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Trump will get Olympic update in LA, part of whirlwind western sweep

President Donald Trump will be briefed on preparations for the 2028 Olympics and raise millions for his reelection campaign as his three-day, four-state swing to Western states touches down in Los Angeles on Tuesday, Feb. 18.

During this trip, the White House says Trump will stop in for top-dollar fund-raisers in Beverly Hills and Rancho Mirage, discuss Western water supply and delivery issues in Bakersfield and speak at a graduation ceremony for prisoners in Las Vegas. Trump will also host two of his trademark campaign rallies in Phoenix and Colorado Springs, buoying support for two vulnerable Republican senators — Cory Gardner of Colorado and Martha McSally of Arizona. Both stood by Trump during the Senate’s impeachment trial..

The trek is Trump’s first to the West since his State of the Union address. Trump appears to have hit his stride in the past week, stepping up his campaign activity before the November election, with the impeachment process now firmly behind him. Pro-Trump groups raised a combined $60 million in January, shattering fundraising records.

Trump’s visit to California could test his relationship with the state’s Democratic leaders, including Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. They have repeatedly sparred on Los Angeles’ enduring homeless crisis, infrastructure spending, fuel-mileage standards and so-called “sanctuary cities” policies.

In September, a Trump administration team including representatives from multiple agencies toured LA encampments, weeks after the president called the city’s homeless crisis shameful, with the “liberal establishment” to blame. Earlier, Garcetti had issued a public invitation for the Republican president to walk the streets with him and see the suffering and squalid conditions.

But this week’s trip appears on the surface to be much more upbeat. Trump’s itinerary didn’t include any public follow-up to the LA homeless scenario, which has provided the dominant concern framing the March 3 primary election in Southern California.

Trump will meet the LA28 Olympic Committee “for an update on their efforts to prepare for the 2028 Summer Olympic Games,” the White House said. It wasn’t clear on Monday whether that meeting would feature a public event.

The privately funded Games have a proposed $6.9 billion balanced budget with revenues coming from sponsorship and television deals and ticket sales.

Los Angeles’ third Olympics will also come with an estimated $2 million security cost that will be largely covered by the federal government because of the Games status as a National Special Security Event. The games will also feature events in Long Beach, Pasadena, Anaheim, Santa Monica, Carson, San Dimas and other Southern California communities.

The president is also scheduled to attend a campaign fundraiser in Beverly Hills before continuing to Las Vegas. Such fund-raising events attended by the president have not generally included media access.

On Wednesday, Trump will appear in Bakersfield, hometown of House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy, “to speak with hardworking farmers in the Central Valley about efforts to dramatically improve the supply and delivery of water in California and other Western states,” the White House said. McCarthy was considered a key player in keeping GOP members of Congress unified in support of the president during the impeachment proceedings, which ended in acquittal in the Senate.

The president will then travel to billionaire Oracle co-founder Larry Ellison’s Rancho Mirage estate, which includes a private golf club, where his campaign will host a golf outing and fundraiser. Ellison previously hosted President Barack Obama at the course, which, like others in the arid Coachella Valley, has faced scrutiny for high water usage.

Next, Trump will hold a rally in Phoenix before returning to Las Vegas. Trump owns a hotel just off the Las Vegas strip.

On Thursday, Trump will speak at the Hope for Prisoners Graduation Ceremony held at the Las Vegas police headquarters, the White House said, adding that the president intends to focus on efforts “to provide previously incarcerated Americans with second chances.” He will hold another rally in Colorado before flying back to Washington.

On Sunday, an upbeat Trump gave an election-year embrace to NASCAR and its fans when he became the second president ever to attend the Daytona 500. The presidential motorcade took to the track to join in a warm-up lap after he had told the crowd that the racers and their teams were competing “for pure American glory.”

Following a recitation of the opening command, “Gentleman, start your engines,″ Trump got into his black limousine for a ceremonial spin around Daytona International Speedway. He had joked moments earlier in a Fox interview that while as president, he was not allowed to drive his own car, ” I’m going to hop into one of these cars and I’m going to get into this race if possible. I love the idea.’’

Given the honor of grand marshal for the race, Trump gave thousands of fans a flyover of Air Force One and then rode onto the track in the presidential motorcade as the audience roared with delight. The motorcade took roughly a quarter lap before pulling aside in an infield staging area.

Asked what it was about NASCAR that he most enjoyed, the president said, “I think it’s really the bravery of these people. … it takes great courage.’’

President George W. Bush appeared at the race during his reelection year.

Source: Orange County Register

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