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Aaron Gould Sheinin

Nathan Deal gives cautious introduction of Donald Trump

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June 15, 2016: Donald Trump supporters wait in line as protestors hold signs across the street from the historical Fox Theatre. The Presumptive Republican presidential nominee,Donald Trump, is holding a rally at the theater Wednesday at noon. BRANT SANDERLIN/BSANDERLIN@AJC.COM

June 15, 2016: Donald Trump supporters wait in line as protestors hold signs across the street from the historical Fox Theatre. The Presumptive Republican presidential nominee,Donald Trump, is holding a rally at the theater Wednesday at noon. BRANT SANDERLIN/BSANDERLIN@AJC.COM

The pre-program at Donald Trump’s rally at the Fox Theater is under way, with the main event due to start at high noon.

The theater appears to be about 80 percent full with supporters still trickling in. Also trickling in are details of this morning’s high-dollar Buckhead fund raiser for the billionaire presidential hopeful.

Held at the home of Charlie Loudermilk, Gov. Nathan Deal and U.S. Sen. David Perdue were billed as co-hosts, although official duties kept Perdue in Washington. Perdue has been Trump’s most high-profile backer, while Deal has said he voted for former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush in the GOP primary.

Brad Carver, chairman of the 11th District Republican Party, attended Wednesday morning’s fund raiser. Trump, he said, is “enormously personable” in such a small setting. Deal, Carver said, “praised Trump’s business success” and then quickly pivoted into reminding the crowd that Georgia has a long-standing record as a top state in which to business.

That’s far from a full-throated endorsement of Trump’s candidacy but the governor isn’t exactly raising money for Hillary Clinton, either.

Carver said he was told by event organizers that they expect to hit $1 million in cash raised. Another voice from within the event, however, doubted that and said he didn’t think the event cleared $100,000.