Trump entered 2022 with $122 million in the bank

Donald J. Trump’s political operation raised more than $51 million in the second half of 2021 as the former president continued to domin...

Donald J. Trump’s political operation raised more than $51 million in the second half of 2021 as the former president continued to dominate the Republican fundraising landscape in his first year out of the House Blanche, according to new federal documents.

Mr. Trump’s overall war chest entering 2022 was $122 million – more than double the money available from the Republican National Committee itself – as he continued to canvass his supporters online with the same rhythm and the same intensity as the heat of the countryside.

The huge sum gives Mr. Trump an invaluable head start should he run for the White House again, as he has repeatedly suggested is his intention. Mr. Trump remains, by far, his party’s most popular figure among Republican voters, but his lead against would-be challengers in 2024, particularly Governor Ron DeSantis of Florida, has narrowed in recent months as he faces new challenges in his role as undisputed leader of the party.

While his $122 million is stored in federal accounts that legally can’t be spent on a presidential race, loose rules allow him to fully fund his political operation for now, including paying for rallies, ads TV shows and even direct money to his own businesses.

Federal records show that Mr. Trump spent nearly $1.5 million from his main political account, the Save America PAC, with the company that organizes his rallies. Another $1.3 million was spent on Facebook ads. Although Facebook banned Mr. Trump in early 2021, it continues to allow his political operation to pay to advertise.

The Save America PAC spent an additional $517,000 on personnel costs as well as more than $100,000 on the Trump Hotel Collection for accommodations, meals and facility rental costs, records show.

Mr. Trump’s fundraising pace has slowed from the first half of 2021, when he raised $56 million online. Mr. Trump raised less funds in the last six months of the year, even though he did not actively raise funds for most of January and February 2021. He had halted sending requests for money after the Capitol riot.

Mr. Trump’s team said it processed more than 1.6 million donations in the last six months of 2021, with an average contribution of $31.

Ahead of the 2022 midterm elections, Mr. Trump has already endorsed about 100 candidates nationwide, among those running for seats ranging from state lawmakers to secretaries of state to U.S. senators. He also donated some of his funds, cutting checks to candidates he endorsed. These checks are often accompanied by letters that applicants often proudly post on social media.

In total, his team said he made $1.35 million in contributions to candidates he supported and to “like-minded causes.” The biggest was a $1 million donation to the Conservative Partnership Institute, where Mr Trump’s former chief of staff, Mark Meadows, is a senior partner.

Taylor Budowich, a spokesman for Mr Trump, said the fundraiser would not only affect the midterms but also the 2024 election, when Mr Trump suggested he could run again to the presidency.

“President Trump is incredibly well positioned to look beyond November as the need for his leadership has never been greater,” Budowich said in a statement.

In addition to his own political committees, Mr. Trump has raised funds for an allied super PAC called Make America Great Again, Again! Inc. In December, he organized a small dinner for super PAC donors at his private Florida club, Mar-a-Lago. Seats were set at $125,000 per person or $250,000 for a couple.

Donors who gave $250,000 to Trump’s super PAC included sugar businessman Jose Fanjul; Saul Fox, a private equity investor; and Dianne Hendricks, who became a billionaire selling construction equipment.

The super PAC ended 2021 with $9.5 million in the bank. He said he spent $1,438.40 at Mar-a-Lago in December, plus $10,105.09 at Mr. Trump’s Palm Beach Golf Club.

Rachel Shore contributed report.

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Newsrust - US Top News: Trump entered 2022 with $122 million in the bank
Trump entered 2022 with $122 million in the bank
Newsrust - US Top News
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