Trump’s Post-Election Fundraising Faltered at End of Year
(Bloomberg) -- Former President Donald Trump’s torrid post-election fundraising cooled off in the final weeks of the year as his false claims of widespread election fraud suffered setbacks in courts around the country.
Trump and the Republican National Committee raised $81 million over the last 38 days of 2020, far less than the $207.5 million received in the 19 days following the Nov. 3 election, according to reports they filed Sunday with the Federal Election Commission.
Despite the setback, Trump’s political operation will have plenty of money, with fewer limits on how it can be spent. Save America, a leadership PAC Trump launched a week after the election, took in $30.9 million between Nov. 24 and the end of the year. It had $31.2 million in cash on hand, money he can spend on a variety of activities, including travel, advocating policy and fundraising.
Most of Save America’s funds, some $30.4 million, was transferred from another committee, Trump Make America Great Again, which is supported by small-dollar donors and splits the money between his leadership PAC and the RNC.
Trump Make America Great Again raised $62.5 million from Nov. 24 through the end of the year, its FEC report shows, including $35.2 million from grassroots donors who gave less than $200. It ended the year with $59.9 million in the bank. In addition to Save America, Trump Make America Great Again transferred $25.5 million to Trump’s campaign and $22.5 million to the RNC.
Since the deadly riot at the U.S. Capitol last month, Trump has been barred from social media platforms including Twitter Inc. and Facebook Inc. He had used Twitter as his primary means of communicating with his supporters. He spent lavishly on Facebook ads to raise money for his campaign and committees. Stripe Inc., the payment processing company, stopped handling donations made directly to Trump’s committees after the riot.
Trump can use Save America money for more things than he could campaign funds, which under federal law cannot be converted to personal use. In 2020, Save America spent just $343,078, all to an affiliate of WinRed, the GOP’s online donation platform.
Trump’s campaign ended the year with $10.7 million in cash on hand but debts of $2.7 million. It took in $27 million and spent $34.7 million, including contribution refunds to individuals totaling $11.3 million. It spent $1.1 million on legal consulting and expenses, with the biggest payment, $1 million, going to Kasowitz Benson Torres LLP. The firm represented Trump in Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.
The campaign made payments dated Nov. 30 to three people who helped organize the rally on Jan. 6 that preceded the riot. Megan Powers was paid $8,500, Justin Caporale was paid $7,500 and James Oaks was paid $3,542, the filing shows.
All three were listed on the permit issued by the National Park Service as organizers of the event. The campaign has said it had no involvement in planning or financing the rally, and that the three were no longer working for the campaign at the time.
Trump Victory, which raises money from large-dollar donors, took in just $261,250 over the filing period. The RNC took in $45.3 million, including the transfers from Trump Make America Great Again, and ended the year with $80.5 million in cash on hand.
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