That’s why a major fundraiser in the Bay Area on Tuesday is being held at a secret location. It has come to this: doing things secretly to prevent giving violent liberals the opportunity to viciously assault citizens who are simply exercising their First Amendment rights.
The Guardian reported:
But his return this week may be different. That’s because no one knows where he’s going.
Trump’s planned trip to the liberal Bay Area on Tuesday – his first as president – has been shrouded in secrecy, with officials declining to reveal the city where he’s holding a high-priced fundraiser.
The visit to California, his fourth time traveling to the state since taking office, comes at a time in which the political and legal battles between the Trump administration and Democrats in the Golden State are dramatically escalating.
The president, who has recently criticized California’s cities over the growing homelessness crisis, is expected to raise millions at a lunch somewhere in the Bay Area on Tuesday, followed by visits to Los Angeles and San Diego. Initial rumors suggested he would be going to Atherton, a Silicon Valley suburb that is home to the country’s wealthiest zip code, but city officials there said it appeared plans had changed.
Regardless of location, Trump’s visit is a reminder that even though California remains a reliable Democratic stronghold and the state is seen as the leader of the “resistance” to the president’s agenda, there are pockets of the state that vote Republican and continue to back the president. And some of them are opening up their wallets.
“He’s coming here because he wants money,” said Jessica Levinson, a Loyola law school professor. “California is the nation’s ATM. There’s a lot of wealth here … It’s smart fundraising.”
Harmeet Dhillon, a Republican National Committee member from San Francisco and co-host of the Bay Area fundraiser, declined to share the location and other details with the Guardian, but said several hundred would be attending, some donating as much as $100,000.
“I hope he sees that there are many Californians who are strongly supporting what he’s doing nationally,” she said.
In California, which has formally sued the Trump administration dozens of times, residents have donated more money to the Trump 2020 campaign than to most Democratic candidates, according to an analysis in July.
At the time, the president had raised $3.2m in California, which was more than the Democratic frontrunners, Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders, had received from Golden State supporters.
It’s likely there will be intense backlash and calls for boycotts when information does emerge about the California donors supporting the president this time around. Some northern California anti-Trump groups have been organizing protest efforts, though they have struggled to make specific plans given the unknown location, the East Bay Times reported.
Dhillon said she and others were not disclosing details out of safety concerns surrounding the potential for “violent protesters”, adding that she feared local police would not properly protect the president’s guests.
His last trip to the region was a June 2016 San Jose rally, which erupted into physical confrontations between demonstrators and Trump fans.
In recent years, pro-Trump rallies and far-right events in the state have repeatedly devolved into violence, but police and prosecutors have repeatedly targeted leftwing activists for arrest and prosecution even when they were victims of attacks.
Last week, the Trump administration also sparked fears in Los Angeles with a visit to the city’s Skid Row, the epicenter of the homeless crisis, which came amid rumors that the president was seeking to push some kind of crackdown on people living on the street. There are growing concerns that the administration could seek ways to relocate people out of encampments, and some reports have suggested that Ben Carson, Trump’s housing and urban development secretary, will also be visiting Los Angeles this week.
The administration also secretly toured an abandoned Federal Aviation Administration facility in the region as a potential place to move people, according to the Washington Post.
“We have a humanitarian crisis,” said Levinson. “[Trump] rightly knows that it makes California and Los Angeles look terrible. The goal is bad publicity for Democrats.”
Local advocates for the homeless told the Guardian last week that they would welcome federal funding for housing and other social services, which the Trump administration has cut. But they said they were concerned about any efforts to forcibly remove people or further criminalize the homeless – whether by the US government or local authorities.
“You’re the US government. Treat it like a state of emergency,” said Stephen “Cue” Jn-Marie, a Los Angeles pastor who works with Skid Row residents. “Give us resources we need to build housing.”
It’s unclear if the president would have any legal authority relating to the placement of homeless people on the streets, an issue which is typically handled by municipal governments.
Dhillon, of the RNC, said she was grateful he was talking about the subject, but added, “What can the president do about it? That’s an open question. This is really a quintessentially local issue.”
The support that the president has received in California, many people argue, gives the rest of his national supporters hope. Hope that the country can be saved from socialist policies, and hope that the hate-filled attackers are on the way out.