Trump says Rittenhouse man was his Rittenhouse Casino benefactor and golf buddy

Story updated at 4:35 p.m. ET with comment from Mar-a-Lago

President Donald Trump said Sunday that former Rittenhouse fundraiser Fred Rittenhouse visited the Trump International Golf Club in Palm Beach where he was staying.

“Well, if you remember, Rittenhouse, when they say, ‘Fred Rittenhouse’ that is the moneyman for Rittenhouse,’ I believe. I know him. I know him,” Trump said in an interview on “Fox News Sunday.”

He said the former Philadelphia Eagles CEO was a good friend who he looked forward to seeing in Palm Beach, Florida, this weekend. Rittenhouse also said in an email to CNN that he had visited Trump at Mar-a-Lago for lunch, along with two other people.

“To my knowledge, we had lunch together today with two other close friends, one at the club and the other at another member’s home,” Rittenhouse said. “I certainly am not qualified to say what was said there, but I would certainly be curious to know what might have been said as I was not there.”

Another source familiar with Rittenhouse, who asked to remain anonymous, said Rittenhouse was a friend of two of Trump’s children.

Rittenhouse resigned from his post as Rittenhouse Asset Management in September 2015. His resignation came the same day Rittenhouse and the Washington Redskins announced an agreement to lease the Shore Club, the luxury private club located next to the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History, for $325 million.

President Donald Trump on Sunday rejected accusations that he tried to pressure Brett Kavanaugh to drop an allegation of sexual assault, telling reporters “absolutely not.”

“He told me in an interview this morning that he was going to leave it alone. I am very happy. I am very happy, I don’t believe I want to mention the name of the person, but I really don’t think — he said he was not going to do anything. I know all about it. I knew all about it. But he is fine. But it wasn’t talked about. But we had an interview this morning. “

Trump also criticized Saturday’s joint Senate Judiciary Committee hearing with the two women who accused Kavanaugh of sexual assault, calling it “terrible.”

“One person was very brave, you could tell by her demeanor, she did an amazing job and she almost didn’t survive. I think she had a little heart attack,” Trump said. “One of them has been very vicious. One of them was terrible, and then you have this wonderful, nice, young man. You know, at least it was an open hearing.”

White House lawyer Ty Cobb issued a statement Saturday that did not refute the two women’s allegations but said: “There is no question that Mr. Kavanaugh has a strong support from the American people and throughout his time as a jurist on the Supreme Court his stellar qualities have been highlighted.”

He added: “That in no way diminishes the challenges and difficulties he has faced or the respect he has earned throughout his life.”

As for Trump’s tweet Friday that he wanted the “fake media” to give him “attention, that they crave, we are giving them what they want,” Cobb clarified: “President Trump was, as always, in complete and total control.”

“He was proud of Mr. Kavanaugh and his testimony. He was complimentary of the women. He was complimentary of the decision to vote for Mr. Kavanaugh. He was complimentary of what the committee did and went through to try to reach this conclusion,” Cobb said.

By Ellen Knickmeyer, CNN

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