The Con Man aka Stable Genius' Tons of Cash and Plenty of Options for Spending It

Mangele

Village Sponsor
#1
Trump will exit the White House as a private citizen next month perched atop a pile of campaign cash unheard-of for an outgoing president, and with few legal limits on how he can spend it.

Deflated by a loss he has yet to acknowledge, Trump has cushioned the blow by coaxing huge sums of money from his loyal supporters —
often under dubious pretenses — raising roughly $250 million since Election Day along with the national party.


More than $60 million of that sum has gone to a new political action committee, according to people familiar with the matter, which Trump will control after he leaves office. Those funds, which far exceed what previous outgoing presidents had at their disposal, provide him with tremendous flexibility for his post-presidential ambitions: He could use the money to quell rebel factions within the party, reward loyalists, fund his travels and rallies, hire staff, pay legal bills and even lay the groundwork for a far-from-certain 2024 run.

1608330377902.png

The postelection blitz of fundraising has cemented Trump’s position as an unrivaled force and the preeminent fundraiser of the Republican Party, even in defeat. His largest single day for online donations actually came after Election Day — raising almost $750,000 per hour Nov. 6. So did his second-biggest day. And his third.

“Right now, he is the Republican Party,” said John McLaughlin, a Republican pollster who worked on Trump’s reelection campaign.
“The party knows that virtually every dollar they’ve raised in the last four years, it’s because of Donald Trump.”

Trump has long acted with few inhibitions when it comes to spending other people’s money, and he has spent millions of campaign dollars on his own family businesses in the last five years. But new records show an even more intricate intermingling of Trump’s political and familial interests than was previously known.

Lara Trump, Trump’s daughter-in-law and a senior campaign adviser, served on the board — and was named on drafts of the incorporation papers — of a limited liability company through which the Trump political operation spent more than $700 million since 2019, according to documents reviewed by The New York Times.

The arrangement has never been disclosed. One of the other board members and signatories in the draft papers of the LLC, American Made Media Consultants, was John Pence, the nephew of Vice President Mike Pence and a senior Trump adviser. The LLC has been criticized for purposefully obscuring the ultimate destination of hundreds of millions of dollars of spending.

Lara Trump and John Pence were originally listed as president and vice president on the incorporation papers, documents reviewed by the Times showed. Sean Dollman, the campaign chief financial officer, was the AMMC treasurer.

“Lara Trump and John Pence resigned from the AMMC board in October 2019 to focus solely on their campaign activities; however, there was never any ethical or legal reason why they could not serve on the board in the first place,” said Tim Murtaugh, a spokesperson for Trump. “John and Lara were not compensated by AMMC for their service as board members.” Murtaugh also said the two were not compensated for other positions they were listed as holding.

For Trump, the quarter-billion dollars he and the party raised over six weeks is enough to pay off all of his remaining campaign bills and to fund his fruitless legal challenges and still leave tens of millions of dollars.

1608330489324.png

Trump’s plans, however, remain extremely fluid. His refusal to accept Joe Biden’s victory has stunted internal political planning, aides say, with some advisers in his shrinking circle of confidants hesitant to even approach him about setting a course of action for 2021 and beyond.

Those who have spoken with Trump say he appears shrunken, and over his job; this detachment is reflected in a Twitter feed that remains stubbornly more focused on unfounded allegations of fraud than on the death toll from the raging pandemic.

Trump has talked about running again in 2024 — but he also may not. He has created this new PAC, but a different political entity could still be in the works, people involved in the discussions said. Talk of counterprogramming Biden’s inauguration with a splashy event or an announcement of his own is currently on hold.

Trump had been tentatively planning to go to Georgia on Saturday, according to a senior Republican official, to support the two Republicans in Senate runoff races there. But he is still angry at the state’s Republican governor and secretary of state for accepting the election result and simply doesn’t want to make the trip. There is some discussion about him going after the Christmas holiday, but it’s not clear he will be in a more magnanimous mood by then.

But even as he displays indifference toward the Georgia races, the Trump political apparatus has taken advantage of the grassroots energy and excitement over the two runoffs to juice its own fundraising. Email and text solicitations have pitched Trump supporters to give to a “Georgia Election Fund,” even though no funds go directly to either Republican senator on the ballot, irritating some Senate GOP strategists.

Instead, the fine print shows 75% of the donations to the Georgia fund go to Trump’s new PAC, called Save America, with 25% to the Republican National Committee.

1608330177135.png

After weeks of shouting “FRAUD” to supporters in emails and asking them to back an “Election Defense Fund” (which also sent 75% of donations to his new PAC), the Trump operation has subtly shifted its tone and focus, returning to more sustainable preelection themes, like hawking signed hats and opposing socialism.

Trump and the RNC did spend about $15 million combined in legal costs and other spending related to disputing the election between Oct. 15 and Nov. 23, according to federal records.

Besides a $3 million payment to Wisconsin to fund a partial recount in the state, Trump’s largest recount-related payment did not go to attorney fees but to American Made Media Consultants, the Trump-linked LLC on which Lara Trump was listed an original signatory. The firm received $2.2 million Nov. 12 in two payments labeled “SMS advertising,” better known as text messaging.

American Made Media Consultants was the subject of a complaint to the Federal Election Commission earlier this year that accused it of “laundering” funds to obscure the ultimate beneficiary of Trump campaign spending. Federal records show the firm had more than $700 million in funds flow through it since 2019. The vast majority of funds were spent before Lara Trump resigned from the board.

1608330286031.png

For a sense of scale of just how much money Donald Trump will have at his disposal, the new Trump PAC’s $60 million-plus haul — and counting — is about as much money as he spent to win his party’s presidential nomination in 2016.

Some campaign finance experts have speculated that Trump might try to use the excess of cash in his new PAC, formally known as a leadership PAC, to pay for his own personal future legal quagmires as he faces investigations once he leaves office. (A senior Trump adviser said they don’t expect the money to be used for personal legal needs.)

“A leadership PAC is a slush fund,” said Meredith McGehee, executive director of Issue One, a group that supports increased political transparency. “There are very, very, very few limits on what he can’t spend money on.”

In the last five years, Trump has never shied from spending hundreds of thousands of dollars from his contributors on his private businesses, a practice he could continue or expand while out of office.

Just since mid-October, the Trump Victory Committee, a joint account operated with the RNC, has paid more than $710,000 to the Trump Hotel Collection, while his reelection account has continued to pay more than $37,000 per month to rent space in Trump Tower.

It is not clear where his post-presidential operation will be based or who will run it, although several advisers expect it will be in Florida, where he is planning to move.

But as a former president, Trump will be allocated a certain amount of taxpayer money for staff and office space for life after leaving the White House, and he is beginning to have discussions about which aides from the West Wing will accompany him.

His senior political advisers — Bill Stepien, Justin Clark and Jason Miller, among others — are among those who may stay involved with him politically.

While Trump’s post-presidency remains largely shapeless, he has demonstrated his desire to exert his control on national politics, especially among Republicans.

He has already endorsed Ronna McDaniel, a close ally, to serve another term as chair of the RNC. He has floated primary challenges to Republicans, such as Gov. Brian Kemp of Georgia, who have crossed him by rejecting his baseless theories of election fraud. He has even asked aides how he can retain control of the party if he isn’t a candidate.

1608330230227.png

One person close to Trump said that he has sounded less certain about declaring he’s running in 2024 than he had just two weeks ago. That uncertainty is causing anxiety for a number of advisers and aides to the president, some of whom might join other campaigns but are stuck in limbo until Trump makes up his mind. Announcing for president would trigger tighter rules on Trump’s political spending and added financial disclosures, including of Trump’s personal finances, that simply operating a PAC would not.

Trump’s future ambitions have also created a cloud over who exactly will control some of the most valuable assets from the 2020 campaign, including Trump’s lengthy list of supporters from whom he has raised hundreds of millions of dollars. Both the RNC and Trump are entitled to some of this valuable voter data, and efforts at “decoupling” the data are underway but expected to last months.

The RNC has typically stayed out of presidential primaries, but no former president in the modern era has seriously considered running again after losing reelection, putting the party apparatus in uncharted territory. His embrace of McDaniel as an ally in running the party could further complicate matters.

“There’s no bully pulpit as large as the presidency, but nevertheless, President Trump is likely to play a significant role in the future of the Republican Party,” said Whit Ayres, a Republican pollster. “It’s very difficult to imagine him following the same pattern as George W. Bush, Barack Obama and other presidents have followed in keeping their mouths shut and letting the new president try to govern.”
 

Mangele

Village Sponsor
#6
The wannabe BANANA REPUBLIC DICTATOR ends his presidency how it started. With his head up his ASS while Russian continues to hack our institutions. Never concerned about the country's security, only about how he could profit from his actions. Can't wait for this ULTIMATE TOTAL LOSER to leave office.

@T.Vercetti

What Trump cannot use the donations for is to resolve the legal and financial problems he faces when he leaves the White House which may stand in the way of future political ambitions.

1608397128416.png

Manhattan’s district attorney, Cyrus Vance Jr, is leading a criminal investigation into Trump’s business dealings. New York’s state attorney general, Letitia James, is heading a civil probe after the president’s former lawyer, Michael Cohen, told Congress Trump inflated the value of his assets to secure bank loans and then reduced them to cut tax.

The investigations recently expanded to examine consulting fees that may have gone to the president’s daughter Ivanka . She responded to news of the inquiry by calling it politically motivated harassment.

Trump loses his protection from criminal prosecution when he leaves office. While he claims to have the power to pardon himself before he departs the White House, any such move would only apply to federal crimes, not charges brought by New York or any other state.

1608397160014.png

The president is also facing huge debt repayments. Trump has personally guaranteed about $420m in debt owed by his businesses which has to be repaid in the coming years, according to the New York Times.

The bulk of those debts are with Deutsche Bank. Last month Reuters reported that the bank was trying to sever ties with the president.

The Trump Organization, the president’s umbrella group that is currently overseen by his two sons, owes about $340m to Deutsche Bank. The loans, which are against Trump properties, start coming due in two years.
 
Last edited:

Mangele

Village Sponsor
#7
Trump angered by Melania's Mar-a-Lago renovations

If the kick-off to his last Florida sojourn as President was rough, the days that followed would be much of the same, with Trump appearing "moody," according to the source at the club, spending more time than usual behind closed doors and not mingling and conversing as much as he normally does with club members and senior White House staff, many of whom have in the last few years joined him there.

"The vibe is off," said another source at Mar-a-Lago of this Christmas compared to previous ones.

1609280305117.png

The source at Mar-a-Lago noted Trump was so displeased this week with the way some of the renovations looked he asked that pieces of the décor, which consisted of white marble and an abundance of dark wood, be removed. They promptly were.

His mood darkened as soon as he walked into his members-only club Mar-a-Lago, three days before Christmas, according to multiple sources. The changes to his private quarters, many of which were overseen by his wife, first lady Melania Trump, were not to President Donald Trump's liking, and he was mad about it, according to a source familiar with the President's response.

Several weeks in the works, the renovations, undertaken to make the approximately 3,000-square-foot space feel larger and updated in preparation for Trump's post-White House life, didn't appeal to Trump's aesthetics, according to his reaction. Trump was also displeased with other renovations at the property, the source said, not just in the living space.

"He was not happy with it," said the source, who noted several loud, one-sided conversations with club management almost immediately ensued.

The White House did not immediately respond to a CNN request for comment.

It was Melania Trump, and her interior decorator, Tham Kannalikham, who selected many of the details on the renovations, however, not Mar-a-Lago staff, a fact of which Trump was well aware.

This is not the first time the President's personal taste has clashed with that of his wife. Trump was also not thrilled with some of the decorative updates to Camp David, another project of the first lady, when he saw them during the Thanksgiving holiday, according to another source familiar with the President's reaction after the visit.
 

Mangele

Village Sponsor
#8
Walmart apologizes after its Twitter account called Sen. Josh Hawley
'sore loser' over Electoral College dispute



A close ally of President Donald Trump, Hawley is the first senator to announce his plan to object to electoral votes from some states won by President-elect Joe Biden. Some conservative House Republicans have also said they will object on Jan. 6 to electoral votes from states such as Pennsylvania and Georgia, in a move to overturn Biden's 306-232 electoral victory.

After Hawley tweeted Wednesday morning that he planned to join the effort, a tweet issued from Walmart's Twitter account read,
"Go ahead. Get your 2-hour debate. #soreloser."

Soon after that, Hawley responded,
"Thanks @Walmart for your insulting condescension. Now that you've insulted 75 million Americans, will you at least apologize for using slave labor?"

And in a follow-up tweet, he jibed:
"Or maybe you’d like to apologize for the pathetic wages you pay your workers as you drive mom and pop stores out of business."

Subsequently, Walmart deleted that tweet, saying it was "mistakenly posted by a member of our social media team." In addition to apologizing to Hawley, Walmart noted the company has "no intention of commenting on the subject of certifying the electoral college."




https://www.usatoday.com/story/mone...y-after-mistaken-sore-loser-tweet/4091855001/
 

Top