Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) privately boasted on Wednesday that the GOP’s Senate Leadership Fund had outraised former President Trump’s super PAC in 2020, The New York Times reported, amid the former president’s targeting of Republican fundraising efforts.
McConnell made the remarks at a weekly party lunch following a presentation by Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.), who heads the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC), three people briefed on the lunch told the Times.
The Kentucky Republican reportedly said the funds raised by the Senate Leadership Fund, the super PAC that typically supports incumbent Republican senators, last year had surpassed Trump’s America First PAC.
McConnell cited data that he presented on small cards titled “Super PAC money raised” that said “Total: $612+ million” and “In 3 cycles: nearly $1 billion.” Under that were the words “Trump: $148+ million.”
McConnell’s office did not immediately return a request for comment.
Jason Miller, an adviser to Trump, told the Times that he dismissed the suggestion that the former president led to the losses of two Senate seats in Georgia, which cost Republicans the majority, casting blame on the minority leader for not supporting a heftier COVID-19 relief bill.
“A better side-by-side comparison would be the $2,000 stimulus checks that the Democrat candidates promised in Georgia versus the $600 stimulus checks that the Republicans offered, which led to us losing both seats,” Miller said. “Just think, if we had done that one thing differently, Republicans would be in control of the Senate right now.”
Over the weekend, lawyers for Trump sent cease-and-desist letters to the Republican National Committee (RNC), the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) and the NRSC requesting they stop using his name and likeness for fundraising efforts.
The RNC initially dismissed the letters, but in the past few days, Trump has doubled down, releasing two statements calling for his supporters and Republicans to donate to his Save America PAC instead of to the GOP fundraising arms.
In both his statements, Trump called out “RINOS,” referring to “Republicans in name only,” and condemned the GOP fundraising bodies for supporting such lawmakers.
“I fully support the Republican Party and important GOP Committees, but I do not support RINOs and fools, and it is not their right to use my likeness or image to raise funds,” he said in a Tuesday statement.
Scott, RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel and NRCC Chairman Rep. Tom Emmer (R-Minn.) released a joint statement in response on Tuesday that said the committees “are grateful for President Trump’s support, both past and future.”