Longtime GOP adviser Karl Rove took aim at Donald Trump on Thursday, questioning what the former president plans to do with his massive $121 million war chest.
In a probing Wall Street Journal op-ed headlined, “Where Do Trump’s Donations Go,” the Republican strategist noted the ex-president controls four political action committees with cash on hand totaling more than $121 million as of June 30.
In comparison, various GOP committees — including the Republican National Committee, the National Republican Senatorial Committee and the National Republican Congressional Committee — had a total of $174.8 million at the end of June.
“Mr. Trump has assembled a war chest equivalent to 70% of that of these national GOP groups,” Rove wrote. “That won’t surprise the many Republican small donors who are pummeled with requests from the former president’s causes.”
And Rove, a former top adviser to President George W. Bush, pointed out that Trump can’t just roll the millions over if he decides to launch a 2024 presidential campaign.
Rove, a former top adviser to President George W. Bush, pointed out that Trump can’t just roll the millions over if he decides to launch a 2024 presidential campaign.Michael Kovac/Getty Images
The exact breakdown of Trump’s war chest includes $103.1 million for Save America, $10.3 million for Make America Great Again, Again! Inc., $7.3 million for Trump Make America Great Again PAC, and $700,000 for Make America Great Again Action.
“One option off the table is converting that money to a Trump presidential campaign, according to federal election lawyers,” Rove wrote.
“If Mr. Trump decides he must upstage the midterms and announce this fall rather than waiting, he’ll immediately need to file a new committee for his presidential campaign to pay his political expenses.”
Another option is for Trump to use the cash at his disposal to support candidates in the upcoming midterms — but Rove sniped that “he hasn’t shown much interest in that so far.”
The GOP adviser acknowledged that Trump could also use the cash to “rescue” Republican candidates who have been outraised by their Democratic opponents.Mario Tama/Getty Images
Trump, who is legally only allowed to dish out $5,000 per candidate, has so far given $365,000 to 60 House and Senate seekers he has endorsed through his Save America PAC.
“One way to use more of this money is through independent expenditures on behalf of candidates, but Mr. Trump hasn’t devoted much cash to that either,” Rove wrote.
The GOP adviser acknowledged that Trump could also use the cash to “rescue” Republican candidates who have been outraised by their Democratic opponents, including Trump-backed Ohio Senate hopeful J.D. Vance.
“If Mr. Trump doesn’t start actually deploying these funds to help candidates he’s backed for Congress, governor and other statewide offices, donors might not keep giving to the former president’s causes,” Rove wrote.
“Trump-endorsed candidates might start to wonder how strong an ally the former president really is, beyond lending his name in a primary.
“Many Republicans running are parroting Mr. Trump’s views, especially his discredited claims about the 2020 election. We’ll soon see if he backs those who’ve backed him —and how they fare if he does.”