In addition to the bevy of celebs and creative folk that flock to the Hamptons to catch a break and be seen in the right places, it seems like the iconic eastern Long Island hub for the rich and famous will be graced by the presence of none other than President Trump.
This Friday, August 18th, the Commander in Chief will drop by the home of one of his “best friends” for a re-election fundraiser at a luncheon for the Trump Victory Fund. Howard Lorber will be hosting the upscale event at his opulent Southhampton residence and other New York real estate titans will join the glittering soiree.
For those not in the know, Howard Lorber, holds the title of executive chairman of New York City hot dog icon Nathan’s Famous as well as CEO of his Vector Group which owns Manhattan-based brokerage Douglas Elliman and development firm New Valley.
Nathan’s is a now-global enterprise and the official hot dog of Major League Baseball, but it has its roots in Coney Island since 1916. The brand has not been family-owned since 1987.
The friendship shared by Lorber and Trump spans three decades. The two ambitious entrepreneurs from New York traveled to Moscow in 1996 “to explore business opportunities.” As a gesture of appreciation to his friend and stalwart support, Trump named Lorber chairman of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Council’s governing board and tasked him with the role of an economic adviser to his presidential campaign.
The fundraiser will include a roundtable with supporters and a luncheon, with proceeds benefiting Trump Victory, which is a joint committee for Trump’s 2020 campaign and the Republican National Committee.
While the joint fund serves to rally support for the president, campaign finance rules dictate that most of the funds go not directly to the Trump campaign but to the Republican Party, a portion of which can then be spent on other candidates nationwide.
According to the Real Deal web site, among those high profile real estate personalities that are expected to attend the Lorber fundraiser are developer Steve Witkoff as well as commercial property investor Stanley Chera, who spends his summers in Deal, New Jersey with the Syrian Jewish community. The Real Deal reports that Chera and his wife Freida have given $514,000 to the fund to date, while Witkoff has donated $294,400, Federal Election Commission records show.
Lorber has personally donated at least $235,000 to the committee since 2016.
Others who have given generous donations to the Trump re-election effort include such real estate legends as Tom Barrack, Steve Roth, Richard Lefrak, Peter Kalikow and Joseph Cayre.
Speaking to the Real Deal, another chief contributor to the Trump campaign and previous New York City mayoral candidate John Catsimatidis said he not be able to make it to the fundraiser personally, but would send his two adult children in his stead. The chief executive officer of the Red Apple Group and supermarket mogul has given at least $200,000 to the joint committee since the 2016 election. His son, John Jr . made his own donation to the fund in 2017.
As for Lorber’s continued public support for Trump, it seems that social media platforms have reported a backlash to the news of Friday’s fundraiser with Nathan’s hot dog lovers now saying that their political beliefs “trump” their affection for the Brooklyn frankfurter and that they will wage a boycott of their own by switching to the Hebrew National brand of hot dogs.
New Yorkers have a long tradition of hosting presidential fundraisers, with others for Trump and the Republican National Committee have occurred at Le Cirque, while some for President Barack Obama have been held at ABC Kitchen and Red Rooster.