Former President Donald Trump is returning to Washington on Tuesday for the first time since leaving office. He is reportedly set to deliver a speech about crime.
Trump is making his first trip back since Jan. 20, 2021, when President Joe Biden was sworn into office despite Trump’s efforts to remain in power.
Trump allies have urged him to spend more time talking about his vision for the future and less relitigating the 2020 election as he prepares to announce an expected 2024 White House campaign.
In his speech Tuesday, Trump planned to focus on public safety, said his spokesperson, Taylor Budowich.
Trump has been known to deviate from prepared remarks. So, he may address other issues, in addition.
Republican Tommy Tuberville of Alabama said he’d be among several GOP senators planning to attend Trump’s speech.
“You’re going to hear the same thing that you hear at all the other speeches,” Tuberville told reporters at the Capitol. “But, you know, go down there and listen, as a lot of us will.”
Beyond the summit, staff at the America First Policy Institute have been laying their own groundwork for the future, “making sure we do have the policies, personnel and process nailed down for every key agency when we do take the White House back,” said Brooke Rollins, its president.
The group is one of several Trump-allied organizations that have continued to push his polices in his absence, including America First Legal, dedicated to fighting Biden’s agenda through the court system, the Center for Renewing America and the Conservative Partnership Institute.
Watch Trump’s speech live —
Trump’s speech comes as some who are mulling White House bids have been increasingly willing to challenge him directly.
For example, former Vice President Mike Pence, a potential 2024 rival, exhorted Republicans to stop looking backward.. Earlier on Tuesday, Pence outlined his “Freedom Agenda” not far from where Trump was to speak before an allied think tank that has been crafting an agenda for a possible second Trump term.
While the former president remains consumed by the 2020 election, Pence again implored the party to look to the future as he mulls his own.
“Some people may choose to focus on the past, but elections are about the future,” Pence said in an address to Young America’s Foundation, a student conservative group. “I believe conservatives must focus on the future to win back America. We can’t afford to take our eyes off the road in front of us because what’s at stake is the very survival of our way of life.”
The former White House partners were making dueling appearances again after campaigning for rival candidates in Arizona on Friday.
Polls have consistently shown that Trump remains the more preferred choice of GOP primary voters, with Pence very far behind.
That contrast was on display Tuesday as Trump prepared to speak before an audience of hundreds gathered for the America First Policy Institute’s two-day America First Agenda Summit. Composed of former Trump administration officials and allies, the group is widely seen as an “administration in waiting” that could quickly move to the West Wing if Trump should run again and win. The event had the feel of a Trump White House reunion — but one without Pence.
Pence, meanwhile, received a friendly — but not enthusiastic — welcome from the students, who struggled to break into a “USA!” chant.
In his remarks, he repeatedly touted the “Trump-Pence administration.” But the first question he received was about his growing split with Trump, which is particularly stark given the years he spent as the former president’s most loyal sidekick.
Pence denied the two “differ on issues,” but he acknowledged, “We may differ on focus.”
The former vice president added, “I truly do believe that elections are about the future and that it’s absolutely essential, at a time when so many Americans are hurting and so many families are struggling, that we don’t give way to the temptation to look back.”
Watch Pence’s speech here —
The Associated Press contributed to this article.