Money-Grubbing Felon’s Wild Warning to MAGA: Back Off

It’s every man for themselves in the Wild West of the Republican Party, with convicted felon Donald Trump warning other party members to stay far away from his fundraising efforts.

The presumptive GOP presidential candidate’s campaign wasted no time Thursday leveraging his hush-money conviction for its fundraising efforts, raising $34.8 million in a small-dollar haul in the hours after Trump became the first former president turned convicted felon in U.S. history. In emails to his supporters, a free-walking Trump described himself as a “political prisoner” and questioned if the verdict would be the “end of America.”

But Trump has made it abundantly clear that he doesn’t want any down-ballot Republicans to join his crusade—for fear that they could line their own pockets with donations that might instead have gone to him.

“Any Republican elected official, candidate or party committee siphoning money from President Trump’s donors are no better than Judge Merchan’s daughter,” Trump co–campaign manager Chris LaCivita told Politico. “We’re keeping a list, we’ll be checking it twice, and we aren’t in the spirit of Christmas.”

The Trump campaign had already delivered an unusual notice to GOP vendors in April requesting that other campaigning Republicans “who choose to use President Trump’s name, image, and likeness” share a minimum of 5 percent of their fundraising solicitations with the former president.

“This includes but is not limited to sending to the house file, prospecting vendors, and advertising,” LaCivita and his campaign co-manager Susie Wiles wrote in the letter.

But the ongoing money-grubbing is a stark sign for the health of the Trump campaign. Trump’s previous grifts included launching a remarkably ugly sneaker and selling NFT trading cards of himself dressed in superhero costumes and astronaut suits. And, on top of maintaining some GOP megadonors post-conviction, Trump is well on his way to morphing the RNC into his personal piggy bank.

In March, he installed his daughter-in-law Lara Trump to co-run the organization alongside North Carolina GOP Chairman Michael Whatley. In an interview with Real America’s Voice, Lara Trump vaguely promised that “every single penny of every dollar donated” will go to causes that “people care about.”

But Republicans saw through that.

“There will be zero money available for any candidates down ballot. Zero,” Liz Mair, a Republican strategist, told USA Today at the time. “All of it will be funneled into the presidential, and despite what Chris LaCivita says, I’m pretty sure as much of it as can be will actually be funneled into covering Trump lawsuit costs.”

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Kim browne

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