Palin, Trump to attend Billy Graham's birthday

The Associated Press

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ASHEVILLE — The Rev. Billy Graham turns 95 this week, and Sarah Palin and real estate mogul Donald Trump are among the 800 people planning to attend his celebration.

The Citizen-Times of Asheville reports that the event is being held Thursday at Asheville's noted Grove Park Inn.

Graham's son, the Rev. Franklin Graham, says that Gov. Pat McCrory will also attend, as will Christian singer Michael W. Smith.

Graham spokesman Jeremy Blume says there are ties between the Graham family and Palin, the former Alaska governor and Republican vice presidential candidate. Relief aid headed to Russia provided by Samaritan's Purse, the international charity run by Franklin Graham, is staged in Alaska.

Palin visited Billy Graham in Montreat four years ago during a book tour.

Franklin Graham has a hunting cabin in Alaska and visited Palin during trips there when she was governor.

On Palin's Facebook page, there is a photo of her from a Christmas mission trip to Haiti in which it says Franklin Graham also participated.

"It will be thrilling to pay tribute to Rev. Billy Graham next week as he celebrates his 95th birthday!" Palin posted. "The entire Graham family has had such a positive influence on our nation and the world. God bless them!"

Trump tweeted recently that he is honored to attend.

The tweet said Billy Graham's "life & work has brought hope & faith to millions worldwide."

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