Trump suggests daughter-in-law Lara will run for office in surprise speech at dog fundraiser

‘I want to thank Lara, who’s been so incredible, I don’t know, you’re running for Senate. I hear she’s going to run for Senate!’

Gustaf Kilander
Washington, DC
Saturday 13 March 2021 16:59 GMT
Trump suggests daughter-in-law Lara will run for office in surprise speech at dog fundraiser
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Former president Donald Trump has fuelled speculation that his daughter-in-law Lara Trump will run for Senate in North Carolina.

Mr Trump made the off-hand comment during an impromptu speech at a Mar-A-Lago fundraiser for Big Dog Ranch Rescue.

There has been speculation for quite some time that Lara Trump, wife of Eric Trump, the former president’s second son, will make a run for the North Carolina Senate seat currently held by Richard Burr, who announced in 2016 that he will not seek re-election in 2022. Mr Burr voted to convict Mr Trump in his second impeachment trial.

The speech was shared on Twitter by WPTV reporter Tim Allan Walker.

"I didn't exactly prepare for this, but I was walking by, and I heard everyone screaming," Mr Trump said.

He then mentioned his daughter-in-law, who was one of the organisers behind the event meant to facilitate the rescue of dogs from China.

"I want to thank Lara, who's been so incredible, I don't know, you're running for the Senate. I hear she's going to run for the Senate!" he said to loud cheers from the assembled crowd.

Read more: Lara Trump: Will the president’s daughter-in-law build a future political dynasty?

Ms Trump has not announced nor ruled out a run for the Senate.

The former president said the fundraiser was "so great and so important," adding "I'm with you 100 per cent. We had many meetings in the White House and the Oval Office having to do with saving and helping dogs."

Mr Trump was the first president to not have a dog in the White House in over 100 years. According to The Washington Post, Mr Trump said while speaking about dogs to a crowd in 2019: “I wouldn’t mind having one, honestly, but I don’t have any time. How would I look walking a dog on the White House lawn?”

The goal of the fundraiser was to raise half a million dollars to rescue 500 dogs from China. It was hosted by Lauree Simmons, the president and founder of Big Dog Ranch Rescue.

The charity has spent almost $2m dollars at Trump properties over the last seven years and it was estimated before the event that the charity will spend another $225,000 dollars at Mar-A-Lago this weekend, The Huffington Post reported.

Ms Trump started being listed as chairwoman of the charity events in 2018 and Ms Simmons was at the White House in 2019 during the signing ceremony for a bill targeting animal cruelty.

Ms Simmons has shared social media posts indicating her support for the false claims that the election was stolen from Mr Trump. On 3 January, three days before the attack on the Capitol by a pro-Trump mob, she posted an image on Facebook with the words: “Either we TAKE power back or we will never be free again. No more asking nicely.”

South Carolina Senator and Trump confidant Lindsey Graham said in mid-February that Mr Burr's vote to convict Mr Trump during his second impeachment trial made it “almost certain” that Lara Trump would be nominated to replace him.

He told Fox News: “The biggest winner I think of this whole impeachment trial is Lara Trump. My dear friend Richard Burr, who I like and I’ve been friends to a long time, just made Lara Trump almost a certain nominee for the Senate seat in North Carolina to replace him if she runs. Now certainly I would be behind her because she represents the future of the Republican Party.”

The Independent has reached out to the North Carolina Republican Party for comment.

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