Feb. 27 (UPI) — The 2020 Conservative Political Action Conference, the annual gathering of conservative activists and politicians, is underway in Maryland, where Vice President Mike Pence will be among the first speakers.
President Donald Trump and Republican lawmakers are among a long list of speakers for the event, which runs through Saturday in National Harbor, Md., a suburb of Washington, D.C.
Trump is scheduled to deliver the closing speech on Saturday. Earlier this week, he hailed the event by tweeting a photograph of his appearance last year, when he embraced an American flag on the speakers’ stage.
“Looking forward to being with all of my friends and supporters,” Trump wrote.
Thursday’s scheduled speakers include House Republican Whip Steve Scalise, Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio, Sen. Mike Lee of Utah and Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas. Pence will speak at 11:50 a.m. EST.
Thursday’s session begins shortly after 7 a.m. EST and will be streamed live.
CPAC 2020 Thursday-Saturday from CMIav on Vimeo.
A number of Trump campaign officials spoke on the conference’s opening day Wednesday, including spokeswoman Katrina Pierson, campaign press secretary Kayleigh McEnany, communications director Tim Murtaugh and adviser Mercedes Schlapp.
CPAC 2020 will focus on “protecting” America and combating socialism, and will include a five-part program discussing the efforts to investigate Trump and his associates.
Trump’s former campaign foreign policy adviser Carter Page — the subject of FBI surveillance in a case that encouraged Attorney General William Barr to weigh reforms of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act Court — also appeared Wednesday.
Trump appointed Pence on Wednesday to head the U.S. COVID-19 response with Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, who’s scheduled to speak at CPAC on Saturday.
Agency heads and members of Trump’s Cabinet will also speak at some point during the four-day event, including Education Secretary Betsy Devos, Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, Labor Department Secretary Eugene Scalia and EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler.