Even Trump's re-election announcement is a pathetic lie.
In a story first floated to right-wing scandalmonger Matt Drudge, Trump made it seem as if he had just announced his campaign for re-election.
But Trump filed for re-election over a year ago. Since then, he has overseen the funneling of millions of dollars earmarked for the cause directed toward his own pockets and to his lawyers.
Drudge breathlessly claimed that Trump would “stun” the political world by “announcing he is running for re-election in 2020.” Sounding like the Trump propagandist that he is, Drudge said the announcement was “a historical record.”
It is not.
Trump filed the documents for his re-election campaign with the Federal Election Committee (FEC) on Jan. 20, 2017, the same date he was sworn in. The existence of the committee and his intention to run for re-election is not news.
Soon after Drudge ran his story, Trump amplified the false narrative with an official campaign email that noted “the appointment of Brad Parscale as the Campaign Manager for his reelection committee as the advanced planning for the 2020 race begins.”
Parscale served as Trump’s digital director in 2016, an operation that is under scrutiny by special counsel Robert Mueller. Mueller’s investigators are reportedly probing whether Parscale’s team coordinated with Russia before the election.
Since officially setting up his campaign, Trump has been working to get money from Republican donors into his own pockets.
He held a fundraiser at the Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C., in June of 2017, which sent a cash infusion to Trump himself. He has refused to divest from his company, the Trump Organization, or place his ownership stake in a blind trust.
That means that money spent at the hotel goes directly to Trump. His campaign’s decision to hold an event there joins the millions of dollars flowing into the property to influence Trump himself.
In 2016, $1 out of every $10 donated to the campaign went to Trump, and there is no reason to think the situation will improve for the 2020 campaign.
Money that isn’t being shoved into Trump’s hotels has also been used to fund the lawyers representing him in the Russia investigation.
At least 25 percent of the spending done by the campaign committee so far went to these lawyers, to the tune of $1.2 million just in the last 3 months of 2017.
The Drudge-accelerated story will no doubt produce a spike in donations to Trump, often from older conservatives fed a constant diet of “fake news” from Drudge, Fox and other right-wing sources. This money will then filter through the campaign committee and be laundered back to Trump properties or to his lawyer.
For Trump, it is a scam-infused perfect circle.