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Kristi Noem, Laura Loomer: Maskless at Mar-a-Lago
GOP dinners at Trump’s resort-cum-residence attracted big-name politicians, uncovered faces
Hundreds of Republicans flocked to the president’s residence-in-club late last week to mingle with GOP luminaries, raise funds for the local party, and possibly spread a deadly virus.
The Palm Beach County GOP’s annual Lincoln Dinner was split over two nights in 2020 to address Mar-a-Lago’s COVID-19-related restrictions on crowd size, reported David Fahrenthold and Josh Dawsey for The Washington Post.
Yet photos posted on social media show many of each Thursday and Friday’s 350 guests flaunting Palm Beach County’s rules: “You must wear a facial covering when entering, existing, or otherwise away from your assigned table.” Those rules were reiterated on the event’s website. While servers wore face coverings, just a small percentage of the photos shared on Facebook and Instagram show diners doing likewise.
Although President Donald J. Trump didn’t swing by his home to greet his customers as organizers told the Post They’d hoped, diners enjoyed close quarters with governors, congresspeople, and state GOP notables—
South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem (R) was at Mar-a-Lago along with far right, anti-Muslim activist and GOP candidate for the U.S. House in Florida, Laura Loomer. Noem was seated at the head table next to former NFL player and prominent Trump supporter Jack Brewer; in August the Securities and Exchange Commission charged him with insider trading.
Meanwhile, on Sunday, “South Dakota health officials on Sunday reported a fifth straight day of more than 1,000 cases of the coronavirus, lifting the total number of positive tests to more than 45,000,” The Associated Press reported . South Dakota ranks second in the country in new cases of COVID-19 per capita.
Along with Noem, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) also was a keynote speaker, allowing him to witness attendees’ compliance with COVID-19 restrictions and best practices. “No matter how Florida calculates positive test rates, by the state’s own numbers, it’s increasing again. The daily state and county-by-county breakdown says the average daily positive test rate over the last seven days is 5.57%, up from 5.09% for the previous seven days,” reported David J. Neal for The Miami Herald.
Trump 2016 campaign manager and current campaign adviser Corey Lewandowski
GOP candidate for the Florida State Senate Tami Hochella and GOP candidates for the Florida State House Susan Kufdakis Rivera and Danielle Madsen
Turning Point USA founder and head Charlie Kirk
President made his 74th visit to a Trump property since the pandemic’s onset
Trump arrived early Monday at his Doral golf course and was scheduled to leave later that morning. Per 1100 Pennsylvania’s tally, the president now has called on Trump properties 74 times since Chinese officials disclosed an outbreak of flu-like symptoms.
COVID-19 has killed 231,003 people in the United States, per Johns Hopkins.
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Other Trump Organization news
“Donald Trump’s Scottish resorts have been paid around £250,000 by his government—but the bill could be higher” by Martyn MacLaughlin for The Scotsman
“Why Trump can’t afford to lose” by Jane Mayer for The New Yorker
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.
House investigations (Sept. 18, 2020)
Lawsuits (Oct. 14, 2020)
Breakdown of judges’ rulings by political party of presidents who nominated them (July 13, 2020)
Health inspections (Oct. 6, 2020)
COVID-19 bailouts and charity (July 13, 2020)
Notable hotel customers
Foreign governments with representatives spotted at the Trump Hotel D.C.: 33 (Sept. 22, 2020)
Trump cabinet members spotted at the Trump Hotel D.C.: 27 of 35 (July 1, 2020)
U.S. Senators who’ve supported the Trump Hotel D.C.: 33 of 53 Republicans, one Democrat (Oct. 26, 2020)
House Judiciary members who’ve supported the Trump Hotel D.C.: Seven of 17 Republicans, no Democrats (Sept. 25, 2020)
House Intelligence members who’ve supported the Trump Hotel D.C.: Four of eight Republicans, no Democrats (June 1, 2020)
House Oversight members who’ve supported the Trump Hotel D.C.: Nine of 17 Republicans, no Democrats (Aug. 2, 2020)
House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure’s Subcommittee on Economic Development, Public Buildings, and Emergency Management who’ve supported the Trump Hotel D.C.: Four out of six Republicans, one Democrat (July 1, 2020)
Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R–CA) found Trump’s hotels competitive only after Trump’s election (Sept. 12, 2019)
Rudy Giuliani at the Trump Hotel D.C: A retrospective (April 30, 2019)
“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)
Dec. 9, 2020—Deadline for exchanging witness lists in the D.C. attorney general’s lawsuit alleging improperly spent nonprofit funds by the Trump Hotel D.C. and Trump’s inaugural committee.
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