President Trump has raised around $ 170 million since polling day as his campaign operation continued to aggressively solicit donations with exaggerated appeals that funded his failed attempts to overthrow the election and seeded his post-presidential political ambitions, according to one person. familiar with the subject.
The money, much of which was collected in the first week after the election, according to the person, arrived as Mr. Trump made false allegations of fraud and sought to undermine public confidence in the election. Legitimacy of President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr.
Instead of slowing down after the election, Mr. Trump’s campaign increased its volume of email solicitations for money, telling supporters that money was needed for an “Election Defense Fund.”
In fact, the fine print shows that the first 75% of every contribution currently goes to a new political action committee that Mr. Trump set up in mid-November, Save America, which can be used to fund his activities. policies in the future, including personnel and travel. The remaining 25% of each donation goes to the Republican National Committee.
A donor must donate $ 5,000 to Mr. Trump’s new PAC before any funds go into his recount account.
Yet the Trump campaign continues to urgently demand money. On Monday, Mr. Trump signed a campaign email that breathlessly told his supporters that the end of November – nearly four weeks after Election Day – was “our most important deadline of all. the temperature”.
The Washington Post reported earlier Monday that Mr. Trump’s post-election efforts had raised more than $ 150 million. Tim Murtaugh, a spokesperson for Mr. Trump’s campaign, declined to comment on the fundraiser.
The $ 170 million figure, raised in less than four weeks, is a huge sum that rivals the sums of money brought in at the height of the campaign. While a breakdown of the money was not immediately available, the deluge of donations appears to have paid off any remaining Trump campaign debt (in the early days after the election, the fine print showed that contributions were set aside for this purpose. ). The money is also likely to provide Mr. Trump with a considerable financial head start to fund his political activities after the presidency.
Despite the influx of cash, the Trump campaign and the RNC have downsized their staff since the election.
In October, Mr. Trump’s campaign began automatically ticking a box on his website for more donors to make weekly additional donations from their accounts until December 14 – Electoral College voting day – to create a source of post-election revenue. Donors can opt out with an extra click, but critics have called the tactic misleading.
Mr Trump’s team created the Political Action Committee, known as the Leadership PAC, in part to capture the post-election influx of money, according to people familiar with the matter.
Currently, donors on Mr. Trump’s website are selected with a pre-checked box to make monthly contributions.
Rob Flaherty, who was Mr. Biden’s digital director, said on twitter that the huge sums raised by Mr. Trump since the election were “just a complaint.”
On Monday, Arizona and Wisconsin, two key battlegrounds Mr. Biden reversed this year, certified their election results, formalizing Mr. Biden’s victory as Mr. Trump and his allies continued to complain without proof of fraud.