Democrat megadonor gives to Nikki Haley super PAC to help thwart Trump

Reid Hoffman, co-founder of LinkedIn, gave $250,000 to SFA Fund Inc and has backed other anti-Trump causes

Oliver O'Connell
New York
Tuesday 05 December 2023 18:49 GMT
Related video: Trump slams JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon for praising Nikki Haley as potential 2024 Republican candidate

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Louise Thomas

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Just a week after JP Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon urged even liberal Democrats to help Nikki Haley’s campaign to give Republicans an alternative to Donald Trump, one Democrat megadonor has done just that.

Reid Hoffman, the billionaire co-founder of LinkedIn, donated $250,000 to a super PAC supporting the former UN ambassador’s 2024 campaign to be the GOP nominee in 2024.

The New York Times confirmed the donation had been made with Dmitri Mehlhorn, a political adviser to Mr Hoffman.

Mr Mehlhorn told the outlet that the pro-Haley super PAC SFA Fund Inc was specifically asked if it would take money from a Democrat who actively supports President Joe Biden, and they said yes.

SFA Fund Inc is one of the biggest actors in the 2024 Republican primary race, having spent more than $33m on advertising and other expenses.

Its biggest contributors up to mid-2023 were Jan Koum, a co-founder of WhatsApp, who gave $5m, and the venture capitalist Tim Draper, who gave $1.25m.

Previously Mr Hoffman helped fund E Jean Carroll’s lawsuit against the former president when she sued him for rape and defamation. Mr Trump was found liable for sexual abuse and defaming Ms Carroll.

He also hosted a fundraiser for Mr Biden in California earlier this year; donated to vocal Trump foe Liz Cheney in 2022; and gave $3.35m to the Republican Accountability Project during the 2022 election cycle.

Former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley speaks at the third Republican candidates’ US presidential debate of the 2024
Former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley speaks at the third Republican candidates’ US presidential debate of the 2024 (REUTERS)

There have also been discussions between Mr Mehlhorn and former governor Chris Christie’s campaign on behalf of Mr Hoffman, but no direct donation was made.

However, the nonprofit group Defending Democracy, which has close ties to Mr Hoffman, made a $500,000 donation to Tell It Like It Is PAC that supports the former New Jersey governor.

Mr Trump has reacted angrily to the comment made by Mr Dimon encouraging Democratic support for Ms Haley. He wrote on Truth Social: “Highly overrated Globalist Jamie Dimon, the CEO of JPMORGAN, is quietly pushing another non-MAGA person, Nikki Haley, for President. I’ve never been a big Jamie Dimon fan, but had to live with this guy when he came begging to the White House. I guess I don’t have to live with him anymore, and that’s a really good thing!”

A fundraising email on Monday similarly reads: “While globalist special interest donors from both parties forge an unholy alliance to beat us, I’m calling on our grass roots donors like YOU to fight back.”

Ms Haley will likely put the money toward TV ads in her push to pull ahead of Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.

The former ambassador and South Carolina governor has made no secret of being comfortable taking money from Democrats.

She said recently on Fox News: “Anybody that wants to come support the cause, whether they’re Republican, independent or Democrat, we’re going to take them.”

“And that’s the way the Republican Party should look at it is, this is a story about addition, not about getting people and pushing people away.”

Ms Haley’s poll numbers have been rising in recent weeks after a string of strong debate performances and as the Republican primary field thins out. She is neck-and-neck with Mr DeSantis in most polls but both trail Mr Trump by a large margin.

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