Trump closes out UN visit with pair of New York fundraisers

DEB RIECHMANN
President Donald Trump arrives for a news conference at the InterContinental Barclay New York hotel during the United Nations General Assembly, Wednesday, Sept. 25, 2019, in New York. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

NEW YORK (AP) — Bracing against an impeachment inquiry in Washington, President Donald Trump is closing out his visit to the United Nations with a pair of New York fundraisers that are expected to rake in an estimated $8 million for his reelection and other GOP campaigns.

Wednesday night's fundraiser was at the home of John Paulson, who runs a New York-based investment firm he founded in the mid-1990s. According to Forbes magazine, Paulson has a net worth of more than $4 billion. Paulson also was one of Trump's economic advisers during his 2016 Republican campaign for president.

The event Paulson hosted was expected to raise an estimated $5 million, while a breakfast fundraiser on Thursday, before Trump heads back to Washington, was likely to take in about $3 million, according to a Republican familiar with the fundraisers. The Republican was not authorized to publicly disclose the fundraising amounts and spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity.

The two events were held to help bankroll a joint fundraising committee benefiting the Trump campaign and the Republican National Committee.

At a news conference earlier Wednesday, Trump expressed confidence that the Democrats' decision to launch an impeachment inquiry would actually help his chances of reelection.

The Democrats' impeachment inquiry focuses on a call Trump had in July with the president of Ukraine. Details of the call indicate that Trump repeatedly urged the Ukrainian leader to investigate one of his potential 2020 Democratic rivals, Joe Biden, whose son worked for a Ukrainian company.

In the days before the call with Zelenskiy, Trump had ordered the freezing of $400 million in military aid for Ukraine — prompting speculation that he was holding out the money as leverage for information on the Bidens. Trump has denied that accusation, and the aid package did not come up in the conversation.

Democrats say the call shows Trump trying to shake down a foreign leader for political gain. Trump says that it was an "innocent call" and that Ukraine's president has said he didn't feel any pressure from Trump.