By Dan Murphy

Usually, when a former U.S. President comes to a political fundraiser, the party faithful line up for a photo, which they are proud to display on Social Media. But when former President Donald Trump came to Briarcliff Manor and his private golf club to host an event for the NY GOP, there were very few photos posted on Facebook.

Only three republican members of Congress, were featured on Facebook with Trump; Lee Zeldin, who is the leading republican to run for Governor next year, and Rep.’s Elyse Stefanick and Nicole Maliotakis. There were also no photos of the crowd to see who else was there. Regardless, NY GOP Chair Nick Langworthy claimed that they raised over $1 Million and called it a success.

Outside of Trump National Golf club, supporters and opponents of the former President gathered, including members of the infamous Proud Boys, a white supremacist group accused of inciting the Jan 6th insurrection at the Capitol.

We received several letters about Trump’s visit and the Proud Boys. “Hey Mr. Murphy, I enjoy reading your political coverage of Westchester, and here’s my take. I live in Briarcliff and have been a republican all of my life….until 2017 when I became an independent,” writes Colleen McCarthy.

“I was more than surprised to see The Proud Boys in my hometown, in support of Trump. You see, my family is black and white, my husband is black and my sons and daughter are both. On the date of Trump’s visit, I went to see the two sides of supporters and protestors, and I tried to speak with the Proud Boys, but they were too busy flaming the fires from their visit. Do me a favor, Proud Boys, DONT COME Back!”

Mrs. McCarthy’s letter points to the conundrum that many republicans in Westchester have had since Trump’s election 5 years ago. If they embrace Trump, they may lose independent voters and rally democrats. Perhaps that is why there is no record, photos or releases on what elected officials from Westchester attended the event.

The Westchester County Democratic Committee issued the following statement. “In light of the gathering earlier this month outside the Trump National Golf Course in Briarcliff Manor NY, not coincidentally on the evening of the NYS GOP fundraiser, it’s important to state on this page what I trust is apparent to all residents:

“Westchester County is home to a diverse population with many ideologies and we are stronger for that reason. Last week, President Trump’s followers arrived for a New York State GOP Fundraiser, and the ultra-nationalist white supremacist ‘Proud Boys’ joined them acting as security. The Southern Poverty Law Center has designated the Proud Boys as a hate group. Proud Boys members are being charged with crimes against our country stemming from the January 6 riot in Washington and are actively working to sow chaos and advance their twisted ideals here in our community

“Westchester Democrats call on Westchester GOP Chairman Doug Colety and other members of the Westchester GOP to commit to working against the efforts of the Proud Boys and other white nationalists groups here in Westchester County.

“Every Westchester resident must decide if their party and candidates for office stand with or against hate groups. The people of Westchester deserve to know.”

We spoke to County Democratic Chair Suzanne Berger, who said that this post on Social Media “was well read and shared, and had the most views since I became Chair, and all of the responses were positive.

“I think its important that if someone knocks on your door asking for your vote that you ask and know where they stand. I haven’t heard from any republican in Westchester when we challenged them on the Proud Boys and standing together against hate. And I think that there silence is informative,” said Berger.

At the event in Briarcliff, members of the Proud Boys stood for a photo wearing T-Shirts that read “Free all Political Prisoners 1/6/21” and chanting “Free the Boys!,” Joining the Proud Boys in support of Trump were 50 Chinese Americans who supported Trump’s stance against the Chinese Community Party.

On the other side of the street were Westchester democrats and members of Westchester Indivisible, holding signs that read “Lock Him Up.” According to several accounts, the event, “had both sides shouting accusations at each other for more than three hours.” Congratulations to the Briarcliff Manor Police for keeping both sides apart and without violence or incident.

The protest came the day after a demonstration outside the Winged Foot Golf Club in Mamaroneck that was honoring Trump, who is a member of the club.

Shannon Powell, co-founder of Indivisble Westchester called it “a sad day for the United States.” “It’s interesting that the Proud Boys were embolden enough to show up and flash the white power sign and pose for pictures but they hid behind masks and were either too ashamed or scared to show their true identity. That’s not proud, that’s pathetic.”

“I’m also not surprised that we don’t hear from any republicans to disavow hate speech and what the Proud Boys stand for. The Proud Boys are doing the dirty work of the GOP and trying to re write the history of January 6. They’re terrorists, but they are well funded.” said Powell.

Several unanswered questions about this event remain, which we hope to answer and report on in the weeks to come.

1-Were any of the Proud Boys at the Briarcliff Event from Westchester?

2-Were the Proud Boys given permission to rally in Briarcliff Manor?

3-Were the Proud Boys “Hired” to provide protection for the Chinese-American supporters of Trump at this event? And if yes, who funded it?

4-Who is the leader of the Proud Boys, or the former leader as he likes to proclaim, who lives in an exclusive home in Westchester?

From Yonkers Tribune