President Trump held a $3 million luncheon today for donors at the Los Trancos Road estate of tech billionaire Scott McNealy in the Palo Alto hills.
About 100 protesters lined the road about a mile from McNealy’s residence, with demonstrators inflating giant Baby Trump and Trump Chicken balloons.
The event itself was closed to the press, but helicopter images showed a large white tent outside McNealy’s 32,000-square-foot, four-story mansion. The tent was large enough to cover several hundred people.
McNealy’s estate includes a full-size indoor hockey rink, a disco with a dance floor, a hidden safe room, a full gym, wine cellar and a theater, according to a 2010 Post story.
The home, in the 600 block of Los Trancos Road, is close to Portola Valley, and many media reports today incorrectly said the event was taking place in that town. It is, in fact, in Palo Alto, and the Palo Alto City Council approved his plans for a hockey rink in 2010. McNealy was a co-founder of Sun Microsystems.
Trump arrived in the Bay Area aboard Air Force One, which landed at Moffett Field at 11:02 a.m. He left again just before 3 p.m. to fly to Los Angeles to attend a $5 million Beverly Hills dinner at the home of real estate developer Geoffrey Palmer. He’ll bring in an additional $7 million on Wednesday with a breakfast in Los Angeles and luncheon in San Diego.
Trump is raking in gobs of cash more than a year out from the November 2020 contest, with his campaign and the Republican National Committee pulling in more than $210 million since the start of 2019, Federal Election Commission records show. That’s more than all the current Democrats seeking to replace him raised combined during that period.
The visit this week marks Trump’s fourth visit to the state during his presidency.
On the way to California, Trump told reporters aboard Air Force One that the homelessness problem in the state was out of control. “We can’t let Los Angeles, San Francisco and numerous other cities destroy themselves by allowing what’s happening,” he said.
“The people of San Francisco are fed up, and the people of Los Angeles are fed up. And we’re looking at it, and we’ll be doing something about it,” he added.
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, a Democrat, said ahead of Trump’s arrival that he hoped the president would work with the city to end homelessness. He said he had not been invited to meet with the president.
California has long been a key fundraising hotbed for politicians of both parties, which have relied on the entertainment industry and wealthy tech industry heads to finance their political ambitions. But under Trump, the run-of-the-mill fundraising trip has taken on a complicating dimension because of his harsh criticism of the state’s immigration laws and its forest management practices, which he blamed for fatal wildfires.
— From staff and wire reports