Day 1,387: With election lost, Trump uses guise of legal fight to pay down his campaign debt with new donor funds
The 2020 presidential election is over: Joe Biden has won and Donald Trump has lost the race and his mind.
Yet Trump wants to continue a lengthy and largely meritless legal battle to try and find a path to face-saving and fraud-claiming, as those around him are drawing straws to figure out who has to tell him the news that the race is over.
While his advisors know the grim reality, Trump’s desire for a legal battle has an especially gross, self-serving and on-brand reason: to pay down his debt. Under the guise of an “official election defense fund,” the fine print on contribution pages note that more than half of the money can be siphoned in other directions.
Starting early Wednesday, the campaign and the Republican National Committee have been sending dozens of daily text messages and emails saying they need financial support to challenge voting procedures.
“We must PROTECT the Election!” says one campaign text Friday signed by Mr. Trump’s son Donald Trump Jr. “My father’s calling on YOU to help bolster our critical Election Defense Fund.”
Clicking through to the donation page, potential givers can review a disclaimer that 50% of any contribution will be used for general election campaign debt retirement and 50% for the campaign’s recount account.
Other Trump fundraising pitches in recent days ask for help to “protect the integrity of this election” but lead to a donation page for Mr. Trump’s “Make America Great Again” committee. The fine print on those solicitations says 60% of a contribution helps the campaign retire debt and 40% goes to the Republican National Committee.
For Trump, the self-professed billionaire who is broke, a conman or a broke conman, everything is a way to pry a few extra dollars out of his supporters’ pockets. Seeing the time to grift coming to a rapid end, and mixing his voters’ desperation and urgency, Trump is trying to get small dollar donors to pay down his campaign debts by using the faux impression that he still has a path to secure four more years in office.
But the election is over. Deep down, Trump likely knows it. His aides know it. And anyone looking at the numbers definitely knows it. Soon, those convinced by Trump to part with more of their hard-earned cash will realize that they’ve thrown good money after bad.
1,387 days in, 75 to go
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