The American Enterprise Institute’s annual World Forum will feature a “secretive” gathering of conservative leaders and wealthy donors this week in Sea Island, Georgia, but will not include former President Donald Trump.
Trump, who will be holding a rally in Florence, S.C., on Saturday, was not invited to the event, according to CBS News. Then again, the guest list isn’t a very Trump-friendly crowd — there’s even a Biden aide on the guest list.
“The makeup of this year’s conference reflects AEI’s drift in recent years. While the nonpartisan — but historically conservative — group has previously supported aspects of Trump’s agenda, many of its scholars have become critics of the former president, particularly after he refused to concede defeat in the 2020 presidential election,” CBS reported. “This year’s guest list also underscores how some leaders inside the establishment wing of the Republican Party and their allies on the right are increasingly eager to move on from Trump and loosen his grip on the conservative movement.
Among those expected to attend is Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., who the president has blasted recently as an “old crow” in need of being replaced, and Arizona Governor Doug Ducey, who Trump has harshly criticized over the 2020 election results in his state. Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, another Trump critic, is also said to be on the guest list, as are Sens. Tim Scott (R-S.C.), Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Rob Portman (R-Ohio).
Notorious “Never Trumper” Jonah Goldberg, an AEI fellow who resigned from Fox News as an analyst only to then join CNN, is also expected to appear at the gathering.
President Biden’s top economic adviser, Brian Deese “is slated to appear in front of the World Forum audience on Friday, March 11, giving the White House a rare private platform in front of influential GOP donors and business leaders,” CBS News reported.
The former president will have a few friends in the room, as National Republican Senatorial Committee Chair Rick Scott (Fla.) are reportedly scheduled to attend, as is House Republican Conference Chair Elise Stefanik (N.Y.).
Here are but a few responses to the story from Twitter:
So Mitch and his merry band of GOP thieves is going to convene at AEI, not allow Trump to attend, but invite Brian Deese of the Biden admin to attend. Time for everyone to call his DC office and make your opinions known.
— Phyllis (@Phyllis94584953) March 7, 2022
The American Enterprise Institute is having a “secret” meeting at Cloisters in Sea Island, Ga this week to discuss the political world. Only mega donors from largest Intn. Corps. will attend. S. McConnell is invited to speak…Donald Trump is not.
— Mars Kuehne (@KuehneMars) March 7, 2022
CBS claims @AEI is a “conservative think tank,” and no #Trump invite shows @GOP moving on. AEI used to be conservative; it’s the establishment and out of touch with the new Republican Party. Take a look at the retreat venue (left), about $900 a night, and AEI’s posh DC HQ (right) https://t.co/Zit3BpjFhB pic.twitter.com/sXhBgySWGN
— Jason I Poblete (@JasonPoblete) March 7, 2022
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