After Donald Trump was elected President in 2016, his Deputy Campaign Manager David Bossie urged the president’s supporters to donate to an organization called the Presidential Coalition. Capitalizing on Bossie’s ties to the President, the group consistently told supporters that it would use their money to bolster state and local candidates that support the Trump agenda. These appeals appear to have worked: the group enjoyed a dramatic rise in fundraising after Trump’s victory – going from under $1 million in 2016, to $5 million in 2017 and $13 million in 2018.
But despite telling donors that it would support conservative candidates with the funds raised, only three percent of Presidential Coalition’s 2017 and 2018 spending went towards the direct political activity, according to a CLC research report released today in collaboration with Axios.
Instead, the group directed the vast majority of the funds raised towards more fundraising and administrative costs, including salary payments to Bossie. CLC’s analysis shows that the Presidential Coalition is fundraising by capitalizing on Bossie’s ties to President Trump and collecting the majority of its funds from retired and small-dollar donors.