Joe Biden claims big campaign money lead over Donald Trump

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Joe Biden has almost $100mn more in his election war chest than Donald Trump, the president’s campaign has said, giving him a big money lead over his rival seven months ahead of the election.

Biden and the Democratic National Committee said on Saturday that they now had more than $192mn on hand, compared with the $93mn Trump and the Republican National Committee previously said they held at the end of March.

Biden’s campaign said the haul amounted to the most cash on hand of “any Democratic candidate in history”, and included $90mn raised in March alone, compared with $65mn reported by the Trump team last month.

“It’s a stark contrast to Trump’s cash-strapped operation that is funnelling the limited and billionaire-reliant funds it has to pay off his various legal fees,” said Biden campaign manager Julie Chavez Rodriguez.

The announcement from the president’s campaign came hours ahead of a Trump fundraiser in Florida that the Financial Times first reported was expected to raise at least $33mn.

Biden and Trump have stepped up their money-raising efforts in recent weeks as they prepare for a presidential race that is expected to be the most expensive ever.

The Biden campaign last month raised $25mn at a glitzy fundraiser in New York’s Radio City Music Hall, which featured former presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton.

Biden’s team has sought to depict Trump’s campaign as increasingly reliant on megadonors willing to spend tens of millions of dollars on the former president’s legal fees, as he fights criminal cases relating to his alleged efforts to overturn the 2020 election and a New York civil fraud case that threatens his business empire.

Trump’s fundraiser on Saturday evening in Palm Beach, Florida, will be hosted by hedge fund manager John Paulson, and bring together some of the former president’s top donors with those who backed his primary rivals, including investors Robert Bigelow and Warren Stephens, who supported Ron DeSantis and Nikki Haley, respectively.

South Carolina Senator Tim Scott, North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum and entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy — who all ran against Trump in the primary before endorsing him — will also join the event.

Melania Trump will also headline a fundraiser for Log Cabin Republicans, an LGBT+ group, for her husband’s campaign at their Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida on April 20, marking former first lady’s return to the fundraising circuit.

The host committee includes Elizabeth Ailes, the widow of the late Fox News boss Roger Ailes, Trump’s ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell, and Republican megadonor Saul Fox.

Trump’s supporters point out that he only became the presumptive Republican nominee in March, allowing him to raise more money per person for himself and the RNC.

The Trump team and RNC had been ramping up fundraising efforts, said his campaign manager Susie Wiles, adding that the former president had “overwhelming support” from across the political spectrum.

“Republicans may not be beneficiaries of the self-interested largesse from Hollywood and Silicon Valley elites, but President Trump is proud to be supported by donations from voters who are the backbone of this nation, which will fuel Republicans up and down the ballot,” she added.

Additional reporting by James Politi and Lauren Fedor in Washington

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