The billionaire Mercer family was one of President Donald Trump’s biggest financial benefactors in 2016 — but they appear to have completely withdrawn from political spending for the president’s reelection bid.
Vanity Fair’s Gabriel Sherman reports that hedge-fund tycoon Robert Mercer and his daughter Rebekah Mercer are “disillusioned” and have all but disappeared from the political scene as the president is gearing up his 2020 campaign.
One source described as “familiar with the Mercers’ thinking” said that the family is upset that Trump has not provided them with the return on their investment they had been expecting.
“They think that the administration could do so much more,” the source said. “They’ve been very vocal about that to the president.”
A former Trump official similarly said of the Mercers that “it’s like they’ve disappeared.”
Sherman’s sources say the Mercers have retreated from the spotlight because they did not anticipate the media scrutiny that came with funding not only Trump’s campaign but also far-right media outlets such as Breitbart News.
Additionally, the Mercers had originally been financial backers of Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and only switched to Trump because they were desperate to stop Hillary Clinton from winning the White House.
“Trump was just Bob’s play against Hillary,” a former executive at Renaissance Technologies, the hedge fund where Robert Mercer once served as co-CEO, told Sherman. “Bob said she and her husband were murderers who would destroy the country. He thought she was an evil person and a socialist.”