Trump to attend private RNC donor retreat
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 McConnell (R-Ky.) and going on Fox News and other friendly outlets to commemorate conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh after his death.
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 McCarthy (R-Calif.) and Sen. Lindsey Graham (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.
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 Biden’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 Noem of South Dakota and Ron DeSantis of Florida, former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Sens. Ted Cruz (Texas), Josh Hawley (Mo.), Rick Scott (Fla.) and Tom Cotton (Ark.).
RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel 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 Hutchinson (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.”
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