Trump is fleecing GOP donors, and he wants them to stop contributing to legitimate GOP organizations and start donating to him exclusively.
The former president this week escalated a standoff over the Republican Party’s financial future, blasting party leaders and urging his backers to send donations to his new political action committee — not to the institutional groups that traditionally control the G.O.P.’s coffers.
“No more money for RINOS,” he said in a statement released on Monday by his bare-bones post-presidential office, referring to Republicans In Name Only. He directed donors to his own website instead.
The best part is, he doesn’t have to use the money for the GOP. He can just profit:
Mr. Trump’s actions could give him a stream of money at a time when his private company is struggling under the scrutiny of investigations, with some discussions of whether properties need to be sold. His business is now politics, and political action committees have few restrictions on how they operate and use their money, according to campaign finance experts.
The former president could, in theory, pay himself and his family members salaries from the money raised there.
“That sort of PAC has no meaningful restrictions on how it could spend its money,” said Adav Noti, the senior director of trial litigation at the Campaign Legal Center.
People close to the former president say there has been no discussion about Mr. Trump giving himself a salary. But historically, his political committees have paid to use his properties, among other things, indirectly enriching him.
What was it Lindsey Graham said recently about Trump? Oh right:
LINDSEY GRAHAM: Donald Trump was my friend before the riot. And I’m trying to keep a relationship with him after the riot. Uh, I can still consider him a friend. What happened was a dark day in American history. And we’re going to move forward. So here’s what you need to know about me. I want this to continue. I want us to continue the policies that I think will make America strong. I believe the best way for the Republican Party to do that is with Trump, not without Trump.
JONATHAN SWAN: Not only does he show no remorse, I mean, he’s still telling everyone he won in a landslide.
LINDSEY GRAHAM: Yeah. And I tell him every day that he wants to listen, that I think the main reason he probably lost in Arizona is beating on the dead guy called John McCain.
JONATHAN SWAN: Do you think you could have won re-election without being an ardent supporter of President Trump?
LINDSEY GRAHAM: Here’s the thing, my election’s over.
JONATHAN SWAN: Yeah.
LINDSEY GRAHAM: I could throw him over tomorrow.
JONATHAN SWAN: Right.
LINDSEY GRAHAM: Why aren’t I?
JONATHAN SWAN: Yeah. That’s what I really don’t understand.
LINDSEY GRAHAM: Well then, you don’t understand me very much.
JONATHAN SWAN: I don’t. That’s why I’m asking you.
LINDSEY GRAHAM: That’s right. So that, I could say, that’s it. It’s over. It’s done. That’s just too easy. What’s hard is to take a movement that I think is good for the country, try to get the leader of the movement who has got lots of problems facing him and the party, and see if we can make a go of it. Mitt Romney didn’t do it. John McCain didn’t do it. There’s something about Trump. There’s a dark side and there’s some magic there. What I’m trying to do is just harness the magic.
To me, Donald Trump is sort of a cross between Jesse Helms, Ronald Reagan, and P.T. Barnum. I mean, it’s just, it’s just this bigger than life deal. He could make the Republican Party something that nobody else I know could make it. He can make it bigger, he can make it stronger, he can make it more diverse. And he also could destroy it.
There’s a sucker born every minute. And every minute, people are donating to Donald Trump.