Former President Donald Trump was greeted by wild supporters ahead of a rambling speech in Orlando, Florida (Picture: AP)
Donald Trump has yet again insisted he won the 2020 Presidential election, in his first speech since leaving White House.
Five months after being comfortably beaten by Joe Biden, Mr Trump repeated his baseless allegations of fraud to raucous supporters in Florida, as he hinted that he could run for President again in 2024.
There was also controversy around the symbolism on stage, which drew comparisons with a Norse rune used in Nazi Germany.
The former President warned of a ‘struggle’ for America’s very survival as he fired up an enthusiastic crowd at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Orlando on Sunday.
In his first keynote speech since his term ended on January 20, Mr Trump slated Republicans who voted against him in the latest impeachment proceedings, which came after his supporters stormed the US Capitol building in chaotic scenes that left five people dead. The former President was acquitted.
But the 74-year-old did not confirm a run for the Presidency at the next election, which could be a rematch between himself and the new President, Democrat Joe Biden.
Instead, he said to a raucous crowd: ‘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 knows? I may even decide to beat them for a third time, OK?’
Banned from Twitter and other social media sites, Mr Trump has maintained a relatively low post-presidential profile at his Mar-a-Lago resort.
At CPAC, he walked on stage to revel in a lengthy standing ovation by cheering loyalists, the vast majority of whom were not wearing masks despite the coronavirus pandemic.
Some noted that the stage resembled an othala rune used by the Nazi SS.
A photo of the stage went viral on social media, with thousands of Twitter users sharing posts comparing its distinctive design to the rune, one of many ancient European symbols that Nazis adopted to ‘reconstruct a mythic “Aryan” past,’ according to the Anti-Defamation League.
Hyatt Hotels Corp called all symbols of hate ‘abhorrent’ and said all aspects of conference logistics, including the stage design, were managed by the American Conservative Union, which organised the event.
Mr Trump told supporters: ‘We’re in a struggle for the survival of America as we know it. This is a terrible, terrible, painful struggle.’
But he said the ‘incredible’ populist movement that propelled him to victory four plus years ago is just beginning, ‘and in the end, we will win.’
He also promised not to make a new party and called for Republican unity, amid rumours of a break away ‘Trumpian’ organisation forming.
It comes amid growing in fighting between Pro-Trump and establishment figures in the right-wing party.
Mr Trump kissed the American flag as he arrives on stage to address the Conservative Political Action Conference (Picture: Getty Images)
Mr Trump also took aim at his successor Mr Biden, saying the Democrat had concluded a ‘disastrous’ first month in office.
In an characteristically unstructured 90-minute speech, he attacked immigrants, slammed ‘cancel culture’ criticized Biden policies on climate change and energy, and criticised Republicans he feels betrayed him – suggesting that he will seek to help oust them in upcoming elections.
He called out by name the 10 Republicans who voted to impeach him in the House of Representatives, and the seven Republicans who voted unsuccessfully to convict him in the Senate.
‘Get rid of them all,’ he seethed, while the crowd jeered.
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