NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. — Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has dropped out last minute as a speaker at CPAC, according to organizers.
The account of the Conservative Political Action Conference tweeted on Friday: “Very disappointed @realDonaldTrump has decided at the last minute to drop out of #CPAC — his choice sends a clear message to conservatives.”
In a statement, Trump’s campaign said it has decided to campaign in Kansas instead. “The Donald J. Trump for President Campaign has just announced it will be in Wichita, Kansas for a major rally on Saturday prior to Caucus. He will also be speaking at the Kansas Caucus and then departing for Orlando, Florida and a crowd of approximately 20,000 people or more.”
More here, indicating a disagreement over Q & A session, as well as Trump wanting to campaign in Texas.
Amid criticism of the relationship with CPAC’s organizers, Trump also bristled at their insistence that he answer questions from a journalist of their choosing onstage after his speech, according to sources familiar with the planning.
“They refused to accept the terms and they asked us to change the terms to allow him to give longer remarks,” said Matt Schlapp, chairman of the American Conservative Union, the group that sponsors CPAC. “And we said no to that.”
An ACU board member added that Trump “didn’t want to answer questions, and he decided he was the frontrunner so he didn’t need to answer them, or even to show up,” said a member of the board member of the American Conservative Union, the group that sponsors CPAC.