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O'Rielly, Carr to Speak at CPAC

FCC Commissioner Michael O'Rielly

FCC Commissioner Michael O'Rielly

Republican FCC Commissioners Michael O'Rielly and Brendan Carr will be interviewed this weekend at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC2020) at the National Harbor, Md., Gaylord National Resort and Conference Center.

The "conversation" with the commissioners will be Saturday (Feb. 29) at 1:40 p.m. moderated by Gordon Chang, author of "The Coming Collapse of China."

One big issue both commissioners have been dealing with is the threat of Chinese telecoms to 5G network security. Chang is no fan of Huawei, one of the telecoms the FCC is scrubbing from government-funded broadband buildouts.


The conversation will be over by 3 p.m., when another D.C. Republican is scheduled to take the CPAC center-stage: President Trump.

FCC Commissioner Brednan Carr

FCC Commissioner Brednan Carr

This will not be the first CPAC rodeo for either Carr or O'Rielly. In fact, O'Rielly's 2018 conversation caused quite a stir.

The U.S. Office of Special Counsel concluded that O'Rielly violated the Hatch Act prohibitions on certain political activities by federal branch employees by calling for the re-election of President Trump at the conference. The office issued a warning to O'Rielly that there would be consequences for a future violation. O'Rielly said he still believed he did not violate any rules, but also said he took the warning seriously.

At the time, the FCC's Office of General Counsel concluded that there was nothing ethically wrong with the appearance of the commissioners at CPAC, a separate issue from what they said while appearing.

House Dems at the time were not pleased with the appearance of any of the FCC commissioners.

FCC Chairman Pai has appeared at the conference in the past, including to pick up an award from the conservative group, but he was not listed on this year's agenda and a spokesperson for the chairman confirmed he would not be attending.