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Who is Geoffrey Palmer, President Trump’s Los Angeles ‘Money Man’?

Shawn M. Carter

President Donald Trump is speaking in Los Angeles Tuesday, a city he’s put under the microscope in recent weeks for its growing homeless population, as part of a two-day California fundraising campaign for the upcoming 2020 election.

A fundraiser to benefit Trump Victory that raises funds for the president's reelection campaign and the Republican National Committee, will be held at the Beverly Hills, California, home of real estate developer Geoffrey Palmer — the president's Los Angeles ‘Money Man’

Palmer is one of Trump’s largest donors, for starters. He’s given more than $10 million to support Trump-related funds, including a whopping $2 million to the Rebuilding America Now PAC in 2016. The dinner at Palmer's is expected to raise $5 million, which is a third of what the president hopes to raise during his trip, according to the Associated Press.

Palmer and the president have a few things in common.

Palmer’s father was an esteemed architect and developer who designed custom homes in the 1950s. Palmer went on to carry that legacy.

He’s one of the biggest names in West Coast real estate, according to Curbed. And he has built thousands of high-end apartments with amenities like spas and yoga studios in downtown Los Angeles, including the Da Vinci, the Medici and the Orsini.

Though, there is a bit of controversy surrounding the mogul: In 1991, Palmer and his company, G.H. Palmer Associates, were charged with 15 counts of laundering political campaign contributions, allegedly in an attempt to reduce certain building regulations.

The Rebuilding America Now PAC was investigated in connection with the federal Russian election interference probe for alleged campaign finance violations, including paying out $125,000 to cover former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort’s debts.

In February, G.H. Palmer Associates was sued by former tenants of one of his Los Angeles apartments who claim the company unlawfully kept their security deposits.

And Palmer’s apartments have been criticized for being a major force in displacing long-time Los Angeles residents, who can’t afford the typical $2,000 to $5,000 per month rent. (The city’s median rent is $3,500, according to Zillow.)

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Palmer, who owns two homes each in the Los Angles suburbs of Malibu and Beverly Hills, will continue to build. Construction is underway on his biggest project yet: the Ferrante, a 1,150-apartment complex scheduled to open next year, according to his website.

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