Owner Of Company That Makes AR-15s To Attend Donald Trump Fundraiser

Trump is trying to erase the huge financial disadvantage he faces against Hillary Clinton.

22/06/2016 8:20 AM AEST | Updated 22/06/2016 8:20 AM AEST
In this Aug. 15, 2012 file photo, three variations of the AR-15 are displayed at the California Department of Justice in Sacramento.

NEW YORK -- The founder and CEO of a private equity company that owns a leading maker of AR-15s will attend a fundraiser for Donald Trump in New York on Tuesday evening.

Stephen Feinberg, the co-founder and CEO of Cerberus Capital Management, will attend the event, along with hedge fund manager John Paulson, debt investor Wilbur Ross, real estate developer Peter Kalikow and Trump fundraiser Anthony Scaramucci, The New York Times reported last week.

Cerberus owns Remington Outdoor, which makes the Bushmaster AR-15, one of the weapons carried by the gunman who killed 20 children and six adults in the 2012 Newtown, Connecticut school massacre.

Cerberus said in 2012 it would sell Remington Outdoor in response to calls from public pension funds for the private equity company to get out of the gun business. However, it was unable to find a buyer. It announced in 2015 that it would allow investors to sell off their stake in the gun company while remaining in Cerberus’ other investments.

Tickets to Tuesday's fundraiser cost $50,000, with the hosts paying $250,000. HuffPost was unable to identify the hosts or confirm the location of the event.

Cerberus and the Trump campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment from HuffPost.

The event comes the day after the Trump campaign’s paltry fundraising haul was disclosed in filings with the Federal Elections Commission. Trump’s campaign began the month of June with just $1.3 million in cash on hand, compared to rival Hillary Clinton’s $42 million in the bank. In May, Trump raised $3.1 million, while Clinton brought in $26.2 million.

The Times wrote that Trump “enters the general election campaign laboring under the worst financial and organizational disadvantage of any major party nominee in recent history.”

And as The Huffington Post’s Paul Blumenthal detailed, things don’t look much better for the campaign, even after accounting for funds from the candidates’ respective parties and friendly super PACs. “The astonishing gap in funding has produced massive disparities in both television advertising and staff on the ground,” Blumenthal reported. 

Last August, Trump excoriated hedge funds for using the tax code to "[g]et away with murder." Assailing the carried interest tax loophole -- which is, in fact, regularly used by private equity executives and very rarely by hedge funds -- Trump told CBS's "Face the Nation" that “they’re paying nothing. And it’s ridiculous."

“Half of them, look, they’re energetic, they’re very smart, but a lot of them, it’s like they’re paper pushers," Trump said. "They make a fortune, they pay no tax. It’s ridiculous, OK?”

But that rhetoric vanished as Trump campaigned in the New York state primary with an eye to raising money for the general election. “He can’t be in midtown Manhattan launching attacks on hedge funds and not expect that to have a negative effect on him,” Doug Heye, the former head of communications for the Republican National Committee, told HuffPost in April.

What former Ted Cruz spokesman Rick Tyler once described as Trump's "crass political calculation" is still on display as he approaches the very people he said he would never be beholden to for money. 

Editor's note: Donald Trump regularly incites political violence and is a serial liarrampant xenophoberacistmisogynist and birther who has repeatedly pledged to ban all Muslims -- 1.6 billion members of an entire religion -- from entering the U.S.

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