Politics

Trump-RNC fundraising committee plans to expand operation with finance chairs in all 50 states

Key Points
  • A joint fundraising committee formed by President Donald Trump's campaign and the Republican National Committee is expanding its reach.
  • Trump Victory aims to put finance chairs, who coordinate bundling and other fundraising activities, in all 50 states. In 2016, it named chairs for 33 states.
  • Apparent Democratic nominee Joe Biden has yet to form a joint fundraising operation with the Democratic National Committee.
U.S. President Donald Trump responds to reporter's questions as he exits the press briefing room at the White House on March 14, 2020 in Washington, DC.
Tasos Katopodis | Getty Images

A joint fundraising committee formed by President Donald Trump's campaign and the Republican National Committee is expanding its reach by putting finance chairs in all 50 states as the general election race gets under way.

The heads of Trump Victory briefed its top bundlers Tuesday by phone about steps to expand the group's already formidable war chest. The call, according to people with direct knowledge of the matter, was led by Kimberly Guilfoyle, a former Fox News host and current national chair of the finance committee, and businessman Roy Bailey, who has led fundraising efforts for the organization throughout the 2020 election cycle. 

The people who described the briefing declined to be named as the conversation was deemed private. 

Guilfoyle and Bailey told the Trump-RNC financiers that they are planning to deploy multiple finance chairs to every state, these people added. Guilfoyle, who is in a relationship with the president's eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., signed on with the Trump Victory team in January to help raise funds and put together a network of bundlers to boost Trump's reelection effort.

Donors on the call were not told who would lead the fundraising efforts in each of the 50 states.

Trump and RNC officials confirmed these contents of the call to CNBC. It occurred the same day President Barack Obama endorsed his former vice president and apparent Democratic nominee Joe Biden.

The decision to send finance committee leaders to all 50 states plus Washington, D.C., is a major shift from how the fundraising group operated during the 2016 election against Hillary Clinton. Then, the committee launched with finance chairs in 33 states and the nation's capital, according to a press release just months before that election

The Trump-RNC development represents another major obstacle to Biden, who has yet to form a joint fundraising agreement with the Democratic National Committee. Biden's fundraising operation, which had to compete for dollars with a historically large Democratic primary field, also is not yet as formidable as Trump's.

Trump Victory already has political operations set up in states across the country, including in California, Minnesota, West Virginia, Kansas and Alabama.

State finance chairs are often involved with organizing fundraising events and engage with donors to give anywhere from $2,800, the maximum donation one can give to a campaign, to six-figure checks for the joint committee. 

Tim Murtaugh, a spokesman for the Trump campaign, said that the addition of more fundraising leaders in all of the states this election cycle shows that the president still has extensive support, despite the coronavirus pandemic's impact on public health and the economy. Trump and the RNC have had to take campaign and fundraising events fully virtual in the wake of states being forced to shut down as the virus spread throughout the country. 

"This is proof that people enthusiastically support President Trump's leadership and they know that his policies drove the economy to historic heights before it was artificially interrupted by the coronavirus," Murtaugh said in an email. "President Trump is clearly the leader to restore us to that position."

Trump has come under fire by Democrats for his administration's handling of the coronavirus and the way he's taken on a slew of governors. 

The Trump Victory committee has been a key weapon for the president's reelection bid. Trump Victory, the Trump campaign, the RNC and other fundraising committees combined to raise over $212 million in the first quarter. The two organizations saw a slight dip though in their monthly totals with a $63 million haul in March, compared with $86 million in February. 

Biden has yet to announce how much he raised in the first quarter. Wednesday is the deadline to file his campaign's fundraising documents.

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