Trump eclipses Biden in latest fundraising numbers, showing political power after criminal convictions

NEW YORK – Donald Trump’s campaign outspent President Joe Biden by more than $60 million last month, according to federal documents that detail an explosion in Republican fundraising sparked by Trump’s criminal convictions.

The Biden campaign and the Democratic National Committee raised a hefty $85 million in May and reported the bank had $212 million at the end of the month. The sturdy results do not include the roughly $40 million raised by Biden and his top deputies in recent days, or a separate $20 million donation from former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg to pro-Biden groups.

But documents made public Thursday show that Trump’s fundraising appeared to dwarf Biden’s for at least a month.

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The Trump campaign and the Republican National Committee said they raised a staggering $141 million in May, including tens of millions donated immediately after Trump was convicted of 34 crimes in the New York “financial silence” case. At the same time, the documents show, billionaire Timothy Mellon donated a staggering $50 million to a pro-Trump super PAC the day after Trump’s conviction.

In total, the Trump campaign and the Republican National Committee had more than $170 million in the bank as of late May, although the Biden campaign questioned whether the groups were earmarking funds to cover Trump’s legal costs.

“Our robust and consistent fundraising program grew by millions of people in May, a clear sign of strong and growing enthusiasm for the president and vice president each month,” said Julie Chavez Rodriguez, Biden’s campaign manager. “The money we continue to raise makes a difference and helps the campaign build an operation that is investing in reaching voters who will decide the election — a stark contrast to the PR stunts and photo ops Trump masquerades as the campaign. “

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Taken together, the numbers detailed in the Federal Election Commission’s latest campaign documents suggest that Democrats may still maintain a cash advantage in the 2024 presidential election. But nearly four months before Election Day, Trump’s website is closing the gap — if it isn’t already closed.

The new fundraising data also highlights the extent to which the rules of presidential politics are being rewritten in the Trump era.

At almost any other time in U.S. history, a presidential candidate would have been forced to skip the election after being convicted of dozens of crimes. But in 2024, Trump’s guilty verdict has instead resulted in a massive boost in fundraising, allowing his team to increase advertising and swing-state infrastructure just as voters begin to pay more attention to the election.

Backed by Mellon’s massive donation, the pro-Trump super PAC known as MAGA Inc. on Thursday set aside $3.5 million for television ads set to begin July 3 in Georgia and Pennsylvania, according to media tracking firm AdImpact. Overall, the group saw it raise $68.8 million in May, ending the month with $93.7 million in the bank.

Mellon is among the biggest donors to Trump and independent candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr., although his support for Kennedy may be waning.

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Kennedy raised $2.6 million last month and ended May with $6.4 million in the bank. The vast majority of his funding came from Vice President Nicole Shanahan, a wealthy Silicon Valley lawyer. Kennedy’s campaign spent more than it raised in a month.

Thursday’s numbers do not include anything raised in June, including about $40 million raised by Biden and his top surrogates in recent days. The vast majority came from a glitzy fundraiser held last Saturday in Los Angeles with the participation of movie stars and former President Barack Obama, which raised over $30 million. First lady Jill Biden also held her own fundraiser, which raised $1.5 million.

Meanwhile, Biden also received a lot of support from Bloomberg.

The billionaire philanthropist, who briefly ran for president as a Democrat in 2020, donated $19 million to the pro-Biden group Future Forward and also contributed the authorized $929,600 limit to the Biden Victory Fund, according to a person familiar with the transfers.

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On Thursday, Bloomberg also formally endorsed Biden. “I stood with Joe Biden in 2020 and I am proud to do so again,” Bloomberg said in a statement.

The Biden campaign said the vast majority of its recent fundraising came from grassroots donors such as nurses, teachers and retirees. Overall, the Biden campaign and the Democratic National Committee attracted more than 3 million new donors last month, according to a campaign statement.

“While Trump milks the adulation of his billionaire peers, our campaign represents the voices of America, and we are honored to have their support as we move into November,” said Democratic National Committee Chairman Jaime Harrison.

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