New York Times reporters alleged misconduct by former First Lady Melania Trump, saying her fundraiser was not listed with Florida authorities.
“Consumer Services Division is currently investigating whether this event involves an entity operating in violation of Chapter 496, Florida Statutes,” Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Erin Moffet said in February, according to the report.
The Grey Lady doubled down on their original report with an update claiming Melania Trump canceled her High Tea event due to questions from Florida officials acting on their report.
A “Tulips and Topiaries” event in Naples, Florida was scheduled to be conducted in the afternoon/evening of April 9 featuring Mrs. Melania Trump. The site declares in large, bold font “We Didn’t Cancel”. Organizers explain the High Tea event has been rescheduled for December 4. “Big thanks to Eric Lipton and Shane Goldsmacher at the New York Times, thanks to your story-we needed a bigger venue!” the website announces.
Exact details are expected to be released after all guest names have been submitted to the Secret Service for vetting. Entry for the original event started at $3,000, except for one lucky winner of a raffle to receive free admission. Ten seats at tables described as exclusive, luxury seating with up-close and pre-eminent engagement were offered at $50,000 each. Since the event is being conducted at a larger venue, it is very likely ticket prices will increase.
Whip Fundraising leader Brad Keltner reportedly told the Times his company hadn’t broken any laws, having originally been advised it didn’t need to register with the state. He said after being contacted by state investigators he worked to get registered, according to a report in “The Daily Mail”. Keltner seconded Melania’s claim the event was rescheduled so a bigger venue could be booked. “Florida state did not shut us down,” he said.
“This was an internal decision made due to overwhelming response that we were not prepared to handle.”
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