Over the weekend, some of the Republican Party’s biggest financial supporters gathered at a Florida Four Seasons resort for a donor retreat, hobnobbing with emerging candidates and plotting a way forward they hope can unite the party.
Through the course of the Trump administration, the GOP lost the House, Senate, and presidency, a string of defeats that, in other situations, might prompt a wholesale rethinking of the party’s relationship with Trump. But he continues to hold enormous sway among Republicans—so much that this limo and black car set eagerly piled on shuttle busses on Saturday night to trek from their luxury hotel to Mar-a-Lago to hear him speak.
According to the Washington Post, the Republican National Committee signed a contract paying the president’s private club for facility use and catering surrounding the dinner speech, a 50-minute address where the ex-president continued to falsely claim the 2020 election was stolen from him and aired sharp grievances against some of the party’s most senior figures. His complaints, naturally, are related to how he says they failed to do enough for him, especially as he sought to overturn his election loss.
Trump said he was “disappointed” in Mike Pence’s role in certifying the election results in Congress, saying his own vice president lacked “courage” to do otherwise. He said he would back a primary challenger to Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp, whom Trump has complained failed to deliver the state after he lost it by over 10,000 votes. And he called Mitch McConnell a “stone cold loser” and a “dumb son of a bitch,” assailing the Senate leader’s actions during the president’s second impeachment trial as well as his wife, former transportation secretary Elaine Chao, for resigning her position after pro-Trump rioters attacked Capitol Hill.
Trump’s remarks are already prompting complaints from elected Republicans. While Trump promised to work to elect more Republicans in 2022, he showed no signs of burying his grievances that could complicate that goal. His attacks came just hours after the donors attended another event at the Four Seasons: a closed-door “Party Unity Panel.”