House Speaker Paul Ryan convened more than 100 of the Republican Party’s biggest donors this week in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, to talk policy and 2016 congressional campaign strategy – including how Donald Trump would impact House races — according to several sources present or familiar with the retreat.
While many of the party’s elite donors remain wary of Trump, the mood at the event on Monday and Tuesday was not anti-Trump, said an operative familiar with the gathering.
Story Continued Below
In fact, former Vice President Dick Cheney, whose daughter, Liz Cheney, is the GOP nominee for Wyoming’s House seat, spoke in support of Trump during a Monday evening appearance, according to the operative.
The event, organized by “Team Ryan,” the Wisconsin Republican leader’s national political organization, also had a heavy focus on policy, as anyone who knows Ryan would expect. The speaker at every turn has touted his multi-plank “Better Way” House GOP agenda as a reason to support Republicans — and this week’s powwow in one of the most scenic places in the American West was no exception.
Ryan’s predecessor, former Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), started the tradition of hosting a summer donor gathering in the small Teton Mountain ski town. This week’s confab represents Ryan’s first at the helm. The retreat was organized by Ryan’s national finance chairman, Spencer Zwick, who built relationships with many of the GOP’s biggest donors while running the finance operation for Mitt Romney’s two presidential campaigns.
Boehner — currently in the middle of a cross-country bus road trip helping House Republicans raise money — attended the event. So did several members of Ryan’s leadership team, including Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), …