VOA News

U.S. President Donald Trump will address a friendly audience Saturday at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference, capping a tumultuous week highlighted by failed talks at a summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and damning testimony before Congress by former personal attorney Michael Cohen.

The conference promises to be a welcome diversion for Trump, as Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into the Trump campaign’s possible collusion with Russia appears to be coming to a conclusion.

It will be the Republican president’s third consecutive appearance since he has been in office at the three-day conference at National Harbor in Maryland, just outside Washington, where anti-socialism has been the overriding theme.

Vice President Mike Pence delivered a speech at the conference on Friday, accusing Democrats of making a “hard left turn” before the 2020 elections and saying voters must choose “between freedom and socialism.”

While the crowded field of Democratic presidential hopefuls includes progressives like Senators Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren and Cory Booker, there are no shortage of moderate establishment hopefuls such as former Vice President Joe Biden, who is widely expected to join the race.

Some Democrats have openly embraced issues such as expanding health care coverage, combating climate change and debt-free college. Republicans have frequently labeled them as radical leftists and their agenda as costly socialist, business-unfriendly programs.

Trump is expected to be praised at the conference, primarily for fighting illegal immigration, nominating conservative judges and limiting the influence of the federal government.