'Far from over': Donald Trump drops major hint about future

·Associate News Editor
·3-min read

Former US president Donald Trump has hinted he could run for presidency in 2024 in his first public speech since his turbulent four years in office.

Addressing a raucous crowd at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Florida on Sunday (local time), Mr Trump ruled out starting his own party, branding such speculation as "fake news".

Yet he gave his supporters hope he could return again as a Republican candidate.

Former president Donald Trump speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) on February 28, 2021.
Donald Trump's supporters lapped up the former president's speech. Source: AP

"We have the Republican Party. It's going to be united and be stronger than ever before... who knows, I may even decide to beat them for a third time," he said, again refusing to accept defeat in last year's election in what eventually turned out to be a comfortable election victory for President Joe Biden.

"Our movement of proud, hard-working American patriots is just getting started, and in the end we will win. We will win," Mr Trump said.

"I stand before you today to declare that the incredible journey we began together four years ago is far from over."

His speech was overwhelmingly welcomed by the vocal crowd, who repeatedly expressed their support, telling Trump he won the election and that they loved him.

Mr Trump's tumultuous final weeks in office saw his supporters launch a deadly attack on the US Capitol on January 6 in an attempt to block Congress from certifying Biden's election victory, a win that the former president falsely claimed was tainted by widespread fraud.

A civil war erupted within the Republican Party with establishment figures like Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell eager to put Mr Trump in the rearview mirror and others, like former president ally Senator Lindsey Graham, believing the party's future depends on the energy of the pro-Trump conservative base.

The results of a straw poll of CPAC conference participants gave Mr Trump a strong show of support with 55 per cent saying they would vote for him in the 2024 Republican presidential nomination race. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis came in second place with 21 per cent.

Trump slams Biden's 'worst beginning'

Starting his speech more than an hour late, Mr Trump said he wanted to save the culture and identity of the United States.

He sought to position himself as the lead critic of the new president, including on immigration and security along the US border with Mexico, and the slow reopening of schools closed due to the pandemic.

"Joe Biden has had the most disastrous first month of any president in modern history," Mr Trump said.

Recent polls have given Biden a job approval rating well past 50 per cent, a strong showing from Americans.

The Biden White House has made it clear it plans to ignore Mr Trump's speech.

"Our focus is certainly not on what President Trump is saying" at CPAC, White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki told reporters last week.

Marcia English, center, leads a group of former President Donald Trump supporters in a song outside the convention center at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) Sunday, Feb. 28, 2021, in Orlando, Fla. Less than six weeks after leaving office, Trump will deliver the closing speech at the conservative conference Sunday as he reasserts himself on the national stage and makes clear he intends to remain a dominant force within the Republican Party.  (AP Photo/John Raoux)(AP Photo/John Raoux)
Trump supporters outside the conference. Source: AP

With Reuters

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