Check: Money for Trump’s election defense fund is going elsewhere

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The president launched an electoral defense fund. This money can go to a number of different places.

WASHINGTON — Although the Electoral College officially voted for Joe Biden this week, President Donald Trump has still not conceded the election.

The Trump for President campaign website is still fundraising, but for an election defense fund.

Since Election Day, President Trump has raised more than $200 million. I took the campaign materials and website to a campaign finance expert to find out what the president is spending that money on.

Question:

Where does the money President Trump has collected from his election defense fund go?

To respond:

It can be spent in several ways. A fraction goes to election advocacy efforts.

Our Resources:

Website of President Trump’s Election Defense Fund and Brandon Fischer of the Campaign Legal Center.

What we found:

As of November 3, the Donald J Trump for President website has a link at the top to donate to the President’s Election Defense Fund. Clicking on it takes you to a fundraising page.

The fundraising prompt reads, “President Trump needs YOU to step in to ensure we have the resources to protect the integrity of the election!” Below it gives different amounts to donate to the official election defense fund.

“So since Election Day, Trump has been raising money by furiously asking for donations to support his post-election litigation and recount charges,” Brandon Fischer said.

“The fine print shows that the money is actually going elsewhere.”

It’s not a secret. If you scroll down the page, it tells you where the collected money is going.

Some went to legal defense and recounts.

However, a week after the election, he also said the money would pay off the Trump campaign’s election debt in 2020.

“Since then, 75% of all small donations, asking for money for the ‘Election Defense Fund,’ have actually gone to Trump’s new PAC,” Fischer explained.

This new leadership PAC (political action committee) is called “Save America”. The money he collects can be spent on a number of things according to Fischer.

“It could be used to support Trump’s political efforts after the White House. It could be used to keep campaign staff on the payroll between the 2020 and 24 elections. It could be used to make contributions to other candidates to fund Trump’s trip to rallies in support of other candidates.

It can even be used to pay “consulting fees” to individuals, including the president.

The website appears to advertise that President Trump is raising money for an “election defense fund.” However, according to the fine print and Brandon Fischer, it will be post-election efforts, campaign debt payments and a new political action committee.

The latest campaign finance report from Nov. 23 showed the Trump campaign owed $11 million on Election Day. Reports say the campaign spent $14 million on legal fees and recounts.

That means there could still be more than $180 million left over from post-campaign fundraising and post-election costs covered.

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