Trump’s Save America PAC raised $75 million to fight election result but spent no money on ballot challenges

‘He has recognised because of what happened after the election, he can make money as a candidate,’ Trump biographer says

Gustaf Kilander
Washington, DC
Friday 23 July 2021 15:51
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Former President Donald Trump’s Save America Political Action Committee has raised about $75m during the first half of this year, but it has spent no money on the ballot challenges that Mr Trump is pushing for.

People familiar with Save America’s finances told The Washington Post that the PAC has not supplied any funds to the ongoing Arizona ballot review or similar efforts in other states, despite Mr Trump sticking to the false narrative that the 2020 election was stolen from him through voter fraud.

There are few restrictions on how Super PACs can spend their money, and Save America has instead funded some of the former president’s travel, legal fees, staff, and other expenses. The PAC has also kept ahold of a lot of the money it has raised.

Mr Trump hasn’t been interested in funding the efforts to once again review the 2020 results that he so closely follows, The Post reported. The ballot challenges have instead been funded by other entities and supporters of Mr Trump.

This means that Mr Trump could build up a war chest to fight the 2022 midterms, funding candidates he supports, as well as gather cash for another possible run for the White House in 2024.

Not since Grover Cleveland in the late 19th century has a president served two non-consecutive terms.

The ballot audit in Arizona’s Maricopa County has taken months and is expected to cost millions of dollars. It’s mostly being paid for by nonprofit entities that don’t reveal their donors as well as individuals like former Overstock CEO Patrick Byrne.

A group that filed a lawsuit seeking a similar audit in Fulton County, Georgia, which includes Atlanta, has said that their effort was funded by small-dollar donations.

Save America PAC will have to publish their fundraising and spending details by 31 July.

Mr Trump has often urged states to overturn the election results since he left office, sending out statements claiming the election was stolen, without any evidence to prove it was.

He has spoken to state officials in Arizona, Pennsylvania, and Georgia, claiming that ballot reviews are the most vital process to prove he won.

His PAC has told voters that Mr Trump is working to protect their vote, which Trump advisers have told The Post is the most valuable kind of messaging.

Mr Trump started the PAC after the 2020 election and it managed to raise $31.5m before the end of the year but spent very little of it during the period until 1 January 2021, according to the disclosure report for that time.

The former President has reportedly told aides that he wants to have a large war chest on hand to show strength ahead of 2024. While he’s telling staffers that he will probably make another run for the White House, some within his circle have suspicions that he’ll stay out of the race. Some aides have told him to save money for midterm travel in 2022 to rally voters in support of the candidates Mr Trump has endorsed.

Trump biographer and persistent critic of the former president, Tim O’Brien, told The Washington Post that the fundraising “is probably the most lucrative thing he’s had in terms of cash flow since the Plaza casino in Atlantic City”.

“This is just as lucrative. He has recognized because of what happened after the election, he can make money as a candidate,” he added.

An adviser to Mr Trump told the paper that he might spend some of the cash on ballet reviews in states like Georgia and Arizona “at some point down the road”.

The Independent has reached out to the office of Mr Trump for comment.

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