UPDATED with LAPD road closures, 11:17 AM: The Los Angeles Police Department has released its list or street closures and restrictions for “avoiding possible traffic congestion” for President Donald Trump’s visit to LA and Beverly Hills today. All the info is at the bottom of the post.
Deeply unpopular in California, President Donald Trump hasn’t visited Los Angeles very often since taking office, but the former Celebrity Apprentice host will make his presence in the City of Angels known Friday with road closures and potential traffic snarls.
After a spell in Calexico late Friday morning to gaze upon a small completed portion of his much-promised border wall, Trump will be heading up to L.A. for a deep-pocket evening fundraiser for his 2020 re-election campaign and the Republican National Committee. Air Force One is expected to touch down at LAX at around 3:15 PM, a few hours before the pricey shindig.
Trump is expected to fly via Marine One from LAX to a landing zone at the Santa Monica Airport and travel in the so-called “Beast” on usually gridlocked surface streets to Beverly Hills for the fundraiser at 4 PM. Which means, the Westside, Bev Hills and potentially even part of the 405 will see wide spread street closures from the LAPD and Secret Service starting today around 2:30 or so.
Plan accordingly and avoid anywhere west of West Hollywood if you can today.
The multi-tiered gathering at the palatial spread of nursing care CEO Lee Samson sees tickets ranging from $15,000 to $50,000 for a photo with POTUS, who has a rarely visited home of his own nearby. If you really want to climb on the Trump Train, big Republican spenders have ponied up $150,000 to join in a 4:45 PM roundtable with the incumbent Friday afternoon, according to the invite.
After sitting down with his really rich pals, POTUS will spend a bit of time with the more common people and give a speech at 5:45 PM.
As is his tendency on most hat-in-hand trips, Trump won’t be hanging around overnight in L.A. The ex-real estate developer intends to whip back to the chopper at 6:20 PM and then take off from LAX a bit later for a quick jaunt to Las Vegas for a Saturday speech.
That “bit later” is some so-called “executive time” when we hear that POTUS is looking to drop in on theTrump National Golf Club in Rancho Palos Verdes before heading to Sin City from LAX. While nothing has been officially confirmed on the Golf Club front, it should be noted that the facility itself and the area around it suddenly became off limits to the public early Friday.
Unlike Barack Obama’s frequent sojourns to the Democrat donor ATM of the Southland before and during his presidency, Trump has been in L.A. looking for cash only twice before. During his 40 fundraising trips to Hollywoodland as POTUS, Obama often earned the wrath of residents for the closures and obstructions that local law enforcement and the Secret Service put into play for his protection.
While the now-Netflix-signed and much more low-key 44th POTUS has come back to L.A. for a few cash grabs since leaving office, a phalanx of Oval Office hopefuls have been tramping through town of late seeking the cash to unseat Trump next year. There will be a lot more such stopovers once Tinseltown’s beloved ex-VP Joe Biden officially joins the race.
Unsurprisingly, Cali’s junior senator Kamala Harris has been the most constant presence on the circuit so far. With a March 20 stop at J.J. Abrams and Katie McGrath’s pad, among others, and a robust online donations effort, Harris’ efforts pulled in $12 million in the first quarter of the year.
Fellow Senators Cory Booker of New Jersey, Connie Britton’s close pal Kirsten Gillibrand of New York and Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota and rising star South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg also have been weaving through Westside bigwig backyards. Telling of Hollywood’s importance to the Democrats, Klobucher was being feted by UTA’s Jay Sures in a bash on March 20. That was the same night Harris was over at Star Wars helmer Abrams’ house.
Knowing where their bread can be buttered too, Sens. Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts both have held L.A. rallies in recent weeks and have taken some time to get close to well-heeled industry insiders.
Still, while L.A. is where the Dems come for cash, the scattering of Republicans more than make up for their seemingly smaller numbers by laying out some big big bucks.
Trump’s last fundraising trip to L.A. in March 2018 saw the current POTUS snare nearly $5 million for the GOP in a Beverly Hills event. Maybe telling of the worry that the economy is slowing down or a lessening of Trump’s star power among the faithful, the roundtable sit-down at that get together was a stellar $250,000 for tickets.
Here is the complete list and times of today’s street closures and restrictions.
The LAPD almost humorously notes that “the following areas of Los Angeles and Beverly Hills should be avoided when possible to prevent travel delays for community members.” Thanks guys:
The area around Bundy Drive between Airport Avenue & W. Pico Boulevard: 2:30-3:30 p.m.
The area around Sunset Boulevard between S. Sepulveda Boulevard & N. Hillcrest Drive (Beverly Hills): 3-4 p.m.
The area around Sunset Boulevard between N. Hillcrest Drive (Beverly Hills) & S. Sepulveda Boulevard: 6-7 p.m.
The area around Bundy Drive between W. Pico Boulevard & Airport Avenue: 6:30-7:30 p.m.
Closures / Restrictions (no bus routes impacted by the hard closures)
Sunset Boulevard between Foothill Road and Hillcrest Road will be closed from 1-7 p.m.
Foothill, Elm and Maple Drives will be closed between Sunset Boulevard and Elevado Avenue from 1-7 p.m.
Erik Pedersen contributed to this report.