The receipts are in and according to published reports, President Trump picked up a cool $12 million smackers on Friday at two fundraisers in the tony Hamptons that were organized by Trump Victory. Social media is abuzz and it appears that public donors to the re-election campaign of the nation’s 45th president are receiving intense pressure from the public, with threats abounding to boycott their businesses.
Edited by: JV Staff
This time it is real estate developer Stephen Ross who is in the line of vocal public scrutiny for having agreed to host a fundraiser for Trump at this Southampton home. Ross owns the Equinox Fitness Club and the indoor-cycling subsidiary, SoulCycle as well as the Miami Dolphins NFL team.
As a result of his decision to help Trump raise a substantial amount of money for his political coffers, Ross is now being subjected to threats of boycotts from celebs as well as being hit with a deluge of employee complaints. Those who are at odds with Ross are those who claim that they oppose Trump on the grounds that they perceive him to be a racist.
While the entire guest list for the Ross sponsored Hamptons fundraiser has not been made public, reports indicate that a litany of well-heeled investment and real estate executives were on hand with their checkbooks open. Speculation has grown that those who attended the event could also face potential boycotts and vocal pushback among their contemporaries for supporting Trump.
“Thanks to the unhinged mob on the left, @realDonaldTrump raised $12M today, $2M more than originally expected,” tweeted Republican National Committee chairwoman Ronna McDaniel at approximately 4 p.m. ET. “The support for our President is unprecedented and growing!”
The Hollywood Reporter also issued a report about a second fundraiser scheduled for Friday afternoon out in the Hamptons. This one was being sponsored at the Bridgehampton estate of Joe Farrell.
According to THR report, attendees included ousted Fox News personality Bill O’Reilly; Geraldo Rivera; major names from the New York real estate development community; McDaniel; RNC co-chairman Tommy Hicks Jr.; Trump Victory finance chairman Todd Ricketts; campaign manager Brad Parscale; Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC); Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-NY); Kimberly Guilfoyle; and the president’s son, Donald Trump Jr.
According to a Friday report on the Crain’s web site, those invited to the Hamptons fundraiser also included the two adult children of John Catsimatidis, owner of the Manhattan grocery chain Gristedes Foods Inc., and World Jewish Congress President Ronald Lauder, an Estée Lauder Companies Inc. heir, according to a person familiar with the invitations.
Crain’s indicated that the invitation to John Catsimatidis Jr. and Andrea Catsimatidis comes after their father—a prolific donor to both Republican and Democratic campaigns who served as a member of Hillary Clinton’s finance team during her 2008 presidential campaign—publicly declined former Vice President Joe Biden’s request for fundraising assistance earlier this year, saying he would continue to support the president.
Other invitees included K2 Advisers co-founder William Douglass, General Atlantic LLC chief executive Bill Ford, New York real estate developer Richard LeFrak, Harbor Group chief executive Michael Liebowitz, Cantor Fitzgerald chief executive Howard Lutnick, and cryptocurrency entrepreneur—and former ‘Mighty Ducks’ child actor—Brock Pierce, according to the person familiar with the invitations.
Tickets to the event ranged from $100,000 for a photo with the president and lunch to $250,000 for a package that also included a roundtable discussion with Trump.
According to a NY Post report, many large donors to the Trump re-election campaign wish to remain anonymous for fear of reprisals, be they from professional and personal contacts.
“We are all in the closet,” said a boutique owner in Southampton who fears reprisals from his customers — most of them moneyed Democrats — if he speaks openly about his allegiance to Trump. “It’s like you have this disease and people want to run away from you.”
The Post reported that a builder based in Westhampton worried that his customers would boycott his services if he reveals his support of the president. “People have really strong opinions here and if you go around wearing a MAGA hat, you really need to fear physical violence,” he said, adding the anti-Trump aggression comes mostly from summer residents.
According to the Crain’s report, Miami Dolphins wide receiver Kenny Stills criticized Ross for hosting the event, tweeting the owner could not promote equality in sports and “then open your doors to Trump.” Celebrities including model Chrissy Teigen, actor Billy Eichner, actress Amber Tamblyn, and actress Sophia Bush tweeted they would stop going to Equinox and SoulCycle gyms.
SoulCycle Chief Executive Officer Melanie Whelan issued a statement Wednesday attempting to distance her company from the Ross fundraiser, according to the Crain’s report.
“SoulCycle in no way endorses the political fundraising event being held later this week,” Whelan said, going on to describe Ross as a “passive investor” not involved in the company’s management. “SoulCycle has nothing to do with the event and does not support it.”
Equinox issued a similar statement, saying that it had been contacted by many members expressing concerns about the fundraiser, and distancing itself from the event.
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