- Championing gun rights, attacking Democrats brings in cash
- Shaking hands, posing for selfies and bear-hugging camo-clad
Donald Trump Jr. navigated the Indianapolis fundraiser like a seasoned politician: shaking hands, ensuring everyone got a selfie and doling out bear hugs to a camo-clad hunting buddy he spotted in the crowd.
By the end of the May dinner for the Indiana Republican Party, the president’s eldest son had raised $400,000, a record, besting previous headliners including House Speaker Paul Ryan and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie.
His father’s presidency has turned Donald Trump Jr. into a rainmaker for the Republican Party, allied conservative groups and, in at least one case, himself.
Probes by Congress and Special Counsel Robert Mueller into Trump Jr.’s interactions with Russians during the president’s campaign haven’t dulled his star power for conservative groups and others seeking keynote speakers. To these groups, his proximity to the president and his red-meat enthusiasm for gun rights and lashing Democrats are paramount, making him one of the most in-demand guests on the Republican fundraising circuit.
In October, he will headline at least four events, including a fundraiser for Cuyahoga County Republicans in Ohio and a pheasant hunt for Iowa Congressman Steve King’s re-election bid. Next month, he’ll attend a fundraiser for Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach’s campaign for governor with tickets selling for as much as $2,000. He’ll also be paid a $100,000 fee by private donors for speaking at the University of North Texas to raise money for college scholarships.
“Don Jr. and Ivanka are the two most recognizable members of that family, aside from the president. Put either one of them on your event and you are going to get people to pay attention and come,” said Pete Seat, executive director of strategic communications for the Indiana Republican Party.
Donald Trump Jr. didn’t respond to a request for comment.
The group putting on the Texas event, the Kuehne Speaker Series, has never paid a speaker as much as the younger Trump. Often the college’s…