One source said organizers still hope to change Pence’s mind about attending, while another source said Pence is planning to stay under the radar for the next six months. Politico first reported that Pence declined the invitation.
“We accept Joe Biden is the duly elected president of the United States,” former Pence chief of staff Marc Short told CNN’s Pamela Brown on “Newsroom” Saturday evening, despite Pence playing a role in perpetuating baseless election fraud theories that Trump repeatedly pushed ahead of the attack on the Capitol.
Unlike Trump, Pence attended Biden’s inauguration in Washington, DC, last month — after skipping Trump’s farewell ceremony.
Short said Saturday that Trump and Pence “departed amicably” and that they’ve spoken since.
The source familiar with Trump’s plans to attend CPAC, who is also familiar with the former President’s speech, told CNN on Saturday that “he’ll be talking about the future of the Republican Party and the conservative movement.”
“Also look for the 45th President to take on President Biden’s disastrous amnesty and border policies,” the source added.
One of Trump’s campaign managers, Brad Parscale, met with the former President at his club in Mar-a-Lago this week for a lengthy meeting, according to a source familiar. Utah Sen. Mike Lee is holding a fundraiser at Mar-a-Lago Saturday night, according to another source familiar, a potential sign of more visits to come.
The simmering feud between Trump and McConnell has escalated in recent days, raising questions about whether the two can ever work together for the future of the GOP.
But McCarthy leads a conference where a majority of members are strongly supportive of Trump — unlike Senate Republicans, who are split over the former President and where some top leaders are eager to move past him and focus instead on uniting the party around ideas, not a person.
This story has been updated with additional information.
CNN’s Dana Bash, Kaitlan Collins and Manu Raju contributed to this report.
Source: CNNPolitics – Breaking News