Conservative activist and Trump supporter Laura Loomer says that she has been banned from CPAC, the Conservative Political Action Conference. Loomer posted video on her Instagram account of herself being asked to hand over her media credentials at the conference. You can watch that here:
Loomer said she was completely baffled by the ban; the activist described herself as “one of Donald Trump’s biggest supporters” and pointed out that she had just chatted with Donald Trump Jr and had dinner on Friday night with Tea Party activist Katrina Pierson. Loomer asked a security guard why she was being asked to leave, but he replied simply, “I’ve already explained that, Ma’am.”
“Apparently somebody from CPAC doesn’t want me attending,” Loomer said.
CPAC later clarified that Loomer had not been banned from the conference; the conference said they had removed Loomer’s press credentials but said that she was welcome to buy a ticket and attend the event.
A Group Called Right Wing Watch Said They Had ‘Asked CPAC for an Explanation’ About Loomer’s Presence at the Conference
A progressive group called Right Wing Watch wrote a tweet which initially had some people thinking they had gotten Loomer banned from CPAC. The group tweeted, “RWW’s @jaredlholt asked #CPAC2019 officials yesterday why they had granted press credentials to Laura Loomer. Today, they were revoked.” You can read Right Wing Watch’s complaint about Laura Loomer here.
However, RWW later clarified that they hadn’t asked CPAC to ban Loomer; the group says they simply asked the conference to explain why Loomer was there in the first place.
Right Wing Watch says that they emailed the CPAC communications team to ask why Loomer had been credentialed to cover CPAC; they did not receive an answer. But the next day, Loomer was ordered to hand over her press pass for the conference.
Right Wing Watch describes Loomer as an “unhinged conspiracy theorist” and an “anti-Muslim activist.” The group complained that Loomer has been trying to “smear” Minnestoa representative Ilhan Omar with allegations that Omar once married her own brother. Right Wing Watch also complained about Loomer’s behavior at CPAC, writing,
“Loomer was seen outside CPAC yesterday with a slew of other far-right political actors with whom she is working to smear Rep. Ilhan Omar with allegations that Omar married her brother because Omar is a Muslim woman who wears a headscarf. Today, Loomer went into the conference area displaying a credentialed media badge and has used her access to badger a reporter from CNN. She has also targeted reporters at HuffPost and The Daily Beast, at whom she flung accusatory questions.”
Right Wing Watch is a watchdog organization which monitors right wing individuals and organizations. The group dscribes itself as:
“a project of People For the American Way (PFAW) dedicated to monitoring and exposing the activities and rhetoric of right-wing activists and organizations in order to expose their extreme agenda. Our researchers monitor dozens of broadcasts, emails and websites, and use their expertise on right-wing movements to analyze and distill that information for media, allies and the general public. By shedding light on the activities of the right-wing movement, we help expose the risks its extreme and intolerant agenda presents to our country. We do not endorse the views of groups that we report on.”
Loomer’s Supporters Took to Twitter to Express Their Outrage About the CPAC Ban
Loomer was asked to turn in her CPAC press credentials shortly before President Trump was due to speak at the conservative conference. After her ban, many Loomer supporters took to social media to express their shock and outrage about CPAC pulling Loomer’s credentials. Many people complained that CPAC had become too “liberal,” pointing out that a screen inside the conference was “blaring” CNN and that mainstream journalists had been allowed to cover the event while Loomer was not.
On Friday, Loomer reportedly “heckled” CNN’s media reporter, Oliver Darcy, who was also covering CPAC. (Loomer herself called her treatment of Darcy “Loomering.”) According to witnesses, Loomer followed Darcy into CPAC’s media center and questioned him about internet censorship and social media bias.