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Trump says $50 million raised from biggest fundraiser yet

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s campaign said a major fundraiser in Florida raked in a massive $50.5 million (€46.6 million) as the former president seeks to replenish diminished coffers in his rematch against Joe Biden.

The event, his biggest fundraiser yet, is a much-needed boost for Mr Trump, who has been routinely outraised by Mr Biden and is in the midst of a financial squeeze due to ballooning lawyer fees and legal pay outs from his criminal and civil court cases.

The dinner, hosted at billionaire hedge fund manager John Paulson’s Palm Beach home, will allocate a portion of the money to be raised to a fundraising group that has spent tens of millions of dollars on Mr Trump’s legal fees.

While Trump has struggled to get some major traditional republican donors on board, he retains the support of some heavy hitters. Co-hosts, for example, include hedge-fund investor Robert Mercer and his daughter and conservative activist Rebekah, investor Scott Bessent, and casino mogul Phil Ruffin, according to the fundraiser invitation.

“People are just wanting change. Rich people want it, poor people want it,” said Mr Trump in comments ahead of the fundraiser, flanked by his wife Melania Trump, who has largely stayed away from the campaign trail so far.

Donald and Melania Trump pictured at the home of fundraiser hosts John and Jenny Paulson

Biden spokesperson Ammar Moussa said on social media site X that billionaires had flocked to Mr Trump’s event due to tax preferences.

“The ultra-wealthy are really mad at Joe Biden for making them pay their fair share,” he posted.

Mr Paulson has been floated by Trump as a potential treasury secretary, according to two sources. Mr Bessent has also been floated for the role, one of those sources said.

In a statement, Mr Paulson said the “overwhelming support” at the dinner, which 100 guests were expected to attend, was a sign of enthusiasm for Mr Trump.

Mr Trump’s camp stressed the haul was double what Mr Biden raised last month in an over $25 million star-studded fundraiser with former presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama.

The numbers will not be confirmed until filings are submitted to the Federal Election Commission. Campaigns sometimes exaggerate fundraising hauls to drive momentum.

Joe Biden and Barack Obama with Bill Clinton at an event organisers say raised more than $25m for Mr Biden’s election campaign last month

Mr Trump’s campaign said last month that it would be unable to match Mr Biden’s fundraising totals this year. His campaign, together with a joint fundraising committee, pulled in $20.3million in February, compared with the more than $53 million raised by Biden’s re-election effort that month.

Fine Print

More money is not always an indication of success, however.

Mr Trump beat Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton in 2016 after she raised $769.9 million, far more than the $433.4 million raised.

Mr Trump, who clinched the republican presidential nomination last month, can now raise money with the Republican National Committee (RNC), which his daughter-in-law co-chairs, ahead of the 5 November election.

The Trump 47 Committee, a new fundraising tie-up with the RNC, directs funds to Mr Trump’s Save America leadership group before anything goes to the RNC, the invitation shows.

The Trump 47 Committee is asking top donors to contribute up to $814,600 per person. The first $6,600 of any person’s contribution would go to Trump’s presidential campaign, according to the invitation.

A maximum of $5,000 per person would then be allocated to Save America. After Save America gets its share, the RNC would get a cut of up to $413,000. In the cases of the biggest contributions, a raft of republican state parties would get funds too.

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