'It will get ugly': Trump insider warns Republicans against challenging the former president
US President Donald Trump (AFP)

With Donald Trump hitting the road this weekend to begin a series of rallies with an eye on the 2024 presidential nomination, an aide close to the ex-president claims Trump plans to serve notice that he is not to be challenged for control of the Republican Party.

According to a report from the Daily Beast's Asawin Suebsaeng, Trump's rally tour will be one part red-meat cultural issues for his rabid base and one part making sure people know he intends to be the face of the party for the next four years.

The report notes that the ex-president continually badgers his aides on how he matches up with potential Republican challengers including Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, former vice president Mike Pence and ex-Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

"Close advisers have routinely assured Trump that he is a shoo-in for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, should he ultimately run, and that any of the other heavy-hitters in the party would be crushed if they took him on, according to three people with knowledge of such recent conversations," Suebsaeng wrote. "Still, Trump is keeping a watchful eye, in the event any of his current allies end up growing dissatisfied with being relegated to the ex-president's 2024 running-mate considerations."

With that in mind, one close associate of Trump served notice of what a challenger can expect if they try to take the ex-president on head to head.

"In [recent] conversations that I've had with him, he has said that he wants to be everywhere to remind people, not just Republicans, that he's still in charge," the Trump associate explained. "The message is a pretty straightforward one: I am still leading this party, and if you want to try to challenge me for that, it will get ugly."

The report adds, "His overwhelming popularity in the GOP and among the base of conservative voters—even after the deadly MAGA riot, and Republicans losing the House, Senate, and White House on his watch—is something that Trump is determined to preserve."

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