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How Much Does it Cost to Have Coffee with Ivanka Trump?

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What do a Turkish investment manager, the president of Gringo’s Mexican Kitchen, a Tex-Mex chain owner in Texas, and a Florida-based real estate executive have in common? They all bid thousands of dollars to “Enjoy Coffee with Ivanka Trump in NYC or DC,” as listed on Charitybuzz, a website that raises money for charities through dates or meet-and-greets with celebrities. But as of Friday morning, the “coffee with Ivanka” listing has been yanked from the auction site. Eric Trump, whose foundation posted the event, expressed concern after The New York Times first reported the story on Thursday.

With her father, President-elect Donald Trump, set to take office in a few weeks, questions have been raised about the ethics of allowing people to meet with Ivanka and potentially influence her father’s policies. She has expressed interest in helping her father in the areas of climate change and women’s health. Ozan Ozkural, the investment manager, told The Times he wished to glean more about Trump’s future interactions with Turkey and other countries Ozkural invests in through the “coffee with Ivanka” event.

For Russell Ybarra, the owner of the Tex-Mex chain who bid $67,888 for a word with Ivanka, the coffee meeting was a chance to tell the president-elect’s daughter how important immigrant workers are to his restaurant, and to the industry as a whole. “I believe Ivanka is more open-minded a person you can reason with,” he said in an interview with The Times.

Early Friday morning, before the event was pulled from Charitybuzz, the highest bid for coffee with Ivanka was $72,888. The coffee date was to be held after Inauguration Day on January 20, at either the Trump Tower in New York, or the Trump International Hotel in Washington. Eric Trump’s foundation benefits the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Tennessee.

In an interview with The Times on Thursday, Eric said auctioning off a meeting with a member of the Trump family was an annual tradition to raise money for his foundation. He said: “We utilized Charitybuzz to raise significant funds. Every single year we’ve auctioned off a lunch with one of ourselves. It’s nothing more than an effort to raise a lot of money in an effort to help sick children.”

Alec Siegel
Alec Siegel is a staff writer at Law Street Media. When he’s not working at Law Street he’s either cooking a mediocre tofu dish or enjoying a run in the woods. His passions include: gooey chocolate chips, black coffee, mountains, the Animal Kingdom in general, and John Lennon. Baklava is his achilles heel. Contact Alec at



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