U.S.

Trump allies launch new super PAC to bolster GOP candidates in midterms as former President eyes 2024 campaign

The new group, called MAGA, Inc., will merge with an existing Trump-sanctioned super PAC largely overseen by former Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi and former US Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell. Last month, that group had spent just over $2 million to boost Trump-backed Senate and House candidates in their primary races earlier this year.

“President Trump is committed to saving America, and Make America Great Again, Inc. will ensure it is achieved at the polls in November and beyond,” Trump spokesman Taylor Budowich said in a statement on Friday.

Budowich is tasked with running the new super PAC, along with former Trump campaign aide Steven Cheung, who will serve as communications director; old Trump poll Tony Fabrizio; veteran GOP employee Chris LaCivita, who will become the group’s chief strategist; and Sergio Gor, whose conservative publishing house released Trump’s first post-presidential book (a collection of White House photos and campaign footage) last year and will serve as senior advisor to MAGA, Inc.

Trump’s latest fundraising vehicle was first reported by Politico.

With the November election fast approaching, Trump is under pressure to dive into the mountain of money raised by his leadership PAC, Save America and the Bondi-led group to boost federal and non-federal candidates who drew his support in their primaries, but follow or run too close for comfort against their Democratic opponents. According to the most recently available data from the Federal Election Commission, the former president had more than $103 million in his coffers at the end of August. People familiar with the matter said most of those funds will be transferred to MAGA, Inc., which is expected to begin dispensing immediately in key interim races.

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Federal data shows that since January 2021, Trump’s main fundraising vehicle, Save America, has contributed more than $8.4 million to candidates and committees at the federal, state, and local levels — a significant amount, but virtually nothing compared to what others have done. major Republican groups have committed and only about $1.4 million more than what the former president spent this cycle in legal fees (nearly $7 million). The pro-GOP Senate leadership fund spends about $205 million on Senate race advertising this cycle, according to a CNN analysis, which includes what the group has already spent and its ad reservations for the following month. Meanwhile, the Congressional Leadership Fund, which is aligned with House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, plans to spend $141 million on advertising this fall alone.

Trump associates have long insisted that his spending be topped up by the campaign rallies and fundraisers he’s held on behalf of several Republicans, along with his coveted endorsement, which helped many of his chosen candidates win the contested primaries earlier this year. . But others say the former president’s lack of financial support should not be discounted.

“Trump never went out of his way to help candidates — unless he sees a way it would help him. His camp says, ‘Well, he’s helping them by doing these events,’ which I’d say aren’t that helpful because you never know if Trump is going to insult the candidate,” said Doug Heye, a GOP strategist and former Republican National Committee communications director.

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One person familiar with the new group said it will spend “heavily” on key Senate and governor races this fall, but declined to disclose a target amount of which specific contests the Trump-backed super PAC plans to focus on. Another person close to Trump said the group had been in the planning stages for several months and will likely become part of his campaign apparatus if he makes a third presidential bid, as widely expected.

After looking at months of a pre-midterm launch date for a 2024 campaign, Trump is now waiting to see how Republicans perform in November — hoping to avoid blame if the party’s overall gains disappoint.

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“He is convinced that there is no benefit to doing it before the midterms and there are many potential drawbacks. Right now the target is Q1 next year, but of course once the elections are over he can really handle it do any time.” said a Trump adviser.

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