NEW YORK (NYTIMES) - Despite departing from office and being barred from the leading social media platforms, former president Donald Trump was the Republican Party's most dominant fund-raiser in the early months of 2021, as committees affiliated with him collected more than US$56 million (S$75 million) online, according to campaign filings made late on Friday.
Trump raised far more money than any other Republican via WinRed, the party's main processing site for online donations, federal records show, and more than each of the three main fund-raising arms of the Republican Party itself.
All told, Trump collected US$34.3 million through a shared account with the Republican National Committee, which is known as the Trump Make America Great Again Committee; Trump's political action committee is set to receive 75 per cent of what went into the shared account, and the party received 25 per cent.
In addition, Trump raised more than US$21 million directly into two new PACs that he controls.
Trump raised by far the most online money among any Republican, even though he had paused much of his online solicitations starting Jan 6, the day of the Capitol insurrection, through the end of February.
Trump made his first post-presidential speech, at the Conservative Political Action Conference, in late February and urged supporters to give to him instead of any other GOP entity, positioning himself as a potential rival to the existing Republican Party apparatus.
"There's only one way to contribute to our efforts to elect 'America First' Republican conservatives and, in turn, to make America great again," Trump said on Feb 28.
"And that's through Save America PAC and DonaldJTrump.com."
Trump scored a bonanza of donations: nearly US$3.5 million across his various PACs. It was also WinRed's single biggest day of 2021, records show.
Trump's public events and pronouncements appear closely intertwined with his fund-raising. His Save America committee had raised an average of US$108,000 in the five days leading up to the launch of the "From the Desk of Donald J. Trump" blog page; the PAC raised roughly US$421,000 per day on average in the five days after, including more than US$900,000 on one day.
Much of the money raised by the Trump Make America Great Again Committee came through Trump's recurring donation programme, which guided countless supporters into unwittingly making repeat donations through the use of prechecked boxes.