Former Vice President Mike Pence has declined an invitation to attend this year's Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), Fox News reported Sunday.
Citing a source familiar with the event planning, the report says Pence was invited to speak at the annual event but rejected the possibility. However, former President Donald Trump agreed to attend, which will be his first public appearance since he left the White House.
According to the report, members of Pence's team previously said that after the Capitol riot, Pence has harbored some "bitterness" toward Trump.
Pence reportedly made it clear to Trump that he had no intention of interfering in the Electoral College vote certification on January 6, despite increasing pressure from the ex-president at that time, saying that only lawmakers could decide to either approve or reject the outcome of the vote.
Media reported that Trump did not reach out to Pence or the family of the vice president as they were put inside a safe bunker at the Capitol during the breach, with Pence reportedly describing it as the "ultimate betrayal". Reports have claimed that the former duo did not speak in the days immediately following the riots, and have not resolved their issues since then.
Nonetheless, in an interview with the channel, former Pence chief of staff Marc Short said that Pence and Trump were still on speaking terms, despite "their differences."
Ever since leaving the White House on January 20, the former president has kept relatively silent, but recently he has stated he wants to remain politically active and told his followers that the Make America Great Again movement is still going strong after his impeachment acquittal.
"Our historic, patriotic and beautiful movement to Make America Great Again (MAGA) has only just begun," Trump said in a statement last week. "In the months ahead I have much to share with you, and I look forward to continuing our incredible journey together to achieve American greatness for all of our people. There has never been anything like it!"
First held in 1974, the CPAC event is usually held in or around Washington, DC, with The Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center in Maryland being the home of the conference for the past eight years. This year, due to the COVID-19 restrictions, the conference shall take place at the 1,641-room Hyatt Regency hotel.