Trump to Make First Public Speech Since Leaving White House at CPAC

By Allen Zhong
Allen Zhong
Allen Zhong
senior writer
Allen Zhong is a long-time writer and reporter for The Epoch Times. He joined the Epoch Media Group in 2012. His main focus is on U.S. politics.
February 20, 2021 Updated: February 25, 2021

Former President Donald Trump likely will make his first post-White House appearance at the end of February.

He will be a keynote speaker at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) 2021 in Orlando, Florida, CPAC Communications Director Ian Walters confirmed to The Epoch Times.

The former president’s speech is scheduled for the afternoon of Feb. 28, the last day of the conference, Walters said.

It will likely be Trump’s first public appearance since he left the White House on Jan. 20.

American Conservative Union (ACU), the host of the conference, invited the former president to speak.

“I’d love to see him come to CPAC,” ACU Chairman Matt Schlapp told the Washington Examiner. Schlapp said he extended the invitation personally.

“I think he deserves to be heard. I think even people who disagree with him will agree that he deserves to be heard. He should be uncanceled,” he added.

A staff member involved in the conference planning told The Epoch Times that the invitation was sent out last year.

Trump appears to have become more active in the political arena after the conclusion of his second impeachment trial. He issued a lengthy statement challenging Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s (R-Ky.) speech against him and saluted Rush Limbaugh on several media outlets after the iconic conservative radio commentator’s death.

The Senate acquitted the former president in a 57-43 vote in his second impeachment trial. Sixty-seven votes were needed to reach an impeachment conviction.

Most Senate Republicans, 45 out of 50, regarded the second impeachment trial as unconstitutional because Trump had already left the White House and was a private citizen, The Epoch Times reported.

Donald Trump hugs flag at CPAC 2019
President Trump hugs the American flag as he arrives to speak at the Conservative Political Action Conference, CPAC 2019, in Oxon Hill, Md., on March 2, 2019. (Carolyn Kaster/AP Photo)

Trump is frequent speaker at CPAC, an annual event. He issued a dire warning to Americans about socialism in his 2020 CPAC speech.

“Far-left radicals have become increasingly desperate and increasingly dangerous in their quest to transform America into a country you would not recognize—a country in which they control every aspect of American life,” he said. “Just as socialist and communist movements have done all over the world, they’re cracking down on all dissent and demanding absolute conformity. They want total control.”

Trump warned that the result of implementing such policies would “turn America very quickly into a large-scale Venezuela.”

CPAC describes itself as the largest and most influential gathering of conservatives in the world.

Top conservatives regularly appear at the conferences. Scheduled speakers for this year’s conference include a number of officials from Trump’s administration, including former Housing Secretary Ben Carson, former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and former White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders.

Trump allies like South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, and former acting national security adviser Richard Grenell are also slated to speak.

The lineup also includes some lawmakers like Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.), Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.), Rep. Ted Budd (R-N.C.), and Rep Mo Brooks (R-Ala.).

With reporting from Jan Jekielek. Zachary Stieber, Bowen Xiao, and Emel Akan contributed to this report.

Allen Zhong
senior writer
Allen Zhong is a long-time writer and reporter for The Epoch Times. He joined the Epoch Media Group in 2012. His main focus is on U.S. politics.