Trump, at New Jersey Fund-Raiser, is backed by supporters

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

Mr Trump addressed the small group of about 50 supporters for about 30 minutes – then answered questions, according to one attendee, Elizabeth Nader.

Mr. Trump did not discuss the deposition, but did mention the FBI’s search of Mar-a-Lago, said Ms. Nader, a New Jersey author who hosts a conservative YouTube talk show, the Nader’s story.

“Everyone to one person was thanking him for his sacrifices, for everything he did for our country,” Ms Nader said in an interview.

Mr. Trump said nothing he hadn’t already expressed in a statement he released earlier in the day, she said, but seemed to enjoy being surrounded by strong supporters.

“He needed this,” she said. “I think he likes to be surrounded by his supporters.”

Mr Trump singled out State Senator 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, sparking the the state’s most stunning political upheaval in decades.

Mr Durr, who drives a truck for a furniture store and had never held elected office before this year, has since adopted the nickname ‘Ed the Trucker’ on social media. A few days after Mr. Durr’s victory, Mr. Trump called to congratulate him on his victory, but the two had never met in person until Wednesday.

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

Guests paid at least $2,000 for the fundraising cocktail party, two attendees said; a small group of attendees who had made additional donations, including Ms. Nader, were asked to take photos with Mr. Trump beforehand.

“It was intentionally intimate,” Ms. Nader said.