President Trump may only have been in office for a matter of months, but that doesn’t mean he isn’t thinking forward. In the months following his election and through the inauguration in January, Trump has raised millions of dollars in campaign financing and has already begun building an infrastructure for his second campaign.
According to the New York Times, reports filed with the Federal Election Commission on Friday confirm that the Trump campaign raised a total of $7.1 million in the first three months of 2017, along with a total of $23 million believed to have been raised by the Republican party as a whole.
By comparison, Trump’s predecessor President Obama, and the Democratic National Committee raised around $15 million during a similar period in 2009, which is considerably less than the total raised by Trump and the Republicans. That being said, it’s worth noting that wealthy Republican donors are yet to begin contributing to Trump’s re-election efforts or even the Republican party’s own efforts, with the majority of funds already raised coming from grass-roots donors and the sales of merchandise.
In fact, according to Politico, the Donald J. Trump for President, Trump Victory, and Trump Make America Great Again committees shelled a total of $6.3 million between January and March, with $1.2 million of that money going towards Trump’s infamous “Make America Great Again” hats, which have been used to raise campaign finances since his election.
The Trump campaign has already spent a considerable chunk of funds raised in 2017 on branding, paying $1.6 million to the web design and digital media firm run by the Trump campaign’s digital director Brad Parscale, with a further $15,000 being handed to Parscale himself.
What’s more, the campaign has already assembled a staff of around 20 employees, which is expected to grow throughout President Trump’s first year in office. Perhaps the most high-profile name on the campaign’s payroll is Vice President Mike Pence’s 27-year-old nephew John Pence, who recently joined the re-election campaign as deputy executive director and was paid $40,000 in the first quarter. Michael Glassner from Trump’s 2016 campaign was also paid a total of $77,000 between January and March for his work overseeing the re-election operation.
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Whilst it’s not unusual for incumbent presidents to think ahead to their re-election, Mr. Trump has undeniably begun his re-election activity fairly early. In fact, Trump filed papers for the 2020 election race on the day of his inauguration, which allowed the campaign to continue raising funds amidst ongoing excitement around his presidency. The campaign even sent out email blasts to 2016 donors on the day of the inauguration, hoping to convince some of those donors to provide advanced funding for the 2020 effort.
In the 2016 presidential election, Republican candidate Donald Trump beat his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton, despite a widespread assumption that Mrs. Clinton would be victorious. Since her election defeat, there’s been considerable speculation that the former secretary of state will mount a third presidential bid against Trump in 2020.
However, according to the Inquisitr, Clinton ruled out the possibility of running again in her first interview following that election defeat.
“I have no plans at all other than trying to find some interesting things to do, trying to support other people to pursue their interests, spend time with my grandchildren, which is a great joy,” she said. “I’m not making plans to do anything.”
However, Clinton was keen to insist that she would remain involved in politics to help ensure victory for her party in 2020.
Incidentally, 2016 Democratic presidential candidates Lincoln Chafee and Martin O’Malley have both expressed an interest in running for the party’s nomination in 2020.
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