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Major Trump donor plans private fundraiser with Romney


Stephen Schwarzman, an informal adviser and donor to President Donald Trump, is hosting a fundraiser with Sen. Mitt Romney in support of several Republicans colleagues seeking reelection, according to two people with knowledge of the event.

The event, which is intended for a small group of influential donors at Schwarzman’s Park Avenue apartment, is scheduled for Thursday, said one of the people.

A spokeswoman for Romney confirmed the event.

Helping Romney bolster his standing in the party as he attempts to cement his position as a self-described “renegade Republican” during an impeachment inquiry is notable because of Schwarzman’s support for Trump. Since the 2016 election, Schwarzman has donated a total of about $850,000 to Trump’s inauguration and political action committees, based on records compiled by CNN and the Center for Responsive Politics.

The event provides donors a chance to gauge how far Romney may go in possibly building support for a GOP coalition against Trump. Romney recently ratcheted up his attacks on Trump following a series of decisions by the President. Like other members of his party, Romney blasted Trump for abandoning the Kurds in Northern Syria. He was also one of the loudest voices rebuking the President for urging Ukraine and China to investigate Vice President Joe Biden’s family.

Romney also took a shot at Trump’s character in an interview with The Atlantic where he criticized Trump for “berating another person, or calling them names, or demeaning a class of people, not telling the truth.”

Asked in an interview with Axios on Sunday whether he could convince other Republicans to support impeachment, Romney dismissed the notion, responding to the interviewer, “Are you smoking something that I don’t see?”

“That’s simply not true. As I point out, the idea that any one senator, even me — even Mitch McConnell — is not going to convince other senators to reach a different conclusion than they would reach on their own,” said Romney in the interview.

The proceeds from this week’s fundraiser will flow to a partnership between Romney’s leadership political action committee, Believe in America PAC, the National Republican Senatorial Committee and three US Senate campaigns: the reelection bids of Sens. Cory Gardner of Colorado and Susan Collins of Maine, as well as the campaign for John James, a GOP candidate running for a US Senate seat in Michigan, said a person familiar with Romney’s plans

Romney, who formerly led firm Bain Capital, and Schwarzman both made fortunes in private equity and have a long history. In 2011, Schwarzman endorsed Romney for president, citing his firm’s first investment in 1985 when Romney helped Blackstone earn “16 times profit” on a joint deal with Bain.

“In finance that’s a way to make friends,” Schwarzman told Bloomberg in 2011.

Schwarzman has also contributed to Romney’s various political campaigns over the years. Since 1993, Schwarzman, along with his wife Christine, have contributed around $94,200 to Romney’s federal campaigns or Romney linked groups, according to Center for Responsive Politics. Most recently, the couple each donated the maximum to Romney’s Senate bid in 2018.

Schwarzman has friends in the administration too.

He’s close to Treasury Secretary Stephen Mnuchin, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and also speaks with Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner.

Schwarzman reportedly visited the White House this summer at Kushner’s request, who convened a dinner to discuss his father-in-law’s campaign fundraising strategy.

This story has been updated.

Article Topic Follows: Politics

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