The GOP has reportedly raised concerns over Donald Trump’s future influence with donors after new figures revealed that Republicans spent $1.2million at Mar-a-Lago in the last five years.
This weekend the Republican National Committee (RNC) has booked out the Four Seasons Hotel in Palm Beach to discuss the party’s future with political members and 400 major donors who will be expected to lay down five or six figure sums.
But those who wish to hear the former president speak will need to travel 10 minutes down the road to his Florida resort, Mar-A-Lago, after Trump reportedly refused to participate unless it benefited his own, private business.
Complaints have been made in the past about the 74-year-old reportedly funnelling Republican donations into his own pockets.
Spending by Republicans at the members-only club rocketed by 69 times in the last five years, from $17,066 between May 2011 and May 2016, to $1,179,686 between May 2016 and 2021, Huff Post has claimed following an examination of Federal Election Commission filings.
But fears have also been discussed over whether the scores of new donors attracted to the party by Trump during his presidency, will give to new Republican candidates who take his place or if Trump’s “own political group will cannibalise a significant portion of the party’s financial base”, as reported by Politico.
Trump’s latest distracting move has reportedly not pleased some of the major donors, as well as some of the 2024 hopefuls, like former secretary of state Mike Pompeo, house minority leader Kevin McCarthy, senators Lindsey Graham, Marco Rubio, Tom Cotton and Rick Scott as well as governors Ron Desantis, of Florida and Kristi Noem of South Dakota, who will be making their own RNC appearances.
The cost for the RNC to hire Mar-A-Lago for his speech will not be made available until May.
One donor, who asked not to be named, reportedly told Huff Post: “You’ve got to hand it to him. President Trump is a powerful leader in the party. When you’re a former president and you have a large following, you can make certain demands to participate. A lot of the donors are very pleased to have the opportunity to go there. Other potential 2024 candidates might not like it, but that’s the reality here.”
Joe Walsh, a former GOP congressmen who ran against Trump for the 2020 presidential nomination, added that demands like this by Trump would not stop any time soon.
“To succeed and do well in the Republican Party, you must prostrate yourself before the king”, he said. “ It will be this way at least through 2024, probably for as long as the king lives.”
Huff Post reported that during the years of his presidency, Trump instructed the RNC and his campaign to spend $8.5 million in donor money at his own businesses, including $639,031 at Mar-a-Lago.
In 2018, Trump allegedly received $286,919, from the RNC for hosting an evening dinner and luncheon.
Republican candidates and committees outside Trump’s control spent an additional $2 million at his properties during his four years in office, according to the HuffPost review, and that pattern is continuing, notwithstanding Trump’s deep unpopularity in the nation as a whole.