Billionaire Dan Gilbert attended a secret, $25,000-a-plate fundraiser for Donald Trump and the Republican National Committee in downtown Detroit on Friday, attendees told Motor City Muckraker.
Gilbert has denied hosting the event in his Chrysler House building in downtown’s financial district and still won’t say whether he’s supporting Trump, who has virtually no support in Detroit.
Crain’s broke the story today, reporting that $2,700 of each $25,000 donation was given to Trump’s campaign. Motor City Muckraker independently verified that Gilbert attended the event.
The fundraiser sparked outrage among many Detroiters, who questioned why Gilbert would support an event for a racist, misogynistic and erratic demagogue in a city that is predominately black and Democratic. Protesters gathered outside of Gilbert’s Quicken Loans headquarters in downtown Detroit on Monday to rally against the fundraiser and corporate greed.
During the fundraiser, Trump was escorted through a freight entrance at the Gilbert-owned Federal Reserve bank building.
Gilbert is a prolific donor to Republican candidates. During the presidential primary election, he donated $1.25 million to New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s super political action committee and $350,000 to PACs tied to Ohio Gov. John Kasich.
Among those who attended the fundraiser were Peter Karmanos, Attorney General Bill Schuette, former Michigan GOP Chairwoman Betsy DeVos and Michigan Republican Party Chairwoman Ronna Romney McDaniel.
In about a month, Trump will be required to disclose all of the donors. Muckraker will publish the names of the donors.
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Steve Neavling lives and works in Detroit as an investigative journalist. His stories have uncovered corruption, led to arrests and reforms and prompted FBI investigations.