Donald Trump’s campaign is famously headquartered in New York City. So it probably makes sense that he’s got at least a few serious ties to the Philadelphia area.
Besides speaking and fundraising here during the campaign, he famously
has had major real estate holdings in Atlantic City. He also graduated from the famous Wharton School of Business at Penn (and he won’t let you forget it, though the school probably wishes you would).
But it’s more than just The Donald. Several members of his inner circle and his most trusted advisors have connections to Philadelphia and the suburbs that surround it:
Trump’s on his third campaign manager, but this one’s from outside Philly. Conway, who was this weekend the subject of her own SNL skit, is from Atco, N.J., a town of about 12,000 people that’s 16 miles southeast of Camden.
Conway was recently profiled by Ryan Lizza of the New Yorker. Here’s what he wrote about where she grew up:
“Born Kellyanne Fitzpatrick, she grew up in Atco, New Jersey, twenty miles from Philadelphia. Her mother raised Kellyanne in a house that they shared with her grandmother and two unmarried aunts. “These four Italian women raised me,” she said. “It’s like South Jersey’s version of ‘The Golden Girls.’ ” When Kellyanne was a teen-ager, her mother worked at the Claridge Hotel and Casino, in Atlantic City, as a shift supervisor in the main cage, where players cash their chips.”
According to the Press of Atlantic City, Conway graduated from St. Joseph’s High School, a private Catholic school in Hammonton. She’s still a member of the school’s Board of Trustees, and apparently delivered a commencement speech there in 2012.
Here’s that *amazing* SNL skit from this weekend:
The husband of Ivanka, Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner is known as one of his most trusted campaign aides and the architect of a number of high-profile campaign moves. The New York Times reported Kushner — not Ivanka — was one of the few people who met with Trump Saturday after last week’s release of what has become known as The Trump Tapes.
But Kushner has connections here in Philly related to his own real estate development. Kushner’s real estate group Kushner Companies purchased a controlling interest in the Piazza and Liberties Walk from developer Bart Blatstein in 2013 (and the space has been in noticeable decline since). The details of the sale weren’t disclosed, but estimates valued the portfolio at about $130 million.
Kushner’s interest in the Piazza and Liberties Walk appear to be his only major real estate holdings in the area. Fun fact: In that same New Yorker story about Conway and the Trump campaign, a senior official describes Kushner as “a snaky little motherfucker, a horrible human being.”
The GOP political consultant and lobbyist is a big Trump ally and a top surrogate for the candidate. But he has a past in Atlantic County in New Jersey where, according to the Press of Atlantic City, he did campaign work in the 1980s.
The paper reported he worked for former Atlantic County Executive Dick Squires, former state Sen. Bill Gormley and former state Assemblyman Ed Kline.
Chris Christie wanted to be president. Then he maybe wanted to be vice president. Now he probably just wants to keep his head above water as the Bridgegate trial continues. But the New Jersey governor who at first clashed with Trump remains one of his most loyal allies. The Washington Post reported that though Christie’s been silent on the latest revelations related to Trump, he was integral in the candidate’s debate prep over the weekend.
So we’ll say Christie is from our area. We will not say he is universally, um, loved by Philadelphians.
Tiffany Trump, The Donald’s 22-year-old daughter, has connections to Philly herself: She just graduated this spring from Penn with a double major in sociology and urban studies. Tiffany is the daughter of Trump’s second wife Marla Maples, and has been described as a “B-list Trump” throughout the campaign so far.
Tiffany was raised largely by her mother and was the subject of a New York Times profile, which painted her as distanced from the rest of the family but hoping to spend more time campaigning for her dad in the final weeks of the campaign.
At Penn, Tiffany also kept a pretty low profile. A friend described Tiffany to The Times “as a study grind who is driven to prove herself.” Over the summer, Tiffany interned with Warby Parker — which was founded at Penn — and she plans to go to law school in the future.
Maryanne Trump Barry
Donald Trump’s sister isn’t exactly a well-known member of the campaign team. But he did say (joke?) at one point that he’d consider nominating his sister for the Supreme Court if he were to be elected president. Thing is: She really is a federal judge, and she’s based in Philly.
Maryanne Trump Barry, 78, sits on the U.S. Court of Appeals in the Third Circuit, which is based here in Philadelphia. She was actually appointed by Ronald Reagan, who did so after Donald Trump had his lawyer call the then-attorney general.
You probably saw where this was going. But yes, Donald Trump himself has some connections to our area. The biggest is that he attended Penn and was educated by the Wharton School of Business.
Trump knows his way around Philly to some degree. During a campaign stop in Harrisburg this spring, he said he loves Philadelphia because of his Wharton education and because he likes playing golf at Cobb’s Creek.
But it’s not clear if Wharton, eh, loves him back. Nearly 4,000 Wharton students, alumni, faculty and backers signed an open letter to Trump titled “You Do Not Represent Us.” But Penn itself has, despite calls for action, stayed silent on its most-famous alum.
Trump’s other major connection to the area has to do with his *former* holdings in Atlantic City. The Trump Taj Mahal on Monday became the fifth casino in Atlantic City to shut its doors (Trump Plaza was one of the others), representing the first time in three decades that Trump’s name wasn’t in AC.
His business dealings in Atlantic City have come up on the campaign trail, as some have accused the real estate mogul of running his casinos into the ground and financing them with junk bonds and using questionable business practices to get his cash out of the city.