With 40 months to go, Trump holds re-election fundraiser

J. David Ake, Associated Press

Emergency no parking signs are posted in front of the Trump International Hotel in Washington, Wednesday, June 28, 2017. President Donald Trump will attend a fund raiser at the hotel this evening.

WASHINGTON — First-time candidate Donald Trump got a late start on fundraising in 2016, holding his first big-ticket donor event only five months before Election Day. That won’t be the case next time.

Some 40 months before he stands for re-election, the president holds court at a $35,000-per-plate donor event Wednesday night at his hotel in Washington.

White House deputy press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said there was nothing unusual about raising political cash so early.

“He’s raising money for the party,” she said. “I don’t think that’s abnormal for any president.”

Sanders’ statement that Trump is raising cash for the GOP tells only part of the story, though.

The first cut of the money raised goes to Trump’s 2020 re-election campaign. The rest gets spread among various Republican Party entities. Having multiple beneficiaries is what allows Trump to ask for well above the usual $5,400 per-donor maximum for each election cycle.

Those contribution limits are likely to change because this fundraiser is so early that new donation limits for 2020 have not been set by…

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