Trump heads to Hamptons Friday amidst growing controversy over fundraiser's host

David Caplan
August 08, 2019 - 5:07 pm

Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images for The Buoniconti Fund to Cure Paralysis


NEW YORK (1010 WINS) -- President Donald Trump will head to the Hamptons on Friday for a pair of fundraisers amidst a growing backlash related to the host of one of the events, whose support of the president has irked customers of companies he invests in, including Equinox Fitness and SoulCycle.

Developer Stephen Ross, along with his wife Kara Ross, is hosting a reception at 2:30 p.m. at the couple's Southampton home. Ross, 79, is a major investor in Equinox Fitness, SoulCycle and Hudson Yards. He also owns the Miami Dolphins. 

Tickets to the Ross-hosted fundraiser start at $100,000 for lunch and a photo with Trump. Want the opportunity to be at a roundtable discussion with him? That'll cost you $250,000 for a ticket.

After news broke that Ross is hosting the event, calls for members to cancel their memberships over Ross' support of the president grew quickly. Critics slammed Ross for not being in touch with the sensitivities of people of color and LGBTQ people -- two communities which have been very outspoken about the president's remarks and policies. 

Equinox and SoulCycle were forced to distance themselves from the event -- and Ross. "Neither Equinox nor SoulCycle have anything to do with the event later this week and do not support it," read a statement released Wednesday. "Mr. Ross is a passive investor and is not involved in the management of either business."

Ross then released a statement defending his relationship with Trump. "I have known Donald Trump for 40 years, and while we agree on some issues, we strongly disagree on many others and I have never been bashful about expressing my opinions."

Trump will arrive on the East End Friday morning: The FAA has issued a temporary flight restriction -- prohibiting all aircraft within a 10-mile radius -- for his visit. Based on the flight restriction, Trump will arrive at Westhampton's Francis S. Gabreski Airport between 10:30 a.m. and 11:45 a.m. Also based on the flight restriction, Trump will leave between 3:15 p.m. and 4:15 p.m.

Trump will kick of his day in the Hamptons at Bridgehampton home -- known as "Sandcastle" -- of developer Joe Farrell for a 12:30 p.m. reception.  The fundraiser is to benefit Trump's 2020 campaign and the Republican National Committee. 

According to event's invitation, the Farrell-hosted event will be co-hosted by Rep. Lee Zeldin, Sen. Lindsey Graham, Donald Trump Jr., Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale, as well as his son Donald Trump Jr. and his girlfriend, former Fox News personality Kimberly Guilfoyle.

There will be minor traffic disruptions, officials said. 

"We do not expect that this will cause major traffic delays, because he will be moving rather quickly, so any traffic closures that pop up will be kind of temporary and fluid,” Southampton Town Police Chief Steven Skrynecki said, noting he is unsure of Trump's exact route. "I also don’t think the time frame will be such that it is significantly impacting our high-volume times." 

Skrynecki added that the U.S. Secret Service will manage the president's transportation, but they will receive assistance from the Southampton Police Department.

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