Former President Donald Trump stuck to his conspiracy theories about the 2020 presidential election with conviction up until the last moment, and it turns out he raised a lot of money by doing so. Last month, the Republican fundraising platform WinRed filed a disclosure with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) showing that it raked in about $86 million after the election was over. This money went to Trump's campaign and the Republican National Convention, possibly explaining why some Republicans were so eager to back him.
Trump began spreading conspiracy theories about the 2020 election long before it started and continued long after it was over, but there was never any evidence to support his claims of voter fraud or election tampering. Pundits have examined his moves from every strategic political angle, but the old adage "follow the money" may be applicable here. The new FEC filing shows that Trump and the RNC made $86 million after Nov. 24 — long after the election had been called, and even after some recounts and audits were finished.
About $68 million of that money went to Trump Make America Great, a fundraising effort that splits its donations with Trump's political action committee Save America, according to a report by The Hill. Save America and the Trump campaign worked tirelessly on fundraising, promising donors that their money would go to audits, lawsuits and more efforts to contest the results of the election.
The FEC filing shows that that was not the case. The majority of that money reportedly went to Save America and the RNC. This influx of donations is notable as political strategists wonder why more establishment-oriented republicans are continuing to support the former president's disinformation campaign.
Nearly all of Trump's lawsuits over the last three months were thrown out of court, and none showed any evidence of voter fraud or election tampering. Still, the former president continued to promote these claims so fiercely that many supporters took them as fact, leading to the rise of prominent domestic terror threats in the U.S. After the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, more revelations about the extent of these threats continue to come to light each day.
Trump has made little effort to stymy these threats or accept responsibility for his part in them if any. Now, the disclosure of this flood of small-dollar donations may help provide some explanation as to why. Trump's plans for his continued career in politics or political commentary are slowly taking shape as well.