Former President Donald Trump recruited several major Republican donors to support his presidential campaign on Saturday, and he is set to make a strong play for more megadonors in the days and weeks ahead, according to a report.
Politico’s Alex Isenstadt first reported Tuesday that three large donors on Saturday agreed to financially back Trump’s White House bid while meeting with him in Las Vegas, Nevada:
And while in Las Vegas on Saturday, he met with several Republican megadonors — hotel executive Don Ahern, casino billionaires Frank and Lorenzo Fertitta and aerospace tycoon Robert Bigelow, who was Ron DeSantis’ biggest donor in the primary. The former president has secured financial commitments from each, according to those familiar with the discussions and granted anonymity to speak freely.
Trump’s courtship of donors will reportedly continue at a dinner “with more than two dozen of the party’s biggest check-writers on Thursday evening at the Palm Beach, Florida, home of billionaire investor John Paulson, a Trump ally who has pledged to support his campaign,” Isenstadt adds. Trump also has a Mar-a-Lago fundraiser on the docket for February.
The focus on corralling donors further signals Trump and his campaign are pivoting to the general election after his historic victory in the Iowa Caucuses – which dwindled the field down to him and former Gov. Nikki Haley (R-SC) – and in the New Hampshire primary, where he thumped Haley by double digits.
Trump is set to win the Nevada caucuses, where Haley is not competing next week, and he has an enormous lead over her in her home state of South Carolina, according to recent polling. And though Haley told NBC News she intends to stay in the race through Super Tuesday, March 5, it is evident she lacks a path for the nomination as the party rapidly unifies behind Trump.
Trump told Fox News Digital after his New Hampshire victory that Haley would be forcing his campaign to “waste” resources that could otherwise be used to help Republicans secure victory in the general election if she did not drop out of the race.
“She should because, otherwise, we have to keep wasting money instead of spending on Biden,” Trump said on whether she should suspend her candidacy. “If she doesn’t drop out, we have to waste money instead of spending it on Biden, which is our focus.”
Former U.S. Ambassador to Switzerland Ed McMullen, who is also a fundraiser in South Carolina, told Politico that an influx of large donors reached out after Iowa and New Hampshire eager to support Trump’s candidacy.
“The quality of the donors is large gifts, very strong people who were very much involved in ‘16 and ‘20, some of whom decided they wanted to try something different, and now they’ve come home,” he added.