Two prominent Portland hoteliers say their names were added as sponsors of a Donald J. Trump fundraiser without their approval—and say they will have nothing to do with helping the Republican presidential nominee.
Gordon Sondland and Bashar Wali are listed among the hosts of an Aug. 30 fundraiser for Trump. The Seattle Times uncovered the event invitation on Saturday, and WW reported that Sondland and Wali were listed among the event sponsors.
But a spokeswoman for Sondland and Wali says their names were added to a draft document without their approval. She says both men have since refused to participate in the fundraiser.
"Mr. Trump's statements have made it clear that his positions do not align with their personal beliefs and values," says Provenance Hotels spokeswoman Kate Buska. "Neither of them will be hosting or attending any fundraisers for the Trump campaign in Seattle or Portland."
Sondland, who lives mostly in Seattle, owns stakes in four downtown Portland hotels: the Lucia, deLuxe, Sentinel and Westin. Wali is the principal and president of Sondland's company, Provenance Hotels.
Sondland is listed on the invitation to the Trump event as a co-chair of Trump Victory, the fundraising committee created by the Trump campaign and the Republican Party. Last month, Politico reported that Sondland was among dozens of GOP "bundlers" who had joined Trump Victory.
But Buska tells WW via email that both Sondland and Wali have refused to take part in Trump's fundraising efforts, because of his nationalist and anti-immigrant statements.
"Mr. Sondland is a first generation American," Buska says, "whose parents were forced to flee Germany during the years leading up to World War II because they were persecuted for their faith and Mr. Wali is a Muslim American who emigrated to this country from Syria.
"Historically, Mr. Sondland has been supportive of the Republican party's nominees for President," Buska writes. "However, in light of Mr. Trump's treatment of the Khan family and the fact his constantly evolving positions diverge from their personal beliefs and values on so many levels, neither Mr. Sondland or Mr. Wali can support his candidacy."