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Trump struggled to raise money in the first weeks of his campaign

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Former President Donald Trump’s political operation has generated $9.5 million in the roughly six weeks since announcing his latest run for the White House, according to a source familiar with the fundraising figures.

The amount is less than about $11.8 million raised by Trump entities in the six weeks leading up to the GOP. The November 15 campaign ad highlights the challenges Trump faces as he attempts a political comeback.

In an effort to increase donations, the Trump team has hired marketing agency Campaign Inbox to boost its digital fundraising process, the source confirmed to CNN.

The Trump team said the former president, who is the first declared major candidate for the 2024 presidential race, would have the funds to run in it.

Campaign spokesman Stephen Cheung said Tuesday that the political operation raised a total of $21.3 million in the fourth quarter of last year. He said it proves that the former president is “an unstoppable force that still dominates politics”.

Cheung said Trump would run a “fully funded, fierce campaign”.

NBC first released Trump’s year-end campaign numbers.

A new report filed Tuesday night with the Federal Election Commission shows that Trump’s senior campaign committee started the year with just over $3 million in cash.

But his political process has many arms and a mountain of money.

A total of five Trump-aligned committees reported having a total reserve of more than $81 million.

Two-thirds of this amount – more than $54 million – is in the vaults of MAGA Inc. Created last year, the Super PAC is headed by Taylor Bowditch, a former Trump campaign aide who is set to run regardless of the campaign. However, it can be spent significantly to strengthen the old boss and attack rivals.

And the potential 2024 nominee who faced Trump’s early attacks, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, has also built a sizable war chest.

DeSantis’ political operation — split between two Florida-based committees — had more than $75 million in its coffers after the 2022 midterm elections, according to the latest government filings. The Florida Republican broke fundraising records by winning a second term last year, raising more than $163 million for his state political committee, Friends of Ron DeSantis, and another $50 million through his campaign.

DeSantis has yet to announce the White House offer, but CNN previously reported that DeSantis’ political operation was exploring how to move money from a state political committee to a federal one that could support a presidential campaign.

In the Trump campaign’s first big wave — weekend visits to New Hampshire and South Carolina convinced him early on — he took aim at DeSantis, calling him a “traitor” for weighing in on the presidential election, and slamming the governor’s response to the pandemic.

DeSantis responded by promoting his re-election margin last year. He won by 1.5 million votes, the largest margin in state history.

Other potential 2024 candidates also have smaller funding sources to draw on potential campaigns, including several former Trump administration officials. Just $80,000 in cash at the end of 2022, said former Vice President Mike Pence, America’s Great Commission.

Who is the former UN ambassador Nikki Haley? She is expected to announce her presidential candidacy on February 15. She has about $2 million in cash in her PAC, Stand for America.

South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott, who is due to travel to Iowa in February, has raised an impressive sum of more than $21 million, according to his latest report from the Federal Election Commission, which he could make in a bid for the White House.

This story has been updated with additional information.

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