GOP civil war ‘cancelled,’ senator says, while Liz Cheney rebukes Trump again

Florida Senator Rick Scott tests positive for COVID-19. On Friday, Florida Senator Rick Scott revealed that he had tested positive for COVID-19. . Although the Republican senator is experiencing “very mild symptoms,” he said he was otherwise “feeling good.” . After several negative tests, I learned I was positive for COVID-19 this AM. I’m feeling good & experiencing very mild symptoms, Rick Scott, via Twitter. Scott went on to say that he would be “working from home” until it was safe for him to return to D.C. He then followed up with a second tweet urging people to “wear a mask” and “socially distance.” . We will beat this together, but we all must be responsible. I want to thank all the incredible health care workers who are working around the clock to care for patients, Rick Scott, via Twitter. The Senator first announced his possible exposure to COVID-19 on November 14. . At the time, Scott said that he had come into contact with someone while traveling who “subsequently tested positive” . After arriving in Florida last night, I came into contact with someone who subsequently tested positive for COVID. , Rick Scott, via Twitter. I was tested this morning and the result was negative. I have no symptoms, but out of an abundance of caution, I will be immediately quarantining, Rick Scott, via Twitter

Trump to make first public appearance since defeat this Sunday at CPAC

The Republican charged with winning back the U.S. Senate for his party said Tuesday the GOP’s internal civil war “is now cancelled.” The same day, however, the House’s No. 3 Republican rebuked Donald Trump — again — ahead of the former president’s first public appearance Sunday.

Florida Sen. Rick Scott, who chairs the National Republican Senatorial Committee, sent the memo to GOP voters, donors and activists. In a copy obtained by Fox News, Scott condemned Trump’s recent (and historic) second impeachment and strongly criticized President Joe Biden’s new Democratic administration.

“The long running impeachment show is now over,” Scott, who is rumored as a possible 2024 GOP White House hopeful, wrote. “This political theater should have been held at the other end of Washington in the Kennedy Center instead of the US Capitol. It was an unserious circus. It’s over. Now it’s time to look ahead.”

Trump was acquitted of the House impeachment charge against him earlier this month by a vote of 57-43, with seven GOP senators voting to convict. Scott said rather than continue to debate impeachment, Republicans need to wake up to the successes Democrats are having.

“The Democrats control the White House, the Senate, and the House of Representatives. In other words, they control Washington,” Scott wrote. “Here is what they have done and are in the process of doing so far: cutting border security, granting amnesty to illegals, cancelling the Keystone pipeline destroying thousands of jobs, allowing males to compete in women’s sports, banning fracking on federal lands making us less energy independent and using tax dollars to pay for abortion in foreign countries.”

On the same day as Scott’s memo was published, however, U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming called on fellow Republicans to “make clear that we aren’t the party of white supremacy.”

“It’s very important for us to ignore the temptation to look away” from the attack, Cheney said during a virtual foreign policy event hosted by the Reagan Institute. “It’s very important, especially for us as Republicans, to make clear that we aren’t the party of white supremacy.”

Cheney was the only Republican leader who voted to impeach Trump following the deadly Jan. 6 Capitol riot.

“You saw the symbols of Holocaust denial, for example, at the Capitol that day; you saw the Confederate flag being carried through the rotunda, and I think we as Republicans in particular, have a duty and an obligation to stand against that, to stand against insurrection.”

Trump is scheduled to make his first public appearance since losing the White House on Sunday at the Conservative Political Action Conference, being held this year in Orlando, Florida.

Several former Trump administration officials will also speak at the event, including former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and Trump allies, such as Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem.

Former Vice President Mike Pence declined an invitation to speak at the event, according to a reporter from Politico.

Axios quoted unnamed sources as saying Trump plans to call himself the GOP’s presumptive 2024 White House nominee, while Newsweek quoted an anonymous source that Trump will “be talking about the future of the Republican party and the conservative movement. Also look for the 45th president to take on President Biden’s disastrous amnesty and border policies.”

Trump has been keeping a relatively low profile since he retired from the White House to Palm Beach, Florida, in January, but he reemerged last week to conduct a series of phone-in interviews to react to the death of conservative commentator Rush Limbaugh.

Mitch McConnell, the Senate’s Republican leader, has not been invited to this year’s Conservative Political Action Conference, two sources familiar with the event’s organizing told McClatchy.

“Leader McConnell did a great job confirming judges, and we know he will be a strong supporter of restoring appropriate election laws. Next year would be a better year for him to address the improvements to election laws once the states have time to act,” said Dan Schneider, executive director of the American Conservative Union, which puts on the event.

If McConnell were to show up on the CPAC stage, he would risk being met by a hostile audience, given the group’s loyalty to Trump. While McConnell voted to acquit Trump of inciting the insurrection in his second impeachment trial this month, the Kentuckian said the former president was morally responsible for the rampage and could be held criminally or civilly liable.

“There’s always tension between the grassroots and the establishment. That’s part of the history of this thing,” said a CPAC source, adding that the change of location from the D.C. Beltway to Florida will make the crowd more inherently conservative and pro-Trump. “You’re not going to have the swampy set.”

Sen. Rand Paul, who won CPAC straw polls from 2013 to 2015, was invited to this year’s conference but declined an invitation as he has in recent years.

The annual conference draws thousands of conservative activists from across the country, and the speaker list is usually a useful clue to demonstrate what politicians harbor presidential ambitions.

A new poll from The Economist/YouGov this week showed how much power Trump still wields over his party. Forty-eight percent of Republicans said they wouldn’t vote for a candidate who has been critical of Trump, and 61% said they’d be more likely to vote for a candidate with Trump’s endorsement.