Donald Trump has told friends he wants to raise $2 billion for his presidential library and museum in Florida – and has put one of his closest aides in charge of the effort.
He told a former Trump fundraiser of the astonishing demand, four times that of the $500 million Barack Obama has been raising for his, as he prepares to move to Mar-a-Lago, the Washington Post reported.
Dan Scavino, his longtime social media guru who is now left without a role after Trump was banned from virtually every platform, will be in charge.
Trump was reported to be planning to use the small-dollar donors who had powered his second presidential campaign – and who have given hundreds of millions to his doomed bid to overturn Joe Biden’s victory.
New home: Donald Trump will make Mar-a-Lago the capital of MAGA and wants to build a presidential library and museum somewhere near by for $2 billion
In charge: Dan Scavino, who has known Trump since he met the then-businessman as a 16-year-old golf caddy, is now his social media guru – a job without any duties now that Trump is banned from Twitter. He will raise the cash for the library
Exile: Trump is going to take up residence at Mar-a-Lago on Wednesday while he fights his second impeachment but is already thinking about his presidential library and musuem
Scavino, 45, is the longest-term aide in Trump’s circle. The two first met when Scavino was a 16-year-old golf caddy at what is now the Trump National in Westchester, New York. He later became its general manager.
Scavino is currently White House deputy chief of staff but has masterminded Trump’s twitter feed since the campaign.
The fundraiser to whom Trump confided his library plan was dismissive of it, telling the Washington Post: ‘Anyone who gives to him will be radioactive.’
Another called the plan ‘insane’ and said: ‘Except for the wackos, everybody’s running for the hills.’
Since the MAGA riot Trump has spent time with Lindsey Graham, MyPillow founder Mike Lindell – who pushed him to bring in martial law – and Jim Jordan, the Freedom Caucus leader who has been one of his most vocal public defenders.
The tradition of having a presidential library and museum goes back to Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who gifted his papers to the federal government in 1939, along with his New Hyde Park estate on his death.
Since then every president has built a library with the help of private fundraising, usually in a place associated with them.
The most expensive so far is set to be Barack Obama’s planned library and museum on the South Side of Chicago, which will cost $500 million, $200 million more than the George W. Bush center on the campus of Southern Methodist University outside Dallas, Texas.
But Trump’s move to rely on small dollar donors may significantly overestimate their giving power.
In total his presidential campaign itself took in $773,954,550 but of $773,954,550 – 48.8% – was from small donors according to OpenSecrets.org.
And the $311,791,392 which affiliated PACs and Super PACs raised is likely to be almost entirely from large donors.
$300 million bill: George W. Bush’s library and museum on the campus of Southern Methodist University is home to 70 million pages of paper records, 200 million emails and four million digital photographs. Every living president attended its May 2013 opening
Still in the works: The $500 million Obama presidential library will be on the South Side of Chicago. Its opening date has not been set
He got the jet: A Boeing 707 which flew as Air Force One is the centerpiece of the Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California
In the wake of the election Trump’s campaign continued a barrage of fundraising texts and emails, raising $207 million by the beginning of December with no final total given so far.
The final message came on January 6 at 1.35 pm., when the final message came as the mob began to storm the Capitol.
Trump takes with him a vast list of phone numbers and email addresses which it would be legal for him to bombard with calls for cash for his library and museum.
But he has also pledged to campaign against his Republican enemies in primaries, which he would also need cash for.
All this would be overseen from his Mar-a-Lago club, which he makes his home from Wednesday – but without the apparatus of the White House or the help of the Republican National Committee.
So far no plan for where his library would be built has been articulated.
There are also questions over the fullness of the documentary record surrounding his presidency.
The Presidential Records Act means that every piece of paper or electronic document from his presidency has to be preserved, which makes the physical scale of the archives held by recent presidents’ libraries vast.
But The Guardian reported that Trump’s habit of tearing up documents after reading them meant that in the first full year of his presidency, 10 White House officials working for the records office spent their time Scotch taping documents back together.
Among the records he had torn up were a letter from Chuck Schumer, the Democratic senate minority leader, about a possible government shutdown.
Other known challenges to the records include Jared Kushner using WhatsApp to contact world leaders including Saudi Arabia’s Prince Mohamed bin Salman, its de facto ruler, and his wife Ivanka’s use of a private email address.