WWJ/Jon Hewett

Trump Supporter Lena Epstein Says Fundraiser Was Canceled Because Of Her Ties To President

Epstein claims, though, they allowed an event honoring the brother of CNN host Sanjay Gupta.

June 27, 2018 - 12:55 pm

(WWJ) The tony Franklin Hills Country Club allegedly canceled a planned fundraiser for Republican congressional candidate Lena Epstein over what she claims is her strong support of President Donald Trump.

It was reported in a now deleted Facebook post that the son of the former country club president denounced Epstein as "a neo-fascist who has thrived politically by building a coalition of vicious anti-Semites, racists and xenophobes."  

The club then allegedly canceled all political events. Epstein claims, though, they allowed an event honoring the brother of CNN host Sanjay Gupta.

"It's a shame for liberal Democrats such as Maxine Waters are calling for a lack of civility in politics and the public harassment of Trump supporters. It happened to Sarah Sanders and Pam Bondi and now it's happening in Michigan ... I will continue to support the president and I call on Democrats to reject Maxine Waters' tactics and return to civility. We can disagree politically and do so in a civil manner.  Calling people names, such as racist and anti-Semite, just because they support the president is ridiculous, and it's a sad commentary on the Democratic party today," Epstein said to WWJ in a prepared statement. She refused to elaborate or say how she knew the event was canceled because of allegations against her.

WWJ has a message out to the Franklin Hills County Club for comment.

This follows in the wake of the national story about Trump spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders being denied service at a restaurant in Vermont -- because of her position in the White House. Bondi, Florida's attorney general, was heckled outside the screening of a new documentary about Mister Rogers at the Tampa Theatre on Friday night. Angry protesters screamed questions at her about recent actions on health care policy and her stance on immigration.

In the case of Trump's spokeswoman, the owner of the Red Hen restaurant, Stephanie Wilkinson, said she asked Sanders to leave because of her defense of some of Trump's policies, including a ban on transgender people serving in the military and forced separations of families caught crossing illegally at the U.S.-Mexican border. 

After Sanders revealed the incident, Trump jumped to her defense, tweeting Monday that "the Red Hen Restaurant should focus more on cleaning its filthy canopies, doors and windows (badly needs a paint job) rather than refusing to serve a fine person like Sarah Huckabee Sanders."

Locally, Epstein is a Bloomfield Hills businesswoman and the former co-chair of the Trump campaign now running as a Republican for a open U.S.. House seat representing the state’s 11th District. This race is Epstein’s first attempt at running for office.

She drew controversy in August when Michigan Democratic Party Chairman Brandon Dillon, among others, circulated screenshots showing that her Twitter account had “liked” posts by former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke that praised a white-nationalist, anti-Semitic rally in Charlottesville, Va. 

Epstein, who is Jewish, said her account had been hacked, and demanded an apology from Dillon. He refused, saying he didn't believe her account had been hacked.

“She’s about as credible as the president she worships,” Dillon said at the time.

Epstein in 2003 became the third-generation co-owner of Vesco Oil Corp., one of the country’s largest distributors of automotive and industrial lubricants. Vesco has more than 200 employees and $175 million in annual revenue.