Pro-Trump PAC Raising Money Off Syria Strikes
If you thought fundraising over a military strike was beyond the pale, you would be right. But that didn’t stop a pro-Trump PAC from doing just that on Friday.
“Last night, President Trump ordered military action against Syria in response to their chemical weapons attack,” an email from the Great America PAC, first flagged by Dave Levinthal at the Center for Public Integrity, read.
“59 United States tomahawk missiles destroyed the airfield used to store Syria’s toxic weapons and aircraft involved in the Sarin gas attack.
What are your thoughts?”
The message asks respondents to vote on whether they approve of the strike and subsequently includes a request for money. The email was signed by Ed Rollins, currently the national co-chair of the PAC who joined the group in May of 2016.
A representative for the PAC did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Daily Beast.
When the PAC was established in early 2016, it was among a horde of organizations that formed often making it difficult for donors to ascertain where they should contribute their money.
At the time of its inception, the PAC, led by Eric Beach, who worked for Rand Paul’s presidential campaign, was referred to by longtime Trump ally Roger Stone as a scam. He took particular issue with the presence of Jesse Benton on the staff, who was convicted last year, of falsifying campaign records in a 2012 attempt to buy an endorsement for Ron Paul.
According to OpenSecrets.org, Great America PAC raised over $28 million during the 2016 cycle and spent over $26 million.
Its biggest contributor was Bob Mcnair, the owner of the Houston Texans, who contributed $2,000,000 to the PAC according to OpenSecrets.org.
One of the PAC’s first ads used the attack at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando to help bolster Trump’s bonafides as being tough on terror.
Trump’s campaign, at one stage, formally disavowed the PAC saying in a form to the Federal Election Commission: “This Committee is concerned about the likelihood of confusion among the public, which may be led to believe such activities are authorized by Mr. Trump or this Committee or that contributions to such unauthorized committees are being made to Mr. Trump’s campaign, when they are not.”
The group went on to accidentally expose private donor information of some 336 people, according to a review from the Center for Public Integrity.