U.S. conservatives gather at CPAC convention to celebrate Trump’s win, bury divisions

WASHINGTON – Conservatives are all smiles this week at an annual convention in Washington, celebrating President Donald Trump‘s win, but beneath the surface lurk tensions central to how Republicans will govern in the next two years and the 2018 election outlook.At the four-day Conservative Political Action Conference, once a fringe event that is now decidedly in the Republican mainstream, Trump and Vice President Mike Pence will drop by to help fire up an estimated 10,000 activists in attendance.Story continues belowKnown as CPAC, the event is being held at a new MGM resort and casino located in Maryland, just outside Washington. So Trump, a former casino developer, should feel at home, despite certain unresolved differences with many of his hosts over issues such as trade, taxes and small government.READ MORE: Trump’s new immigration plan could send all illegals to Mexico, regardless of nationalityJust a month into his presidency, Trump is already being compared by some conservatives to their icon President Ronald Reagan, who swept to power in 1981 with a small-government, free-trade, tax-cutting agenda that energized the Republican right-wing and molded the views of many of the CPAC faithful.Trump so far has been “pitch-perfect with conservatives as he starts his administration,” said Matt Schlapp, head of the American Conservative Union, which organizes CPAC.Even so, some conservatives, including some at CPAC, are nervously watching Trump.WATCH: President Trump calls illegal immigrant removal a ‘military operation’

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