How much is Trump earning from fundraisers? Republicans flock to Mar-a-Lago to cash in on ex POTUS' popularity
With the 2022 elections close by, Republicans are flocking to Trump's resort for fundraisers. How has it benefitted the former president?
Life post-presidency has been very different for Donald Trump compared to his predecessors. He's resorted to emailing short statements to the press, and only made one public appearance - at CPAC 2021. Now, we may have some more insight into how Trump is earning an income - hosting fellow Republicans. With the 2022 elections close at hand, many Republicans are reportedly flocking to Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida. It isn't to seek advice from Trump though.
They are hoping to cash in on Trump's popularity with voters by hosting fundraisers at the former "winter White House". From Sarah Huckabee Sanders to Lara Trump, plenty of Trump loyalists have made the pilgrimage to Mar-a-Lago. And it seems like Trump is happy to cash in. Apart from hosting the events at his once-thriving resort, Trump is also benefitting from posing for photo ops with donors.
His presence is what many Republicans believe is vital to their success, with tickets for such events costing around $4,000 per person and $8,000 for a couple. Millions have already been poured into the coffers of GOP candidates like Sanders and Utah Senator Mike Lee. It seems like Trump too, is making a prettty penny.
Mar-a-Lago becomes new GOP home
While he was president, Trump used to host regular events at several of his properties, including The Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C., and the Trump Tower in New York City. Reportedly, the properties have earned an income of around $12 million from the events held by various campaigns and political groups. Both Washington DC and New York City have since shunned Trump, forcing him to spend more time at his Mar-a-Lago resort. That has also made it the new home for Trump, who continues to hold significant sway in the Republican party.
Whether by design or accident, we will never know, but Mar-a-Lago is now the new default home for Trump, and the GOP. Several prominent Republicans have visited Trump in Florida since January, and now, the resort is becoming the defacto venue for fundraising events. As with all Trump's dealing, we won't know how much the property is raking in, but ABC said, "They're likely lucrative deals for the former president's business, based on the five to six-figure expenditures that the Trump campaign, the Republican National Committee and various other GOP allies have reported."
Just how lucrative? One event alone has reportedly brought in $1.9 million over the last seven years. First reported by HuffPost, a dog rescue charity linked with Trump's daughter-in-law, Lara Trump, has spent close to $2 million, spending $225,000 just last weekend. Lara is reportedly the chairwoman of the charity - Big Dog Ranch Rescue.
The charity admitted that the relationship had no connection with their choice of venue. In a statement to the Post, they said, "The quality of service, beauty of the venue and excellent rate provided us as a nonprofit as well as the generosity of supporters who sell-out our event there every year allows us to rescue and home thousands of dogs."
How the money is flowing in
On March 14, Trump's former press secratary Sanders hosted a fundraiser at Mar-a-Lago. She is vying for the role of governor of Arkansas, a position previously held by her father Mike Huckabee. She managed to raise more than $1 million in four days. The event also saw a "surprise" visit by Trump, which she tweeted, saying, "Great weekend on the campaign trail featuring a surprise appearance at one of my events by President Trump!"
Great weekend on the campaign trail featuring a surprise appearance at one of my events by President Trump! pic.twitter.com/mn81i9AbsU— Sarah Huckabee Sanders (@SarahHuckabee) March 15, 2021
Sanders isn't the only one. In late February, Utah Senator Lee hosted a fundraiser at the resort, with dinner costing $10,600 per couple. South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem also hosted a fundraiser on March 5. Want to attend a private discussion and photo-op with Noem, Kimberly Guilfoyle and Trump Jr.? It would set you back $4,000 per individual or $8,000 per couple. The Republican National Committee (RNC) will also host its spring gala at Mar-a-Lago this April. Trump is expected to attend the event and give a speech.
It's highly likely that Trump is taking a massive cut from these events. Even when in office, he never missed an opportunity to make money for the Trump Organization, and he surely won't now as he is no longer constrained by presidential ethics. The events matter, as Trump is reportedly struggling financially.
Trump's money struggles
Financial disclosures filed in January 2021 show the Trump Organization's revenue drop 38% from 2019. Mar-a-Lago was one of the few businesses to buck that trend. Trump is also struggling to sell some of his properties, while others have become toxic and abandoned by many big businesses. The Professional Golf Association (PGA), for example, has decided to cancel its 2022 event at Trump's Bedminster course in New Jersey.
To make up, Trump is turning to hosting events and other sources. He is reportedly working on a new Super PAC with allies to fund loyalists against Republicans who voted to impeach him. The PAC would allow Trump to not just host more events, but also pay himself a salary. PACs don't usually have a cap on where they can spend money, leading some to worry that Trump could use donations to the PAC to pay himself a salary.
Money is also vital for Trump to keep himself out of trouble. He is already facing multiple court cases for inspiring the January 6 insurrection. He is also due to pay back over $900 million to a range of creditors, including a Chinese bank. As the bill comes due, Trump is no doubt going to use his position in the GOP to enrich himself and his business. The only question is - how much? Unfortunately, we won't know unless someone takes him to court over it.