Donald Trump to address CPAC on future of Republican party

Former president Donald Trump will address the Conservative Political Action Conference, or CPAC, in Florida next week, about the future of the Republican party and the conservative movement, a source familiar with the plan told Reuters on Saturday.

The CPAC meeting will be held in Orlando, Florida from 25 to 28 February, with Trump speaking on the final day, Reuters reported.

Trump lost the presidency to Joe Biden, who beat him by 7m ballots and 306-232 in the electoral college. The former president has refused to accept that result but now lives at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida.

Last week he survived a second impeachment, for inciting the deadly insurrection at the US Capitol on 6 January, as part of his attempt to overturn his defeat.

Seven Republican senators voted to convict, 10 short of the figure needed but indicative of a party split between supporters of Trump and an establishment seeking to move on.

Polling shows that though thousands have left the party since the Capitol attack, a clear majority of those left support Trump and would vote for him if he entered the primary for the presidential nomination in 2024.

It was also reported this week that the former White House strategist Steve Bannon thought Trump was suffering from early onset dementia while in office.

Conservatives and CPAC attendees were slow to accept Trump when he first ran for office, leading him to withdraw from the event during the 2016 primaries. But he has come to dominate the event, offering red meat to a party base apparently entirely in his thrall.

“Do you remember I started running and people would say, ‘Are you sure he’s a conservative?’” he asked its audience in 2018. “I think now we’ve proved that I’m a conservative, right?”