New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy said Monday that 184 of the 206 people who attended theon October 1 at the Trump National Golf Course in Bedminster they were contacted. Of the 206 attendees, Murphy said early numbers indicate roughly half were from New Jersey – and some attendees made it as far as Texas and Arizona.
At a press conference in Trenton, Murphy called attendees’ responses a “mixed bag,” asking some to know how the state got their name. “The Republican National Committee, that’s how we got your name,” he said.
Murphy criticized the federal response, saying New Jersey “is taking the lead in this, even for non-New Jersey people.”
“We needed that trip not to happen and, number 2, we need more” from the federal government, Murphy said.
Some White House staff members were informed that Trump’s top aide Hope Hicks tested positive Thursday before Bedminster’s trip and that Hicks was barred from traveling. Murphy called the fundraiser “reckless”.
“We already have challenges, we don’t need people to arrive knowing that they have been exposed to a COVID positive individual and are in the midst of a couple of hundred people in New Jersey,” Murphy said.
The State Department of Health is contacting 19 staff members who worked on the event, all of whom are New Jersey residents.
Murphy said the Attorney General is investigating whether the rally has violated the state’s COVID-19 restrictions. He said early reports indicate that the event violated the rules governing the amount of people allowed to stay in the house and also the rules of the food service, as buffets are not allowed.
Murphy would not specifically say what action will be taken if the event is found to be in violation of the restrictions.