Former US president Donald Trump has made a bold claim about his popularity despite losing the presidential election to Joe Biden, who received the highest number of votes in history.
In his first photo taken since leaving the White House, Trump was captured smiling next to House of Representatives Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy on Thursday (local time).
The duo were snapped together at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago beach club in West Palm Beach, Florida, where they reportedly held a meeting.
During the event, Trump reportedly claimed his popularity “has never been stronger than it is today”.
The details of the meeting were released by Trump’s new office, which announced the former president had “agreed to work with Leader McCarthy on helping the Republican Party to become a majority in the House”.
The House of Representatives is currently made up of 221 Democrats, who hold majority over 211 Republicans, with Trump also widely blamed for the loss of the Republican majority in the Senate.
The Democratic single vote majority means Vice President Kamala Harris would have the deciding vote in the event of a deadlock.
Trump opens new office in Florida
Since departing the White House, Trump has opened an office in Florida that will handle his duties as a former US president and seek to further his administration's agenda.
“The Office will be responsible for managing President Trump's correspondence, public statements, appearances, and official activities to advance the interests of the United States and to carry on the agenda of the Trump Administration through advocacy, organising, and public activism,” a statement from the Office of the Former President said.
The announcement came on the same day the House of Representatives delivered to the Senate an impeachment article charging Trump with inciting insurrection in a speech to supporters before the deadly attack on the Capitol on January 6.
The Senate trial is expected to start on February 9.
Trump was also banned from several social media platforms for his role in the horrific riots including Facebook, Twitter, Google-owned YouTube and Snapchat.
In farewell remarks on his last day as president last Wednesday, Trump told supporters: "We will be back in some form".
Until Thursday, Trump had made no public appearances since flying that day to his Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida.
Before leaving office, Trump talked with associates about forming a political party called the Patriot Party, the Wall Street Journal reported.
He also pursued unsuccessful legal challenges to overturn his November 3 election loss to Democrat Joe Biden, falsely claiming there had been widespread electoral fraud.
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