Trump’s PAC Isn’t Helping Any GOP Candidates — But it Gave Melania’s Designer Almost $20K
Former President Donald Trump’s Save America leadership PAC is still sitting pretty, financially, even as he has used it to pay his ever-growing legal bills. But even though he can arguably be considered the leader of the Republican Party, donations to GOP candidates have dried up, perhaps because of his increasing legal problems.
But there’s something weird going on here. His PAC forked out $18,000 to Melania Trump’s fashion designer last month, Mediaite reports.
That interesting little fact was revealed when Super PACs and party committees disclosed their August expenditures on Tuesday. And with the midterm elections just seven weeks away, some of the reports offered a startling glimpse into political fundraising and spending.
Washington Post reporter Isaac Stanley-Becker did a bit of digging and discovered that Trump’s PAC reported the $18,000 payment to Herve Pierre for “Strategy Consulting.” The funds were registered to a 5th Avenue address in New York City.
Trump's PAC, which raises money by promising donors they're defending the former president's legacy, is still paying Melania Trump's fashion designer, most recently $18,000 last month for "strategy consulting" pic.twitter.com/DxaS5CcbDV
— Isaac Stanley-Becker (@isaacstanbecker) September 21, 2022
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And this isn’t the first time Trump’s PAC has reported paying Pierre sizable sums of money. A report from USAToday shows that the PAC paid Pierre $60,000 in four installments from April 7 and June 24. This was, of course, for “strategy consulting.” But as USAToday notes, the Federal Elections Commission “does not allow candidate committees, which are formed to raise money for a specific candidate, to spend money on personal items, including clothing.”
In an August statement to Women’s Wear Daily, Pierre addressed the issue, writing “As with every other first lady, there is an after the White House life, which involves many other aspects than fashion. I am lucky to have worked in prestigious houses, to have designed [costumes] for ballets, and more recently to work in home decor. There are many upcoming projects in this after-the-White-House [stage.]”
Naturally, the payments to Pierre raise questions, especially since Trump’s PAC still shows it has nearly $100 million at the end of last month. And strangely, while other PACs are consumed by making ad buys and spending to promote candidates, Trump has not spent money on races to help the GOP regain the House and Senate.
There’s only one instance where Trump contributed money during this cycle, and it was aimed at one of his chief foes. He contributed $150,000 to a group that worked to defeat Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) during her GOP primary.
Which sounds so much like something Trump would do — because in his world, spitefulness is a virtue.
Politico is reporting that Trump’s PAC spent “$3.8 million on legal fees and a bit shy of $800,000 on events and travel. The group still has $99 million cash on hand, according to its latest finding.”
While the fact that the PAC is paying Melania’s fashion designer could very well be in violation of the FEC’s rules, I view this, and the fact that Trump isn’t donating anything to his fellow Republicans as good news. This is simply making it that much more difficult for Republicans to make any gains in the 2022 midterms. Considering the fact that Republicans as a whole have been little more than Trump sycophants who want to enact draconian laws that affect all of us, this isn’t bad news at all.