Trump Heads Into the Belly of the ‘Resistance’ Beast with Rare Trip to California
President Donald Trump is making a two-day swing through California to raise money for his re-election at events that stirred controversy even before his arrival.
The president’s campaign expects to rake in about $15 million from the events, according to a White House media pool report.
Earlier this month, actress Debra Messing lashed out at the thought of Trump raising money in the backyard of the Hollywood celebrities who oppose him and called for outing those who attend and then assembling a blacklist. Her effort drew rebukes from Trump as well as commentators from the left and right.
Although anti-Trump protests on the street are expected, one top GOP official said the events are a form of protest against California’s liberal wave.
“By showing up to a fundraiser deep in the belly of the beast, one is saying: ‘I don’t care what the liberal politicians are saying and I want to show my support for him publicly,’” Harmeet Dhillon, a Republican National Committee member from California, said, according to U.S. News & World Report. “I sold $100,000 worth of [tickets], and I could have sold another $100,000 more.”
“There’s a benefit to contrast what Republican leadership looks like and what Democrat leadership looks like, but it’s also an opportunity for us to train and organize in key areas to help take back some of the seats we narrowly lost in 2018,” said Rick Gorka, a spokesman for the Republican National Committee.
The president has attacked California, which has sued his administration a total of 59 times as of Monday, on its policies that promote sanctuary cities and on its auto emissions standards.
On Thursday, during remarks to House Republicans, Trump hinted that he might wade into the crisis of rising homelessness in California’s major cities, according to a White House transcript of his remarks.
Do you think President Trump should address California’s homeless problem?
93% (170 Votes)
7% (13 Votes)
“And even the cities like Los Angeles — look at what’s happening,” he said. “It’s like — look at what’s happening. San Francisco. Take a look at what’s going on. And we’re going to have to step in and do something about it because we can’t allow that to happen to our great cities. Los Angeles is a great city. We can’t allow it.
“And in the not-too-distant future, you’re going to see. We’re going to step in. We’re not going to allow it to happen, where major, major companies are leaving their cities. They’re leaving our country when they see that. You walk in. They pay a lot of rent. They walk into a beautiful building — the best street in California. And you have a site that nobody even can believe. Nobody can believe. And we’re going to have to do something about it. And we will do something about it.
“We’re going to give them notice. In fact, we gave them a notice today: Clean it up. You’ve got to do something. You can’t have it. These are our great American cities and they’re an embarrassment, what the Democrats have let happen.”
Trump did not provide details, but a report in The Washington Post said the administration is considering using vacant government facilities as places to house the homeless, or razing existing tent camps. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson was traveling to California as part of that effort, The Post reported.
Tomas Philipson, chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers, said in a recent call with reporters that “policing may be an important tool to help them get off the street,” The Post reported.
“What you see is a president actually speaking the truth about what’s actually happening on their streets,” he said. “I think it’s encouraging to see somebody that actually wants to talk about, and not shy away from, the problem.”
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