The Disturbing Message Behind Trump’s Deranged Fundraising Emails

By: Carissa Moore | Last updated: Nov 02, 2023

Donald Trump’s polarizing presence has loomed over America ever since he ran for president in the 2016 election. He is believed to be a menace by many, and the left has been determined to put an abrupt end to his quest to hold any additional political position of power. 

For the most part, Trump hasn’t done himself any favors. He became the first former president in U.S. history to face criminal charges and to be indicted. Currently, Donald Trump is in a heap of legal trouble as he faces 91 felony counts in four different states. As Trump’s troubles continue to mount, his fundraising emails raise even more suspicion of foul play for the disgraced politician. 

Trump’s Questionable Fundraising Tactics

Donald Trump has never been able to control himself, as evidenced by his frequent Twitter tirades and unhinged interviews. His tyrannical rants are one of Trump’s trademarks, and his fundraising emails aren’t much different. 

Donald Trump sits in court during civil fraud trial

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Recently unearthed emails from his 2020 presidential campaign reveal his aggressive approach to fundraising. According to Federico Finchelstein, a history professor at the New School for Social Research at Eugene Lang College in New York City, Trump seemingly offered “salvation via donation” in the emails.


Trump’s Character Called Into Question

As evidenced by his fundraising emails, there are few things Trump wouldn’t do for money and power. 

Donald Trump wearing blue tie on the campaign trail in New Hampshire

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Trump has no shortage of opponents and critics, and Finchelstein proudly considers himself to be one of them. “If fascism was a totalitarian ideology, movement and regime, Trumpism is that plus a personal business,” he said. “The fascist identification between people, nation and leader mutates in Trumpism. It becomes not only a wannabe fascist project but also a business.”

Trump Remains a Topic of Conversation for Americans

Trump is such a divisive figure that almost everybody seems to have an opinion of him, good or bad. Historian of political rhetoric at Texas A&M University, Jennifer Mercieca, also weighed in on the issue of Trump’s fundraising emails.

Donald Trump holds a briefing at the White House

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She insisted that the objective of fascism is “to turn politics into warfare” by harboring “a world of chaos, corruption and hypocrisy.” Depending on who you ask, some would say Trump is guilty of just that. 

Were Trump's Fundraising Efforts a Farce?

Mercieca accused Trump of using manipulation tactics to shake money out of his supporters. “Trump suffers for his followers, so his followers owe him. They owe him their loyalty, votes and money,” she said. 

Donald Trump speaks to adoring crowd at campaign rally

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In true politician form, Trump pledges his allegiance to his supporters in the emails. “Trump vows to continue to fight on, because his fight is really their fight. His followers should stand with him and give him power so he can keep fighting for them,” said Mercieca.

Where Did All the Money Go?

Donald Trump’s first fundraising email emerged in June 2016, where he urged his supporters to donate $10 to his campaign.

Donald Trump stands in front of oversized American flag at GOP convention

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The billionaire businessman made a career out of making substantial sums of money, but he was faced with financial trouble on the campaign trail. In a desperate plea for cash, Trump pledged to match all contributions up to $2 million. The irony was palpable as a finance report showed that his campaign only had $1.3 million in cash remaining.


Indictment Not Enough to Stop Trump From Fundraising

Trump isn’t letting his legal troubles get in the way of running for president.

Donald Trump scowls while sitting in courtroom for New York City civil fraud trial

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In March 2023, his campaign sent out a fundraising email just moments after he was indicted. “The Left thought that they could break us with yet another witch hunt,” said the email. “They thought that by threatening my possible arrest and arraignment, it would force us to end our 2024 campaign. They were sorely mistaken, Friend…”


Trump’s Emails Make Many Promises

“We’re going to prove just how detrimental of a mistake the radical Democrats truly made,” said another fundraising email. Trump again blamed the left for his onslaught of problems while vowing to help other patriots uphold the values that the US was founded on.

Donald Trump Wears “Make America Great Again” Hat At Rally Prior to 2020 election

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The email continued, “Today, our incredible MAGA movement stands STRONGER than ever before! No amount of lies, attacks, or phony witch hunts can ever take the life out of a movement that is fueled by more than 74 MILLION American patriots determined to SAVE their country.”


The MAGA Movement Rakes in the Money

The emails are persuasive in convincing Trump’s followers to give money to his campaign.

Trump reacts to a crowd of supporters at rally in 2020

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One email encourages supporters to donate in a bid to “OUTRAISE Biden and the radical Democrats.” A united front against the left is the driving force behind most of Trump’s fundraising efforts, with another email telling his supporters, “Together, we will PROVE that the MAGA movement has never been stronger!”


The Donations Come Pouring In

Trump’s campaign offered some creative titles for various fundraising initiatives. One was titled “The Big Rip-Off” while another was called “The Big Lie.” 

Donald Trump on the campaign trail for 2024 election

Source: Scott Eisen/Getty Images

The majority of Trump’s fundraising emails placed blame on the left for its continued attacks on him, while he promised his supporters vengeance in the form of him becoming president once again. Trump’s campaign generated $250 million in donations.


Raising Funds By Any Means Necessary

The initial fundraising email, titled “The First One” asked supporters for a minimal financial contribution, during a time when presidential candidates asked for between $1 and $2,700 from loyalists.

Donald Trump’s Scowling Mugshot

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Since his early days on the campaign trail, Trump has sunk to new lows to generate cash to fund his run for the presidency. He even made the ultimate power move by slapping his own mugshot onto merchandise like t-shirts and mugs. If the people will buy it, Trump is selling it. 


Is a Repeat of the 2020 Election on the Horizon?

Trump’s campaign recently reported third-quarter receipts from fundraising to the Federal Election Commission.

Donald Trump and Joe Biden face off at the final presidential debate of 2020

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Trump’s campaign brought in $24.5 million while Biden’s campaign raised $71 million in the same amount of time. Despite all of Trump’s legal troubles, he remains a force to be reckoned with. He is still the GOP’s leading candidate with 58% of support. If things remain on their current trajectory, the 2024 election could be a redo of the Biden-Trump election of 2020.