WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump has mused about declaring he will run for president again in 2024, and his aides believe that he will at least openly flirt with the idea to enhance his relevance and raise interest in whatever money-making efforts he pursues.
Trump started a new PAC, Save America, on Monday. It's a type of campaign committee that is often referred to as a “leadership PAC,” which has higher contribution limits — $5,000 per year — and faces fewer restrictions on how the money is spent. Unlike candidate campaign accounts, leadership PACs can also be tapped to pay for personal expenses.
“This is a slush fund. That’s the bottom line,” said Paul S. Ryan, a longtime campaign finance attorney with the good government group Common Cause. “Trump may just continue to string out this meritless litigation in order to fleece his own supporters of their money and use it in the coming years to pad his own lifestyle while teasing a 2024 candidacy.”
A detailed breakdown of how contributions are split up shows that 60% of any donation now goes to Save America PAC. The next 40% goes to an RNC account. It’s only once a donor reaches the maximum contribution limit for each group — $5,000 for Trump’s PAC and $35,000 for the RNC — that money will spill into legal accounts for Trump and the RNC, according to campaign finance attorneys who have reviewed the details of the arrangement.
While Trump ponders his future options, his involvement in the day-to-day governing of the nation has nearly stopped: According to his schedule, he has not attended an intelligence briefing in weeks, and the White House has done little of late to manage the pandemic that has surged to record highs in many states.
The president’s resistance to acknowledging the outcome of the race has stalled the transition process. The head of the General Services Administration, a Trump appointee, has held off on certifying President-elect Joe Biden as the winner of the election.