Trump campaign woos donors at Florida retreat

Palm Beach, Florida — The Trump campaign told donors at a private GOP retreat in Palm Beach, Florida, that $76 million was raised in April between the campaign and the Republican National Committee, according to two sources who were present for the briefing. 

The retreat brought together wealthy GOP donors and potential vice presidential contenders that Donald Trump is considering, including Senators Marco Rubio, Tim Scott and J.D. Vance, Rep. Elise Stefanik, North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum and South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem

Guests were shuttled to Trump’s Mar-a-Lago club from the Four Seasons hotel in Palm Beach for remarks from the former president on Saturday. He attacked the felony charges against him and prosecutors who have indicted him, according to a source in the room. Trump referred to special counsel Jack Smith as “deranged” and an “evil thug,” according to another person in the room.

“Once I got indicted, I said, ‘Holy sh**, I just got indicted. Me. I got indicted,'” the former president said. 

Former President Donald Trump's Hush Money Trial Continues In New York
Former U.S. President Donald Trump speaks to the press at his trial for allegedly covering up hush money payments at Manhattan Criminal Court on May 3, 2024 in New York City. 

Curtis Means / Getty Images

Trump stated that Mr. Biden is “running a Gestapo administration,” against him, according to the person at the fundraiser. 

“And it’s the only thing they have,” Trump added. ” It’s the only way they’re going to win, in their opinion, and it’s actually killing them. But it doesn’t bother me.”

These quotes were previously reported by The New York Times.  

There was also a panel featuring GOP Senate hopefuls Bernie Moreno of Ohio, Rep. Jim Banks of Indiana, and Dave McCormick of Pennsylvania on Saturday evening. 

In a closed-door briefing by top campaign officials and pollsters, donors were told that based on internal polling, the campaign could be competitive in Minnesota and Virginia, two states that went for Hillary Clinton in 2016 and Mr. Biden in 2020. 

Neither state is considered to be battlegrounds in 2024. Mr. Biden won Minnesota by about 7 points in 2020, and the state has not voted for a Republican presidential candidate since 1972. The 2020 gulf was even wider in Virginia, where Mr. Biden won by 10 points, although the state elected Republican Glenn Youngkin as governor the following year. 

Republicans are not the only ones setting their sites on less-obvious states. Mr. Biden’s campaign and Democrats have started to campaign more aggressively in Florida, which Trump won by about 3 points in 2020. 

The fundraising numbers that the Trump campaign and RNC announced to donors on Saturday come as the Trump campaign attempts to close the fundraising gap with Democrats, who had a financial advantage of more than $25 million as of the start of April.

A top Trump advisor said that the fundraising haul “exceeded all goals,” for the month. 

The numbers cannot be confirmed independently by CBS until later this month when campaigns and political groups are required to file their monthly reports with the Federal Elections Commission. 

At Friday night’s dinner, which showcased many of the senators in attendance, guests were served a baby greens salad, beef filet and scallops, and key lime pie, according to a copy of the menu obtained by CBS. On Saturday night, guests were given coconuts branded with “Trump 47” as a dessert option. 

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