President Donald Trump and his political operation have raised more than $170 million since Election Day, a person familiar with the matter said – a massive fundraising haul fueled by Trump’s baseless allegations that the election was rigged.
The fundraising flowed into the coffers of Trump’s joint fundraising committee in less than four weeks thanks to a barrage of fundraising solicitations to Trump’s supporters, urging them to donate to an “Election Defense Fund” as the President hyped up conspiracy theories about a stolen election.
In reality, an increasingly large share of the funds have helped retire the Trump campaign’s debt and fund the President’s future political operation via a political action committee.
The Save America political action committee, which the President launched less than a week after Election Day, could fund his post-White House political life – underwriting travel, staff and other functions, even if Trump never seeks public office again.
The Trump campaign declined to comment on the fundraising figures. The Washington Post first reported that Trump’s post-election fundraising had topped $150 million.
One campaign adviser said the fundraising is a big indication that Trump “isn’t going anywhere.” The adviser said there is already talk of Trump doing some extensive traveling post-presidency, including trips overseas to maintain his visibility.
As CNN has previously reported, Trump’s campaign has sent hundreds of fundraising pitches in recent weeks with over-the-top claims of election fraud. A recent missive asked Trump supporters to sign petitions to “demand a fair election.” Another sought “$5 IMMEDIATELY to DEFEND the Election from the Radical Left.”
The legal fine print on the appeals, however, shows that 75% of the funds raised, up to $5,000, go to the new leadership PAC, Save America. Only after the $5,000 threshold is met, does any money go into the Trump campaign’s recount account.
In all, the campaign has sent 400 fundraising emails and another 125 texts between 11 p.m. ET election night and early Tuesday morning.
Trump’s legal team has waged long-shot legal battles to challenge the election results – with little success. Two states President-elect Joe Biden won by narrow margins – Arizona and Wisconsin – on Monday certified their election results, affirming Biden’s victory.
The Trump campaign had spent $3 million for a partial recount in Wisconsin.
CNN’s Jim Acosta contributed to this story.