The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Trump scheduled to headline fundraisers in the Hamptons, where tickets run as high as $250,000

President Trump speaks at a fundraiser in New York in December 2017. As he seeks reelection, Trump is embracing the world of wealthy contributors who served as punching bags in his 2016 campaign. (Susan Walsh/AP)

President Trump is slated to appear at a pair of fundraising events in the Hamptons on Friday, including one that charges up to $250,000 for lunch, a photo and a private roundtable with the president.

The fundraisers are the latest sign that Trump is embracing the world of wealthy contributors who served as punching bags in his 2016 campaign.

One event is scheduled to take place at the Southampton home of a New York real estate developer who owns the Miami Dolphins, and another at a 17,000-square-foot Bridgehampton mansion that was once rented out to Beyoncé and Jay-Z.

The price of entry to the events ranges from $5,600 to $250,000, according to invitations obtained by The Washington Post, with the costliest tickets offering the greatest access to Trump.

The Republican National Committee confirmed the events are set to take place but did not offer further specifics about them out of security concerns.

Trump’s direct appeal to such donors — some of whom are longtime contributors to the Republican Party who have given millions over the years — stands in contrast to the tone he struck in 2016, when he sharply criticized the influence of wealthy donors over the political process and derided his opponents for accepting their money.

“Their lobbyists, their special interests and their donors will start calling President Bush, President Clinton,” he said in July 2015. “Pretty much whoever is president other than me. . . . And they’ll say: ‘You have to do it. They gave you a million dollars to your campaign.’”

Money raised at these fundraisers will go toward Trump Victory, a fundraising committee for both the Trump 2020 campaign and the Republican National Committee.

Trump has made collecting six-figure checks a centerpiece of his reelection fundraising effort. The day after his official reelection campaign launch in June, Trump appeared at a high-dollar fundraiser luncheon at the Trump National Doral hotel in Florida that officials said raised about $6 million.

Trump has embraced the big-money donor world he once shunned

As the incumbent, Trump enjoys a big fundraising edge over his Democratic rivals. While donors are only permitted to give a maximum of $5,600 per election cycle to a candidate, they can contribute as much as $710,000 to national parties.

Several senior members of the administration, party and campaign are also scheduled to appear, as are some Trump family members, according to the invites.

The Friday luncheon in Southampton is scheduled to take place at the home of New York real estate developer Stephen Ross and his wife, jewelry designer Kara Ross. Tickets are priced at $100,000 for a photo opportunity and lunch, and $250,000 for the package that includes the roundtable discussion, the invite shows.

A reception is scheduled to follow the lunch at the 17,000-square-foot Bridgehampton estate of Joe Farrell, a real estate developer in New York. Tickets are priced at $5,600 per couple for the general reception, $11,200 per couple for the VIP reception and $35,000 per couple for a photo opportunity.

Farrell’s estate, known as the “Sandcastle,” was reportedly the site of a birthday party this year for the president’s personal attorney, Rudolph W. Giuliani. The fundraiser at Farrell’s home was first reported by CNBC.

Fueled by wealthy donors, pro-Trump groups collected nearly $18 million in the first half of the year

Trump Victory has raised more than $67 million so far for the president’s reelection and the RNC. Among the biggest donors so far are Marvel Entertainment chairman Isaac Perlmutter and his wife Laura; Texas oil executive Jeffery Hildebrand and his philanthropist wife, Melinda; Texas billionaire Darwin Deason; and Wisconsin billionaire Diane Hendricks.

The Trump 2020 campaign and affiliated fundraising committees have raised $237 million so far toward his reelection.

Among the special guests invited to appear at this weekend’s events at the Hamptons, according to the invitations: Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross; Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin; White House senior adviser Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law; the president’s son Donald Trump Jr. and his girlfriend, Kim Guilfoyle; Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel; Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale; Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.); and Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-N.Y.).