Republican Megadonors Help Trump to Massive Fundraising Haul in May: Filings

Timothy Mellon cut a $50 million check, and the Uihleins contributed $10 million to a super PAC helping former President Donald Trump.

One pair of conservative megadonors and one massive check made May a memorable fundraising month for former President Donald Trump.

On June 20, three committees attached to the former chief executive filed monthly reports with the Federal Election Commission. Those filings showed the three committees collectively received more than $144.2 million in donations during May.

According to a June announcement from the Trump campaign and the Republican National Committee, the strong fundraising came on the heels of the conviction of former President Trump on multiple felony counts in a New York court on May 30.

Within 24 hours of that decision, the campaign, its allies, and Republican bodies such as the RNC, National Republican Senatorial Committee, and National Republican Congressional Committee took in millions.

Megadonors Show Up for Trump

Nearly half of the Trump campaign’s May fundraising came from four Republican megadonors.

The largest contribution, accounting for more than a third of the May haul, came from Timothy Mellon, an heir to the Mellon family fortune, who gave $50 million to the super PAC Make America Great Again Inc.

The donation is the largest single contribution to the Trump campaign in 2024 and one of the biggest gifts ever given by an individual donor to a PAC.

Mr. Mellon, according to donor records maintained by watchdog group OpenSecrets, was the second-largest individual donor of the 2024 campaign cycle at the end of April. The eight-figure gift will likely catapult Mr. Mellon into the top spot ahead of Susquehanna International Group co-founder Jeff Yass.

As of the end of April, Mr. Mellon had given about $65 million to political causes since the beginning of 2023. Along with MAGA Inc., which has now received $65 million from the donor in 2024, Mr. Mellon is a significant financier of American Values 2024. American Values is a group supporting independent candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. 

Since the beginning of 2023, Mr. Mellon has given $25 million to American Values.

In May, MAGA Inc. also received support from the Republican megadonors Richard (“Dick”) Uihlein and Elizabeth (“Liz”) Uihlein. The donors, who previously backed Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’s campaign for the GOP’s presidential nomination in 2023, gave $5 million each.

The couple founded Uline—America’s biggest distributor of packing materials and industrial supplies—and Mr. Uihlein is an heir to the Schlitz brewing fortune.

The Uihleins are significant donors to conservative causes. According to Open Secrets, the couple donated more than $86 million to conservative groups in the 2022 election. Mr. Uihlein donated about $65 million to conservative causes in the 2020 cycle, about $37 million in 2018, and about $19 million in 2016.

The Uihleins are also consistent supporters of the super PAC Club for Growth Action, which backs conservative Republican candidates. Between the start of 2023 and the end of May 2024, Mr. Uihlein gave close to $16 million to that super PAC.

Club for Growth has not yet endorsed former President Trump in the 2024 campaign.

Supporters of former President Donald Trump wait for the start of a campaign rally on Wildwood Beach in Wildwood, N.J., on May 11, 2024. (Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images)
Supporters of former President Donald Trump wait for the start of a campaign rally on Wildwood Beach in Wildwood, N.J., on May 11, 2024. (Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images)

MAGA Inc. cashed an additional $5 million check from Kelcy Warren, the executive chairman and chairman of the board of directors of Dallas-based oil company Energy Transfer LP.

Mr. Warren also participated in a major gala held in Palm Beach, Florida, in April for former President Trump that kicked off his current fundraising rally. Federal records show Mr. Warren chipped in $600,000 to the joint fundraising committee Trump 47 Committee Inc.

Energy Transfer is involved with the Dakota Access Pipeline. The pipeline opened in 2017 after President Trump signed an executive order to advance its construction in January of that same year.

According to donor records maintained by watchdog group OpenSecrets, Mr. Warren gave $10 million to America First Action in August 2020. He is also a consistent donor to Republican causes and candidates, including the Republican National Committee.

At the end of May, MAGA Inc. held about $93.7 million in cash on hand. The hybrid PAC Future Forward or FF PAC, an equivalent fund helping the Biden reelection effort, closed out May with about $92.4 million in cash on hand.

Principal Committee Rakes In Cash

May did not present a complete financial profile for former President Trump or President Biden. A number of wealthy joint fundraising committees and PACs attached to both campaigns aren’t due to file their quarterly disclosures until the middle of July.

However, the filings that were published show former President Trump’s principal campaign committee, Donald J. Trump for President 2024 Inc., outraised President Biden’s Biden for President. Former President Trump’s committee collected about $75.4 million in the month, while President Biden’s took in $37.7 million.

Federal records showed the Trump 47 committee added more than $2.5 million to the Trump for President tally. The GOP-allied hybrid PAC Winred sent close to $1 million to the cause.

The mammoth infusion of cash allowed the Trump committee to surpass the Biden Committee’s cash-on-hand total for the first time in 2024. According to federal records, Trump for President held about $116.6 million in cash on hand while Biden for President retained $91.6 million.


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