Former President Donald Trump will proclaim that he is still in charge of the Republican Party and is its “presumptive 2024 nominee” when he makes his first public appearance at a conservative conference next weekend in Orlando, according to a report on Monday.
Trump’s keynote address at the Conservative Political Action Committee conference next Sunday will be a “show of force,” and he will remind Republicans that he still has control of the bully pulpit even if he’s not in the White House, Axios reported.
“I may not have Twitter or the Oval Office, but I’m still in charge,” will be Trump’s message to the group, the website reported, citing a longtime adviser.
The former president, who has been hosting Republican lawmakers at Mar-a-Lago, will huddle this week with advisers on his political future with an eye toward becoming a kingmaker in the 2022 elections.
Senior adviser Jason Miller said Trump intends to remain a force among Republicans.
“Trump effectively is the Republican Party,” Miller told Axios. “The only chasm is between Beltway insiders and grassroots Republicans around the country. When you attack President Trump, you’re attacking the Republican grassroots.”
Trump is also expected to pay back the 10 House Republicans who voted to convict him in his impeachment trial and the seven GOP Senators who voted with Democrats to convict.
Earlier this month, Trump tore into Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, calling him an “unsmiling political hack” who should be booted from office.
McConnell voted to acquit Trump, but then blamed Trump for being “practically and morally responsible” for the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.
Trump has found support from state Republican officials who censured some members of Congress who voted against him, and he retains a database of millions of names from his campaigns and as much as $75 million in his PAC he can shower on candidates he recruits to challenge sitting Republicans in primary elections.
And a poll released Sunday shows that 46 percent of Republican voters said they would leave the party if Trump decides to create his own.
An indication of how strong Trump’s support is within the GOP, 80 percent in the USA Today/Suffolk University poll said they would not back a candidate who voted against the former president.