Subscribe to Here’s the Deal, our politics newsletter for analysis you won’t find anywhere else.
Thank you. Please check your inbox to confirm.
Former President Donald Trump on Sunday delivered his first speech since leaving office more than a month ago. He was centerstage at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Florida, where he took aim at Republicans who voted for this impeachment. White House correspondent Yamiche Alcindor reports.
Former President Trump might be out of office, but he still takes center stage in the Republican Party.
In a moment, Amna Nawaz talks with our Politics Monday.
Yamiche Alcindor begins with this report.
Former President Donald Trump back in the spotlight and eager to take charge of the GOP.
Do you miss me yet? Do you miss me yet?
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
Despite his election loss, he made clear that he wants to play a major role in the future of the party.
We have the Republican Party. It's going to unite and be stronger than ever before.
I am not starting a new party. That was fake news.
He also wasted no time going after President Biden.
We have gone from America first to America last.
Trump's path forward for the Republican Party is familiar. It's culture wars and railing against President Biden's immigration plans and other policies.
Trump made no mention of the violent mob of his supporters that just weeks ago attacked the U.S. Capitol. Rioters tried to block the certification of Joe Biden as president and threatened to hang former Vice President Mike Pence.
Five people died in the attack, including a police officer. Despite all that, Trump repeated the lie that stirred the attack. He falsely claimed that he won the 2020 election and teased another run in 2024.
But who knows. Who knows. I may even decide to beat them for a third time. OK? Beat them for a third time.
For more than half of conference attendees, Trump remains their top choice for a 2024 GOP candidate.
But while he said he wanted to unify the party, Trump also targeted the Republican lawmakers who voted to impeach him for inciting the Capitol insurrection.
Mitt Romney, little Ben Sasse, Richard Burr, Bill Cassidy, Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski, Pat Toomey, and of course, the warmonger, a person that loves seeing our troops fighting, Liz Cheney. How about that?
The good news is, in her state, she's been censured. Get rid of them all.
At the conference, in another sign of his support with the party's base, attendees flocked around a golden statue of Trump to take pictures.
So, we believe that Trump, yes, is the heart and soul of the GOP. And they can't ignore him.
Meanwhile, several Republicans have pushed back, including Louisiana Senator Bill Cassidy.
Sen. Bill Cassidy:
But, if we idolize one person, we will lose, and that's kind of clear from the last election.
Rep. Adam Kinzinger:
This president has done nothing but reflect people's darkness back to them, reflect their fears back to them.
And Illinois Congressman Adam Kinzinger.
What you could see at that speech yesterday was recycling old talking points, just stream of consciousness. And I think it's obvious there's no vision from Donald Trump.
Both men voted to impeach Trump the second time, and both have been censured by local Republican parties in their states.
For the "PBS NewsHour," I'm Yamiche Alcindor.
Watch the Full Episode
Yamiche Alcindor is the White House correspondent for the PBS NewsHour; the moderator of Washington Week, the weekly public affairs show on PBS; and a political contributor for NBC News and MSNBC. She often tells stories about the intersection of race and politics as well as fatal police encounters. She is currently covering the administration of President Joe Biden and the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
Support Provided By:
Additional Support Provided By: