President Donald Trump has raised $170 million since Election Day, as he prepares to leave the presidency despite still refusing to concede to President-elect Joe Biden.
Though the pleas for contributions to supporters have been marked for an “Election Defense Fund,” the initial contributions are being split between a new PAC called Save America and the Republican National Committee.
The first 75 percent of every contribution is going to Save America. Any money afterwards, or money given by donors who’ve already maxed out to Trump, will go to the Trump campaign’s recount efforts, as the Trump campaign and legal team continue to exhaust their options to try to overturn the results of the election.
The remaining 25% is marked for the RNC, the Trump campaign website says. “The RNC has spent tens of millions of dollars over the last two years funding legal efforts in multiple states, and we continue the fight for election integrity across the country,” RNC spokesperson Mike Reed told the Washington Post.
The New York Times first reported the $170 million number, after the Post reported the Trump campaign had raised at least $150 million since Election Day.
Since the election, the Trump campaign has been asking for donations non-stop: the campaign has sent out 354 emails in the three weeks since the election, the Washington Post reported Monday. The campaign sent more emails in the week after the election than the week before, according to the Post.
The Trump campaign also sent out at least eight emails on Monday, according to a Twitter account that tracks Trump fundraising pleas.
Trump has raised more since the election than he raised in the entire second quarter of 2020 ($125 million) or in his best fundraising month, September ($81 million), according to the Post.
Because Save America is a leadership PAC, it doesn’t have the same constraints on how the money is used. That means Trump can use that $170 million (and counting) to pay down his campaign debts or personal expenses, and even set the stage for another run in 2024, according to the Post.
Though Trump told reporters on Thanksgiving that he doesn’t “want to talk 2024 yet,” he’s reportedly told advisers he’s thinking about another run and could even announce on the day of Biden’s inauguration, January 20.
“Trump is making hay while the sun is shining. He’s taking advantage of all the free media coverage to pay off his campaign debt and fill his coffers for whatever comes next,” Republican donor Dan Eberhart told the Post Monday. “I would rather give to Romney 2012 than Trump 2020 at this point.”