Former President Donald Trump is scheduled to appear at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) on Sunday to talk about the future of the GOP in his first public address since his presidency ended last month.
Since departing the White House, Trump has made few public comments. In mid-February, following the death of conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh, the former president made his first remarks to Fox News and Newsmax, and later, he conducted an interview after golfer Tiger Woods crashed his car last week.
In those interviews, Trump suggested that he may run for office again while saying that he is trying to determine whether he would join another social media platform or create his own after Twitter, Facebook, Google, and other Big Tech companies moved to de-platform him in January.
But the address, slated for 3:40 p.m. ET, will be his first in-person speaking event since leaving office.
There has been speculation that Trump might consider breaking away from the Republican Party and forming his own political party, coming after more than a dozen Republican lawmakers either voted to impeach or convict him. Opinion polls in recent days also suggested that a number of GOP voters would join a Trump-backed party.
But, according to an excerpt of his speech, Trump will shoot down that speculation.
“We are not starting new parties, and we will not be dividing our power and our strength. Instead, we will be united and strong like never before,” Trump is expected to say, according to his speech that was obtained by Fox News.
Trump is also expected to go after Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.), the No. 3 Republican in the House, after she voted to impeach him last month. Cheney last week also criticized the president and said the Republican Party needs to move away from Trump.
“If you’re reading the room and you’re intelligent, you realize that Donald Trump is still the future of the Republican Party,” Trump’s son Donald Trump Jr. said in an interview last week. “Those people who are being displaced by illegals, those people who are being swept aside by the Democrat Party, who has just flagrantly ignored them for decades, Donald Trump is all over that,” he added.
It’s also possible Trump may attempt to further align the Republican Party with working-class Americans, coming after large corporations moved to suspend donations to certain Republican lawmakers who voted against certifying the election on Jan. 6.
“The Republican Party isn’t going to be bound to those corporate interests anymore,” Trump Jr. said. “So I love that they are making that link and breaking it, because we need more of that and we need candidates and people who will go to bat, who will go to war and fight for the American working class and make sure we put them first.
According to one of his advisers, Jason Miller, the former commander-in-chief will also offer critical feedback against the nascent administration of President Joe Biden and his policies. Biden has unleashed a slew of executive orders that rescind some of Trump’s policies, including on immigration.
“The focus here, really, is the exact things the president predicted would happen if Joe Biden were to be elected president on the policy end have already started to happen,” Miller said in an interview with Mediaite’s Dan Abrams last week.
“Donald Trump ain’t going anywhere,” Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) said on the stage. “And the Republican party is not the party of the country clubs. It is the party of steel workers, construction workers, pipeline workers … the men and women with calluses on their hands.”
Sens. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.), Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), Rick Scott (R-Fla.), South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, and former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo also spoke at the conference.