Real estate executive Geoffrey Palmer expected to host Trump fundraiser in Beverly Hills

Key Points
  • President Donald Trump is turning to an old ally as he prepares for a fundraiser later this month in Beverly Hills.
  • Trump and members of his campaign are planning a fundraiser at the home of real estate executive Geoffrey Palmer, who has often donated to Trump's cause, according to people familiar with the matter.
  • During the 2018 election cycle, Palmer donated over $4 million to Republican causes. In 2018, the Los Angeles Business Journal showed him with a net worth of $2.8 billion.
President Donald Trump speaks at the 38th Annual National Peace Officers Memorial Service on Capitol Hill in Washington, May 15, 2019.
Carlos Barria | Reuters

President Donald Trump is turning to an old ally as he prepares for a fundraiser later this month in Beverly Hills.

Trump and members of his campaign are planning a fundraiser at the home of real estate executive Geoffrey Palmer, who had donated to Trump's cause during the 2016 election cycle, according to people familiar with the matter.

There were at least two other alternatives under consideration for the fundraiser, these people added, but donors have been informed in recent weeks that Palmer is the expected host for the event.

A secretary for Palmer's office said her boss would not want to comment on this story. Representatives from the Trump campaign and Republican National Committee did not return a request for comment.

Palmer has supported Trump since the early days of his initial 2016 run for president. During that cycle, he was one of the initial donors to pro-Trump super PAC Rebuilding America Now. The PAC was founded by former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort, who is serving a multiyear prison sentence for various federal fraud crimes, and Tom Barrack, a business ally of the president's.

Palmer gave at least $5 million to the committee and since then has been investing heavily into Trump's reelection effort, according to the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics. In April, he contributed just over $355,000 to Trump Victory, a joint fundraising operation between the campaign and the Republican National Committee, and gave a $2 million check to another pro-Trump super PAC, America First Action.

During the 2018 election cycle, Palmer donated over $4 million to Republican causes. In 2018, the Los Angeles Business Journal showed him with a net worth of $2.8 billion.

The fundraiser, first reported by The Hollywood Reporter, is set to take place Sept. 17, and all proceeds will go to Trump Victory. The report did not mention where the donor meeting will take place. The invitation does not name who is hosting the gathering.

Along with the president, RNC chairwoman Ronna McDaniel, RNC co-chairman Tommy Hicks Jr., campaign manager Brad Parscale and Trump Victory finance chairman Todd Ricketts are all listed to attend. Tickets start at $1,000 for individuals and go up to $100,000 for couples, according to the flyer. The $100,000 entrance fee gets two tickets to a round table with the president, a VIP reception, along with a photo opportunity.

Palmer, who founded real estate development firm G.H. Palmer Associates, was recently sued in a class action lawsuit for allegedly withholding millions of dollars in rental securities from tenants across Los Angeles, according to a report by NBC San Diego. He and his wife bought a $10.3 million home in Beverly Hills in 2017, according to The Real Deal. The mansion reportedly has six bedrooms,10 bathrooms and a pool.

Just the fact that Trump is coming to Beverly Hills the same week as the television industry's Emmy Awards has stirred anger in Hollywood.

Will & Grace star Debra Messing took to Twitter and demanded that a list of attendees be made to the public. Her co-star Eric McCormack went even further, appearing to suggest that those who do attend the event should be blacklisted from his industry. He later clarified his comments, saying he does not support blacklists or discriminating against Trump donors while noting he'd like to know where the contributions are coming from.

Trump himself later responded, calling for Messing to be fired from NBC.