Former President Trump will use his Sunday speech at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) to attack his successor President Biden and tease a potential 2024 White House bid, a person familiar with speech confirmed to The Hill on Wednesday.
The speech will mark Trump’s first major appearance on the political stage since leaving Washington on Jan. 20. He’s kept a relatively low profile at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida since then, breaking his silence only occasionally during and after his impeachment trial in the Senate.
But when he takes the stage at CPAC on Sunday, the former president is poised to deliver a scathing rebuke of Biden’s first five weeks in the White House, criticizing his successor’s handling of immigration policy and his posture toward China, among other things.
The content of the speech was first reported on Wednesday by Fox News.
Trump isn’t expected to make an announcement yet on a potential political comeback in 2024, though according to Fox News he is planning to walk “right up to the line of announcing another campaign.”
CPAC, which begins Thursday in Orlando, Fla., will mark something of a political reemergence for the former president, who has found himself cut off from Facebook and his preferred social media platform Twitter for more than a month over his spreading of misinformation around the 2020 election.
But Trump has already indicated that he plans to remain a force in Republican politics.
After Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) blamed him earlier this month for inciting a mob of his supporters to storm Capitol on Jan. 6, Trump hammered the Kentucky Republican and vowed to support primary challengers to GOP incumbents whom he views as more loyal to him.
The former president broke nearly a month of media silence last week when he gave a series of interviews praising conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh after his death. In those interviews, he also alluded to his previous claims of fraud in the November election, unfounded allegations that were a key aspect of his impeachment.
He has also remained in touch with advisers and political allies, including House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), who met with Trump at Mar-a-Lago late last month.
The looming possibility of another White House bid by the former president, however, has put other prospective GOP 2024 contenders, who are hoping to piggyback on Trump’s base of support, in a bind. Several of them, including Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and Sens. Rick Scott (Fla.) and Josh Hawley (Mo.), are also set to speak at CPAC in the coming days.