Top aides to former President Donald Trump have discussed the third week of November as an ideal launch point for his 2024 presidential campaign if Republicans fare well in the midterm elections next week, sources familiar with the matter tell CNN.
Two sources said Trump’s team has specifically discussed November 14 as one possible announcement date, which would come in the middle of an overseas trip to Asia that President Joe Biden has long been scheduled to make. Trump is unlikely to announce prior to that Monday, even if the GOP exceeds expectations on Election Night, to avoid overshadowing his daughter Tiffany’s November 12 wedding at Mar-a-Lago and because he does not want to share a news cycle with midterm results, sources said.
These sources also cautioned that no date has been locked in and Trump could push it back if control of the Senate remains undecided after Election Day or Republicans see underwhelming gains in their House races. While discussions about where Trump should launch his next White House bid have occurred, one person familiar with the matter said his team has not yet made a decision on a venue and is still toying with an announcement close to home in Palm Beach, Florida, where he has headquartered his political operation since leaving Washington, or in a Rust Belt battleground area like Ohio or Pennsylvania.
In a statement to CNN, Taylor Budowich, a spokesman for Trump, declined to comment “on the never-ending speculation and rumors.”
The former president has long been eyeing the post-midterm period before Thanksgiving as a window of opportunity to launch his next political act. As CNN has previously reported, Trump expects the GOP to make significant gains on Election Night and wants to capitalize on the momentum coming out of Tuesday if his prediction holds, especially if his handpicked Senate candidates prevail in key contests in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Arizona, Ohio and Georgia. Trump has also expressed an interest in announcing before the end of the year to place potential 2024 rivals on notice. One of them, former Vice President Mike Pence, is due to release a book about his time in office on November 15 and recently said “there might be somebody else who I’d prefer more” as the next Republican presidential nominee, fueling speculation that he intends to challenge his former boss.
At a rally Thursday in Iowa, Trump told the audience to “get ready” for his return to the presidential campaign trail, noting that he would “very, very, very probably do it again,” in reference to running for the White House. It was his latest attempt to put Republicans on notice without outright announcing a third campaign before Election Day, something House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and other top Republicans had previously encouraged Trump to refrain from doing.
“I give him a ton of credit for not announcing this year [and] for not stepping in the way of the midterm candidates. I’m glad he didn’t do that. That was certainly my advice from the beginning,” former White House counselor Kellyanne Conway told reporters at an event Thursday morning.
News of Trump’s potential November 14 announcement was first reported by Axios.
A Trump announcement later this month would come as he continues to navigate several high-profile investigations that could heat back up after Election Day, when the Justice Department ends its traditional quiet period leading up to Election Day and could begin announcing indictments of Trump associates who were involved in efforts to overturn the 2020 election. The former president remains under investigation for bringing classified government documents to Mar-a-Lago at the end of his presidency and was recently subpoenaed by the House select committee for his testimony and documents related to the January 6 attack on the US Capitol. Meanwhile, Trump also faces an ongoing probe by Fulton County prosecutors into his attempts to overturn the 2020 election results in Georgia.
Justice Department officials have discussed whether a Trump candidacy would create the need for a special counsel to oversee two sprawling federal investigations related to the former president, sources familiar with the matter tell CNN.