WASHINGTON — First-time candidate Donald Trump got a late start on fundraising in 2016, holding his first big-ticket donor event only five months before Election Day.

That won’t be the case next time.

Some 40 months before he stands for re-election, the president is holding court at a $35,000-per-plate donor event Wednesday night at his hotel in Washington.

Trump’s team initially planned to keep the event off-limits to the press. But after reporters objected, the White House decided to let a pool of reporters hear the president’s remarks.

The first cut of the money raised will go to Trump’s 2020 re-election campaign. The rest gets spread among various Republican Party entities. Having multiple beneficiaries allows Trump to ask for well above the usual $5,400 per-donor maximum for each election cycle.