Trump considers lashing out at Kevin McCarthy in CPAC speech

Donald Trump is reportedly considering lashing out at House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy in his speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference in anger over GOP defections in his second impeachment.

Trump, who will address CPAC in Orlando, Florida on Sunday, is still stewing over McCarthy’s decision to keep Rep. Liz Cheney in the number two House GOP role after she voted to impeach, three sources told Politico

Last month, McCarthy flew to Mar-a-Lago in a bid to patch things up with Trump after saying that the former president ‘bears responsibility’ for the January 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol. 

His effort to appease Trump continued this week, when McCarthy took a swipe at Cheney on Fox News, suggesting that she supports cancel culture.

Last month, McCarthy (right) flew to Mar-a-Lago in a bid to patch things up with Trump after saying that the former president 'bears responsibility' for the January 6 riot

Last month, McCarthy (right) flew to Mar-a-Lago in a bid to patch things up with Trump after saying that the former president 'bears responsibility' for the January 6 riot

Last month, McCarthy (right) flew to Mar-a-Lago in a bid to patch things up with Trump after saying that the former president ‘bears responsibility’ for the January 6 riot

Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO) greets people as she attends the Conservative Political Action Conference held in the Hyatt Regency in Orlando, Florida on Saturday

Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO) greets people as she attends the Conservative Political Action Conference held in the Hyatt Regency in Orlando, Florida on Saturday

Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO) greets people as she attends the Conservative Political Action Conference held in the Hyatt Regency in Orlando, Florida on Saturday

Former President Donald Trump (left) is photographed on his West Palm Beach golf course Saturday alongside Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton (right) a day before he's expected to appear at CPAC

Former President Donald Trump (left) is photographed on his West Palm Beach golf course Saturday alongside Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton (right) a day before he's expected to appear at CPAC

Former President Donald Trump (left) is photographed on his West Palm Beach golf course Saturday alongside Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton (right) a day before he’s expected to appear at CPAC 

But McCarthy suffered an awkward moment at a press conference on Wednesday, when a reporter asked Cheney if Trump should be speaking at CPAC.

‘I don’t believe that he should be playing a role in the future of the party or the country,’ she replied, as McCarthy stood by awkwardly.

‘On that high note, thank you all very much,’ McCarthy added, swiftly concluding the press conference.

McCarthy was scheduled to speak at CPAC on Saturday in a panel on ‘Winning Back America’, offering him a final chance to soothe Trump’s ire prior before Saturday.

The minority leader’s top priority is returning a GOP majority to the House in the midterm elections. Following his January 28 meeting with Trump at Mar-a-Lago, McCarthy issued a statement saying that Trump had ‘committed to helping elect Republicans in the House and Senate in 2022.’ 

But Trump has already shown his willingness to tangle in McCarthy’s conference, on Friday endorsing his own former aide Max Miller in a primary contest against Rep. Anthony Gonzalez, an Ohio Republican who voted to impeach. 

McCarthy suffered an awkward moment at a press conference on Wednesday, when Cheney said of Trump: 'I don't believe that he should be playing a role in the future of the party or the country'

McCarthy suffered an awkward moment at a press conference on Wednesday, when Cheney said of Trump: 'I don't believe that he should be playing a role in the future of the party or the country'

McCarthy suffered an awkward moment at a press conference on Wednesday, when Cheney said of Trump: ‘I don’t believe that he should be playing a role in the future of the party or the country’

As the Republican Party grapples with deep divisions over the extent to which it should embrace Trump after losing the White House and both chambers of Congress, those gathered at the annual CPAC made clear they are not ready to move on from the former president.

‘Donald J. Trump ain´t going anywhere,’ said Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, one of several potential 2024 presidential contenders who spoke at the event, being held this year in Orlando to bypass COVID-19 restrictions.

Trump on Sunday will be making his first post-presidential appearance at the conference, and aides say he will use the speech to reassert his power.

The program underscored the split raging within the GOP, as many establishment voices argue the party must move on from Trump to win back the suburban voters who abandoned them in November, putting President Joe Biden in the White House. 

Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell and others worry Trump will undermine the party´s political future if he and his conspiracy theories continue to dominate Republican politics.

Indeed, Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., another potential 2024 hopeful, drew among the loudest applause and a standing ovation when he bragged about challenging the election certification on Jan. 6 despite the storming of the Capitol building by Trump supporters trying to halt the process.

‘I thought it was an important stand to take,’ he said.

Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) addresses the CPAC on Saturday. Begun in 1974, CPAC brings together conservative organizations, activists, and leaders to discuss issues important to them

Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) addresses the CPAC on Saturday. Begun in 1974, CPAC brings together conservative organizations, activists, and leaders to discuss issues important to them

Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) addresses the CPAC on Saturday. Begun in 1974, CPAC brings together conservative organizations, activists, and leaders to discuss issues important to them

A statue of former president Donald Trump on display at the merchandise show at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) on Friday

A statue of former president Donald Trump on display at the merchandise show at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) on Friday

A statue of former president Donald Trump on display at the merchandise show at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) on Friday

Others argued the party would lose if it turned its back on Trump and alienated the working-class voters drawn to his populist message.

‘We cannot – we will not – go back to the days of the failed Republican establishment of yesteryear,’ said Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who outlined a new Trumpian GOP agenda focused on restrictive immigration policies, opposition to China and limiting military engagement.

‘We will not win the future by trying to go back to where the Republican Party used to be,’ echoed Florida Sen. Rick Scott, who chairs the fundraising committee tasked with electing Republicans to the Senate. 

‘If we do, we will lose the working base that President Trump so animated. We´re going to lose elections across the country, and ultimately we´re going to lose our nation.’

Scott is dismissing pressure on him to ‘mediate between warring factions on the right’ or ‘mediate the war of words between the party leaders.’ He has refused to take sides in the bitter ongoing fight between Trump and McConnell, who blamed Trump for inciting the deadly Capitol riot but ultimately voted to acquit him at his impeachment trial earlier this month.

‘I’m not going to mediate anything,’ he said, criticizing those who ‘prefer to fan the flames of a civil war on our side’ as ‘foolish’ and ‘ridiculous.’

‘Allah rest his soul’: Mike Pompeo taunts Iranian General Soleimani during his CPAC speech

Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has taunted dead Iranian General Qasem Soleimani, saying ‘Allah rest his soul’ during a barnstorming speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference.

‘So how many of you remember Qasem Soleimani? Allah rest his soul,’ Pompeo asked the audience, referring to the general killed in a U.S. missile strike in January of last year. 

Donald Trump’s brazen move to assassinate the head of Iran’s clandestine military unit, said to be a top financier of terror, drew venomous fury from Tehran and brought the two countries to the brink of war.

‘I’m not a diplomat,’ Pompeo reminded the crowd as he took stage in Orlando, Florida on Saturday, offering a defense of Donald Trump’s foreign policy while criticizing President Joe Biden’s early moves.  

Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo promised the crowd at the Conservative Political Action Conference Saturday that he was 'going to let it rip'

Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo promised the crowd at the Conservative Political Action Conference Saturday that he was 'going to let it rip'

Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo promised the crowd at the Conservative Political Action Conference Saturday that he was ‘going to let it rip’

Pompeo taunted dead Iranian General Qasem Soleimani (above), saying 'Allah rest his soul' during a barnstorming speech

Pompeo taunted dead Iranian General Qasem Soleimani (above), saying 'Allah rest his soul' during a barnstorming speech

Pompeo taunted dead Iranian General Qasem Soleimani (above), saying ‘Allah rest his soul’ during a barnstorming speech

Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo promised that he would 'let it rip' during his CPAC speech, which he used to tout former President Donald Trump's foreign policy achievements

Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo promised that he would 'let it rip' during his CPAC speech, which he used to tout former President Donald Trump's foreign policy achievements

Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo promised that he would ‘let it rip’ during his CPAC speech, which he used to tout former President Donald Trump’s foreign policy achievements 

‘I sent messages repeatedly to bad guys around the world that if you touch an American, you’ll pay dearly,’ he told the crowd. ‘America First secures our freedom and the entire world benefits when America is fearless, bold and strong.’  

He said Trump’s decision to leave the Paris climate agreement was the right move and slammed Biden for rejoining the pact. 

‘When President Biden reentered this deal I can tell you that [Chinese leader] Xi Jinping was smiling every single minute, and the American worker lost,’ he said.

Pompeo also lashed out at Biden’s domestic decisions, such as canceling the KeystoneXL pipeline, which the ex-secretary of state said ‘killed 10,000 jobs.’ 

The former top diplomat bragged that the mostly symbolic sanctions that China and Iran had levied against him were evidence that his aggressive approach toward adversaries worked. 

Pompeo, seen with Trump last year, , offered a defense of Trump's foreign policy while criticizing President Joe Biden's early moves

Pompeo, seen with Trump last year, , offered a defense of Trump's foreign policy while criticizing President Joe Biden's early moves

Pompeo, seen with Trump last year, , offered a defense of Trump’s foreign policy while criticizing President Joe Biden’s early moves

‘Never forget that China depends more on us than we do on them,’ he said. ‘President Trump understood that, our foreign policy understood that, and we protected the American worker from the Chinese Communist Party’s predation.’

Pompeo also touted the relocation of the U.S. embassy in Israel and the Abraham Accords as huge foreign policy successes. 

He also pointed to Trump’s dealings with the North Koreans, including two meetings with leader Kim Jong Un.  

‘Exactly zero tests have been conducted,’ Pompeo said of the North Korean nuclear program, in the aftermath of two summits. ‘That’s real foreign policy.’  

Former U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks at CPAC on Saturday

Former U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks at CPAC on Saturday

Former U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks at CPAC on Saturday

Rep. Lauren Boebert will also speak at CPAC Saturday afternoon

Rep. Lauren Boebert will also speak at CPAC Saturday afternoon

Rep. Lauren Boebert will also speak at CPAC Saturday afternoon 

Pompeo also mocked Biden for saying ‘America is back.’

‘Back to what?’ he asked. 

He then suggested that Biden would go too easy on Iran. 

The keynote speech offered Pompeo to chance to carve out his own lane for a potential political future, and he used it to signal he intends to appeal to Trump’s base.

Saturday’s CPAC will also feature an appearance by pro-Second Amendment firebrand Rep. Lauren Boebert. 

Trump is due to make his first speech as a private citizen at the prominent conservative conference on Sunday.  

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