President Trump speaks at CPAC

By Veronica Stracqualursi, Caroline Kelly and Harmeet Kaur, CNN

Updated 8:13 p.m. ET, March 2, 2019
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12:57 p.m. ET, March 2, 2019

Trump mocks Jeff Sessions and goes after Mueller

From CNN's Sarah Westwood

President Donald Trump has gone after special counsel Robert Mueller extensively, even mocking former Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ southern accent when recalling Sessions’ decision to recuse himself from the investigation. 

“Robert Mueller never received a vote,” Trump said. “The person that appointed Robert Mueller never received a vote.”

“So the attorney general is weak and ineffective and he doesn’t do what he should’ve done,” Trump said.

He recounted a conversation with first lady Melania Trump he said he had just before he removed former FBI Director James Comey, in which he predicted the firing would be bipartisan because many Democrats had criticized Comey.

Trump had earlier called the investigations into him “bullshit” and said congressional committees are only shifting to scrutinize his business dealings because, he claimed, the forthcoming Mueller report will not confirm collusion. 

1:27 p.m. ET, March 2, 2019

Trump discusses Green New Deal, Russia probe, Clinton's emails

By Caroline Kelly

Trump hit on three key issues early on during his CPAC speech -- and took a shot at House Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff, calling him 'Shifty Schiff":

The Green New Deal: "I encourage it, I think it's really something that they should promote, they should work hard on. It's something our country needs desperately, they have to go out and get it, but I'll take the other side of the argument only because I'm mandated to. But they should stay with that argument, never change. No planes, no energy, when the wind stops blowing, that's the end of your electric ... Is the wind blowing today? I'd like to watch television."

Asking Russia to get Hillary Clinton's emails: "If you tell a joke, if you're sarcastic, if you're having fun with audience, if you're on live television with millions of people and 25,000 people in an arena, and if you say something like, 'Russia, please if you can, get us Hillary Clinton's emails! Please, Russia, please! Please get us the emails, please!'"

The crowd then broke into a chant of "Lock her up!"

"So everybody's having a good time," he continued. "I'm laughing, we're all having fun, and then that fake CNN and others say, 'he asked Russia to go get the emails.'"

House Democrats' Russian investigation: Republican Reps. Mark Meadows and Jim Jordan "fight so hard on this witch hunt, this phony deal that they put together, this phony thing that now looks like it's dying. So they don't have anything with Russia, there is no collusion. So now they go and morph into, let's inspect every deal he's ever done. We're going to go into his finances, we're going to check his deals...These people are sick. I saw little Shifty Schiff yesterday, it's the first time. We went into a meeting and he said, 'we're going to look into his finances.' I said, 'where did that come from?' You always talked about Russia, collusion with Russia, the collusion delusion."

10:23 a.m. ET, March 2, 2019

Here's what Trump said at last year's CPAC

From CNN's Gregory Krieg and Sophie Tatum

Last year's CPAC represented the GOP's full embrace of President Trump.

Trump had gone off-script, discarding prepared remarks he deemed "sort of boring," and touted the success of his administration's first year.

He also addressed other issues like immigration -- at the time, senators had spent months trying to negotiate a compromise for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy, multiple deals had failed to pass, and tempers were fraying. At the CPAC speech, Trump lit into Democrats as "totally unresponsive" and "really crazed."

Trump had also called for teachers to be armed in schools in response to the Marjory Stoneman Douglas school shooting in Florida, which occurred the week before the conference.

An armed teacher, Trump claimed, would have "shot the hell" out of the Florida killer.

Coincidentally, the President had also announced new sanctions on North Korea at CPAC 2018. One year and two summits later, the sanctions may again come up at CPAC 2019.

Trump walked away from the Hanoi summit empty-handed last week after refusing to lift the sanctions.

Watch Trump's comments at CPAC 2018:

10:23 a.m. ET, March 2, 2019

It was a chaotic week for Trump. Here's what happened.

Michael Cohen testifies before the House Oversight Committee on Capitol Hill on February 27 in Washington, DC.
Michael Cohen testifies before the House Oversight Committee on Capitol Hill on February 27 in Washington, DC. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

President Trump is heading to the annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) at the end of a whirlwind week, both in Washington and abroad.

Here's what happened this week:

  • Tuesday: the House passed a resolution to overturn Trump's national emergency declaration, which had been made to unlock federal funding for a border wall.
  • Also on Tuesday: Trump held his second summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Vietnam. Trump had angled for a more concrete commitment to denuclearize, but the two leaders did not reach an agreement and ended the summit early, walking away empty-handed.
  • Wednesday: Meanwhile back in Washington, all eyes were on Michael Cohen as the President's former personal lawyer testified before Congress. In a much-televised day-long session, Cohen accused the President of federal and financial crimes.

As this all unfolded, the 2020 presidential race loomed in the background. Washington Gov. Jay Inslee announced his presidential bid on Friday, launching a campaign that will make combating climate change a central point.

Beto O'Rourke said this week that he has made a decision about his political future, and will announce it "soon" -- and signs increasingly point to him running for president. Former Vice President Joe Biden also revealed that his family is on board with a 2020 run and he's "very close" to making a decision.

10:23 a.m. ET, March 2, 2019

These people are speaking at this year's CPAC

From CNN's Jessie Yeung

Vice President Mike Pence speaks during CPAC 2019 in National Harbor, Maryland.
Vice President Mike Pence speaks during CPAC 2019 in National Harbor, Maryland. Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Apart from President Trump, this year's Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) lineup has several other recognizable names.

Here's who else will be speaking or has spoken already:

  • Vice President Mike Pence, who has spoken at three CPAC conferences
  • British politician Nigel Farage, known for his pro-Brexit campaign before resigning as leader of his party in 2016
  • Lindsey Graham, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee
  • Fox News host Laura Ingraham
  • Online influencers and sisters Diamond and Silk

A number of House Representatives and senators will also be present, including Sens. Mike Lee and Marsha Blackburn, and Reps. Jim Jordan, Mark Meadows, and Devin Nunes.

Speakers so far have touched on issues like the North Korea nuclear talks, special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation, and the 2020 presidential elections, as well as more traditional conservative themes such as foreign policy and religion.

10:23 a.m. ET, March 2, 2019

President Trump is speaking at CPAC today. Here's why.

Alex Wong/Getty Images
Alex Wong/Getty Images

President Donald Trump is speaking this weekend at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), held this year from Feb. 27 to March 2 at National Harbor, Maryland.

The conference, launched in 1973, is hosted by the American Conservative Union (ACU) and invites a range of activists, political leaders, and other prominent conservative figures.

The schedule is full of evening receptions, panel discussions, workshops, and an Activist Boot Camp.