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Trump Committee Burns Through Cash in Early Months New Filings Show

Former President Donald Trump’s main fundraising committee spent more money than it raised in the last month of 2022, highlighting Trump’s funding difficulties as he makes a political return.

According to documents submitted to the Federal Election Commission on Tuesday, the Save America Joint Fundraising Committee, the principal fundraising vehicle for Trump’s 2024 campaign and his leadership PAC, raised slightly under $5 million between Nov. 29 and Dec. 31.

However, the fundraising apparatus spent a lot of money to do so, including roughly $2.5 million on texting, $1.7 million on web advertising, and $950,000 on list rentals – totals that exceeded what the group collected during that time frame.

Despite the hefty expenses, the fundraising committee — which had money in the bank as of December – sent large amounts to Trump’s campaign committee, allowing him to pay personnel and fund a number of campaign efforts throughout the holidays.

However, the high fundraising expenditures are a concerning indicator, given the early days of a campaign are traditionally a time for politicians to collect easy cash from excited donors. Trump has a lot of fundraising to do ahead of what might be a long election season.

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His campaign reported only $3 million in funds on hand, compared to over $19 million at the same point in the 2020 election season. Four years earlier, the then-president was also without a contested primary. Many candidates would find the former president’s fundraising statistics enviable.

The fundraising organization raised more than $15 million in October and November, primarily before Trump’s presidential campaign debuted. Many candidates have experienced declining rates of return on digital fundraising.

However, Trump was formerly thought to be the exception to his party’s digital fundraising troubles, as he raised record sums online throughout the 2020 election cycle and continued to raise huge quantities after leaving office in 2021.

People vote while poll staff helps them at a polling location. “President Trump has raised $21.3 million in the last quarter, demonstrating that he is an unstoppable force that continues to dominate politics,” said Steven Cheung, a Trump campaign spokeswoman.

“Since announcing, the campaign has created a second-to-none operation on a national and state level. The President will launch a strong and well-funded campaign to reclaim our country from Joe Biden and the Democrats who desire to destroy it.”

Trump will continue to profit from massive outside funding. MAGA Inc., a super PAC supporting him, had $54 million in cash on hand at the end of 2022 and will likely target possible GOP primary opponents in advertising – a pricey aspect of any campaign.

Overall, Trump’s fundraising committee spent more than $250,000 on elite political strategists and employees, while his campaign spent more than $330,000. The joint fundraising committee paid GS2LAW PLLC, the law firm defending Trump in his lawsuit against journalist Bob Woodward over recordings of their interviews leaked by Woodward, more than $4,400.

Other significant campaign expenditures in December included a $67,000 trip to Mar-a-Lago and a $5,000 contribution to the Republican Party of Iowa. The filings provide some insight into who is working with Trump in the early stages of his campaign.

Aides said Trump’s 2024 campaign, which will be centered in West Palm Beach, Fla., near Trump’s Mar-a-Lago club, will be smaller than the big 2020 campaign, which will be based in a high-rise building in Virginia.

Former President Donald Trump talks at a campaign event at the South Carolina Statehouse in Columbia, South Carolina, on January 28. Rep. Russell Fry, Lt. Gov. Pamela Evette, South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster, Trump, and Sen. Lindsey Graham, from left.

Trump’s vast fortune is gearing up for a showdown with DeSantis and other opponents. Over $50,000 was spent on paying experts such as Boris Epshteyn and Christina Bobb, who have supported the former president in a variety of legal matters.

The fundraising arm also compensated longstanding Trump advisers such as Lynne Patton, who has worked closely with the Trump family for years and has been with Trump since his first campaign, and Dan Scavino, Trump’s White House director of social media, who will continue that role on the campaign.

Margo Martin, who worked for Trump in the White House and has continued to be a press and communications aide for his reelection, Liz (Harrington) Shrew, a Trump spokeswoman who frequently appears on right-wing media, Justin Caporale, a Melania Trump aide-turned-operations adviser, and Danny Tiso, a press lead for the campaign, are also named in the filing.

Trump’s top policy advisers and speechwriters, Vincent Haley and Ross Worthington, who worked with him in the White House, are on the campaign payroll. And so are two of Trump’s frequent supporters.

Natalie Harp, the young OAN anchor-turned-assistant, and Walt Nauta, Trump’s former White House military aide who relocated to Florida to continue working for Trump and found himself at the center of Trump’s Mar-a-Lago document drama.

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