The room was packed at CPAC when former President Donald Trump took the stage to riotous applause. Trump has kept a hold on the Republican party since leaving office in January 2020, continuing to drive the philosophy and ethos of the conservative movement.
Trump has been an outspoken critic of President Joe Biden, and has spoken in scathing terms about his policies for America both domestically and internationally. He recently launched a new social media company, Truth Social, which has an extensive waiting list as it slowly rolls out.
The ballroom at the Rosen Shingle Creek, in Orlando, Fla. began filling up hours before Trump spoke as fans and supporters crowded in for what was essentially a Trump rally at the nation's largest conference for conservative culture and policy. Trump is more than a politician, but a social phenomenon whose popular support still frustrates and confuses mainstream media, while the pro-Trump contingent presses for him to run for a second term in 2024.
"USA USA USA," the crowd chanted as Trump spoke to the crowd.
Trump said that the conservative movement is "strong, and growing stronger every day. The radical left is exposed and they're weak and their pathetic policies have been out there long enough now," he said, that Americans in the GOP will never be swayed.
"We are a sleeping giant," he said, speaking to America's adversaries, such as Russia and China. "They're going to find out the hard way starting on November 8, and then even more so on November 2024, they will find out like never before. "
"We did it twice and we will do it again, we're going to do it again, a third time," he said. "2022 will be the year that millions of every day citizens stand up to the leftwing fascists, and they will continue and we will all continue together to make America great again."
"We can build it back again quickly and even better than before," Trump said. He slammed leftist policies, and defended his own ideas, plans for voter ID, renewed promises to "build the wall" along the US-Mexico border. He spoke against cancel culture and far leftist policies that are pushing America in what Trump and his supporters believe is the absolute wrong direction.
"The drugs pouring in, the human trafficking will stop, and we will again save our country from destruction."
Trump praised the CPAC organizers, as well as politicians with the GOP who were at the convention, apologizing for missing those he said he would inevitably leave out. Senator John Kennedy, once mentioned, received a major round of applause and cheers, to which Trump replied "wow, you're popular."
Trump slammed Adam Schiff, California's legislator who went after Trump mercilessly over a phone call Trump had with Ukrainian president Zelensky about an investigation into Biden's pressure on the Ukrainian government to fire a key prosecutor looking into the Burisma energy company.
"He's a brave man, he's hanging in, he's a brave man," Trump said of Zelensky.
Trump said that American heritage is in peril, and that it's fragile thing, before praising his own presidency "I think I did a great job." The crowd erupted in a chant of "four more years."
"The importance of the president when I look at what's happening in our country today... but just a wrong word, or a yarn, or going to sleep very early like at 4 o'clock, it's just such an important, so important, psychologically so important for our country," he said.
"You have to portray a strength to the outside world otherwise they're going to walk all over you and that's what they're doing now." He said even the worst five presidents combined have not had the same negative impact as 13 months of the Biden administration.
"The country has lost its self-confidence," he said, noting the damage that this has done. Energy independence, secure borders, and a strong military are essential elements to ensure peace in the US, Trump said, noting that instead of all that there is inflation, increased gas prices, ruptured and slow supply chains, increased crime, intensive illegal immigration, and "a radical left zealot has been nominate to the Supreme Court of the United States."
"Our great military has been humiliated" by the departure from Afghanistan, and he had intense concern for the war in Europe.
Biden, he said, has reversed all the gains made during the Trump administration. He called the attack on Ukraine an "atrocity" that "never would have been allowed to occur" under his own presidency.
"As everyone understands, this horrific disaster would never have happened if our election were not rigged and I had been the president." Trump explained that under the other presidents during the 21st century, Russia invaded another country.
"I remain the only president in the 21st century under whom Russia did not invade another country," Trump said, as chants of "USA" erupted again.
"We always very simply put America first, is the answer," Trump said. Peace in the Middle East, peace in Europe, China realizing they could not take advantage of the US, were all among the accomplishments Trump listed of his presidency.
"Under our administration, Russia respected America just like every other country respected America, and they really respected us alot. And now Joe Biden is seen as a week, and I hate to say it," he said, because he wants Biden to do well.
This lack of confidence in the current president has created chaos, Trump said. Trump believes that Putin made the decision to invade Ukraine after America's horrifying withdrawal from Afghanistan.
He spoke to recent comments he'd made, when he said that Putin is "smart," saying that "of course he's smart," but that this doesn't make him right, it just makes him a serious adversary.
Trump slammed the sanctions issued by allied nations against Russia, saying that this is a weak response. "The real problem is that our leaders are dumb. Dumb, so dumb," he said, "and they so far allowed him to get away with this travesty, this assault on humanity," he said.
"Putin is playing Biden like a drum," Trump said.
Trump said "it would have been so easy for me to stop this travesty from happening," promising to one day tell Americans what he spoke to Putin about.
Energy independence, Trump said, is key for American integrity. And he slammed Biden's efforts in attacking Americans. "Unbelievable Biden is now claiming that you just sacrifice with higher energy prices" to foot the bill for his failed foreign policy.
"We have a world that's ready to disintegrate over energy and he's talking about global warming," Trump said, pressing for nuclear energy.
Environmental concerns pale in comparison for the need for energy independence, Trump said.
"With Biden you get a war in Europe and a war on energy, with Republicans you get energy independence and energy dominance," Trump said.
"We will claim our status" as the biggest energy power on the face of the Earth, Trump said.
"We should not be buying Russian energy," he said, "but should allow the people of our country to start producing the way they were a year ago."
This is a breaking story and will be updated.