WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump has raised roughly $170 million since his Election Day defeat, a sum garnered through a nonstop stream of solicitations that have falsely claimed the election was stolen while requesting contributions for an “election defense fund.”
A person familiar with Trump’s effort who requested anonymity says most of the money was raised in the days after the Nov. 3 contest.
The amount, which approaches the sums Trump took in at the height of the campaign, offers yet another sign that he does not intend to leave the White House quietly and will remain a powerful force in Republican politics.
As Trump’s chances of reelection dwindled in the hours and days after the election, his campaign began bombarding supporters with hundreds of emails and text messages that made inaccurate claims about voter fraud and election irregularities, while requesting money to fight the outcome.
They haven’t let up since.
“My father was 100% right when he said mail-in ballots would cause problems. YOU deserve a FAIR and TRANSPARENT Election,” Trump’s son Donald Trump Jr. said Tuesday in one such email.
But the fine print indicates much of the money has instead paid down campaign debt, replenished the Republican National Committee and, more recently, helped get Save America, a new political action committee Trump founded, off the ground.
Seventy-five percent of each contribution made now goes to Save America, with the remaining 25% going to the RNC’s operating account.
It’s only once donors have given the legal maximum to Trump’s political committee and the RNC that money begins spilling over into accounts specifically intended to pay for legal proceedings related to the election.