After days of speculation about an impending arrival, it’s official.
Donald Trump has touched down in Silicon Valley for the first time since his 2016 campaign brought him to a sweltering tent at the McEnery San Jose Convention Center and a private fundraiser at the Woodside home of private equity CEO Saul Fox.
Conservativedailynews.com is reporting that the Republican president landed shortly after 11am today in Moffett Field in time for an afternoon meet-and-greet with his fans.
Donors invited to Trump’s Bay Area fundraiser weren’t told in advance the name of the host/location – they were told to arrive at a parking place in Palo Alto to be transported to the event, per @rebeccaballhaus @ChadSDay https://t.co/QUqa4R55Ul
— Ken Thomas (@KThomasDC) September 17, 2019
Below is a copy of the schedule published by the right-wing news site:
- 11:10 AM / 2:10 PM Arrive at Moffett Federal Airfield – Mountain View, CA
- 11:20 AM / 2:20 PM Depart Mountain View, CA, en route to Palo Alto, CA – Motorcade
- 11:45 AM / 2:45 PM Arrive in Palo Alto, CA
- 12:20 PM / 3:20 PM Participate in a roundtable with supporters
- 12:55 PM / 3:55 PM Make remarks at a joint fundraising committee luncheon
- 1:45 PM / 4:45 PM Depart Palo Alto, CA, en route to Mountain View, CA – Motorcade
- 2:10 PM / 5:10 PM Arrive at Moffett Federal Airfield – Mountain View, CA
- 2:20 PM / 5:20 PM Depart Moffett Federal Airfield en route to Los Angeles, CA – Air Force One
The Federal Aviation Administration announced online that it’s restricting airspace over the facility through the rest of the afternoon because of Trump’s arrival, forbidding banners, balloons, gliders, parachutes and drones from within 32 nautical miles of the agency’s Woodside navigation outpost.
According to the Palo Alto Daily Post, the president will attend a re-election fundraiser in the $97 million mansion of ex-Sun Microsystems CEO Scott McNealy, who lives in the foothills on the eastern edge of Portola Valley. McNealy’s neighbors told the Post that there’s a sizable police presence outside the executive’s swanky 13-acre estate on Los Trancos Road in Palo Alto, where tickets sold for $1,000 to $100,000 apiece.
Local Democrats are protesting Trump’s visit to a region that has battled the president over his hardline stance on immigration, rollbacks to social service funding and gutting of civil rights protections for marginalized populations.
Though Trump lost by a wide margin to Hillary Clinton in Santa Clara County three years ago, and his job approval ratings in California rank among the worst nationwide, his high-dollar fundraisers in the Bay Area are reportedly sold out.
I’m pretty confident that Tim Apple is the single Palo Alto resident least likely to be hosting an event for President Trump.
— Daniel Murphy (@obscuranta) September 17, 2019
Statewide, donors have already chipped in $6.5 million for Trump’s re-election, according to campaign contribution reports for January to the end of June.
San Francisco attorney and former vice chair of the Republican Party Harmeet Dhillon crowed in an interview with Politico about having to turn down scores of requests for a seat at one of the two tables she’s sponsoring at today’s Palo Alto event.
But few Silicon Valley figures have dared to publicly out themselves as pro-Trump. An article in Recode notes that virtually every prominent Trump supporter declined to comment for the piece.
“The ragtag group of Silicon Valley leaders supporting Trump is more high society than high tech,” it reads. “They are socialites, art curators, and old-money philanthropists. There are some technologists, but they remain few and far between.”
Recode names Doug Leone—the global managing partner of Sequoia Capital, who was among those who declined the publication’s request for comment—as one of the luncheon attendees who forked over $100,000 to a pro-Trump super PAC.
Here’s the Who’s Who of the Silicon Valley GOP on Trump:
Marc Andreessen — “We don’t comment on politics”
John Chambers — “Isn’t comfortable commenting”
Larry Ellison — No comment!
Only Meg Whitman would say what she thought about Trump.https://t.co/RyRLAPJ7PV
— Teddy Schleifer (@teddyschleifer) September 17, 2019
Though law enforcement officials are keeping a buffer around the president during his brief foray to the Peninsula, activists from an out-of-town group called the Backbone Campaign want to make sure he catches a glimpse of a diaper-clad “Baby Trump” balloon they’re flying for the duration of his visit.
FYI The “Trump Baby” has arrived in the San Francisco Bay Area. Trump just arrived too, for a fundraiser at the home of former Sun Microsystems chairman Scott McNealy’s in Palo Alto. Ugh. pic.twitter.com/VJAIbdCJOZ
— Paula Chertok? (@PaulaChertok) September 17, 2019