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The Real Deal Los Angeles

Tom Barrack on Trump’s inauguration preparations: It’s like “drinking out of 10 fire hoses”

Colony Capital CEO and wealthy pals have raised more than $90M for festivities
January 09, 2017 09:30AM

Thomas Barrack Jr. (Credit: Colony Capital)

Hollywood heavyweights may be shunning President-elect Donald Trump’s inauguration, but L.A. real estate mogul Tom Barrack is determined to make it a good time.

“It’s like putting on the Olympics in 60 days,” he told the Los Angeles Times from his home in Santa Monica.

He and fellow wealthy Trump supporters such as Sheldon Adelson and Steve Wynn have raised more than $90 million for a series of galas and ceremonies in Washington in celebration of the new administration.  But he acknowledged the difficulties. It’s like “drinking out of 10 fire hoses,” he said of the preparations.

Trump’s team has reportedly struggled to secure any A-list names to perform at his inauguration. By contrast, President Barack Obama’s inauguration featured performances by Beyoncé, Aretha Franklin, Yo-Yo Ma, James Taylor, and Kelly Clarkson.

While Barrack has been a staunch Trump supporter, he told the Times that he’d declined a top role in the President-elect’s administration, telling him that he could serve him better with “no skin in the game.”

Barrack is CEO of the Los Angeles-based, private-equity firm Colony Capital, which has significant property holdings nationwide and has invested more than $60 billion over the past three decades, notably in troubled and delinquent loans, including on assets such as Michael Jackson’s Neverland Ranch in Santa Barbara. [LAT]Katherine Clarke