Donald Trump speaks at the RNC’s spring donor retreat, during an event that was moved to Mar-a-Lago in exchange for his involvement.
During his speech, Trump goes off script, adds a new little lie to “the Big Lie” that the election was stolen, and takes shots at some of his critics and Republican detractors. The list includes Oprah Winfrey, Nancy Pelosi, “Barack Hussein Obama,” Dr. Anthony Fauci, Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp, and Sen. Mitch McConnell, who has said he plans to never speak to Trump again.
Mr. Trump quickly cast aside his prepared remarks and returned to his false claims that the election was stolen from him. He referenced “Zuckerberg” and $500 million spent on a “lockbox” from which, he said, every vote was marked, according to remarks described by an attendee. “Biden. Saintly Joe Biden,” he said….
He saved much of his vitriol for Senator Mitch McConnell, the minority leader, calling him a “dumb son of a bitch” and a “stone cold loser,’’ according to the attendee. A “real leader,” he said, would never have accepted the results of that election.The New York Times
“If that were Schumer instead of this dumb son of a bitch Mitch McConnell they would never allow it to happen. They would have fought it,” he said of election certifying on Jan. 6, the day his supporters led an insurrection on the Capitol to block Joe Biden’s formal victory…
He falsely claimed that he won the Senate election for McConnell in Kentucky and attacked his wife, Elaine Chao, who served as Trump’s transportation secretary.
“I hired his wife. Did he ever say thank you?” Trump said. He then mocked Chao for resigning in response to the Jan. 6 events and Trump’s behavior that day.The Washington Post
Trump also laments that former Vice President Mike Pence didn’t do enough to overturn the election, but he never says the one thing that the audience hopes to hear: that he’s running again in 2024. Attendees reportedly duck out of his speech early.
We know that his remarks weren’t planned because media outlets received a copy of the official speech before the event.
In the prepared text for Trump’s retreat address, the former president was set to talk to his adoring crowd about “ridiculous woke corporations,” Biden’s supposedly “AMERICA LAST” policy agenda, and “critical race theory,” among other topics.The Daily Beast
He spoke for about an hour, according to an attendee, and bragged that he had tossed his prepared and “boring” speech, the attendee said. “Bullshit,” he said about the election, before polling the room of Republican donors on whether they believed he won.The Washington Post
According to an adviser speaking to The New York Times, Trump’s current and future statements are not mere suggestions of the direction the RNC should take; they hold enough power to be perceived as threats. The adviser says Trump’s Save America PAC has $85 million available to spend on upcoming elections. The RNC, which has led the party since the 1850s, has $84 million.
RNC member Bill Palatucci says keeping the committee’s power without becoming an arm of the former president “is a difficult balancing act.”
A full video of Trump’s speech is not available online. The claims above are based on comments from people who attended the event.
Some known attendees include Sen. Lindsey Graham, Sen. Ron Johnson, Sen. Marco Rubio, Rep. Kevin McCarthy, Mike Pompeo, RNC chairwoman Ronna McDaniel, Anna Paulina Luna, Kimberly Klacik, Catalina Lauf, and Rob Smith.
Over the weekend, three other Republican events were held at Trump properties. The Conservative Partnership Institute held an “investors meeting” at Mar-a-Lago on Thursday and Friday. Trump spoke to attendees at the event on Thursday. (CPI recently employed Mark Meadows. Top executives are members of the Council for National Policy.)
Trump appeared before a Mar-a-Lago audience again on Friday, at a fundraiser for Arkansas gubernatorial candidate and former White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders. Former Rep. Mark Walker, Mercedes Schlapp, Darlene Swaffar, Melissa Martz, Dr. Gina Gentry Loudon, Dr. Leo Valentin, Mary Zink, and Martha Boneta were also in attendance.
Rep. Vernon Jones, Trump social media director Dan Scavino, and Benny Johnson were also at Mar-a-Lago on Friday, but it’s unclear if they attended the Sanders event, the CPI event, or both.
From Thursday through Sunday, Amy Kremer’s Women for America First (a former CNP group) and the America First Foundation is hosting a “Save America Summit” at Trump National Doral in Miami. Russian propaganda agent Jack Posobiec and accused child sex trafficker Matt Gaetz spoke at the event on Saturday.
At the time of this writing, other known speakers and attendees include Sen. Rand Paul, former Trump spokesperson Katrina Pierson, Rep. Kat Cammack, Rep. Byron Donalds, Chris Barron (America First Foundation / Right Turn Strategies), Nick Searcy, Bettina Viviano, and Landon Starbuck.
Note: Not all of the people named in this post are significant. We include them in case they become significant in the future.
The Washington Post (Archived)
Twitter: Mark Walker, Sarah Sanders, Mercedes Schlapp
Twitter: Anna Paulina Luna, Kimberly Klacik, Rob Smith, Catalina Lauf
Twitter: Dan Scavino, Benny Johnson
Photo: Alan Santos/PR – Not from the event