BY: WILL STEAKIN AND SOO RIN KIM, ABC NEWS
(WASHINGTON) — Since Election Day, President Donald Trump’s campaign has raised over $170 million through relentlessly pushing baseless allegations that the 2020 election was stolen and rigged, multiple sources confirmed to ABC News.
The massive figure is in part the result of a surge in small-dollar donations post-election as the team bombards supporters with messaging that pushes false and unfounded claims that the election was rigged, a source familiar told ABC News.
Under the name of “Election Defense Fund,” the president’s joint fundraising committee with the Republican Party has been raking in millions of dollars since the election, but much of that money, according to the fine print on donations pages, has actually gone to help pay down campaign debt or to fund a new political action committee launched by the president to continue to exert his reach over the Republican Party.
A recent fundraising plea from Trump’s team noted that “75% of each contribution” goes first to Save America, a leadership PAC launched by the president just days after the election. The leadership PAC, commonly formed by current and former political figures often with the purpose of advancing their political influence, could be used to fuel Trump’s post-presidency political activities ahead of a potential 2024 run. That includes potentially paying for fundraising or other political events that could continue to take place at Trump’s hotels and resorts, as well as potentially funding fellow Republicans in Congress.
The Trump campaign and the Republican National Committee did not respond to ABC News’ request for comment, and Save America’s treasurer Brad Crate, who also serves as treasurer to the Trump campaign, did not immediately respond to ABC News’ request for comment either.
The sum is an astonishing fundraising haul following the election and for a campaign that’s retained only a skeleton staff and has mostly halted operations beyond numerous frivolous lawsuits across the country challenging the election results that have nearly all been thrown out of court.
After the election, the campaign launched a relentless effort through email and text messages to raise funds by claiming that the election was “rigged” or “stolen” and urging millions of supporters to donate to the “Election Defense Fund.”
Since after Election Day, the Trump campaign has sent more than 425 emails and more than 125 text messages urging supporters to donate.
“Our critical End-of-Month Deadline is TONIGHT,” a recent Trump campaign email urged supporters, weeks after the election. “This is our most IMPORTANT deadline EVER, but I noticed you haven’t stepped up to help us CRUSH it.”
A portion of the Trump campaign’s post-election activities are expected to be disclosed later this week. On Dec. 3, the Trump campaign is scheduled to file its post-general election report to the Federal Election Commission, which would disclose its fundraising and expenditures through Nov. 23, three weeks after the election.
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