Former President Donald Trump on Saturday will deliver the keynote address at the New Hampshire Republican Party’s annual meeting as he returns to the trail looking to ramp up his 2024 presidential campaign.
Trump will address hundreds of Republican leaders and grassroots activists at the meeting in Salem before headlining a second campaign event in South Carolina – also an early voting state – later in the day.
The pair of events offers Trump an opportunity to reinvigorate his campaign, which has been slow-moving since he announced his candidacy in November. The former president remains the only declared major 2024 candidate, but several Republicans have been either publicly weighing or fueling speculation about potential bids.
The chair of the New Hampshire Republican Party, Stephen Stepanek, expressed enthusiasm about the former president’s upcoming address, saying in a statement, “President Trump has long been a strong defender of New Hampshire’s First in the Nation Primary Status and we are excited that he will join us to deliver remarks to our Members.”
Trump’s visit comes days before the Democratic National Committee is set to meet to vote on a new proposed 2024 presidential primary calendar put forward by President Joe Biden that would strip New Hampshire of it’s first-in-the-nation primary status – a move strongly opposed by New Hampshire Democrats. Republicans have already locked in their early state lineup of Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada – the same lineup Democrats previously had.
New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu, seen as a potential contender for the 2024 GOP nomination, has been sharply critical of Trump. He argued in December that Trump is “not the influence he thinks he is” and said that the Republican Party was “moving on” from him.
After the New Hampshire event, Trump will fly to South Carolina, a state that helped pave his way to becoming the GOP nominee in 2016 and where he is expected to unveil a leadership team and a handful of endorsements. Among the top South Carolina Republicans scheduled to attend the event at the Statehouse in Columbia in support of the former president are Sen. Lindsey Graham, Gov. Henry McMaster and US Rep. Russell Fry, who won a primary last year over a GOP incumbent who had voted to impeach Trump.
Trump continues to be investigated by the Department of Justice, and special counsel Jack Smith is overseeing the criminal probes into the retention of classified documents at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort and into parts of the January 6, 2021, insurrection at the US Capitol. Both investigations implicate the conduct of Trump.
Trump’s Saturday campaign events come in the wake of recent revelations that classified documents were also found at locations tied to both Biden and former Vice President Mike Pence. Attorney General Merrick Garland appointed a separate special counsel to take over the investigation into the Obama-era classified documents found at Biden’s home and former private office.
Earlier this week, Facebook parent company Meta announced it would restore Trump’s accounts on Facebook and Instagram in the coming weeks, just over two years after suspending him in the wake of the January 6 attack.
This headline has been updated.