Support For Fringe Or Conspiracy Theories
During his campaign, Trump frequently gave voice to fringe or conspiracy theories. Professor Joseph Uscinski, the co-author of American Conspiracy Theories, writes that Trump made “unabashed” and “deft and almost daily use of … conspiracy narratives” on the campaign trail. According to political writer Steve Benen, unlike past political leaders, Trump did not keep fringe theories and their supporters at arm’s length.
Trump, for example, promoted the discredited belief that vaccines can cause autism unless administered according to a lengthened schedule. He also alluded to the unfounded notion that President Obama is secretly a Muslim, for example stating that Obama might have attended a particular funeral “if it were held in a Mosque” and saying that “some people” think a Muslim already had been elected president. Trump also speculated that Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia‘s death by natural causes, was in truth caused by murder.
Its Fundraising Efforts Take A Bizarre Aggressive Tone
One of the professional hazards of being a political journalist is that your email address finds its way onto all sorts of unlikely lists, such as one from President Trumps reelection campaign. Whereas some campaigns might communicate with supporters for the purpose of grass-roots organizing, the Trump emails I receive have only one purpose: to gin up contributions. And the solicitations are unlike any Ive ever seen. Tonally, they diverge wildly from those of past presidential campaigns or from anything that might be termed presidential at all.
Instead, they embody Trumps lifelong habit borrowed from his career in New Yorks notoriously unscrupulous real estate world of making unethical, comically dishonest pitches. In a simpler time, Republican politicians and conservative talking heads made money by selling their audience to advertisers peddling investment advice, gold or unproven cures for erectile dysfunction. Now, the huckster making dubious promises is the president himself. Trumps campaign blew through a once-massive fundraising advantage, spending more than $800 million of its $1.1 billion haul before early September. In August, the last month for which data is available, former vice president Joe Biden outraised Trump by $155 million. By late September, Biden had $141 million more in the bank than the president did. Not coincidentally, Trumps fundraising entreaties are becoming increasingly implausible and desperate.
The Gary And Gerrit Operation
Where did all the money go? he would lash out, according to two senior advisers.
Inside the Trump re-election headquarters in Northern Virginia, the pressure was building to wring ever more money out of his supporters.
Perhaps nowhere was that pressure more acute than on Mr. Trumps expansive and lucrative digital operation. That was the unquestioned domain of Gary Coby, a 30-something strategist whose title digital director and microscopic public profile belied his immense influence on the Trump operation, especially online.
A veteran of the R.N.C. and the 2016 race, Mr. Coby had the confidence, trust and respect of Jared Kushner, the presidents son-in-law, who unofficially oversaw the 2020 campaign, according to people familiar with the campaigns operations. Mr. Kushner and the rest of the campaign leadership gave Mr. Coby, whose talents are recognized across the Republican digital industry, wide latitude to raise money however he saw fit.
That meant almost endless optimization and experimentation, sometimes pushing the traditional boundaries. The Trump team repeatedly used phantom donation matches and faux deadlines to loosen donor wallets . Eventually it ratcheted up the volume of emails it sent until it was barraging supporters with an average of 15 per day for all of October and November 2020.
The campaigns determine their own fund-raising strategies and make their own decisions on how to use these tools, Mr. Lansing said in WinReds statement.
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Diversion Of Taxable Income To The Foundation As Donations
The Washington Post reported in September 2016 that Donald Trump had directed that $2.3 million owed to him and his organization by various people and organizations should be paid instead to his foundation as donations, possibly evading personal income taxes. The Post found old Associated Press coverage showing that Trump may have started directing income to the Trump Foundation as early as 1989. IRS rules prohibit individuals from diverting taxable income owed to them toward charities if they benefit directly from those charities unless the individual declares the income on his tax forms. Since Trump had yet to release his income taxes at that time, the Post was unable to confirm if the income was declared for any of the donations received.
The Trump Foundation received at least $1.9 million from ticket broker Richard Ebers. Richard Ebers had bought goods and services, including tickets, from “Trump or his businesses” he was allegedly instructed to make payment for them to the Trump Foundation in the form of charitable contributions instead of as income for the Trump organization.
Other donations made to the Trump Foundation that may have been in return for Trump’s personal work include:
Devos Family Made $14 Million In Political Contributions In The Last 2 Years Alone
The Familys Giving In Michigan Easily Surpassed The Combined Fundraising Of State PACs For The United Auto Workers And The Michigan Education Association
Michigan Campaign Finance Network
LANSING Members of West Michigans powerful DeVos family have combined to make about $14 million in political contributions in the last two years alone.
As Betsy DeVos prepares to become President-elect Donald Trumps education secretary and as groups the family funds back significant proposals advancing in the Michigan Legislature in lame duck, MCFN analyzed the familys political giving in Michigan, in other states and at the federal level.
What MCFN found is a wide-ranging web of giving to GOP efforts in the two years before Betsy DeVos was chosen as Trump’s pick for education secretary:
Since Jan. 1, 2015, members of the DeVos family have made $3.4 million in contributions at the state level in Michigan, their home state
The familys giving in Michigan outpaced the combined fundraising over that time period of the main state PACs for the United Auto Workers , the Michigan Education Association and the Michigan Association for Justice
Family members have contributed directly to 50 state or judicial candidates in Michigan in the last two years
Theyve given at least $7,000 directly to the campaigns of 30 of the 63 Republicans who will serve in the Michigan House next session
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This Is The Third Installment Of A Four
Donald Trump never donated to his own reelection campaign, but he did find plenty of other billionaires willing to write him checks. In total, Forbes identified 133 superrich donors who pitched in for Trumps 2020 campaign.
Trumps tycoons, who collectively make up about 14% of all American billionaires, tend to fall into a few specific categories. Several were longtime Republican mega-donors, like gambling mogul Sheldon Adelson, who died in January, and his wife, Miriam. Others knew Trump from their days in business, including Texas banker Andy Beal and casino king Phil Ruffin. About one quarter of them made their money in finance and investments, more than any other industry. About 10% got rich in real estate, while roughly the same number earned a fortune from the energy sector. Most of them came from three states: New York , Texas and Florida .
Fox News And Megyn Kelly
Trump was one of ten candidates in the main Fox News debate on August 6, 2015. Bret Baier questioned Trump about Obamacare,Chris Wallace asked him about Mexican illegal immigrants, and Megyn Kelly asked about how he would respond to the Clinton campaign saying that he was waging a “war on women“. Trump replied, “I think the big problem this country has is being politically correct.”
In a later interview with Don Lemon on CNN Tonight, Trump said that Kelly is a “lightweight” and had “blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her … wherever.” Trump tweeted that his remark referred to Kelly’s nose but was interpreted by critics as a reference to menstruation. Trump retained his first place standing after the debate, with an NBC News poll showing him at 23 percent support and a Reuters/Ipsos poll at 24 percent, followed by Ted Cruz at 13 percent and Ben Carson at 11 percent.
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Selection Of Running Mate
From early to mid-July, various media outlets widely reported that Trump’s short list for his pick as vice president and running mate had narrowed to Indiana governor Mike Pence, New Jersey governor Chris Christie, and former Speaker of the HouseNewt Gingrich.
On July 15, 2016, Trump officially announced via Twitter that he had chosen Pence to be his running mate. Trump introduced Pence as his running mate at a press conference the next day. Pence formally accepted the nomination on July 20 at the Republican National Convention.
On October 27, 2016, Pence’s Boeing 737-700 airplane fishtailed off the runway at LaGuardia Airport in New York during landing. There were no injuries reported among those on board, which included members of the press in the back of the plane. As a result of the accident, Pence cancelled a campaign event that night, though said on Twitter that he would be back campaigning the next day on October 28.
Trump Insists His Campaigns Multimillion
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Over the weekend, The New York Timesexposed a Trump campaign scam so simple and perfectly Trumpian that its actually a wonder the ex-president hasnt had the scheme trademarked taken to Fox News to brag about what a genius he is for so thoroughly swindling his base. As Shane Goldmacher reports, Donald Trumps campaign ripped off supporters for tens of millions of dollars by making it so that when they donated money, the default option authorized the campaign to transfer the pledged amount from peoples bank accounts not once but every single week. Later, the campaign introduced a second prechecked box that doubled a persons contribution and was thus known internally as a money bomb. In order for people to have noticed this, they would have had to wade through lines of text in bold and capital letters that overwhelmed the opt-out language.
Among the many individuals who were bilked out of money they literally couldnt afford to part with was Stacy Blatt, who was living in hospice care and surviving on less than $1,000 a month. Blatt donated $500 intended as a single contribution and within 30 days discovered that the Trump campaign had withdrawn $3,000 from his account, leading his utility and rent payments to bounce. And Blatt, who died in February, obviously wasnt the only one:
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Breaking News Alerts Newsletter
Now WinRed is exporting the tools it pioneered during the Trump reelection across the Republican Party, presaging a new normal for GOP campaigns.
Today, the websites of various Republican Party committees and top congressional Republicans, including Rep. Kevin McCarthy, the House minority leader, and Sen. Mitch McConnell, the Senate minority leader, include prechecked yellow boxes for multiple or recurring donations.
And after Trumps first public speech of his post-presidency at the end of February, his new political operation sent its first text message to supporters since he left the White House. Did you miss me? he asked.
The message directed supporters to a WinRed donation page with two prechecked yellow boxes. Trump raised $3 million that day, according to an adviser, with more to come from the recurring donations in the months ahead.
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Donald Trump’s Campaign Contributions To Democrats And Republicans
The eccentricities and controversies of Donald Trumps presidential campaign have polarized the Republican Party faithful, just a few weeks after Trump announced his bid.
In a July 2, 2015, appearance on CNN, radio host and author Ben Ferguson joined conservatives critical of Trump, alleging a lack of seriousness and loyalty to the GOP. “Donald Trump is not some big GOP Republican,” he said, “and some people are trying to act like he is.”
But Ferguson took his admonishment a step further, questioning Trumps financial commitment to the party and claiming that Trump has “given more money to Democratic candidates than Republican candidates.”
Trumps dalliances with different political parties are well known, but we wanted to add up the donation totals to see what they said.
The radio host, when reached for comment, offered a mostly anecdotal defense of his claim, citing big contributions from Trump to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. Ferguson also pointed to contributions from Trump to Hillary Clinton and Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev.
What the numbers show
We went to two authoritative databases of campaign finance data to examine Fergusons numbers: OpenSecrets.org, to find federal donations, and FollowtheMoney.org, for state-level donations.
Weve included those numbers below, with links to records of the individual contributions.
A mix of politics and business
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Right After Trump Linked High Drug Prices To Campaign Cash Drugmakers Gave More
The cost of medicine in this country is outrageous, President Donald Trumpsaid at a rally in Louisville, Kentucky, two months after his inauguration. He went on about how identical pills have vastly lower price tags in Europe.
You know why? the president asked, before spreading his hands wide. Campaign contributions, who knows. But somebody is getting very rich.
It was March 20.
The next day, drugmakers donated more money to political campaigns than they had on any other day in 2017 so far, according to a Kaiser Health News analysis of campaign spending in the first half of the year, as reported in Federal Election Commission filings.
Eight pharmaceutical political action committees made 134 contributions, spread over 77 politicians on March 21. They spent $279,400 in all, showering Republicans and Democrats in both legislative bodies with campaign cash, according to FEC filings.
Brendan Fischer, who directs election reform programs at the Campaign Legal Center, said he found the timing of the contributions interesting: I think its entirely possible that the drug companies sought to curry favor with members of Congress in order to head off any sort of potential attack on their industry by the press or by the federal government.
A spokeswoman for Merck, the most generous of the pharmaceutical companies on March 21, said the contributions were not tied to specific events.
Writing a check doesnt require much beyond putting pen to paper, Fischer said.