Trump's potential VP picks and major Republican donors are coming to Mar-a-Lago

Former U.S. President Donald Trump delivers remarks on the day of his court appearance in New York after being indicted by a Manhattan grand jury following a probe into hush money paid to porn star Stormy Daniels, in Palm Beach, Florida, U.S., April 4, 2023. 

Marco Bello | Reuters

Former President Donald Trump will travel from a courtroom in New York to his ritzy private club in Florida this weekend, to mingle with potential running mates and wealthy Republican donors.

Trump is scheduled to spend Thursday and Friday in court in lower Manhattan, where he is on trial and charged with 34 felony counts of falsifying business records in a political hush money case.

After that, the former president will return home to Florida, where he will headline the Republican National Committee’s spring donor retreat.

The annual weekend traditionally brings together major donors and GOP heavyweights. But this year, the list of “Special Guests” expected in Florida reads like a roster of Trump’s shortlisted potential vice presidential picks, according to an agenda obtained by CNBC.

Republican Sens. Marco Rubio of Florida, J.D. Vance of Ohio and Tim Scott of South Carolina are all “special guests.” So is North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum, another reported short-lister. South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem, fresh off a dog shooting scandal, is also expected. So is New York Rep. Elise Stefanik, one of Trump’s fiercest defenders in Congress.

All of them are reportedly under consideration as potential vice presidential candidates on Trump’s presumptive ticket.

As for when Trump might announce his running mate, the former president said Wednesday that he doesn’t plan to unveil his choice until closer to the Republican National Convention, which begins July 15 in Milwaukee.

“We’ll be making that decision, I think, closer to Wisconsin time, if you want to know the truth,” Trump told a local Fox affiliate in Wisconsin. “It’s very early right now.”

Weekend agenda

The slate of events in Florida will take place both at the Four Seasons Hotel in Palm Beach and at Trump’s nearby club, Mar-a-Lago.

The retreat kicks off at 5:30 p.m. on Friday with a reception at the Four Seasons featuring House Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., Stefanik and RNC co-chair Lara Trump, who is married to the former president son, Eric Trump.

Attendees at the dinner later on that night will hear speeches from Rubio and Scott, among others.

A general view of Republican presidential candidate and former U.S. President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago property, ahead of his watch party event to mark the Super Tuesday primary elections, in Palm Beach, Florida, U.S. March 5, 2024. 

Marco Bello | Reuters

On Saturday, guests will come to Mar-a-Lago for lunch. There, Trump will speak alongside Reps. Byron Donalds of Florida and Wesley Hunt of Texas, as well as his one-time presidential primary opponent, entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy.

Saturday night’s dinner at the Four Seasons will be headlined by Vance, and feature speeches from three high profile Republican Senate candidates: Indiana Rep. Jim Banks, Dave McCormick, who is running to unseat Pennsylvania Democratic Sen. Bob Casey, and Bernie Moreno, the party’s nominee to challenge incumbent Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown in Ohio.

While Trump hasn’t confirmed any interviews, It’s not difficult to imagine would-be running mates popping over to Mar-a-Lago sometime during the weekend to meet one-on-one with the man at the top of the ticket.

After a weekend in Florida, Trump is expected back in the New York courtroom Monday morning, where his trial is scheduled to resume.

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