President Donald Trump is set to face a backlash from Hollywood as he descends on Los Angeles to raise money for his re-election campaign during the week of the Emmy Awards.
Mr Trump’s opponents in the entertainment industry have demanded to know who is going to his fundraising event on Tuesday, and vowed "not to work with them again" on film and television projects.
The US president escalated the row by calling attention to a massive rise in the number of homeless people in Los Angeles, and elsewhere in California, blaming Democrats for the crisis.
Ahead of his visit Mr Trump sent an advance party of officials to the sprawling tented city in Skid Row in Los Angeles, seeking to find his own solution. As the row between the White House and Americas’s biggest and richest state broadened, Mr Trump also moved to stop California’s ability to set its own pollution standards for cars and trucks. Jerry Brown, the former Democrat governor of the state, accused Mr Trump of "Stalinism and thuggery" over the emissions issue.
California has long been regarded as an electoral cash machine by presidential candidates. Mr Trump’s fundraising event is expected to be held in the Beverly Hills 90210 post code, at the home of billionaire property tycoon Geoffrey Palmer, an early supporter who has already donated over $7 million.
Guests paying $100,000 will get to take part in a round table discussion with the president, and have their photograph taken with him. The event comes five days ahead of the Emmy Awards and Los Angeles will be awash with showbusiness personalities.
Debra Messing, star of the sitcom "Will & Grace," started the campaign for those attending the fundraiser to be "outed". She wrote on Twitter: "Please print a list of all attendees. The public has a right to know." The actress added: "I am happy to be listed when I attend a fundraiser. I am assuming anyone who donates to Trump’s fundraiser would feel the same. Why wouldn’t they?"
Her co-star Eric McCormack urged the media to "kindly report on everyone attending this event, so the rest of us can be clear about who we don’t wanna work with."
Mr Trump has accused Messing of "McCarthysim". He has also lambasted Hollywood for being "racist", and blamed it for promoting gun violence in films.
Ahead of the visit he said Los Angeles was a "great city" but homelessness must be addressed. He said: "Clean it up. You’ve got to do something. You can’t have it. These are our great American cities and they’re an embarrassment.”
The homeless population in Los Angeles has risen 12 per cent over the past year to 59,000. Mr Trump is considering razing tented cities like Skid Row and housing the homeless in new temporary structures, or refurbished government buildings. His advance party visited a facility in Los Angeles once used by the Federal Aviation Administration as they looked for places to move homeless people to.
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