The fine print on Trump's 'election defense' revels the real reason he refuses to concede: Robert Reich

The fine print on Trump's 'election defense' revels the real reason he refuses to concede: Robert Reich
Photo via the White House.

Joe Biden has decisively won the presidency. There is no way for Trump to overturn the results of the election, and his campaign's post-election lawsuits have gotten dismissed left and right.

That hasn't stopped him from launching an "Official Election Defense Fund" and bombarding his supporters with fundraising appeals to supposedly finance the campaign's ongoing litigation.

But the fine print tells a very different story.

60 percent of a donation to Trump's "Official Election Defense Fund" goes to Save America, Trump's new leadership Political Action Committee that he set up less than a week after the election. The other 40 percent goes to the Republican National Committee.

So if someone donates $500, Trump's PAC gets $300, the RNC gets the other $200, and not a cent actually goes to the election defense fund.

Donations only start going to that fund once Trump's PAC reaches the legal contribution limit of $5,000 – and the RNC gets $3,000.

This means a supporter would have to donate over $8,000 before any money goes to the fund they think they're supporting.

Apparently enriching himself on the taxpayer dime for the past four years wasn't enough for Trump. Now he's lining his pockets by attacking our elections and undermining our democracy – and swindling his supporters every step of the way.

Is this just a final grift before Trump leaves office? Or is there more at stake?

Trump certainly wants to keep the money flowing, and a leadership PAC is an easy way to do it. Trump's PAC can be used to fund a lavish post-presidency lifestyle, as leadership PACs can use donors' funds for personal expenses, like personal travel and events at Trump properties, while campaign committees cannot.

But there's more at stake than just Trump's personal greed. Creating a PAC solidifies Trump's grip on the GOP, as he can distribute the funds to GOP candidates. It helps keep his base whipped up ahead of the Georgia runoffs. And the PAC allows him to start preparing for a potential 2024 run, an idea he's already floated to his inner circle.

In the grand scheme of things, Trump's PAC also fuels the GOP's cynical strategy to maintain power. The GOP has a permanent stake in stoking a cold civil war.

A deeply divided nation serves the party's biggest patrons, giving them unfettered access to the economy's gains while the bottom 90% of Americans fight each other for crumbs. That division will persist even with Trump out of the White House, thanks to his bonkers claim of a stolen election, and a base more riled up from racist appeals than ever.

We may have defeated Trump, but we haven't defeated Trumpism. We must work to push the Biden administration to tackle the systemic conditions that allowed Trump to seize power in the first place.


The Real Reason Trump Won’t Concede youtu.be

Understand the importance of honest news ?

So do we.

The past year has been the most arduous of our lives. The Covid-19 pandemic continues to be catastrophic not only to our health - mental and physical - but also to the stability of millions of people. For all of us independent news organizations, it’s no exception.

We’ve covered everything thrown at us this past year and will continue to do so with your support. We’ve always understood the importance of calling out corruption, regardless of political affiliation.

We need your support in this difficult time. Every reader contribution, no matter the amount, makes a difference in allowing our newsroom to bring you the stories that matter, at a time when being informed is more important than ever. Invest with us.

Make a one-time contribution to Alternet All Access, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.

Click to donate by check.

DonateDonate by credit card
Donate by Paypal

Don't Sit on the Sidelines of History. Join Alternet All Access and Go Ad-Free. Support Honest Journalism.