Donald Trump has changed his mind about raising money for his presidential bid and will join with the Republican National Committee on a series of events aimed at bringing in $1 billion, the Washington Post reports. The first event is later this month in Los Angeles, the Post says. The host will be Investor Thomas Barrack Jr., a former Reagan Administration official who did real estate deals with Trump in the 1980s and has endorsed the presumptive Republican nominee.
The scheduled May 25 fundraisers at Barrack's home will "include a photo line, cocktails and dinner," per the Post.
The dinner fundraiser is set to be the first of as many as 50 finance events that the campaign and party are racing to set up as they try to rapidly build out a structure to appeal to major donors. Trump's willingness to participate in the functions — after months of bashing other candidates for their ties to wealthy contributors — represents a dramatic shift in his posture.
The Trump campaign, which has no apparatus to solicit contributions, is now finalizing plans with the RNC to participate in a joint fundraising committee that can accept large contributions. The so-called victory fund is expected to be led by a group of senior party financiers, including Ray Washburne, a former RNC finance chairman, according to several people familiar with the plans. Washburne left his RNC post last year to serve as finance chairman for New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's presidential campaign. In a brief phone conversation, Washburne declined to comment.
Trump faces an incredibly steep climb to raise the $1 billion that he has said is needed before November. While he has secured the backing of some prominent donors and fundraisers, including New York investor Anthony Scaramucci, many top GOP bundlers have been privately discussing their reservations about helping the real estate magnate raise funds. The angst is so acute that some have offered to quietly send over a list of the donors they know, but do not even want to be assigned a bundler number to get credit for the checks they bring in.
Elsewhere on the California front, Trump's team quickly clarified that white nationalist leader William Johnson was included on Trump's official list of prospective delegates by mistake. But later today, former state assemblyman Bob Pacheco said he was listed as a Trump delegate without his knowledge.
Also, Los Angeles artist Illma Gore writes in The Guardian that she has been harassed with death and rape threats and punched in the face on the street in her neighborhood after painting a naked Trump with a small penis. "If anyone is going to be threatened by a small penis, it's Trump," she says.
Crop of Gore's painting. Here is the whole thing.