Three billionaires have dropped former President Donald Trump in two days, with Ronald Lauder, the heir to the Estée Lauder fortune, saying he would not be backing the ex-president’s 2024 White House bid.
Lauder, who has known Trump since college and was reportedly behind his push to buy Greenland as president – gave hundreds of thousands to Republicans in recent years and recently threw his weight behind Lee Zeldin in the New York Governor’s race.
The New York Times and CNBC reported Lauder’s departure from Trumpworld Wednesday afternoon, after Axios reported Wednesday morning that prominent Republican superdonor Stephen Schwarzman was also done.
‘America does better when its leaders are rooted in today and tomorrow, not today and yesterday,’ Schwarzman, the head of Blackstone Group, told Axios after Trump announced his intentions to run again Tuesday night at Mar-a-Lago.
‘It is time for the Republican Party to turn to a new generation of leaders and I intend to support one of them in the presidential primaries,’ Schwarzman said.
And Schwarzman’s exit from the Trump orbit comes after another GOP megadonor, Citadel’s Ken Griffin, said Tuesday at a Bloomberg forum he would be backing Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, should he run.
Lauder’s spokesman did not say who the businessman, who is worth an estimated $4.5billion, would back in 2024, but he has donated to DeSantis in the past.
Three billionaires have dropped former President Donald Trump (left) in two days, with Ronald Lauder (right), the heir to the Estée Lauder fortune, saying he would not be backing the ex-president’s 2024 White House bid
Prominent Republican superdonor Stephen Schwarzman (left), the CEO of Blackstone Group, told Axios Wednesday morning he would not be supporting former President Donald Trump’s (right) 2024 presidential campaign
GOP megadonor, Citadel’s Ken Griffin (pictured), said Tuesday at a Bloomberg forum he would be backing Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, should he run
Griffin referred to Trump as a ‘three-time loser,’ which was similar to the verbiage former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie used to describe the ex-president’s record when he tore into him at an Orlando conference for Republican governors Tuesday afternoon – just hours before Trump’s speech.
On Tuesday, New York businessman Andy Sabin said he would not be donating a’f***ing nickel’ to Trump, after giving $120,000 to his failed election bid.
He said he plans to back DeSantis and gave $55,000 to the Friends of Ron DeSantis PAC ahead of his landslide win in the Florida Governor race, CNBC reported.
Christie told a crowd, also according to Axios, that Trump was responsible not just for the ‘red wave’ never materializing in 2022, but losses in 2020 and 2018 as well.
Christie has been an off-and-on political ally of Trump – though has turned critic as of late.
Trump’s speech droned on for just over an hour and lacked his usual vigor and humor – characteristic of those he delivers at rallies on the campaign trail. All the major TV networks, including Fox News Channel, pulled away before the ex-president had wrapped up.
Footage captured by ABC News from Tuesday night shows members of Trump’s Mar-a-Lago crowd trying to make an exit as he was still speaking, but security prevented them from doing so.
The crowd was held inside the ballroom until the entire Trump family – Donald, Melania, Barron, Eric, Lara, Jared Kushner and Kimberly Guilfoyle – had departed out the front entrance of the Palm Beach, Florida estate.
Ivanka Trump sent out a statement Tuesday night, explaining her absence: she would not be having anything to do with the 2024 campaign.
‘I love my father very much. This time around, I’m choosing to prioritize my young children and the private life we are creating as a family,’ the former White House adviser said. ‘While I will always love and support my father, going forward I will do so outside the political arena.’
Donald Trump Jr. wasn’t in attendance due to a flight hiccup, as he tried to return to Florida from a hunting trip.
During his Tuesday night address, Trump said ‘in four short years everybody was doing great,’ and characterized the U.S. under Democratic President Joe Biden as a country in ‘pain, hardship, anxiety and despair.’
‘In order to make America great and glorious again, I am today announcing my candidacy for president of the United States,’ the ex-president proclaimed about 20 minutes into his speech.
‘I am running because I believe the world has yet seen the true glory this nation can be,’ he added.
Trump pushed back on the idea that he was an election-loser.
‘I do want to point out in the midterms, my endorsement success rate was 232 wins and only 22 losses,’ he said. ‘And this is an elegant night at an elegant place and I’m not going to use the term “fake news,” so we’re going to keep it very elegant, but you don’t hear that from the media.’
ABC News caught video of some crowd members trying to leave Mar-a-Lago’s ballroom before Trump finished his speech. But security didn’t allow anyone to leave the room until the whole Trump family departed
Former President Donald Trump announced he was running for president – again – at Mar-a-Lago Tuesday night, but he won’t have the support of Republican superdonor Stephen Schwarzman
Former President Donald Trump (left) and former First Lady Melania Trump (right) walk into Mar-a-Lago for Tuesday night’s presidential announcement. Guests were held inside the ballroom until the Trump family could depart the same way
Lara Trump (left) waves as she enters Mar-a-Lago alongside husband Eric (right), followed by Barron Trump (back left) and Jared Kushner (back right)
FRONT ROW TO HISTORY? Kimberly Guilfoyle, Jared Kushner, Eric Trump and Lara Trump were seated front row at Tuesday night’s announcement, along with supporters in Trump hats
Barron Trump (left) and Melania Trump (right) sat front row at the Tuesday night Mar-a-Lago announcement. Outgoing Rep. Madison Cawthorn (right) could be seen seated behind the former first family
But his former acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney tweeted out Trump’s ‘losses included Senate races in PA, AZ, NV and NH. And governors in AZ, PA, and MI.’
‘Wins included dog catcher in Pahrump, AZ,’ Mulvaney said, later correcting it to Pahrump, Nevada. ‘Not the same thing. And people know it.’
Those who attended Tuesday night’s announcement were some of the most MAGA faithful, including My Pillow CEO Mike Lindell, adviser Stephen Miller, longtime political consultant Roger Stone and adviser Jason Miller.
The only prominent member of Congress in the crowd was outgoing Rep. Madison Cawthorn, who was successfully primaried by another Republican after making eyebrow-raising statements about GOP members of Congress.
Republican Sen. Bill Cassidy said on SiriusXM’s POTUS channel Wednesday morning, ‘I didn’t listen to it.’
‘Frankly, I’ve got better things to do,’ the Louisiana lawmaker told host Julie Mason.
GOP Sen. Lisa Murkowski – whose Senate race has yet to be called as she defends her seat against the Trump-backed Kelly Tshibaka – shrugged off the announcement to reporters Wednesday before the Senate GOP’s leadership vote.
‘He’s … doing what he’s doing,’ said Murkowski, who voted in favor of Trump’s second impeachment.
Ivanka Trump sent out a statement Tuesday night explaining her absence: she would not be having anything to do with the 2024 campaign
One of former President Donald Trump’s guests at his ‘special announcement’ Tuesday night at Mar-a-Lago
A man dressed as Trump’s wall takes a selfie with another supporter at Mar-a-Lago Tuesday night ahead of the former president’s ‘special announcement’
Lindell charged – falsely – that the midterm elections were still rife with fraud – and so criticism blaming Trump for Republicans’ underwhelming performance was unfounded.
‘These guys all won,’ Lindell said, referencing in particular, Arizona Republican gubernatorial hopeful Kari Lake and Pennsylvania GOP Senate candidate Dr. Mehmet Oz.
Both races have been called for their Democratic opponents.
‘If we would have had a red wave, nobody would have ever listened to me again,’ Lindell told DailyMail.com.
He also said that even DeSantis stood no chance against Trump in a Republican primary.
‘If he runs tonight it’s over. That’s it. Boom. If he says he’s running it’s over. There’s no other candidates. They’d be wasting their time and money blah, blah, blah,’ Lindell said.
Trump’s announcement now stretches the 2024 presidential campaign to a two-year period and came before the 2022 midterms were even wrapped up.
A number of Republicans questioned the timing – exactly one week after the midterms – as the GOP could still pick up a Senate seat in Georgia, should Republicans there back Herschel Walker over Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock in an early December runoff.
‘But quite honestly it would have been better, I think, had he said “I’m going to make a big announcement,” but first I’m going to go to Georgia and make sure Herschel Walker wins that race and I’m going to ask every Republican to go all in,’ said former GOP Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee on Newsmax Tuesday night.
Huckabee added that he did not know ‘one person, and I’m talking about even the people who are closest to him’ that agreed with Trump’s timing.
‘I can’t explain why he would choose right now,’ Huckabee added.
The leader of one prominent Tea Party group – Tea Party Patriots Citizens Fund Chairman Jenny Beth Martin – allowed the forthcoming Georgia runoff election to postpone chiming in about a potential Trump 2024 endorsement.
‘During his four years in office, President Trump was a strong and effective leader. His success on the economy, immigration, foreign policy, and judges, among other critical issues, is undeniable,’ Martin said in a statement. ‘We need a proven conservative leader as the Republican nominee in 2024, and as president beyond that, to repair the damage done to our country by Joe Biden,’ Martin continued.
‘We will concern ourselves with the 2024 presidential nominating process sometime after the Georgia Senate runoff is over,’ she added.