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Trump Engages High-Profile Donors Via Call at Rockbridge Event

Amid the ongoing hush money trial in New York City, former President Donald Trump participated via call in a secretive donor meeting at his Mar-a-Lago club in Florida last Wednesday. 

The event was hosted by the Rockbridge Network, a relatively new conservative group aiming to reshape the Republican Party by funneling substantial funds into building a new political infrastructure.

Trump, unable to attend the gathering in person due to court obligations, addressed approximately 250 attendees who represent a modern tech-populist faction within the party. 

His son, Donald Trump Jr., replaced him as one of the key speakers at the event. 

Additionally, Trump’s campaign co-managers, Susie Wiles and Chris LaCivita, were present, highlighting the campaign’s engagement with this influential group.

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Founded in 2019, Rockbridge Network remains somewhat enigmatic within Republican circles due to its private nature and the substantial, yet undisclosed, financial backing it commands — estimated to be in the high tens of millions. 

Unlike traditional GOP donor groups like the Koch network, which has stepped away from the presidential race, Rockbridge aligns closely with Trump, embodying the shift within the GOP towards a base that blends traditional conservative values with new, tech-oriented approaches.

The organization, envisioned by Ohio Senator JD Vance and Chris Buskirk of the pro-Trump outlet “American Greatness,” is committed to addressing what they see as a misalignment between the Republican Party’s infrastructure and its evolving base. 

This approach reflects a stark contrast to the Democrats’ long-standing reliance on labor unions to organize their support.

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The event also attracted a mix of new and veteran GOP donors, including major figures like Rebekah Mercer, Woody Johnson, and Leonard Leo, indicating the group’s growing clout. 

The attendee list further included tech and business luminaries like Erik Voorhees and Emil Michael, underscoring the group’s appeal to a diverse array of conservative supporters.

Rockbridge’s current initiatives include ambitious voter registration projects, with a goal to significantly increase their outreach by 2024. 

Last year, the group registered 125,000 voters and plans to double this figure in the upcoming election cycle. 

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Credit: DepositPhotos – Former US President Donald Trump delivers remarks in Washington, D.C. July 26, 2022, Washington, D.C., USA: Former President of the United States Donald J. Trump delivers remarks at the America First Agenda Summit — Photo by thenews2.com

Their strategy involves targeting potential registrants based on pertinent issues and employing an “ambassador” system for personalized voter engagement.

The network also serves as a crucible for conservative ideas and strategies. 

For instance, the concept for the 1789 Capitol fund, which now backs Tucker Carlson’s new media venture, originated at a Rockbridge event in 2022.

While Rockbridge’s specific plans for the 2024 election cycle remain somewhat opaque to the broader Republican ecosystem, its close ties with Trump and his inner circle suggest that it will play a significant role in his campaign. 

As Trump remains a formidable figure in Republican politics, networks like Rockbridge are poised to shape not only his electoral prospects but also the future direction of the GOP.