Former President Donald Trump intends to launch his 2024 presidential campaign on Tuesday, not an exploratory committee or anything less, sources close to Trump say.
The former president, who has said he’ll make a “big” announcement Tuesday night, has been calling around and telling associates of his current plan. A senior adviser told CBS News that, in Trump’s mind, it would look weak if he didn’t launch his campaign and instead announced an exploratory committee.
Trump endorsed a number of candidates in the midterm elections and many of the Senate and gubernatorial candidates he backed lost their races. A senior source close to him told CBS News that Trump has been privately infuriated over the results of the midterm elections, a report that the former president denies.
“For those many people that are being fed the fake narrative from the corrupt media that I am Angry about the Midterms, don’t believe it,” he posted Thursday on social media site Truth Social. “I am not at all angry, did a great job (I wasn’t the one running!), and am very busy looking into the future. Remember, I am a ‘Stable Genius.'”
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, a potential 2024 rival whom Trump has jabbed on Truth Social and in rallies in recent days, will be addressing a closed-door Republican Governors Association meeting in Orlando with donors at the same time as Trump’s Tuesday announcement.
It’s a dark time in Trump’s inner circle, as several long-time friends, donors and aides of the former president have described to CBS News chief political correspondent Robert Costa in the last 24 hours. Many of them say Trump is listening to very few people, isolated, and mean-spirited about his potential rivals. That sentiment materialized Friday in a social media post directed at Republican Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin, another potential 2024 contender. Several of those Trump allies say they’re tired of his rants, and are avoiding him.
“I have never seen him more irresponsible and chaotic than he is today,” a veteran Trump adviser who worked on the 2020 campaign told CBS News. “He seems to be in self-destruct mode. It is irresponsible to attack DeSantis and Youngkin, and it’s irresponsible to announce any time in the near future but definitely before the Herschel Walker runoff is complete.”
Some former Trump advisers, like Jason Miller, have gone on television and urged the former president to not make his announcement before next month’s Georgia Senate runoff between Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock and Republican football star Herschel Walker. Republican Rep. James Comer of Kentucky said in an interview with CBS News Friday he would “prefer” for the president to wait until after the Georgia runoff race.
On Wednesday, CBS News reported that a senior source close to Trump said if he announces a 2024 bid before the runoff race, “I don’t see a path forward.” That source, who is frustrated over Trump’s political missteps, compared the enthusiasm at DeSantis’ victory rally, attended by a couple of thousand people, and his 19-point win, to Trump’s event at Mar-a-Lago, with 100 of his friends and political consultants, and his high-profile losses. It is clear who American voters want, they said.
“This is a sinking ship,” the senior source close to Trump said of the lack of enthusiasm for an emerging Trump 2024 campaign.