Trump says he can end war between Russia and Ukraine

SUNDAY, MARCH 05, 2023

Reminders of former President Donald Trump's towering influence over the Republican Party were everywhere at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference this weekend in Washington.

In his address Saturday, Trump said he was the only candidate who could end “World War Three.”

Trump said, "Before I even arrive at the Oval Office, I will have the disastrous war between Russia and Ukraine settled. It will be settled quickly.”

He said he has a great relationship with Putin and the Russian President would listen to him. “It will take me no longer than one day,” Trump said.

The three-day conference illustrated the iron grip he holds over the right-wing, grassroots base of his party and how hard it could be for a challenger to deny Trump the Republican presidential nomination in 2024.

At the same time, it remains an open question whether Trump's appeal still extends beyond his hard-core loyalists. Public opinion polls show many Republicans are looking for an alternative such as Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, believing they may offer a better chance of winning the White House.

Trump served as the closing speaker for the event on Saturday. “We are going to finish what we started," he said. "We’re going to complete the mission.”

Trump and DeSantis both are scheduled in the coming days to visit Iowa, which holds the first Republican nominating contest next year.

CPAC once was a premier gathering of the party's Republicans in Washington but of late has become dominated by Trump and his supporters to the extent that it was skipped this year by most Republican members of Congress and the nation's Republican governors. Many speakers spoke to a half-empty ballroom and attendance overall seemed noticeably lower than in years past.


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