Trump to make Saturday speech amid reports of summer rallies

Former US president to speak at North Carolina Republican Party convention

Last month Facebook announced it was maintaining its ban on Donald Trump.  File photograph: Getty

Last month Facebook announced it was maintaining its ban on Donald Trump. File photograph: Getty

 

Former US president Donald Trump is to deliver a speech in North Carolina on Saturday, amid reports that he plans to hold political rallies across the United States this summer.

Mr Trump, who has recently relocated from Mar-a-Lago in Florida to his golf course at Bedminster, New Jersey, will speak at the North Carolina Republican Party convention. His appearance comes as he discontinued his internet platform after less than a month due to low traffic volumes.

The blog was established by his team as an alternative to traditional social media platforms after the president was banned from Twitter and Facebook in the closing days of his presidency after the January 6th assault on the US Capitol. But its engagements has declined dramatically since the first few days after launch.

Jason Miller, an adviser to Mr Trump, said the blog was “auxiliary to the broader efforts we have and are working on”, suggesting the former president may be announcing a new social media endeavour soon.

Last month Facebook announced it was maintaining the ban on Mr Trump though the decision by its oversight committee may be reviewed. Twitter has said previously the ex-president will be banned from the platform permanently.

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Meanwhile, Mr Trump’s daughter-in-law Lara Trump pushed back on reports that he has been telling friends he expects to be reinstalled in the White House in a few months.

“As far as I know, there are no plans for Donald Trump to be in the White House in August. Maybe there’s something I don’t know,” she said in an interview with Fox News.

A Quinnipiac poll last week found that 66 per cent of Republicans want Mr Trump to run for president again in 2024. He has hinted in some media interviews that he may consider a presidential run.

Mounting legal problems

However, his legal difficulties have mounted since leaving the White House. Manhattan’s district attorney has convened a grand jury that will decide whether to indict the former president or executives in the Trump Organization over the company’s financial affairs. The two year-long process has focused on Mr Trump’s business activities before he became president, including claims that he may have undervalued assets in order to avoid paying tax.

Nonetheless, multiple polls show that Mr Trump remains popular among a majority of Republican voters, many of whom believe that last year’s presidential election, which was won decisively by Joe Biden, was fraudulent. In Arizona – a state narrowly won by Mr Biden in November– the Republican-controlled Senate is overseeing a hand recount of millions of ballots cast in Maricopa County, the state’s most populous electoral area.

Prominent Trump allies such as Florida congressman Matt Gaetz, who is under federal investigation for sex-trafficking, and controversial Georgia representative Marjorie Taylor Greene, have visited Arizona in recent months to show their support for the process.

Separately, Republican-controlled states across the country have introduced new legislation tightening voting rules that Democrats believe amount to voter suppression.

Democrats in Texas blocked new legislation last weekend which would have dramatically restricted access to voting in the state. However, Republicans have said they aim to reintroduce the legislation in a special legislative session.