CHICAGO (CBS) — President Donald Trump was in Chicago on Monday for two events, including a fundraiser that raked in millions of dollars.
As CBS 2 Political Investigator Dana Kozlov reported, the streets around Trump International Hotel & Tower, 401 N. Wabash Ave., were shut down for most of the morning and into the afternoon.READ MORE: IHSA Board Rules That Masks Will No Longer Be Required For Illinois Student Athletes In Low-Risk Sports
Those who attended the sold-out fundraiser at the 16th-floor Terrace 16 restaurant said the president talked for more than an hour – adding $4 million to his campaign fund by the time he left.
Only those whose names were on a Secret Service list could get past agents and police at Grand and Wabash avenues Monday morning. Then, there was the roughly quarter-mile walk, or golf-cart ride, to get to President Trump’s fundraiser.
Don Tracy drove in from Springfield to donate, and attend, the event along with about 230 other supporters.
Tracy said the most important issues to him as a Republican when it comes to Trump are: “Stay the course – I mean, I like what he’s doing – strong defense, tax reform, less red tape, keep the economy strong, and don’t be afraid of people who are trying to destroy your presidency.”
Also in attendance was Illinois Republican National Committeeman and former George H.W. Bush White House Assistant Richard Porter.
“He’s done a terrific job,” Porter said of Trump.
Porter also found no issues with Trump raising money in a city he had criticized just an hour earlier as he spoke at the International Conference of Police Chiefs at McCormick Place.
“I think it’s terrific that he’s here,” Porter said. “And of course, I mean, every president should be able to go any place in this country. That’s kind of an absurd thought that you can’t go; there’s no-go zones for Republicans. That’s just a ridiculous idea.”
Of Trump’s criticism of Chicago, Porter said, “The criticism is valid.”READ MORE: Chicago Weather: Coolest Day Of The Week On Wednesday
At the police chiefs’ conference, Trump lamented the city’s struggles with violent crime and also slammed police Supt. Eddie Johnson for skipping the event. Trump has repeatedly criticized violent crime in Chicago, and in his speech claimed “Afghanistan is a safe place in comparison.”
However, while Chicago saw more than 700 murders in 2016, the number of homicides decreased in both 2017 and 2018, and so far this year, the city is on pace to have fewer murders than 2018.
Not every donor at the Trump Tower event wanted to comment. One man demanded that CBS 2 turn off the camera and put his hand over the lens.
Trump’s motorcade arrived around noon, to some apparent boos. Other than that, protests north of the Chicago River were minimal.
Some non-donor supporters were also spotted inside Trump Tower.
And also at the luncheon was first son Eric Trump, as well as Republican National Committee Finance Chairman and Chicago Cubs co-owner Todd Ricketts and his father, Joe.
Downstate Republican congressmen Rodney Davis, Mike Bost, and Darin LaHood were also all present.
One of those inside the Trump Tower fundraiser said the president poked fun at – or criticized – his Democratic candidate rivals.
He also hinted he may do something to lighten student debt load in the future.
This was Trump’s first major visit to Chicago since his March 2016 campaign rally at what was the UIC Pavilion, which was called off at the last minute due to protests.
During his first campaign for president, Trump also came to Chicago in July 2016 for a private fundraiser at Chicago’s Trump Tower. He also campaigned in Chicago on Sept. 28, 2016, speaking at the Polish National Alliance in the Sauganash neighborhood and also attending a fundraiser in Bolingbrook.MORE NEWS: After CBS 2 Investigation, New Privacy Protections For Sexual Violence Survivors Come Closer To Becoming Illinois Law
And while Trump has not been to Chicago since he was elected, he also visited downstate Illinois twice last year – speaking at a U.S. Steel plant in Granite City and headlining a rally for Republican candidates in Murphysboro, according to published reports.