Former President Donald Trump is “ranting and raving more than usual” over the GOP’s disastrous midterm election results – even as some members of his inner circle are pushing him to name Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis as his running mate in 2024, sources told The Post Friday.
The 76-year-old’s mood is so black, one source said, that those close to him are wondering how it will affect his daughter Tiffany’s Mar-a-Lago wedding this weekend.
“He really thought there would be a ‘red wave’ and that his candidates would win,” the source said, referring to bitter defeats by Trump’s chosen Senate contenders like Dr. Mehmet Oz in Pennsylvania and Don Bolduc in New Hampshire.
“He feels their losing makes him look weak,” the source added, “but he’s still targeting DeSantis, who he feels is disrespecting him and he thinks he’s the only Republican that might dare challenge him that means anything.”
With DeSantis’ reelection landslide one of the few bright spots on an otherwise horrible night for the GOP, Trump has intensified his attacks on the 44-year-old Florida governor in recent days.
“He’s grumpy and unhappy that Ron DeSantis did so well,” the source said of the 45th president, who dubbed his rival “Ron DeSanctimonious” at a Pennsylvania rally Nov. 5, and issued a rambling, ranting statement late Thursday saying DeSantis should not run in 2024 and calling him an “average REPUBLICAN Governor with great Public Relations.”
“He’s in a bad mood … Friends wonder how gregarious he’ll be at Tiffany’s wedding,” the person went on.
Trump’s temper was not improved by The Post’s Thursday cover lampooning him as “Trumpty Dumpty,” with the source saying the former president thought it “called him a fat loser.”
Despite Trump’s fury, some of his allies are trying to persuade him to offer DeSantis the second spot on the 2024 ticket in an effort to unify a fractured Republican party, according to the source — who admitted that the former president’s inner circle doesn’t even know whether the Florida governor would accept.
Trump also is moving ahead with his plans for a prime-time presidential campaign announcement Nov. 15, despite pleas from former allies to hold off until after the Dec. 6 Senate runoff in Georgia.
“He’s going ahead with his announcement, and as of yet won’t be persuaded to delay it,” said the source. “He’s putting together a war plan and is talking about raising over $1.5 billion with donors big and small. He’s more serious than ever.”
However, the appetite for another Trump run may be dwindling — even among his one time loyalists.
“He can’t get out of his own way,” a prominent New York Republican told The Post this week. “His self-indulgence is political malpractice.”
The GOP bigwig added that while Trump largely stayed out of the recent Empire State gubernatorial race between Democrat Kathy Hochul and Republican Lee Zeldin, the former president’s influence was still felt.
“When the abortion attack didn’t work, Hochul hit Zeldin hard on Trump,” the person said. “It was a clear shot. It could have cost him the election.”
While DeSantis declined to address his own potential 2024 run during his successful reelection campaign, the New York Republican made clear that the Florida governor has higher office in mind.
“DeSantis is running,” the GOPer said. “He’s talking to donors in New York. He has good friends here. He’s been up to the Hamptons [for fundraisers].”
Another non-Trump option for 2024, the source added, could be Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin — who is seen as having more charisma than DeSantis and was also ripped by Trump in a series of bizarre posts on Truth Social Friday morning.
The opprobrium from fellow Republicans has further rankled the former commander-in-chief, according to another source.
“No one cared if Tom Brady won the Super Bowl by a field goal or two touchdowns. On Tuesday we won the Super Bowl,” the source said. “We won the House by a lot and I firmly believe we will win the Senate.”
The source went on to call the rumblings of discontent “political noise” and “manufactured.”
“Ninety percent of the pickups were Trump candidates,” the person went on. “Go down the line.”
Roger Stone, a longtime Trump confidant, told The Post the former president was “disappointed” DeSantis could launch a bid for the White House – since Trump believes he helped the rising GOP star climb the ranks.
“Ron used Trump’s endorsement extensively. Trump is disappointed. There’s such a thing as loyalty,” Stone said. “It would be an act of treachery and betrayal if Ron runs against Trump.”
Rudy Giuliani, Trump’s lawyer and personal friend, concurred with Stone – insisting any potential GOP rival should be wary.
“Donald has an appeal that is overwhelming,” said Giuliani, describing Trump as the most charismatic and appealing Republican presidential candidate since Ronald Reagan.
“If he runs, it will be a fight to the death with the Democrats,” said Giuliani. “Also, if Trump doesn’t run, DeSantis will be attacked by the Democrats the way they attack Trump. Ron has to be aware of that.”
Reps for DeSantis and Trump did not immediately return requests for comment.
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