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Trump, at New Jersey fundraiser, is buoyed by supporters

Former president Donald Trump waves as he departs Trump Tower, on Aug. 10, in New York, on his way to the New York attorney general's office for a deposition in a civil investigation.Julia Nikhinson/Associated Press

Hours after his deposition Wednesday in Manhattan, former President Donald Trump returned to his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey, to host a fundraiser for Rep. Jeff Van Drew, a onetime Democrat who joined the Republican Party in 2019 after pledging his “undying support” to Trump.

Trump addressed the small group of about 50 supporters for roughly 30 minutes — and then took questions, according to an attendee, Elizabeth Nader.

Trump did not discuss the deposition but did mention the FBI search of Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Florida, said Nader, a New Jersey author who hosts a conservative news talk show on YouTube, the Nader Narrative.

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“Everyone to a person was thanking him for his sacrifices, for all he’s done for our country,” Nader said.

Trump did not say anything he had not already expressed in a statement he issued earlier in the day, she said, but he seemed to appreciate being surrounded by strong supporters.

“He needed that,” she said. “I think he enjoys being around his supporters.”

Trump singled out state Sen. Edward Durr Jr., a first-term Republican who beat one of New Jersey’s most prominent Democrats last year to win a seat in the Legislature, pulling off the state’s most stunning political upset in decades.

Durr, who drives a truck for a furniture store and had never held elected office before this year, has since embraced the nickname “Ed the Trucker” on social media. Days after Durr’s win, Trump called to congratulate him on his victory, but the two had never met in person before Wednesday.

“I was happy and honored to be there and was very fortunate to meet and speak to the president,” Durr said after the event.

Guests paid at least $2,000 for the cocktail fundraiser, two participants said; a smaller group of attendees who had made additional donations, including Nader, were invited to take photographs with Trump beforehand.

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“It was intimate on purpose,” Nader said