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Miami Grand Prix organizers stop plans for Trump fundraiser in luxury suite
F1 Sport

Miami Grand Prix organizers stop plans for Trump fundraiser in luxury suite

Officials with the Miami Grand Prix recently halted a Donald Trump presidential campaign fundraiser being planned for the upcoming Formula One race, sending a cease-and-desist letter to its organizer.

A Miami Grand Prix representative notified Steven Witkoff, a close friend of Trump, that Witkoff would not be allowed to use a suite at the race to fundraise for the former president, the Washington Post first reported.

Witkoff allegedly plotted to host a political fundraiser at the Paddock Club rooftop suite, charging potential attendees $250,000 a ticket to attend.

The Paddock suite facilities at the F1 race are fairly exclusive, providing guests with better views of the racetrack and other perks, according to the F1 experiences website.

In a letter to Witkoff obtained by the Post, Miami Grand Prix organizers said: “It has come to our attention that you may be using your Paddock Club Rooftop Suite for a political purpose, namely raising money for a federal election at $250,000 a ticket, which clearly violates the Formula 1 Crypto.com Miami Grand Prix suite license agreement … If this is true, we regret to inform you that your suite license will be revoked, you will not be allowed to attend the race at any time, and we will refund you in full.”

The Guardian could not immediately reach a representative of the Miami Grand Prix.

The event had previously been advertised in a newsletter for the Shell Bay Club in Florida, an exclusive golf club Witkoff’s real estate company helped develop.

According to the advertisement viewed by the Post, an invitation to the cancelled political fundraiser included a helicopter trip and other amenities. Multiple people called Miami Grand Prix officials and asked about the event.

It’s unclear if Trump was going to make an appearance at the fundraiser. Trump is expected to attend the Miami Grand Prix, which is on 5 May, Newsweek reported. Secret Service agents reportedly contacted race officials to coordinate Trump’s attendance, the Post reported.

Witkoff is a longtime associate of Trump. He recently testified on the former president’s behalf during a New York financial fraud case, in which Trump, his eldest sons and associates were ordered to pay over $350m plus pre-judgment interest.

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In a phone call with the Post, Witkoff denied any wrongdoing, claiming: “This is something fake, for sure.” He did not elaborate further.

The fiasco at the Miami Grand Prix is not the first time officials affiliated with a popular racing series have rejected political associations.

Organizers with the Indy 500 race rejected a request from one car to feature pictures of Trump and the independent presidential candidate Robert F Kennedy Jr, WIBC reported.

Source: theguardian.com