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Trump appoints Carl Lindner III to Kennedy Center Board of Trustees

Carl Lindner III talks with WCPO Anchor Tanya O'Rourke
Posted at 8:32 PM, Mar 26, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-26 21:05:12-04

The patriarch of one of Cincinnati’s wealthiest families earned a new honor Tuesday, when he received a presidential appointment to the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts’ Board of Trustees.

“I’m honored to be appointed by President Trump to serve on the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts Board,” American Financial Group co-CEO Carl Lindner III told WCPO. “Martha and I and our family have been long time supporters and admirers of the United States National Cultural Center.”

Other presidential appointees announced Tuesday included actor Jon Voight, former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee and Heather Washburne, the wife of Trump Victory Committee vice chairman Ray Washburne.

The Kennedy Center is best-known for the Kennedy Center Honors, which each year recognize a group of honorees for their lifetime contributions to the arts. The gala ceremony is usually accompanied by a pair of dinners and receptions at the State Department and White House.

However, The event’s relationship with the Trump administration has been publicly fraught on occasion. Neither Donald nor Melania Trump attended the 2017 ceremony, and the White House reception that year was canceled. The group of 2018 honorees included what Variety described as “some of the president’s highest-profile critics,” such as the creators of the musical “Hamilton.”

The Lindner family’s public relationship with Trump appears less tense. In addition to Tuesday’s appointment, Trump crashed the Mar-a-Lago wedding of Carl Lindner IV and gave an impromptu speech to the guests in early 2017.

Lindner III, a longtime political donor, contributed a total of $100,000 to two Trump super-PACs in 2016, according to the Federal Election Commission.