Donald and Melania Trump to headline dueling fundraisers in North Carolina and Palm Beach


(NEW YORK) — Donald and Melania Trump are set to hold dueling fundraisers in different states on Saturday, the former president raising money for his campaign and the Republican Party in North Carolina in the afternoon ahead of a rally and the former first lady raising money for a conservative LGBT group at the Mar-a-Lago club in Palm Beach later that evening.

Especially for Melania Trump, it would be a rare appearance at a fundraising event as she has mostly stayed away from the former president’s campaign trail this election cycle and instead only occasionally been seen at private events at his properties.

The last two times she was seen publicly were at a major Palm Beach fundraiser for Trump and the Republicans earlier this month where they raised more than $50 million and last month at a Palm Beach polling location where the former president voted in the Florida Republican primary.

She’d be headlining the fundraiser for Log Cabin Republicans, the largest 501(c)4 nonprofit organization representing LGBT conservatives in the United States.

The fundraiser is co-hosted by a slew of longtime Donald Trump allies and prominent Republican donors, including former U.S. ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell, who also served as acting director of National Intelligence in the Trump administration. He was the first openly gay person to hold a Cabinet-level position in the United States.

Former president of the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum and an active fundraiser of the former president Bill White and his husband Bryan Eure are also among the co-hosts.

Other notable guests and co-hosts include former Trump-endorsed Pennsylvania Senate candidate Dr. Mehmet Oz, who lost to Democratic Sen. John Fetterman in the 2022 general election, Fox News CEO Roger Ailes’ widow Elizabeth Ailes, longtime Republican donor Saul Fox and Deborah Magowan, the wife of former Giants Chairman Peter Magowan, according to a source and an invitation for the fundraiser.

According to the invitation, each ticket costs $10,000.

Ahead of the fundraiser Saturday morning, Grenell posted on X that Melania Trump “will launch the most aggressive campaign we’ve ever seen from Republicans to win support from gay and lesbian Americans.”

“We have largely achieved equality in America for gays,” Grenell wrote, praising the United States as the champion of freedom and liberties and throwing support for Donald Trump.

“He is the best candidate for our safety, security and prosperity,” he continued. “He sees you as 100% equal – it’s up to you to be responsible, hardworking and successful. Anyone telling you that you are oppressed in America or that you need special side agreements because you’re gay is only seeking to control you. Break out from their condescending cult-like manipulations.”

“You can be anything you want to be in America,” he continued, saying Trump will win a significant amount of the gay vote in 2024.

An organizer of the fundraiser told ABC News that the event sold out within 36 hours and has already raised more than $1 million, with additional people donating even if they can’t attend the event.

Roughly 70 people from all across the country – California, New York, Georgia, Tennessee, Texas and Washington, D.C. – are expected to attend the event, the organizer said.

“For the first lady to choose this as her first campaign event is an honor to the conservative Republican gay community,” the organizer told ABC News. “Definitely negates the false narrative that Biden and the Democrats have peddled about the Trump administration.”

“Trump has grown the Republican base of all types of minorities unlike any other Republican has,” the organizer continued. “The Log Cabin has a clear plan of how this money will be spent to educate voters about President Trump’s record and to help him win with the gay community in swing states.”

Melania Trump has maintained a close relationship with Log Cabin Republicans over the years, headlining their annual gala at Mar-a-Lago in 2021 and receiving the group’s Spirit of Lincoln award, for her role in “helping children reach their full potential” and “championing a more inclusive Republican Party.” In 2022, Donald Trump himself headlined Log Cabin Republicans’ Spirit of Lincoln gala held at Mar-a-Lago, where he told the audience, “we are fighting for the gay community, and we are fighting and fighting hard.”

Meanwhile in Charlotte, North Carolina, Saturday afternoon, Trump is scheduled to fundraise with Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Whatley, who was previously the North Carolina Republican Party’s chairman, as well as Trump’s daughter-in-law and RNC Co-chair Lara Trump.

After the fundraiser, Trump will head over to Wilmington, North Carolina, to hold his first campaign rally since the New York criminal trial started earlier this week. Trump has denied all wrongdoing in the case.

Ticketed from $5,000 per couple for general admission to $250,000 per couple to be on the host-committee, the fundraiser is expected to raise at least $5 million, according to the event’s invitation and the organizer. A photo opportunity with the former president is priced at $25,000 per couple and a roundtable would cost $100,000 per couple.

Money raised from this fundraiser would be split among the Trump campaign, Trump’s Save America PAC, which has footed much of Trump’s legal bills, the RNC and 40 other state GOP committees.

Notable co-hosts of the fundraiser include North Carolina’s National Committeeman Ed Broyhill, who was previously Trump’s North Carolina Finance Committee chair in 2016, and Army veteran Scott Greenblatt, who runs a veterans claims consulting company.

The North Carolina fundraiser and rally comes on the heels of Democratic North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper saying President Joe Biden can win the state despite Trump carrying the state both in 2016 and 2020. Both Biden and Harris campaigned in North Carolina last month, highlighting their health care messaging.

Broyhill, one of the co-hosts of the Trump fundraiser, however, told ABC News that North Carolina is a GOP stronghold, claiming Republicans success in down ballot seats.

“I don’t know what people talk about when they say this is a purple state,” Broyhill said. “There is no chance in hell that Joe Biden is going to come close to winning North Carolina.”

“There are quite a large number of top donors that are flying in, and once they arrive, their expectations will far surpass 5 million,” Broyhill said of the upcoming fundraiser.

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