DONALD Trump will speak at North Carolina’s annual state Republican Party convention tonight, in his first major return to the political stage.

The former president will speak in person at the June 5 convention dinner in Greenville. Trump narrowly carried North Carolina in 2020 and held numerous events in the state toward the end of his campaign.

Trump has kept a relatively low public profile since leaving office. His last significant public speech was in February at the CPAC convention. He’s still banned from Twitter and Facebook, and his blog shut down this week.

Trump’s daughter-in-law Lara Trump has not yet publicly ruled out a 2022 U.S. Senate run in North Carolina and has expressed interest in the contest. 

Trump has expressed interest in running for president again in 2024 but has not yet announced a decision. The state party hopes Trump can help Republicans retake control of the U.S. House in the upcoming midterms.

  • EVENT SOLD OUT

    Organizers said all 1,250 tickets to the evening event had sold out.

    That number is far smaller than the thousands Trump regularly drew to his campaign rallies around the country, but his followers’ expectations are high for his first major public speech since February.

  • SHOWMANSHIP UNDIMINISHED

    Banished from social networks but no less influential among the Republican faithful, Donald Trump was set to return to the stage at 7pm ET for his first speech in months as he flirts ever more openly with a new presidential run in 2024.

    “I understand the place will be packed, all records broken!” the former president, his flair for showmanship undiminished, said in announcing the planned speech in Greenville, North Carolina to a convention of that southeastern state’s Republican Party.

  • TRUMP SPEECH: NC CONVENTION BEGINS

    Trump fans gather ahead of the speech
    Trump fans gather ahead of the speechCredit: Reuters
  • TRUMP SPEECH TODAY: FANS ARRIVE

    Guests prayed before the start of the North Carolina Republican Convention in Greenville on Saturday.

    President Trump will speak at his only second public appearance since speaking at CPAC in late February.

    A Trump fan prays
    A Trump fan praysCredit: Rex
  • PUSHES FOR TRUMP REINSTATEMENT

    Attorney Sidney Powell told a Qanon conference last week that Donald Trump could potentially return.

    Powell filed challenges on behalf of Trump following the 2020 election when the former president was claiming the result was fraudulent.

    “He can simply be reinstated,” she said of Trump during a “For God & Country Patriot Roundup” conference in Dallas.

  • FIRST TELEVISED SPEECH IN THREE MONTHS

    Donald Trump’s remarks at the North Carolina Republican Party state convention in Greenville on Saturday night will be his first televised speech in more than three months.

    Trump said Friday that it is “a great honor to be speaking at the North Carolina GOP convention.”

  • TRUMP SPEECH TO TARGET CHINA

    Donald Trump is expected to address China in his speech in North Carolina on Saturday night.

    “President Trump won North Carolina in 2016 by promising to put America First, and he won North Carolina in 2020 by keeping that promise,” North Carolina GOP Chairman Michael Whatley said in a statement.

    “President Trump delivered real results for North Carolina by rebuilding the military, standing strong against China, and unleashing the American Economy.”

  • TRUMP SLAMS ZUCKERBERG

    In a statement issued on Friday, Donald Trump claimed Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg used to request dinners at the White House.

    The former president said there will be no more of those moving forward.

    “Next time I’m in the White House there will be no more dinners, at his request, with Mark Zuckerberg and his wife. It will be all business!” Trump said.

    Trump’s mention of the “next time” he will be in the White House had fans hoping that he plans to run for reelection in 2024, something he has hinted at several times.

  • TRUMP STILL BANNED FROM FACEBOOK AND TWITTER

    Donald Trump’s North Carolina speech comes as he remains blocked from major social media platforms.

    On Friday, Trump slammed Facebook for maintaining its ban on his social media accounts, calling the move “insulting” to him and those who voted for him.

    The scathing comments came after Facebook’s independent oversight committee upheld Trump’s suspension from the platform until at least January 7, 2023.

  • TRUMP FANS PUSH FOR RELECTION BID

    Fans have continued to speculate about Trump returning to office after he lost the 2020 election – despite there being no legal mechanism for him to become president outside winning the 2024 election.

    MAGA voters are calling for Joe Biden to be kicked out amid far-fetched online rumors that Trump will be back in office by August.

  • SILENCE TO BE BROKEN

    This will be Trump’s first televised speech since his February 28 appearance at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Orlando, Florida.

  • TRUMP REELECTION

    Supporters are anxious to see if the former president announces whether he will run for reelection in 2024 during the North Carolina speech on Saturday.

    The event will be Trump’s return to the political spotlight and his first speech since February.

    It should be a warm welcome considering he won North Carolina in the 2016 and 2020 elections.

  • TRUMP SPEECH LIVESTREAM

    Trump’s speech was originally going to be closed to the press, but the convention changed course last week, announcing that press will be permitted.

    A livestream is being hosted by WITN-TV.

    Trump’s speech is scheduled for 5.30pm local time, according to the convention’s website.

    About 1,200 supporters will be in attendance.

  • TRUMP PUSHES LAB LEAK THEORY

    Trump is expected to tout that he correctly predicted that Covid-19 originated in a Chinese lab, something the US government is currently investigating and has not yet determined.

    “The media, the Democrats, and the so-called experts are now finally admitting what I first said 13 months ago: the evidence demonstrates that the virus originated in a Chinese government lab,” Trump will say.

  • TRUMP TARGETS DR FAUCI

    Donald Trump is also expected to take aim at President Joe Biden, Dr. Anthony Fauci, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, among others, in his North Carolina speech.

    He will also likely repeat his unsubstantiated claims that the 2020 Presidential election was stolen from him.

  • TRUMP TO BLAST DEMS IN NORTH CAROLINA SPEECH

    Donald Trump is expected to use his speech in North Carolina on Saturday night to claim “America won’t survive” if Democrats stay in power.

    “The survival of America depends upon our ability to elect Republicans at every level – starting with the midterms next year,” Trump will say, according to excerpts.

    “Together, we are going to defend our freedoms, we are going to stand up for our values, and we are going to take back our country!”