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The founders of the anti-Trump Lincoln Project appear to have paid out more than $2 million to their own firms, according to a Friday report.
The group, formed in December by GOP operatives to oppose President Donald Trump’s reelection bid, has garnered a lot of national attention for its attack ads against Trump and his allies in Congress.
The group has especially been embraced by Democrats and Left-wing media, who use their opposition to the president as a means of pushing the narrative that Republicans, in general, have rejected him.
Since its launch, the Lincoln Project has managed to rake in more than $19 million in donations, with the majority of the funds — about $16.8 million — coming in the past three months, Breitbart News reports.
A large portion of those funds has come from Democrat mega-donors, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, which tracks political donations. Some Democrat donors have ponied up as much as $1 million.
A great deal of attention has been given to the Lincoln Project’s fundraising figures, in addition to the fact that roughly 45 percent of them have come from individuals donating $200 or less.
However, Breitbart News added, “little attention has been paid to how the group is spending its money.”
Federal Election Commission filings that were published Wednesday shine light on the group’s previously shadowy operations during its first six months.
“The filings indicate that the Lincoln Project’s biggest vendors, Summit Strategic Communications, LLC and Tusk Digital, Inc., are owned by two of its board members,” Breitbart notes.
Summit is incorporated in Park City, Utah, founded in March 2018 by Reed Galen, a Lincoln Project co-founder. A well-heeled GOP strategist who worked on President George W. Bush’s 2004 reelection and the late Sen. John McCain’s 2008 presidential campaign, Summit appears to have only had a single federal political client prior to the launch of the Lincoln Project.
By comparison, Tusk is a strategic marketing and consulting shop owned by Ron Steslow another Lincoln Project co-founder. Incorporated in Nevada in February 2014, Tusk’s clients have included the Republican Party of Colorado as well as a number of former GOP senators including Dean Heller and Orrin Hatch.
Most notably, however, Tusk formally consulted with former Hewlett Packard CEO and 2016 GOP presidential candidate Carly Fiorina, who once claimed to support President Trump after he won but she announced in May she wouldn’t be voting for him in November 2020.
“Regardless of their histories, FEC records show that Summit and Tusk have been paid an extraordinarily large amount of money in the past six months through the Lincoln Project,” Breitbart News reported.
According to financial records, Summit has been paid more than $1.1 from the Lincoln Project for video production, digital advertising, and consulting. The firm received the majority of its money — $779,000 — in the first quarter of the year.
Tusk has also been paid more than $1.1 million from the Never Trump group, whose founders also include George Conway, husband of top Trump political counselor Kellyanne Conway; Steve Schmidt; John Weaver; Rick Wilson; and Jennifer Horn. The majority of its funds were paid out from the end of April to the end of June, with the firm receiving $945,562 during that time.
The group’s finances are coming under increasing scrutiny as Election Day nears and Trump allies, as well as the Republican National Committee, target the Lincoln Project for its biased mischaracterizations of the president’s record.
“While they like to portray themselves as committed to upholding conservative principles, a deeper delve shows the Lincoln Project’s real raison d’etre seems to lie more in profiting off attacking President Trump than it does anything else,” RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel wrote recently.
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