UPDATED: Thursday, Jan. 19 at 10:12 a.m.: President-elect Donald Trump tapped longtime friends and fellow developers Steven Roth and Richard LeFrak to head up a council that will monitor national infrastructure spending.
“They’re pros,” Trump Told The Wall Street Journal Friday. “That’s what they do. All their lives, they build. They build under-budget, ahead of schedule.”
In October, Trump economic advisors Wilbur Ross and Peter Navarro unveiled an infrastructure plan set on generating up to $1 trillion in private investment by doling out $137 billion in tax cuts.
Roth and LeFrak have been fixtures of the New York real estate industry for decades and both are known to be among the president-elect’s closest friends. LeFrak was at one time the only personal friend allowed to bring his dogs to Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, and Roth, who co-owns 1290 Sixth Avenue with Trump, has a relationship with the president-elect that dates back to the 1980s.
While LeFrak was a major donor to the Trump campaign, giving $100,000 to the candidate’s victory fund last summer, Roth, a campaign economic adviser, remained mysteriously quiet with both his words and with his wallet. He gave no money to Trump and when asked in a call with investors last September about his involvement with the campaign he simply said “I don’t spend any time on it.” Campaign finance records later revealed that he donated $250,000 to Trump’s campaign. [WSJ] — Will Parker
Clarification: Although Roth did not donate to the Trump campaign for much of the presidential race, he later donated $250,000.