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‘Nothing we can do to stop them’: Copycat campaigns have deprived Trump of $46 million in election fundraising—so far

12/23/2019 10:16 am ET Sunny Hundal
How fake campaigns are depriving Trump of millions of election fundraising

Screenshot / YouTube

The Trump campaign has never had problems with using dark money or misleading ads to raise money. Now that practice is coming back to bite them.

The reelection campaign has become plagued with copycat operators using its style, imagery, and words to raise money on behalf of Trump. But no one knows where that money—$46 million and counting—is actually going.

Trump’s team told Politico:

“There is no excuse for any group, including ones run by people who claim to be part of our ?coalition,’ to suggest they directly support President Trump’s reelection or any other candidates. We encourage the appropriate authorities to investigate all alleged scam groups for potential illegal activities.”

But their efforts and strong words have had little effect so far.

The secretive campaigns

Politico finds two prominent examples. One organization called Great America PAC - which claims to be Trump’s “strongest and most active independent ally” - has raised over $11.1 million from donors since his election, according to the FEC.

But it is not affiliated with Trump’s campaign. And it is not clear how the money it raises is helping the President.

Another campaign, called Tea Party PAC, has also raised hundreds of thousands of dollars this year. But again it’s not clear where the money it has raised is going.

Why this matters

These campaigns illustrate how easy it is for ‘dark money’ groups to hijack the political system. President Trump has made little effort in making it harder for such groups to get involved in campaigning, mostly to his benefit.

But his lack of effort is proving to be a double-edged sword.

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