Jeff Greene, the Palm Beach billionaire who's the latest Democrat to join Florida’s gubernatorial primary, wants to make a statement with his introductory campaign ad.
That’s why he recently ponied up $2.9 million for a week’s worth of TV and online ads across Florida, just so we could see him in (what appears to be) an argument with President Donald Trump at Mar-a-Lago, where Greene is reportedly a member (for now.)
It’s the Greene campaign’s way of demonstrating that the 63-year-old South Floridian is “the only candidate in America who was willing to stand up to Trump in his own dining room,” with a video clip that shows Trump huff-and-puffing at Greene near the buffet in the dining room at Trump International Golf Club and Greene returning seemingly frustrated gestures. You know, as arguments between older white men tend to begin.
Greene told Politico that the video clip of the argument is from December 2017, when president-elect Trump noticed Greene, who was there to attend a birthday party, at the club resort. Trump became incensed because Greene both supported Hillary Clinton and had told the Palm Beach Daily News
during the 2016 presidential campaign that Trump, a Republican, was guilty of sexual assault.
“I walked by and [Trump] screamed, he pointed at me: ‘Jeff Greene!’ Really loud. And, of course, everybody looks up,” Greene said, recalling that Trump was with a posse of about a dozen people, including one of his sons, adviser Kellyanne Conway and his designated White House chief of staff, Reince Priebus.
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“And he starts ranting and raving: ‘You went against me in the media during the campaign!’ Over and over again. ‘You support Hillary Clinton!’” Greene said. “The whole room is staring at this, where the guy is unhinged, turning red, flailing his arms. And so my wife starts videoing it. And he was going on and on.”
Because his wife was at a distance and started shooting video at the end of the confrontation, Greene says it doesn’t capture him responding to the president-elect about how he had no regrets backing Clinton or opposing Trump.
POLITICO could not independently verify the story, which Greene is now telling publicly for the first time while pushing back on the notion that he and Trump are friends.