Donald Trump has engaged in all kinds of outrageous post-election activities -- including, of course, an unprecedented gambit to overturn the results of an election he lost -- but only one of them seems to be annoying his Republican allies.
The outgoing president and his operation have focused considerable attention on raking in as much money as humanly possible. As Politico recently summarized, Trump has been on "a relentless, misleading and highly lucrative fundraising drive since losing reelection, telling supporters that they can help overturn the results if they donate while directing the bulk of the cash to his newest political group instead of the entities fighting in court."
In all, between Nov. 3 and Dec. 3, Trump's operation raised $207.5 million, which as we've discussed, is every bit as extraordinary as it sounds. After all, donors usually contribute heavily in the runup to Election Day, not the month after it.
But the Republican president has brazenly lied to his followers, telling them not only that the election was marred by fraud, but also that they can help combat this imagined injustice by sending Trump their money -- much of which can go in his pocket, and very little of which will go toward anti-election litigation.
As it turns out, this isn't his only financial scam. Politico also reported overnight on the president bombarding his supporters with messages about the important U.S. Senate runoff elections in Georgia on Jan. 5. But those who chip in, eager to help the GOP candidates in these critical contests, may not realize where their money is going:
There's just one hitch: Trump's new political machine is pocketing most of the dough — and the campaigns of the Georgia senators competing in the Jan. 5 races aren't getting a cent. Trump's aggressive fundraising blitz appears to be devoted to helping the party defend Georgia's two Senate seats and, with them, the Senate majority. But the fine print shows that most of the proceeds are going toward Trump's newly launched PAC, which he plans to use to fund his future political activities.
The article added that the ploy hatched by the president's operation has "rankled senior Republicans," who actually care about directing those resources to Georgia Sens. Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue. The National Republican Senatorial Committee has even "reached out to the White House and RNC to express its concern and to question the decision."
"The reality is Donald Trump does not care about the future of the Republican Party, so if he can raise money off of the Georgia runoffs but keep the money for his own purposes, he will do so," veteran GOP strategist Doug Heye told Politico.
A Washington Post analysis recently noted the extent to which Trump has proven "how lucrative it can be to put all shame aside." Evidence to bolster the point is clearly abundant.