Trump To Appear At CPAC International Business Times

Amid a new controversy involving leaks and the FBI, President Donald Trump was scheduled to speak Friday at the Conservative Political Action Conference, or CPAC, in National Harbor, Maryland. 

Trump’s speech was expected to attempt to inspire the conservatives in the convention center, some of whom may remain skeptical of the president after he blustered his way past more traditional Republicans such as former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio during the party’s primary election. 

In fact, Trump’s talk might look to echo a memorable speech from former President Ronald Reagan, who energized his fellow conservatives at CPAC nearly 40 years ago, CNN reported. “Our time is now. Our moment has arrived,” Reagan said at the time. “We stand together shoulder-to-shoulder in the thickest of the fight.”

Trump’s speech might not sound exactly like Reagan’s, but people close to him have expressed they hope it be a similarly important moment in the conservative movement. 

“We conservatives have an opportunity that only comes around every few generations,” Vice President Mike Pence said at CPAC Thursday. “My friends, this is our time.”

But the remarks at CPAC could be overshadowed by the latest Trump administration scandal. The White House requested the FBI publicly squelch reports that suggested Trump’s campaign had been in regular contact with Russian officials, ABC News reported early Friday. 

The White House has rejected that characterization. “We didn’t try to knock the story down. We asked them to tell the truth,” Press Secretary Sean Spicer told CNN.

Trump himself went on a Twitter tirade against leaks early Friday, appearing to respond to the report.

“The FBI is totally unable to stop the national security ‘leakers’ that have permeated our government for a long time. They can’t even find the leakers within the FBI itself. Classified information is being given to media that could have a devastating effect on U.S. FIND NOW,” he wrote in a series of tweets. Soon after, he tweeted he was “going to CPAC.”

The president’s Friday speech was scheduled to begin at about 10 a.m. EST. You can watch it online here or simply see the embedded feed below. 

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