In recent weeks, Donald Trump has been privately discussing with close advisers — including famous cable-news personalities — his idea for officially announcing his 2024 White House run the night before Election Day 2022, according to sources familiar with the situation and others briefed on it.
Trump is speaking Monday night at a rally with J.D. Vance, Ohio’s Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate. About two weeks ago, Trump gave Hannity the heads-up that he was seriously considering using the rally to announce his 2024 candidacy, two of the sources say.
The former president was tossing around the Ohio-rally as his proposed date roughly around the same time he was privately floating Nov. 14 as the official day. (The Nov. 14 consideration was first reported by Axios.)
Hannity and a Trump spokesperson did not immediately respond to requests for comment on Monday.
Whether Trump announces Monday night, or on the 14th, or any other time in the months ahead depends on the mercurial whims of a man known to apparently reconsider major decisions — like bombing a foreign country — sometimes at the last moments. But the array of potential launch dates suggests the president has continued to float options to his loose network of advisors and confidants. What seems almost entirely without doubt is this: He’s running.
Earlier this year, Trump repeatedly flirted with proposals for officially declaring this past summer, months before the critical 2022 midterm elections, in part to scare off potential GOP challengers to his throne, with Trump’s ire particularly aimed at Florida governor Ron DeSantis. However, numerous Republican leaders and allies directly beseeched Trump to hold off, largely so that Democrats would have a tougher time trying to make the midterms a referendum on Trump.
Now that the midterms are soon to be in Republicans’ rearview mirror, the ex-president is facing less resistance to publicly declaring — as opposed to strongly hinting at — his intentions for a rematch against President Joe Biden, who decisively bested Trump in 2020. However, for weeks, the former president’s back-and-forth nature and capriciousness on this issue has continued to give some Republicans, such as ones who answer directly to him, heartburn and anxiety over the when and the where.
“This has fucked up my calendar multiple times,” one person who still does work for Trump tells Rolling Stone. “Maybe he decides not to but then after hitting the stage [in Ohio on Monday], he ad-libs that he’s doing it … And then it’s go-time.”