Here’s Who Paid For Trump’s “Riot-Palooza” Rally
Overthrowing the government ain’t cheap. Renting the stages, microphones, speakers, massive video screens, hospitality tents and all of the other necessities for staging an outdoor event in Washington, D.C., costs a lot of money. Donald Trump’s “Stop the Steal” rally on Jan. 6, which incited insurrectionists to storm the U.S. Capitol that afternoon, had all of that and more. Today the Wall Street Journal has published exclusive reporting about who paid for it.
The most recognizable name is that of far-right agitator and conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, who pledged $50,000 of his own funds as seed money for the rally. According to a funding document reviewed by The Journal, his contribution was in exchange for a guaranteed “top speaking slot of his choice.” But fifty grand doesn’t go far in the D.C. rental market so Jones tapped into his network of reliable conservative contributors and helped arrange for a donation that paid the lion’s share of the total $500,000 cost of the “riot-palooza.”
Jones helped arrange for Julie Jenkins Fancelli, who is an heiress to the Publix Super Markets Inc. chain, to commit about $300,000 through a top fundraising official for former President Donald Trump’s 2020 campaign, according to organizers. Fancelli has been a prominent, long-time donor to Trump campaigns. Publix is one of the country’s largest supermarket chains, operating more than 1,000 stores in southern U.S. states. It is the dominant grocer in Florida, where it has more than 800 locations.
Ali Alexander, another far-right activist and organizer of the “Stop the Steal” movement, also helped coordinate planning with Caroline Wren, a fundraising official who was paid by the Trump campaign for much of 2020. Alexander was active on social media promoting Jan. 6 as a key date for Trump supporters to gather in Washington. The week of the rally, he tweeted a flyer for the event saying: “DC becomes FORT TRUMP starting tomorrow on my orders!”
After incendiary speeches at the rally by Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Ala.) in which he told the crowd to “kick some ass,” Rudy Giuliani’s call for “trial by combat” and Trump’s own remarks, hundreds of domestic terrorists marched to Capitol Hill to carry out the deadly insurrectionist plan.