Friday, May 7, 2021

Trump shares plans for new super PAC in Mar-a-Lago meeting

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“MAGA supporters and candidates supporting President Trump’s America First agenda are going to be impressed with the political operation being built out here,” Miller said. “We expect formal announcements of the full team in the coming weeks, which will include some very talented operatives not yet named.”

People familiar with the meeting — which touched on a wide array of topics related to Trump’s political activities and the organizations supporting them — noted that the full plans for Trump’s operation are not finalized and they were uncertain about some details. Trump has also been known to reverse or change plans on short notice.

Stepien and Clark were tapped to oversee decisions about which candidates the former president will endorse. Trump’s support is much sought after, and jockeying has begun among Republican contenders looking to win the former president’s backing. Some Trump advisers have expressed a desire for the former president to take a measured approach when it comes to bestowing endorsements, and for there to be a process put in place to determine whether a candidate should qualify.

Trump has endorsed several candidates up for election in 2022, including Arkansas gubernatorial hopeful and ex-White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, and Kansas Sen. Jerry Moran.

Trump has already established a leadership PAC, Save America, that has raised tens of millions of dollars. But unlike leadership PACs, which are limited in terms of how much money they can raise from individual donors, super PACs are able to raise and spend unlimited amounts. Trump still maintains wide support among major Republican Party givers, many of whom may be willing to cut substantial checks.

Lewandowski has emerged as an active figure in the early days of Trump’s post-presidency, seeking out Republican candidates to challenge the impeachment-supporting House Republicans and forming a new PAC, Fight Back America. The 47-year-old has also been offering advice to Republicans, including South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem, who is regarded as a potential 2024 presidential contender.

Lewandowski served as Trump’s first campaign manager before he was fired in June 2016. But he has remained a close Trump ally, and Lewandowski spoke with Trump frequently while he was president.

Trump has told advisers that he’s eager to engage in the 2022 midterm elections, including to exact revenge against the House Republicans who supported his impeachment and against Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp, who he has criticized for not intervening to help overturn the results of the 2020 election. A super PAC would give Trump another vehicle to spend massive sums on races where he decides to weigh in.

The former president has been keeping close tabs on the midterm election battlefield. He recently met with Republican National Committee Chair Ronna McDaniel, and former Georgia Sen. David Perdue, who lost his seat in January, also paid Trump a visit in recent days. Perdue had been considering a 2022 comeback bid, but he announced earlier this week that he wouldn’t be running, shortly after meeting with the former president.

Even after his defeat, Trump proved to be a fundraising juggernaut. Save America, which was formed after the election, had $31.5 million in the bank at the end of December, much of it raised from appeals to small-dollar donors that focused on the former president’s baseless claims of election fraud. Millions of dollars more are potentially still waiting to be transferred into Save America from a Trump-affiliated joint fundraising committee.

The super PAC plans come as Trump gradually reemerges into public view, a month after leaving the White House. He is slated to deliver a speech a the Conservative Political Action Conference Sunday, his first major appearance since President Joe Biden was inaugurated. Trump is also expected to appear at the Republican National Committee’s April donor retreat, to be held in Palm Beach, Fla.

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