President Donald Trump raised $207.5 million in conjunction with the Republican National Committee in the weeks after Election Day, a mammoth figure that underscores his grip on the GOP even after he lost to President-elect Joe Biden by at least 7 million votes.
“These tremendous fundraising numbers show President Trump remains the leader and source of energy for the Republican Party, and that his supporters are dedicated to fighting for the rightful, legal outcome of the 2020 general election,” Bill Stepien, his 2020 campaign manager, said in a statement.
The new figures, released Thursday by the Trump campaign, are even greater than estimations published earlier this week by media outlets.
The president’s campaign has been sending a barrage of misleading fundraising emails and text messages to supporters, urging them to donate while claiming the money would largely be used to challenge the results of the 2020 election.
Trump and his surrogates have continued to spread lies and misinformation about the race even after it became clear that Biden had won, filing a bevy of legal challenges in key battleground states in an attempt to overturn those results. The president has ultimately lost every legal challenge, and all six battleground states he targeted have now certified their vote counts and declared Biden the winner.
Yet Trump has refused to concede and has been urging his supporters to send more money. The fine print behind those donation appeals, however, says that most of the money ― the first 75% of small-dollar donations ― will go toward his new political action committee, Save America. The remaining 25% will go to the RNC’s operating expenses. Donors would have to give more than $5,000 before their money would go to the recount fund.
Regardless, the fundraising figures are huge. Top Republicans have continued to cheer on Trump and his hold on the party remains strong even as GOP leaders begin to court other possible presidential contenders for the 2024 election.
RNC chair Ronna McDaniel said Thursday that the monetary haul would help the party’s efforts next month in Georgia, where the state’s two Senate seats ― and control of the chamber for the next two years ― will be decided in runoff elections.
“The American people know what’s at stake. Thanks to our incredible supporters, we’ve been fighting tooth and nail to uphold election integrity across the country and defend our Senate Republicans in Georgia,” McDaniel said in a statement. “The work we are doing today is critical to ensuring a better tomorrow for all Americans.”