Ivanka Trump brings in $7.5 million in fundraising for her father

Ivanka Trump as she is introduced to the audience at the start of a Fireside Chat along with Pam Bondi, former Florida Attorney General (not pictured) at the Columbia Restaurant on Thursday, September 17, 2020 in Tampa, Florida. (Dirk Shadd/Tampa Bay Times/TNS)
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By Francesca Chambers McClatchy Washington Bureau (TNS)

WASHINGTON — Ivanka Trump raised $7.5 million from two events she headlined this week for her father’s reelection campaign, sources familiar with her activities told McClatchy, boosting the cash-strapped presidential operation.

President Donald Trump’s daughter raised $4.5 million for Trump Victory, the fundraising committee that is shared jointly by the Republican National Committee and the Trump presidential campaign, at a Wednesday evening event in Austin, Texas.

She raised another $3 million at a fundraiser in Tampa, Florida, on Thursday afternoon, the sources said. Both events were closed to the media.

President Trump’s elder daughter has held four fundraisers since the beginning of August that benefited her father’s reelection campaign. Those fundraisers have raised more than $14.5 million, the sources said.

While she has no additional fundraising appearances planned at this time, Ivanka Trump is expected to headline at least one more before the November election.

This week she also held campaign events in Phoenix, Arizona, and Wilmington, North Carolina, and plans to travel again next week.

Ivanka Trump’s fundraising appearances coincide with a cash crunch inside her father’s campaign in the election’s final months.

The president’s campaign and the RNC said they raised a combined $210 million in August. Democratic nominee Joe Biden and the Democratic National Committee reported a cumulative total of $364.5 million for the month.

Trump’s new campaign manager Bill Stepien brushed off the financial situation in a September call with reporters after Democrats revealed their fundraising haul.

“We are now carefully managing the budget,” he said. “Creating or recreating the budget was the first thing that I did upon becoming the campaign manager, and it’s something that we as a team manage every single day.”

Ivanka Trump’s first fundraising event took place virtually in early August and featured RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel. Her first in-person fundraiser of the cycle was also in August in Wyoming, where she also raised money at a separate event put on by House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, a California Republican.

The Tampa event on Thursday was structured as a conversation between Ivanka Trump and former Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, who co-chairs the campaign’s Women for Trump initiative.

Trump mainly takes audience questions at the events, the sources said, often providing insights about her father and her experiences working for him at the White House as an unpaid adviser.

In Austin, she spoke about actions the Trump administration has taken on human trafficking and the economy and other policies the White House has pursued that are intended to help working families, such as the expansion of the Child Tax Credit that was included in the 2017 tax reform legislation.

The campaign is focusing its resources now on the states that send out ballots earliest, Stepien told reporters this month, running radio and television advertisements in battleground states like Florida and North Carolina that Ivanka Trump visited this week.

Trump’s early cash advantage in the race, when Biden was in a contested primary, allowed the campaign to hire staff and develop relationships in critical states, Stepien said.

“So we’re very comfortable and confident in where we’re spending and how much we’re spending and how much we’re going to have down the stretch,” he said.

Ivanka Trump also campaigned and raised funds for her father in 2016. She averaged $2 million at her fundraisers at the time, one source said, while her recent efforts averaged $3.5 million per event.

Her fundraising haul this week compared to fundraising by Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren for Biden. Warren’s virtual June event for Biden raised $6 million and virtual July fundraiser brought in $1.5 million.

President Trump at his first in-person fundraiser since the start of the pandemic raised more than $10 million at a June event in Dallas. Former President Barack Obama in June raised $7.6 million at a virtual fundraiser for Biden that the former vice president’s campaign characterized as a grassroots event.

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