The Log Cabin Republicans are hosting an event at the Trump Hotel next month, but according to the gay GOP group’s president, that’s not an endorsement of the Commander-in-Chief.
LCR president Gregory T. Angelo gave an interview with The Wrap last week in which he explained that the hotel chain’s Washington D.C. location was selected as the site for its 40th anniversary gala back in March. This was prior to Trump’s proposed ban on transgender people serving openly in the military.
Angelo said that the choice in location should not be viewed as a comment on the president.
“We are not making a point of showcasing the venue, and we were never going to,” Angelo told journalist Itay Hod. “If this event was promoted as ‘A Celebration of Trump’ or featured him as a speaker, criticism of Log Cabin Republicans would be more than warranted, but that’s not the reality.”
Furthermore, Angelo claimed that the hotel gave them a “competitive rate” and that it would be “impractical” to cancel with the gala set to take place in a matter of weeks.
INTO questioned the group’s president in a series of emails about the assertions made in The Wrap interview, an exchange during which Angelo continually referred back to those same statements. He claimed the questions around the appropriateness of the event “were answered at length” in his original comments, which INTO pushed back on.
“How is an event held at a hotel that Trump owns not an endorsement of the man who owns it?” INTO asked, stating that it doesn’t “add up.”
Angelo failed to comment.
This isn’t the first time that the Log Cabin Republicans have struggled to explain their continued defense of the president, who Angelo once referred to as the “most pro-LGBT Republican nominee in history.” Hours before Trump called for a ban on trans troops in a series of tweets, the LCR president called the POTUS a “quiet ally” in a Washington Examiner story.
The GOP group would take a different tack following that proposal, saying it “smacks of politics, pure and simple.”
“The United States military already includes transgender individuals who protect our freedom day in and day out,” Angelo said in a press release. “Excommunicating transgender soldiers only weakens our readiness; it doesn’t strengthen it. The president’s statement this morning does a disservice to transgender military personnel.”
Trump’s claim that allowing trans troops to serve openly would entail “medical costs and disruption” has since been widely debunked. The Oval Office is expected to announce how his tweets will be enacted as on-the-ground policy later this week.
Although Angelo claimed he was “stunned” by Trump’s statement, he continued to defend the president’s LGBTQ allyship just days after the tweets were posted. When questioned about his prior claim that Trump is “pro-LGBT,” Angelo told Salon that “nothing has changed in that regard.”
“Trump brings a cultural awareness of the LGBT community to the White House in a way that past Republican presidents have not,” he said.