Donald Trump’s new super PAC, ostensibly created to help Republican candidates in the upcoming midterm elections, can actually support only one candidate that his existing “Save America” committee cannot: Donald Trump. -same.
The former president’s Make America Great Again Inc., registered with the Federal Election Commission last week, is being sold as cavalry to help Republican Senate and House candidates, many of whom are being passed by Democrats in races that will determine which party will control Congress for the next two years.
“President Trump is committed to saving America, and Make America Great Again, Inc. will ensure that is achieved at the polls in November and beyond,” Trump spokesman Taylor said. Budowich at Politico.
What Trump staff fail to point out, however, is that Trump is already in a position to spend whatever he wants to help these candidates out of the $105 million he has available in his Save “leadership PAC.” America – the same ability as the new super PAC. will have.
The one thing Save America, which to date has spent more money on Trump’s legal bills than it has helping GOP candidates, can’t do that its new super PAC will be allowed to do is to boost Trump as a candidate for federal office. That includes running for president in 2024, which Trump looks likely to do despite facing criminal investigation for his coup attempt to stay in power and his removal of top-secret documents from the White House.
“Not only can leadership PACs spend all their money on ads to support or oppose candidates if they wanted to, but some leadership PACs have already spent a considerable amount of money in previous elections to do just that. There’s no need to create a separate super PAC just to do that,” said Robert Maguire, a campaign finance expert with the watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington.
Budowich did not respond to queries from HuffPost. An informal adviser to Trump said it was “obvious” why Trump created the entity, which will likely soon transfer much, if not most, of the money in Save America’s account there.
“He needs it for himself,” said the adviser, who has known Trump for years and spoke on condition of anonymity. “I think he’s saving it for his own campaign.”
So-called leadership PACs are lightly regulated by federal campaign finance laws, allowing them to be used as a slush fund by politicians to promote themselves or even pay for personal expenses. But one of the few things specifically prohibited by law is using leadership PAC money to advance the candidacy of the individual controlling the group.
“It really looks like a ploy to convert his leadership PAC funds into funds that can be used to support his campaign while giving him plausible enough deniability to keep the FEC at bay,” Maguire said. “As long as Save America transfers the money before the midterms and before Trump becomes a candidate, the FEC probably won’t do anything about it. Spending some of the money mid-term gives him additional protection against accusations that he did so specifically to use the money to support his 2024 bid.”
Some Republicans have privately complained that fundraising for candidates has been difficult this year because Trump sucks up so much money from GOP donors for his own Save America PAC.
According to documents filed by the FEC, Save America had $92.8 million in the bank at the end of August, the latest available report. An associated fundraising committee likely had an additional $13 million available, meaning Trump had some $105 million on hand heading into the final weeks ahead of the midterms. Precise numbers cannot be determined from FEC filings at this time because the fundraising committee only files quarterly rather than monthly.
Of course, if Trump ends up not spending substantial sums to help GOP candidates in the coming month, it wouldn’t be the first time he has failed to deliver promised campaign aid.
Save America had its strongest fundraising in the first weeks after its founding after the 2020 election, with Trump saying the money would be used to fight court battles to undo his loss and to help Republicans deal with runoffs for the two Senate seats in Georgia. In fact, however, Trump ended up not spending even a dime on either of his new committee’s purposes and instead hoarded the $76 million he had raised.
Since then, he has raised an additional $72 million on his donor list for a total of $148 million since his loss in the 2020 election.
Of that amount, he only spent $5.1 million to help other candidates or committees, more than 80% of which was transferred through half a dozen transfers to super PACs making his rounds of ” revenge” against the Republicans who crossed it.
Trump sent $1.5 million to the Get Georgia Right PAC, created to defeat GOP Governor Brian Kemp in the primary. Kemp had angered Trump by refusing to overturn his loss to Democrat Joe Biden in Georgia.
Another $650,000 was paid to Wyoming Values, a committee created to defeat that state’s only House member, Rep. Liz Cheney, who has emerged as a leader in the fight to punish Trump for his attempted coup. of State of January 6, 2021.
This spring, Trump gave $1 million to American Leadership Action, which at the time was attacking Republican rivals of Mehmet Oz, the Trump-endorsed candidate in the Pennsylvania GOP Senate primary, and another million to Our American. Century, who was also attacking opponents in Oz as well as trying to defeat South Carolina Rep. Nancy Mace, who criticized Trump’s incitement to riot from the U.S. Capitol, but ultimately didn’t vote to dismiss him.
Meanwhile, a total of 150 GOP candidates have received $5,000 each to their campaign accounts, the most that leadership PACs can directly contribute to a candidate.
By contrast, Trump has spent $9.8 million to hold rallies for himself across the country over the past year and another $6.6 million to pay a slew of lawyers to defend him in courtrooms in Atlanta, Florida, New York and Washington, DC. This total includes a single payment of $3 million on August 30 to the Critton, Luttier and Coleman company in West Palm Beach, Florida.
The company declined to say why they got the money, but the timing coincides with the hiring of Chris Kise, a former solicitor general from Florida, who a source close to Trump said demanded an upfront payment of $3. millions of dollars. Kise also did not respond to questions from HuffPost.
Trump, despite losing the election by 7 million votes nationally and 306-232 in the Electoral College, became the first president in more than two centuries of elections to refuse to hand over power peacefully. His instigation of the Jan. 6 assault on the Capitol — his latest attempt to stay in power — resulted in the deaths of five people, including one police officer, the injury of 140 officers, and the suicide of four officers.
Nonetheless, Trump remains the dominant figure in the Republican Party and is openly talking about running for president again in 2024.
In statements on his personal social media platform, Trump continued to lie about the election and the work of the Jan. 6 House Select Committee, calling it a “hoax” similar to previous investigations into accepting Russian aid through its 2016 campaign and attempted extortion. Ukraine to help its 2020 campaign.