Report: Top Republicans Want Trump to Speed up 2024 Campaign Former President Donald Trump (Getty)
By Solange Reyner | Wednesday, 10 August 2022 05:15 PM EDT
Top Republicans irate over the FBI's raid of Donald Trump's Florida home want the former president to jump-start his 2024 campaign now, reported CNN.
The FBI on Monday raided Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate in search of classified documents considered official government property from the White House.
Trump called the search a "weaponization of the justice system, and an attack by radical left Democrats who desperately don't want me to run for president in 2024," a characterization echoed by many of his Republican peers, including the ones who tried to dissuade him from running again or announcing a 2024 bid early.
"My advice that we should wait until after the midterms was based upon a rather standard landscape. [The Justice Department] set off a nuclear bomb on that landscape yesterday. This is no longer a business-as-usual campaign. Not even close," Michael Caputo, a longtime Trump confidant who previously urged the former president to wait until the 2022 midterms were over to announce another bid, told CNN.
Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., told reporters he spoke with Trump twice on Tuesday and, "the one thing I can tell you is that I believed he was gonna run before [and] I am stronger in my belief now," he said.
"I think President Trump is determined now more than ever to straighten this country out," Graham added.
The FBI search has rallied other Republicans, too. Trump has fielded calls nonstop since the raid, according to a source close to the president, and the episode has injected unity into the GOP, according to another person close with the former president. This person said they had not seen Republicans "this unified behind something in a long time," pointing to comments by potential 2024 Trump rivals Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and former Vice President Mike Pence.
"When do you see DeSantis and Pence on the same page defending Trump?" asked the person.
The House Republican Study Committee met with Trump a day after the raid.
"He didn't seem defeated in the least bit. He was very fired up, very upbeat," Rep. Jim Banks, R-Ind., told Fox News of the "great, three-hour-long" chat at Trump's New Jersey golf club.
Trump, Banks said, told the group he "has made up his mind" about his run and "enjoyed encouragement" from them to "get the decision out sooner rather than later."
"He said we are going to like his decision and it is only a matter of time before he will make that decision known," Banks told the news outlet.
One senior House Republican encouraged Trump to launch a bid before November, despite concerns that Trump could upstage the midterm elections by asking for donations at the same time GOP candidates for office are scrambling for dollars, according to CNN.
"Most of the downsides of announcing early are regulatory or financial, but the Democrats just guaranteed that Trump will raise three times the money he was going to and probably in the immediate future," Caputo said.
Trump on midnight Tuesday launched a campaign-style video that teased a possible campaign.
"We are a nation that has become a joke … but soon we will have greatness again." It ends with an on-screen message: "The best is yet to come."