Finger-pointing has already begun around Donald Trump's third presidential campaign, but his aides insist everything is going as planned.
Advisers and confidants have questioned why Trump hasn't held any public events since announcing his 2024 campaign last month, and instead has hosted a white nationalist and antisemitic rapper Kanye West at Mar-a-Lago and called to terminate the U.S. Constitution to make himself president now, reported The Daily Beast.
“The former president announced his 2024 run against the wishes of most of the GOP and his close advisers, largely out of frustration with momentum shifting to Ron DeSantis,” said Alyssa Farah Griffin, a former White House communications director for Trump and current co-host on The View. “Now he’s several weeks into a presidential run with no real apparatus, zero message, and no events. So far, it’s a spite-run and it’s being received as poorly as one could expect.”
Another former White House adviser, Larry Kudlow, told Fox Business that Trump's strategy so far was mystifying.
“I don’t understand what our former boss is doing,” Kudlow said. “I love the guy [but he is] hanging out with white nationalists, hanging out with antisemitic people, talking about ending the Constitution or postponing the Constitution.”
His last MAGA rally was more than a month ago in Ohio, on behalf of J.D. Vance -- the only one of his Senate endorsements to win -- and allies have been dismayed by his inability to generate any positive buzz after a disappointing GOP midterm election and a string of legal defeats.
“Since the announcement for his re-elect, I don’t think that by any measurable standard you can say it’s been going well,” former adviser David Urban told Politico. “You’ve had unforced error after unforced error.”
One adviser told The Daily Beast that younger, “inexperienced” staffers were to blame for the shaky rollout, but a source close to Trump said that building up a campaign team was being prioritized over rallies for now.
A source close to Trump explained the hiatus as all part of the plan, with recruiting staff currently taking precedence over rallies.
“They’re being methodical, looking at the numbers, planning the campaign, and recruiting the right team to execute the plan," the source said. "Why would an announced candidate travel to a state where there is no leadership in place? Selecting and publicizing a cadre of key leaders in vital early primary states would be a significant accomplishment before Christmas.”
Another Trumpworld source told The Daily Beast the ex-president would attend holiday events this month at Mar-a-Lago and hit the road early next year.
“This is a marathon and our game plan is being implemented even though the presidential primary calendar hasn’t been set yet and the 2022 midterm cycle just ended,” said Trump campaign spokesperson Steven Cheung. “Our strategy is by design. We’re focused on building out a robust operation that has already been tested on every political level and putting in place a foundation to wage an overwhelming campaign that’s never been seen before.”“We are not going to play into the media’s game where they are trying to dictate how we campaign," Cheung added. "We’re also building out teams in early-voting states and expanding our massive data operation to ensure we dominate on all fronts.”