The first day of the Conservative Political Action Conference –- also known as CPAC –- gave conservatives a chance to hear from some of President Donald Trump’s top advisors at the White House and even included a Supreme Court prediction by one of Trump's former rivals.
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Here are five things to note from the first day of CPAC.
Bannon and Priebus insist they're buddies
White House senior adviser Steve Bannon and chief of staff Reince Priebus took their buddy comedy on the road at CPAC, insisting that the White House is not in chaos and that they are working well together.
Priebus and Bannon insisted they are "dear friends" and have a smooth working relationship.
"In regard to us two, I think the biggest misconception is everything that you're reading. We share an office suite together, we're basically together from 6:30 in the morning until about 11:00 at night," Priebus said.
He continued his praise, "I think that he’s very dogged in making sure that every day, the promises that President Trump has made are the promises we’re working on every day, number one. Number two, he’s incredibly loyal. And number three -– which I think is a really important quality as we’re working together –- he’s extremely consistent."
For his part, Bannon said of Priebus, "I can run a little hot on occasions. And Reince is indefatigable."
DeVos aupports Trump's decision to reverse transgender guidelines
Education Secretary Betsy DeVos said she supports President Trump's rollback of Obama administration guidelines on transgender students' choice of bathrooms in schools. During a Q & A at the conference on Thursday, DeVos said the previous president's guidance issued last year to public schools was a "very huge example of the Obama administration's overreach." She said, however, "It's our job to protect students" and "to protect personal freedoms."
Kellyanne Conway tells young conservatives, 'Don't live online'
When asked to give her recommendations for the many college-age conservatives who flocked to CPAC this year, White House counselor KellyAnne Conway was succinct: get offline. "Live in real time. I’m just astonished how many people live online, on Facebook, texting, Twitter, email. Remember: it’s a mode of communication, it’s not communication. It’s not real life," she said.
As she concluded her remarks Thursday morning, President Trump, a frequent social media user himself, had not yet issued any new tweets, his preferred mode of communication.
Ted Cruz predicts 2nd Supreme Court vacancy in the summer
Sen. Ted Cruz, a former Texas solicitor general who once clerked for Supreme Court Chief Justice William Rehnquist, said during a conversation onstage at CPAC that there would be a second Supreme Court vacancy "this summer." He didn’t give any hints as to which seat he thinks will be free, but there have been rumors that Justice Anthony Kennedy will retire after the current term.
Most of what was shown on TV were the speeches in a large ballroom. But there’s much more to CPAC than just politicians speaking. There’s a whole lot of Republican merchandise and kitsch, ranging from women dressed in skirts bearing elephants to shirts reading "Socialism sucks."