Trump puts off 2024 campaign to avoid 'owning' GOP losses caused by 'toxic brand': report
Donald Trump at at Trump International in New Jersey (Shutterstock)

Former president Donald Trump considered publicly announcing a 2024 campaign for president in the wake of the U.S. military's withdrawal from Afghanistan in August, which led to widespread criticism of the Biden administration.

However, Trump's advisers reportedly convinced him not to announce yet for several reasons, the Washington Post reported Monday.

"Some of his advisers were concerned that Democrats might use his announcement in their effort to frame the midterm elections around his candidacy, potentially boosting their own turnout and hampering his plans if Republicans fall short next year," according to the Post.

One person familiar with the conversations told the newspaper, "The biggest point we drove home was that he doesn't want to own the midterms if we don't win back the House or Senate."

Instead, Trump has opted for a "strategy of winks and nods" with regard to a potential 2024 campaign. But an informal poll of his advisers in recent days revealed that 10 of 13 believe he will seek to recapture the White House — and the Post reports that he has been "constantly" telling people, "I'm running."

Nevertheless, Trump reportedly is aware that his potential candidacy is a "cause for concern" among some Republicans, as his approval rating has struggled to break 45 percent nationally.

"His toxic brand continues to turn off voters in the suburbs, according to strategists in battleground states. He faces a litany of other headaches, including investigations into his businesses in New York, and a probe into his role in the deadly Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection," the Post reports, adding that many of the GOP's top donors have told strategists they want a different nominee.

Bob Vander Plaats, CEO of The FAMiLY LEADER, an Iowa-based Christian group that has been hosting potential candidates, told the Post: "He has a deep and committed loyal base. But even in that deep and committed loyal base, there are many who don't think Trump should run again."

The Post reports that, "In a meeting just before the November election, he was shown polling that suggested his policies were popular — even as he was trailing."

"Trump, in a surprisingly self-deprecating move, people familiar with the meeting said, jokingly conceded the problem was him," according to the newspaper.

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