Some business executives listed as hosts of a scheduled Donald Trump fundraiser in Seattle are now disavowing involvement.
At least three business executives listed as co-hosts of an upcoming Seattle fundraiser for Donald Trump are now disavowing involvement with the event.
But in a statement reported by Willamette Week, Sondland and Wali say they do not support Trump and will not attend any fundraiser for him. They cited Trump’s widely condemned attacks on Khizr and Ghazala Khan, the parents of a U.S. soldier killed in Iraq, as one reason.
“Historically, Mr. Sondland has been supportive of the Republican party’s nominees for President,” said the statement quoted by Willamette Week. “However, in light of Mr. Trump’s treatment of the Khan family and the fact his constantly evolving positions diverge from their personal beliefs and values on so many levels, neither Mr. Sondland or Mr. Wali can support his candidacy.”
Sondland is a first-generation American whose parents fled Germany before World War II due to religious persecution, while Wali is a Muslim American who emigrated to the U.S. from Syria, the statement noted.
In Sondland’s case, the repudiation of Trump is particularly notable. A longtime GOP donor, he’d been announced just a month ago as Trump’s Oregon finance chairman.
A third businessman who had been listed as a fundraiser host, Peter Stott, president of Portland-based Columbia Investments, said in a statement provided to The Seattle Times that he “had no role in the Trump campaign and did not approve the use of my name in conjunction with any Trump campaign event in Seattle.”
State Sen. Doug Ericksen, R-Ferndale, a Trump campaign leader in Washington, attributed the flap to a draft invitation he said had been prepared by the Republican National Committee.
Ericksen said that invitation had been prematurely circulated and obtained by the media last week before plans had been finalized.
“It was a mistake,” he said, but added the Trump campaign still plans a fundraiser and public rallies for his late-August trip to Washington.
Hossein Khorram, a Bellevue-area apartment developer and GOP fundraiser, predicted the event will be huge despite a few donors backing away.
“We’re going to have one of the biggest fundraisers ever,” said Khorram, another co-host who has been rounding up donors for the event, which lists tickets starting at $2,700 per person and up to $100,000 per couple for a VIP meeting with Trump.
Another Northwest business executive listed as a co-host, Seattle real-estate developer Martin Selig, confirmed his backing of Trump in a brief interview Monday.
Selig said Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton disqualified herself when she “lied to the widow and the orphans from the Benghazi situation. That’s kind of unforgivable.”
That was a reference to accusations by some relatives of victims of the deadly 2012 terrorist attack on the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, who have accused Clinton of deceiving them about the cause of the premeditated strike, blaming it on spontaneous protests that arose over a video mocking Islam.
PolitiFact, the nonpartisan fact-checking organization, has rated those claims inconclusive, citing different recollections by Benghazi victims’ families of whether Clinton mentioned a video to them. A Washington Post fact check reached a similar conclusion.
Two other Vancouver business figures listed as sponsors of the fundraiser, developer Clyde Holland and billionaire investment manager Ken Fisher, did not respond to requests for comment as of Tuesday morning.
Federal Election Commission records show both men wrote big checks on June 30 to the Trump Victory Fund, the joint fundraising committee that will benefit from the Seattle fundraiser. (Donations to the fund are split among the Trump campaign, the RNC and some state Republican parties.)
Fisher and his wife Sherrilyn gave a combined $50,000 and Holland donated $94,600 — making them the only Washington donors to the Trump Victory Fund so far.