On Friday, Mitt Romney joined Susan Collins as the only two Republicans to vote with Democrats in favor of calling witnesses at President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial, which still left the Senate two votes shy of the necessary majority. Despite the fact that Trump’s swift acquittal is all-but assured, an organizer of the Conservative Political Action Conference sprang into, well, action, and took to social media to let it be known that Romney is officially not welcome at CPAC this year.
American Conservative Union president Matt Schlapp, husband to Trump White House Director of Strategic Communications Mercedes Schlapp, issued a bizarre tweet Friday announcing that Romney is “formally NOT invited” to the conference. The Utah senator appears to have last spoken at the event in 2013, in the wake of his failed presidential run.
Among those Schlapp is apparently totally fine with attending the conference, which will be held later this month, are speakers including Britain’s far-right former UKIP leader Nigel Farage, who has a history of making xenophobic and bigoted statements, and Eduardo Bolsonaro, son of Brazil’s authoritarian president Jair Bolsonaro.
Trump spoke at CPAC in 2017, 2018, and 2019, and has not yet been announced as a speaker in this year, though the full lineup has yet to be released. But while the president and the conference have been pretty cozy in recent years, it wasn’t always so—the then-candidate Trump pulled out of his appearance at CPAC in 2016 in response to conservative backlash against his presidential run. How things have changed.