Trump to make first post-presidency speech as CPAC keynote
President Donald Trump speaks to supporters at Joint Base Andrews before he boarded Air Force One for the last time as President on Jan. 20, 2021 at Joint Base Andrews, Maryland.
Pete Marovich | Pool | Getty Images
Former President Donald Trump is expected to deliver a keynote address at the conclusion of the Conservative Political Action Conference in Orlando, Florida next weekend, sources familiar with the plans told NBC News.
Trump is due to speak about the future of the Republican Party and the Conservative movement, say sources familiar with the plan.
The full list has not yet been released and is subject to change.
The event would be Trump’s first extended public appearance on camera since he left office last month.
For the past few weeks, Trump has continued to rage against top Republicans who stand up against him, including Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell; Senator John Thune, the No. 2 Republican in the Senate; and longtime GOP politician Karl Rove, according to people familiar with the matter.
Trump spokesman Jason Miller responded to CNBC’s request for comment on the matter via email: “Fake news. We are focused on getting the House and Senate back in 2022.”
The former president said he plans to support several key competitors who support his “Make America Great Again” agenda.
Advisors have told Trump that, according to his own strategists, Republican voters don’t want to see an all-out war in the GOP. Instead, voters would rather see Trump focus his attacks on Biden and top Democrats, advisors say.
Rep Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., A Trump defense attorney in Congress, tweeted that grassroots Republicans would be rejected by the party if they don’t accept the former president’s agenda.
Although Trump escaped conviction on his second impeachment trial, he now faces several serious criminal and civil investigations that could be harder to beat. At least one investigation holds the potential for Trump to be jailed if convicted. On January 20, he lost his protection from prosecution while holding the office of president.
“There are a lot of balls in the air in the potential criminal arena and if I were Donald Trump I wouldn’t just rest,” said Joseph Tacopina, a senior New York City criminal lawyer.
Trump spoke at the CPAC several times during his presidency, often making some of his longest speeches, and using his remarks to bolster his conservative base.
Last year’s event organizers came under criticism for their precautions with Covid-19 screening after a New Jersey man attending CPAC tested positive for the coronavirus.
This year’s event will take place from Thursday, February 25th to Sunday, February 28th. Trump is expected to close the events over the weekend.
– CNBC’s Dan Mangan and Brian Schwartz contributed to this report