Trump Stockpiles $31 Million To Contest Election, Spends None Of It Actually Doing So
Donald Trump is under the spotlight for seemingly encouraging his supporters to donate to his ‘election defense’ but failing to spend the money fighting the election result.
The former president went out of his way to contest the outcome of the election after Joe Biden was named president-elect, and despite numerous failed lawsuits and unfounded accusations he continued to seek new donations from his supporters.
Shortly after losing the election, he formed Save America, a political action committee (PAC) created to support his movements after he left office.
In a new financial report filed with the Federal Election Commission, Save America was found to have raised $31.1 million by the end of 2020. Most of the money was found to have been donated through grassroots fundraising appeals that called for help overturning the 2020 election results.
Despite claims the money would be used for Trump’s election defense, the filings, which cover activity between November 24 and December 31, found the PAC has so far only spent a little over $200,000 towards underwriting merchant fees at the Republican online donation processor, WinRed, CNN reports.
With Biden now officially inaugurated, Trump can no longer contest the election results.
He cannot directly use the funds for his own future political campaign, but they are expected to help boost his influence over the Republican party. There are few restrictions on leadership PAC spending, so the former president will be able to use the remaining funds to donate to other candidates, as well as cover travel and staffing.
Save America has already been used to target Republicans Trump deems to be disloyal, with the most prominent target so far being House Republican Conference chair Rep. Liz Cheney. The PAC commissioned and circulated a poll that purportedly found Cheney’s political standing under siege in Wyoming after her vote.
Rob Stutzman, a California-based Republican consultant, told Politico:
The more money [Trump] stacks up in his committee, the greater his grip will remain on many elected Republicans who will fear those resources could be turned against them.
Stutzman added it ‘should be no surprise’ that Trump ‘has continued to fundraise well during this period’.
Trump’s campaign committee racked up millions of dollars in expenses throughout Trump’s final few weeks in Office, including more than $4.4 million owed to roughly two dozen law firms.
The Republican also spent millions to advertise his campaign, including more than $5 million in ‘placed media,’ $4.5 million for online advertising and $2 million for advertising via text messages.
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