In the weeks following the FBI search of his Palm Beach estate, Trump mostly worked out of his office in Bedminster, where he held meetings with aides and lawyers. He appeared at a Republican congressional political fundraiser Jeff Van Drew (RN.J.) and Michigan secretary of state candidate Christina Karamo — including country singer Kafi Anderson, aka “Mr. Red White and Blue” — hosted a party for Republican lawmakers, her club’s caddy-member gave a pep talk at the golf tournament, and friends twirled. Played rounds of golf with the circle, and he celebrated the rep’s defeat. Liz Cheney Wyoming GOP Primary Club with guests.
He made an impromptu trip to New York City for AG Leticia James’ hearing, and he remembered former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in a video message for a meeting of the Unification Church in South Korea. Korean religious leader who funded conservative causes in the United States. Every day he called allies and members of Congress, fired a steady stream of angry posts and shared friendly essays from his social media account on Truth Social, and dined on Bedminster’s patio.
GOP officials, aides and media figures who have spoken with him say Trump is “delighted” but frustrated. He sought help to bolster his legal team, but found no takers. At the same time, he was delighted to see MAGA supporters march in front of his property, as well as Fox News pundits and Republican members of Congress, often rushing to his defense. He was motivated by the belief that an FBI search of his home would benefit him politically. His political action team has raised the issue profusely — freezing at least 22 fundraising emails with the word “raid” since the Aug. 8 search.
Trump hasn’t done much since the FBI search became public. While aides and family members made the television circuit, Trump did not. He gave a brief interview to Fox News Digital and made his first public appearance since the search in early September when he hosted a Save America rally in Scranton, Pennsylvania.
Trump’s response to the FBI search is a reflection of his current position in politics. He has been caught in the grip of politics before. Although his own advisers and associates know that someone famous for getting into ugly legal trouble is suddenly in uncharted waters, there is a sense that this too can be navigated.
“I don’t think anyone really believes he’s in legal jeopardy,” said one person close to Trump’s move. “They see this as another headache to deal with and it’s an unnecessary issue while they focus on other things like preparing for a potential runoff.”
Trump has not been entirely oblivious to the legal dramas surrounding him. His team of attorneys filed lawsuits demanding that a special master be appointed to review the materials seized by the FBI. The feds have angrily accused Trump of confiscating his passports during their searches (the letter later showed they took the passports but returned them).
But he says those who have spoken with the former president are more confident about his political movement and his own electoral future. Privately, he is proud Updates to his private plane And he discussed his own plans for 2024. And there’s even talk of creating a new super PAC, according to several people familiar with Trump’s political plans.
“He was upbeat, not down. He didn’t stop it, he expressed more distaste for what they did to his family, for going after Melania’s disappearance and going after her children, than what they did to him,” said one person at the Republican caucus dinner. Trump the day after the FBI search. “[The search] It was a hot topic of discussion early in the dinner, but he certainly wasn’t mad.
Although he is on trial for alleged crimes under the Espionage Act, Trump has leaned on the search for Mar-a-Lago as a political incentive. Privately, there is a hope that the events will rally conservatives to his side and serve as a useful frame for a future run: making him a direct target of the Justice Department overseen by Biden. He’s been warned by advisers that it’s still unclear where the FBI’s investigation might lead, though he’s leaning into the more traditional role he now plays, that of a victim of the Deep State.
“All the polls strongly indicate that I’m the candidate Democrats least want to run, so the politically motivated raid on Mar-a-Lago — it’s backfired!” Trump posted the truth on social media.
The results, at least politically, have encouraged Trump. He sees a boost in opinion polls ahead of the 2024 primary. A recent survey St. Anselm College in New Hampshire That put him 20 points ahead of potential rivals, including Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. And An NBC News poll released Sunday Overall, Trump’s support within the Republican Party rose by 7 percentage points after the investigation, while a majority of American voters think the investigations into Trump should continue.
But while Trump has enjoyed a boost in his standing within the party, he hasn’t expressed it publicly; At least not yet. Trump has held tele-rallies in support of candidates and plans to hold a Save America rally in Scranton, Pa., in support of two candidates he has endorsed: Senate candidate Mehmet Oz and gubernatorial hopeful Doug Mastriano, both. are behind in their races. Trump is expected to hold more rallies ahead of the midterm elections.
The question everyone is waiting for is when he will rally for his own run.
People around Trump believe a 2024 bid is certain at this point. But while the FBI drama didn’t change everything in Trump’s world, it appears to have had one big impact: complicating the decision of when to declare. Many are now telling Trump to wait to make a run, as are those urging him to jump as a sign of political protest.
“One big move was that if he entered before the midterms, he was fully aware that he would be blamed for losing the Senate — and he made that case. [to us] understands that,” said the RSC member.