Former President Donald Trump heaped praise onto Rep. Elise Stefanik during a fundraiser in Florida Tuesday evening, saying the House GOP Conference boss could be commander-in-chief in 2018.
Trump helped raise $3.2 million for the New York Republican, his political action committee and other GOP candidates on Capitol Hill with the event at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach.
“I want to congratulate Elise on her success. Man is she moving fast. That means at this rate she’ll be President in about 6 years,” Trump said of the 37-year-old chair of the House Republican Conference.
“She’s always been a friend and people would say she’s upwardly mobile. She goes to Washington as a young beautiful woman who took over and all of a sudden she becomes a rocket ship, she’s the boss. She’s been a great boss, a strong boss.”
The former president, 75, continued to hint about throwing his hat in the ring for a second White House term as attendees chanted “four more years” and “2024.”
After Trump and Stefanik addressed about 200 fundraiser attendees that paid $1,000 a head, they held a roundtable in the resort’s “white and gold room” with some 30 high rollers who each paid up to $25,000 a ticket.
Stefanik thanked Gerry Kassar, the NYS Conservative Party Chairman, and noted that she and the former president both enjoyed early support of the Conservative party in their first primary, said Kassar, who was in attendance.
“Elise called me and said I’d like to have you there, you’re the state chairman of the party,” Kassar told The Post of his first visit to the Trump resort.
“It was really a New York crowd,” Kassar continued. “(Trump) may be down in Florida but he’s a New Yorker. He talked about the troubles due to the economy. It was a great time, my wife and I had a very good time. I was happy to see him and interact the crowd was up close.”
The fundraiser was indeed packed with Upstate New York influencers, sources said, including Thomas D’Ambra, CEO of an Albany-area pharmaceutical company; John Hendrickson, Adirondack Park landowner and Saratoga Springs horse stable owner; and Edward Foy Jr, a restaurateur.