CPAC chief Matt Schlapp dodges questions about allegations as GOP conference begins – live

<p>CPAC vendors will set up their booths in the exhibition center </p>
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CPAC vendors set up their booths in the exhibition center


Criticism of the Joe Biden administration, the 2020 election, attacks on transgender health care and “awakening” are likely to be recurring themes during the four-day gathering for right-wing activists and GOP officials from across the US at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference be. or CPAC.

Donald Trump will again be the headliner on Saturday night, trying to reestablish his hold on the Republican Party after November’s disappointing interim results and the emergence of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis as a serious potential challenger for the GOP presidential nomination in 2024.

However, Mr DeSantis will not be there, nor will Mr Trump’s former Vice President Mike Pence or newly elected House Speaker Kevin McCarthy. Among the speakers will be Nikki Haley, Mike Pompeo and Jair Bolsonaro.

American Conservative Union Chairman Matt Schlapp, whose organization chairs the conference and who served as a key figure in uplifting the former president and his movement, is being accused of sexual misconduct by a former Republican campaign aide.


Story: Matt Schlapp avoids questions about groping allegations as CPAC begins

CPAC chief Matt Schlapp ignored questions from The Independent about allegations of sexual misconduct against him.

Alex WoodwartMarch 2, 2023 2:37 p.m


Things are looking smaller behind the scenes this year

After a hiatus during the pandemic, CPAC is returning at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center, the venue just outside of Washington, DC it has called home since 2003.

The Marriott-managed property is a massive complex that’s part of an even more massive development called National Harbor, and in recent years CPAC has packed the convention center’s ballroom to the rafters.

While CPAC organizers say this year’s edition has in no way lowered their ambitions, this year’s ballroom facility tells a different story.

In years past, the conference’s General Assembly filled the cavernous main ballroom with multiple seating areas reserved for attendees who paid at different levels to ensure different levels of access.

Not only does the attendee seating area not appear to have the multiple rows of seats that were present at previous conferences, but about a quarter of the space is not used at all for paying attendees.

(Andrew Feinberg / The Independent)

Some of this unused capacity is used for a press storage area that is much smaller than in previous years.

(Andrew Feinberg / The Independent)

Rather than being spread across multiple tiers of seating spanning the width of the ballroom, the filing area has been relegated to a corner behind a dais reserved for TV cameras and photographers, blocking most members of the press from a view of the crowd.

(Andrew Feinberg / The Independent)

In addition, a significant portion of the ballroom is screened off by a movable wall that hides empty, unused spaces.

Andrew FeinbergMarch 2, 2023 2:21 p.m


Matt Schlapp avoids questions about allegations against him

As CPAC began Thursday morning, event leader Matt Schlapp avoided questions about the allegations against him. A GOP worker has accused Mr. Schlapp of making unwanted sexual advances during the Georgia Senate runoff campaign. Mr. Schlapp has denied the allegations.

Eric GarciaMarch 2, 2023 2:00 p.m


CPAC panelists will cover Transgender Health, Voting Rights and The Wake Playbook

Interspersed with keynote speeches by prominent elected Republican officials at this year’s CPAC are several panels and roundtables on a variety of topics — mostly involving transgender people, electoral conspiracy theories, anti-abortion activism, attacks on schools and libraries, and a Themes called “Woke Playbook” that will likely dominate the stage for the next few days, as well as upcoming campaigns in 2024.

Guest panellists include far-right commentator and “Pizzagate” advocate Jack Posobiec, anti-LGBT+ social media influencer Chaya Raichik of Libs of Tik Tok, and Terry Schilling of the American Principles Project, an organization that promotes state legislation End gender-affirming healthcare for all transgender people, regardless of their age.

CPAC will also hear from anti-abortion activists and activists involved in a coordinated right-wing effort to undermine public schools – a campaign fueled by outrage over Covid-19 guidance and a “groomer” panic that has consumed school boards and debates about library content across the US.

One panel – “Sacking the Woke Playbook” – will feature former college football coach-turned US Senator Tommy Tuberville. Arizona Attorney General candidate Abe Hamadeh is among the so-called “election deniers” who have waged and lost nationwide races for positions that would critically monitor the American election, and is facing a panel titled “They stole it from us legally.” ” join.


Alex WoodwartMarch 2, 2023 2:00 p.m


The Lincoln Project attacks Trump’s takeover of the Republican Party in a new video

Just in time for CPAC, the anti-Trump Republican collective has launched a new campaign to remind American conservatives: “The Republican Party of yore is no more as Trumpism and MAGA have taken root and instilled a rot that is not can be washed away.”

Joe SommerladMarch 2, 2023 1:30 p.m


The allegations against CPAC boss Matt Schlapp

As the 2023 edition of CPAC begins, the man who greets the myriad right-wing activists and supporters descending on Maryland is faced with allegations of sexual misconduct.

That man, veteran GOP lobbyist Matt Schlapp, had been accused by a male Republican campaigner of making unwelcome sexual advances in the final days of the US Senate race in Georgia.

Joe SommerladMarch 2, 2023 1:00 p.m


“I’m afraid of Trump on a very personal level,” says Bill Maher

Speaking to Jake Tapper in a new CNN interview, realtime Host Bill Maher revealed his “very personal” fear of a second Donald Trump presidency.

“I’m scared of Trump on a very personal level because I don’t think he likes me. I understand why,” Mr. Maher said.

“And I don’t know what he would do in a second term.”

The comedian, whom Mr Trump has dismissed as a “radical left-wing lunatic” and “insane,” said after the 2016 election: “I was afraid for my own well-being. I thought I might end up in Guantanamo Bay. I think I still could.

“He’s obsessed sometimes. I don’t know. When he was president, he was in tears for about eight months. Every time he had a rally, I have a three-page list of things he called me.

“I mean, he’s obviously someone who knows no borders, and you have to worry when you see what other authoritarian rulers in other countries are doing to people.

“I don’t think he’s going to become[Russian President Vladimir Putin]and start pushing people out of windows, but I’m also not going to live on the 30th floor anywhere.”

Joe SommerladMarch 2, 2023 12:30 p.m


The organization of Covid deniers that CPAC sponsors

This year’s CPAC is sponsored by an advocacy group once described by a member of Congress as “among the top providers” of Covid-19 misinformation.

The group, dubbed America’s Frontline Doctors, poses as any other medical organization, but public health experts and critics have dubbed the group “the 21st-century digital version of snake oil vendors” who promote pseudo-scientific Covid cures like the use of Horse dewormers fueled anti-vaccine sentiment and misused donor funds.

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Joe SommerladMarch 2, 2023 12:00


Democratic leaders in Congress are calling on Rupert Murdoch to stop ‘grave propaganda’ around 2020 election

A letter from Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries demands that Fox News anchors like Tucker Carlson, Sean Hannity and Laura Ingraham “admit on the air that they were wrong to commit to such a… to engage in negligent behavior” by providing a platform for an unsubstantiated narrative that the election was compromised.

Her letter followed bombshell court filings in a defamation case against the network, with internal messages and testimonies from Fox figures and executives revealing their private denial of bogus voter fraud conspiracy theories, while multiple programs continued to harbor the people who promoted them.

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Joe SommerladMarch 2, 2023 11:30 am


Cowboys for Trump co-founder not guilty of campaign finance

Couy Griffin was found not guilty of a misdemeanor Wednesday for failing to register the group as a political committee at a trial in southern New Mexico.

The verdict by a 12-member jury ended a two-day trial in Alamogordo, the community where Mr. Griffin served as Otero County’s commissioner until he was banned from office last year for his role in the Jan. 6, 2021 Capitol riots became.

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Joe SommerladMarch 2, 2023 11:00 am

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