Donald Trump has successfully grifted $170 million since Election Day

Yesterday, Wisconsin and Arizona certified their election results, ensuring that their states’ Electoral College votes would go to President-elect Joe Biden. This came after the “Trump campaign” spent millions of dollars in ridiculous lawsuits and recounts, all so Donald Trump could lose several times over. The Washington Post had a terrifying piece about the “20 days” of insanity between Election Day and Trump authorizing the Biden transition, with one adviser saying that Trump spent weeks telling people he actually won: “[He was like] Mad King George, muttering, ‘I won. I won. I won.’”

There’s some confusion about whether Trump really does believe all the lies he pushes, whether the con artist is actually the biggest mark of them all. I still don’t know, honestly. I think Trump is deranged and he can’t admit to himself that he lost, but he also fell backwards into a successful grift. Apparently, he’s raised $170 million since Election Day:

President Trump has raised about $170 million since Election Day as his campaign operation has continued to aggressively solicit donations with hyped-up appeals that have funded his fruitless attempts to overturn the election and that have seeded his post-presidential political ambitions, according to a person familiar with the matter.

The money, much of which was raised in the first week after the election, according to the person, has arrived as Mr. Trump has made false claims about fraud and sought to undermine public confidence in the legitimacy of President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s victory.

Instead of slowing down after the election, Mr. Trump’s campaign has ratcheted up its volume of email solicitations for cash, telling supporters that money was needed for an “Election Defense Fund.” In reality, the fine print shows that the first 75 percent of every contribution currently goes to a new political action committee that Mr. Trump set up in mid-November, Save America, which can be used to fund his political activities going forward, including staff and travel. The other 25 percent of each donation is directed to the Republican National Committee. A donor has to give $5,000 to Mr. Trump’s new PAC before any funds go to his recount account.

Still, the Trump campaign continues to urgently ask for cash. On Monday, Mr. Trump signed a campaign email that breathlessly told supporters that the end of November — nearly four weeks after Election Day — represented “our most IMPORTANT deadline EVER.”

The $170 million figure, raised in less than four weeks, is an enormous sum that rivals the amounts of money brought in at the peak of the campaign. While a breakdown of the money was not immediately available, the deluge of donations would appear to have paid off any remaining Trump campaign debt (in the first days after the election, the fine print showed that contributions were earmarked for that purpose). The money is also likely to provide Mr. Trump with a sizable financial head start in paying for his post-presidency political activities.

Despite the influx of cash, both the Trump campaign and the R.N.C. have reduced the size of their staffs since the election.

[From The NY Times]

Something I’ve been wondering is whether Trump’s bonkers lawyers are actually going to get paid. Rudy Giuliani reportedly asked for $20,000 a day (lmao) but Rudy also said that he’ll work out his bill with the Trump people once everything is done. It feels like the “campaign” hired the dumbest clowns at the rodeo and those clowns are doing their best to spread every ridiculous conspiracy they can think of, all as performance art for Dear Leader. But are they going to get paid? I doubt it. As for Trump’s $170 million war chest… let’s be honest, that superpac is going to be Trump’s piggy bank for all kinds of things, few of them involving his political future. He’s going to loot that superpac for legal fees, for hush money, for bribes and probably for hookers and blow.

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red.

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