And he urged a ballroom full of activists to stick together against the forces that were trying to tear them apart. “Whether you’re a populist, whether you’re a limited-government conservative, whether you’re a libertarian, whether you’re an economic nationalist,” he said, “we want you to have our back.”
Despite Mr. Bannon’s assurances, a simmering unease remains among conservatives over whether Mr. Trump will honor his promises to them, given that he was not part of their movement — or any political movement, for that matter — until very recently.
Not too many years ago CPAC almost denied Mr. Trump a speaking slot because it feared he only wanted to promote himself. As for Mr. Bannon, he was essentially banished from the premises when he was running Breitbart News. So Mr. Bannon started a rival conference at a hotel down the street and called it The Uninvited.
Kellyanne Conway, the White House counselor, acknowledged the discomfort that comes with any hostile party takeover when she addressed the meeting. Mr. Trump, she said, had to uproot the political system.
“Every great movement ends up being a little bit sclerotic…