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Trump to attend private RNC donor retreat

Trump to attend private RNC donor retreat
© Greg Nash

Former President Trump will attend a private spring donor retreat hosted by the Republican National Committee (RNC) in April, the latest confirmed appearance as he plots his comeback in GOP politics.

A Republican familiar with the matter confirmed to The Hill that Trump will attend the retreat, which will take place in Palm Beach, near the former president’s Mar-a-Lago resort, from April 9-11. His attendance was first reported by Politico.

Trump has laid relatively low since last month when he left the White House and was permanently suspended from Twitter following the Jan. 6 riot on Capitol Hill. He broke his silence last week, releasing a statement slamming Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellWhy the Democrats need Joe Manchin Out-of-touch Democrats running scared of progressives The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Bipartisan group reaches infrastructure deal; many questions remain MORE (R-Ky.) and going on Fox News and other friendly outlets to commemorate conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh after his death.

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The former president is expected to be heavily involved in the 2022 midterms. He’s already met with high-profile lawmakers including House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin McCarthyPelosi, leaders seek to squelch Omar controversy with rare joint statement Omar: I wasn't equating terrorist organizations with democratic countries Schumer bemoans number of Republicans who believe Trump will be reinstated: 'A glaring warning' MORE (R-Calif.) and Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamGOP senators applaud Biden for global vaccine donation plans Lindsey Graham: Dismissal of Wuhan lab leak theory cost Trump 2020 election Tim Scott: Could be 'very hard' to reach police reform deal by June deadline MORE (R-S.C.) to plot out a strategy for next year’s races. 

"He’s very involved in helping the team win," Graham said after his meeting. 

In his statement ripping McConnell, Trump indicated he will support candidates who back his agenda — including primary challengers to sitting Republicans. 

"Where necessary and appropriate, I will back primary rivals who espouse Making America Great Again and our policy of America First. We want brilliant, strong, thoughtful, and compassionate leadership," Trump wrote.

Trump’s public reemergence will officially kick off later this month when he gives a speech at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Orlando, Fla.

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Two sources familiar with the matter told The Hill that Trump will be speaking about the future of the GOP and the conservative movement. He’s also expected to take aim at President BidenJoe BidenPutin says he's optimistic about working with Biden ahead of planned meeting How the infrastructure bill can help close the digital divide Biden meets Queen Elizabeth for first time as president MORE’s immigration platform, specifically his “disastrous amnesty and border policies.”

Both CPAC and the RNC’s donor retreat are considered mandatory stops for future presidential candidates, and Trump has not ruled out running again in 2024. Besides Trump, other potential GOP 2024 contenders slated to speak at CPAC include Govs. Kristi NoemKristi Lynn NoemOvernight Energy:  Senate climate advocates start digging in on infrastructure goals | Judge rebuffs Noem's bid for July 4th fireworks at Mount Rushmore | Climate advocate wins third seat on Exxon board Judge rebuffs Noem's bid for July 4th fireworks at Mount Rushmore Human Rights Campaign plans to sue DeSantis over Florida trans athlete law MORE of South Dakota and Ron DeSantisRon DeSantisDemings raises million after announcing Senate bid against Rubio Florida Board of Education bans critical race theory DeSantis says he would sign ban of surgery for transgender youth MORE of Florida, former Secretary of State Mike PompeoMike Pompeo Sunday shows preview: Infrastructure expected to dominate as talks continue to drag The triumph and tragedy of 1989: Why Tiananmen still matters Pence slams Biden agenda in New Hampshire speech MORE and Sens. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzBiden tries to erase Trump's 'America First' on world stage Cotton, Pentagon chief tangle over diversity training in military GOP senators press Justice Department to compare protest arrests to Capitol riot MORE (Texas), Josh HawleyJoshua (Josh) David HawleyGOP's attacks on Fauci at center of pandemic message Colonial Pipeline CEO grilled over ransomware attack Senate Republicans delaying Biden OPM nominee's confirmation MORE (Mo.), Rick Scott (Fla.) and Tom CottonTom Bryant CottonOvernight Defense: Austin and Milley talk budget, Afghanistan, sexual assault and more at wide-ranging Senate hearing Cotton, Pentagon chief tangle over diversity training in military Media continues to lionize Anthony Fauci, despite his damning emails MORE (Ark.).

RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDanielRonna Romney McDanielThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Citizens' Climate Lobby - Deal or no deal? Biden, Capito continue infrastructure talks RNC warns it will advise presidential candidates against future debates if panel doesn't make changes RNC, NRSC intervene in Democratic lawsuits against Florida election law MORE has vowed the GOP will remain neutral in a 2024 primary battle.

Trump’s upcoming appearances come amid an internal reckoning within the GOP over the role the former president should play in the party moving forward. While Trump remains wildly popular with the Republican Party base, lawmakers in Congress and across the country have begun distancing themselves from him over his repeated claims that the 2020 election was “stolen” from him, among other remarks, which critics say fueled the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection.

"He's going to have a voice ... as former presidents do. But there's many voices in the party," Arkansas Gov. Asa HutchinsonAsa HutchinsonThe states taking steps to ban critical race theory Overnight Health Care: Biden asks intel community to 'redouble' efforts probing COVID-19 origins | Democrats announce plan to begin crafting public option insurance bill | Lawsuit challenges Arkansas abortion ban Advocacy groups sue Arkansas over abortion ban MORE (R) said last weekend, adding he would not support Trump should he run in 2024. "He should not define our future. We have got to define it for ourself."