Hours after special counsel Robert Mueller submitted his report to Attorney General William Barr, President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania attended a GOP Lincoln Day Dinner fundraiser held at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Florida, Friday night.
The dinner, which was headlined by Sen. Lindsey Graham and emceed by former Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, barred members from the press from attending. When Palm Beach County Republican Party Chairman Michael Barnett said at the start of the dinner that there were no press at the event, guests applauded, according to Politico.
Despite the ban, key moments from Graham’s speech leaked out online, including a renewed call for an investigation of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to the delight of the fundraiser attendees.
“If Lindsey’s speaking, I want to come down here for two reasons,” Trump told the crowd before Sen. Graham spoke, according to CNN. “Number one, he’s a great speaker. And number two, I know if I’m here, he’s not going to say anything bad about me.”
Trump at Mar-a-Lago tonight pic.twitter.com/oVyYnVQ5Vj
— Matt Dixon (@Mdixon55) March 23, 2019
When Graham took the stage, he made the call to launch another probe into Secretary Clinton, which was met with a “lock her up” chant from the crowd.
CNN’s Kevin Liptak reported, “A ‘lock her up’ chant broke out at Mar-a-Lago tonight during Sen. Graham’s speech as he called for an investigation into Clinton and the origins of the dossier. Trump watched on from a table in the ballroom.”
A “lock her up” chant broke out at Mar-a-Lago tonight during Sen. Graham’s speech as he called for an investigation into Clinton and the origins of the dossier. Trump watched on from a table in the ballroom.
— Kevin Liptak (@Kevinliptakcnn) March 23, 2019
With Trump looking on, Graham joked about the prospect of Trump opening a “hotel in Jerusalem and asking the crowd whether they’d like to see former Rep. Trey Gowdy on the Supreme Court,” reports Politico.
“There will be a Trump hotel there in 10 years,” Graham said, according to three people present for his remarks.
Graham also touched on his rocky relationship with Trump: “We found a lot in common. I like him and he likes him.”
Among the attendees were Donald Trump Jr. and girlfriend Kimberly Guilfoyle, Florida Lt. Gov Jeanette Núñez, Rep. Brian Mast (R-Fla.), former Rep. Mark Foley (R-Fla.), Republican National Committee co-chair Tommy Hicks, Jr. and conservative activist James O’Keefe. Former Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi was the emcee.
The attendees were served a multi-course meal. The event’s dessert plate — chocolate mousse — featured a piece of white chocolate covered with a picture of Abraham Lincoln wearing a “Keep America Great” hat. Tickets for the fundraiser started at $375, with sponsorship packages going as high as $25,000.