One source told Reuters that Trump will likely speak on "the future of the Republican Party and the conservative movement"

By Benjamin VanHoose
February 22, 2021 10:42 AM
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Donald Trump is scheduled to make his first public appearance since leaving office when he speaks next week at the Conservative Political Action Conference, more than a month after leaving the White House and being impeached for the second time.

The former president, 74, will give remarks at CPAC in Orlando, Florida, according to the conference website. Other speakers include Ben Carson, Gov. Ron DeSantis, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, actor Jon Voight, Donald Trump Jr. and Sen. Ted Cruz.

Trump is set to speak Sunday, according to Politico, Reuters, The New York Times and CNN.

Former Vice President Mike Pence opted not to appear during the conference, CNN reports.

One source told Reuters that Trump will likely speak on "the future of the Republican Party and the conservative movement." (Trump has a history with CPAC, having first appeared there in 2011 as he was fashioning the political persona that carried him into office.)

Next week's public appearance will be Trump's first since the Senate acquitted him in his unprecedented second impeachment trial after the U.S. Capitol attack on Jan. 6.

The House of Representatives charged Trump on Jan. 13 with inciting an insurrection in the Capitol riots that saw a mob of his supporters storm the building during a joint session of Congress, overwhelming law enforcement and sending lawmakers into hiding. Five people died.

Former President Donald Trump
| Credit: Mandel Ngan/Getty

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Trump is the only president to have been twice impeached, after he was previously charged by the House with abuse of power and obstruction of Congress in the Ukraine scandal.

The Senate acquitted him in that trial, too, though in both cases some Republicans voted to convict.

Banned from Twitter and other major social media platforms in the wake of the Capitol attack, Trump has instead been issuing statements to the media and calling into Fox News.

While Trump's impeachment trial — during which even Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who voted to acquit him, suggested he be prosecuted — exposed divisions among the GOP, he and his allies pushed back on the idea that he will retreat from conservative politics.

Lara Trump, who is married to the former president's son Eric, said during a Fox News appearance over the weekend that Trump is "the head of the Republican Party," while discussing his CPAC appearance, per Newsweek.

"Whether we're talking about 2022 or beyond, I think this man has changed politics and he has changed our party, the Republican Party. There is no doubt about it," she said.

During President Joe Biden's CNN town hall in Milwaukee last week, he quipped that he was "tired" of talking about his predecessor.

"Look, for four years, all that's been in the news is Trump. The next four years I want to make sure all the news is the American people," he said. "I'm tired of talking about Trump."