President Donald Trump is reportedly scheduled to attend a 2020 reelection fundraiser Saturday at the Palm Beach, Florida mansion of billionaire financier Nelson Peltz, a move one critic described as the kind of "straight-up swampy behavior" Trump has repeatedly claimed to oppose.
Guests at the event, according to the Washington Post, will be "donors who gave $580,600 per couple to support the president's reelection, making it the most expensive such fundraising event since Trump took office."
"The dinner... shows how enthusiastically Trump has embraced big-dollar fundraising in his bid for a second term—a dramatic about-face from 2016, when he criticized the influence of wealthy donors on the politicians who court them," the Post reported Thursday. "It also shows the special access enjoyed by many of Trump's wealthiest donors, including business executives and lobbyists, who get the chance to air their grievances with the president's tariffs or promote their pet projects."
Because yes, it is actually legal for individuals to give $580,600 to Trump’s joint fundraising committee.
— Dan Froomkin/PressWatchers.org (@froomkin) February 13, 2020
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Steven Greenhouse, author and former New York Times labor reporter, tweeted that the event "shows everything that is wrong with our campaign finance system and with Trump, that fake 'friend of the worker.'"
Newly released campaign finance figures showed that Trump and the Republican National Committee jointly raised $60 million in January alone, leaving them with $200 million in cash on hand as the 2020 general election approaches.
The Post reported that the dinner on Saturday "is expected to attract about 30 people and raise more than $10 million for the president's reelection committee and the [Republican Party]."
"Though it is the most expensive such event Trump has headlined for the party, other pricey gatherings are planned as the election nears," the Post noted. "Interviews with people who have attended these fundraisers say the president is highly engaged, conversational and charming. Trump often asks the guests what they need from the administration."
Nick Penniman, founder and chief executive of campaign finance reform group Issue One, told the Post that "you've got to wonder now if the Trump presidency is the continuation of the kind of oligarchy that many people think is taking over in America."