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Top Trump strategist Kellyanne Conway to headline Buffalo fundraiser

Kellyanne Conway, the campaign manager who will serve as a West Wing adviser to Donald J. Trump, will appear at a $5,000-a-person fundraiser in Buffalo next week.

The Thursday luncheon is expected to draw business executives and Republican luminaires eager to connect with the Trump team and help finance the 45th president’s transition to the White House.

The fundraiser’s location has been closely guarded, but a source familiar with the event says it will be in the Westin Buffalo, the hotel inside the Delaware North headquarters on Delaware Avenue.

An invitation obtained by The Buffalo News indicates that proceeds will go to Trump for America, the nonprofit established to help pay transition-related expenses. But an organizer there did not respond to a request for information. Nor did Nicholas Langworthy, the Erie County Republican Party chairman, or business executive Paul J. Harder, a Republican fundraiser and one of three chairmen for the event.

The other chairmen listed on the invitation are Chris Collins of Clarence, the first member of Congress to endorse Trump and a member of his transition team’s executive committee, and Jeremy M. Jacobs. The invitation does not make clear whether that is the billionaire chairman of Delaware North and the owner of the Boston Bruins, or his son Jeremy Jacobs Jr.

Conway was a longtime pollster and political strategist who worked for Ted Cruz’s presidential bid before stepping in to run the Trump campaign in the months leading up to the general election. She is widely credited with restarting Trump’s momentum. The Washington Post called her the first woman in history to manage a winning presidential campaign.

When he announced that she would become a senior adviser, Trump said Conway had played a “crucial role in my victory” and called her a “tireless and tenacious advocate of my agenda.”

Trump also said she has “amazing insights on how to effectively communicate our message.” In that vein she has in recent days rebuffed commentary and actions unflattering to the president-elect. She scolded the his critics for “trying to deny Trump what he just earned”; accused President Barack Obama of trying to box in Trump’s relations with Russia’s Vladimir Putin; and vowed that Trump will change Obama’s latest stance toward Israel.

Conway, one of the most recognizable faces on the Trump team, is being dispatched to other locales. One week after the Buffalo fundraiser and one week before the inauguration, she will be in Canada touring Alberta’s oil-sands country and collecting a fee for a speech she will give for the Alberta Prosperity Fund, according to several Canadian news outlets. Trump has spoken approvingly of the proposed Keystone XL pipeline, and business executives there are hoping Conway can help revive the project to connect the oil-sands region to Gulf Coast refineries.

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