Trump holds lucrative fundraiser in between NATO meetings

President Donald Trump meets with French President Emmanuel Macron to discuss the role France and America play in NATO and the future of NATO spending.

Posted: Dec 3, 2019 11:20 AM
Updated: Dec 3, 2019 11:20 AM

President Donald Trump attended a lucrative fundraiser with wealthy Americans residing in London in between meetings ahead of the NATO summit on Tuesday, part of what appears to be a larger effort by the President to use his European visit to highlight his accomplishments on the world stage.

The White House billed the event, which was closed to the press, as "a roundtable with supporters" and a Republican source familiar with the event's plans tells CNN that the fundraiser was hosted by Trump Victory, a joint fundraising committee run by the Republican National Committee and Trump's campaign.

A Trump campaign official said the event was expected to raise $3 million.

It's not uncommon for American presidents and candidates to raise funds from Americans living abroad.

Most recently, Pete Buttigieg's husband, Chasten, reportedly embarked on a European fundraising tour in the fall.

The fundraiser is the most explicit reelection event effort Trump has participated in during his trip to the UK on official business. But it's also part of a larger theme emerging during the summit.

Trump is always eager to highlight potential political wins while magnifying what he sees as wrongdoing by Democratic foes.

When he appeared before the press ahead of a meeting with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, Trump launched into a near hour-long, extended question and answer session.

In front of cameras, Trump emphasized what he's seen as his foreign policy successes -- including increased defense spending among NATO members and the death of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

"(NATO) got to be unfair for the United States because the United States pays a disproportionate amount," Trump said.

He also asserted that his administration was moving away from what he saw as a history of unfair trading practices between the US and the European Union.

His reelection campaign seemed to be top of mind for Trump in other ways, too.

Trump seemed grapple in front of the press over whether it would be better to sign a trade deal with China before or after the election.

"In some ways, I think it's better to wait until after the election. I just think that. In some ways, I like the idea of waiting until after the election," Trump said alongside Stoltenberg.

The President said he wasn't focusing on the impeachment hearings taking place in Washington while he's abroad.

"I'm not even thinking about it. I'm only thinking about this," Trump remarked, before calling Democrats "unpatriotic" and the inquiry a "hoax."

Despite claiming impeachment was not top of mind, Trump used a scheduled break between events Tuesday afternoon to share several tweets about impeachment.

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