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Trump’s future: tons of money and plenty of options to spend it

Donald J. Trump will leave the White House next month as a private citizen, on top of a pile of campaign money unheard of by the outgoing president, with some legal limits on how he can spend it.

He is a victim of a loss he has not yet acknowledged. Trump has mitigated this blow by raising large sums of money from his loyal supporters – often under dubious pretenses – with the National Party, raising about $ 250 million since election day.

More than $ 60 million of that amount has gone to a new political action group, according to those familiar with the matter, Mr. Trump will control it once he steps down. Those funds, which are far greater than the previous outgoing presidents have in their possession, give him immense flexibility for the president’s later aspirations: he can use the money to quell insurgent factions within the party, reward believers, finance his travels and rallies, and recruit. Employees, pay legal bills and lay a foundation for 2024 runs.

Post-election fundraising Mr. Trump remains an unparalleled force and the Republican’s primary fundraiser, even in defeat. His biggest single day for online donations actually came after Election Day – raising nearly 50,000 750,000 per hour on November 6th. So his second biggest day. And his third.

“Right now, he’s a Republican,” he said. Said John McLaughlin, a Republican commentator who worked on Trump’s re-election campaign. “The party knows that every dollar they have raised in the last four years is due to Donald Trump.”

During the campaign, several large expenses, such as the purchase of television and digital advertising, were sent through a secret LLC called American Mad Media Consultants. This allowed the Trump campaign and its joint committee with the National Party to effectively protect many details of its spending, including who was paid and how much was paid. More than $ 700 million has gone through LLC since the beginning of 2019.

Mr. Little did anyone know that the LLC represented a combination of Trump’s political, financial and family interests. Mr. New documents reviewed by The New York Times show that Laura Trump, Trump’s daughter – in – law and senior campaign adviser, worked on the board – and they are named in drafts of consolidation documents. John Pence, the nephew of Vice President Mike Pence and a senior adviser to Trump, was no exception.

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Mr. Trump’s spokesman Tim Murdoch, Ms. Trump and Mr. Benz both resigned from the board in October 2019. “There is no ethical or legal reason why they should not serve on the team in the first place,” he said. He also said the two were not paid to be on the board.

A product of American Mad Media Consultants Complain to the Central Election Commission This year Trump was accused of “fraudulently” funding to cover up the end beneficiary of campaign spending. It has been filed that most of the funds were spent after Ms Trump left the group. The complaint is pending.

Mr. According to Trump, the quarter billion dollars he and his party have raised over six weeks is enough to pay for all of his remaining campaign bills, finance his fruitless legal challenges, and leave millions more.

However, Mr. Trump’s plans are very fluid. Joseph R. His refusal to accept Biden Jr.’s victory has hampered internal political planning, with aides saying some in his circle of advisers are reluctant to even approach him about setting up an action plan for 2021 and beyond.

Mr. Those who have spoken to Trump say he has shrunk and is on his job; This detachment is reflected in a Twitter feed that stubbornly focuses more on fraud allegations than the number of people who die from the raging epidemic.

Mr. Trump has talked about running again in 2024 – but he should not do so either. He has created this new PAC, but those involved in the debate said a different political entity might still be in operation. Mr. The talk of anti-programming with a clear event or his own announcement at Pitton’s opening ceremony is currently on hold.

Mr. Trump is scheduled to travel to Georgia on Saturday, according to a senior Republican official, in support of both Republicans in the Senate runoff races there. But he is still angry at the state Republican governor and secretary of state for accepting the election result and does not want to travel. There are some discussions about where he will go after the Christmas holidays.

However, the Trump political machine has been using the grass-roots energy and enthusiasm of the two streams to juice its own fundraising. Although no funds went directly to the Republican senator on the ballot, email and text requests prompted Trump supporters to donate to the “Georgia election fund.” Some Senate GOP strategists are annoyed.

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Instead, 75 percent of donations to the Georgia Fund go to Mr. Trump’s new PAC, called Save America, has 25 percent to the Republican National Committee.

After weeks of emails calling supporters “FRAUD” and asking them to support the “Electoral Security Fund” (which also sent 75 percent of donations to his new PAC), Trump changed the tone and focus of the tactic, and turned to signing caps and anti-socialist pre-election slogans.

Mr. Trump and the RNC have jointly recorded about $ 15 million in legal costs and other expenses related to the election dispute from October 15 to November 23.

Even his biggest post-election expenses were spent working for Ms Trump’s team through the LLC, which is worth $ 2.2 million for what is known as “text messaging”.

Mr. To the extent that Trump has the money at his disposal, the new Trump PAC’s more than $ 60 million – and counting – is about the amount he spent to win his party’s presidential candidate in 2016.

Some campaign finance experts say Mr. Trump has speculated that he may be trying to use the excess money in his new PAC as a leadership PAC, which will face inquiries once he steps down. (A senior Trump adviser said they did not expect the money to be used for personal legal purposes.)

Meredith McGee, managing director of Publishing One, a group that supports increased political transparency, said “a chief PAC is a slum fund”. “There are very, very, very low limits to what he can spend money on.”

In the last five years, Mr. Trump has never been ashamed of spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on his private businesses from his contributors, which could continue or expand as he leaves office.

Since mid-October, the Trump winning team, a joint account with RNC, has paid more than $ 10,710,000 to the Trump Hotel Collection, while his re-election account has been paying more than 37 37,000 per month to rent space on Trump. Tower.

It is unclear where the post-presidential move will be or who will direct it, although many advisers expect to be in Florida, where he plans to go.

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But as a former president, Mr. After Trump left the White House a certain amount of taxpayer money would be allocated to staff and living space, and he began discussions about which aides of the West Wing would come with him.

His senior political advisers – Bill Stephen, Justin Clark and Jason Miller – are among those who can continue to engage with him politically.

Mr. While Trump’s post-presidency is largely illusory, he has demonstrated his desire to bring control to national politics, especially among Republicans.

He has already endorsed his close ally Rona McDonnell to serve in another position as head of the RNC, where he has posed primary challenges to Republicans, such as Brian Kemp of the Georgian government, who have passed him by rejecting his unsubstantiated allegations of electoral fraud. He has asked aides how he can retain control of the party if he is not a candidate.

Mr. Someone close to Trump said he was less determined to announce he was running in 2024 than he was two weeks ago. That uncertainty worries many advisers and aides to the president, some of whom may join other campaigns, but Mr. They are stumbling until Trump makes up his mind. Announcement to the President Mr. Trump will push for stricter rules on political spending and Mr. Adding financial disclosures, including Trump’s personal finances, does not make a PAC functional.

Mr. Trump’s future aspirations have created a cloud over who will properly control some of the most valuable assets from the 2020 campaign, Mr. He has amassed hundreds of millions of dollars, including a long list of Trump supporters. RNC and Mr. Both Trump owns some of this valuable voter data, and attempts to “disconnect” the data are ongoing, but they have been expected in recent months.

“There is no such thing as a big bully preaching for the presidency, yet President Trump may play a significant role in the future of the Republican Party,” said Whit Ayers, a Republican commentator. “It’s hard to imagine him following the same pattern as George W. Bush, Barack Obama and other presidents who shut their mouths and tried to rule a new president.”

Rachel Shorey contributed to the reporting.