Former President Donald Trump made a surprise appearance at an animal rescue fundraiser held Friday at Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Fla., where he hinted that daughter-in-law Lara Trump would possibly run for U.S. Senate in 2022, reports WPTV.
Trump, wearing a red Make America Great Again hat, said he supported the Big Dog Ranch Rescue fundraiser “100%” and called it “so great and so important.”
"I'm with you 100%. We had many meetings in the White House and the Oval Office having to do with saving and helping dogs,” he said.
The goal of the fundraiser was to raise $500,000 to rescue dogs from China. Host Lauree Simmons, president and founder of Big Dog Ranch Rescue, started the charity after seeing images of the China dog meat market trade.
The charity sends teams to China on a regular basis to bring back dogs that had been earmarked for slaughterhouses. Simmons, a Trump supporter, visited the White House in 2019 for the signing of a bill addressing animal cruelty. She lists Lara Trump as a “chairwoman” of the charity’s fundraisers over the past several years and has used Mar-a-Lago numerous times for events.
The Huffington Post, citing IRS filings, reported that the group has spent as much as $1.88 million on fundraising costs at the venue and Trump’s golf course in Jupiter, Fla.
“The quality of service, beauty of the venue and excellent rate provided us as a nonprofit as well as the generosity of supporters who sell-out our event there every year allows us to rescue and home thousands of dogs. Our investment there and at the other venues mentioned in the article has netted more than $12 million over an eight-year period which allows us to continue our mission,” Simmons told the news outlet.
Trump took the opportunity to tout Lara Trump’s potential senate bid in his speech
"I didn't exactly prepare for this, but I was walking by, and I heard everyone screaming," Trump said.
"I want to thank Lara, who's been so incredible, I don't know, you're running for the Senate. I hear she's going to run for the Senate!" he said to loud cheers from the crowd.
Lara Trump has reportedly weighed a bid to replace retiring Sen. Richard Burr in North Carolina in 2022.
Trump has teased a 2024 run, telling the crowd at CPAC that he “may even decide to beat them for a third time,” referring to his 2016 win and the 2020 presidential election he still says was rigged.
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