Trump to Take Stage at CPAC Amid Indictments of Former Campaign Manager Manafort

At conference featuring the likes of Marion Le Pen, VP Pence lauds Trump's policies on Israel and promises the president will no longer certify the Iran nuclear deal

Amir Tibon
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U.S. Vice President Mike Pence speaks during CPAC 2018 February 22, 2018 in National Harbor, Maryland.
U.S. Vice President Mike Pence speaks during CPAC 2018 February 22, 2018 in National Harbor, Maryland. Credit: \ KEVIN LAMARQUE/ REUTERS
Amir Tibon

WASHINGTON - President Donald Trump will speak on Friday before the annual gathering of Conservative Political Action Committee, a right-wing political summit taking place in Washington. This will be Trump's second appearance before the conference since he entered the White House, and it comes amid new indictments filed Thursday by Special Counsel Robert Mueller against Paul Manafort, Trump's former presidential campaign manager. 

On Thursday, the right-wing conference was addressed by Vice President Mike Pence, who mentioned in passing a number of policy issues related to Israel and the Middle East. Pence lauded Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel last December, and promised that the Trump administration will no longer certify the nuclear deal with Iran. Both lines drew strong applause from the crowd. 

One of the more controversial speakers at the event on Thursday was French far-right leader Marion Le Pen, the granddaughter of the anti-semitic founder of the National Front Party, Jean-Marie Le Pen. Marion Le Pen, 28, is considered the future leader of the party. During her appearance before CPAC, she said that her party's supporters in France "stand side by side" with President Trump's supporters in the United States, and that both countries face similar challenges when it comes to immigration. "Like you, we also want our country back," she explained. 

One panel during the conference's first day featured a live radio broadcast delivered from CPAC's main stage, hosted by right-wing talk show host John Batchelor, in which one of the participants was former Republican member of Congress Thaddeus McCotter. Both Batchelor and McCotter recently visited Qatar at the invitation of the Qatari Emir, as part of an outreach campaign by Qatar aimed at right-wing groups in the United States. The same panel was attended by Trump's former adviser Sebastian Gorka, who was released from the White House last summer.