- The chairman of CPAC, the Republican Party’s biggest annual conference, warned on Sunday that Sen. Mitt Romney should “be afraid for his physical safety” after Romney broke ranks with GOP senators to convict President Donald Trump two weeks ago.
- “People are so mad at him,” Matt Schlapp told “Full Court Press with Greta Susteren.” He doubled down on his remarks Monday.
- His warnings come as President Donald Trump and his allies continued to launch political attacks on Romney after his vote.
- In recent days the president has peddled baseless conspiracy theories that Romney has links with Burisma, the Ukrainian energy firm former Vice President Joe Biden’s son, Hunter, was a board member.
- That theory came after a pro-Trump PAC spread a meme attempting to link Romney to Burisma via a former Romney campaign staffer.
- Earlier this month Schlapp already banished Romney from attending this year’s CPAC after Romney voted to hear from more witnesses at the impeachment trial.
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The chairman of Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), the Republican Party’s biggest annual conference, has ominously warned that Sen. Mitt Romney should fear for his “physical safety” after he broke ranks with his party to convict President Donald Trump at his impeachment trial last week.
We won’t credential him as a conservative. I suppose if he wants to come as a nonconservative and debate an issue with us, maybe in the future we would have him come,” Schlapp said.
“This year, I would actually be afraid for his physical safety, people are so mad at him,” Matt Schlapp told “Full Court Press with Greta Susteren” on Sunday.
Schlapp, responding to criticism of his claims Monday, tweeted that “I don’t want anyone to get physical [with] any senator. But you know what you are doing when you whisper in Sen. Romney’s ear to encourage a continuing coup.”
Schlapp appeared to be referring to a baseless accusation, peddled by Trump, that Romney was a “Democrat secret asset” trying to launch a partisan coup against him.
Earlier this month he had already banished Romney from attending this year’s CPAC, from February 26 to February 29, after Romney voted in favour of hearing from additional witnesses at the impeachment trial.
Schlapp’s warnings come as Trump and his allies continue to attack Romney in the wake of his impeachment vote.
Their attacks initially focused on baseless claims that Romney harbored pro-Democratic biases, as well as his failed presidential campaign in 2012 against President Barack Obama.
They have since moved onto a new line of attack – a groundless claim that Romney is part of a cover-up linked to Burisma, the Ukrainian energy firm where former Vice President Joe Biden’s son Hunter served as board member, and the focus of Trump’s campaign to drum up dirt to hamper Biden’s chances in the 2020 election.
It was these efforts to strongarm Ukraine’s president into digging up dirt about Biden that got Trump impeached in the first place.
Trump and his allies have attempted to link Romney to Burisma through Joseph Cofer Black, who used to work for Romney and currently serves on Burisma’s board.
Romney’s critics have been pushing the theory that Black still advises Romney – which is wrong, according to PolitiFact.
The president on Sunday tweeted an article attempting to link Romney to Burisma, writing: “Mitt Romney is tied to Hunter Biden’s Burisma corruption. This is why he’s bent over backwards for the media with this show ‘guilty’ vote. He doesn’t want this story EXPOSED!”
Attempts to link Romney with Burisma started as early as January 31, PolitiFact noted. This was around the same time Romney voted for more witnesses in Trump’s impeachment trial, and CPAC banished Romney from its next conference.
The Committee to Defend the President, a pro-Trump PAC, had posted a meme on Facebook showing a composite image of Romney, former CIA director John Brennan – a high-profile Trump critic – and Black.
Black is currently a board member with Burisma, but does not, as the post claims, currently serve as a security adviser to Romney, though he was one of several officials who held the role during Romney’s 2012 campaign, PoliFact said.
In a statement to Politico, a Romney spokesperson said the connection between Black and the senator was tenuous.
“There were hundreds of informal policy advisers to the Romney campaign. If you were a Republican policy expert at that time, chances are you were part of that group,” said the spokesperson.
In the wake of Trump’s acquittal, the president’s defenders also doubled down on discussing conspiracy theories about Ukraine. Republican senators pledged to launch formal investigations into Burisma and the Bidens last week, The Washington Post reported.
- Read more:
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- Mitt Romney caught the White House off guard by breaking from the GOP with his vote to convict Trump
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