A year later, Trump continues to say he hasn’t lost. And raises money with it – 11/07/2021 – World

On November 3, 2020, Americans went to the polls and elected Joe Biden as President of the United States, with 81 million votes. Donald Trump, who had 74 million, continues to contest the result, made official exactly one year ago, on a 7 November. He has no proof of fraud, but he has been able to convince supporters to give money to help him claim he hasn’t lost.

There is no precise data on revenue, but its three main campaign operations declared, at the end of July, to have more than US$100 million (R$568 million at the current price) in cash. And baseless accusations about the election are one way to raise money.

“If we don’t address 2020 Presidential Election Fraud, Republicans will not vote in 2022 and 2024. I need YOU to donate at least $45 (BRL 255) to bolster our Protect Our Elections fund,” read an emailed message.

Trump’s actions include sending out massive text messages, emails and advertisements, whose tone is reminiscent of an election campaign, despite the fact that he is not running for office at the moment.

Even banned from major social networks, your campaign manages to publish targeted ads. According to a report by The Washington Post, the action called Save America has spent US$ 100,000 (BRL 568,000) a week in paid posts on Facebook, aimed at people who interacted with other publications related to criticism of the Biden government and the theories of electoral fraud.

The amount collected cannot be used for personal purposes, but to pay employees, disclosures, events and travel. The campaign’s website says the donations fund the fight for causes such as fighting abortion, promoting Christian values, defending the policy of law and order and holding, in their words, “fair, honest and transparent elections, where every LEGAL VOTE account”.

Out there

Trump began denouncing the US electoral system months before the election. After the election, he filed lawsuits to question the results, but lost. So he focused his efforts on an act called for Jan. 6 that brought thousands of people to Washington.

On that date, the voting results would be certified by Congress. And he wanted Mike Pence, his vice president of the session, to reject votes from some states in order to illegally give him the victory.

As president, Trump held a rally an hour before the session, near the White House, to pressure Pence and encourage his supporters to act. “If you don’t fight really hard, you won’t have another country,” he said. He urged protesters to march to the Capitol. Hundreds of them went, broke into the building and tried to stop the certification, which was postponed and completed at dawn.

The invasion left five dead. A wide-ranging FBI investigation into the case is still ongoing and has arrested at least 650 people accused of participating in the act. The Republican was impeached in January for inflating the crowd against Congress, and ended up acquitted by the Senate, which at the time had a Republican majority.

Despite this, another inquiry, run by a congressional committee, is gradually approaching him. Congressmen are looking for evidence that details the former president’s actions in relation to the invasion, but the businessman has managed to block his release. His defense is based on the principle of “executive privilege”, which allows presidents to keep confidential documents relating to their period in office. Thus, the issue could still end up in the Supreme Court, to decide whether a congressional investigation would have the power to break the right to presidential secrecy.

Last Monday (1st), the Washington Post published new information about the former president’s actions on January 6th. According to the newspaper, he spent three hours watching the invasion on TV and refusing to take action, even after appeals from Republican politicians who were under threat from the crowd in Congress.

The investigations, however, have had little effect on their constituents. A Pew Research Center poll in September found that 67% of Republicans want Trump to stay in politics, and 44% are in favor of running in 2024.

“Most of Trump’s most committed supporters see the Jan. 6 investigation as evidence that the system is against him,” says Hans Noel, a political scientist and professor at Georgetown University.

Noel points out that the former president remains a reference in the Republican Party because no important figure seeks to take measures that displease him, for fear of generating revolt in the trumpist base. “And he remains a very positive figure to a lot of Republican voters because he always says the things these people want to hear.”

Although he was banned from Facebook and Twitter, where he had 88 million followers, his messages continue to circulate in media aimed at conservatives such as Fox News, on his official website and on Telegram channels. A profile with your name on the messaging service has 1 million followers, although it doesn’t have the authenticity seal.

Other channels linked to the former president, such as that of his son Don Jr —this one verified, with 945,000 followers— re-send his statements and the ideas he defends. The messages alternate allegations of electoral fraud, criticism of the Biden government and messages of support for Republican politicians, most of them in local disputes. On the 26th, there was a public endorsement to the Brazilian president, Jair Bolsonaro.

His explicit support for the candidates, however, has been used as a weapon by rivals. In statewide polls this year, Democrats argued that a Republican victory would mean empowering Trump and used that to motivate their voters to vote.

In California, in a “recall” vote in September, there was a Democratic victory and Governor Gavin Newsom remained in office. In Virginia, which went to the polls on Tuesday (2), the Republicans won. The new governor, Glenn Youngkin, garnered public support from Trump but barely mentioned him in the campaign. Thus, he managed to attract votes from Republicans who want to get away from the ex-president, who usually live in the suburbs, and from his admirers, who live mainly in the rural areas of the state.

“Everything that [Terry] McAuliffe [candidato democrata] all he did was say ‘Trump, Trump, Trump’, and he lost! I didn’t even have to do a rally for Youngkin, because McAuliffe did it for me,” quipped the former president in a statement. “I’d like to thank my BASE for coming out strong and voting for Glenn Youngkin. Without you, he wouldn’t have come close to winning.”

The Republican used tactics common to Trump in the campaign, such as betting on cultural issues. He defended the right of parents to intervene in school content, which makes room for the reduction of content on racism and gender issues in the classroom. At rallies, he also advocated “electoral integrity” and increased scrutiny of the voting process, phrases that serve as triggers for the public who believe in theories of fraud.

“As Trump has made the fraud allegations a big message, and the Republicans too, that makes every time there’s a little difference or complication, some people see it as part of the narrative. [de fraude]”, points out Noel. “If a party, when it loses, always says that the result is not fair and legitimate, it fails in one of the main criteria for a functioning democracy.”

There is also a risk that voters will not vote because they think the system is flawed, which would diminish the chances of Republican victories. “The statement I made saying that Republicans won’t vote if the 2020 Election Fraud isn’t fixed doesn’t in any way mean that I would tell them not to vote,” mused Trump, trying to encourage his voters not to give up going to the polls.

There are still three years to the next presidential elections in the US, and the businessman has not yet said if he will run, although he has signaled that he will. In October, for example, he held a rally in Iowa, the state that starts the primaries and is a mandatory stop for candidates running for the presidency.

In 2024, he will turn 78, the same age as Biden today. After leaving the White House without attending his successor’s inauguration, Trump moved to Florida. At his resort in Mar-a-Lago, he set up an office very similar to the one he had in the Oval Office.

In recent years, their businesses have taken losses. In October, Forbes magazine estimated his fortune at $2.5 billion. He has lost $600 million since the start of the pandemic, according to the publication, because of the devaluation of corporate real estate, an important part of his business. As a result, it was left off the list of the 400 richest people in the US for the first time in 25 years.

Trump is also the target of investigations into tax fraud at his companies. He is suspected of faking bankruptcy to avoid paying taxes, among other misdemeanors. Even so, it continues to create ventures. Two weeks ago, it announced that it had raised capital to launch its own social network, whose beta version would be launched in November. The platform could be another channel for him to continue trying to convince the public that he didn’t lose.

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