Former President Donald J. Trump responded on Monday to a New York Times investigation revealing that his re-election operation had repaid more than 10 percent of what he had raised online – $ 122 million out of $ 1.2 billion – and that a flood of refunds followed. This campaign set up regular weekly donations by default for online donors. Contributors had to uncheck a box to opt out, and the box became increasingly difficult to find as the financial difficulties of their campaign grew.
“Our fundraising efforts, working in conjunction with the Republican Party, were conducted legally,” Trump said in a statement.
The Times reported that many donors had unknowingly become regular Trump campaign contributors because of the pre-checked boxes. Among those caught were retirees, military veterans, nurses and political agents. Many complained to their credit card companies and banks that they had been the victims of fraud.
Records show that Trump’s operation repaid 10.7 percent of what it collected in 2020 on digital donation processing site WinRed, compared to a 2.2 percent repayment rate for President Biden’s operation. on ActBlue, the Democratic platform.
Trump, who did not refute any of the figures in the article, focused on a different number, arguing that his campaign’s “dispute rate” – the credit card grievance count – had been less than 1 percent. transactions. “A very low number,” he said.
That would still represent around 200,000 disputed donations, which his campaign had previously said total $ 19.7 million.
The Trump campaign has previously declined to say whether the former president was personally aware of the checkboxes scheme, and did not address that in its statement. But he did not denounce the tactic.
“Before our two campaigns, 2016 and 2020, Republicans always lost small donations in dollars,” Trump said in his statement. “Now we win, or we do very well, because we are the American Workers Party, and we beat the Democrats at their own game. We learned from liberal ActBlue, and now we are better than them! “