Donald Trump visits Newport Beach on fundraising tour through Southern California

Former President Donald Trump visited Newport Beach on Saturday in his first major campaign fundraiser in Southern California.

Trump visited Orange County after hosting a fundraising event the day before in Beverly Hills, at the home of businessman Lee Samson.

Early Saturday morning, supporters filled the streets near Pacific Coast Highway and Jamboree Road, hoping to catch a glimpse of Trump’s motorcade arriving shortly before 1 p.m.

Tickets for the Newport Beach event ranged from $3,300 to $100,000 per person.

About 400 people attended the fundraiser, held at the Harbor Island home of John Word, a health insurance company co-founder, with his wife, Kimberly Word, and the billionaire tech entrepreneur Palmer Luckey.

One supporter, Blake Marnell, said he drove from San Diego to wait for Trump to arrive in Orange County.

“We are considered a blue state and at the state level these offices are solidly Democratic, but that belies the fact that there are enclaves of conservative politics throughout California,” Marnell said.

The Newport Beach event was Trump’s final stop in California after holding events in San Francisco on Thursday and Beverly Hills on Friday.

Following his conviction on 34 counts on May 30, the Republican presidential candidate reportedly raised $141 million in May.

The Beverly Hills event reportedly raised around $6 million. The San Francisco event raised about $12 million and was organized by David Sacks, a venture capitalist and former PayPal executive, with his wife, Jacqueline Sacks, and the venture capitalist Chamath Palihapitiya.

According to the Orange County Register, Trump has been criticized for relying on campaign donations to pay for his costly legal fees. Some estimates indicate that by 2024 he will have spent more than $100 million in donations to pay his lawyers.

Trump is scheduled to be sentenced July 11, days before he is officially announced as the Republican Party’s presidential nominee at the Republican National Convention in Milwaukee.

The trip marks Trump’s first visit to Southern California since the GOP convention in Anaheim in September 2023.

President Joe Biden is expected to visit Southern California on June 15 for a major fundraiser at the Peacock Theater in downtown Los Angeles, which will include appearances by former President Barack Obama and celebrities such as George Clooney and Julia Roberts.

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