President Trump plans to form a so-called Leadership Political Action Committee, a federal fundraising vehicle that will potentially allow him to retain his grip on the Republican Party even when he is removed from office, said Monday officials.
The announcement is expected as early as this week, just days after major news networks and newspapers, as well as the Associated Press, called the 2020 election for former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr.
These committees can accept donations of up to $ 5,000 per donor per year – far less than the donation limits for committees formed by Mr. Trump’s campaign and the Republican National Committee – but a leadership PAC could accept donations. donations of an unlimited number of people. It could also accept donations from other political action committees.
A leadership PAC could spend an unlimited amount on so-called independent expenses to benefit other candidates, as well as fund travel, surveys and consultants. More importantly, it would almost certainly be a way in which Mr. Trump could maintain his influence in a party that has been largely remade in his image over the past four years.
Trump campaign spokesperson Tim Murtaugh said the committee had been in the works for some time.
“The president has always planned to do this, win or lose,” Murtaugh said, “so he can support the candidates and the issues he cares about, like tackling voter fraud.”
Still, a PAC could give the president an exit ramp after a deadly election battle, as well as keep him as a dominant figure as the next Republican presidential primary races begin for a new standard-bearer.
“President Trump isn’t going anywhere anytime soon,” said Matt Gorman, a Republican strategist. “He will fit into the national debate in a way unlike any of his predecessors.”
Ahead of the election, Mr. Trump told advisers, sometimes jokingly and sometimes not, that he could run again in 2024 if he loses to Mr. Biden.
Even as Mr. Biden gathered more than the 270 votes needed for the Electoral College to win, and led tens of thousands of votes in several battlefield states, Mr. Trump maintained that there had large-scale electoral fraud, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary. He has spearheaded his campaign to move forward with legal challenges in states like Arizona and Nevada, though most advisers believe the race is over and he should move on.
But Mr. Trump’s personal brand as a businessman is now tied to his political brand. And he’s made it clear he’s not easily backing down, even though advisers say he’ll likely be happy to leave the White House when his term ends.
Since the 2020 race was called on Saturday, Mr Trump has told advisers he is seriously considering running again in 2024 if the vote is certified for Mr Biden, a development previously reported by Axios.
Although the PAC leadership could not help him in such an effort, they could provide an interim vehicle that would allow him to travel and engage in political activity, even if he never runs again.
Kenneth P. Vogel contributed reporting.