President Trump has raised more than $150 million since Election Day. Utilizing false election claims and debunked stories of voter fraud, Trump has been fundraising non-stop and shattered fundraising records set during his campaign. The largely small-dollar donations come from the Presidents most extreme supporters who tend to donate most when they feel he is under attack.
While the donations are being solicited for the Official Election Defense Fund, no account exists under that name. The fundraising requests are being made by the Trump Make America Great Again Committee, a joint fundraising committee that raises money for the Trump campaign and the Republican National Committee. Since soon after the Election that committee also shares its funds with Mr. Trump’s leadership PAC, Save America.
According to the fine print in the 500 emails that have been sent out since Election Day 75% of each contribution would first go to the leadership PAC with the rest to be shared with the party committee. This means the majority of the funds raised are not going towards “election defense”, but instead to benefit Mr. Trump’s post-presidency activities.
The average donor who gives in response to Trump’s appeal for funds to ‘stop the fraud’ likely doesn’t realize that their money is actually retiring Trump’s debt or funding his leadership PAC,” said Brendan Fischer, who directs federal regulatory work at the Campaign Legal Center. Leadership PACs are very loosely regulated and can be used for anything from private events to Mr. Trump’s personal travel and expenses.
The record-breaking fundraising is one of the reasons Mr. Trump and his allies continue to make false claims and bring lawsuits in various states even as those states certify the results of their elections.