Trump support verges on a cult-like following at the Conservative Political Action Conference

ITV News US Correspondent Dan Rivers sat down with one of Trump's fiercest supporters, Chairman of the CPAC Matt Schlapp

The Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) is a jamboree of the right, not only from across the United States, but also across the world.

This year the newly-elected right-wing President of Argentina Javier Milei will be giving an address, as well as former British Prime Minister Liz Truss. Nigel Farage is also attending.

But of course the keynote speech will be from a certain D. Trump, who continues to exert a stranglehold on the Republican Party, even though he is not technically yet its presidential nominee.

That is just a matter of time though. He could have the contest against his only rival Nikki Haley wrapped up in an about three weeks.

Trump is the keynote speaker at this year's conference. Credit: AP

I sat down with one of his most loyal followers, Chairman of CPAC Matt Schlapp. You can see part of our interview here.

He was upbeat and combative at times, as I questioned him about Ukraine, Nato, January 6 and more.

One thing struck me though: his absolute devotion to Donald Trump and certainty that he will be the next President.

He brushes off questions about the four criminal trials Trump is facing and civil cases which have cost him hundreds of millions of dollars in fines, constantly turning the conversation back to Joe Biden, Hilary Clinton and Barak Obama.

Liz Truss and Nigel Farage pictured at the CPAC on Thursday. Credit: AP

There appears to be not a scintilla of doubt about Trump, despite the considerable legal jeopardy he is facing.

The remarkable fealty verges almost on a cult-like following.

When I asked whether Trump had stymied a bill to give $60 billion of military aid to Ukraine he was disarmingly direct and frank. "I think that’s right," he told me.

His point was that this wouldn’t be the last payment and there is no plan in place to bring an end to the war.

It raises the prospect that if Donald Trump wins in November, there is a real chance that America’s military support for Ukraine will not be guaranteed and they will be forced into negotiations with Vladimir Putin, while the Russian strongman still controls a large swathe of their country.

For some, this will only embolden Russia to take further bites of territory from not only Ukraine, but also perhaps the Baltic states.

None of this sounds very like the Republican Party of old.

It’s a sign of how far the party has moved from that of Ronald Reagan or George Bush.

While CPAC is merely a talking shop, the chat here gives a fascinating insight into the policy direction of the political right in the United States.

It appears to be heading in a direction which former leaders would have found not just perplexing, but alarming.

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