Trump has struggled to raise funds in the early weeks of the campaign
Former president Donald Trump’s political operation has brought in $9.5 million in the roughly six weeks since he announced his latest bid for the White House, according to a source familiar with the fundraising numbers.
The withdrawal was less than the nearly $11.8 million raised by Trump organizations in the six weeks before the Republican Campaign announcement on November 15highlighting the challenges Trump faces as he attempts to return to politics.
In an effort to boost donations, the Trump team has hired marketing agency Campaign Inbox to bolster its digital fundraising operation, the source confirmed to CNN.
Trump’s team said the former president, who is the first major declared candidate for the 2024 presidential race, would have the funds to run.
Campaign spokesman Stephen Cheung said Tuesday that overall the political operation raised a total of $21.3 million in the final quarter of last year. He said it proved the former president was “an unstoppable force that continues to dominate politics.”
Chung said Trump would run an “aggressive and fully funded campaign.”
NBC first reported Trump’s year-end campaign figures.
New reports filed Tuesday night with the Federal Election Commission show Trump’s primary campaign committee started the year with just over $3 million in cash on hand.
But his political operation has plenty of weapons and a mountain of money.
A total of five Trump-aligned commissions report having a combined cash stash of more than $81 million.
Two-thirds of that amount – or more than $54 million – sits in MAGA Inc.’s coffers. super PAC created last year and run by former Trump campaign aide Taylor Budovich, who is supposed to operate independently of the campaign. However, it may spend heavily to support the former president and hit his rivals.
A potential 2024 candidate who faced early attacks from Trump, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, has also amassed significant military funds.
DeSantis’ political operation — split between two Florida-based committees — had more than $75 million left in the coffers after the 2022 midterm elections, according to the most recent state filings. The Florida Republican broke fundraising records en route to winning a second term last year, raising more than $163 million for his state political committee, the Friends of Ron DeSantis, and another $50 million through his campaign.
DeSantis has yet to announce a run for the White House, but CNN reported earlier that DeSantis’ political operation is exploring how to funnel money from a state political committee to a federal committee that could potentially support a presidential campaign.
In Trump’s first major campaign — weekend visits to early voting states New Hampshire and South Carolina — he took aim at DeSantis, describing him as “disloyal” for weighing in on the presidential bid and criticizing the governor’s response to the pandemic.
DeSantis responded by touting the difference from his re-election victory last year. He won by 1.5 million votes, the largest margin in the state’s history.
Other potential 2024 contenders also have more modest sources of funds they could use for upcoming campaigns, including several former Trump administration officials. Former Vice President Mike Pence’s PAC, the Great America Committee, reported just $80,000 in cash on hand at the end of 2022.
And former UN ambassador Nikki Haley, who is is expected to announce a presidential bid on Feb. 15, has about $2 million in cash in his PAC, Stand for America.
South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott, who is scheduled to travel to Iowa in February, has amassed an impressive stash of more than $21 million, according to his latest FEC report, which he can apply to a White House bid.
This story has been updated with additional information.
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