Edited by: Fern Sidman
Former President Donald Trump will be making his first post-presidential appearance at a conservative gathering in Florida next weekend, according to an AP report.
Ian Walters, spokesman for the American Conservative Union, confirmed that Trump will be speaking at the group’s annual Conservative Political Action Conference on February 28th.
AP reported that Trump is expected to use the speech to talk about the future of the Republican Party and the conservative moment, as well as to criticize President Joe Biden’s efforts to undo his immigration policies, according to a person who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the plans.
CPAC is being held this year in Orlando, Florida, and will feature a slew of former Trump administration officials and others who represent his wing of the GOP, including former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem, according to the CNN report.
CNN reported that Vice President Mike Pence declined an invitation to speak at the conference, according to sources familiar with the matter.
One source said organizers still hope to change Pence’s mind about attending, while another source said Pence is planning to stay under the radar for the next six months, according to the CNN report. Politico first reported that Pence declined the invitation.
Tensions between Trump and Pence emerged on January 6th when Trump tweeted that Pence lacked the “courage” to oppose Congressional certification of the Biden victory. Trump also did not even inquire about Pence’s well being when word reached the White House that rioters stormed the building and began chanting that Biden should be hanged for treason.
“We accept Joe Biden is the duly elected president of the United States,” former Pence chief of staff Marc Short told CNN’s Pamela Brown on “Newsroom” Saturday evening, and unlike Trump, Pence attended Biden’s inauguration in Washington, DC, last month — after skipping Trump’s farewell ceremony, as was reported by CNN.
Short said Saturday that Trump and Pence “departed amicably” and that they’ve spoken since.
The source familiar with Trump’s plans to attend CPAC, who is also familiar with the former President’s speech, told CNN on Saturday that “he’ll be talking about the future of the Republican Party and the conservative movement.”
“Also look for the 45th President to take on President Biden’s disastrous amnesty and border policies,” the source added.
The speaking engagement would mark Trump’s first public appearance following his departure from the White House last month and comes as senior Republicans are split over how to treat the former President, with his loyalists paying him visits recently in Florida, as was reported by AP.
One of Trump’s campaign managers, Brad Parscale, met with the former President at his club in Mar-a-Lago this week for a lengthy meeting, according to a source.
Trump has been keeping a relatively low profile since he retired from the White House to Palm Beach, Florida, in January, but reemerged last week to conduct a series of phone-in interviews to commemorate the death of conservative commentator Rush Limbaugh, according to the AP report.
Trump has a long history with CPAC, which played a key role in his emergence as a political force, as was reported by AP.
Throngs of media outlets from across the country and around the world will be covering the CPAC confab. This year, as in years past, the Jewish Voice, one of the nation’s largest Jewish newspapers will be providing live, on the scene coverage for the entire four days of the conference. A source close to the Jewish Voice said, “This year, way more extensive coverage of al l speakers and events will be provided to readers of the Jewish Voice daily e-mail blast as well as the print edition, the social media platforms and the web site.”