The details of the Trump fundraiser luncheon in the Bay Area today remain secretive, with even Republican donors who are planning to attend being kept in the dark about the exact location, but we do know one thing: Air Force One is landing in Palo Alto around 11 a.m.
Donors who have RSVP'd for the luncheon, where seats cost between $1,000 and $100,000, have been told to arrive at a drop-off point in Palo Alto this morning, from which they will be whisked to the actual location. The precaution, obviously, is because the President is landing in enemy territory for the first time since being elected, and even before he was elected his mere presence here was enough to incite protester melees.
As the Mercury News reports, the anti-Trump group Vigil for Democracy has in recent days been scoping out the homes of prominent GOP donors on the Peninsula for signs of preparations for a big event. And activist plan to trail several donors they believe are likely to be attending, in order to find the location. The goal: to "embarrass and humiliate" the president as much as possible, including with that enormous Baby Trump balloon — which as of yesterday was reportedly headed to Los Altos.
A rumor was spread by Brooke Fabricant, a park ranger for Stanford, who told the Mercury News that he saw "multiple big rental trucks and power generators pulling into the Woodside home of local tech titan Tom Siebel — who held a fundraiser for Sarah Palin in 2008." But Siebel's wife has roundly denied this.
As SFGate reported Monday, Atherton was also thought to be a likely location, but Atherton police have denied that anything is happening there.
And even with all this cloak and dagger, the President won't be here long. As KRON 4 reports, he's apparently scheduled to be flying out from Palo Alto around 2 p.m. to head to Los Angeles, where he's appearing at a dinner in Beverly Hills this evening. That's followed by another event tomorrow in San Diego.
But between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m., expect some sort of backup on 101 or some other roads near Palo Alto as Trump's motorcade passes through.
Meanwhile, HUD secretary Ben Carson is scheduled to be in San Francisco today to have some kind of meetings about homelessness — to which Mayor London Breed hasn't even been invited. CNN had suggested over the weekend that Trump would be "joining" Carson here, possibly to make some speech about homelessness, but that is sounding less likely given the three-hour window and the flight landing in Palo Alto. Also, there's no feasible way for Trump to set foot in San Francisco without sparking a whole lot of loud protest attention. And traffic.
As California’s Republican National Committeewoman Harmeet Dhillon tells the Associated Press, some Republican donors are going to be perfectly proud to attend today's fundraisers, liberals be damned. "By showing up to a fundraiser deep in the belly of the beast, one is saying: ‘I don’t care what the liberal politicians are saying and I want to show my support for him publicly," Dhillon says.
I guess she covers her ears every time he shits on California or withholds federal funds for projects out of spite for losing so badly here.