Although President Donald Trump is ostensibly fighting the outcome of the 2020 presidential election (having lost to his Democratic opponent, President-elect Joe Biden), he and his family members appear to be making moves behind the scenes to continue having influence on right-wing politics for years to come.
Trump has reportedly set up a leadership political action committee (PAC) that would allow him to retain influence in the Republican Party even after Biden is inaugurated. Through the PAC, which will be called “Save America,” Trump can fundraise money that can be used to support candidates he wants to win in future races.
Doing so will undoubtedly keep him intertwined with Republican politics, and may perhaps allow him to attempt another run for president in 2024.
Although he is limited to $5,000 per donor, Trump can also obtain donations from other PACs, including his own presidential campaign coffers. According to The New York Times, Trump will direct 60 percent of his current fundraising from his campaign to the new PAC.
The official announcement of the new organization may come as early as next week. Trump campaign communications director Tim Murtaugh said this new development should come as no surprise.
“The president always planned to do this, win or lose, so he can support candidates and issues he cares about, such as combating voter fraud,” Murtaugh said.
There is no substantiated proof that voter fraud took place in this year’s elections, in spite of Murtaugh’s insinuations. Still, the PAC’s money can be used to promote ideas such as these, and to influence the direction that conservative politics will take, particularly if the group is backed and promoted by a former president.
Others within the Trump family are also making moves, according to sources close to the White House, to expand influence within the Republican National Committee (RNC), or to even take control of the party itself, per reporting from CNN. According to the sources that spoke to the news network, Donald Trump Jr. and his girlfriend, former Fox News personality Kimberly Guilfoyle, are not happy with the direction that RNC chairwoman Ronna McDaniel has gone in, and blame her for not doing more to help the president win a contentious race.
“Don Jr. and Kimberly have an eye on the RNC, through themselves taking over or somebody close to them taking over,” one of those sources said.
A move in that direction may not be wanted by many party insiders. Trump Jr.’s and Guilfoyle’s actions, while fundraising for the president, have been described by some as embarrassing and unprofessional. According to those who attended fundraising gatherings hosted by the couple, Guilfoyle lacked professionalism, allegedly making inappropriate jokes about her sex life and offering a lap dance to whoever made the largest campaign contribution at one of these events.
In spite of their apparent disdain for Trump Jr. and Guilfoyle, rejecting their moves to take over the party could come with political consequences, as the party’s base may view it negatively.
“In order for Republicans to move forward they may have to do this,” another source said to CNN.
Indeed, a recent Washington Examiner/YouGov poll finds that most Republicans want the Trumps to remain in their political lives in some way. Asked on October 30 what Trump should do if he loses his bid for reelection, 38 percent of GOP-aligned respondents said they wanted him to run for president again in 2024, while 34 percent said they wanted him to remain in politics by voicing his support for new leaders. Just 9 percent said they wanted him to leave politics entirely.