Big donor money steering away from Donald Trump

'What they're playing with is the idea they can find a substitute that will satisfy the base,' political science professor says
Posted at 7:14 PM, Nov 17, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-17 19:39:57-05

PALM BEACH, Fla. — Donald Trump's new presidential campaign is not attracting some big money donors — including from some of Palm Beach's wealthiest people.

Two billionaires Stephen Schwarzman, the CEO of equity firm Blackstone, and businessman Ronald Lauder have both made it known that they don't intend to donate to the Trump campaign.

"Schwarzman is a member of Mar-a-Lago. He's a friend [of Trump]. He lives up the road," Laurence Leamer, the author of 'Mar-A-Lago: Inside the Gates of Power at Donald Trump's Presidential Palace,'" said. "He's a very shrewd man, and that he's backing off from Trump is very telling and very important."

Trump author Laurence Leamer
Author Laurence Leamer said some high-profile donors aren't contributing to Donald Trump's presidential campaign this time.

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It would appear that many high-dollar donors and some Republican officials seem ready to move on, particularly to Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who has yet to say if he will run for president.

"Right now, what they're playing with is the idea they can find a substitute that will satisfy the base," Professor Charles Zelden at Nova Southeastern University said.

Charles Zelden, political science professor at Nova Southeastern University
Political science professor Charles Zelden explains why he thinks some big donors are shying away from Donald Trump.

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Several media reports said Trump is demanding support from people after his campaign kicked off Tuesday.

"It's a very difficult thing. You don't want to infuriate Trump," Leamer said. "It's going to be unpleasant for him and others will be doing the same thing — maybe not as publicly as Schwarzman — but they won't just be opening their checkbooks."