“Do you miss me yet?” Trump asked an adoring crowd at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Orlando, Florida, at the start of his first political speech since leaving the White House. He then went on to demonstrate his hold on the party by publicly naming 17 Republican lawmakers — seven Senators and ten Representatives — who voted to impeach him, and demanding they be purged from the party.
“We’re not starting new parties. We have the Republican Party…Wouldn’t that be brilliant? Let’s start a new party, let’s divide our vote, so you can never win. No we’re not interested in that,” he told the cheering crowd, while teasing them about a third run for the White House.
“With your help we will take back the House, we will win the Senate, and then a Republican president will make a triumphant return to the White House. And I wonder who that will be…who, who, who will that be? I wonder,” Trump said in the strongest indication that he will run again in 2024.
In a 90-minute speech, Trump continued to ply lies about having won the 2020 election that he lost decisively, telling his supporters, “Actually, as you know, they (the Democratic Party) just lost the White House. But who knows, I might even decide to beat them for a third time.”
As expected, he lit into his successor, alleging Joe Biden had “the most disastrous first month of any president in modern history.” He also attacked the US Supreme Court, blaming it for not overturning the election in his favor, and lamenting, “they didn’t have the courage, the Supreme Court…they should be ashamed of themselves for what they’ve done to our country.”
The former President, who has also been kicked off social media platforms, lashed out at Big Tech, accusing it of suppressing free speech and demanding action to rein them in.
“All of the election integrity measures in the world will mean nothing if we don’t have free speech. If Republicans can be censored for speaking the truth and calling out corruption, we will not have democracy and we will only have left-wing tyranny,” he said, calling for breaking up big tech monopolies.
Trump also railed at his successor for rejoining the “very unfair” Paris Agreement, while plying the familiar bogus claim that countries such as China and India re bigger polluters than the United States.
“What good does it do when when we’re clean, but China is not and Russia is not and India is not. So they are pouring fumes, you know the world is actually a small piece of the universe, right?” Trump rambled to his rapturous nativist followers who greeted him like a messiah. Measured per capita, the US by far is the world’s biggest polluter.