David Bossie (Gage Skidmore/ creative Commons), Corey Lewandowski (AP), Kellyanne Conway (Gage Skidmore) and Brad Parscale (Gage Skidmore)


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Introduction

At the outset that Donald Trump’s bid because that the White House, the blasted supervisor PACs on Twitter as “scams” and “unfair” and disavowed together outside help.

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Then he readjusted his tune. By the end of his 2016 campaign, much more than a hundreds super PACs and comparable groups had spent much more than $72 million on his behalf, helping him loss Democrat Hillary Clinton.


Trump’s military of arranged support has expanded because then, v a dozen or so significant nonprofits and also super PACs pushing his policy platform and also priming the general public for Trump’s 2020 re-election campaign. Plenty of of the groups attribute former trump card staffers or project aides. Trump and his surrogates frequently appear at events hosted by few of the ventures.

Other pro-Trump groups, however, invested four, 5 or also six numbers paying their own leaders and employees, pour it until it is full the coffers of your consulting firms instead of security money to an increase Trump’s politics future.

The facility for windy Integrity has this month analyzed the tasks of each of these organizations. Check out on to make sense of what political committees, at sight PACs and also nonprofit groups are actively in orbit about Trump’s own 2020 re-election committee:

America very first Action Inc.

Type: supervisor PAC

A group of former Trump aides designed the supervisor PAC America an initial Action and also a nonprofit arm, America very first Policies, to push Trump’s plan platform. Even Vice chairman Mike Pence traveled throughout the nation to to visit America very first events and assist raise money. Dallas investor Doug Deason and also Roy Bailey, a companion at Giuliani partners LLC, taken on the finances because that the 2 groups. Former Fox News organize Kimberly Guilfoyle, that is the girl friend of Donald trumped Jr., is the groups’ angry chairwoman. The super PAC collected $39 million indigenous 2017 with 2018. It spent $29.2 million on political messages throughout that time, largely attacking Democrats together as former Sen. Claire McCaskill the Missouri and also Sen. Jon Tester the Montana.


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Donald trumped Jr., and also Kimberly Guilfoyle host hands during a rally because that Republican U.S. Senate candidate man James in Pontiac, Mich., ~ above Oct. 17, 2018. (AP/Paul Sancya)

America first Action attracted multimillion dollar contributions from real estate developer Geoffrey Palmer, philanthropist Cherna Moskowitz, casino magnate Sheldon Adelson and Adelson’s wife, philanthropist Miriam Adelson. Trump critical year vested Miriam Adelson the Presidential Medal of Freedom, among the nation’s greatest civilian honors.

The team has likewise hired and paid firms associated with former Trump employees or backers. They include: Trump’s counselor Kellyanne Conway’s previous firm, the Polling firm ($476,000); former project manager Corey Lewandowski’s firm, green Monster Consulting ($75,000); former Milwaukee sheriff and also Trump booster David A. Clarke’s firm, DAC companies ($92,000); current Trump project manager, Brad Parscale, and also his firm Parscale Strategy llc ($184,000); and also Trump project aide Katrina Pierson’s Pierson Consulting group ($60,000). The supervisor PAC additionally paid previous White home spokesman Sean Spicer’s firm RIGWIL llc $46,000. Spicer is currently the supervisor PAC’s senior adviser and also spokesman. Additionally, the group decided to constant Trump properties, paying around $415,000 to the Trump global Hotel and also restaurants inside.

America very first Policies

Type: nonprofit

High turnover has actually plagued this nonprofit, which has actually chosen no to disclose the donors. Rebekah Mercer, daughter the conservative megadonor Robert Mercer, considered resources the group, however left for another nonprofit called Making America Great. At its outset in January 2017, this 501(c)(4) “social welfare” non-profit hosted big names in Trump’s orbit. Among the co-founders and initial staffers:

Parscale, Trump’s current campaign manager previous Pence aide Marty Obst
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Brad Parscale, campaign manager for President Donald Trump, waits because that his arrival during a campaign rally because that Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, in ~ Houston Toyota facility on Oct. 22, 2018, in Houston. (AP/Evan Vucci)

Trump’s former deputy campaign manager, stack Gates, also co-founded the group. Yet he left in march 2017 and also has since been indicted and has pleaded guilty, in a issue unrelated come America first Policies, to making a false statement to prosecutors and also violating foreign lobbying laws.

The nonprofit and also its sister super PAC to be chaired by cutting board Hicks Jr., currently co-chair the the Republican national Committee. Hicks was a national finance chairman for Trump’s 2016 campaign. The nonprofit’s 2017 board of directors consists of Dallas financial executive, management Bailey, oil billionaire Harold Hamm and also Douglas Ammerman, a retired partner at auditor KPMG LLP, follow to the group’s latest tax filing. The nonprofit’s president is Brian Walsh, former president that conservative outside groups American action Network and also the Congressional management Fund.

Walsh declined to speak with the center for publicly Integrity. Interactions director Erin Montgomery stated the team is “not all set to share our 2020 plans publicly at this time.”

Because that a nonprofit, the organization isn’t compelled by law to disclose that donors. Yet a testimonial of inner Revenue organization filings show Pharmaceutical Research and also Manufacturers of America offered America very first Policies $2.5 million, tobacco company Reynolds America donated $1.4 million, Southern firm donated $1 million, CVS Health provided $500,000 and also Dow Chemical provided $100,000. In total, the nonprofit increased $22.2 million in 2017.

The team paid because that advertising, telephone calls and “grassroots advocacy” to support repealing the Affordable treatment Act and an increase Trump’s’ taxation Cuts and Jobs Act, immigrant reform and confirming Brett Kavanaugh come the U.S. Can be fried Court. The nonprofit’s 2017 tax filing mirrors it additionally paid $2.8 million to Parscale’s agency for “media advocacy services” and also $160,000 come Obst’s firm because that “consulting.”

Committee to defend the President

Type: hybrid supervisor PAC

Formerly called “Stop Hillary PAC,” the Committee to defend the President invested $3.4 million during the 2016 choice on anti-Hillary Clinton ads, utilizing messaging centered approximately the 2012 Benghazi attacks, in i beg your pardon the U.S. Ambassador to Libya was killed. The group raised $6.9 million native 2015 to 2016, and also $8.9 million during the 2018 election. It spent $4.4 million on Trump-positive messages. The supervisor PAC also attacked democracy such as failed Senate candidate Phil Bredesen in Tennessee and Sen. Tammy Baldwin in Wisconsin. The group has $720,000 in the financial institution as the Dec. 31.


“The Committee is focused on defending chairman Trump — and also when important his allies in Congress and also elsewhere, as it walk to great effect in Tennessee last cycle where we invested over $1 million to selected Marsha Blackburn ,” said Ted Harvey, the group’s chairman and also a previous Colorado state senator. “Our efforts will take it whatever form makes the most sense at the time…”

In April 2018, the hybrid PAC sued the FEC, alleging the agency failed to act on a complaint the PAC filed against Hillary Clinton and also the autonomous National Committee. The Committee to defend the president charged that Clinton violated federal legislation by funneling $80 million in contributions v state parties. The case is pending.

Great America PAC

Type: hybrid at sight PAC

Great America PAC, which intends to re-elect Trump and pro-Trump candidates, probably won’t involve itself in the autonomous primary.

“We’re well letting the democrats publicly out-crazy one an additional for the next year before we tar every little thing looney tune comes the end of your ‘process,’” Great America PAC attorney Dan Backer claimed in an email.

Ed Rollins, chairman Ronald Reagan’s campaign manager, is chairman of this hybrid at sight PAC, previously known as TrumPAC. The supervisor PAC’s executive director, Brent Lowder, is additionally the president of Apex Strategy Group, which great America PAC payment $492,429 in 2016 and also $150,000 in 2018. Rollins received a complete of $240,000 in 2017 and also 2018 for “payroll and strategic consulting.”

Eric Beach, the finance chairman for Newt Gingrich’s 2012 presidential campaign, was a former co-chairman of an excellent America PAC. Beach is a regulating partner at Frontline tactics & Media, a windy affairs for sure that good America PAC paid more than $5 million from 2015 to 2018, an ext than any kind of other committee payment it throughout both cycles.

The committee increased close to $29 million during the 2016 election, spending practically $24 million of those funds on pro-Trump ads. Native 2017 to 2018, the group spent $5.4 million to assistance Trump. It likewise spent a couple of hundred thousand dollars backing Republicans to run in U.S. House and U.S. Senate races, including Roy Moore in Alabama. Its height donors native 2016 encompass Marvel entertainment CEO Isaac Perlmutter ($5 million), now-deceased Houston Texans owner Robert McNair ($2 million) and also banker Andy Beal ($2 million). In 2018, megadonors such as Robert Mercer of Renaissance modern technologies ($400,000) and Richard Uihlein the U-Line Corp ($100,000) topped its list of contributors.


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Attorney Dan Backer (right) speaks with Shaun McCutcheon (left) in ~ a federal Election Commission conference in February 2015. (Center for Public Integrity/Dave Levinthal)

“Our ability to be nimble and also adapt is what made an excellent America PAC the largest pro-Trump group in 2016, and also his greatest champion since,” Backer wrote.

The supervisor PAC has been riddled through scandals.

In may 2016, Jesse Benton, a former leader the the group, was discovered guilty on campaign finance charges in link with his 2012 work-related on Republican Ron Paul’s presidential campaign. A federal appeals court upheld the charges, which came before Benton’s work with great America PAC, in might 2018. Before that, The Telegraph released an investigation in i beg your pardon reporters posed together consultants because that a Chinese national wanting come donate come pro-Trump groups, i m sorry is illegal. Benton allegedly said he was a consultant for an excellent America PAC and apparently available the reporters a method to disguise the foreign donation to the group. Backer, the at sight PAC’s lawyer, denied the at sight PAC involved in any task of the sort. Benton left the group in might 2016.

Also in 2016, the at sight PAC wrongly published donor details not typically made public, such as email addresses and cell phone number for numerous its backers. A month later, the erroneously published credit card numbers because that 49 donors. The supervisor PAC offered totally free security security to the donors and said it adjusted its data collection and compliance processes.

Great America Alliance

Type: nonprofit

The nonprofit great America Alliance share staff and resources with its partner super PAC, great America PAC. Tomi Lahren, the conservative politics commentator, was a senior aide to the nonprofit before leaving it because that a job at Fox News. Andy Surabian — a former Steve Bannon aide and war room director of Trump’s 2016 project — additionally was a senior adviser. The nonprofit reported it spent $1.5 million in 2017 to education voters about health care, taxes, nationwide security and trade. It spent $291,000 on political campaign activity, according to a filing with the IRS.


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Tomi Lahren seen at Politicon 2016 in ~ The Pasadena Convention center on June 25, 2016, in Pasadena, Calif. (Invision via AP/Colin Young-Wolff)

News reports from 2017 declared Gingrich and also former brand-new York City market Rudy Giuliani were in speak to end up being co-chairmen of good American Alliance, yet Backer, the group’s attorney, stated that did not happen. The nonprofit’s 2017 tax filing list Brent Lowder as president, Beach together executive director and also Christina Needham, a an elderly associate attorney at political.law, established by Backer, together director.

The 501(c)(4) “social welfare” nonprofit elevated $3.5 million in 2017, according to the latest taxation filing available. It likewise paid $955,000 the year to public affairs for sure Frontline Strategies, i m sorry is owned by Eric Beach, a former director the the team now “retained to administer management services.” It likewise paid $369,000 to project Solutions, the political consulting for sure of the Committee to protect the President’s Ted Harvey, and $123,000 come Apex Strategy Group, owned by the nonprofit’s chairman Brent Lowder.

Future45

Type: super PAC

Future45 is a supervisor PAC greatly funded by the deep-pocketed Ricketts family, which own the Chicago Cubs baseball team. Future45 brought in $6.3 million in 2018, including from various other megadonors such as philanthropist Helen Schwab, Elliott administration Group’s Paul Singer and Citadel LLC’s Kenneth Griffin. The supervisor PAC poured $5.8 million into 2018 midterm messaging attacks on Democrats, including Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of new York, Rep. Maxine Waters that California, Sen. Elizabeth Warren that Massachusetts and Speaker that the house Nancy Pelosi.

The group is led through Brian Baker, longtime political torture to the Ricketts family.

“The democrats tried to nationalize the midterms about Trump, and also we make the efforts to press back against that, and also show the extreme aspects in the democratic Party,” Baker said the center for windy Integrity. “Little did ns imagine the conversation would remain the same but the personalities would change. It offered to be all around Nancy Pelosi and also Maxine Waters yet nowadays the all around Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and also Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota.”


45Committee

Type: nonprofit

The super PAC Future45 also has a sister “social welfare” nonprofit, 45Committee, which raised about $48.6 million indigenous 2015 to 2017, according to federal taxation filings.

“In 2017 and also 2018, we were one of the leading teams pushing the taxation reform bill, and also really fought the nomination fight because that the high profile nominees prefer the supreme Court or Secretary of State,” claimed Baker, the president. 45Committee has actually not publicly reported its donors and also is under no legal obligation to carry out so. But other taxes filings show it got grants from Wellspring Committee ($750,000), the Judicial dilemm Network ($250,000) and Ricketts-connected finishing Spending ($75,000). That’s just a fraction of what’s in its bank account: the nonprofit’s tax filings present it received four donations in 2017 the were each worth $7.5 million.

45Committee distributed its own grants in 2017 to the Mercer-funded for sure America now ($2 million), the U.S. Room of business ($350,000), Judicial crisis Network ($200,000) and also the NRA Institute for Legislative action ($70,000), amongst others. The group reported security $21.6 million on political campaigning and $18.9 million on problem ads.

45Committee’s latest taxes filing mirrors Baker ended up being chairman and also president ~ conservative strategist Brian Walsh left the function in September 2016. CNBC contributor and also former George W. Shrub aide Sara Fagen is top top the plank of directors, and also Randy Scheunemann, a lobbyist for international governments in ~ Orion Strategies, and also Rob Collins, a lobbyist and strategist who assisted push Neil Gorsuch’s meeting to the can be fried Court.

Rebuilding America Now

Type: supervisor PAC

This super PAC was began by California financier Tom Barrack, a trumped confidant and chairman of the president’s inaugural committee. It spent an ext than $21 million during the 2016 choice attacking Democrat Hillary Clinton and an enhancing Trump, although that been mainly dormant since. Now-U.S. Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., led the committee.

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Tom Barrack, CEO of colony Capital, bring away the phase to speak during the last day the the Republican nationwide Convention in Cleveland ~ above July 21, 2016. (AP/Mark J. Terrill)

The group’s past activity has captured Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s attention. Prosecutors note previous Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort to be “instrumental” in setup up Rebuilding America currently at the same time he was Trump’s project chairman, an evident violation of commonwealth law. (The super PAC additionally began payment Ken McKay, a previous Trump campaign adviser, job after that left Trump’s campaign, seemingly violating the 90-day cooling-off-period rule.) The group additionally hired Manafort’s longtime associate, Laurance Gay, together chairman. Throughout the 2016 cycle, the at sight PAC paid gay $330,000 and also McKay $295,000 for “political strategy consulting.”

A spokesman for McKay and also Gay said Reuters they to be Trump volunteers that didn’t “possess strategic information,” so they said the cooling-off-period dominance didn’t apply.

In court filings, prosecutors say Manafort lied come investigators around a $125,000 wire carry in 2017 come the at sight PAC in order to cover a debt, The new York Times reported. A federal judge rule in February 2019 that regardless of agreeing come cooperate, Manafort lied come Mueller’s team during its Russian interference investigation. He will certainly be sentenced in March.

In 2016, the supervisor PAC welcomed six-figure donations from megadonors such as residence Depot co-founder boy name Marcus, real estate developer Palmer and former WWE wrestling executive, management Linda McMahon, now Trump’s little Business administration administrator. It also took $100,000 native Anthony Scaramucci, later on Trump’s communications director because that one week; $200,000 from coal outfit Murray Energy and $225,000 from private prison operator GEO Corrections. (The nonpartisan watchdog project Legal facility filed an FEC complain accusing GEO the violating the federal contractor donation ban. The instance is pending.)

“Although GEO corrections Holdings Inc., the firm that made the donation, is a wholly-owned subsidiary that the GEO Group, that is a non-contracting legit entity and also has no contracts with any type of governmental agency,” company spokesperson Pablo Paez told VICE News in a statement, saying the donations to Rebuilding America now are “compliant with all applicable federal election laws.”

In 2018, Rebuilding America currently received $30,000 in donations, through $25,000 coming from Florida actual estate developer E. Llwyd Ecclestone Jr.

From 2017 to 2018, Rebuilding America currently spent many of its $2 million on paying happy ($775,000) and also McCay ($210,000) because that consulting fees. It likewise used its money to money travel and also high-priced dinners — at places such together The Trump worldwide Hotel in Washington and BLT prime in Washington. It reported no money during that time on overtly pro-Trump communications.

Great America Committee

Type: leadership PAC

Great America Committee is the first leadership PAC the a evil president created while in office.

Pence formed great America Committee — not to be puzzled with the two various other pro-Trump groups starting with “Great America” — in might 2017 to aid boost various other Republicans. The relocate was so unexplained that many thought Pence was setting himself up because that his very own presidential run. That didn’t occur — instead, Pence doled out $886,000 in 2018 come candidates such as Rep. Andy Barr, R-Ky. And also Sen. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn. The management PAC additionally gave $5,400 to Trump’s presidential campaign.

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In this in march 15, 2016 record photo, Donald Trump’s then-campaign manager Corey Lewandowski (left) listens as Trump speaks in Palm Beach, Fla. (AP/Gerald Herbert, File)

The PAC increased $4.1 million in 2018. Because forming, it spent $70,000 because that consulting services at environment-friendly Monster Consulting, the certain of Trump’s former campaign manager, Lewandowski. It likewise paid $332,000 come MO Strategies, the certain of Obst, Pence’s senior political adviser, who was also the senior adviser the pro-Trump nonprofit America first Policies and executive director in ~ the Trump at sight PAC good America Committee. The PAC payment the firm because that “finance and also political strategy consulting.”

America Fighting Back

Type: hybrid at sight PAC

“We must defend Donald Trump and his agenda from impeachment,” declares America Fighting Back, led by former 2012 Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain.

Cain appears in one America Fighting Back ad in which he says Democrats’ “mission is to work again, please again America and implement their socialist agenda.” The group asks viewers to call a 1-800 number to pledge their support for president Trump. The call number directs a dialer come a record of Cain bashing the “phony Russian illusion witch hunt.”

Businessman Herman Cain, who ran because that president together a Republican in 2012, appears in an advertising for his America Fighting back PAC committee. (Screenshot)

Cain climate asks callers to make a contribution. America Fighting Back, formed in July 2018, raised $347,000 throughout 2018, accepting donations from Citizens unified founder and America Fighting earlier co-chair Floyd Brown ($45,000) and the family members trust the Edward Robson, a retirement neighborhood developer ($10,000). It report spending $171,500 ~ above pro-Trump messaging, although some of that message — such together Cain’s advertising — offer the dual purpose that soliciting money because that America Fighting back itself.

The PAC’s executive director is Lori Klein Corbin, previous Arizona state senator and also national committeewoman for the state. Its chief strategist is Todd Cefaratti, a former 2012 project aide come Newt Gingrich.

Make America Number 1

Type: at sight PAC

Ahead the the 2020 presidential election, do America Number 1 has yet to do the splash the did in 2016. Previously a Ted Cruz-backing supervisor PAC called Keep the Promise I, the team rebranded to make America Number 1 and also spent $4.4 million attacking Clinton. Prior to Citizens united Chairman David Bossie left in 2016 to occupational as Trump’s deputy campaign manager, that ran the at sight PAC. Megadonor Rebekah Mercer took over managing the group.


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It was mostly funded by Robert Mercer, Marcus and Clarium Capital’s Peter Thiel, as well as Erik Prince, brothers of department of education Secretary Betsy DeVos, and the founder of the controversial defense firm formerly known as Blackwater USA. The supervisor PAC additionally paid $5.7 million come Cambridge Analytica, the now-defunct data firm the harvested facebook users’ data there is no permission.

During the 2018 midterms, the supervisor PAC raised only $807 in little donations, and also spent $379,000 largely on legitimate expenses and upkeep. The supervisor PAC starts 2019 through $699,000 in the bank.

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Other political groups and also nonprofits that don’t primarily advocate for Trump have nevertheless been critical in advocating because that his election. Lock include:

National Rifle Association

Type: nonprofits, PAC, supervisor PAC

The national Rifle association spent about $30.3 million to directly an increase Trump throughout the 2016 presidential election, an ext than any type of other group that cycle.

The combination may have gone a action further: An investigation by The Trace discovered that Trump’s campaign and also the NRA provided the very same consultants come air TV ads, an noticeable violation that the law that prohibits campaigns and outside teams from coordinating.

What’s more, commonwealth investigators are experimenting ties between NRA officials and also the Russian government. Russian nationwide Maria Butina pleaded guilty in December 2018 to conspiring to illegally act as a foreign agent. She admitted do the efforts infiltrate the NRA and convince its members that Russia is a friend, no an enemy, come the U.S. The effort was apparently backed through at the very least one Russian official, Alexander Torshin, a previous deputy governor of the Russian main Bank. Russian chairman Vladimir Putin may have even approved the effort, follow to a U.S. Knowledge report the evaluation by The everyday Beast. NRA public official did no respond to the center for windy Integrity’s many requests for comment.

Citizens United

Type: nonprofit

The organization behind the pivotal project finance U.S. Can be fried Court case, Citizens unified v. FEC, citizens United’s at sight PAC spent $182,000 on pro-Trump message in 2016.

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Donald Trump, left, reaction to the crowd together he shakes hands v co-host David Bossie in ~ the flexibility Summit, Saturday, might 9, 2015, in Greenville, S.C. (AP/Rainier Ehrhardt)

People affiliated with the group have had a hand in other institutions backing Trump: that president, Bossie, to be Trump’s 2016 deputy campaign manager, if founder Brown is co-chairman the the at sight PAC America Fighting Back. Citizens unified hasn’t reported any pro-Trump expenditures due to the fact that he was elected.

“I to be an outspoken supporter of this president and will aid him in whatever way is most helpful to his re-election,” Bossie said the center for public Integrity.

Committee to gain back America’s Greatness

Type: super PAC

Two months after Roger stone exited the trumped presidential campaign, the infamous political operative developed a pro-Trump at sight PAC in October 2015.

The group stayed in business a little an ext than a year, elevating $587,000 yet only spending $16,000 on pro-Trump billboards. The group’s largest donor to be film and television producer man Powers Middleton.

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Roger stone leaves commonwealth court top top Feb. 1, 2019, in Washington. Rock appeared because that a status conference simply three work after he pleaded not guilty to felony dues of witness tampering, obstruction and false statements. (AP/Andrew Harnik)

Most the the PAC’s spending covered legal fees, consulting and travel. Together the facility for Responsive politics reported, one-of-a-kind Counsel Mueller subpoenaed a few vendors that the PAC, including John Kakanis, whose firm was paid $137,000 because that “voter fraud research”; social media specialist Jason Sullivan; and also Andrew Miller, who rock paid $4,000 for consulting.

Dave Levinthal contributed to this report.


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