CPAC 2021 – live: Trump expected to announce 2024 run and Liz Cheney denies ‘civil war’ as GOP summit opens

Related video: Mitt Romney predicts Trump will win if he seeks Republican nomination in 2024

The Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) opens on Thursday in Orlando, Florida, with ousted president Donald Trump its headline speaker, appearing on Sunday in his first public engagement since leaving the White House for Mar-a-Lago a month ago.

This year’s gathering, entitled “America Uncancelled”, is likely to be unusually fraught given that the Republican Party is currently mired in internal conflict following Mr Trump’s election defeat and last month’s US Capitol riot, with pro-Trump loyalists and establishment moderates locked in a feud that could determine its future.

But a letter circulated by GOP senator Rick Scott this week argued that the “Republican civil war is cancelled” following the close of the “political theatre” of Mr Trump’s second impeachment, a sentiment House leaders Kevin McCarthy and Liz Cheney assented with, she somewhat reluctantly, after declaring the ex-president should not “be playing a role in the future of the party or the country”.

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Biden administration ‘not focused’ on Trump’s CPAC speech, says White House

Asked if the White House would be watching Donald Trump’s CPAC speech expected to focus on the looming migrant crisis, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said the former president wasn’t in a position to speak with moral authority on immigration policy.

“We’re not looking to former president Trump or any of his advisers as a model for how we’re approaching immigration, in fact we’re in the circumstance we’re in because not only was their approach inhumane, it was ineffective,” she says.

“So we’re going to forge our own path forward, we’ll see what he says, but our focus is certainly not on what Mr Trump is saying at CPAC.”

Justin Vallejo25 February 2021 18:02

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Young Pharaoh says he was ‘publicly motherf***ing lynched for saying the same s*** the f***ing chairman said’

The rapper and political commentator is not at all happy after being cancelled by the “American uncancelled” event and has nothing nice to say about American Conservative Union boss Matt Schlapp after he was dropped from the CPAC speaking line-up earlier this week.

Joe Sommerlad25 February 2021 17:20

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Republicans that turn on Trump are ‘fools’, says MTG

Marjorie Taylor Green has lashed out at Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger for turning their backs on Trump, who is expected to announce a 2024 run at CPAC this weekend.

“Liz Cheney and any other Republican that wants to make statements against president Donald J Trump is a fool, they are disconnected with the base. They are disconnected with Republican voters,” she said.

“Many of these Republicans that are turning their back on Trump, who they ran on his coat tails, have really lost themselves. They don’t represent Republicans, they don’t represent Republican voters, and the people are speaking out and they know it.”

Justin Vallejo25 February 2021 17:04

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The Republicans vying to replace Trump

While the ex-president is expected to attempt to resassert his dominance over the Republican Party on Sunday and declare himself its “presumptive” 2024 presidential nominee, here’s a list of Diet Trump pretenders that have been jostling to appeal to his disaffected base since Joe Biden’s inauguration, from Cancun holidaymaker Flyin’ Ted Cruz to wacko Marjorie Taylor Greene.

Joe Sommerlad25 February 2021 16:50

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Rush Limbaugh to be ‘honoured’ at CPAC

The late talk radio host and recepient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom under Trump is, unsurprisingly, being memorialised at the event, inducted into the “Conservative Hall of Fame” alongside the NRA (yuck) and toasted at Saturday’s Ronald Reagan Dinner.

Good luck with that guys.

Over to you, Rick Wilson.

Joe Sommerlad25 February 2021 16:20

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White nationalists ‘planning to make a scene’ at CPAC

Nick Fuentes, a far-right provocateur and host of the America First podcast who helped up rile up the MAGA crowd before the US Capitol riot, is reportedly planning to protest CPAC with his followers, know as Groypers, as part of their wider discontent with mainstream American conservativism, which they believe simply does not go far enough.

Last year, he held his own gathering, the “America First Political Action Conference”, but it can’t have been much of a success as there appears to have been insufficient interest to secure a second instalment.

His hatred of CPAC is certainly not letting up though.

Joe Sommerlad25 February 2021 15:50

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Full CPAC speaking schedule

The opening day of this year’s conference in Orlando is… a little quiet, I think it’s fair to say.

The programme consists of…

  • 5.45pm Jewish Prayer Service
  • 6.30pm International Reception (invite only)
  • 7.00pm Welcome Reception (sponsored by Fox Nation)

Er, that’s it.

Things really heat up from tomorrow, with many ex-Trump administration officials and friendly members of the House and Senate taking a turn at the lectern before the big man himself brings the curtain down on Sunday.

Here’s the line-up in full.

Ron DeSantis, Mike Lee, Scott Walker, James Lankford, Pam Bondi, Ted Cruz, Mo Brooks, Madison Cawthorn, Tom Cotton, Marsha Blackburn, Matt Gaetz, Rick Scott, Josh Hawley, Donald Trump Jr

Ken Paxton, Ric Grenell, Mike Pompeo, Bill Hagerty, Robert Lighthizer, Devin Nunes, Cynthia Lummis, Burgess Owens, Darrell Issa, Andy Biggs, Lauren Boebert, Kevin McCarthy, Kirsti Noem

Sarah Huckabee Sanders, Mike Huckabee, Larry Kudlow, Donald Trump

Joe Sommerlad25 February 2021 15:20

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Could Donald Trump start his own political party?

The president’s CPAC showing appears to confirm he plans to stick with the GOP and with a career in politics, having previously toyed with starting his own cable TV channel or social media platform.

But how feasible would it be to break away and split the Republican ranks in two?

Joe Sommerlad25 February 2021 14:50

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What can we learn from America’s most hotly-anticipated conservative event?

For Indy Premium, Holly Baxter says the conference has much to tell us about the Republican Party’s future, now more than ever.

Joe Sommerlad25 February 2021 14:10

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How Trump’s CPAC return could fire the starting pistol on the 2024 White House race

Yikes. What an unbearable prospect to have to reconsider so soon, after all the world has been through over the last four months.

Andrew Naughtie holds his nose and dives in.

Joe Sommerlad25 February 2021 13:30

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