It’s been a bewildering year for anyone following the soap operas that are Donald Trump’s fundraising groups. The fallout from a sexual assault scandal has led to the demise of one PAC and the rise of another PAC to replace it, with a confusing parade of new names — all of which are the same. variation of the MAGA theme.
But when it comes to the latest fundraising numbers, fans of the show are in luck: The cast of characters are all too familiar. From the fiance of Donald Trump Jr. to top White House officials to a tenth of Trump’s essential assets, it’s all there, up to the January 6 organizer now on the monthly MAGA dole.
Top numbers from campaign finance filings submitted Monday show that the only super PAC currently endorsed by Trump — randomly titled “Make America Great Again, Again” ! Inc” – ended the year with about $9.5 million in the bank.
While the super PAC cannot directly contribute to Trump’s official committees or coordinate with him, it can spend that money to support and advance his political agenda — including including backing a potential presidential run, as well as other candidates he might endorse.
About half of the group’s total funds were raised after the aforementioned scandal. That was in early October, when longtime Trump aide Corey Lewandowski was unexpectedly fired, following allegations that he sexually assaulted a major donor at a fundraiser in late September.
Lewandowski’s debacle caused a stir and the torch was moved from his super PAC — Make America Great Again Action — to the newly minted MAGAA! As power changes, so does the money, with Lewandowski’s outfit moving $5,725,000 to the new team within days.
But the old group did not dry out; it still holds about $754,000, and it’s unclear what that cash will turn out to be.
The amount raised is on par with the group’s performance at the beginning of the year. Super PACs can accept unlimited donations, even from companies, so wealthy donors flock to these vehicles — such as former Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R-GA). ), wife of founder Jimmy John, chief executive officer at two major packaging companies, and president of the Fanjul sugar crystal empire.
But there are fresh faces too: One of the top two donations — $500,000 — came from a company called ML Organization LLC. While the business profile does not tie the team to anyone, the sponsor’s address is connected to Bill Pulte, Trump twitter cout-chaser and grandson of the founder of Pulte Homes. This appears to be his first donation, according to FEC filings.
The tried-and-true spender’s party and Trumpism.
Perhaps the most notable presence on the payroll is an organizer on January 6.
Three monthly super PAC payments totaling $16,000 went to Cassidy Kofoed, the 24-year-old daughter of California businessman Richard Kofoed. ProPublica report in November, Cassidy’s name appeared on the January 6 planning documents and that she worked on the prep for the event with Caroline Wren, a major GOP fundraiser and a friend of fiance’s Donald Trump Jr., Kim Guilfoyle. Richard Kofoed chartered the plane carrying Guilfoyle to DC for the January 6 event, according to reports.
Guilfoyle – the former president of fundraising for Trump Victory – also appeared to have entered the revolving door when Lewandowski was eliminated. Super PAC cut two checks totaling $140,000 to KGT Global Consulting LLC, a Florida-based organization that was established in February. company profile draw with an Anthony Guilfoyle.
Lewandowski disappeared from the payments after the incident – but not before earning a handsome $83,000 check just a few weeks earlier. But even that salary wouldn’t include more than $90,000 in legal fees paid by the PAC in the days following the alleged attack.
Other legal fees went to Elections LLC, a company co-founded by Justin Clark, a key employee of the Trump 2020 campaign.
Another familiar name is Lewandowski’s replacement at the top: former Florida attorney general Pam Bondi — a MAGAland adviser who also holds a top position at the First Policy Institute’s dark money group America linked by Trump. Bondi pocketed more than $150,000 from super PACs in the last four months of the year.
Another AFPI employee appears to be shouldering dual duties — former Trump Attorney General Matt Whitaker, now co-chair of the AFPI Center for Law and Justice, brought in $7,880 at the end of December. And another powerful former official – director of national intelligence Ric Grennell – has a similarly sized MAGAA! paycheck same day.
But while the payees are familiar, the payment structure is new – and unusual.
Super PAC filings reveal that all of the names above, with the exception of Guilfoyle, were paid through a previously unreported nonprofit called Make America Great Again Policies.
The group was founded by Lewandowski last June, and it claims to have a “cost-sharing” agreement with the super PAC. The reason for the multi-layered payment structure is not immediately obvious.
And the reverse in the end – Trump himself got cut.
Federal law prohibits candidates from coordinating with super PACs, but Trump has no obligation to push that line, going as far as endorsing MAGAA! as Trump’s only “official” super PAC.
And in Trump style, the super PAC hosted an event in December at Trump International Golf Club in Palm Beach that raised more than $10,000, with an additional $900 going to the Trump National Transportation Service. . The December event set the tone for a tumultuous year of fundraising that began at Trump’s Bedminster, NJ, club.