see HERE


Donald J. Trump in Lawrenceville, N.J., on Thursday. CreditEric Thayer for The New York Times

A powerful array of the Republican Party’s largest financial backers remains deeply resistant to Donald J. Trump’s presidential candidacy, forming a wall of opposition that could make it exceedingly difficult for him to meet his goal of raising $1 billion before the November election.
Interviews and emails with more than 50 of the Republican Party’s largest donors, or their representatives, revealed a measure of contempt and distrust toward their own party’s nominee that is unheard of in modern presidential politics.
More than a dozen of the party’s most reliable individual contributors and wealthy families indicated that they would not give to or raise money for Mr. Trump. This group has contributed a combined $90 million to conservative candidates and causes in the last three federal elections, mainly to “super PACs” dedicated to electing Republican candidates.
Up to this point, Mr. Trump has embraced the hostility of the Republican establishment, goading the party’s angry base with diatribes against wealthy donors who he claimed controlled politicians. And he has succeeded while defying conventions of presidential campaigning, relying on media attention and large rallies to fire up supporters, and funding his operation with a mix of his own money and small-dollar contributions.
But that formula will be tested as he presents himself to a far larger audience of voters. Mr. Trump has turned to the task of winning over elites he once attacked, with some initial success. And he has said he hopes to raise $1 billion, an enormous task given that he named a finance chairman and started scheduling fund-raisers only this month.

Among the party’s biggest financiers disavowing Mr. Trump are Paul E. Singer, a New York investor who has spent at least $28 million for national Republicans since the 2012 election, and Joe Ricketts, the TD Ameritrade founder who with his wife Marlene has spent nearly $30 million over the same period of time, as well as the hedge fund managers William Oberndorf and Seth Klarman, and the Florida hospital executive Mike Fernandez.
“If it is Trump vs. Clinton,” Mr. Oberndorf said, “I will be voting for Hillary.”
The rejection of Mr. Trump among some of the party’s biggest donors and fund-raisers reflects several strains of hostility to his campaign. Donors cited his fickleness on matters of policy and what they saw as an ad hoc populist platform focused on trade protectionism and immigration. Several mentioned Mr. Trump’s own fortune, suggesting that if he was as wealthy as he claimed, then he should not need their assistance.
Among the more than 50 donors contacted, only nine have said unambiguously that they will contribute to Mr. Trump. They include Sheldon G. Adelson, the casino billionaire; the energy executive T. Boone Pickens; Foster Friess, a wealthy mutual fund investor; and Richard H. Roberts, a pharmaceutical executive. Mr. Friess wrote in an email that Mr. Trump deserved credit for inspiring “truckers, farmers, welders, hospitality workers — the people who really make our country function.”
Continue reading the main storyMany more donors declined to reveal their intentions or did not respond to requests for comment, a remarkable silence about the de facto nominee of their party.
Some major donors have not explicitly closed the door on helping Mr. Trump, but have set a high bar for him to earn their support, demanding an almost complete makeover of his candidacy and a repudiation of his own inflammatory statements.
“Until we have a better reason to embrace and support the top of the ticket, and see an agenda that is truly an opportunity agenda, then we have lots of other options in which to invest and spend our time helping,” said Betsy DeVos, a Michigan Republican whose family has given nearly $9.5 million over the last three elections to party causes and candidates.
But others simply believe Mr. Trump is unfit to serve in the Oval Office. Michael K. Vlock, a Connecticut investor who has given nearly $5 million to Republicans at the federal level since 2014, said he considered Mr. Trump a dangerous person.
“He’s an ignorant, amoral, dishonest and manipulative, misogynistic, philandering, hyper-litigious, isolationist, protectionist blowhard,” Mr. Vlock said.
Mr. Vlock said he might give to Hillary Clinton instead, describing her as “the devil we know.”
“I really believe our republic will survive Hillary,” he said.


Michael K. Vlock, a Connecticut investor who has given nearly $5 million to Republicans at the federal level since 2014, said he considered Mr. Trump a dangerous person. CreditTodd Heisler/The New York Times

At a dinner of the Manhattan Institute in New York earlier this month, Bruce Kovner, a New York-based investor who has given $3.1 million to national Republicans in recent years, argued to a collection of influential conservatives that Mr. Trump and Mrs. Clinton were both unacceptable choices.
“When I talk to my colleagues and friends in similar positions, they have the same degree of discomfort,” Mr. Kovner said in an interview.
Unless Mr. Trump can win over more benefactors, he is likely to become the first Republican presidential nominee in decades to be heavily outspent by his Democratic opponent, and may find it difficult to pay for both the voter-turnout operations and the paid advertising campaigns that are typically required in a general election.
Both President Obama and Mitt Romney raised over $1 billion in 2012, and Mrs. Clinton is expected to exceed that figure easily.
Charles G. and David H. Koch, the country’s two most prolific conservative donors, are not expected to back Mr. Trump, and their advisers have been scathing in private assessments of Mr. Trump’s candidacy and his policy agenda.
The Kochs, who command a vast network of conservative donors, have scheduled a conference of their allies in Colorado in late July, where much of their 2016 spending may be determined.

Graphic: Where Trump Breaks With the Republican Party

A spokesman for the Kochs, James Davis, said they were chiefly focused on helping Republicans retain control of Congress, and many of their allies, along with other Republican givers, indicated in interviews that they were focused exclusively on the same goal.
Even among the handful of big donors Mr. Trump has won over, doubts persist about both his abilities as a candidate and the political apparatus supporting him.
Mr. Adelson, the most important donor who has endorsed Mr. Trump, has indicated that he will cut big checks to aid his campaign only if there is a credible advocacy group set up for that purpose.
But Mr. Trump still has no sanctioned “super PAC” able to raise unlimited sums to support his campaign. A gathering next month at Mr. Pickens’s Texas ranch that was to be sponsored by one of the pro-Trump groups, Great America PAC, has been called off because Mr. Pickens was not sure he was hosting Mr. Trump’s preferred super PAC.
At a Republican Governors Association donor retreat last week in New Mexico, there was a debate on the sidelines about whether to support Mr. Trump. Mr. Friess argued that the Supreme Court vacancy made it imperative to rally around Mr. Trump. But Mr. Friess acknowledged in an email that enthusiasm for Mr. Trump was limited among his fellow major donors. If some agreed there was “no sensible choice other than to rally around Trump,” Mr. Friess said, many contributors viewed that prospect with “the same enthusiasm as a root canal.”
Walter Buckley, the founder of a Pennsylvania financial management company, said he decided to support Mr. Trump after Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey endorsed him. Predicting that Mr. Trump would shake up Washington, Mr. Buckley, said, “This political system needs a shaking like it’s probably not had in 100 years.”
But Mr. Buckley, who said he would be willing to contribute to the Trump campaign or to a super PAC supporting him, said he remained upset about Mr. Trump’s mockery of Senator John McCain, Republican of Arizona, for having been captured in Vietnam.
“I don’t think anything that anybody’s ever said on the political front has bothered me more than that,” Mr. Buckley said.


 Fort Worth, TX 1 day ago
Trump grovelling for Billions of Dollars from the Donor class is the ultimate in hypocrisy. This brazen request for money should give all his supporters pause about Trump the man.

Trump spent the last 10 months stating he was self funded and NOT beholden to the special interest and lobbyists. Now he pivots 180 degrees and wants this same scorned group to pony over a Billion Dollars.

Well, those donors are going to want something for their money. For example, I'm sure Sheldon Adelson is looking for Presidential protection for any of his casino irregularities in the US and overseas.

This is one of the first Presidential tests for Donald Trump and he has failed it miserably. Trump should show the voters he means what he has said.

Trump should Put Up or Shut Up. Trump said he cannot be bought.

Prove it Mr. Trump. Stop asking for any donations like all the other politicians. Show the world you are truly a Billionaire and self fund your entire Presidential run. 


     Maryland 1 day ago
    Why would any rich guy want to pile a few million on Trump, someone who brags constantly about how wonderful he is and, in so doing, puts down the accomplishments of other business people?

    Presidents are hired. They are hired by the billionaire class to protect their interests. A candidate goes around and makes deals with those who have the power block or open his rise to the big chair. Then, the "general public" are pushed on to the stage to cheer and announce the beginning of a "new era" in which everything is going to be grand for everyone, except, first, lets take care of the billionaires...and the rest of you...maybe later.

    A president is not a king nor a free agent. The people who hire presidents want to get their just due and they will surely let the office holder know if he or she is falling short. The people? They are set up for disappointment and searching, hoping, the next one will be better.

    Trump is a grotesque figure of a business person, a guy who has made it on bragging, lies and bankruptcy as prime tools in his kit. Trump is probably as disliked, perhaps more, among business people as Ted Cruz is in the US Senate.

    The degree to which Trump is utterly unsuited to be president of the United States cannot be adequately measured. Day to day, if he gets in, would not be a disaster but there would surely be major disasters building, waiting. Nothing less than the survival of our nation is at stake.

    Joe Bob the III

     MN 1 day ago
    Mr. Buckley's comment about the political system needing a shaking like it hasn't seen in 100 years gets to the danger of Trump's campaign. There is a strong undercurrent of nihilism among Trump's supporters.

    While they enjoy the spectacle of Trump and are mightily gratified by the 'politically incorrect' rhetoric, most of his supporters still harbor at least an inkling that he is a risky candidate. The thing is: they don't care. If Trump were to be the political equivalent of a suicide bomber that would be fine. They will gladly send him into DC to figuratively blow it up. And then what? They don't know or care. They just want what is there now blown up.

    Branden Tarlow

     Portland OR 1 day ago
    Trump's $1B fundraising campaign undercuts two of his central claims: 1) he different because can't be bought or influenced by big donors 2) he's so successful ($10B net worth) that he doesn't need other people's money. 


     NYC 1 day ago
    I'm a conservative who has voted Republican in past elections, but to have Trump as the GOP nominee is an embarrassment to our country & a nonstarter for me. We as a nation deserve better. Sure, we should fiercely debate about the size of our budget, the extent to which we should intervene in world affairs, or even discuss our social agenda. I lean conservative on all those issues. Many of my friends are liberals. We debate and we inform each other.

    But to have a candidate whose ideology isn't driven so much by liberal or conservative tenets, but by what mostly resembles true fascism is extremely dangerous; no liberal, conservative, or rational human being who has studied history should ever back or fund such a man.

    As a conservative, I may not agree with Hillary or her agenda, but I trust that she will at least surround herself with a good team of intelligent policy-informed advisers, and that through checks and balances, we will keep this country from going in the wrong direction. And when I say a team of good advisers, I mean people not like Jeff Sessions, Chris Christie, Ben Carson, et al.

    My message to liberals, conservatives, and all rational human beings is this: this election is critical; sure Hillary is not the best candidate, but she's the only hope this country has of stopping a mad man from taking over the White House. Unite now or we will have to explain to our grandchildren why we helped destroy these United States.

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