Trump's fundraising campaign says it has raised more than $50.5 million – Top Stories (Trending Perfect)


For several hours Saturday evening, drivers along a scenic stretch of Palm Beach, Florida, were blocked from their views of the coast by a line of luxury cars whose owners were mingling inside a mansion across the road.

The Range Rovers, Aston Martins and Bentleys that blocked the beaches suggested that wealthy donors attended a fundraising dinner for former President Donald J. Trump's presidential campaign, which it and the Republican National Committee said raised more than $50.5 million.

The event, hosted by billionaire John Paulson at his home, followed a coordinated push by the Trump campaign to address long-standing fiscal disparities with President Biden and Democrats as both parties prepare for the general election.

The reported total, which cannot be independently verified before campaign finance requests are filed in the coming months, is nearly double the $26 million that President Biden's campaign said it raised last month at a celebrity-studded event at Radio City Music Hall in New York City.

Susie Wiles and Chris LaCivita, senior advisers to the former president who are effectively running his campaign, said in a statement that the total made it “clearer than ever that we have the message, the process and the money to propel President Trump to victory in the presidential election.” November 5.”

Trump's event, down the road from his home at Mar-a-Lago, was in some ways less flashy than its Democratic predecessor, one that replaced Hollywood star power and New York City energy with a warmer, more abundant climate. From the palm trees and manicured lawns typical of an island retreat for the wealthy elite.

But expectations before the dinner were high, with Paulson and Trump campaign advisers vowing to outdo Biden's event. An invitation obtained by The New York Times suggested a contribution of $814,600, or a relatively more modest $250,000.

The money raised, according to the invitation, will be directed to the Trump 47 Committee, a joint fundraising agreement between the Trump campaign, the Republican National Committee and about 40 state caucuses. Such joint accounts can accept checks up to $814,600.

Mr. Trump, who has long had a penchant for favoritism, had predicted on his social media site, Truth Social, that the dinner would be “the biggest fundraising night ever!!!”

The former president arrived shortly before 7 p.m. with his wife, Melania Trump, who made sporadic appearances at political events during her husband's third presidential campaign. “This has been a wonderful evening before it even started,” Mr. Trump said before taking a photo with Mr. Paulson and entering the house.

About 100 people are expected to attend the dinner, with a number of billionaires on the guest list.

The event's co-chairs included major donors and Trump allies, including Rebekah Mercer, a major donor to Mr. Trump in 2016; Linda McMahon, former Trump administration official; and Robert Bigelow, who supported Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis in the Republican primary but in February donated $5 million to Mr. Trump’s super political action committee.

Not all of those who wrote the checks chose to attend. John Catsimatidis, a New York grocery store chain owner with a long history with Trump, was a co-chair of the event but said other commitments prevented him from attending.

Under the joint fundraising agreement, the first $6,600 of any contribution will go to Mr. Trump's campaign. The next $5,000 will go to Save America PAC, the political account he used to pay his legal bills. (This amount is the maximum contribution allowed to Save America under federal rules.) The Republican National Committee will get the next amount, $413,000, and after that will come dozens of state parties.

Mr. Trump and his team effectively took control of the Republican National Committee, installed new leadership, successfully laid off workers and restructured national party operations to align it more closely with the campaign.

Fundraising has been a key focus of the sweeping overhaul, especially as Mr. Biden and Democrats have hoarded cash and built a significant fiscal advantage over the past few months.

The Biden campaign said earlier Saturday that the Democratic Party and its committees raised more than $90 million in March, and that together they had $192 million on hand through April. The Trump campaign said it and the Republican National Committee raised $65.6 million in March, the former president's best fundraising month yet, and that, along with their joint accounts, they had $93.1 million on hand.

Biden campaign manager Julie Chavez Rodriguez said in a statement that the Democratic Party's fundraising numbers stand in stark contrast to Trump's cash-strapped operation.

Mr. Biden's totals were boosted in part by the glamorous event in front of 5,000 donors at the iconic Radio City Music Hall. Comedian Stephen Colbert interviewed Biden and two of his Democratic predecessors, former Presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton.

A number of musical guests entertained the audience, including Queen Latifah, Lizzo and Lea Michele.

The special guests named on Trump's fundraising invitation were three of his former primary rivals who have since become campaign surrogates and joined him on the campaign trail: Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina, North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum, and Vivek Ramaswamy. , technology entrepreneur.

Maggie Haberman Contributed to reports.



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