Trump and Biden campaigns go head-to-head with rival fundraisers in London

Trump and Biden campaigns go head-to-head with rival fundraisers in London

Donald Trump pictured with right-wing British politician Nigel Farage during a campaign rally at the Mississippi Coliseum on August 24, 2016.

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LONDON — Supporters of U.S. presidential candidates Donald Trump and Joe Biden will be putting their money where their mouths are at two rival fundraising events hosted in London on Wednesday.

Donald Trump Jr. and his fiancée, former Fox News host Kimberly Guilfoyle, as well as Brexit figurehead Nigel Farage, are among those set to attend a Republican cocktail night organized by former Australian soap star turned right-wing political activist Holly Valance and her husband, British property tycoon Nick Candy. 

“It seems to be the worst kept secret in London,” Greg Swenson, spokesperson for Republicans Overseas UK, a campaign group for Trump’s party, told CNBC over the phone.

Swenson concurred with reports that the fundraiser has already amassed $2 million in donations, adding that the guilty verdict in Trump’s hush money trial had further galvanized supporters.

“The enthusiasm definitely jumped after the verdict two weeks ago. It seems like the people who were prone to donate are donating more,” he said, adding the uptick was from both large and small donors.

Indeed, in the days after a Manhattan jury convicted the former president of 34 felony counts last month, the Trump campaign said it raised $141 million in donations.

Tickets for the Trump event, which is to be held at a private residence in Chelsea or Knightsbridge, cost up to $100,000, according to a copy of the invitation seen by CNBC. Other tickets are available from $10,000 and attendance is limited to U.S. citizens and U.S. permanent residents only.

Nevertheless, populist politician Farage, who last week joined the U.K. election race as leader of Reform UK, and the former CEO of Brexit campaign group Vote Leave Lord Matthew Elliott are set to attend alongside around 100 others, according to reports from the FT and the Guardian.

Trump himself will not be in attendance, thought he is expected to “chime in” via video link, Swenson said.

Organizers Candy and Valance — herself reportedly a U.S. green card holder — last week attended the Reform UK rally, following what she has described as her encouragement toward Farage to rejoin the political race. The pair have been visibly associated with Trump and Farage since at least April 2022, when Farage tweeted a picture of the group after a meal at Mar-a-Lago.

Australian model Holly Valance attends a speech delivered by Honorary President of the Britain’s right-wing populist party Reform UK and newly appointed leader Nigel Farage during a campaign meeting, on June 3, 2024, ahead of the UK general election of July 4. 

Henry Nicholls | Afp | Getty Images

Meantime, across town, Anna Wintour, editor-in-chief of U.S. Vogue, will host a dinner organized by the Democratic campaign, according to reports.

The Democratic campaign did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request for further details on the event.

However, Sharon Manitta, global press secretary for Democrats Abroad, the official international arm of the Democratic Party, said the Biden event was expected to cost around $1,000 a plate.

Democrats Abroad operates separately to the Democratic campaign. The former is also hosting a separate comedy night fundraiser on Wednesday in Greenwich, London.

“It’s just a fluke that they all happened on the same night,” Manitta told CNBC over the phone.

Tickets for that event, which will feature comedians including Eric McElroy, are charged at a more modest $40 to $50, Manitta said.

“We may well pass a bucket around, but the main thing is for people who have bought tickets to have a good time. We all need a bit of a laugh right now,” she added.

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