Trump campaign turns impeachment inquiry into fundraising bonanza originally appeared on abcnews.go.com
It didn't take long for President Donald Trump's reelection team to leap into action after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced Tuesday night that House Democrats were moving forward with an impeachment inquiry -- Trump's campaign had been plotting for weeks how to counter such a move.
Moments after Pelosi delivered her statement, the Trump campaign quickly fired off a string of fundraising emails -- at least four emails within 24 hours -- launched dozens of new Facebook ads asking supporters to join an "Official Impeachment Defense Task Force" and released a slickly produced video decrying Democrats for being "solely focused" on impeachment, which the president himself tweeted out.
Trump's campaign and the RNC said they raised $1 million in the first three hours after Pelosi's announcement and $5 million in the ensuing 24 hours, a haul that trounces the $1 million donated by supporters on the day the Mueller report was released.
This latest effort by Trump's campaign, which appears more aggressive than the team's efforts centered around recent Democratic debates or even news related to Robert Mueller, shows the campaign's focus on pushing a narrative across multiple platforms -- and the importance of that narrative being impeachment, which could fire up the president's base.
"It's been crystal clear since Election Day 2016 that Democrats were hell bent on overturning the legitimate results of the election," Erin Perrine, the Trump campaign's deputy director of communications, told ABC News. Pelosi "took a 'Thelma and Louise' approach and drove herself right off the impeachment cliff. You better believe the Trump team was ready to call Democrats out on their ridiculousness."
The Trump campaign, long before the Ukraine story broke and an impeachment inquiry appeared more likely, saw the value in prepping for a counter to impeachment, with Trump tweeting a video that may have been ready six weeks ago.
"We've had that ready for weeks in case the Democrats were that dumb -- and they were," Trump communications director Tim Murtaugh told ABC News.
The video stitches together clips of Democrats calling for impeachment, with the words "Democrats have one sole focus" flashing on the screen.
"We cannot accept a second term for Donald Trump," Pelosi says in the video, which, partially because Trump tweeted it out, has now been viewed more than 4 million times.
Pelosi and House Democrats are backing an impeachment inquiry after news broke of Trump's phone call with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky in which he asked the newly elected president to look into former Vice President Joe Biden, a political rival. Pelosi's announcement prompted the swift response from the president's campaign.
"As a member of the Official Impeachment Defense Task Force," one pro-Trump Facebook ad reads, "you will be a leader in defending me, the President, against these baseless and disgusting attacks. You will be responsible for defending American Greatness."