Donald Trump is raising money more quickly as an election loser than he did as a candidate during the presidential campaign.
On Tuesday night, Rachel Maddow pointed out that since the election, Trump has raised $170 million – most of which is going into a slush fund that the outgoing president can use to fund any personal expenses he has.
“He can use it to pay for everything up to and including his personal expenses like food and travel and rent and haircuts and make-up and very wide pants and very long ties,” the MSNBC host said. “He can even just take the money for himself as income.”
— PoliticusUSA (@politicususa) December 2, 2020
If you want to put that $170 million in context, it means that Trump and these folks have found a way to use these conspiracy theories about the election to raise money at a way faster clip right now than they were raising money before the election. Think about that. Turns out they have figured out how to shake more money out of their supporters by losing the election and inventing scare stories about it than they were able to squeeze out of them by actually just trying to win the election outright in advance. Over $170 million. That’s beyond Trump’s wildest dreams in terms of how much he can still get out of people. And where is that money going? It’s not that hard to figure out. It’s there in the fine print. It turns out that a big chunk of that money is going to the Republican Party. So this will now be the financial DNA of the Republican Party moving forward. It’s also true that a small portion of this money may be going to these space alien conspiracy theory lawsuits that they’re filing around the country still. But the vast bulk of it is going to what’s called a leadership PAC for Trump himself. And a leadership PAC in this instance is basically a slush fund for the president himself that he can use to pay not just for political activity. He can use it to pay for his lifestyle. He can use it to pay for everything up to and including his personal expenses like food and travel and rent and haircuts and make-up and very wide pants and very long ties. He can even just take the money for himself as income. He can just pay himself from this $170 million slush fund that he is building off of these conspiracy theories and crazy whack job lawsuits. Nice work if you can get it, right?
There is no money in a graceful concession
Just about every loser of every presidential election in American history has conceded once it was clear that he or she lost, but Donald Trump is using this post-election period to raise money for his personal piggy bank.
He isn’t pushing baseless conspiracy theories because he truly believes that widespread election fraud cost him a second term. He’s doing it because he knows his loyalists will believe him and open their bank accounts to him.
Trump is shaking down his most ardent supporters on his way out the door.
Ultimately, Donald Trump knows he lost the election to Joe Biden, but he also seems to recognize that there is money to be made by denying that loss.
Sean Colarossi currently resides in Cleveland, Ohio. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and was an organizing fellow for both of President Obama’s presidential campaigns. He also worked with Planned Parenthood as an Affordable Care Act Outreach Organizer in 2014, helping northeast Ohio residents obtain health insurance coverage.