Trump Donors Pay $25,000 to Ask Doug Burgum Questions on Zoom

(Bloomberg) -- Donors to Donald Trump paid $25,000 to pose a question in a virtual fundraiser to North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum — one of the top contenders to be the presumptive Republican nominee’s running mate.

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The fundraiser was hosted on a Zoom call by LendingTree Inc. Chief Executive Officer Doug Lebda, who convened the donors to speak with Burgum on Tuesday evening. Other attendees were also able to listen in for $10,000, according to an invitation obtained by Bloomberg News. The Trump campaign and Lebda did not immediately respond to requests to comment.

Burgum, who ran his own short-lived campaign for the Republican presidential nomination before endorsing Trump, has become one of the former president’s most prominent surrogates, fueling speculation that he could be tapped for the vice presidential slot. The governor has participated in fundraisers with deep-pocketed donors for Trump, including events in Texas and California that raised millions for his campaign.

Burgum is a technology entrepreneur and venture capital investor — he grew the startup Great Plains Software Inc. before selling it to Microsoft Corp. — and as the governor of an energy-rich state is seen as a contender who could bolster the GOP ticket’s appeal to Wall Street, Silicon Valley and oil and gas industry executives.

Trump has ramped up his fundraising in recent weeks, buoyed by his conviction in a Manhattan courtroom for falsifying business records to conceal hush-money payments to an adult film actress. That verdict, which made Trump the first former president convicted of a felony, saw Republicans rally to his support and help him rebuild a war chest depleted by his criminal trials.

Trump raised $141 million in May, surpassing Biden for the second straight month, a worrisome development for the Democratic incumbent ahead of their November rematch. The president’s campaign raised $85 million last month but is still flush with cash. Biden had $212 million cash on hand, a record for a Democratic nominee at this point in the cycle.

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