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(CNN)Former President Donald Trump is anxiously mulling when, exactly, he should announce a presidential run for 2024 -- a decision that has become even more pressing as he tries to reclaim control of his image following a spate of damaging revelations by the House select committee investigating his role in January 6, 2021.
Over the past week, Trump has told associates he is eager to launch another presidential campaign
as early as this month to capitalize on President Joe Biden's increasingly dismal poll numbers and put his potential
GOP rivals on notice. But his desire to expedite a campaign announcement
-- ditching previous plans to wait until after the November midterm elections -- grew even deeper after former
White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson raised serious questions in a televised congressional hearing this week about Trump's behavior during the final months of his first term, according to sources familiar with the matter.
Some Trump allies have privately admitted that the House committee's public hearings have proven more damaging than expected, as congressional investigators continue to air snippets of sworn testimony from current and former Trump advisers undermining his false claims about the 2020 election and raising new questions about his potential legal jeopardy.
Meadows intermediary may have tried to influence Hutchinsons testimony to January 6 committee, sources sayThe hearings have also clearly weighed on Trump, who spent most of a 90-minute speech to evangelical conservatives last month complaining about them and who has fired off more than a dozen posts to his Truth Social website this week aimed at undermining Hutchinson's credibility.Read MoreIn recent days, some of Trump's advisers have been reaching out to his closest allies to let them know that the former President is seriously considering an earlier-than-expected announcement. One GOP source familiar with those conversations was told that Trump was considering announcing as soon as the first week of July, while others in his orbit cautioned that he does not currently have the infrastructure in place for a major campaign announcement and "doesn't want this to be a dud," as a person close to Trump described it.Another source said it was unlikely Trump would make an announcement without alerting the press to ensure maximum coverage.
At one point, members of Trump's staff had discussed a potential early July event in Michigan -- a critical battleground state in the midterms and beyond -- that drew internal speculation as a possible venue for his campaign announcement, but the event was scrapped before any serious planning.Multiple sources, who were granted anonymity to speak candidly about closely held discussions, likened the environment surrounding Trump's 2024 decision to his first presidential campaign in 2016 -- chaotic and unorganized with little understanding of who, other than Trump himself, is in charge."Every day is different. We get told he's going to announce imminently, and by the afternoon that has changed," one source with knowledge said.
Fact check: Trump-backed Michigan congressional candidate John Gibbs falsely claims 2020 election had mathematically impossible anomalies A person close to Trump who previously said the former President would wait until after Labor Day to toss his hat into the 2024 GOP primary changed their tune earlier this week, saying a September announcement is now "up in the air" and that if Trump does announce early, "it will be July.""He's sounding a lot more committed lately," added another person close to Trump.Before decamping to Mar-a-Lago earlier this summer for his Bedminster, New Jersey, club, Trump was insistent to those around him that he would announce before the November midterms. He then changed course only a few weeks later, telling allies he didn't want to interfere with the midterms and thought he could draw more momentum by waiting to announce after the election -- assuming Republicans retake the House majority, as they are favored to do.Three sources described Trump as anxious and reactive whenever conversations about a future run arise.He vacillates between concerns about the investigations he is facing and wanting to "fight fire with fire," as one source put it, knowing that as soon as he launches a fresh bid for the White House he will likely receive the airtime he believes he needs to be his best defender. Although the former President has granted dozens of interviews since leaving office, the bulk have been with authors of not-yet-published books or right-wing media outlets with limited reach.The absence of any Trump-aligned Republicans on the House panel probing January 6 has only exacerbated his desire to redirect attention to himself -- possibly with a presidential campaign launch. Without any representation on the committee, Trump's allies have been unable to cross-examine witnesses in real time or preemptively respond to witness testimony. That dilemma was on full display this week as Hutchinson, a 26-year-old former aide to Trump White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, delivered blow-by-blow testimony detailing the warnings Trump and his top aides received leading up to January 6 and his response -- or lack thereof -- that day. The hearing was announced with only 24 hours' notice, while Hutchinson's identity as its live witness leaked at the eleventh hour."He knows that if he announces [a run for president] he'll be center stage again," giving him the opportunity to rival the hearings, one source told CNN.
Accounts of Trump angrily demanding to go to Capitol on January 6 circulated in Secret Service over past yearBut others say Trump's primary motivation for declaring his candidacy this early is because of the other potential Republican presidential hopefuls jockeying for a run. Top Republicans like Sens. Tom Cotton of Arkansas and Rick Scott of Florida, former United Nations ambassador Nikki Haley, former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and former Vice President Mike Pence have made recent pit stops in early voting states and are laying the groundwork for their own potential campaigns. One source said Trump "wants to clear the field and dare other people to run against him."There is perhaps no potential rival that sentiment applies more to in this moment than Gov. Ron DeSantis, whom Trump has become fixated on amid the Florida Republican's emergence as a hero of cultural conservatism and -- according to some of Trump's own aides -- a more palatable version of the former President himself.
Through his Save America leadership PAC the former President has recently blasted out examples purportedly demonstrating his strong position within a potential 2024 GOP field.Trump's next appearance on the campaign trail is scheduled for July 9, when he is due to host a rally for Alaska Senate Republican hopeful Kelly Tshibaka. While sources close to the former President do not expect that to be the vehicle for a campaign launch, they have not ruled out a spur-of-the-moment post to his Truth Social site that could set the 2024 GOP primary in motion.
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Texas Woman Accused of Offering Migrant a Ride—Then Stealing Her Baby
Family Member Writes Brutal Take Down of House GOP Candidate and Ex-Trump Staffer: Hes Endangering America and Endangering Jews
Drew Angerer/Getty Images
The Republican nominee for Ohio’s newly-drawn 7th Congressional district, Max Miller, came under fire this week from a familiar source – his own cousin.
Daniel Miller published an op-ed in The Forward on Monday accusing his first cousin, who was also a close aide of former President Donald Trump, of belonging “to a political movement that’s endangering America and endangering Jews.”
Max Miller made headlines after Trump left office when his ex-girfriend, former Trump Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham, accused him of abuse. Miller denied the allegations and filed a lawsuit for defamation.
In the op-ed, Daniel Miller argues that while “not every Trump supporter is antisemitic” there are “factors” within Trumpism that inherently endanger America’s minority populations – Jews included.
“Trumpism, with its xenophobia, conspiratorial worldview, and courting of white supremacists, is helping to transform this country from one where Jews are relatively safe to one where Jews are more in danger,” Daniel Miller writes, adding:
It feels like some of my relatives are waiting to hear ominous music playing on blast to warn them of impending danger. But this is not how history works.
While working up to that ominous warning, Daniel Miller began by noting that Max spoke at Trump’s recent Ohio rally alongside controversial Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA).
“During the rally, some in the crowd gave Trump a straight armed, one-finger salute. I and many others were horrified at the resemblance to a Nazi Sieg Heil. Apparently, it’s a QAnon gesture. But under these circumstances, no board member of the Holocaust Memorial Council, like my cousin, should have tweeted out the next day that the rally was a ‘fantastic night,’” argued Daniel, noting that this rally led him to publish the op-ed.
Daniel also invoked his shared family heritage with Max, questioning what their grandmother and great-grandfather might say given his cousin’s current political affiliations.
“Throughout it all, I’ve thought a lot about my Jewish ancestors. My great-grandfather (who is also Max’s great-grandfather) was smuggled out of Poland dressed as a cattle herder, and eventually made it to the U.S. and achieved more than he ever could have dreamed,” Daniel wrote.
“What would he think about the Hungarian fascist Victor Orban being warmly embraced in America by the political movement that includes his descendant?” Daniel then asked of his late great-grandfather, adding:
His daughter, our bubbe, ran for Congress in Ohio as a Republican and was one of the most beloved women in Cleveland when she died in 1996. What would she think about her grandson running for Congress as an ally of a man who once said that he wished American Generals behaved more like “German Generals”?
Daniel concludes by noting the rifts the op-ed may cause in his future family gatherings.
“I worry that some relatives I love will take personal offense at this article. I worry that I might not feel welcome by some at our family Seder, a convening that has lasted generations and often counts more than 100 in attendance,” Daniel wrote.
“My uncle Abe, Max’s father, is my favorite uncle. And until I spoke out against his son, I believe he would have done anything for me,” he added, but concluded he felt duty bound to speak out against his cousin.
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