US megadonors have jumped ship leaving former president Donald Trump high and dry following his official announcement of candidacy for the 2024 presidential election.
The Hill reported on Saturday that billionaire Republican donors were abandoning Trump's side after the far below expectations of last week’s midterm elections, dealing a serious blow to his fundraising prospects.
Trump could face a surprising problem as he mounts his 2024 campaign: a cash crunch as wealthy megadonors gravitate toward Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) and other potential contenders, The Hill pointed out.
Hedge fund manager Ken Griffin, the second-most prolific GOP donor of the midterm elections, said on Tuesday that he would support DeSantis over Trump who he described as a "three-time loser".
“I’d like to think that the Republican Party is ready to move on from somebody who has been for this party a three-time loser,” Griffin said at Bloomberg’s New Economy Forum in Singapore, referring to the last three election cycles.
Stephen Schwarzman, CEO of private equity giant Blackstone and a top Republican donor, also announced that he would support a challenger to Trump in 2024.
“America does better when its leaders are rooted in today and tomorrow, not today and yesterday,” Schwarzman said in a statement. “It is time for the Republican Party to turn to a new generation of leaders and I intend to support one of them in the presidential primaries.”
Robert and Rebekah Mercer, the top donors to Trump’s 2016 campaign, also said they will not give money to the former president.
“We were told we’d get tired of winning. But I’m tired of losing,” former Trump administration Secretary of State Mike Pompeo tweeted on Friday. “And so are most Republicans.”
Meanwhile, Trump’s political committees are shelling out huge sums on his legal defense, totals that only seem likely to rise after the Department of Justice on Friday appointed a special counsel to oversee probes into him.
In related news, Trump, who is himself a billionaire, signed a deal on Wednesday to build a resort in Oman, adding billions to his wealth.
The Trump Organization, a group of about 500 business entities of which Donald Trump is the sole or principal owner, inked the deal with Dar Al Arkan, a Saudi real estate giant, to license its name to a housing and golf complex, the New York Times reported early this week.
The huge project - dubbed "Aida" - will be launched and completed near the capital Muscat, on a hillside adjacent to the Gulf of Oman, and will reportedly include 3,500 new homes and two hotels comprising 450 rooms, luxury retail destinations, as well as a golf course.
Trump made the official announcement of his 2024 election candidacy just a week after Republicans lost key midterm races.
He ignored the advice of advisers who had cautioned him against declaring his candidacy for the presidency so soon after Republicans' "complete disappointment" in midterm elections.
The announcement also came as a majority of American voters insist that Trump must not run for the White House again.