So Far This Year, Donald Trump Has Refunded $13 Million to Supporters Who Were Tricked Into Donating to His Campaign

Last summer, Joe Biden was outraising Donald Trump at a pretty good clip. The Trump campaign was in turmoil. The former president demoted his campaign head Brad Parscale after a disastrous rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

And trailing Biden, the Trump campaign figured the best way to raise more money was to fool their supporters. The fundraising page added boxes to trick followers into into donating more money than they meant to. And now, a fair amount of that money is being returned.

Photo by MANDEL NGAN / AFP) (Photo by MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images  

The New York Times Shane Goldmacher writes, “New Federal Election Commission records from WinRed, the Republican donation-processing site, show the full scale of the financial impact. All told, more than $135 million was refunded to donors by Mr. Trump, the Republican National Committee and their shared accounts in the 2020 cycle through June 2021 — including roughly $60 million after Election Day.”

The report continues, “Of the refunds issued this year, $8.1 million came from Mr. Trump’s shared account with the R.N.C., the records show. An additional $2.2 million came from his re-election committee and $2.5 million was issued by the party itself. The party stopped operating in tandem with Mr. Trump earlier this year but still owed refunds from 2020; most of its returned donations came in January and February.”

Peter Loge, from the Project on Ethics in Political Communication, said, “It’s pretty clear that the Trump campaign was engaging in deceptive tactics. If you have to return that much money you are doing something either very wrong or very unethical.”

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