TrumpMarch

Trump, RNC Reach Deal To Raise Money Jointly

Politics Dow Jones Newswires

Donald Trump and the Republican National Committee finalized a joint fundraising agreement late Tuesday that would allow individual donors to write checks of as much as $449,400 -- far higher than the $2,700 cap on what the presumptive GOP nominee's presidential campaign can accept. 

Under the agreement, Mr. Trump's campaign and the RNC will raise money for two joint fundraising committees. The first, called Trump Victory, will raise money for the RNC, the campaign and 11 state party committees. The second, called Trump Make America Great Again Committee, will direct funds only to the RNC and the Trumpcampaign. 

Mr. Trump said earlier this month that he would set up a joint fundraising committee and begin actively raising money for the general election, after largely self-funding his primary campaign. The general-election campaign is expected to cost more than $1 billion. 

Raising money jointly with the party allows Mr. Trump to raise funds more efficiently. Instead of finding a broader base of donors to write checks of up to $2,700, he can tap a smaller set of wealthy donors for larger checks. But the joint fundraising committees are also limited in what they can transfer to his campaign and spend on his behalf. 

Time is of the essence for Mr. Trump because his likely general-election rival, Hillary Clinton, has had a formidable fundraising operation in place for more than a year. She raised more than $213 million for her campaign through the end of April, on top of more than $67 million raised by her allied super PACs. 

"We are pleased to have this partnership in place with the national party," Mr. Trump said in a statement. "By working together with the RNC to raise support for Republicans everywhere, we are going to defeat Hillary Clinton, keep Republican majorities in Congress and in the states, and Make America Great Again." 

Donors will only be able to write checks of up to $449,400 to Trump Victory -- the sum of the contribution caps for each committee included in the fund. 

In 2012, GOP nominee Mitt Romney's joint fundraising committee with the RNC could accept checks of up to $75,800 a person. 

RNC Finance Chairman Lew Eisenberg will serve as the finance chairman of Trump Victory. Under Mr. Eisenberg, the RNC has raised $135 million so far this cycle. 

A spokesman for Mr. Trump said the real-estate developer will continue to raise money for his campaign by selling merchandise and through the donate button on his website. He has raised $12 million through those means, according to the most recent Federal Election Commission report. 

"The RNC is excited to team up with the Trump campaign to expand the robust ground, data, and digital operation we have in place to elect Republicans up an down the ballot," RNC Chairman Reince Priebus said in a statement. "Donald Trump knows the importance of keeping our Republican majorities at the local, state, and national level, and these joint fundraising agreements are another vital step in making that happen." 

The 11 state party committees that will receive funds through the Trump Victory committee are Arkansas, Connecticut, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Jersey, New York, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia and Wyoming. 

Mrs. Clinton and the Democratic National Committee reached an agreement last August to create the Hillary Victory Fund, which raised more than $60 million through the end of March. Of that, about $13 million has been transferred to Mrs. Clinton's campaign, while nearly $6 million has gone to the DNC. The committee also raises money for 32 state party committees. The group can raise more than $350,000 per individual. 

Write to Rebecca Ballhaus at Rebecca.Ballhaus@wsj.com

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