Trump Knows A Scam Artist When He Sees One
A few days ago, Elise Stefanik was running her trap about how her online fundraising went through the roof once she added a Trump badge to her e-mails. She volunteered to help other Republicans navigate the pathway to getting one of these valuable badges— presumably by selling their souls the way she did.
One member who apparently didn’t take her up on her offer is one of Congress’ wealthiest members, McDonald’s franchiser and mega-stock trader Kevin Hern (R-OK). He’s also chair of the far right Republican Study Group, which busies itself trying to figure out how to repeal Social Security and Medicare.
Yesterday, The Messenger reported that the Trump campaign has denounced Hern for running a “Dishonest Scam PAC.” Trump campaign managers Susie Wiles and Chris LaCivita wrote in a letter to Hern that “Your appeal goes so far as to mislead those who received the solicitation into thinking their donation would help President Trump and his children fight off a weaponized Department of Justice when, in fact, it does not... With your most recent violation, you have decided to openly and flagrantly disregard our clear guidelines which leaves us no choice but to denounce any political entities and vendors associated with you. We will not allow you or a scam PAC to mislead the American people in order to steal their hard-earned money through dishonest and deceptive tactics usually employed by other scam PACs.”
Hern— who has a long history, though not nearly as long as Trump’s, for crooked dealing and scamming everyone he does business with, immediately backed down.
Trump’s lawyers in 2021 sent similar letters to the Republican National Committee and the committees to elect Republican House and Senate members.
Trump has increasingly guarded his image and who politically profits from it as he fights four separate criminal indictments and runs for president a third time. Online fundraising solicitations for small-dollar donors are the financial life’s blood of Trump’s campaign and his Save America PAC, which operates as a legal defense fund that receives about 10 cents of every small dollar raised online.
Trump’s threats and Hern’s offending email solicitation highlight the singular nature of Trump’s image among conservative voters and the high-pressure marketing language that campaigns and consultants use to get people to give. Trump was investigated at one point for allegedly duping donors on false claims of voter fraud in 2020, but Trump has said he did nothing wrong and has raged against fellow Republicans using his likeness under false pretenses.
On Monday, Hern’s House Conservative Victory Fund issued a fundraising email with the subject line “CRITICAL EMERGENCY” that was flanked by red siren emojis. It bore a picture of Trump and three of his grown children, Donald Jr., Eric and Ivanka Trump. The email calls the recipient “Patriot” repeatedly and warns of this “important moment” because President Trump is barely staying above water. He’s relying solely on YOU.”
“Patriot, Trump & his family need YOU!“ the email’s body says in bold, directing prospective donors to a webpage titled “MAGA EMERGENCY -50x IMPACT.” It says “TRUMP AND HIS FAMILY ARE BACK UNDER FIRE IN COURT! THE DEEP STATE WILL STOP AT NOTHING TO DESTROY MAGA … TRUMP IS LACKING REINFORCEMENTS AND DESPERATELY NEEDS YOUR HELP TO SURVIVE THESE ATTACKS. WITHOUT YOU - IT COULD BE GAME OVER.”
TAG Strategies, the vendor singled out by the Trump camp, also works for the super PAC backing Trump's presidential rival, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.