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The former leader of the free world may decline to inform his own aides before announcing a 2024 comeback bid on his Twitter-clone social media site.
"The timing of a formal announcement from Mr. Trump remains uncertain. But he recently surprised some advisers by saying he might declare his candidacy on social media without warning even his own team, and aides are scrambling to build out basic campaign infrastructure in time for an announcement as early as this month," The New York Times reported.
That is not the only schism between Trump and his aides.
"The former president’s team remains divided over whether he should even run again. Those opposed to a third White House bid have expressed concerns ranging from doubts about Mr. Trump’s remaining political potency to questions about whether he can articulate a clear rationale for running and avoid a repeat of 2020," the newspaper reported. "Others are urging Mr. Trump to take his time. Donald Trump Jr., his eldest son, has taken a more central role in Mr. Trump’s inner circle of political advisers and has told others that he wants his father to install a more expansive campaign team around him in preparation for a run."
The chaos comes against the backdrop of the investigations into Trump's attempted coup following shocking public testimony by former Trump White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson.
"But even Trump aides who are supportive of another campaign worry that the former president’s path to a third nomination has become more difficult than he’s willing to acknowledge. Some close to Mr. Trump have grown concerned about potential legal and political consequences from the congressional hearings into the Capitol riot," the newspaper reported. "Mr. Trump signaled his concern about the potential political consequences of the testimony, reacting in real time to the hearing by posting a dozen messages on his Truth Social website attacking Ms. Hutchinson and denying her most explosive testimony."
Two days after the attack on the U.S. Capitol, Twitter permanently suspended Trump "due to the risk of further incitement of violence."
Trump had 88.6 million followers on Twitter on Jan. 6, 2021.
He currently has 3.4 million followers on Truth Social.
Donald Trump is once again injecting chaos and uncertainty into the Republican Party as he reportedly considers announcing a third consecutive campaign for the presidency.
"Republicans are bracing for Donald J. Trump to announce an unusually early bid for the White House, a move designed in part to shield the former president from a stream of damaging revelations emerging from investigations into his attempts to cling to power after losing the 2020 election," The New York Times reported. "While many Republicans would welcome Mr. Trump’s entry into the race, his move would also exacerbate persistent divisions over whether the former president is the party’s best hope to win back the White House. The party is also divided over whether his candidacy would be an unnecessary distraction from midterm elections or even a direct threat to democracy."
On Wednesday, Trump announced he would be traveling to Anchorage for a campaign rally against Alaska GOP Sen. Lisa Murkowski.
The newspaper reported Trump as "accelerated his planning in recent weeks" and "aides are scrambling to build out basic campaign infrastructure in time for an announcement as early as this month."
The period between Independence Day and Labor Day is traditionally viewed as the slowest time in politics, with many reporters on vacation while voters enjoy their summers.
"That timing would be extraordinary — presidential candidates typically announce their candidacies in the year before the election — and could have immediate implications for Republicans seeking to take control of Congress in November. Mr. Trump’s presence as an active candidate would make it easier for Democrats to turn midterm races into a referendum on the former president, who since losing in 2020 has relentlessly spread lies about the legitimacy of the election. Some Republicans fear that would distract from pocketbook issues that have given their party a strong advantage in congressional races," the newspaper reported.
Former Colorado Republican Party Chair Dick Wadhams worries Trump's ongoing fixation on lying about the election he lost to Joe Biden could hurt the party.
“Republicans want to win badly in 2022, and it is dawning on many of them that relitigating the 2020 election with Trump’s daily conspiracy diatribes are sure losers,” he told The Times.
The newspaper noted Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) is urging an early announcement.
"Ronna McDaniel, the chairwoman of the Republican National Committee, had urged Mr. Trump to wait until after the midterms, worried that news about his campaign could derail the party’s midterm messaging," the newspaper reported. "One R.N.C. official noted that when Mr. Trump opened a campaign, the party would stop paying his legal bills related to an investigation by the New York attorney general. Still, Ms. McDaniel has recently resigned herself to the idea that he will announce before the elections, according to people familiar with the conversations."
Meanwhile, other Republicans appear to sense weakness from Trump.
"Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who told Mr. Trump last year that he wouldn’t compete against him for the presidential nomination, has continued to lay the groundwork for a 2024 bid. Mr. Pompeo has told others that he can beat Mr. Trump in the Iowa caucuses, according to people familiar with the conversations," the newspaper reported.
Read the full report.
Improper public records management has taken a personal financial toll on the controversial lieutenant governor of Idaho.
"Idaho Lt. Gov. Janice McGeachin deferred most of her June 24 paycheck to balance her office’s budget, leaving the budget with less than $1 left before the 2022 fiscal year closed Thursday," the Idaho Statesman reported Friday. "McGeachin faced a shortfall after using her taxpayer-funded operating budget to pay for $29,000 in legal fees. Most of the expenses covered attorney fees for the Idaho Press Club, which successfully sued McGeachin last year when she declined to hand over public records."
Under a plan from Chief Deputy Controller Joshua Whitworth, McGeachin deferred $1,713.26 of her June 24 wages until the next fiscal year.
McGeachin, who unsuccessfully challenged Gov. Brad Little with the endorsement of Donald Trump in June GOP primary, initially tried to blame Attorney General Lawrence Wasden, also a Republican, for her budget shortfall.
"The Idaho Press Club last year won a lawsuit that sought the release of public records regarding McGeachin’s education task force, which was looking for indoctrination in Idaho schools. Reporters had requested responses to a Google Forms survey that McGeachin circulated earlier in the year soliciting public feedback, as well as additional records," the newspaper reported. "A judge mandated that McGeachin release the records and pay the Idaho Press Club’s legal costs. McGeachin eventually asked that taxpayers fund what her office was forced to pay, 'due to unforeseen legal bills related to a lawsuit from the Idaho Press Club after the attorney general’s office failed to properly represent' her."
Her office ended the fiscal year with only $0.72.
The newspaper noted McGeachin had previously dismissed reports of her office's budget shortfall as "fake news."
McGeachin will remain in office as a lame-duck until January, when she will be succeeded by Scott Bedke (R) or Terri Pickens Manweiler (D).
Read the full report.