The Trump inaugural committee spent $8,000 per guest at an over-the-top opening dinner thrown for the capital’s diplomatic corps, the Washington Post reports.
The event was the Global Chairman’s Dinner, a $4.3 million Jan. 17 gathering hosted by inaugural committee chairman and longtime Trump friend Tom Barrack, Jr. the dinner also featured top incoming Trump administration officials as well as wealthy foreign businesspeople.
The Post quoted one anonymous guest as saying “It was very strange. I remember thinking, ‘Okay, who’s paying for this? And why?’” That guest purportedly added: “Why have such a lavish event for the diplomatic corps?”
Barrack himself invited a quarter of those who attended, the report says, out of a total 600 invitees. 140 of those were foreign diplomats.
The event also included Barrack’s longtime friend and onetime Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort. Other notables including now-embattled lobbyist Eliot Broidy and Imaad Zuberi, a Los Angeles developer who was named in the Manhattan federal subpoena of the inaugural committee, were in attendance as well.
The 2017 inaugural has attracted scrutiny in part for the record $107 million haul that it took in, and is currently under investigation by federal prosecutors in Manhattan, as well as a New Jersey state regulator and the D.C. attorney general.
The article details the event’s seating arrangements, including a table that featured the Israeli and UAE ambassadors with Fox News personality and incoming NSA staffer K.T. McFarland as well as soon-to-be attorney general Jeff Sessions.
In a statement to the Post, Barrack said “I don’t intend to parry and thrust on the reporting of unsubstantiated allegations because I have great respect for our nation’s investigatory process at all levels of government — Federal, Congressional or otherwise.”
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