Teamsters donate $45,000 to RNC, records show

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The Teamsters political action group donated $45,000 to the Republican National Committee (RNC) late last month, according to Federal Election Commission records, a rare case of the labor union supporting the GOP.

Teamsters President Sean O’Brien met with former President Trump at his Mar-a-Lago club in mid-January, with the donation following days later. The union’s full leadership group met with Trump in Washington just after the donation was made.

The donation represents Trump’s strategy to split Democrats’ historical hold over organized labor, and came a day after United Auto Workers endorsed President Biden’s reelection.

The Teamsters union has not endorsed any presidential candidate for 2024, and has continued to donate hundreds of thousands of dollars to Democratic causes in recent months, according to FEC filings, but the RNC donation buoys an organization that has struggled to fundraise in the 2024 cycle.

The union has historically endorsed and donated to Democrats, backing Biden in 2020, Hillary Clinton in 2016 and former President Obama in 2012 and 2008. It is now one of the few national unions that is yet to endorse a presidential candidate.

President Biden has made organized labor a focus of the 2024 cycle, walking with striking autoworkers in Michigan last year and ultimately winning the UAW’s endorsement.

Biden has referred to himself as the “the most pro-union president in American history,” and has repeatedly met with labor leaders nationwide in efforts to garner support. The AFL-CIO, the country’s largest labor union, endorsed Biden last June. 

After Trump met with Teamsters leaders last month, he speculated that he could receive a rare GOP endorsement from the group.

“Stranger things have happened,” he told reporters.

“Usually a Republican wouldn’t get that endorsement,” he said. “But in my case it’s different because I’ve employed thousands of Teamsters and I thought we should come over and pay our respects.”

The Hill has reached out to the Teamsters and the RNC for comment.

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