Trump said he’d praise a CPAC poll if it came out in favor of him, otherwise he’d call it fake

Trump CPAC
Former U.S. President Donald Trump prepares to speak during the Conservative Political Action Conference CPAC held at the Hilton Anatole on July 11, 2021 in Dallas, Texas.

  • Donald Trump delivered a speech at the CPAC conference on Sunday.
  • “Now, if it’s bad, I just say it’s fake,” Trump said of polls he doesn’t like.
  • The cynical approach fits Trump’s track record, but the admission was unusually frank.
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Former President Donald Trump in his speech at the CPAC conservative conference Sunday made a frank admission: that he judges the reliability of poll results on whether he wins them.

If he didn’t like the result of a poll he’d call it fake, but if he approved of the result he’d lavish it with praise, he said.

Speaking at the event in Dallas, Trump discussed the straw poll recording the popularity of potential 2024 Republican presidential candidates in the hours before its results came out.

“By the way, you have a poll coming out,” Trump said during his hour and a half-long speech. “I want to know what it is. You know they do that straw poll, right?”

“Now, if it’s bad, I just say it’s fake,” Trump said, drawing laughter from the crowd. “If it’s good, I say that’s the most accurate poll, perhaps ever.”

Trump then tried to cajole CPAC Chairman Matt Schlapp to give him the results early.

“I guess it gets announced after, I want to find out, are you going to – oh, he won’t. He won’t tell me,” said Trump.

Critics saw in the remarks an admission from Trump of his playbook when dealing with unfavorable data: attacking its authenticity when it doesn’t suit his agenda.

It notably matches his handling of the 2020 presidential election results, the integrity of which he has attacked repeatedly since losing to Joe Biden.

Trump has claimed, wrongly, that the contest was stolen from his as a result of mass fraud. Despite a concerted attempt to substantiate the claims, attempts by Trump and his allies to challenge the results have all failed.

The claim inspired his supporters on January 6 to attack the US Capitol in a bid to halt Joe Biden’s certification as president.

It turned out that Trump had no reason to seek to discredit the CPAC straw poll.

70% of conference attendees said they’d vote for him if he were the primary candidate. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis came second on 21%.

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Fauci said it’s ‘horrifying’ that CPAC attendees cheered about the US’ lagging vaccination rate

Screenshot of Jake Tapper and Anthony Fauci on CNN
Dr. Anthony Fauci told CNN’s Jake Tapper it was “horrifying” to see CPAC attendees cheer about lagging vaccination numbers.

  • Dr. Anthony Fauci said he was horrified to see CPAC attendees cheer that the US was unable to vaccinate 90% of people.
  • A crowd cheered when a CPAC speaker said the US government wasn’t able to “sucker” people into getting vaccinated.
  • “I don’t think that anybody who is thinking clearly can get that,” Fauci said Sunday.
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Dr. Anthony Fauci, the longtime director of the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said Sunday he was horrified when attendees of the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) appeared to cheer about the US failing to reach its vaccination goal this month.

Video of a CPAC discussion at its second conference of 2021 in Dallas posted to social media appeared to show the crowd cheering on the US’ inability to vaccinate most of its population.

“They were hoping – the government was hoping – they could sucker 90% of the population into getting vaccinated. And it isn’t happening,” said Alex Berenson, a former New York Times reporter who The Atlantic earlier this year dubbed “the pandemic’s wrongest man.”

Berenson was interrupted by cheers from the audience before he continued, claiming that younger people were avoiding getting vaccination because of potential side effects.

“It’s horrifying,” Fauci said Sunday during an appearance on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

“They are cheering about someone saying that it’s a good thing for people not to try and save their lives,” he added. “I mean, if you just unpack that for a second… it’s almost frightening to say hey, guess what, we don’t want you to do something to save your life. Yay. Everybody starts screaming and clapping.

Fauci added: “I just don’t get that, and I don’t think that anybody who is thinking clearly can get that.”

President Joe Biden in March set a goal of having 70% of the US adult population vaccinated with at least one dose of the vaccine by July 4. The US did not meet that milestone, according to data collected by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

About 68% of the US adult population has been partially vaccinated against COVID-19, receiving at least one dose of the vaccine. In total, about 55% of the US population is partially vaccinated. About 48% of the US population is fully vaccinated against the disease, according to CDC data as of July 10.

Vaccine hesitancy has created new concerns about COVID-19 spikes as the more contagious Delta variant becomes the dominant COVID-19 strain in the US. States with lagging vaccination numbers, like Arkansas, have seen an uptick in new cases as the variant takes hold.

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White nationalist Nick Fuentes banned from annual gathering of top US conservatives but other far-right extremists were welcomed

Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) stage 2021
Conservative Political Action Conference stage.

  • Nick Fuentes was removed from the Conservative Political Action Conference in Dallas on Saturday.
  • But several other far-right figures were seen at the event, including Oath Keepers and Proud Boys.
  • Donald Trump is due to speak at the conference on Sunday.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Far-right white nationalist Nick Fuentes was removed from the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Dallas on Saturday.

Although organizers removed Fuentes from the event, a range of far-right figures have been seen attending the conference, including members of the Oath Keepers, Proud Boys, and believers of the QAnon conspiracy theory.

CPAC is an annual gathering of top US conservatives, with former president Donald Trump due to speak on Sunday.

In a video posted to Twitter by Patriot Takes, Nick Fuentes can be seen outside CPAC with a group of his supporters chanting “Groyper.”

Groypers are a group of white nationalist and far-right activists, headed by Fuentes, whose goal is to bring far-right politics into mainstream conservatism.

In the video, Fuentes announced his plan to host a rival press conference, which he promised would be his “most unchained speech ever.”

“I’m off Twitter. I have nothing to lose. This is going to be the most racist, most sexist, the most anti-Semitic, the most Holocaust-denying speech in all of Dallas this weekend,” Fuentes said, to enthusiastic cheers from his supporters.

On Friday, Fuentes’ Twitter account was suspended for “repeated violations.”

The video shows Fuentes and his supporters walking into CPAC while chanting “America first” and “white boy summer.” Fuentes briefly gained access before being kicked out.

Although the 22-year-old agitator was barred from the event, members from other far-right groups were seen in attendance over the course of the weekend, including Stewart Rhodes, the leader of the Oath Keepers militia, and at least two members of the Proud Boys.

The Daily Beast reported that some CPAC attendees were openly boasting about participating in the Capitol insurrection.

“I’m here to instigate freedom like I did on the lawn on January 6 when I climbed the media tower while they shot tear gas at my feet,” Duane Schwingel, an activist who dresses up as a patriotic character called Uncle Jam, said, according to The Daily Beast.

QAnon merchandise was also seen on sale at the event.

A 7-point-plan to reinstate Donald Trump as president was also being handed out at CPAC.

The lineup of speakers included Donald Trump Jr. and other Trump allies.

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Transphobic abuse hurled at Caitlyn Jenner at CPAC conference, called a ‘sick freak’ and deadnamed

Caitlyn Jenner.
Caitlyn Jenner.

  • Caitlyn Jenner was hit with transphobic abuse while attending the Conservative Political Action Conference.
  • A heckler filmed himself repeatedly deadnaming her and calling her a “sick freak.”
  • The former reality TV star is running in California’s recall election against Gov. Gavin Newsom.
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Caitlyn Jenner was harassed and hit with transphobic abuse while attending the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Dallas.

A heckler filmed himself approaching the former reality TV star, who is running for governor of California, and repeatedly deadnaming her and calling her a “sick freak.”

Calling a transgender person by their birth name is known as deadnaming, and it can be a stressful and triggering experience.

A video of the abuse was posted to Twitter by the account Patriot Takes, which monitors right-wing media. The identity of the attacker who filmed the video is not clear.

The video shows the heckler approaching Jenner while she poses for photos in the lobby of the Hilton Anatole Hotel.

“Hey, Bruce. Bruce, what do you think about the stuff that they’re teaching in schools regarding the LGBTQ?”, the heckler shouts at her.

As Jenner walks away, he pursues her and says, “About Jesus Christ, Bruce. Don’t forget about Jesus.”

Jenner continues to ignore the attacker, and as she exits the hotel and heads towards a waiting car, the heckler says “look at that sick freak.”

Caitlyn Jenner is in Dallas to attend CPAC, an annual gathering of top US conservatives. The former reality TV star, a vocal Republican, runs in California’s recall election against Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom.

In her first press conference since announcing her candidacy, Jenner recently said, “I am a private citizen of the state of California, I have every right in the world to be able to run for this office and I am on the Republican side. Obviously, I’m on the Republican side.”

“But don’t put me in this box, like if you’re in this box of ‘you’re a Republican, you have to think this way,” she said.

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GOP Rep. Mo Brooks urged conservatives to ‘fight back’ and not ‘surrender,’ invoking the Revolutionary War in CPAC speech

Mo Brooks
Mo Brooks

  • Mo Brooks referenced the Revolutionary War during a speech at CPAC in Dallas on Friday.
  • Brooks told attendees they need to “fight back” and think about “sacrifice” like “our ancestors” did.
  • Brooks made similar remarks before the Capitol riot, when he told protesters to “start taking down names and kicking ass.”
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Rep. Mo Brooks urged conservatives to “fight back” and “sacrifice” during his speech Friday in Dallas, Texas, at the Conservative Political Action Conference.

Brooks, a Republican from Alabama, is running for US Senate with the endorsement of former President Donald Trump. His speech was reminiscent of remarks Brooks made on January 6 during the pro-Trump rally that preceded the Capitol attack, during which he told protesters to “start taking down names and kicking ass.”

“Now our choice is simple. We can surrender and submit or we can fight back as our ancestors have done,” Brooks said Friday, invoking the Revolutionary War and suggesting conservatives should be thinking about a comparable sacrifice.

Read more: Biden’s pick to oversee Capitol riot cases is expected to be a former public corruption prosecutor

“Think for a moment about our ancestors who fought at Valley Forge. They didn’t fight the British, they fought for survival,” Brooks said, referencing thousands of Continental soldiers who died over the course of six months.

“That’s the kind of sacrifice that we have to think about,” he continued. “And I ask you: are you willing to fight for America? Are you willing to fight for America?”

Brooks is being sued by California Rep. Eric Swalwell, who alleges Brooks is responsible for the thousands of rioters who breached the Capitol. Trump, Donald Trump Jr., and Rudy Giuliani are also targeted in the lawsuit.

According to a recent court filing, Brooks said he “represented the will” of his constituents when he told the protesters to fight hours before the riot. His attorneys also insisted Brooks only appeared at the rally because the White House had asked him to.

During his CPAC speech, Brooks also repeated Trump’s unsubstantiated claims about voter and election fraud.

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A 7-point-plan to reinstate Donald Trump as president ‘in days, not years’ was handed out at CPAC

Donald Trump
Former President Donald Trump.

  • A plan to reinstate Donald Trump as president circulated at the Conservative Political Action Conference.
  • The outlandish plan involves ousting House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and replacing her with Trump.
  • The conspiracy theory that Trump will be reinstated as president is popular among his supporters.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Attendees of the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Dallas have been handed cards outlining a 7-point-plan to reinstate Donald Trump as president ‘in days, not years.

Forbes reporter Andrew Solender posted an image of the card on Twitter.

The cards seemed to have been made by a group called Patriots Soar, which was not affiliated with the event organizers.

The outlandish plan involves ousting House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and eventually installing Donald Trump in her place.

Donald Trump as Speaker would then call for a vote to impeach, charge, and remove “imposters” President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris.

As the Speaker of the House is third in the line of presidential succession, Trump would then take up the presidency again in this highly improbable scenario.

The plan hinges upon Republicans regaining control of the House, which they plan to do by pulling back the curtain on “the horror show” of the Democrat Party, causing groups such as the Black Caucus to “flip” sides.

The card links to a website that elaborates on the madcap scheme to reinstate Trump and claims to have proof connecting the Democrat party to satanic sacrifices.

The messaging alludes to popular QAnon-affiliated conspiracy theories that accuse the Democrat party of secret satanic abuse. A recent study found that around a quarter of Republicans believe that Satan-worshiping pedophiles control the US government.

The conspiracy theory that Trump will soon be reinstated as president has been popularised by prominent supporters, including MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell and the lawyer Sidney Powell.

The card also refers to the widely debunked conspiracy theory that the 2020 election was fraudulent, which has been rejected dozens of times in court.

Insider has previously reported that there is no legal path for Trump to be reinstated.

CPAC, an annual gathering of top US conservatives, is taking place in Dallas this weekend. Donald Trump is scheduled to speak on Sunday.

Other speakers include Donald Trump Jr. and other Trump allies such as former Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf and Rep. Madison Cawthorn of North Carolina.

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GOP Rep. Madison Cawthorn said offering vaccines door-to-door could lead to the government confiscating guns and bibles

Madison Cawthorne
Rep. Madison Cawthorne (R-North Carolina).

  • The North Carolina congressman said door-to-door vaccinations could lead to the confiscation of people’s guns and bibles.
  • The GOP lawmaker was speaking at a CPAC event in Dallas on Friday.
  • Joe Biden said Tuesday door-to-door vaccines could improve vaccination rates as the Delta variant spreads.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Rep. Madison Cawthorn said President Joe Biden’s call to offer COVID-19 vaccines door-to-door could lead to the government taking people’s guns and bibles.

Cawthorn, a Republican from North Carolina, was speaking Friday during an interview at the Conservative Political Action Conference event in Dallas, Texas, taking place this weekend. He was speaking with Right Side Broadcasting Network, a conservative media outlet.

“And now they’re sort of talking about going door-to-door to be able to take vaccines to the people. The thing about the mechanisms they would have to build to be able to actually execute that massive of a thing,” Cawthorn said, in reference to Biden’s latest community-based vaccine push.

“Think about what those mechanisms could be used for. They could then go door-to-door to take your guns. They could go door-to-door to take your bibles,” Cawthorn said.

Biden said Tuesday that offering vaccines door-to-door could help increase vaccination rates as the Delta variant of the coronavirus spreads rapidly in several US states. The US also missed the White House’s goal of inoculating 70% of adults by July 4th. As of Friday, nearly 59% of adults were fully vaccinated, according to the CDC.

Biden’s remarks on Tuesday drew immediate pushback from some conservatives, including Rep. Lauren Boebert, who called the door-to-door vaccinators “needle Nazis.” GOP Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene also made a Nazi reference, calling the vaccinators “medical brown shirts,” a reference to Adolf Hitler’s militia and paramilitary force.

The White House hit back at the criticism, with Press Secretary Jen Psaki saying on Friday: “The failure to provide accurate public health information, including the efficacy of vaccines and the accessibility of them to people across the country, including South Carolina, is literally killing people, so maybe they should consider that.”

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Trump sent cease-and-desist letters to stop the RNC, NRCC, and NRSC from using his name: report

trump plane
Former President Donald Trump.

Attorneys representing former President Donald Trump on Friday issued cease-and-desist letters to the Republican National Committee (RNC), National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC), and National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) for “using his name and likeness on fundraising emails and merchandise,” according to a Politico report.

The three fundraising committees are the largest and most prominent fundraising vehicles for GOP members of Congress and emerging candidates that have been endorsed by the party apparatus.

Trump is reportedly upset that his name is being used without his permission by organizations that are backing Republicans who supported his impeachment, according to Politico.

The former president, who has long made licensing agreements for his many business ventures over the decades, was also selective about how his name was used for fundraising while in office, according to the report.

Just yesterday, the RNC sent out emails requesting that supporters make donations for a card to “thank” Trump.

“President Trump will ALWAYS stand up for the American People, and I just thought of the perfect way for you to show that you support him!” the email stated. “As one of President Trump’s MOST LOYAL supporters, I think that YOU, deserve the great honor of adding your name to the Official Trump ‘Thank You’ Card.”

Another email was sent later in the day reminding supporters of a deadline for signing their names on the card.

According to Politico, GOP insiders said it was “impossible not to use Trump’s name,” as he boasts immense popularity with the party’s base and with the low-propensity voters that fueled unexpected Republican wins in many Congressional races across the country in 2020.

The insiders reportedly said that if Trump wants to see Republicans win back control of Congress in the 2022 midterm elections, then he should not be so restrictive with his name.

However, an advisor to Trump disagrees with such a sentiment.

“President Trump remains committed to the Republican Party and electing America First conservatives, but that doesn’t give anyone – friend or foe – permission to use his likeness without explicit approval,” the advisor told Politico.

After a report from The Wall Street Journal indicated that Trump was considering forming his own political party, Trump refuted the idea during a speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) earlier this week.

“We have the Republican Party,” he said. “It’s going to unite and be stronger than ever before. I am not starting a new party.”

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Trump at CPAC called out his GOP critics and again claimed he won the 2020 election, showing he’s still determined to undermine US democracy

Trump
Donald Trump addresses the Conservative Political Action Conference in the Hyatt Regency in Orlando on February 28, 2021.

  • Trump again falsely claimed he was the real winner of the 2020 election in his CPAC speech Sunday.
  • Trump loyalists in the GOP are also using the claim in their push to restrict voting laws.
  • But continuing to support it could backfire on the GOP. 
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

In the wake of the Capitol riot, Donald Trump’s political career seemed over.

The attack showed that Trump’s refusal to accept his defeat in the November 2020 election was not just a cynical ploy to maintain his hold over supporters, but a threat to the integrity of US democracy itself, some experts warned. Administration officials told Reuters that Trump’s refusal to accept his defeat would permanently stain his political brand.

But less than two months later, Trump is back, unrepentant, and again pushing his myth that the election was stolen from him by Democrats, disloyal Republicans, and their allies in the judiciary and media. 

In his speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) on Sunday – his first since leaving the White House on January 20 – Trump repeated the lie that he was the real victor of the 2020 presidential election. 

“You won! You won!” supporters chanted at the former president. 

“We did,” Trump replied.

“Actually, as you know, they just lost the White House,” Trump said of the Democrats.

“Who knows, I may even decide to beat them for a third time,” he added, teasing plans for a 2024 presidential run. 

He went on to attack Supreme Court justices for rejecting his legal challenges to the election, which he lost by more than 7 million votes.

“They didn’t have the guts or the courage to make the right decision,” he said of the nation’s highest court.

Trump’s speech was more than just rhetorical showmanship, too, with the former president using his election-fraud lie to push for reform of voting laws, including canceling early voting and tougher voting rules. No evidence has emerged to substantiate Trump’s claim that current US voting rules are exposed to widespread fraud. 

Trump calls out Republican critics 

After the Capitol riot there was a move by some Republican leaders to distance the party from Trump, and put it on a new track. But their challenge to Trump’s dominance fizzled out as his popularity among grassroots GOP supporters held firm.

And in his Sunday speech, Trump called out his most adamant Republican critics by name. They include Rep. Liz Cheney, Rep. Adam Kinzinger, and Sen. Mitt Romney.

“Get rid of them all,” he said of the lawmakers.

Their failure to successfully challenge Trump means he is set to remain the most powerful figure in the GOP, and his election-fraud lie one of its central myths. 

A straw poll of CPAC attendees on Sunday found that 95% want the Republican Party to advance Trump’s policies and agenda. (It is worth noting, though, that only 68% wanted Trump to be their 2024 candidate.)

The stolen-election myth could harm the GOP

Trump loyalists in state GOP parties are already citing Trump’s stolen-election myth in their bids to tighten voting rules, The New York Times reported, with low voter turnout long seen as an advantage to the GOP in key districts.

The national Republican Party last week followed suit, setting up a Commission on Election Integrity to tighten voter laws.

Trump’s lie about the stolen election doesn’t just have potential implications in the battle over election laws, but for US national security. An assessment by US intelligence agencies after the Capitol riot, seen by The Washington Post, found that Trump’s myth would likely continue to be a key driver in far-right violence. 

But there’s a serious potential downside for the GOP.

A Morning Consult poll published on January 27 found that only 33% of Republicans trust US elections, while only 36% said they were motivated to vote in future elections.

It’s a dynamic that played out in January’s Georgia Senate runoffs, where Republican strategists believe that Trump’s attacks on the state’s election officials for refusing to pursue his voter-fraud claims drove down GOP turnout. 

So the longer the Republican Party helps sustain Trump’s stolen-election myth, the more it could erode Republicans’ faith in the integrity of US democracy and damage the party’s chances of success at the polls. 

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Trump calls on states to ‘punish’ big tech with sanctions if they ‘silence conservative voices’

ORLANDO, FLORIDA - FEBRUARY 28: Former President Donald Trump addresses the Conservative Political Action Conference held in the Hyatt Regency on February 28, 2021 in Orlando, Florida. Begun in 1974, CPAC brings together conservative organizations, activists, and world leaders to discuss issues important to them. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
President Donald Trump addresses the Conservative Political Action Conference held in the Hyatt Regency on February 28, 2021 in Orlando, Florida.

  • During his CPAC speech, Donald Trump accused big tech of censorship.
  • He said section 230 should be repealed and that states should act if the federal government won’t.
  • Trump said states should sanction Twitter, Google, and Facebook if they “silence conservative voices.”
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

During his speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference on Sunday, former President Donald Trump encouraged states to “punish” big tech if they “silence conservative voices.”

Trump spoke on the final day of CPAC in Orlando, Florida. It was his first public speech since leaving the White House last month.

“All of the election integrity measures in the world will mean nothing if we don’t have free speech,” Trump said. “If republicans can be censored for speaking the truth and calling out corruption, we will not have democracy and we will only have left-wing tyranny.”

Trump has frequently accused tech companies of censorship over his removal from both Facebook and Twitter for violating their policies.

“The time has come to break up big tech monopolies and restore fair competition,” Trump said, adding that section 230 – a piece of internet legislation passed into law as part of the Communications Decency Act of 1996 – must be repealed.

Section 230 gives websites the ability to regulate the content that appears on their platforms. It also protects sites from being legally liable for content shared by users.

“If the federal government refuses to act then every state in the union where we have the votes – which is a lot of them – big tech giants like Twitter, Google, and Facebook should be punished with major sanctions whenever they silence conservative voices,” Trump said.

Trump cited Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who announced new proposals earlier this month aimed at social media companies. One proposal aims to block the suspension of accounts of political candidates and would impose fines for each day said account is blocked.

It’s unclear if the state would have the authority to enforce such laws, the Associated Press reported.

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