Donald Trump, in “I’ll be back!” Mode

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For Donald Trump, the setting was perfect to make believe in a great comeback and once again express his rage against the Biden administration. The CPAC, Republican Conservatives’ annual high mass, held this year in Orlando, Florida, looked like a kind of group therapy and it was the former president who ended the three days of protests with a long speech on Sunday night. . His followers were waiting for him about a possible candidacy for 2024. They were not disappointed. “Who knows,” he noted after once again declaring that Joe Biden and the Democrats had not won the election, “maybe I’ll try to beat them a third time!”.

Donald Trump’s speech, to view here.

“United like never before!”

Donald Trump was able to confirm his influence within a party that struggles to hide its internal divisions. On ground conquered with the most conservative fringe of the GOP (Grand Old Party), he spoke with the same aggressiveness and vigor as during his campaign meetings, piling up untruths. “We are engaged in a struggle for the survival of America as we know it. We will be victorious and America stronger than ever! ”He said conqueringly. “We are not going to create a new party, we are not going to divide our power. We will be united and powerful like never before! ”, He added, while the party not only lost the White House, but also the majority in Congress. A few minutes earlier, the organizers of the CPAC had revealed the results of an internal poll: Donald Trump is the preferred candidate for 2024. But only 68% of participants want him to run for a new presidential term.

Mitch McConnell, the Republican leader in the Senate, is the best example of the unease running through the party. He declared Trump not guilty in his impeachment trial, while criticizing him harshly and damningly. Then he made it clear that he would not hesitate to re-elect him. Incomprehensible and difficult to follow? Mitch McConnell is looking to distance himself from his old friend who has become cumbersome, but he also knows that he cannot afford to alienate his most trumpet voters if he is to continue to play an important part in himself of the party. Hence its convolutions and its great deviations.

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Donald Trump left Washington for his private club in Mar-a-Lago, Florida, boycotting the swearing-in ceremony of his successor Joe Biden. He denounced a “stolen ballot”, “massive fraud” and was indicted for “incitement to insurgency” after the deadly attack on the Capitol on January 6. Although he came out cleared from his second impeachment trial, Donald Trump is not immune from difficulties. It could be the subject of legal actions at the federal level and in certain states. The Supreme Court, for example, last week, granted the transfer of its tax returns, as well as other financial documents, to a Manhattan prosecutor.

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If he had been found guilty by the Senate, Donald Trump could also have been subject to an ineligibility clause, which would have prevented him from running for a new presidential term. He escaped it and everything therefore remains within the realm of the possible. This is precisely the point on which the main interested party insists, without explicitly confirming that he will stand as a candidate. One way to keep the flame alive, to keep the suspense going and to assess the risks involved in such an adventure.

A dancing Roger Stone

His speech was eagerly awaited as it was his first real public speaking since leaving the White House. Among the speakers of the CPAC, were notably his eldest son Donald Trump Jr – who attacked Republicans head-on, including Liz Cheney, who attacked the ex-president – and Mike Pompeo, the former Secretary of State, remained one of his staunch allies. Mike Pence point on the other hand. The former vice-president had drawn the wrath of Donald Trump for not refusing to certify the victory of Joe Biden. Since then, he has been very discreet.

The Orlando Congress allowed many supporters of Donald Trump to display many gadgets in his image. In the center of the conference hall, there was also a large golden statue representing him with red flip-flops and a magic wand, the work of artist Tommy Zegan. As for Roger Stone, one of Trump’s former advisers, indicted in connection with the case of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and then pardoned by the president before leaving power, he was filmed wiggling in front of a pickup truck with Donald Trump painted huge, all arms out. Next to a rapper who asserts that “Trump has won”. The footage was shared widely on social media.