Donald Trump drops out of conservative conference

Updated

Organizers of a high-profile conservative conference in Washington D.C. say that Donald Trump has abruptly cancelled his planned appearance tomorrow.

Trump was scheduled to address activists at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) early Saturday morning.

In a statement, Trump’s campaign said he would be campaigning in Kansas Saturday in advance of that state’s caucuses.

“The Donald J. Trump for President Campaign has just announced it will be in Witchita, Kanasas for a major rally on Saturday prior to Caucus,” the statement read. “He will also be speaking at the Kansas Caucus and then departing for Orlando, Florida and a crowd of approximately 20,000 people or more. Because of this, he will not be able to speak at CPAC as he has done for many consecutive years.”

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The conference has long been a destination for Republican presidential candidates as well as other conservative lawmakers and media stars. Presidential hopefuls John Kasich, Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz are all slated to participate, and Ben Carson is expected to use his address Friday to speak about his “political future.”

The crowd at CPAC may not have been a uniformly friendly one for Trump. The conference this year has already featured appearances by some of the GOP figures with whom Trump has warred, including RNC chairman Reince Priebus and Nebraska Sen. Ben Sasse.

The abrupt cancellation is not the first time Trump has dropped out of a conservative cattle call at the last minute.

He also cancelled a Heritage Action event in South Carolina earlier this cycle, citing a last minute business deal that needed his attention. He was also uninvited from Erick Erickson’s Red State Gathering in August.

NBC News’ Ali Vitali contributed to this article, which first appeared on NBCNews.com

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Donald Trump drops out of conservative conference

Updated