The New York Times reports:
The aggressive fund-raising tactics that former President Donald J. Trump deployed late in last year’s presidential campaign have continued to spur an avalanche of refunds into 2021, with Mr. Trump, the Republican Party and their shared accounts returning $12.8 million to donors in the first six months of the year, newly released federal records show.
The refunds were some of the biggest outlays that Mr. Trump made in 2021 as he has built up his $102 million political war chest — and amounted to roughly 20 percent of the $56 million he and his committees raised online so far this year.
Trailing in the polls and facing a cash crunch last September, Mr. Trump’s political operation began opting online donors into automatic recurring contributions by prechecking a box on its digital donation forms to take a withdrawal every week. Donors would have to notice the box and uncheck it to opt out of the donation. A second prechecked box took out another donation, known as a “money bomb.”
Read the full article. The Times characterizes the scheme as an “interest-free loan” from his cultists at a time when he needed it most. In the last year, Trump and the RNC have been forced to refund $135 million in donations received via the scam.
How are credit card companies continuing to let this happen? https://t.co/LOFKFREyOR
— Molly Jong-Fast (@MollyJongFast) August 8, 2021