Donald Trump will speak to Friends of Abe, a leading private Hollywood conservative group, this Friday in Brentwood, a person close to the event told TheWrap.
FOA gatherings have become a regular stop for Republican presidential hopefuls since 2004. But Trump’s appearance is especially noteworthy in light of his recent comments on Mexican immigrants which set off a national outcry in recent days.
“I’m anxious to give him the opportunity to clarify what he has said and what is in his heart,” FOA member and Oscar-nominated screenwriter Lionel Chetwynd told TheWrap on Tuesday.
“Trump expressed his opinion,” he added. “It was intemperate and probably not suitable for a presidential aspirant, but there is a reason it’s resonated with so many Republicans, Democrats and Independents, as the polls initially showed. Everyone knows that our immigration system is hopelessly broken and is being cynically manipulated.”
Chetwynd says that while Trump’s remarks may have been brash, his popularity has increased because voters are looking for someone who will tell it like it is.
“Established politicians are too afraid of potentially alienating Hispanic voters,” said Chetwynd, whose credits include “The Man Who Captured Eichmann” and “Ike: Countdown to D-Day.” “There’s a reason why Trump is resonating with people, including a significant portion of Hispanic voters.”
Earlier on Tuesday, Hillary Clinton took aim at Trump during a CNN interview, saying she was “very disappointed in those comments and I feel very bad, and very disappointed with him and with the Republican Party for not responding immediately and saying, ‘Enough! Stop It!'”
Friends of Abe, founded by actor Gary Sinise, claims more than 2,200 members. The organization has kept a deliberately low profile over the years for fear that members might be blacklisted in an overwhelmingly liberal industry. But Jon Voight, Pat Boone and Kesley Grammar have stated that they are members.