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Shortly after Joe Biden was elected the 46th president of the United States, Donald Trump once again doubled down on his promises not to concede, with Team Trump going into overdrive to discredit the race’s outcome. Part of his strategy has been to roll out fundraising efforts to continue investigating the “stolen” election.
On Wednesday, the Trump campaign began sending out dozens of emails and text messages to supporters asking (begging?) for money to put towards the president’s “Official Election Defense Fund.” The page, which lives on the Trump reelection website, is complete with an overuse of exclamation points and an urgent demand for donations: “President Trump needs YOU to step up to make sure we have the resources to protect the integrity of the Election!” and “Please contribute ANY AMOUNT IMMEDIATELY to the Official Election Defense Fund and to claim your 1000%-MATCH!”
There is, however, a not-so-clear caveat involved when making a donation to Trump’s so-called defense fund: only half of the donations are actually going toward any “election defense.” In fine print further down on the donation page, it states that “50% of each contribution [will] be designated toward [Donald Trump’s] 2020 general election account or general election debt retirement until such debt is retired.” The other 50% will be “designated toward [Donald Trump’s] Recount Account.” For those who felt bamboozled, hoodwinked, or led astray by the capitalizations and overuse of punctuation, here’s what that means: half of the donations that people make to the defense fund actually go to the defense fund, while the other half purportedly go toward paying off Trump’s reelection campaign costs.
In similarly unclear fine print, the page also states that donations given to the Trump Make America Great Again Committee by an “Individual/Federal Multicandidate Political Committee” would have 60% of the money given put towards election debt, even less than the initial 50%. The other 40% would be sent to the RNC.
Trump’s defense fund quickly drew both support and criticism on Twitter. Tennessee Sen. Marsha Blackburn was happy to show her support for Trump, tweeting on Friday, “I donated to @realDonaldTrump’s legal defense fund this morning, and if believe every single legally cast ballot should be counted, I encourage you to do the same.” Sen. Lindsey Graham also threw his support behind Trump on Friday, donating $500,000 to the fund. But this only seems to be working on the already-Trumpers — not the sane general public that has more or less accepted the loss.
You know Trump is plotting how to keep the con going for years & years with the millions of Americans who've given him money. Already, he's exploiting them with his "official election defense fund," which notes in the small print he will use most of it to pay off campaign debt.
— Steven Beschloss (@StevenBeschloss) November 9, 2020
Since early Sunday morning, I’ve received 28 emailed requests to contribute to the Trump-Pence “Official Election Defense Fund.” But the fine print says 60% of the contribution will be used to retire campaign debt, not wage a legal battle. pic.twitter.com/Q8n1oLOdEk
— Roland Klose (@rwklose) November 9, 2020
It may be weeks, or months, before Trump (and his supporters) are able to face reality. Until then, they can stew in their own loss at Four Seasons Total Landscaping. We hear the weather there is great there this time of year.
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