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(PALM BEACH, Fla.) — Former President Donald Trump and the Republican Party officially kicked off their high-dollar general election fundraising operation Saturday evening, with major donors — both his vocal loyalists and those just now getting off the sidelines — gathering in Palm Beach, Florida, to support the GOP’s presumptive nominee.

For the second time this election cycle, former first lady Melania Trump was publicly seen joining the former president for a political occasion after she was last seen with her husband publicly at a polling location in Palm Beach on Florida’s primary election day.

The fundraiser, hosted by billionaire John Paulson, has brought in more than $50 million for the Trump campaign and the Republican Party, according to the organizers, which would eclipse President Joe Biden’s fundraiser with former Presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton in New York last weekend, where they said they raised $26 million.

Trump spoke to donors about tax cuts, border security, “energy independence,” eliminating President Joe Biden’s electric vehicle mandate, and protecting Israel, according to a campaign official and others familiar with his remarks.

Trump delivered a speech of about 45 minutes in front of more than 100 guests before they all dined together. After, he again spoke at length and introduced some of his close allies and former 2024 contenders.

Vivek Ramaswamy, Sen. Tim Scott, Gov. Doug Burgum, RNC Chair Michael Whatley and co-chair Lara Trump were among those Trump introduced to speak in front of the crowd after dinner, one donor who attended the major fundraising event told ABC News. Donald Trump Jr., Kimberly Guilfoyle and Tiffany Trump were at the fundraiser as well.

“Vivek’s and Lara’s remarks were the most inspiring after President Trump, whose remarks were the best we’ve ever heard from him,” the attendee said. “Focused. Strong. Kind regarding others. But very strong on what exactly he would do when President again. He said no retribution, just SUCCESS for every single American.”

The attendee said donors and guests at the fundraiser were “most upset” about Biden’s recent call for an “immediate ceasefire” in Gaza, saying that topic was “vocalized” by other attendees of the event.

The attendee described the key takeaway from Trump’s remarks Saturday night as “grateful.”

Trump and the Republican Party, which had been disadvantaged by not being able to raise money together until Trump became the party’s presumptive nominee, had a big fundraising gap to catch up to – with Trump and the RNC entering April with $100 million less in the bank compared to the Biden campaign and the Democratic Party’s $190 million war chest, according to figures announced by the respective campaigns.

The Trump campaign, however, touted Saturday’s fundraiser as the beginning of its major general election fundraising push while wealthy Republican donors unite behind him, claiming it’s a show of the former president’s fundraising prowess that will allow them to quickly close the gap with their Democratic counterparts.

“It took three Democrat presidents to raise $25 million and one president to raise over $50 million, Donald J. Trump,” Trump campaign spokesperson Danielle Alvarez said in a statement.

Before walking into host John Paulson’s house Saturday evening, Trump briefly spoke to the press, touting what an “incredible evening” the night has already been.

“This has been some incredible evening before it even starts because people wanted to contribute to a cause of making America great again,” he said, as he stressed the importance of November Election Day.

Ticketed north of $800,000 per donor, the event raised money for the Trump campaign, the Republican National Committee, and dozens of state GOP committees as well as Trump’s Save America leadership PAC — up to $5,000 per donor — which has covered tens of millions of dollars of his legal bills, according to disclosures.

Co-chairs of Trump’s Saturday fundraiser include several former ambassadors and Trump administration officials like former Small Business Administrator Linda McMahon and former Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross as well as New York Jets owner Woody Johnson, according to an invitation to the fundraiser that was obtained by ABC News.

Former Trump Victory finance chair Todd Ricketts, energy mogul Harold Hamm, aerospace executive Robert Bigelow, hedge fund manager Robert Mercer and his daughter Rebekah Mercer and casino tycoon Phil Ruffin are also among the co-chairs, the invitation said.

“Tonight, we raised an historic $50.5 million for the re-election of President Trump,” Paulson wrote in a statement to ABC News Saturday evening. “This sold-out event has raised the most in a single political fundraiser in history. This overwhelming support demonstrates the enthusiasm for President Trump and his policies.”

Earlier on Saturday, Biden took aim at Trump’s fundraiser in a fundraising video on X, Instagram and Facebook thanking grassroots donors for their contributions to his campaign and criticizing Trump for attending a fundraiser for only wealthy donors.

“Folks, you know, Trump is down in Florida today raising money from a bunch of hedge fund billionaires,” Biden said. “This campaign is Scranton vs. Palm Beach, this is a grassroots campaign of nurses and teachers and firefighters and cops versus Donald Trump and a couple of billionaires looking for a tax cut.”

Tickets for Biden’s fundraiser with Obama and Clinton last weekend went up to $500,000, lower than the tickets for Trump’s fundraiser Saturday night, but the Biden campaign and the Democratic Party have accepted donations north of $800,000.

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