According to a source familiar with the discussions and in frequent communication with former President Trump, Mr. Trump considered Saturday’s rally in Pennsylvania as a backdrop to announce a run for President in 2024.
This source said his advisers urged him not to, saying it could take attention away from the candidates on the ballot on Tuesday.
Ultimately the former president agreed.
Mr. Trump all but said all of this on-the-record during the rally, telling the crowd that, “I don’t want to do that right now because I’d like to do it … I want to have the focus tonight be on Dr. Oz, and Doug Mastriano. Because we have to win, alright?”
Still, this source says the bottom line is that former president Trump is “itching” to announce a 2024 run. If and when the former president announces, it would undoubtedly freeze out some candidates. A source close to former Vice President Mike Pence reiterates that Pence will decide whether to run independently of what former President Trump decides.
Another Trump-world source provides the broader context that Mr. Trump has been discussing when and how he will announce another run for months, putting this news into a broader pattern.
As NBC News reported on Friday, Mr. Trump is eyeing a potential announcement this month, but that timing could also slide, according to multiple sources. While Republicans are expected to have a strong night, the results of the midterms could factor into a final decision.
Mr. Trump leaned even further into a potential run overnight revealing a new nickname for potential challenger Ron Desantis calling him: “Ron De-Sanctimonious.”