Donald Trump to Address Hollywood's Secret Conservative Group
The controversial mogul is set to speak at an off-the-record event on Friday in Brentwood.
Friends of Abe, the underground conservative group in Hollywood, has become a favorite stop for Republican presidential hopefuls, with the latest being Donald Trump, who will speak to the group Friday night in Brentwood.
The sold-out, off-the-record event on Friday promises to be a barn burner, given Trump is under immense scrutiny since making controversial remarks about illegal immigrants from Mexico.
Trump, though, is just the latest GOP candidate to visit FOA, The Hollywood Reporter has learned. He follows Carly Fiorina, Ben Carson, Mike Huckabee and Rand Paul.
Additionally, before even announcing their candidacy, Marco Rubio, Rick Perry and Scott Walker visited the group.
Jeremy Boreing, who runs FOA, would not comment on those who have visited FOA, nor would he name any FOA participants, but the group was outed, so to speak, when its petition for nonprofit status was held up by the IRS.
The group was founded when a few Hollywood conservatives met at a deli about a decade ago and has since grown to 2,300 members who work in the TV, film and music industries.
Some of those early founders include Gary Sinise, Kelsey Grammer, Lionel Chetwynd, Jon Voight and deceased activist Andrew Breitbart.
“Friends of Abe is a nonpartisan and nonprofit group,” Boreing tells THR. “We don’t endorse anybody or raise money for any candidate. We just come together for fellowship. It’s a safe place for like-minded people in the industry.”
When GOP candidates or others visit the group, their remarks are considered off the record and press is not invited, though the group never seems to have much trouble attracting A-list speakers.
“There’s a highly publicized and celebrated relationship between left-wing politicians and the Hollywood community, and for conservatives in the industry, there’s a belief we should do more to create similar relationships. FOA is one small part of that effort,” says Boreing.
Boreing added that some outsiders have "taken issue" with FOA hosting Trump. "I would only tell them that FOA isn't in the business of endorsing candidates or their views," he said. "We invited Mr. Trump for the same reason we invite all our guests — so that our members can hear first-hand from movement conservatives, without the filter of the media, and come to their own conclusions about those speakers and the movement generally."