President Donald Trump brought in more than $150 million in donations to his campaign operations in November with appeals targeted at helping his presidential campaign combat alleged election irregularities and vote fraud in a handful of key states, and some of that money may be going to the president’s new political action committee.
The Washington Post and New York Times report Tuesday that an aggressive fundraising campaign aimed at raising money for a handful of ongoing and upcoming legal challenges in several key states including Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Arizona, and Georgia, hauled in around $170 million in November, much of it in the first week following the presidential election.
“President Trump’s political operation has raised more than $150 million since Election Day, using a blizzard of misleading appeals about the election to shatter fundraising records set during the campaign, according to people with knowledge of the contributions,” the WaPo reported, noting that while the president’s legal team has pursued a litigation strategy in most of the mentioned states, the effort has not produced marked results.
The Trump campaign brought in around $80 million in September, its best month of fundraising and, at the time, analysts suggested the number represented a lack of enthusiasm for the incumbent candidate. In the last fundraising quarter, Trump raised around $125 million. Democratic challenger Joe Biden, meanwhile, brought in a record haul, largely the result of deploying former president Barack Obama to target high-dollar donors in the final weeks of his campaign.
Overall, the pair were about even in 2020 fundraising, each bringing in just over $1.5 billion, per NPR, and each spending just under the same amount.
In the days since the election, though, team Trump has continued raising funds for the ongoing legal challenges. The money, media sources note, is more than what is needed to fund state-based litigation, and much of what is raised will go to the president’s new political action committee, Save America, and will help fund current and future Republican campaigns, including ongoing Republican efforts to retain two Georgia Senate seats.
“The committee is dubbed Save America, according to its filings with the Federal Election Commission,” CNN reports. “And Trump’s team already has begun fundraising for the PAC, adding Save America to the list of political organizations that will receive a share of the funds the President’s operation is scrambling to raise for what it calls his ‘election defense task force.'”
Actual numbers aren’t available, but as much as 60% to 75% of what has been raised could end up funding Save America. Some of the raised funds, The Associated Press notes, have gone to paying down campaign debt and replenishing the Republican National Committee.
That said, where the money goes will have little effect on the overall strategy in challenging election results, at least according to the Republican National Committee, which backs Trump’s litigation efforts.
“The RNC has spent tens of millions of dollars over the last two years funding legal efforts in multiple states, and we continue the fight for election integrity across the country,” a spokesperson told the Washington Post.
On Tuesday, Trump’s legal team filed a new challenge to Wisconsin’s election results, Fox News reports, alleging that “abuse” of absentee voting led to nearly a quarter-million votes being cast “well outside the bounds of Wisconsin law.”
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