Trump aims to level playing field in fundraising battle with Biden as GOP billionaires come to the rescue


Former President Donald Trump significantly trails President Biden in the crucial dash for campaign cash, but he is hoping to level the playing field with the formation of a joint fundraising committee with the Republican National Committee (RNC).

The committee, titled the Trump National Committee JFC, filed a statement of organization on Wednesday with the Federal Elections Commission.

Trump, who clinched the GOP presidential nomination last week and is now the Republican Party’s 2024 presumptive nominee, has taken control of the RNC and installed allies in the national party committee’s top leadership positions.

The move comes as Trump aims to catch up to Biden in the fundraising race.

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Trump is expected to clinch the GOP presidential nomination on March 12

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump gestures at a campaign rally Saturday, March 9, 2024, in Rome, Georgia. (AP Photo/Mike Stewart) (AP Photo/Mike Stewart)

According to the latest filings this week with the Federal Election Commission, Biden’s re-election campaign outraised the Trump campaign by a two-to-one margin last month and enjoyed a $71 million to $34 million cash-on-hand advantage as of the end of February.

The fundraising reports from both Biden and Trump didn’t include details on the myriad of other joint fundraising committees the two White House titans are also relying on to haul in campaign cash. Filings covering those fundraising ventures will be made public late next month.

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Meanwhile, the Democratic National Committee outraised the Republican National Committee by nearly $6 million last month. The DNC reported $26.5 million in its coffers at the end of February, compared to $11.3 million cash-on-hand for the RNC.

President Biden campaigns in Nevada and Arizona - two crucial western battleground states

President Joe Biden speaks at the Washoe Democratic Party Office in Reno, Nev., Tuesday, March 19, 2024. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin) (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

Biden’s campaign taunted Trump over the fundraising figures.

“If Donald Trump put up these kinds of numbers on ‘The Apprentice,’ he’d fire himself,” Biden campaign communications director Michael Tyler said in a statement. 

One reason Trump faces such a large deficit to Biden is that the president has been able to raise money in conjunction with the DNC and Democratic state parties across the country.

The new joint fundraising committee set up by the Trump campaign and the RNC will allow them to similarly coordinate among themselves and with state GOP chapters from coast to coast.

“It’s definitely going to help,” Republican Jewish Coalition CEO Matt Brooks told Fox News. “It also gives a tactical advantage. It makes it easier in terms of some of the execution on some of the joint events. So, I think it’s a win, win.”  

Trump is also expected to get a boost early next month from some of the wealthiest Republicans in the country.

That’s when some of the biggest donors in the GOP, some of whom stayed on the sidelines or supported the former president’s rivals during the recently concluded primary season, will host a fundraising event to be held April 6 in Palm Beach, Florida.

Billionaire investor and hedge fund founder John Paulson is hosting the top-dollar fundraiser, Fox News has confirmed.

The “Inaugural Leadership Dinner” will be held at Paulson’s Palm Beach home, which isn’t too far from Trump’s Mar-a-Lago club and resort.

Word of the gathering is a further sign of the coalescing of much of the Republican donor class around Trump, now that he’s clinched the GOP nomination and is the party’s presumptive presidential nominee. A source in the former president’s political orbit called the fundraiser a “come home to Trump” moment.

“We are receiving an overwhelming amount of support from donors.” Paulson said in a statement.

Former US President and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a Buckeye Values PAC Rally in Vandalia, Ohio, on March 16, 2024.

Former US President and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a Buckeye Values PAC Rally in Vandalia, Ohio, on March 16, 2024.  (KAMIL KRZACZYNSKI/AFP via Getty Images)

Among those listed as co-chairs of the fundraiser are hedge fund billionaire Robert Mercer and his daughter Rebekah Mercer. They were major boosters of Trump in 2016 but mostly sat out the former president’s 2020 re-election campaign.

Also on the list of co-chairs are oil magnate Harold Hamm; hotelier and space entrepreneur Robert Bigelow; and casino giant Steve Wynn, and Todd Ricketts, a co-owner of the Chicago Cubs, a member of the TD Ameritrade board of directors and former RNC finance chairman.

Trump has long had strained relations with some in the Republican Party’s donor class, but he has worked hard in recent months to improve relations. He’s hosted some of these major contributors in recent weeks.

“There’s no question that most of the major donors who were with DeSantis or Haley are coming on board and rallying around the president. I think everybody realizes what’s at stake in the 2024 elections,” Brooks, who has close ties to the Republican donor class, told Fox News.

Dan Eberhart, an oil drilling chief executive officer and a prominent Republican donor and bundler who raised big bucks for Trump’s 2020 re-election campaign but who backed DeSantis in the 2024 nomination race, is back supporting Trump and is attending the April 6 fundraiser.

“There’s still hesitation, but many big donors are coming around now that the nomination process is over,” Eberhart told Fox News. 

Meanwhile, two top Trump allies – businessman and New York Jets owner Woody Johnson, who served as the former president’s ambassador to the United Kingdom, and Wilbur Ross, who was Trump’s Secretary of Commerce – are also listed on the fundraising invitation.

Those attending the fundraiser are expected to donate from $250,000 and up to over $800,000.

Three former 2024 GOP presidential primary rivals who’ve all backed Trump since ending their bids – Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina, North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum, and multi-millionaire biotech entrepreneur and culture wars crusader Vivek Ramaswamy – are listed as “special guests” at the fundraiser.

Tim Scott is a potential Trump running mate

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump listens as Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., speaks at a primary election night party at the South Carolina State Fairgrounds in Columbia, S.C., Saturday, February 24, 2024. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik) (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

A source in the former president’s political orbit said that South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem, who along with Scott is considered a potential 2024 Trump running mate, may also attend the fundraiser.

The joint fundraising committee filing and the Palm Beach fundraiser come as Trump not only aims to catch up to Biden in the 2024 fundraising race, but as the former president also struggles to pay his mounting legal bills, with just seven and a half months to go until the November election.

Trump’s latest filings with the FEC indicate the strain his multiple criminal and civil cases are putting on his campaign.

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Save America, the Trump-aligned political action committee that he’s been using to pay his legal bills, spent more than it raised last month, with nearly all the expenditures going to cover the former president’s legal costs.

Trump is also scrambling to fork over a $454 million bond to comply with a New York court ruling in a civil fraud case that he and his sons engaged in a decade-long conspiracy to lie about the value of the Trump Organization’s assets.

Eberhart told Fox News that among top-dollar donors, “the big concern is Trump’s legal bills and how their money will be used.” 

“There’s going to be some among the big donors who will choose to give to independent expenditure groups rather than to Trump directly because of the legal expenses issue,” he predicted. 

Get the latest updates from the 2024 campaign trail, exclusive interviews and more at our Fox News Digital election hub.



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