EXCLUSIVE: Courting Indian Americans, Trump to speak at “Humanity United Against Terror” event
NEW YORK (Diya TV) — Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has agreed to deliver remarks at a charity event next month hosted by the Republican Hindu Coalition, sending a clear message he’s looking to expand outreach to minority voting blocs.
“It’s Trump being Trump,” said Indian-American business person and co-founder of the RHC, Shalli Kumar. “He’s just misunderstood. He is just as color, religion, race-blind as anyone could be. He’s a business person.”
In an exclusive interview with Diya TV, Kumar lauded this first of its kind event specific to Indian-Americans.
“The goal is to unite Hindu-American community with conservative values together and expand the RHC and at the time same time help the victims of terror throughout the world.”
The event, titled “Humanity United Against Terror,” will take place in Holmdel, N.J. and was personally chosen by Trump, Kumar said. It will take place just two days before the GOP presidential hopeful will meet Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton on the debate stage in nearby Hempstead, N.Y. Kumar says the funds raised through ticket sales will go to victims of terror around the globe, like the Kashmiri Pundits, and not the Trump campaign.
Trump will meet with members of his campaign’s Indian American Advisory Board at the event. Bollywood stars and major Hindu spiritual leaders are also scheduled to attend. Kumar believes the four hour spectacle will attract 25,000 to 30,000 people, featuring surprises he does not want to disclose yet. The event is just one part of the effort the GOP is making to appeal to America’s most affluent and educated ethnic minority.
“When the Republican party leaders launched the Republican Hindu Coalition, they had a purpose to expand Republican outreach to India, Indian-Americans in particular along the lines of Jewish Americans,” said Kumar.
The RHC plans to raise around $10 million to support various Republican congressional candidates this cycle.
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich serves as the group’s honorary chair and continues to be Trump’s top ally and adviser. Gingrich has been on record for a number of years encouraging his fellow members of the GOP to reach out to Indian-American voters through matters such as national security.
When asked if this event and the Hindu Republican Coalition’s effort overall would be considered divisive or anti-Muslim, Kumar reflected that “some of [his] best friends are not only Muslim, Indian Muslims, but Pakistani Muslims. There is nothing against Muslims. This is not anti-Muslim. Just proud to be Hindu. That’s all.”
Hear more about why Shalli Kumar decided to spend more than $1 million to support Donald Trump’s presidential aspirations in our exclusive interview with him conducted on the floor of the 2016 Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio:
David Barclay contributed to this report.