Trump Forced to Skip Big-Money House GOP Fundraiser Thanks to NY Trial

Michael M. Santiago/Pool via Reuters
Michael M. Santiago/Pool via Reuters

Former President Donald Trump was invited to headline a big-ticket fundraising gala for House Republicans’ campaign arm later this month in Dallas—but was ultimately forced to decline because of his ongoing criminal trial in New York.

The event, dubbed the Majority Gala, is the National Republican Campaign Committee’s biggest fundraiser so far this election cycle. The hope of GOP brass was to get Trump, their presumptive presidential nominee, to headline the April 23 event and juice fundraising interest, according to three sources familiar with the matter.

But because Trump is scheduled to be in court in Manhattan that day—and most weekdays until the trial ends, likely in June—the former president won’t be able to travel to Texas and headline the fundraiser.

Stormy Daniels Is Going to Screw Trump’s Campaign Schedule

According to an invitation obtained by The Daily Beast, Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC) will now headline the gala. Scott, who ran for the 2024 GOP nomination himself, is believed to be one of Trump’s top vice presidential contenders.

Even though Scott is just a senator and not the nominee—or even the vice presidential nominee—it will still cost guests $50,000 to enjoy a “photo opportunity” with Scott, according to the invitation.

The fact that Trump was forced to decline the fundraiser appearance—which is the kind of obligation party leaders routinely fulfill—represents the latest example of how his criminal trial is upending his campaign schedule and political life.

With Trump in court Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday, with only Wednesday and weekends off, normal campaigning will be extremely difficult for him until the trial concludes.

Trump has made the court’s schedule a central complaint as he insists the case, which centers on his alleged hush money payments to porn star Stormy Daniels during the 2016 campaign, is designed to hobble him politically.

“I should be right now in Pennsylvania, Florida, many other states, North Carolina, Georgia, campaigning,” Trump said outside the courthouse on Monday, referring to the usual campaign schedule for a general election.

In a statement to The Daily Beast, Trump campaign spokeswoman Karoline Leavitt said, “Joe Biden and the Democrats’ entire strategy to defeat President Trump is to confine him to a court room.”

Leavitt claimed the alleged strategy is “backfiring” and that voters see Trump is “undoubtedly the strongest candidate to lead our country, and he will continue to fight for truth in the court room and to share his winning message on the campaign trail.”

So far, Trump has earned unflattering headlines from the trial; notably, reporters witnessed the former president appearing to fall asleep during Monday’s courtroom proceedings.

Revealed: How Trump Campaign Is Telling Allies to Spin Trial

In a memo circulated to his allies and surrogates with talking points on how to message the trial, the Trump campaign made the same complaint and emphasized that the case was “timed … to have maximum impact on the Presidential campaign, waiting several years to file charges over allegations that are alleged to have occurred in 2016 and 2017.”

Despite being in court, an advisor to Trump said that the former president will still “take full advantage of off days on Wednesdays and the weekends.”

“While we wish he were not going through this sham trial and believe it should be dismissed, President Trump’s ability to dominate the airwaves has proven to be undefeated,” the advisor said.

The former president is slated to travel to North Carolina on Saturday to campaign.

The NRCC did not respond to a request for comment.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

Get the Daily Beast's biggest scoops and scandals delivered right to your inbox. Sign up now.

Stay informed and gain unlimited access to the Daily Beast's unmatched reporting. Subscribe now.