Donald Trump’s failed reelection campaign has taken another hit. According to Forbes, it issued a staggering sum of $122.7 million in refunds to those who supported Trump’s 2020 presidential run.
The campaign has given back close to 11% of the raised money, an investigative report from the New York Times stated Saturday. The numbers are based on an analysis of Federal Election Commission filings.
The campaign that started last summer used WinRed to process its online donations and initiated the use of pre-check recurring payment boxes when processing online offerings. Unless donors paid attention to the fine print and didn’t manually uncheck the opt-out box, donors’ credit cards would be charged weekly up until Election Day. Smh!
But what is more puzzling is the fact that the campaign “made that disclaimer increasingly opaque” and eventually added another pre-checked box that automatically doubled a donor’s contribution, the Times added.
Quite naturally, financial institutions received many fraud complaints from Trump supports who didn’t know they had agreed to the recurring charges.
Unsurprisingly, Jason Miller, a spokesperson for Trump, denounced the claims of widespread fraud and told the outlet internal data determined 0.87% of the campaign’s WinRed transactions were subject to “formal” credit card disputes.
“The fact we had a dispute rate of less than 1% of total donations despite raising more grass-roots money than any campaign in history is remarkable,” Miller said.
Even after Trump lost, his team continued to take contributions. They told supporters without evidence of election fraud, Trump wouldn’t be able to overturn the election results and therefore urged supporters to fund Trump’s “Stop The Steal” efforts.
Trump was able to garner $255.4 million in donations in a matter of eight weeks post-November 3. Forbes reported that Trump and the Republican National Committee received more than $2 million daily from November through December 14, which was the day of the Electoral College vote.
CNN says Trump’s campaign sent out over 400 emails and 130 text messages appealing for donations.
Trump’s campaign return is significantly different when compared to President Joe Biden’s, whose refund rate for donations was 2.2% last year.
“It felt like it was a scam,” Russell Blatt told the Times after his family realized that $3,000 had been withdrawn from the account of his brother, Stacy, who was battling cancer and living on less than $1,000 per month.
On a daily average, the Trump campaign refunded $720,000 in December.