According to a source familiar with the discussions and in frequent communications with former President Trump, Mr. Trump viewed Saturday’s rally in Pennsylvania as a backdrop to announcing a 2024 presidential election.
This source said his advisers urged him not to, as it could divert the candidates’ attention from Tuesday’s vote.
In the end, the former president agreed.
Mr Trump said all of this on record at the rally, telling the crowd, “I don’t want to do that right now because I’d like to…I want to focus tonight on Dr. Oz and Doug Mastriano. Because we have to win, okay?”
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, it would undoubtedly freeze a number of candidates. A source close to former Vice President Mike Pence reiterates that Pence will decide whether to decide regardless of what former President Trump decides.
Another Trump world source provides the broader context Mr Trump has been discussing when and how he will be announcing another run for months, putting this news in a broader pattern.
As NBC News reported Friday, Mr. Trump is looking at a potential announcement this month, but multiple sources say that timing could also be shifting. While Republicans are expected to have a strong night, midterm election results could play a role in a final decision.
Mr. Trump leaned even further into a possible overnight run, revealing a new nickname for would-be challenger Ron Desantis calling him “Ron De-Sanctimonious.”