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Long IslandPolitics

Trump holds fundraiser at billionaire’s Southampton estate

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks at Saint

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks at Saint Anselm College in Manchester, N.H. on Monday, June 13, 2016. Photo Credit: AP / Jim Cole

Donald Trump met with Republican donors for about an hour and a half Saturday at the hedge-lined Southampton estate of billionaire investor Wilbur Ross Jr.

The presumptive GOP presidential nominee’s motorcade arrived at the home about 12:50 p.m. and left about 2:30 p.m.

Southampton Village police barricaded off the section of Great Plains Road near Ross’ home. Trump did not meet with reporters or the public.

“It was a wonderful event; it was extremely successful,” Trump spokeswoman Hope Hicks said by phone after the private luncheon. “And I know Mr. Trump was extremely pleased to be back on Long Island.”

Bloomberg Politics reported that the luncheon was to cost $25,000 per person or $100,000 per couple, and was expected to draw former supporters of Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio, as well as Reince Priebus, chairman of the Republican National Committee.

As Trump met with guests at the luncheon, a pair of demonstrators held one-man rallies a few hundred feet away. Passers-by, on bicycles and in sports cars, occasionally stopped to snap photos or ask what was going on.

One Trump backer and one vocal critic of the businessman staked out street corners just outside the police barricade.

“I think Donald Trump is the leader of the country,” said Chris Aery, 66, a retired propane company manager and lifelong Southampton resident.

His homemade cardboard sign urged Trump to “eat her up then spit her out,” referring to presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.

“This country is the biggest company in the world and it’s ready for a businessman to run it,” Aery said.

Across the street, Anthony Ross, 56, an engineer from Garden City, held a yellow sign that read: “Trump is a bigger threat to America than ISIS.”

“I’ve been burning with anger about Trump and his antics, and I just find it unbelievable that anyone would vote for him,” Ross said. “It just stunned me to my core.”

Ross shouted at guests as they crossed the police barricade on their way to the event. “What’s the matter, Hitler unavailable?” he asked one man. “I hope you choke on your lunch.”

The two demonstrators did not interact. Aery said he wanted to give Trump a thumbs-up sign as he drove past, but the candidate came and left through the other end of the block.

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