President Donald Trump showed off two pardoned US troops at a highly secretive Republican fundraising event in Aventura, Florida on Saturday night, the Miami Herald reported.
He brought on stage former US Army 1st Lt. Clint Lorance and former US Army Maj. Mathew Golsteyn during his hour-long speech at the state Republican Party’s annual Statesman’s Dinner, the Herald reported, calling the move “unusual.”
Lorance was convicted of ordering soldiers to engage three unarmed Afghan men and was sentenced to 19 years in prison, while Golsteyn was accused of killing an unarmed Afghan man in 2010.
Trump pardoned both men last month by granting clemency to both their cases. Golsteyn had been awaiting trial at the time.
This year’s Statesman’s Dinner was particularly secretive, with attendees having to check their cellphones into individual locked cases before entering the event at the JW Marriott Miami Turnberry Resort & Spa, which is in Aventura, the Herald reported. The dinner was also closed to reporters.
The dinner raised a total of $3.5 million for the state’s Republican Party, the Herald said.
During his speech, which lasted more than an hour, the president also did impressions of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and GOP Rep. Jim Jordan — two key lawmakers involved in the impeachment investigation — and brought on stage son-in-law Jared Kushner, the Herald reported.
Attendees told the newspaper Trump was “hilarious” and “in rare form.”
The Beast cited two unnamed sources saying they overheard Trump discussing appearances by Lorance, Golsteyn, and Navy SEAL Chief Edward Gallagher, who was convicted of posing with a corpse of a dead ISIS fighter.