20:11 GMT28 February 2021
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    Although the former president hasn’t been in the public eye since he handed the reins of power to his Democrat rival Joe Biden on 20 January, he appears to have started seeing top Republicans on the grounds of his Florida estate.

    The Republican National Committee is planning to invite former President Donald Trump to its donor meeting in Spring, Politico reported citing a source familiar with the planning.

    A Trump spokesman wasn't able to answer a question about whether Trump intends to be at the top-profile Republic gathering, due to take place between 9 and 11 April.

    The RNC is also planning to invite a number of other potential 2024 candidates and prominent GOP figures to the event in Palm Beach, Florida.

    The former president has yet to make a public appearance since he left the White House on Joe Biden’s inauguration day on 20 January; but he has travelled from his Palm Beach club to the nearby Trump International Golf Club.

    The Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach is seen from a window of the plane, as U.S. President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump (not pictured) travel to Palm Beach International Airport, Florida, U.S., January 20, 2021
    © REUTERS / CARLOS BARRIA
    The Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach is seen from a window of the plane, as U.S. President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump (not pictured) travel to Palm Beach International Airport, Florida, U.S., January 20, 2021

    Some time ago, he reportedly mulled a comeback, even voicing plans to set up a third political party - the Patriot Party, which would fracture the GOP establishment, political analysts increasingly warned. Whatever the case, if he he does run for the Oval Office again, the party will stay neutral, RNC chairwoman Ronna McDaniel said.

    “The party has to stay neutral. I'm not telling anybody to run or not to run in 2024,” McDaniel told the The Associated Press when asked whether she herself wanted to see Trump run again. She added that this was going to be up to “candidates going forward”.

    “What I really do want to see him do, though, is help us win back majorities in 2022,” she said.

    Speaking to The Washington Post, she pointed out that Trump's role “is going to be up to him in a lot of ways”.

    “I'm not looking at who we can highlight or prioritise. It's about where we can take our party and our message,” she noted.

    Senate Trial – New Milestone to Hit

    Republicans have so far been divided over the former president, his future role and in particular, whether or not he would lead the party. The upcoming Senate trial after the House’s decision to impeach Trump for “inciting insurrection” on the day of the Capitol siege on 6 January, has further added to the tensions.

    However, Trump himself is believed to be looking to cement his power and ambitions, as follows from Save America PA’s readout of Thursday’s meeting with Republican House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy at Mar-a-Lago.

    “President Trump's popularity has never been stronger than it is today, and his endorsement means more than perhaps any endorsement at any time,” it says.

    After the meeting, the former president, who is still banned from social media in the wake of the Capitol attack by his supporters, was seen officially for the first time in an image published by his political action committee.

    According to a Rasmussen Reports poll released on Thursday, the upcoming Senate trial of the former president on his second House impeachment will excaerbate the political divisions in the United States. The poll indicated that half of likely US voters (50 percent) want the Senate to reject the impeachment, and 45 percent said Trump should be convicted.

    The trial in the upper chamber is scheduled to begin on 9 February.

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