02:35 - Source: CNN
Anti-Trump protesters target GOP lawmakers

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The nonprofit is expected to be largely funded by the Mercer family of New York.

The Mercers had previously been expected to support a different group.

Washington CNN —  

The political network supporting Donald Trump has further splintered after the President’s major influential donors on Wednesday formally defected to start their own group to air ads backing the White House.

The new group, Making America Great, said in a statement it plans to run more than $1 million in television and digital ads to boost Trump’s popularity and agenda. The group said the nonprofit will be funded by the Mercer family — a wealthy New York father-daughter pair who have built a wide network in GOP politics. The Mercers guided Trump’s general election campaign behind the scenes and have installed their former aides and friends in positions of high power across the administration.

The Mercers had previously been expected to support a different group, America First Policies, which was formed by a half-dozen former senior campaign aides. But that group has been beset by constant drama over its direction, and the frustrated Mercers for weeks have been said to be eyeing their own group.

Meanwhile, Sheldon Adelson, the casino magnate and the country’s largest Republican donor, is not expected to back any of the warring Trump groups, according to a person familiar with his plans, despite his fondness for Trump’s hawkish policies on Israel.

Making America Great will be led by David Bossie, the Citizens United leader and a former deputy campaign manager to Trump. Bossie had also originally signaled he would work with America First Policies. Joining him is Emily Cornell, who had previously worked for Cambridge Analytica, a data firm with close financial ties to the Mercer family.

The spot begins airing Wednesday nationally and in a series of states home to competitive 2018 Senate races, including Ohio, West Virginia, Pennsylvania and Florida.

“It’s only just begun,” the spot reads, after listing some of the Trump administration’s initial accomplishments.

The group’s plans were first reported by Bloomberg News.