Jul 14, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Scoop: Trump's return to Washington

Former U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during a "Save America" rally
Former President Trump speaks during a "Save America" rally on July 9. Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Donald Trump is returning to Washington later this month for the first time since the end of his presidency, Axios has learned.

Why it matters: Trump's planned July 26 visit — to headline an event for the America First Policy Institute — comes as the Jan. 6 committee's blockbuster hearings contribute to speculation his grip on the Republican Party may be weakening.

  • New polling shows nearly half the party’s primary voters want a new GOP nominee for president in 2024, with a growing number pledging to desert him if he wins.
  • The House select committee's hearings have dominated headlines and cable news coverage as former top Trump officials and aides have recounted bombshell evidence tying the former president to the Capitol attack.

Driving the news: Trump will deliver the keynote address at 3pm ET on the second day of the group's policy summit, which will also feature panel discussions and presentations by several high-profile Republican leaders, including former Trump administration officials, members of Congress, governors and state officials.

  • The event is invitation-only and not open to the general public, but it will be streamed live and open to the press.
  • The group says it has yet to announce the specific location due to security reasons.

Details: America First Policy Institute is a 501(C)(3) nonprofit research institute led by senior leaders of the Trump administration, including former small business administrator Linda McMahon, former director of the National Economic Council Larry Kudlow and former director of the Domestic Policy Council Brooke Rollins.

  • The retreat is expected to focus on lowering energy and gasoline prices, combating inflation, and "control" of children's education, crime and the border, among other issues.

Expected attendees and speakers include:

  • Eight former Cabinet-level officials: McMahon, former director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe, former U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, former Energy Secretary Rick Perry, former Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf, former acting attorney general Matt Whitaker, former Veteran Affairs Secretary Robert Wilkie and former Secretary of Interior David Bernhardt.
  • 8 former Trump White House officials: Kudlow; Rollins; Kellyanne Conway, former senior adviser; Gen. Keith Kellogg, former national security adviser to Vice President Mike Pence; Kevin Hassett, former chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers; Fred Fleitz, former chief of staff to national security adviser John Bolton; Scott Turner, former executive director of Trump's White House Opportunity and Revitalization Council and Pastor Paula White-Cain.
  • Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich.
  • 13 House members, including Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.).
  • 10 GOP senators: Mike Braun (R-Ind.), Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Steve Daines (R-Mont.), Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Bill Hagerty (R-Tenn.), Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), James Lankford (R-Okla.), Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.) and Rick Scott (R-Fla.).
  • Three former GOP governors: Phil Bryant of Mississippi and Bobby Jindal of Louisiana, plus Perry (former governor of Texas).
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