Trump Donors Respond to Push After FBI Search

PAC stepped up emails, and donations topped $1M on at least 2 days
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 17, 2022 7:40 PM CDT
Trump Donors Respond to Push After FBI Search
Secret Service agents stand at the gate of Mar-a-Lago on Aug. 8 after FBI agents arrived with warrants at the Palm Beach, Fla., estate.   (Damon Higgins/Palm Beach Daily News via AP)

(Newser) – "They're coming after YOU," one email said. "They broke into my home," said another in all caps. Those were among the fundraising solicitations former President Donald Trump sent to supporters in the immediate aftermath of the FBI search of his Florida home last week. Trump's PAC, which had been sending on average nine fundraising emails a day to its list, multiplied that outreach to capitalize on his supporters' outrage, the Washington Post reports. The payoff was a jump in daily income from $200,000 to $300,000 to, on at least two days after the search, more than $1 million.

Contributions have dropped since then but are still running above average, per the Post. An email sent out the morning after the search urged donors to send money immediately, per ABC News. "I need every single red-blooded American Patriot to step up during this time," one email read. The number of contributors rose, as did the size of the donations. The influx reverses at least temporarily the Save America PAC's slump of the first half of 2022. The Federal Election Commission reported that contributions totaled $36 million in the first six months of 2022, the first time since Trump left office that the half-year haul fell below $50 million.

A person familiar with Trump's fundraising told the Post his emails are more successful when they're tied to major news events, especially something like impeachment that makes his supporters feel attacked. "Trump as a candidate and fundraiser has always had an impressively dedicated set of constituents who are particularly mobilized by anger,” said Jessica Baldwin-Philippi, a Fordham University who researches such matters. "A threat, a negative, a time when you lose, can actually be lucrative." (Read more Donald Trump stories.)

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