also may be dissuaded if Trump is already a declared candidate.

All of those factors are plausible explanations for Trump announcing two years before the election. But the simplest explanation may just be that Trump is Trump. He has discussed running for the entirety of the time he’s been out of office, and aides have repeatedly talked him out of an announcement. Reportedly, Trump was extremely close to declaring on July the Fourth.

Advisers say Trump is chomping at the bit to campaign—and settle a number of scores.

“I would expect Trump to come out swinging Tuesday,” one adviser said. “People forget that he eviscerated 16 Republicans in 2016 and has kept the entire party in check through fear since then.”

“I'm sure there will be challengers,” this adviser continued. “But they better show up ready for war, because nothing is off the table.”

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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