Trump raises more than $207 million since Election Day as he pushes baseless election fraud claims
Posted December 3, 2020 7:26 p.m. EST
CNN — President Donald Trump's political operation raised more than $207 million since Election Day, as the President inundates his supporters with fundraising appeals and refuses to concede his White House loss, according to figures released Thursday night by his campaign.
The total includes money flowing to Trump's campaign coffers and to the Republican National Committee -- along with a new leadership PAC that Trump established after the election that could help fuel his political ambitions in the future and retain his influence over the Republican Party for years to come.
CNN previously reported that Trump's post-election fundraising had exceeded $170 million.
"These tremendous fundraising numbers show President Trump remains the leader and source of energy for the Republican Party and that his supporters are dedicated to fighting for the rightful, legal outcome of the 2020 general election," Trump campaign manager Bill Stepien said in a statement.
Despite his loss to President-elect Joe Biden -- and dozens of failed attempts to challenge the election results in the courts -- Trump has refused to concede his defeat, instead opting to spread falsehoods about election fraud and bombard his supporters with appeals for additional cash.
In all, the Trump political operation had sent 414 emails -- and another 132 text messages -- seeking funds between 11 p.m. ET on Election Night, November 3, and Thursday afternoon.
Many purport to seek donations to his "Official Election Defense Fund." In reality, however, the first 75% of every contribution currently flows to Save America, the new leadership PAC that Trump established less than a week after the election. A donor has to contribute $5,000 to Save America before any funds are directed to the Trump campaign recount account.
In recent days, Trump has escalated his attacks on the election, releasing a 46-minute video on social media this week -- filmed at the White House and replete with baseless allegations about the election.
Trump's post-election haul far outpaces his fundraising performance before the election. In the month of September, for instance, the Trump campaign took in $81.3 million in total receipts.
While politicians can't use the money in leadership PACs directly on their campaigns, federal law provides broad leeway on their spending -- leading to criticism that these committees amount to little more than slush funds to underwrite travel, staff and personal expenses.
In a statement, RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel indicated that the party's money would help fund "election integrity" efforts and the GOP's next big challenge: Getting out the vote in Georgia, where two Senate runoffs in January will determine whether their party retains control of the US Senate.
"We are investing millions to push back against the Democrats' unprecedented power grab and drive a massive Get Out The Vote operation in the Peach State," she said.
Trump is slated to appear at a rally Saturday to aid Republican Sens. Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue.
Most political committees must file reports Thursday with federal regulators detailing with fundraising and spending between October 15 and November 23. In the news release, Trump officials said all of the affiliated committees, with the exception of Save America, raised a grand total of $495 million during that nearly six-week period.