12 percent of GOP senators have visited Mar-a-Lago since Trump left office

At least six Republican senators, 15 representatives have dropped in on the former president’s resort-home

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) dined with former President Donald J. Trump Tuesday night at Mar-a-Lago, bringing to at least six the number of GOP senators who have visited his private club-cum-residence since he left office.

House Republicans have called on Mar-a-Lago at a clip just lower than that of their cohorts in the upper chamber, according to 1100 Pennsylvania’s running analysis. At least 15 of 212 congresspeople (7 percent) haven been there since House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) sent the message that it was acceptable to still visit a Trump business after the Jan. 6 insurrection at the Capitol.

Additionally, Mar-a-Lago has hosted at least two sitting Republican governors, three gubernatorial challengers, three candidates for U.S. Senate, and nine aspirants for the U.S. House.

Several of these elected officials and candidates held campaign events at Mar-a-Lago, directly helping the GOP standard-bearer profit. And all of these dignitaries have served as draws for the club’s members and other customers.

Trump’s nearby golf courses in Palm Beach and Doral have witnessed an influx of GOP notables as well.

Here’s the latest batch of notable sightings.

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) let the world know he enjoyed a great dinner with Trump Tuesday night at Mar-a-Lago.

A GOP candidate for governor in New Jersey, pastor Phil Rizzo enjoyed a remembrance while at the former president’s house. Rizzo is a member of Trump Bedminster, reported David Wildstein for The New Jersey Globe.

Republican candidate for U.S. House in Florida and “proud Islamophobe” (as Jared Holt reported for Right Wing Watch) Laura Loomer enjoyed another photo op with the former president at his house.

At Mar-a-Lago, a GOP candidate for a U.S. House seat in Florida, Cory Mills, landed the coveted Trump fist bump and reciprocal finger point.

Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller popped up at the former president’s home, which is not in Texas.

At Mar-a-Lago last week, former leader of the U.K. Independence Party and one-time member of the European Parliament Nigel Farage checked out the ex-president and approved.

Former U.S. Ambassadors Randy Evans (Luxembourg), Peter Hokestra (the Netherlands), Lana Marks (South Africa), and Carla Sands (Denmark) lunched and breakfasted (?) at their former benefactor’s business. Sands is weighing a run for U.S. Senate in Pennsylvania, reported Jonathan Tamari for The Philadelphia Inquirer. [H/T @SpaSuzy]

Meanwhile, Newsmax personality John Cardillo noted that “Trump DC, in fact all of DC, is a ghost town.”


Reference section

Links to rundowns of developments in the House’s investigations and lawsuits, reference sheets for some of 1100 Pennsylvania’s previous reporting, and articles that provide the background on why all of this matters. The date published or last updated is in parentheses.

Trackers

Notable customers

Summaries

  • Stay to play: Inside the sordid history of Trump’s D.C. hotel—And why the president’s prized property could be headed for a reckoning” by your correspondent for Mother Jones (September 2020)

  • Power tripping in the swamp: How Trump’s D.C. hotel swallowed Washington
    The MAGA social scene is a movable feast, but its dark heart resides within the Old Post Office Building, where the Trump Org operates under a mercenary charter” by your correspondent for Vanity Fair (October 2019)

  • Inside the world’s most controversial hotel: The hotel that was expected to take its place among the crown jewels of D.C.’s travel scene has become a magnet for protestors, a West Wing Annex, and—possibly—the center of a constitutional crisis.” by your correspondent for Condé Nast Traveler (May 2018)

Upcoming key dates

  • Sept. 23, 2019—House Judiciary Committee hearing “Presidential corruption: Emoluments and profiting off the presidency” (postponed, not yet rescheduled)

  • March 30, 2021—Deadline for GSA to provide information on the Trump Hotel D.C.’s lease to the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee


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Trump donors host Trump charity fundraiser at Trump property

‘Tiki lounge’ raised funds for Curetivity at Mar-a-Lago; previously Eric falsely claimed his charity used Trump properties ‘free of charge’

Despite claims that it eschews the practice, the Trump Organization appears to have profited again from holding an event for one of its associated charities.

On April 15, Mar-a-Lago was the venue for a tiki lounge party to support Curetivity, the rebranded Eric Trump Foundation. Rechristened in 2017 after Eric said he was ceasing “all direct fundraising efforts of my foundation…during the tenure of my father’s presidency,” the nonprofit raises funds for St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital.

Eric Trump also had said, “We get to use our assets 100% free of charge,” as Dan Alexander reported for Forbes in 2017. It’s a claim that has proved false in the past and appears to be wrong again.

An invite to the April 15 party posted on Facebook lists Peter and Stephanie Lamelas as the hosts for the event (more on them later). If the Trumps do in fact donate their assets for free to Curetivity as Eric claimed, its not clear why the Lamelases are listed as the hosts of a Curetivity fundraiser at Mar-a-Lago.

Eric Trump, Peter Lamelas, and representatives from Curetivity, and the Trump Organization have not replied to 1100 Pennsylvania’s inquiries about how much, if anything, Mar-a-Lago was paid to host the tiki lounge, and, if the use of the resort was in fact donated, why the Lamelases’ names appear at the top of the invite.

Former President Trump attended the benefit, which was at his home after all.

Last Thursday’s party was just the latest example of the Trumps’ charitable outreach, businesses interests, and political lives overlapping. As 1100 Pennsylvania reported earlier—

The tiki party’s occurrence was first reported by Adam Schrader for The Daily Mail.

For their part, the Lamelases, the founders of an urgent care provider, have supported the Trumps in their philanthropic, professional, and political pursuits. According to filings with the Federal Election Commissions, the couple has contributed more than $500,000 to GOP causes since 2000, with most of those donations coming during Trump’s presidency.

In December 2020, then-President Trump appointed Peter Lamelas to a spot on the Justice Department’s Valor Review Board, which considers nominations for the nation’s highest honor for public safety officers. Lamelas is the only current board member without a background in law enforcement.

The Lamelases have since made a habit of sponsoring parties at Mar-a-Lago. In February the pair co-sponsored a $10,600-a-couple fundraiser at Mar-a-Lago to benefit Reps. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) and Lauren Boebert (R-CO), as reported by Marc Caputo of Politico.

And this Saturday, the Lamelases are slated to resume their hosting duties at Mar-a-Lago, this time at a $5,000 per couple fundraiser to benefit the House Freedom Fund, as Erik Maulbetsch reported for The Colorado Times Recorder. Seven members of the House and one former president are expected to attend.


Hundreds honor Lincoln, Trump at Mar-a-Lago

Last Saturday, the president’s resort-cum-home welcomed hundreds of supporters for the Republican Party of Palm Beach County’s Lincoln Day Dinner.

Tickets ranged from $425 to $25,000 for a presidential sponsorship. According to event’s website, the dinner sold out.

And while the dinner’s invite said Covid-19 protocols required attendees “To wear a mask throughout the property when inside” [bold added], footage from the dinner showed that guidance was largely ignored. (But Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) didn’t seem to mind.)

As for attendees of note—

Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and former Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross called on their former boss at one of his places of business.

DeSantis (R) made yet another visit to Mar-a-Lago.

Trump and Pompeo each posed for photos with GOP candidate for a U.S. House seat in Florida, Laura Loomer. (She declared herself a “proud Islamophobe,” reported Jared Holt for Right Wing Watch.)

Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL) made yet another visit to Mar-a-Lago.

Rep. Byron Donalds (R-FL) and an advisor flexed (reportedly) with actor Kevin Sorbo at the GOP standard-bearer’s business.

Anthony Sabatini, a Florida state rep running in a GOP primary for a U.S. House seat in Florida had a great night at the president’s business.


Other Trump Organization news

  • “Trump’s Florida clubs remain a must stop for Republican stars and hopefuls alike” by your correspondent for NBC News

  • The former president and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) are hosting the Trump-Graham Golf Classic at Trump Palm Beach on May 2, reported Punchbowl News. The entry fee is $25,000 per person.

  • Mo Brooks to hold Senate campaign reception at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago club by Paul Gatts for Al.com

  • Andrew Giuliani to meet with Trump as he preps NY gubernatorial bid” by Gabby Orr for CNN

  • “GOP Rep. Jason Smith has also been mentioned as a potential candidate for the [Missouri’s open U.S. Senate] seat, as has GOP Rep. Billy Long, both of whom will be appearing at separate fundraising events next week at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in South Florida,” reported Alex Isenstadt for Politico

  • “Trump wants you to boycott Coke. His properties are still serving it” by Nathaniel Meyersohn for CNN

  • Attorneys for the Trump Org and two House committees told the court they have been in negotiations regarding the panels’ subpoenas of Trump’s financial info from Deutsche Bank.

  • “Molly Forbes: Pensioner who took on Donald Trump over Aberdeenshire golf course dies aged 96” by Alison Campsie for The Scotsman

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