House Republican leaders Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., and Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., openly disagreed about whether former President Donald Trump should speak to the Conservative Political Action Conference this week, with McCarthy quickly saying yes and Cheney saying Trump should have no role in the Republican Party.
CPAC, as it is known, is an annual meeting of conservative leaders in National Harbor, Maryland, outside Washington. This year’s convention begins Thursday and is scheduled to conclude Sunday, when Trump is scheduled to speak, his first substantive public appearance since leaving the White House.
When asked by a reporter at a press briefing held by the House Republican leadership if Trump should address CPAC, Minority Leader McCarthy of California had a simple, “Yes he should.”
When the question was asked of Cheney, who holds the No. 3 post as chairwoman of the House Republican Conference, she was more reticent.
“That’s up to CPAC,” said Cheney as she remained behind McCarthy with the other Republican leaders like Rep. Steve Scalise, the GOP whip. “I don’t believe that he should be playing a role in the future of the party or the country.”
Cheney, the daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, was one of 10 House Republicans to vote with all Democrats to impeach Trump. She was rebuked for the vote by the Republican Party her home state of Wyoming, which voted to censure her and called for her to resign. Additionally, a third of the House of Representatives conference voted for her to be removed from her chairwoman position.
McCarthy backed Cheney to remain in her position, despite calls from some, such as Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz, for her ouster.
When Cheney was finished, a momentary silence was heard before McCarthy ended the briefing.
“On that high note, thank you very much,” he said.