Trump plays golf at his West Palm Beach course ahead of CPAC speech

Former President Donald Trump was spotted golfing Friday at his club in West Palm Beach, Fla., ahead of his Saturday night primetime speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Orlando.

The ex-president sported his trademark “Make America Great Again” cap, a white polo shirt and dark slacks – and played golf with several partners, also dressed in Trump-branded apparel.

Trump’s speech comes as he warmed up to glowing comments he made this week about Russia’s Vladimir Putin as the leader staged a deadly assault on Ukraine.

Former President Donald Trump was spotted golfing Friday at his club in West Palm Beach, Fla., ahead of his Saturday night primetime speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Orlando.

The ex-president, driving a golf cart, wore his trademark hat

The ex-president, driving a golf cart, wore his trademark “Make America Great Again” hat with “45” on the side, as he was the 45th president.

Former President Donald Trump was out golfing Friday at his West Palm Beach resort ahead of his CPAC speech on Saturday night

Former President Donald Trump was out golfing Friday at his West Palm Beach resort ahead of his CPAC speech on Saturday night

The former president looks in the direction of the DailyMail.com camera as he golfs Friday in West Palm Beach, Florida, near his Mar-a-Lago resort

The former president looks in the direction of the DailyMail.com camera as he golfs Friday in West Palm Beach, Florida, near his Mar-a-Lago resort

Former President Donald Trump's golf partners also wore Trump-branded clothing

Former President Donald Trump’s golf partners also wore Trump-branded clothing

The ex-president called Putin “pretty smart” on Wednesday as the invasion was imminent, following similar comments made by Trump after Putin declared two regions of Ukraine “independent” earlier this week.

“If I was in power, this deadly situation in Ukraine would never have happened!” Trump said in a statement late Thursday.

The White House fired back at Trump — but Republicans, including those on the CPAC scene, danced around the ex-president’s assessment.

Senator Ted Cruz, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, did not mention the Ukraine crisis at all during his Thursday night speech to CPAC.

Earlier this week, Cruz had welcomed President Joe Biden’s decision to allow sanctions to go forward against Nord Stream 2 pipeline operators – releasing a hold on Biden’s State Department nominees for they can be confirmed by the Senate.

Cruz then turned around and said that Biden’s previous decision to implement sanctions waivers on the Nord Stream project likely amounted to a “surrender to Putin,” he told CBS on Thursday.

During the same interview, he declined to criticize Trump.

“His rhetoric that I disagree with with some regularity,” Cruz said.

In his speech Friday morning, Senator Marco Rubio acknowledged that there are differing opinions on the conflict with the modern Republican Party.

“It doesn’t matter where you stand on this situation between Ukraine and Russia – what we should have done before, what we should do now – the one thing I think everyone can agree on is is that the people of Ukraine are an inspiration to the world,” the Florida senator told the crowd.

Trump’s Secretary of State Mike Pompeo – who has also come under fire for his recent glowing comments about Putin – was unwilling to contradict his previous statements, but toughened up his rhetoric about Putin on stage in Orlando.

“We saw a Russian dictator terrorizing the Ukrainian people because America failed to show the resolve we had for the previous four years,” Pompeo said Friday morning.

Overall, CPAC was a Trumpworld reunion, with a number of former White House officials and political allies roaming the halls.

DailyMail.com has spotted former White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany and MPs Hogan Gidley and Judd Deere.

Trump’s first national security adviser, Michael Flynn, was present.

My Pillow CEO Mike Lindell was on hand.

And some of Trump’s chosen candidates were also there – including Ohio’s Max Miller, who is battling to replace retired GOP Rep. Anthony Gonzalez, a proponent of impeachment, and Kelly Tshibaka, taking on Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski, who said Trump should be convicted for inciting insurrection.

Murkowski, a Republican incumbent senator, was booed by the crowd when Tshibaka abandoned her.

The MAGA swag was everywhere.

And candidates trying to gain Trump’s endorsement backed the so-called “big lie.”

Josh Mandel, candidate for the GOP nomination for the Senate seat, GOP Sen. Rob Portman is leaving, said on stage Friday that “the liberal media is rising in arms, and the spongy Rino Republicans are rising up in arms, but I want to say it very clearly and very directly: I believe this election was stolen from Donald J. Trump.

“You know the Liz Cheneys and the Adam Kinzingers, they’re traitors,” he continued.

Repeating what Trump said earlier, Mandel added, “We should abolish the January 6 Commission and replace it with a November 3 Commission.”

At CPAC in Orlando this week, the MAGA swag was everywhere

At CPAC in Orlando this week, the MAGA swag was everywhere

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