Miami Democratic consultant Freddy Balsera has hosted a fundraiser for Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg, but he also has deep ties to President Donald Trump.
Before Trump announced he was running for President, Balsera represented Trump’s company in several real estate deals.
It wasn’t a client Balsera was ashamed of — as recently as 2015 he was touting his client’s real estate successes on social media, referring to him as “our client and friend.”
He also tweeted out a picture of himself next and Trump, saying he was proud his firm, Balsera Consulting, was involved with the Miss Universe pageant.
— Freddy Balsera (@FreddyBalsera) January 25, 2015
After Trump announced his candidacy in 2015, Balsera told the Miami Herald that he was no longer a client of the firm.
That wasn’t the end of their relationship, however.
Following Trump’s victory, Balsera said it was “ridiculous” for people to be protesting his election.
“I didn’t vote Trump but he IS my president. That’s why America’s great. Elevate our issues to him,” he said in a 2016 tweet.
A couple months after the election, Balsera flew met with the President-elect at Trump Tower to talk about the administration’s Latin American foreign policy.
“‘Now that he’s our president, I think it’s very important that we find a way to work, to cooperate, with him, to have our voice heard in conversations taking place about Hispanics here or in Latin America,’” Balsera told Spain-based newspaper El País.
“‘If we want to influence his thinking and his policies, we have to have some sort of interaction with Mr. Trump.’”
Trump isn’t the only Republican Balsera, the Hispanic Media Advisor to Barack Obama’s 2008 and 2012 presidential campaigns, has ties to.
In 2016, he crossed the aisle to endorse former GOP U.S. Rep. Carlos Curbelo in his election against now-state Sen. Annette Taddeo, a Democrat whom Balsera called “selfish” and a lackluster fundraiser.
The endorsement and the barbs aren’t something the Buttigieg campaign would have trouble digging up if they were vetting their fundraisers — the move drew the ire of several Miami-area Democrats, one of whom called on then-presidential candidate Hillary Clinton to blacklist Balsera from working on her campaign.