Feb. 28 (UPI) -- Former President Donald Trump hinted at another run for president in 2024 in his first speech since leaving office to close out the Conservative Political Action Conference on Sunday from Orlando, Fla.
Trump continued to falsely claim that he defeated President Joe Biden in the 2020 presidential election and suggested that he "may even decide to beat them for a third time" while stopping short of officially declaring plans to run.
"I stand before you today to declare that the incredible journey we began together four years ago is far from over," he said. "We are gathered this afternoon to talk about the future -- the future of our movement, the future of our party, and the future of our beloved country."
Throughout the duration of his speech, Trump hit many popular talking points commonly heard at his "Make America Great Again" rallies throughout his presidency boasting about economic windfalls during his presidency and lodging harsh and often mocking criticism at Democrats.
On Sunday Trump also took aim at many members of the Republican party who sought to distance themselves from the former president especially in the wake of the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol. Trump mentioned all seven of the GOP lawmakers who voted to convict him in the Senate trial which charged him with inciting an insurrection in a rally that morning as he condemned them for turning their ire on him instead of Democrats.
Trump's public presence had been curtailed by the fact that he was banned from most major social media platforms in the aftermath of the Capitol riot but earlier this month he delivered a 600-word letter rebuking Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell as "a dour, sullen and unsmiling political hack" after McConnell blamed the former president for engineering "the campaign of disinformation and rage that provoked" the attack, despite voting to acquit him.
Despite his criticism of the GOP, Trump plainly dismissed speculation that he would break away and form his own party during his speech on Sunday.
"I am not starting a new party," he said. "That was fake news. Fake news, no. Wouldn't that be brilliant? Let's start a new party and let's divide our vote so that you can never win. No, we're not interested in that."
Trump added that he will be "actively working to elect strong, tough and smart Republican leaders."
"The Republican Party is united," he said. "The only division is between a handful of Washington D.C., establishment political hacks and everybody else all over the country."