Heller is Guest at Trump Fundraiser
Trump trashes media, touts congressional race wins at $35,000 per person closed event
Sen. Dean Heller attended President Donald Trump’s fundraiser on Wednesday despite their disagreement about the Republicans’ health care bill.
Heller was spotted at Trump International Hotel where Trump held a $35,000 apiece fundraiser, according to two people in the room who talked to The Associated Press after the event.
Heller was one of the GOP Senate holdouts on the Senate’s bill to repeal the 2010 health care law signed by President Barack Obama. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell had hoped to get the bill passed before Congress left for its Fourth of July recess, but several Republican senators indicated they couldn’t support the bill as written.
Trump did not single out Heller for his opposition to the bill, but Las Vegas casino magnate Steve Wynn, a major Republican National Committee fundraiser, did encourage all Republicans to get behind it.
Trump for the most part bashed the media, singling out CNN, and did a victory lap on the four House special elections that Republicans have won since Trump took office.
The White House had agreed to allow a limited number of reporters to cover the event, but later backed away from that agreement.
“It’s a political event, and they’ve chosen to keep that separate,” said White House deputy press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders.
Trump was joined by first lady Melania Trump and top advisers, and was at the event for about two hours, the AP reported. About 300 people attended and the event reportedly raised more than $10 million.
Trump’s motorcade was greeted by dozens of protesters chanting “Shame! Shame!” and held signs with slogans like “Health care, not tax cuts,” according the the AP’s account.
Democratic Virginia Rep. Gerry Connolly criticized the president for holding an event at one of his branded hotels.
“From the beginning, I have insisted that his whole relationship with the Trump hotel becomes a massive conflict of interest the day he was sworn in,” Connolly said on CNN Wednesday night.