Trump’s campaign continues to ramp up, although NBC News’ Jonathan Allen and Marc Caputo report that the former president is struggling to fundraise, with his latest haul being less than the amount he raised before launching another White House run.
Meanwhile, a handful of headlines Monday remind us of just how much unique baggage Trump brings to his presidential bid.
“Prosecutors convene grand jury in Trump hush money probe” -- a credible investigation into whether allies paid hush money to an adult film star aimed at keeping her allegations she had an affair with Trump quiet.
And “Trump Courses Will Host Three Tournaments for Saudi-Backed LIV Golf” – news the former president’s private golf courses will host the controversial golf tournament funded by Saudi Arabia amid questions about the country’s human rights record (after the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi) and about Trump’s son-in-law’s business relationship with the Saudis.
Of course, his time in office, the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, the attempts to overturn the 2020 election, undercut faith in the electoral process writ large and all the other obvious pieces of Trump’s past that will loom large in any discussion about his candidacy. But would these headlines be seen as afterthoughts for any other presidential hopeful at any other point in time?
In other campaign news…
Here come the governors: NBC’s Adam Edelman reports on how the group of GOP governors — Florida’s Ron DeSantis, Virginia’s Glenn Youngkin and South Dakota’s Kristi Noem — are positioning themselves ahead of potential presidential bids.
Take it to court: Trump has filed a $49 million lawsuit against Bob Woodward, Simon & Schuster and Paramount Global for use of audio from his interviews conducted by Woodward.
RNC calls on party to double down on abortion: Among the nine resolutions that passed by a voice vote at the Republican National Committee’s winter meeting, the RNC called for candidates to “go on offense in the 2024 election cycle, and expose the Democrats’ extreme position” on abortion.
Will she, she won’t: As a handful of other Michigan Democrats weigh a Senate bid, Rep. Haley Stevens announced she won’t run.
Will he, will he?: West Virginia Republican Gov. Jim Justice posted a video interview featuring him saying he is “leaning” toward running for Senate and will make an announcement “real soon.”
Bad sign for Santos: A whopping 78% of voters in embattled GOP Rep George Santos’ district want him to resign, per a Newsday/Siena College of New York’s 3rd District. That includes a sizable majority of Republicans (71%) as well as 89% of Democrats and 72% of independents.
DNC in ATL?: Southern Democrats are pushing for Atlanta to host the 2024 convention, NBC News’ Alex Seitz-Wald reports.