Are Trump Supporters Being Conned Out Of $200+ Million?

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Donald Trump supporters have donated more than $200 million to his post-election PAC. $14 million has gone to election lawyers, who have lost 59 cases in the courts and only won one very minor case, and recounts, which have changed nothing of substance. The remaining $200 million or so can be used by Trump in a wide variety of ways — he can even just give himself and his family the money. His PAC has spent $0 on the Georgia Senate race. Why are supporters giving this supposed billionaire hundreds of millions of dollars?

The Trump Foundation was sued for “a shocking pattern of illegality” and “functioning as little more than a checkbook to serve Mr. Trump’s business and political interests,” and it was subsequently fined $2 million and shut down. Three Trump children who were on the board of the foundation were ordered to take in-person classes on how to be better board members (pro tip: pocketing money that was supposed to help kids sick with cancer is not okay).

Trump University was sued for fraud and subsequently shut down after the Trump family settled and agreed to pay $25 million. (Donald Trump is famous for saying he almost never settles and that if you settle, it means you lost.)

Donald Trump said in 2016 that he was going to fully self-fund his presidential campaign — but then he didn’t. Reportedly, he loaned the campaign money (and was presumably paid back). In 2020, the topic never arose. In fact, he started fundraising looooong before 2020.

Photo by Ted Eytan (CC BY-SA)

Now it’s the end of 2020 and Donald has raised more than $200 million on claims that he was trying to basically overturn the election results through some supposed evidence of fraud. When one of the judges asked Trump’s lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, if they were claiming fraud, since Giuliani couldn’t lie in court without risk of imprisonment, Giuliani admitted they were not. Perhaps in some of the cases they did try to claim that, but it doesn’t matter — they didn’t have any real evidence and have lost nearly 60 cases in court (1–59 at the moment). The only case they won was one where the court decided that poll watchers should be able to stand 6 ft away from the poll workers rather than 10 ft away. Amazing victory, eh? In the other 59 cases, Trump’s team lost because they had horribly lame arguments and were basically just engaged in political theater. But don’t take that to mean Donald Trump didn’t get what he wanted!

In the recent high-profile case that sort of kind of went to the Supreme Court, he had no real chance of getting anywhere with it, but supporters were convinced he did and were devastated and infuriated when the case was dismissed. On Trump’s end, he raised an enormous amount of money hyping this case and then lamenting about it.

Indeed, even with a win-loss record of 1-59, you might not want to claim that Trump lost. The PAC (fundraising organization) he set up after the election has raised more than $200 million. Of this money, the PAC, which is called “Save America,” has spent about $14 million on legal costs and recounts. Nearly $200 million can go to basically anything else — Donald Trump can just pocket the money, and it’s hard to imagine that isn’t what he’s doing.

The election has long been over. As noted above, Trump’s team has lost 59 cases in court — not because Trump-appointed judges are actually part of the “deepstate boogeyman club,” but because the Trump team didn’t have good evidence to present to the judges. But did Trump stop raising money and stop suing when it was clear that he wasn’t going to win these crazy cases? No, instead he kept raising enormous boatloads of cash — often small-dollar donations — and is … not using it for election lawsuits or recounts. He seemingly did what he did with the Trump Foundation and Trump University — take tens of millions or hundreds of millions of dollars from supporters and use it for his own personal benefit and his family’s benefit. We’ll see if it ever gets spent on anything notable.

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ABC News reports:

“But none of the funds the president has brought into his new PAC appear to have gone to actually help the Republican Senate runoff campaigns, ad placement data and campaign disclosure records show.”

Indeed — while others have spent hundreds of millions of dollars in Georgia, Trump’s Save America PAC apparently hasn’t spent a dime.

Are Trump supporters aware of all of this? Are they fine simply sending money to Donald Trump, a supposed billionaire, to use as he wishes (to pay off personal debt, for example)? Are they cool if their donations end up going toward a Trump charity (a charity for the Trump family, not a charity created by the family to help others)?

At this point, it’s hard to figure out what a Trump supporter thinks or wants. They apparently don’t know that the Trump team lost 59 court cases because the team has crappy evidence and wild claims. They apparently don’t realize that Trump is a habitual liar and has a long history of conning people. They skip over countless pieces of evidence in order to simply believe what Trump tells them — even if that thing changes from day to day, or within a day, or within a sentence.

I have a hard time believing that tens of millions of people are fine simply donating money to Donald Trump to stick in his bank account or pay off debts to foreign oligarchs. However, it is 2020.

Many Trump-loving Republicans are actually getting so fed up with somewhat sane, knowledgeable people admitting the presidential election is over that they are disowning and attacking their own party colleagues. Does Trump care? Of course not. Do the political loyalists who did everything he wanted and overlooked countless transgressions really think he will be loyal back to them? Do countless voters think that Donald Trump will pull in a couple hundred million dollars from small donors and not just use that money for his own personal needs and desires?

Whatever the cause, what we can see is that Donald Trump supporters live in such an alternative world that they can send Trump $200 million for no clear purpose — basically just for whatever he wants to use it for. One wouldn’t think a billionaire would need such charity, but apparently Trump does.

The sad thing is thinking about all of the cleantech — solar panels, electric cars, wind turbines — that $200 million could produce if it was put purely into new cleantech instead of political hot air.

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Zachary Shahan

Zach is tryin' to help society help itself one word at a time. He spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as its director, chief editor, and CEO. Zach is recognized globally as an electric vehicle, solar energy, and energy storage expert. He has presented about cleantech at conferences in India, the UAE, Ukraine, Poland, Germany, the Netherlands, the USA, Canada, and Curaçao. Zach has long-term investments in Tesla [TSLA], NIO [NIO], Xpeng [XPEV], Ford [F], ChargePoint [CHPT], Amazon [AMZN], Piedmont Lithium [PLL], Lithium Americas [LAC], Albemarle Corporation [ALB], Nouveau Monde Graphite [NMGRF], Talon Metals [TLOFF], Arclight Clean Transition Corp [ACTC], and Starbucks [SBUX]. But he does not offer (explicitly or implicitly) investment advice of any sort.

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