‘I became worse’: Trump tells CPAC being impeached twice didn’t improve his behaviour

Former president drops more hints of a third run for the White House at conservative conference

Trump lists Republicans on his revenge tour
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Former President Donald Trump has told his supporters that being impeached twice mad him “worse” during his Conservative Political Action Conference speech.

Speaking in Dallas, Texas, on Sunday, the former president compared his own reaction to being impeached to how he imagined former Attorney General William Barr was reacting to calls for his impeachment.

Mr Barr had been a staunch Trump supporter but became estranged from the former president when he disputed his false claims that there had been no widespread fraud in the 2020 election.

“He became a different man when the Democrats viciously stated that they wanted to impeach him. They went wild. ‘We want to impeach him’,” Mr Trump said of Mr Barr.

He continued: “He became different. I understand that. I didn’t become different, I got impeached twice. I became worse.”

Mr Trump became the first ever president to be impeached twice during his term in office after Democrats, and a number of Republicans, accused him of inciting violence on 6 January.

Five people died during the violent riots, which occurred following a Save America rally held by Mr Trump, during which he pushed false claims the presidential election had been “rigged”.

The former president was acquitted by Republican allies in the Senate in February this year, only weeks after leaving office.

Proceedings saw the largest number of senators to ever vote to find a president of their own party guilty of an impeachment count of high crimes and misdemeanors. Seven Republicans joined Democrats in voting to convict, giving a total of 57 votes to 43, 10 votes short of the super-majority needed for conviction.

Mr Trump previously faced another unsuccessful impeachment trial in 2020 over allegations linked to corruption and obstruction in connection with Ukraine.

Certain Republican senators including Maine lawmaker Susan Collins had expressed the hope that after his first impeachment, Mr Trump had “learned his lesson”.

“The president has been impeached. That’s a pretty big lesson,” the senator said in February 2020.

She added at the time: “I’m voting to acquit. Because I do not believe that the behaviour alleged reaches the high bar in the constitution for overturning an election, and removing a duly elected president.”

During his speech at the weekend, the former president repeated his baseless claims of election fraud and lashed out at Mr Biden’s handling of immigration.

“In a matter of mere months Biden has brought our country to the brink of ruin,” Mr Trump insisted.

The convention has previously been a touchstone for attitudes and political feeling within the GOP but this year saw the right-wing culture war take centre stage.

The former president also once again teased a possible 2024 run for president, without officially committing to another campaign during his 90-minute speech.

"I could have a nice, beautiful life and here I am on a Sunday in Texas,” Mr Trump said as the crowd began to chant "Four more years! Four more years!"

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