'Just boggles the mind': Trump 2024 chatter sets off 'a scramble' within the Republican Party
President Donald Trump at a campaign rally in Phoenix, photo by Gage Skidmore.

There was a minor freakout over the weekend when Donald Trump almost announced his candidacy at the Pennsylvania rally when he was promoting Mehmet Oz, who is narrowly trailing his Democratic opponent, Lt. Gov. John Fetterman.

On Monday night, reports are that Trump was telling allies he was considering an announcement while stumping for J.D. Vance in Ohio, leading to a bit of a scramble, reported the Washington Post.

There is a theory that Attorney General Merrick Garland is waiting for the 2022 midterm elections before he files an indictment of former President Donald Trump. Trump appears desperate to announce his candidacy ahead of that, as a way of somehow turning it into a war against his candidacy.

The chance that Trump might announce led to a phone-tree activation of party panic, the Post explained.

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"Some of his advisers began communicating to others Monday that efforts needed to be made to talk him out of announcing, two of these people said, while other advisers were egging him on to jump in," said the report.

It's still unknown what he might do or if it's all a ploy to build suspense or draw more attention to his speech in Ohio. His rallies haven't been getting much attention among the press as he travels the country for his candidates.

Trump is also facing off against a possible Ron DeSantis presidential run. DeSantis was asked during the debate if he would commit to staying in office and not abandoning the state for a presidential run. He refused to answer. If Trump announces before the election, he will have jumped the gun on DeSantis, stopping his candidacy before the Florida governor could even pivot.

Trump said on Saturday at a rally that he would be announcing "very, very, very soon." The RNC chair, Ronna Romney McDaniel, made it clear that the national party would not be paying for any of Trump's legal fees if he announced for president. That said, they haven't been handling the legal fees for Trump's document scandal.

There's a fear that if he announced the day before the election he'll give Democrats more enthusiasm to come out and vote.

“It just boggles the mind why he would hand that to Democrats at this late hour,” said one Republican strategist anonymously to the Post. “Making the conversation about himself and risking losses across the map that otherwise might have been wins would be a bad way to step into a presidential race.”

Read the full report at the Washington Post.