Donald Trump wants to go back to the White House. But he is more and more alone. Now three of his major donors – and with them a lot of money – are running away from him. The private equity group Blackstone, the hedge fund Citadel and the beauty empire Estée Lauder do not want to support Trump in his 2024 election campaign. All three have had good relationships with the former US President in the past – including millions for his election campaign two years ago.
Blackstone CEO Stephen Schwarzmann told Axios that Republicans should turn to a “new generation of leaders.” Schwarzmann may be alluding to Florida’s governor, Ron DeSantis, who is considered the most promising Republican for a presidential candidacy.
He already has the support of Citadel founder Ken Griffin: In the future, he wants to donate to DeSantis instead of Trump if he announces his candidacy, Griffin said. Schwarzmann did not want to talk about whether he would rather support DeSantis in the future. But the cosmetics heir Ronald Lauder is now running away from his longtime friend Trump, according to the reports “New York Times” and “CNN”. Lauder and Trump have known each other since college.
Trump is now more and more alone. He had historically relied on a small but generous base of business supporters. Schwarzmann’s withdrawal is particularly significant. With three million dollars he supported Trump’s unsuccessful campaign for re-election in 2020.
Blackstone is one of the Republicans’ biggest donors. According to OpenSecrets, he donated $35 million to Republican candidates and groups for the early midterm elections alone. Donations play a major role in the US election campaign. Trump earned $351 million in 2016 – four years later over $600 million.
But not only does Trump lack the money – political, media and family supporters are also turning away. After several Trump-backed radical candidates suffered heavy defeats in the midterm elections, many Republicans blamed him for the disappointing course of the midterms.
Trump’s Vice President Mike Pence distanced himself from him and said that he was considering running for office and would then be prepared to run against his former boss. And even Trump’s daughter Ivanka – still “first daughter” and presidential adviser during her father’s tenure – does not want to be there when Trump makes a second attempt, as she explains shortly after his appearance. She is missing from the hall in Mar-a-Lago.
Trump also has to take losses in public. The media of the conservative billionaire Rupert Murdoch – in addition to the “New York Post” including the newspaper “Wall Street Journal” and the conservative news channel “Fox News” – had already clearly distanced themselves from Trump after the midterms and called him a “loser”. referred to as the Republican.
After his speech on the presidential candidacy, the “New York Post” wrote at the bottom of its front page only “Man from Florida makes announcement” – and referred his readers to page 26 with biting sarcasm. “Fox News” got out of the transmission several times during his speech . The Murdoch media had reported very favorably on the right-wing populist in recent years.
Trump is the first major Republican candidate to announce his candidacy. Over the weekend, DeSantis will address one of the party’s most influential donor groups at the Republican Jewish Coalition’s annual gala dinner. Former US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley, another Republican touted as a possible presidential candidate, is also scheduled to speak at the Las Vegas event. From the more moderate corner of the party, the governor of Virginia, Glenn Youngkin, could bring himself into play as a candidate.