Reprinted with permission from Alternet
For the first time since leaving office, former President Donald Trump will speak publicly at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) -- and he is expected to deliver scathing remarks, leveling attacks on the Republican lawmakers who did not back him during his second impeachment trial.
So which lawmakers are on Trump's attack list? According to Politico, advisors close to the former president have revealed the list changes by the day. However, there is one name that remains on the list: Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA).
The publication reports that three insiders have revealed Trump is "stewing anew" over McCarthy and "it's become so frequent that his advisers think the House minority leader may be in for a public reprimand. That's even after the powwow at Mar-a-Lago where McCarthy tried to patch things up after he denounced Trump for the violence on January 6.
Trump's ire toward McCarthy reportedly centers on Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY), a long-time Trump critic who still has the ability to publicly lambast the former president from her top-ranking post within the House chamber. According to the publication, each time Cheney speaks, Trump is reportedly reminded of McCarthy's role in her maintaining her post despite voting in favor of the impeachment.
Each time Cheney criticizes Trump from her leadership post as the No. 3 House Republican, he's reminded that it was McCarthy who pleaded with his conference to keep her on as chair — despite her vote to impeach Trump. The latest trigger came Wednesday, when Cheney said at a press conference that Trump should not lead the party going forward while McCarthy awkwardly stood by.
While it remains unclear which lawmakers Trump will go after, specifically, an aide close to the former president has revealed he reportedly intends to cover all the bases by refuting the Republican Party "altogether." The aide said, Trump plans "to downplay the extent of the rift in his CPAC speech by dismissing the GOP establishment altogether," reports the publication.
"The only divide in the Republican Party is between the grassroots and a half a dozen Beltway insiders," Trump is reportedly expected to say. The CPAC may very well set the tone of the Republican Party's near future.