HOUSE Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and No. 3 House Republican Liz Cheney clashed awkwardly on Wednesday over whether ex-President Donald Trump should influence the party’s future.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy said ex-President Donald Trump ‘should’ speak at CPAC[/caption]
“Yes he should,” McCarthy said at the podium.
But Cheney, who stood just a few feet behind McCarthy, shared a different view when asked to comment.
“That’s up to CPAC,” said Cheney, who is the House Republican Conference chair.
“I’ve been clear about my views about President Trump and the extent to which, following January 6, I don’t think he should be playing a role in the future of party.”
No. 3 Republican Liz Cheney said ex-President Donald Trump should not be ‘playing a role in the future of the party’[/caption]
The House minority leader then ended the press conference “on that high note,” prompting laughter from lawmakers aware of the unusual dynamic.
McCarthy is a Trump ally, while Cheney was one of 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach the 45th president for inciting an insurrection at the Capitol on January 6.
The brief clash between McCarthy and Cheney showcased the division within the GOP and disagreement over what direction to take the party in the post-Trump era.
Ex-President Donald Trump is expected to announce an active role in GOP politics during his CPAC speech[/caption]
Trump is slated to speak at the conference on Sunday in what will be his first public political speech since departing the White House.
The former president is expected to slam President Joe Biden’s performance so far and warm up to a 2024 bid without announcing he is running, according to Fox News.
Early polls show Trump as a the frontrunner in the Republican primary if he decides to make a bid.
Ex-President Donald Trump is slated to speak at CPAC on Sunday[/caption]
Matt Schlapp, who is chairman of the American Conservative Union which hosts CPAC, said he believes Trump will carve out an active role in the GOP during his speech.
“I’m not sure what he’s going to say about 2024 but I’m pretty confident he’s going to make it clear that it’s a very viable possibility,” Schlapp said.
Trump, who was permanently suspended from Twitter after the Capitol riot, has kept a low profile since leaving office, except for some remarks during his impeachment trial and after he was acquitted.
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McCarthy is scheduled to speak at CPAC on Saturday on potential 2024 candidates, the Republican Party’s plan to regain the majority and messaging campaigns.
The annual CPAC gathering serves as an occasion to round up possible presidential candidates.
McCarthy and Cheney’s moment of disagreement came a day Senator Mitt Romney said that Trump would win the 2024 primary if he decides to run.