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Trump set to attend New York fundraisers; tickets go as high as US$250,000
US President Donald Trump is slated to appear at a pair of fundraising events in New York on Friday, including one that charges up to US$250,000 for lunch, a photo and a private roundtable with the president himself.
The fundraisers are the latest sign that Mr Trump is embracing the world of wealthy contributors who served as punching bags in his 2016 election campaign.
One event is scheduled to take place at the home of a New York real estate developer who owns the Miami Dolphins football team, and another at a mansion that was once rented out to Beyoncé and Jay-Z.
The price of entry to the events ranges from US$5,600 to as high as US$250,000, according to invitations obtained by The Washington Post, with the costliest tickets offering the greatest access to Mr Trump.
The Republican National Committee (RNC) confirmed the events are set to take place but did not offer further specifics about them out of security concerns.
Mr Trump's direct appeal to such donors - some of whom are longtime contributors to the Republican Party who have given millions over the years - stands in contrast to the tone he struck in 2016, when he sharply criticised the influence of wealthy donors over the political process and derided his opponents for accepting their money.
"Their lobbyists, their special interests and their donors will start calling President Bush, President Clinton," he said in July 2015. "Pretty much whoever is president other than me . . . And they'll say: 'You have to do it. They gave you a million dollars to your campaign.'"
Money raised at these fundraisers will go towards Trump Victory, a fundraising committee for both the Trump 2020 campaign and the RNC.
Mr Trump has made collecting six-figure cheques a centrepiece of his reelection fundraising effort.
The day after his official reelection campaign launch in June, he appeared at a high-dollar fundraiser luncheon at the Trump National Doral hotel in Florida that officials said raised about US$6 million.
As the incumbent, Mr Trump enjoys a big fundraising edge over his Democratic rivals. While donors are only permitted to give a maximum of US$5,600 per election cycle to a candidate, they can contribute as much as US$710,000 to national parties.
Several senior members of the administration, party and campaign are also scheduled to appear, as are some Trump family members, according to the invites.
The Friday luncheon is scheduled to take place at the home of New York real estate developer Stephen Ross and his jewellery designer wife, Kara Ross.
Tickets are priced at US$100,000 for a photo opportunity and lunch, and US$250,000 for the package that includes the roundtable discussion, the invite shows.
A reception is scheduled to follow the lunch at the 17,000-square-foot estate of Joe Farrell, a real estate developer in New York. Tickets are priced at US$5,600 per couple for the general reception, US$11,200 per couple for the VIP reception and US$35,000 per couple for a photo opportunity.
Mr Farrell's estate, known as the "Sandcastle", was reportedly the site of a birthday party this year for the president's personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani.
Trump Victory has raised more than US$67 million so far for the president's reelection and the RNC.
Among the biggest donors so far are Marvel Entertainment chairman Isaac Perlmutter and his wife Laura; Texas oil executive Jeffery Hildebrand and his philanthropist wife, Melinda; Texas billionaire Darwin Deason; and Wisconsin billionaire Diane Hendricks.
The Trump 2020 campaign and affiliated fundraising committees have raised US$237 million so far towards his reelection. WP