The annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) was getting underway Wednesday. Billed as “the birthplace of modern conservatism,” the conference aimed to combine “ideas with action to leverage the strength of thousands of grass-roots activists to break through the resistance of Washington’s powerful elites.”
Despite the anticipation for the yearly event, CPAC got some unwanted attention Monday when it rescinded an invitation to Milo Yiannopoulos to deliver the conference’s keynote address. The now-former Breitbart News editor came under fire when it was revealed he verbally defended pedophilia during an old podcast interview. As a result, Yiannopoulos lost a book deal with a major publishing house and resigned from his position Tuesday.
While Yiannopoulos’ keynote address replacement had not been immediately named, the event was not expected to be lacking any conservative star power. President Donald Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, and White House advisers Stephen Bannon and Kellyanne Conway were all scheduled to give speeches at the conference in a Maryland suburb of Washington, D.C.
Trump has spoken at a past CPAC conference, including in 2015 when he was booed after suggesting using ground troops to combat the Islamic State group. However, the then-presidential candidate decided against speaking there last year. The president will likely get a much warmer welcome from his fellow conservatives this time around.
In a reversal, Facebook has donated more than $60,000 to the conference this year after the social media network reportedly censored conservative news from users’ feeds. The change came as a result of Facebook looking to ingratiate itself with Republicans, Politico reported.
The conference’s first seminar — called “What Just Happened? 2016’s Lessons For Future Activism” — was scheduled to start at 3 p.m. EST. The “Facebook for Politics & Government: Tips, Tools, & Best Practices” seminar was scheduled for 4:30 p.m.
Speeches from more recognizable names begin Thursday morning, when “The Hon. Kellyanne Conway” was scheduled to be interviewed by a journalist from the Washington Times. Trump’s speech was scheduled for Friday. The most recent complete list of CPAC 2017 speakers can be found here.
A live stream from CPAC in real time from start until its finish Saturday can be found embedded below.