President Donald Trump is preparing to host a high-dollar fundraiser in Atlanta this week to help defend U.S. Sen. David Perdue, one of the staunchest critics of the Democratic-led impeachment effort.
The president recently set up a joint fundraising committee with the Republican in time for a Friday fundraiser at an undisclosed Atlanta locale that will run attendees $2,800 to get in the door and a six-figure check to attend a roundtable.
The money-in-politics tracker OpenSecrets.org reports that Perdue is the first congressional candidate to directly receive support from a Trump-backed fundraising committee.
Trump’s trip is part of what Politico describes as a plan to raise money for vulnerable Republican senators who are pushing back against impeachment. Perdue, who is seeking a second term in 2020, has called the inquiry a “partisan show trial.”
It also marks a shift in strategy. Trump didn’t divert fundraising cash to Senate candidates during his White House run in 2016, instead funneling campaign donations toward the Republican National Committee and state GOP groups.
Perdue is one of Trump’s most ardent defenders in the U.S. Senate and was standing by him at Game 5 of the World Series last week when the president was greeted with boos and chants of "Lock him up!" from baseball fans at Nationals Park.
His four Democratic rivals have tried to paint Perdue as a Trump stooge too blinded by his loyalty to do what’s best for his constituents. At a campaign event on Saturday, Democrat Teresa Tomlinson labeled Perdue “the enabler, the influencer, the co-pilot of this president.”
Trump’s visit, first reported last month, will start with a roundtable that will cost supporters a cool $100,000 to attend. It follows with a luncheon that will run attendees $2,800 – and a donation of at least $35,000 for a photo with the president.
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