Donald Trump continues to see declining support from his allies and a refusal from members of his former inner circle to back his 2024 run.
Of the nine former Trump campaign officials contacted by CNN, only three said they publicly plan to support the former president’s third consecutive run for the White House.
Once a trusted Trump campaign manager, Corey Lewsandowski is reportedly privately fielding potential Republican candidates to take on the former president in the primary election – including Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem.
Lewandowski, who is a resident of New Hampshire, was not with Trump when he visited the Granite State in January. The former Trump aide, however, insists he hasn’t “wooed any other GOP presidential candidate.”
Former top Trump administration official Ken Cuccinelli on Thursday launched a super PAC aimed at getting DeSantis elected president in 2024, even though the governor has yet to announce his candidacy.
Donald Trump is losing support from his once-inner circle as former aides and advisers refuse to weigh in or fully engage with other 2024 GOP candidates
Arkansas Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders, formerly Trump’s White House press secretary, told Trump in a recent phone call that she was not ready to take an endorsement after asking for it. , according to a report by the New York Times.
Arkansas Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders, who served as Trump’s White House press secretary and was one of his staunchest supporters throughout her tenure, refused to take sides in the next presidential election.
Trump recently called Sanders asking for her support, The New York Times reported earlier this month, but she wasn’t ready to wade through the waters of a 2024 endorsement.
“I love the president, I have a great relationship with him,” Sanders told Fox News in January. “I know our country would be infinitely better off if he was in office right now instead of Joe Biden, but right now I’m not focusing on 2024, I’m focusing here in Arkansas.”
Alexa Henning, a spokeswoman for Sanders, told CNN her comment still stood two months later.
Trump’s move away comes as the 2024 primary race heats up and reports emerge that DeSantis will announce his candidacy as early as May. The Sunshine State chief has started traveling the country and visiting key states – like Iowa and New Hampshire – that indicate an announcement is imminent.
Two former aides reached by CNN say they want to stay neutral in the 2024 race, while three others have declined to weigh in publicly.
Former Trump 2016 campaign spokeswoman Katrina Pierson did not commit to an endorsement.
Once Trump’s trusted campaign manager, Corey Lewsandowski privately pitches potential Republican candidates to take on the former president in the primary election — including Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem, according to CNN.
Former top Trump administration official Ken Cuccinelli launched a super PAC on Thursday to get Governor Ron DeSantis elected president in 2024
Lewandowski has been with the former president on several of his trips to New Hampshire, but pulled out of Trump’s first visit there when he ran for president in 2024, despite having was invited to attend.
While many see this as his continued drift from Trump, Lewandowski says it was just bad timing.
“I was over 1,500 miles away and Mr. Trump was well aware of that,” Lewandowski told CNN.
He added that his relationship with Trump had “never changed in the last eight years” – although more than a dozen people in Trump’s orbit noted a change.
Another stab in the back is Cuccinelli launching a PAC aimed directly at getting Trump’s biggest rival elected the GOP nominee in 2024.
NEVER BACK DOWN PAC filed paperwork in late February with the Federal Election Commission and is now the fourth political committee created to encourage DeSantis to run.
“I have spoken to many grassroots conservative activists across the country who are very excited for Governor DeSantis to run for president in 2024,” Cuccinelli said in a statement about the formation of the PAC.
“The energy is there, rank-and-file conservatives see the governor as a leader and a fighter with a winning conservative track record that will lead the Republican Party to victory in 2024. Based on these conversations, I’m very confident that we will build an unrivaled base armed politically for Governor DeSantis to help transport him to the White House.
Trump still retains proven supporters within his inner circle, including Jason Miller, who worked on his 2016 and 2020 campaigns; social media guru Dan Scavino; and Steve Bannon