Some of the biggest names in U.S. finance and real estate are expected to gather at New York’s Le Cirque restaurant on Tuesday as President Donald Trump raises money for the Republican National Committee.
For $250,000 a couple, donors can attend a “private roundtable” with the president, while $100,000 will guarantee “VIP access,” according to people with knowledge of the preparations. The minimum donation is $35,000, and about 150 people will probably attend, the people said.
Republicans are amassing resources as they prepare to defend their House and Senate majorities in next year’s midterm elections. Donors are scheduled to dine with the president as results trickle in from the Republican primary for a Senate seat in Alabama, where Trump’s favored candidate, Luther Strange, trails in polls.
Accompanying the president at Le Cirque will be Ronna McDaniel, the RNC chairwoman, and Steve Wynn, the casino mogul and RNC finance chairman, the people said, adding that Trump’s sons Eric and Donald Jr. also will be on hand. Many of the anticipated attendees, such as the executives Howard Lorber and Steve Witkoff, come from New York real estate circles where the president’s career began, the people said.
John Catsimatidis, a New York billionaire with interests in real estate, energy and supermarkets, said he might swing by. While the president has “made some mistakes,” Catsimatidis said, donors are happy with the change in tone Trump brought to the White House.
“Don’t forget, under Obama, the business people and the banks were the enemies of Washington,” Catsimatidis said. “The one thing Donald Trump has done is the business people and banks are no longer the enemies, and the business people feel better and they are making investments.”
Le Cirque, on 58th Street between Lexington and Third avenues, has been popular with Trump since his days as a New York real estate developer. In June 2016, he held a fundraiser there with some of Wall Street’s biggest donors, including financiers Carl Icahn and John Paulson, as well as New York Jets owner Woody Johnson, now the U.S. ambassador in London.
Once among the city’s most prestigious restaurants, Le Cirque has lately suffered a series of indignities, including being demoted to a single star by the New York Times and resorting to early bird specials to help fill empty tables and pay its bills. Owner Mauro Maccioni filed for bankruptcy in March, though he has said the family has no plans to close.