Flirting with a return to the White House, Trump returns to the stands

File photo of former US President Donald Trump in Washisngton on April 7, 2020. – MANDEL NGAN / AFP

He is back. Banned from social networks but still as influential among Republicans, Donald Trump finds this Saturday evening an audience conquered for his first speech in months, flirting more than ever with a new candidacy for the American presidential election of 2024.

The former president has regained his taste for one-upmanship to announce this speech in front of the convention of the Republicans of North Carolina, a state which voted twice for him in 2016 and 2020: “It seems that the places will be full, all records broken! “, He wrote in a statement Friday.

First major public speech since February

The event will take place in Greenville, in the southeastern United States, sold out, with some 1,250 tickets sold according to the organizers. Much less than the thousands who flocked to his famous campaign rallies, but expectations remain high for his first major public speech since February. If he has not officially announced it, the 74-year-old billionaire openly cares about the idea of ​​a new candidacy in November 2024. And all his statements are scrutinized.

Still very popular with Republican voters, he is admittedly deprived of social networks but he is far from being silent. Posing as the maker of kings, Donald Trump distributes, through daily press releases, his electoral support to candidates of his party … and his vitriolic criticisms of his enemies. Few Republicans have dared to break with him, despite the violent assault on Capitol Hill by his supporters on January 6 and his unfounded allegations of massive electoral fraud during the November 2020 presidential election.

Because many still see it as a precious asset for the campaign for the parliamentary elections of the “midterms” of November 2022, during which the Republicans hope to regain control of Congress. An unprecedented influence for an American president who was defeated after a single term. This tribune could also resume in the coming months the major electoral meetings that he is so fond of.

The next time “

For many Republicans, the “midterm” campaign message should center on criticism of the policies pursued by his Democratic successor, Joe Biden. But Donald Trump does not seem ready to let go of his theory, yet repeatedly dismantled by the courts, that the 2020 election was stolen from him. And he will undoubtedly come back to the subject on Saturday evening. He also planned to criticize, according to the New York Times, White House medical adviser Anthony Fauci and the Biden administration.

Almost five months after leaving the presidency, now based in his Bedminster golf club, near New York, the billionaire has still not explicitly acknowledged his defeat. And see you back in the Oval Office. Provocative, he released on Friday that “the next time” he would be at the White House, he would not invite Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg to dinner, outraged at having been suspended on the social network for two years .

“Insult” to his constituents

The former president will only be able to return to Facebook when the “risks to the safety of the public have disappeared,” announced the platform, which had temporarily excluded him on January 7 for having encouraged his supporters during the violent attack on Capitol the day before. An unprecedented decision. And an “insult” to his more than 74 million voters in November 2020, denounced the Republican, also banned from Twitter. Joe Biden had meanwhile collected more than 81 million votes.

Accused by the House of Representatives of “incitement to insurgency” in the murderous assault on Capitol Hill, Donald Trump was acquitted by the Senate in February after a second impeachment trial, for lack of sufficient votes on the Republican side .