Outgoing commander-in-chief Donald J. Trump has a long history of sketchy behavior, from his scammy Trump University to his habit of stiffing contractors to, one could argue, much of his presidency. And though he regularly sings the praises of his many supporters, that didn’t stop him from his latest grift. As per Reuters, those donating to his “Official Election Defense Fund” — to help him combat claims of voter fraud that, so far, have lacked any hard evidence — would have to spend a lot of money before it actually went to defend the election.
Indeed, anyone donating less than $8,000 would see their cash go not towards recounts and lawsuits but to a Trump PAC, or Political Action Committee, and to the RNC. And they can do with that money whatever they want.
This shouldn’t be news; after all, it was in the fine print. Essentially, the first $8,000 of any donation would be split 60-40 between “Save America,” the aforementioned Trump PAC, and the RNC. Only after those coffers have been lined will the money go to legal fees and any other matters that may have spurred the donation in the first place. In other words, if you’re a Trump supporter who doesn’t have over $8,000 lying around — if you’re someone who decided to throw him 25 bucks — none of it would go to actually defending the election.
It sounds sleazy, doesn’t it? But there has been at least one defense of the move. Reuters spoke to Darrell Scott, a pastor who was a member of Trump’s transition team in 2016, who claims it will all come out in the wash. “I see this as two pockets on the same pair of pants. It doesn’t matter if it goes into the left or the right pocket,” he told Reuters. “In the end, the money will be used for a legitimate purpose that his supporters will get behind.” Of course, trying telling “Trust Trump” to the contractors he stiffed.