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Biden campaign recruits Nikki Haley donors to help defeat Donald Trump

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Biden campaign recruits Nikki Haley donors to help defeat Donald Trump

U.S. President Joe Biden speaks during a campaign event at Pullman Yards in Atlanta, Georgia, U.S. March 9, 2024. 

Evelyn Hockstein | Reuters

A few days after former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley dropped out of the *********** presidential primary on March 6, veteran media executive and Haley backer

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got a call from movie mogul Jeffrey Katzenberg, who asked Sloan to help President Joe Biden take on Donald Trump in the general election.

Sloan agreed to help raise money for Biden’s reelection effort and try to reel in ***********-aligned business leaders to get behind the president, he told CNBC in a recent interview.

“People I know who are generally business Republicans, they’re going to hear from me” about helping Biden, Sloan said. The former chairman of MGM said that he has already reached out to some of the people in his Rolodex, and he plans to host a fundraiser for Biden later this year.

Sloan is among at least half a dozen former Haley bundlers who have decided to help Biden — and not Trump — since Haley ended her campaign, according to a source familiar with the effort, who was granted anonymity to discuss private conversations.

A co-chair of the Biden campaign, Katzenberg has been trying to recruit wealthy Haley supporters into Biden’s camp since at least February.

But now, with Haley formally out the of the race, that effort has gone into overdrive.

Sloan and other Haley supporters have also heard from the Biden campaign’s finance chairman, Rufus Gifford, who said he belongs to a WhatsApp group called “Haley Supporters for Biden.”

For Biden’s team, successfully reeling in *********** former Haley donors would amount to a fundraising coup, bolstering the president’s political operation while taking these potential donors off the field for Trump.

The effort to win over Haley donors also got a boost when Trump threatened to blacklist Haley donors.

“Anybody that makes a ‘Contribution’ to [Haley] from this moment forth, will be permanently barred from the MAGA camp. We don’t want them, and will not accept them,” he 

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 on Jan. 24.

Haley notably did not endorse Trump when she dropped out of the race.

Sloan himself is a major addition to Biden’s fundraising arsenal. While Haley was still in the primary, Sloan helped to raise at least $550,000 for her White House bid, most of it through two fundraising receptions, including one at his home in Los Angeles.

But Sloan is not a straight party line donor. He has donated in the past to candidates on both sides of the aisle, including $100,000 last year to a pro-Biden political action committee, Future Forward, and another donation to Biden’s campaign.

Sloan also gave another $100,000 to a PAC that supported Haley, according to Federal Election Commission records. Another *********** who received a donation from Sloan is Pennsylvania Senate candidate Dave McCormick, a *********** running for Pennsylvania’s Senate seat.

The Never Trump wing

Beyond Sloan, another former Haley supporter who is working against Trump is former Rep. Barbara Comstock. The former Virginia

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congresswoman was a co-chair of Haley’s campaign.

“I support the *********** Voters Against Trump efforts. I also support Republicans for Ukraine,” Comstock told CNBC in an email. “Still figuring out what other things would be most helpful.”

Comstock said she had not decided exactly how to help yet, but if she chooses to got the fundraising route, *********** Voters Against Trump operates through a super PAC called *********** Accountability.


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recently announced plans to launch a $50 million general election effort to defeat Trump.

The project will feature videos of former Trump voters explaining why they won’t back him again in 2024. The clips and quotes will appear on television, radio, billboard and digital ads targeting voters in battleground states of Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin.

The super PAC is largely funded by anti-Trump donors. LinkedIn co-founder and Democratic megadonor Reid Hoffman contributed $4 million last year to the group, according to campaign finance records. Hoffman also donated $250,000 to a pro-Haley PAC.

Hoffman has donated at least $2 million more to the *********** Accountability PAC so far this year, his political adviser Dmitri Mehlhorn, told CNBC.

*********** Accountability also received $2 million in 2023 from Defending Democracy Together, a political nonprofit led by Bill Kristol, an outspoken critic of Trump’s and a former aide in the Reagan administration.

Don’t miss these stories from CNBC PRO:

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