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Trump Dwarfs Biden in Fundraising      06/21 06:01

   Donald Trump's campaign outraised President Joe Biden by more than $60 
million last month, according to federal filings made public Thursday that 
detailed the Republican fundraising explosion sparked by Trump's felony 
convictions.

   NEW YORK (AP) -- Donald Trump's campaign outraised President Joe Biden by 
more than $60 million last month, according to federal filings made public 
Thursday that detailed the Republican fundraising explosion sparked by Trump's 
felony convictions.

   Biden's campaign and the Democratic National Committee together raised a 
robust $85 million in May and reported $212 million in the bank at the end of 
the month. The strong showing does not include roughly $40 million raised by 
Biden and his top surrogates in recent days -- or a separate $20 million 
donation from former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg to pro-Biden groups.

   Still, Trump's fundraising for, for one month at least, seemed to dwarf 
Biden's.

   The Trump campaign and the Republican National Committee said it raised a 
jaw-dropping $141 million in May, including tens of millions donated 
immediately after Trump was convicted of 34 felonies in the New York hush money 
case. At the same time, billionaire Timothy Mellon donated a stunning $50 
million to a pro-Trump super PAC the day after Trump's guilty verdict, 
according to the filings.

   Trump's campaign declined to report how much money it had in the bank at the 
end of May, prompting Biden's campaign to question whether the groups were 
still spending heavily to cover Trump's legal fees.

   "Our strong 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 every single month," said Biden campaign manager Julie Chavez 
Rodriguez. "The money we continue to raise matters, and it's helping the 
campaign build out an operation that invests in reaching and winning the voters 
who will decide this election --- a stark contrast to Trump's PR stunts and 
photo-ops that he's pretending is a campaign."

   Taken together, the numbers detailed in the campaigns' latest Federal 
Election Commission filings suggest Democrats may still maintain a cash 
advantage in the 2024 presidential contest. But almost four months before 
Election Day, Trump's side is closing the gap -- if it isn't closed already.

   The new fundraising figures also underscore 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 leave an election after being convicted of dozens of 
felonies. But in 2024, Trump's guilty verdict has instead fueled a massive 
fundraising surge that puts his team in a position to ramp up advertising and 
swing- state infrastructure just as voters begin paying closer attention to the 
election.

   Backed by Mellon's massive donation, the pro-Trump super PAC known as MAGA 
Inc. on Thursday reserved $3.5 million in television advertising set to begin 
July 3 across Georgia and Pennsylvania, according to the media tracking firm 
AdImpact. Overall, the group reported a $68.8 million haul for May, ending the 
month with $93.7 million in the bank.

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

   Kennedy raised $2.6 million last month and finished May with $6.4 million in 
the bank. The vast majority of his fundraising total came from running mate 
Nicole Shanahan, a wealthy Silicon Valley lawyer. The Kennedy campaign spent 
more than it raised for the month.

   The numbers reported Thursday did not include anything raised in June, 
including roughly $40 million raised by Biden and his top surrogates in recent 
days. The vast majority came from a glitzy fundraiser last Saturday with movie 
stars and former President Barack Obama in Los Angeles that raised more than 
$30 million. First lady Jill Biden also has been on her own personal 
fundraising swing that has brought in $1.5 million.

   Meanwhile, Biden also got a big boost from Bloomberg.

   The billionaire philanthropist, who briefly ran for president as a Democrat 
in 2020, sent $19 million to the pro-Biden group Future Forward in addition to 
sending the legal maximum of $929,600 to the Biden Victory Fund, according to a 
person familiar with the transfers.

   Bloomberg also formally endorsed Biden on Thursday. "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 latest fundraising came 
from grassroots donors such as nurses, teachers and retirees. Overall, the 
Biden campaign and Democratic National Committee attracted more than 3 million 
new donors last month, according to a statement from the campaign.

   "While Trump is leeching off his billionaire sycophants, our campaign 
represents the voices of America, and we're honored to have their support as we 
race toward November," Democratic National Committee Chair Jaime Harrison said.

 
 
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