Trump rules out starting a new party: 'Fake news'

Former President TrumpDonald TrumpJan. 6 committee chair says panel will issue a 'good number' of additional subpoenas Overnight Defense & National Security — Presented by AM General — Pentagon officials prepare for grilling Biden nominates head of Africa CDC to lead global AIDS response MORE ruled out the possibility of forming a new political party during his address to the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) on Sunday.

In his speech, the former president lambasted the media for reports that he was in discussions with advisers about possibly forming a new political party. According to The Wall Street Journal in January, Trump floated calling such a party the "Patriot Party."

"You know, they kept saying, 'he's going to start a brand new party,'" Trump said, before adding: "That was fake news. Fake News."

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"We have the Republican Party. It's going to unite and be stronger than ever before. I am not starting a new party," he continued.

The former president indicated that forming a new party would divide the GOP electorate as the party seeks to reclaim majorities in the House and Senate.

"Wouldn't that be brilliant? Let's start a new party and let's divide our vote, so that you can never win. No, we're not interested in that," Trump said.

The former president's speech is his first major public address since his departure from the White House, and comes amid continued unsubstantiated claims that he was the legitimate victor of the 2020 election. That view was echoed onstage at CPAC Sunday by the CEO of Goya Foods, Robert Unanue, who addressed the crowd just hours before Trump's speech.

"My biggest honor today is gonna be that...I think we're gonna be on the same stage...as, in my opinion, the real, the legitimate, and the still actual president of the United States, Donald J. Trump," Unanue said.

Speculation has roiled the GOP over the past several weeks as to whether Trump will run for office again in 2024.

Sen. Bill CassidyBill CassidyThis week: Democrats hit make-or-break moment for Biden GOP warns McConnell won't blink on debt cliff House passes bill to prevent shutdown and suspend debt limit MORE (R-La.), who voted to convict Trump in his second impeachment trial, said Sunday that he doesn't believe Trump will be his party's nominee even as Trump was the clear winner in CPAC's straw poll and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellFord to bolster electric vehicle production in multi-billion dollar push On The Money — GOP blocks spending bill to kick off chaotic week in congress Overnight Health Care — Presented by Alrtia — Booster shots get bipartisan rollout MORE (R-Ky.) said days earlier that he would support Trump should he win the nomination.