- Trump spoke at CPAC on Sunday in his first major speech since leaving the White House last month.
- The former president hinted at a 2024 run and railed against President Joe Biden.
- We fact-checked his false statements, including his claim that he won the 2020 presidential election.
- Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.
Former President Donald Trump spoke at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Orlando, Florida on Sunday, his first speech since leaving the White House last month.
During his remarks, Trump hinted at a 2024 run, said he would not be forming a new party, and targeted Republicans who had supported his impeachment. He criticized the Democrats, cancel culture, and big tech — and especially President Joe Biden.
He also made a number of statements that were false or misleading. We’ve fact-checked them here.
“As you know they just lost the White House,” Trump said about Democrats. “Who knows, I may even decide to beat them for a third time.”
Trump repeatedly said he won the 2020 presidential election, repeating many of the unsubstantiated claims he has made since election day. President Joe Biden won the election and was sworn in as president on January 20.
Trump and his allies launched dozens of lawsuits to challenge the results of the election, losing virtually all of them. Former Attorney General Bill Barr said the Justice Department and the FBI had found no evidence of widespread fraud that would’ve altered the election results.
“What has taken place over the last year under our administration would have taken any other president at least five years,” Trump said of the vaccine creation. “We also put up billions and billions of dollars, 10 billion, to produce the vaccines before we knew they were going to work. It was called a calculated bet or a calculated risk. We took a risk because if we didn’t do that, you still wouldn’t have the vaccines.”
The first two coronavirus vaccines that were authorized for use last year were made by Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna. Pfizer did not accept any government money to develop or test the vaccine from Trump’s Operation Warp Speed, the Associated Press reported.
“Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine development and manufacturing costs have been entirely self-funded,” Jerica Pitts, a Pfizer spokeswoman, said in November. “We decided to self-fund our efforts so we could move as fast as possible.”
In July, the US did agree to buy 100 million doses worth $1.95 billion from Pfizer, but only if the vaccine development succeeded and was approved for use by the FDA.
“Joe Biden is only implementing the plan that we put in place,” Trump said about Biden’s vaccine distribution.
The Trump administration fell far short of its goal to vaccinate 20 million people by the end of 2020, with less than 2.8 million people receiving their first shot as of December 30. About 12.4 million doses total had been shipped out.
Experts told Insider an absence of clear federal guidance delayed vaccine roll-out and caused a patchwork response that varied by state. Biden made a number of changes to the vaccination effort upon taking office, including enlisting FEMA to open 100 federally supported mass vaccination sites across the country, some of which have already opened.
FEMA said since January 20, the agency has directed $3.97 billion to vaccination efforts and that it has opened or expanded 440 community vaccine centers across the country.
“Yet Biden said just a few days ago that when he got here, meaning the White House, there was no vaccine,” Trump said. “Now I don’t think he said that, frankly, in a malicious way. I really don’t. I actually believe he said that because he didn’t really know what the hell was happening.”
Trump was referring to an interview Biden gave with CNN’s Anderson Cooper, during which Biden said: “When you and I talked last, we talked about — it’s one thing to have the vaccine, which we didn’t have when we came into office, but a vaccinator — how do you get the vaccine into someone’s arm?”
The comment was seized on by Trump’s former press secretary Kayleigh McEnany, who tweeted the statement was false and asked, “How does Joe get away with this?”
However, a couple of minutes prior to the remark in the same interview, Biden said: “We have — we came into office, there was only 50 million doses that were available.”
“In addition, he’s already increased refugee admissions by nearly 10 times,” Trump said of the president.
According to the Associated Press, Biden wants to admit four times as many refugees as Trump, not 10. Trump’s annual limit of 15,000 refugees was a record-low. Biden wants to increase that number to 62,500.
“Frankly we have the cleanest air, the cleanest water, and everything else that we’ve ever had,” Trump said, suggesting it was unnecessary to join the Paris Climate agreement.
Trump has said multiple times in the past that the US had the cleanest air and water ever under his administration. The air in the US got dirtier and more dangerous to breathe under his administration.
Trump said of wind power: “It’s such an expensive form of energy. It’s so bad for the environment. It kills the birds. It destroys the landscapes.”
Trump was presumably referring to power outages experienced in Texas this month as a result of severe winter storms. Conservative pundits made misleading claims about renewable energy sources, saying that Texans lost power because wind turbines froze.
However, the majority of energy sources that went offline during the storms were power plants that run on fossil fuels, including natural gas. The agency that manages the state’s energy grid expected wind farms to produce only 7% of its energy this winter.
Trump has also said before that wind turbines are killing “all the birds.” However, wind turbines are not a significant source of death for birds. Wind turbines kill about 234,000 birds every year, while cats kill 2.4 billion.
You can watch the full speech here.