NEW YORK (Dagbladet): A comprehensive review in the New York Times shows that Trump’s election campaign used pre-marked fields and indistinct designs in emails to his supporters to raise money. In that way, he is said to have squeezed millions of dollars out of ignorant supporters and thus secured enough money to be able to compete with Biden in the last months of the election campaign.
Several of Trump’s own supporters are now telling how they feel cheated.
– It felt like a scam, says Russell Blatt to the newspaper.
His brother, Stacy Blatt, received hospice treatment for cancer in September last year when he heard radio personality Rush Limbaugh talk about how desperately Trump needed more money. Blatt, who lives for 1000 dollars a month (about 8500 kroner) decided to give everything he could, 500 dollars (about 4250 kroner). This was his first political donation. But the donation continued to double. Within 30 days, the Trump organization had collected 3,000 dollars (about 25,500 kroner).
When Blatt could not afford to pay rent and other expenses, he called his brother for help.
But what the Blatt brothers thought was a mistake turned out to be a deliberate plan to bring in more revenue for the Trump campaign through the company WinRed.
– These condemned money
People who wanted to support Trump only once had to read all the small print very carefully and manually remove marked fields.
– Bandits. I’m retired. “I can not afford to pay all this damned money,” Victor Amelino, 78, told the New York Times.
He wanted to donate 990 dollars (about 8415 kroner), but ended up being deducted 8000 dollars (about 68,000 kroner).
In the last 2.5 months of the election campaign, the Trump campaign and the Republican National Committee ended up repaying a staggering $ 64.3 million (about $ 546.6 million) to 530,000 donors for various reasons. During the same period, the Biden campaign reimbursed $ 5.6 million (about $ 47.6 million) to 37,000 donors.
In total, Trump ended up refunding 10.7 percent of the money he received through WinRed, while Biden had to refund 2.2 percent of the money he received through the Democrats’ equivalent organization, ActBlue, according to public documents.
– Textbook example
However, the practice of the Trump campaign should not be directly illegal, according to US consumer law.
“It’s unfair, it’s unethical, and it’s inappropriate,” Consumer Advocates Ira Rheingold of the National Association of Consumer Advocates told the New York Times.
Harry Brignull is an expert on deceptive design.
– This should be a textbook example of what you should not do, he says to the newspaper.
Trump’s spokesman, Jason Miller, defends the fundraiser.
– Our election campaign was built on hard-working men and women in America. Protecting their investments was paramount to everything else we did, says Miller.
Despite the extraordinarily aggressive fundraising, Trump ended up losing the presidential election by over seven million votes. The Electoral College lost by 232 votes to Biden’s 306.
Trump continues to claim that he lost the presidential election due to widespread electoral fraud. This despite the fact that he has not presented any documentation on this. On the contrary, the erroneous claim has been flatly rejected in court after court.
But even after the election defeat, the election campaign organization continued to collect the weekly sums of money from people who had left the pre-marked fields standing. Until December 14, Trump thus raised tens of millions of dollars for the political action committee, Save America.
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