WASHINGTON (NYTIMES) – Despite departing from office and being barred from the leading social media platforms, former President Donald Trump was the Republican Party’s most dominant fundraiser in the early months of 2021, as committees affiliated with him collected more than US$56 million (S$75 million) online, according to campaign filings made late Friday (July 30).
Mr Trump raised far more money than any other Republican via WinRed, the party’s main processing site for online donations, federal records show, and more than each of the three main fundraising arms of the Republican Party itself.
The next strongest online fundraiser among Republican politicians was Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina, who delivered the GOP response to President Joe Biden’s first address to Congress in the spring. Scott raised US$7.8 million online.
All told, Me Trump collected US$34.3 million through a shared account with the Republican National Committee, which is known as the Trump Make America Great Again Committee; Mr Trump’s political action committee received 75 per cent of what went into the shared account, and the party received 25 per cent.
In addition, Mr Trump raised more than US$21 million directly into two new political action committees that he controls.
The new online fundraising data comes from the federal filings of WinRed. The full federal reports for Mr Trump’s accounts in the first six months of 2021 are due Saturday.
Much of the money raised by the Trump Make America Great Again Committee came through Mr Trump’s recurring donation program, which guided countless supporters into unwittingly making repeat donations through the use of prechecked boxes.
A New York Times investigation this year showed how the program spurred a wave of fraud complaints and demands for refunds, which continued into 2021.
Trump’s fundraising slowed over the course of the first six months of the year. In January, the month of the Capitol riot and his subsequent impeachment in the waning days of his presidency, Mr Trump raised US$13.8 million that went into the Trump Make America Great Again Committee.
By June, that sum had shrunk, though it was still a robust US$2.6 million, almost entirely through recurring donations. As of July, party officials had stopped the withdrawals, according to a person familiar with the matter who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss the party’s internal financial dealings.