Former US president Donald Trump has said his populist policies and attack-dog politics are the key to the Republican Party’s future success.
In a closed-doors speech to donors at his Mar-a-Lago resort on Saturday night, he also reinforced his commitment to the party, according to prepared remarks obtained by the Associated Press.
His appearance came as Republican officials are trying to play down an internal feud over his role in the party, his commitment to GOP fundraising and his plans for 2024.
While Mr Trump’s advisers reported that he would emphasise party unity, he rarely sticks to the script.
“The key to this triumphant future will be to build on the gains our amazing movement has made over the past four years,” he told hundreds of leading Republican donors, according to the prepared remarks.
“Under our leadership, we welcomed millions upon millions of new voters into the Republican coalition. We transformed the Republican Party into a party that truly fights for all Americans.”
It was the final address of the Republican National Committee’s weekend donor summit in Palm Beach. Most of the RNC’s invitation-only gathering was held at a luxury hotel a few miles away and attendees were bussed to Mr Trump’s club for his remarks.
While a significant faction of the Republican Party hopes to move past his divisive leadership, the location of the event suggests that the GOP, at least for now, is not ready to replace him as its undisputed leader and chief fundraiser.
Despite Saturday’s intended message, Mr Trump’s commitment to the GOP is far from certain.
New political party
Earlier in the year, he raised the possibility of creating a new political party.
Just a month ago, his political action committee sent letters to the RNC and others asking them to “immediately cease and desist the unauthorised use of President Donald J Trump’s name, image, and/or likeness in all fundraising, persuasion, and/or issue speech”.
Republican officials have repeatedly tried to play down the fundraising tensions and see Mr Trump’s participation as a sign that he is willing to lend his name to the party.
At the same time, the former president continues to aggressively accumulate campaign cash to fuel his own political ambitions.
Mr Trump has also regularly attacked his Republican critics in recent weeks, especially Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and No 3 House Republican Liz Cheney. Neither attended the weekend donor summit.