President Donald Trump visited the Milwaukee area on Friday, appearing at a campaign fundraising event at a Fox Point home and then giving a speech at Derco Aerospace in Milwaukee. The company used the occasion to announce expansion plans.
“It was truly an historic event today,” said Peter Winkler, general manager with Derco. “You couldn’t imagine the vibe, it was just unbelievable. Everyone was super excited to have the president here, and it was an unbelievable event.”
Prior to visiting Derco, Trump attended the campaign fundraising event in Fox Point, which was held at the home of Kathryn Burke, the widow of John J. Burke Jr., who died in January. He was the founder of Burke Properties.
About 160 supporters and donors attended the lunchtime event, said a source who was in attendance. Those in attendance included Donald Trump Jr., former Gov. Scott Walker, U.S. Senator Ron Johnson, U.S. Representative Sean Duffy and Andrew Hitt, chair of the Republican Party of Wisconsin.
According to an invitation obtained by BizTimes Milwaukee media partner WISN-TV Channel 12 News, lunch at the event started at $2,800 per person. A photo opportunity with the president was $25,000 per couple. The invitation says a ticket for the event begins at $70,000 and goes up to $100,000. Channel 12 reported that the Republican National Committee expected the event to raise about $3 million. Click here to see Channel 12’s report from outside the fundraising event.
Attendees parked at a nearby church and were transported to the Fox Point home via shuttle bus. Cell phones and recording devices of any kind were prohibited, the source said.
The president’s motorcade arrived at the event at approximately noon, escorted by an extensive security detail that included state and local law enforcement. All attendees had arrived at least two hours prior to his arrival.
The event took place mainly outdoors under a large, fully enclosed tent. About half of the attendees had what seemed to be private audience with the president inside the multi-million dollar home before lunch was served, the source said, assuming that group had purchased higher-valued admission. The other half of the attendees remained in the tent for the entirety of the fundraiser.
Trump addressed the crowd for about 40 minutes after brief introductory remarks from Johnson and Duffy. Trump spoke from a podium on a stage that was barricaded with a three-foot wall and surrounded by secret service agents, the source said. One of the president’s discussion topics was his efforts to cut costs and government spending. He said he intends to return to Wisconsin multiple times before the upcoming presidential election, the source said.
Trump then went to visit and speak at Derco Aerospace. Commercial Association of Realtors Wisconsin president and CEO Tracy Johnson, who was in attendance at the Derco event, said Trump talked a lot about the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (the trade deal that would replace NAFTA).
“It was a perfect setting, perfect location,” to talk about the trade deal, she said.
Click here to see WISN-TV Channel 12’s report from Trump’s arrival at Mitchell International Airport.
BizTimes Milwaukee reporter Alex Zank contributed to this report.