Trump tells billionaires he’ll keep their taxes low at $50 million fundraising gala

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WASHINGTON – Former President Donald Trump emphasized the importance of extending his signature tax cuts to some of the country’s wealthiest political donors, according to a reading of his private comments Saturday night provided by a Trump campaign official.

“Trump spoke about the need to take back the White House so we can turn our country around, focusing on key issues including unleashing energy production, securing our southern border, reducing inflation, extending Trump’s tax cuts, eliminate Joe Biden’s crazy plan. [electric vehicle] mandate, protect Israel and prevent a global war,” the campaign official said of a roughly 45-minute speech to donors in Palm Beach, Florida.

The campaign declined requests from NBC News to have a reporter present for his comments and to make a full transcript of his comments available.

Trump’s senior advisers, Susie Wiles and Chris LaCivita, said the dinner, held at the home of billionaire hedge fund investor John Paulson, raised $50.5 million during a joint fundraising effort benefiting the Trump campaign, his Save America political action committee, the Republican National Committee and state parties. That’s nearly double the $26 million from President Joe Biden’s campaign. saying It emerged last month at a star-studded Radio City Music Hall gala featuring former presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton.

Biden criticized Trump for promising to extend the 2017 tax cuts beyond 2025, when many of the provisions are set to expire, in a video released Saturday.

“When you think the cameras aren’t on, you tell your rich friends, quote, ‘We’re going to give you tax cuts,’” Biden says in the video alongside Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., a prominent progressive who ran against Biden in the 2020 Democratic presidential primary.

Trump appeared to try to square off on raising a record amount of donations from the country’s elite – an ensemble that included billionaires such as sugar magnate José “Pepe” Fanjul Sr., oil baron Harold Hamm and Johnson & Johnson heir, Woody Johnson) with a political movement driven by populist themes.

“People just want change,” he told reporters upon arriving at Paulson’s home. “The rich want it. The poor want it. “Everyone wants a change.”

During his remarks, Trump praised the assembled donors.

“We have an experience in this room that is incredible: Every single one of you is a leader,” he said, according to the campaign official.

From the head table, Trump spoke for about 45 minutes to 117 guests seated under a giant tent, according to the campaign official. Afterwards, they had escarole and frisee salad, filet poivre, and pavlova with fresh berries for dinner.

Several of Trump’s vanquished primary foes — Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., businessman Vivek Ramaswamy and North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum — also addressed the crowd, as did committee co-chairs Republican National Party, Lara Trump and Michael Whatley, the official said. .

Trump’s 2017 tax cut lowered income tax rates for the vast majority of Americans, including the highest earners and most lower-income workers. Many of his provisions will expire in 2025, including an exemption for owners of so-called pass-through companies (entities that don’t pay taxes because profits flow to the owners, who pay taxes individually) that are favored by hedge funds. , private equity associations and private companies. The nonpartisan, liberal-leaning Center on Budget and Policy Priorities has estimated that expanding the pass-through deduction would cost the government $700 billion in lost revenue over a decade.

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