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Why the Trump campaign returned donations to these super fans



President Donald Trump will not be able to rely on his most loyal donors, just when he needs them the most.

The records of the Federal Election Commission show that as of the end of July, hundreds of supporters who have been paying for the Trump campaign have reached the maximum legally allowed donation amount, and hundreds more are dangerously close to the donation limit.

In a letter to the Trump campaign last month, FEC flagged 35,000 donations from 1,045 donors totaling $4.56 million, including one of Trump’s own ambassadors, a Chinese philanthropist , And a used car dealer in Memphis.

For Trump, the timing may not be worse. He revealed in an August document that his campaign raised almost no more funds than expenditures, and raised funds in less than two months. Raising funds at the bank lags far behind the campaign of former Vice President Joe Biden. Leave before the election. Although the most recent campaign raised about 1

.1 billion U.S. dollars, it has spent more than 800 million U.S. dollars on fundraising activities, high-paying employees and facilities, and even magnetic phone bags to prevent donors from recording and leaking private meetings. Thus wasted cash. New York Times report.

Campaign finance expert and attorney Brett Kappel of the Washington DC company Harmon Curran said that the letter, including 855 pages of donations deemed excessive by the FEC, is currently on an unprecedented scale in the campaign. This is likely to be the result of Trump’s unprecedented decision to start his re-election campaign on the same day he was sworn in.

“One of the issues with starting your reelection campaign on the day of the inauguration is that your most loyal small donors (small donors who have signed up to donate $50 or $100 a week) will reach the $5,600 limit long before the next election. “Said. For Biden, this is not a problem. Only very few of his supporters have been exhausted, and he can return to them again and again until the election. “

In contrast, Biden’s campaign was required to return some of the donations that Trump’s campaign might have to return. According to the analysis of the data by the Daily Beast, the FEC letter identified 237 Trump donors, and their total donations in this election cycle reached US$5,600 or more. A similar letter sent to the Biden movement last week also identified 31 donors who have reached the threshold.

Biden spokesperson Andrew Bates said: “Like everything else in his life-whether it is the growing economy he inherited from the Obama-Biden administration or his own legacy-Donald Trump wasted his huge opportunity to raise funds for his campaign.” “At the same time, our grassroots masters broke the record.”

One of Trump’s excessive donations is Trump’s ambassador to the Netherlands and former ninth Congressman from Michigan, Pete Hoekstra. He donated $2,800 twice in June, and then donated $800 again in July.

Donors can only provide $5,600 to one candidate per election cycle: $2,800 per primary student; $2,800 per general election. Thereafter, any money used for the election shall be refunded. The event has returned $2,800 to Hoekstra in July.

The Trump campaign did not respond to a request for comment on the matter, but Hawkestra said in an email that his donation frenzy was just one point.

He said in an email: “When I donate on the Internet, I have to click the donate button twice, and then donate again.” “Soon after, my wife checked our credit card balance and noticed Two donations. [I] The campaign was contacted and they dropped one of the charges. “

However, the itchy fingers of Hawkestra seemed to be an aberration. Many of the donations that must be refunded are made over and over again in increments of $25 to $100 by the same person, in many cases retirees, a point that the Trump campaign quickly emphasized.

The Trump campaign spokesperson said: “Donors go all out to fulfill the president’s promise and keep their promise to make our country great. After four years of dedication to the American people, President Trump’s supporters are Passion as always.”

For example, Orlando retiree Pauline Vennum has donated 330 times since January 2018, usually about $30 at a time. According to the FEC letter, as of the end of June, she had provided US$6,700.36, which far exceeded the legal limit.

When contacted by phone, she said: “Well, I don’t know the limit.” “I donated with my mobile phone. I have no tracking.”


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