After the organizer says he was “bullied” by Trump and the Trump team “engaged in a smear campaign” against him, a fundraiser, billed as the first for Donald J. Trump’s general election, was abruptly cancelled this afternoon.
Jack Burkman, the D.C. lobbyist who was to host the event at his home with his wife, is a prolific fundraiser who in the past has held events for Mitt Romney, John McCain, George W. Bush, says he’s shocked at the treatment he received.
This fundraiser, organized by the prominent D.C. lobbyist and syndicated radio talk show host, was designed to bring together lobbyists and government contractors and to raise more than $300,000 to start.
But Burkman says it’s been cancelled before even raising a dollar because of how he and his team have been treated by Trump and Trump surrogates.
“I put my money where my mouth was and organized this incredible fundraiser,” Burkman says. “I just cannot believe the bad treatment. And I was trying to help him!”
Burkman says he invited Trump to the fundraiser that was set for June 1 at his Arlington, Virginia home. He invited fellow lobbyists and government contractors.
The shindig, which received widespread national coverage and interest from news organizations, was designed to then spawn groups of 50 or more lobbyists that would then do events on their own.
Burkman says instead of a thank you note from Trump or his campaign, he received what amounts to a “bully” letter from one of Donald Trump’s attorneys.
In the letter, copied to Timothy Jost, the Treasurer for Donald J. Trump for President, Trump’s attorney wanted Burkman to call off the event.
Attorney Donald F. McGahn II, Counsel for Donald J. Trump for President, Inc. writes that “potential supporters could be confused that when they make a contribution to you, they are supporting Donald J. Trump for President’s campaign, or that your efforts have been sanctioned or otherwise authorized by him.”
Burkman says he replied to reassure the campaign that the invitation clearly stated that this event was not paid for or organized by the Trump campaign and, in fact, asks that checks be made out to the Donald J. Trump campaign. Further, Burkman says, he advised that he and the others involved planned to hold the event because too much was on the line in this election. Burkman again invited Trump or one of his surrogates to attend.
Burkman was on a cable news as recently as Wednesday of last week touting the fundraiser and speaking admiringly of Trump.
Burkman says he decided to pull the fundraiser because he learned from various reporters that the Trump campaign trashed him.
“At that moment, I lost complete respect for Donald Trump. It is abundantly clear that for Trump this is not about a movement or doing what’s best for the country, it’s abou doing what’s best for Trump,” says Burkman. “He’s a bully. He bullied me to drop the fundraiser and he bullied and downright intimidated reporters to drop the story. It’s just disgusting. He engaged in smear campaign against me. And I won’t raise money for a bully.
“If this is how he treats his would-be supporters then I want no part of him and everyone should know what he does and how he acts.” He also added “He is an absolute control nut who needs to feel powerful to feed his massive ego.”
Burkman, who is a lifelong conservative who has attended five GOP national conventions will be refusing to support the GOP nominee for the first time in his life.
The thing that he says worries him the most about Trump is the mogul’s behavior, and he thinks it should worry others, which is why he going public to share his experience.
“It’s not about Trump doing something rash. It’s about what his actions may cause other world leaders to do to get back at him for running his mouth or not thinking through his actions. That’s what scares me.”
As for whom Burkman now plans to support, he says he doesn’t know. But inevitably he believes that a third party candidate will step up.
“Depending on who it is, and if I can support that person, I’d happily throw my fundraising resources behind that campaign,” says Burkman. “Consider me first in line.”
For more information about Jack Burkman, please visit http://thepublicityagency.com/publicity-agency-clients/jack-burkman-republican-strategist-radio-talk-show-host-online-media-kit/.
DOWNLOAD: Letter for Jack Burkman from Counsel to Donald J. Trump for President
DOWNLOAD: Fundraiser invitation
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SOURCE: J.M. Burkman & Associates
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