In his first public appearance since leaving the White House, Donald Trump is planning to send a big message to the GOP and the American people in general.
Reports indicate he is set to take the stage this week at the Conservative Political Action Conference, or CPAC, thus reviving speculation that he will be the “presumptive” GOP nominee in 2024 as he weighs a possible campaign for a second term in the White House.
Trump staging a “show of force”
Although Trump has been mostly quiet in the weeks since leaving office, he continues to cast a sizable shadow over the political world as fans and foes alike wonder how he plans to wield his influence in coming years.
He is sure to provide the clearest clue to date on Sunday when he addresses the CPAC crowd in Orlando, Florida.
The address will be a “show of force,” according to one adviser, and will send the message that he is “still in charge” even though he “may not have Twitter or the Oval Office” at his disposal.
Trump’s critics had hoped to see Trump’s political fortunes dwindle in the wake of last month’s violent riot on Capitol Hill, but polls show that does not appear to be the case.
Jason Miller, a top adviser to the former president, said that Trump “effectively” defines the modern GOP.
“We’re taking on Washington again”
“The only chasm is between Beltway insiders and grassroots Republicans around the country,” he said. “When you attack President Trump, you’re attacking the Republican grassroots.”
For his part, Trump has indicated a willingness to seek revenge against those in his party who have turned against him, recently issuing a broadside against establishment rival Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY).
Calling McConnell an “unsmiling political hack,” the missive fueled theories that the ex-president is gearing up to flex his partisan muscles ahead of next year’s midterm elections.
Furthermore, GOP leaders like Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) who supported a second impeachment effort against Trump are finding themselves on the receiving end of a significant intraparty backlash.
Trump is also expected to criticize his successor’s immigration policies during the upcoming CPAC address. As one source put it: “Much like 2016, we’re taking on Washington again.”