Former President Donald Trump is expected to tell attendees at this week’s Conservative Political Action Conference that he’s still in charge, according to reports.
“Let’s just say that singing Kumbaya isn’t in the plans,” noted a commentary at RedState.
President Trump was invited to, and has made plans to address, the events.
It will be his most significant public statement since he left Washington last month. While the decisions by social media empires, such as Twitter and Facebook, to censor him played a role, there have been other channels available but he’s largely been silent, except for several interviews where he commented on the death last week of longtime conservative radio icon Rush Limbaugh.
Axios reported that it had obtained information about what President Trump will say from its sources.
And, the report said, he “plans to send the message next weekend that he is Republicans’ ‘presumptive 2024 nominee’ with a vise grip on the party’s base.”
Axios cited “top Trump allies” to reveal, “A longtime adviser called Trump’s speech a ‘show of force,’ and said the message will be: ‘I may not have Twitter or the Oval Office, but I’m still in charge.’”
The report said “payback” “is his chief obsession.”
And Axios reported it learned Trump advisers will meet with him at Mar-a-Lago this week to strategize his next moves, “and to set up the machinery for kingmaking in the 2022 midterms.”
Trump is expected to be influential in the 2022 midterms, and the report said he likely will push for primary challenges for those in the establishment GOP “who have crossed him.”
“Trump’s speech Sunday at CPAC in Orlando is designed to show that he controls the party, whether or not he runs in 2024,” the report said.
It’s true that many polls show huge support in the GOP for Trump, and even high numbers who say they would leave the GOP for a third party if it was set up by Trump.
“Trump effectively is the Republican Party,” Trump senior adviser Jason Miller said to 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.”
Those in the “grassroots” already have censured or otherwise punished, on a local and state level, those in the GOP who turned on Trump and voted for impeachment in the House, or to convict, in the Senate, where Trump was acquitted.
“Trump’s leadership PAC, Save America, has $75 million on hand, and he has a database of tens of millions of names,” the report said. “Many Trump confidants think he’ll pretend to run but ultimately pass. He knows the possibility — or threat — gives him leverage and attention.”
The report said Trump also is expected to explain to CPAC how many of his warnings about a presidency of Joe Biden already have come true.
RedState said the revelations are not a surprise.
“He’s long positioned himself as a fierce anti-establishment figure, and there was no chance that he was going to sit idly by after 2020 and not try to influence matters going forward. How deep that will go, i.e. will he run in 2024, has yet to be determined. What is clear is that he is going to use the presumption that he will be the 2024 nominee if he wants to be to force his will on any number of Republican politicians that he disapproves of.”
The report continued, “What we can be ensured of is that Trump’s speech will be a fiery indictment of ‘the swamp.’ He’s not going to just disappear. Party leadership can recognize that and figure out a way to work together, or the party itself can crumble. Whether McConnell, Cheney, etc. think it’s fair or not, Trump and the power he wields with Republican voters will have an effect going forward.”
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